UPDATES TO THE 2022 EDITIONS
(now available worldwide)
We have updated each of the guidebooks as thoroughly as we can for the latest editions.
Following the pandemic, we can expect on-going changes to the situation along the camino over the next year. Please feel free to advise us of any changes you come across. All along the route, pilgrim infrastructure and albergues that took decades to put in place are struggling to survive, some will probably close. Note that any closure of facilities, such as lodging and restaurants, may only be temporary. Others may be due to a forced sale allowing for the possibility they may reopen for their original use at a later stage
Due to travel restrictions we have not been able to walk the routes as we would have wished too and have been forced to update the guides from afar. In this constantly changing situation we beg for your patience and understanding for any updates that may come to us after the books have gone to print or for anything we may have missed.
The full guides to the Camino Francés, Camino Portugués, Camino Inglés, Camino Finisterre and the joint Camino Sanabres & Invierno are now available in ebook format. Look for them from your usual ebook provider (Books, Nook, Kobo, Kindle, etc.).
As the popularity of the Camino Francés continues to grow, so too does pressure on the final stages into Santiago. For those seeking a quieter end to their pilgrimage we have created a guide to the Camino Invierno (The Winter Way). This largely overlooked route allows an alternative ending to the Camino Francés by branching off at Ponferrada and entering Santiago via the stunning Las Medulas (World Heritage Site) and the largest gold mines of the Roman Empire.
This guide continues to feature options for the Camino Central, Camino da Costa and Senda Litoral as well as the Variante Espiritual.
In response to the growing popularity of the route, the Camino Inglés is now available as a full guide in its own right. The new edition features more information on alternative routes, detours and history of this celtic camino.
The only camino to depart from Santiago is again a full guide in its own right. Featuring options to walk the route from Santiago to Finisterre, to continue on to Muxía and to walk the route as a circuit to and from Santiago, a distance qualifying the pilgrim for a compostela.
CAMINO SANABRES & CAMINO INVIERNO
This combined edition features two routes. Both, being over 100 km long, entitle a bona fide pilgrim to a Compostela and both avoid the relative overcrowding of the routes into Santiago via the Camino Francés through Sarria and the Camino Portugués via Vigo or Tui.
The Camino Sanabrés begins in Ourense, which is very accessible with direct rail and bus services every hour throughout the day from Santiago and there also direct bus services from other main cities with airports including Madrid.
The Camino Invierno (or Winter Way) can be walked as a route in its own right or as an alternative to the crowded final sections of the Camino Francés (see Camino Francés updates above).
Currently available as both print and ebook.
The tithing from royalties of the sale of these guidebooks continues to support various initiatives that seek to preserve the physical and spiritual integrity of the Caminos de Santiago. Thank you for buying these guidebooks that help support and promote the caminos.
PILGRIM STATISTICS 2019
Due to the impact of the pandemic on numbers of pilgrims and related statistics for 2020/21 we have chosen not to include those statistics below. We believe the following data from 2019 gives a more accurate picture of what you might find on the Camino in an average year.
347,578 pilgrims collected a Compostela in 2019.
The Camino Francés remains the most popular. Attracted 189,937 pilgrims (55%) of whom 96,124 (27%) commenced in Sarria and 33,197 (10%) in St Jean Pied de Port.
The Camino Portugués follows this with 72,357 pilgrims (21%) and 22,297 on the Camino da Costa. Porto remains the most popular starting point with 27,924 (8%) followed closely by Tui with 22,814 (7%).
The Camino Inglés continues to grow in popularity with 15,715 (5%).
Pilgrims from all over the world walk the camino each year. In 2019 Spaniards represented 42% followed by Italians 8%, Germans 8%, Americans 6%, Portuguese 5%, French 3%, Irish 2% and British 3% (15,958 combined). English-speaking countries made up 14%.
The age range of pilgrims varied – with 55% being between 30 and 60.