The Camino de Santiago, or Way of Saint James, is the legendary pilgrimage route that stretches across several European countries and ultimately ends at the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.
If you are considering taking on the Way of Saint James during your upcoming holiday in Spain, Paradores' luxury and historic hotels is right behind you. We've put together this list of tips to give you a hand while planning your journey.
Each Camino experience is as unique as the person who takes it on. That said; practical considerations can greatly shape the journey.
One key factor is the route to take. If you're looking for a challenge, the Aragonese or French Routes are ideal, starting off with mountain climbs across the Pyrenees and stretching through much of northern Spain. Others prefer to come up from Portugal, crossing the border at Tui or to begin at Madrid and view most of Castile along the journey. All routes are well marked, so it's very much a personal choice.
Another factor is the time of the year when you decide to go. While summer guarantees sunny weather, the scorching sun is often an added burden, and tourists abound. For this reason, autumn is increasingly becoming a choice time of the year in which to take on the route and view the change of seasons in nature.
Whatever the route or time of year, start preparing ahead of time by taking walks, wearing in comfortable shoes and packing a light bag full of only the most essential materials.
While pilgrims were once limited to hostels and stables along the way, today no matter which route you choose, Paradores locations abound and await to provide you with exceptional rooms and delicious meals along the way.
Those undertaking the French Route can look into locations like Parador Santo Domingo de la Calzada, a 12th century pilgrims' hospital right on the Camino. Those coming up through Castile can check into locations like Parador León, a monumental convent. If you're entering from Portugal, Parador Tui, a traditional Galician country manse, is a perfect stop. All pilgrims arriving at Santiago must drop in on its Parador, which faces the cathedral and is the world's oldest hotel.
Ready to take on the journey? Contact Paradores to plan your Way of Saint James experience today!