Campbell & Alya wearing Camino T-shirts at a distance pole marking the Camino de Santiago in Galicia
Camino de Santiago Packing Spain

Camino de Santiago light packing list 2019 – all seasons

The Camino de Santiago is a life-changing experience for most, we know many people that were planning this pilgrimage for years, preparing, reading, training. To make sure you enjoy it, take the right gear, don’t overload your backpack, have comfortable shoes that you can walk in for days, etc. We learned this during our own painful experience. We’ve walked six different Caminos de Santiago routes so far; Camino Portugués from Lisbon,  Camino Primitivo, Camino del Nort, Camino Finisterre-Muxia, Camino Inglés, Via de la Plata (214 km from Seville to Mérida), Camino Francés. In total, in the 2018/2019 Camino season, we walked 3240km on different Camino routes. Next year we’re planning to continue our Camino saga.

Watch our new Camino light packing video 2019!!!

We’re experienced hikers and walk a lot in the mountains with much heavier backpacks, before our first Camino we thought it was super easy to walk from albergue to albergue with a light backpack, carrying only clothes, restaurants and coffee shops on the way. After a first week on the Portuguese Camino our feet were destroyed, we both had huge blisters, basically, our feet were just one big blister! all because we didn’t have hiking shoes and decided to walk in our trail running shoes. I must say that on the first four days we walked more than 140km here after we decided to slow down and even had a day off in Fatima. Don’t make the same mistake, take your time especially in the beginning, let your body to get used to it and don’t follow somebody’s itinerary if it’s too tough for you, walk shorter days, rest, stay longer and you’ll enjoy the Camino de Santiago much more.

Our completed Camino de Santiago routes

    • Portuguese Camino from Lisbon – May 2018
  • Camino Primitivo – June 2018
  • Camino del Norte – October 2018
  • Camino Finisterre & Muxía – November 2018
  • Via de la Plata (214 km from Seville to Mérida) – April 2019
  • Camino Inglés – May 2019
  • Camino Francés – September 2019

We walked the Caminos in different seasons throughout one year (we on purpose skipped the high season – July and August, as we don’t like crowds), in this post you’ll find packing tips for different weather and seasons.

The Camino de Santiago is not your normal hike in the wild where you have to carry camping gear and food which is a good thing as it’s possible to pack light. Every night pilgrims stay at albergues, no tent and camping mat is needed, all you need or we’d recommend bringing with is a sleeping bag. In our experience the two most important things to have on the Camino are a comfortable backpack and a pair of good hiking shoes – these two you’ll use every day and if even one of them doesn’t fit good or uncomfortable it can completely spoil your Camino.

Travel insurance for the Camino

Walking like any other outdoor activity involves a risk of getting an injury or losing some of the gear. It’s always recommended to have travel insurance when you go away. The Camino de Santiago is not an exclusion though it’s not a high altitude wild hike through remote areas it’s still a physically challenging experience and injuries are quite frequent. Make sure you will be able to get medical assistance any time you need. It’s quite handy to have insurance in case of a gear or device break/loss you can always claim it back. It makes the walk less stressful when you know you’re covered in case of any unpredictable emergencies. Let your insurance company worry about you and your stuff while you enjoy walking the Camino.  

Travel Insurance for Hiking Diving Backpacking and more

Documents

There is not much you need for the Camino.

Passport/ID for European citizens.

Credential (Camino passport) – a small book that confirms you’re a pilgrim where you collect stamps from albergues you stay in (some bars and restaurants have stamps as well). You need it first of all to be able to stay in albergues and second to get the Compostela – a certificate about completing the Camino de Santiago. Note! To get it a pilgrim must walk more than 100km on the Camino. You can buy a credential at your regional Camino de Santiago office, some cathedrals on the Camino routes sell them as well. In case you don’t find it, we saw some pilgrims that for some reason couldn’t get a credential walking with a spreadsheet (A4 format) where they were collecting stamps.

Camino de Santiago gear

Backpack

I walked with a 40L backpack it was enough especially if you’re not going to pack a laptop as I did. Campbell walked with a 50L backpack which was big enough though he had our mirror camera with two lenses in a camera bag packed inside as well. Remember, the bigger backpack you get the more unnecessary stuff you’ll fit in. For hiking in winter or late fall/early spring when you need warmer clothes we’d recommend a 50L backpack for men and women. It’s possible to walk only with a day pack if you arrange a delivery for your luggage from albergue to albergue, it costs between 4 and 5 Euro per backpack per day. In this case, a small 20L backpack will be more than enough. Make sure your backpack has a rain cover if not buy a separate one. 

Backpacks for women

| Deuter Aircontact Lite 50Osprey Farpoint 55 | Osprey Farpoint 40 |  High Sierra Summit 40 |

Backpacks for men

| Osprey Farpoint 55 | High Sierra Tech 55Osprey Fairview 40 | Deuter Futura Pro 40 |

Neck back

We advise to have a neck bag where you can put your valuable stuff and take it with every time you leave an albergue, most municipal albergues don’t have lockers. Don’t be too careless though it’s a pilgrimage somebody can steal your money if you leave it unattended. We didn’t have any issues but heard a few stories about stolen money. As an option you can take a pouch it’s small, waterproof (will keep your passport, money, and credential clean and dry). I don’t think it’s necessary to wear it while you’re walking unless you’re planning to leave your backpack unattended for a while but when you go out of albergues you can take your valuables with. For the period of walking, you can just put it into your backpack.

Sleeping bag

In our experience most of the albergues had blankets but it’s just nicer to have your own sleeping bag. These blankets without linen don’t look very appealing I believe you can use them for some extra warmth in winter over your sleeping bag. A light sleeping bag with comfort temperature limit +12°C/50°F will be enough unless you walk in cold months than it’s better to have a bit warmer sleeping bag that goes to +5°C comfort. From my winter experience in Spain (mainly in Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia) most of the places don’t have any sort of heating and it gets quite cold at night, I always slept with several blankets. After our upcoming Camino del Norte pilgrimage in October-November, we’ll update you more on temperature.

Trekking poles

We aren’t used to walking with them at all but I know for people with knee or hip problems they help a lot to reduce stress on joints. For some Caminos e.g. Camino Primitivo with many ascends and descends, we’d definitely recommend taking trekking poles.

Quick-dry towel

This item we always take with on all our travels. Quick dry towels are very light, pack small, dry quick (as you can guess from the name), durable and come in many different colors. We’d suggest marking your towel with initials, pictures or something like that, at some albergues with many people I spent some time trying to figure out which towel on the washing line was mine.

Water bottle

We definitely prefer a water bottle over a water bladder, because it fits nicely in a side pocket, easy to take out and refill, even if it leaks it won’t make anything inside your backpack wet. Tap water in both Spain and Portugal is drinkable we didn’t use any purification or filters. I know some of you prefer using a bladder for hiking as it’s easier to drink out of it. We tried a couple of times hiking with bladders but it didn’t work out well, first of all, because unlike a water bottle you have to fit bladder inside your backpack it takes extra space, plus it might leak and all you have inside will get wet. 

Headlamp

In albergues lights are usually turned off quite early and if you want to read, unpack or find something in your backpack a headlamp is very useful. Same in the morning if you want to start walking really early you’ll have to get dressed and pack in the dark.

Swiss knife

We always take it with on hikes, road trips and just traveling. Usually, it’s difficult to find a sharp knife in albergues we always used our Swiss knife for cutting, opening cans as well as for opening packs slicing when having lunch on the way. Note! Don’t forget if you fly only with hand luggage no knives will be allowed. 

Power adapter

In Spain and Portugal, they use Euro Plug outlets if you’re coming from the US, UK, Australia, Canada or some other countries outside Europe you’ll need an adapter that can be used as a multi-plug as well.

Earplugs

You’ll very likely to get at least on snoring person every night staying at albergues so earplugs will be quite useful.  

Campbell on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago in May
Campbell with our amazing host on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago in May.

Handy extras

You’ll be fine if you don’t pack any or some of these things but they will make your journey easier and more comfortable.

Silk liner/sleeping sack

As an option instead of sleeping bag for walking the Camino in the hottest months, you can pack a silk liner to use it for sleeping if it’s really hot at night. We did have a couple of nights like that on the Portuguese Camino if you get cold you can always use a blanket. 

Stuff sack

You can use a compression stuff sack first of all for better organizing your backpack especially if it has only one compartment and is top loaded – it’s easy to take a stuff sack out and put it back. Second, if you want to separate your dirty and clean clothes it’ll be quite handy as well. As an option, you can buy a mesh stuff sack for the same purpose. Plus, compression sack can be squeezed your clothes will take less space in your backpack.

Padlock

Some albergues have lockers but don’t have locks if you want to store your valuables in there bring your own padlock.

Washing pegs

Some albergues have washing machines (some even drying machines), some only basins and washing lines though there are never enough pegs. Plus you can use pegs to hang some wet stuff from your backpack while walking.  

Travel clothesline

Another option to bring a travel clothesline from twisted cord it doesn’t need pegs and can be put up anywhere – it has suction cups on both ends.

Sewing kit

We didn’t have one and never really needed it but if you like to be ready for “just in case” take a small travel sewing kit, it’s small and light, in a small plastic shell.

Bed bug spray

We were quite lucky and didn’t have bed bugs anywhere we stayed but if you walk a busy Camino in high season you might get them in some albergues. We haven’t used bed bug spray just saw people using it, it’s not a 100% guarantee but it will help keep them away.

Plastic spork

Sometimes there are not enough utensils or if you want to have lunch somewhere on the way it will be handy to have a spork or plastic fork and spoon.

Eye mask for sleeping

In case you want to go to bed while lights are still on or want to sleep in the afternoon an eye mask will be useful.

Notebook and a pen

Take a notebook in case you want to make some notes, write down names of places or some handy Spanish/Portuguese phrases.

Suggested gear for Camino de Santiago

| Sleeping bagSilk liner  | Backpack | Stuff sackPower adapter | Pouch | Trekking poles | Water bottle | Towel | Swiss knife HeadlampSpork | Padlock  | Sewing kit | Earplugs | Eye mask Travel clothesline | NotebookBed bug spray |

Clothes for the Camino

Hiking shoes

Don’t underestimate the importance of hiking shoes, in the end, you’ll spend most of the time walking in them. We’d recommend walking the Camino, especially if you’re planning to walk a long distance, in proper boots not in running shoes or sneakers – they (or your feet) just won’t make it. We tried on the Portuguese Camino to walk in our running shoes that were very comfortable in the beginning and not too hot but it destroyed our feet in the first couple of days. For very hot weather hiking sandals can be a good alternative to the boots. Modern hiking shoes usually have good ventilation but sometimes it just gets too hot and it’s nice to put on sandals for a while. Note! Wear socks with sandals barefoot in the heat you’ll get blisters immediately. I just got for myself a new pair of Salomon Ellipse 2 hiking shoes; comfortable and light. Exactly what I wanted a pair of shoes that can be worn for both road walking and hiking in the mountains – a compromise between two. I have walked the Camino del Norte and Camino Finisterre in them (about 1000km in total) and they worked great, my feet got wet three times when we got a terrible storm with strong wind,  it happened partly because I wasn’t wearing gaiters so the water from my pants ran down into the shoes. I didn’t get any blisters though the shoes were new and I’d worn them before very little. This model is a bit narrow if you have wide feet they might be too tight.  Other similar options to look at – KEEN Targhee II and Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof or a bit cheaper model – Columbia Dakota Drifter.

Hiking shoes for women

Hiking shoes for men

For walking in the warm season – Merrell Moab 2 Waterproof or Salomon X Ultra Prime are good options for you; durable, waterproof, comfortable, have a good grip. For walking in winter one of the high-cut models might be a better option – KEEN Targhee II Waterproof or more budget – Columbia Granite Ridge. If you buy a new pair wear them before you go on a hike even super quality new shoes might cause blisters. It’s very unlikely you’ll walk in the snow on the Camino even in winter but it can happen.

Socks

For a long walk like the Camino, it’s very important to have good durable socks that protect feet and prevent blisters. Our first Camino we walked in normal socks and did get blisters. From many experienced pilgrims we heard about merino wool socks that are great for walking; comfortable, soft, help to prevent blisters, dry quick, don’t absorb odors and easy to wash. We decided to give it a try and next Camino walked in these socks, they worked great, no blisters, no itching or hurting. 

Rain jacket 

We’d suggest having one, if you walk in July or August chances of rain are pretty small, though in Galicia it can rain any time. For other months rain jacket is a handy thing to have. We walked The Portuguese Camino in May and didn’t have a lot of rain but on the Coastal Route it was quite windy sometimes we were glad we had our jackets. We used our rain jackets and ponchos a lot in June, on the Camino Primitivo it rained almost all the way in both Asturias and Galicia. If you’re going to hike in winter, take warm water and windproof jacket

Rain poncho

If you’re going to walk in hot months (July, August) you might not need a jacket at all. As an option you can take a rain poncho – it’s small, light and will protect you and your backpack from any rain. I like ponchos with sleeves that come with a backpack pocket no need to worry about your stuff getting wet.

Suggested summer clothes for women

| Rain jacketFleeceRunning T-shirt Running T-shirt | Yoga pants | Knee hiking pantsRain poncho | Jeans shorts | Pajama shorts | Pajama T-shirtSports bras | Panties | Socks | Cap | Sunglasses | Hiking shoes | Flip flops |

Trekking pants

I prefer hiking in yoga pants, they are comfortable and light, stretch a lot, dry quick and pack small. For summer I’d suggest taking one pair of long pants and a pair of hiking shorts or knee pants though I usually walk in long pants for sun protection even when it’s hot. For walking in colder months or in winter a pair of thicker hiking pants with fleece inner will be fine, for extra warmth you can always put thermal pants underneath. For men – for summer thin hiking pants that convert into shorts, for winter thicker hiking pants with fleece.

Hiking shirts

For ladies – depending on what you prefer to wear for hiking it can be a hiking shirt or a running T-shirt. I don’t like shirts I packed two running T-shirts; one with long sleeves and one with short. For walking in July and August you probably won’t need a long sleeve one, rather pack two short sleeve T-shirts. I wouldn’t recommend, even if it’s very hot, to walk in a top – make sure your shoulders and neck are covered or put suncream otherwise you’ll get bad sunburns. For men – Campbell always hikes in Columbia shirts, they’re great; light, comfortable, breathing, dry very quick and easy to wash. Pack two shirts or you’ll have to do laundry every day.

Fleece

Always nice to have a fleece even in summer, most people start walking early morning when it’s usually still quite chilly. We wore fleeces on both our Caminos; in May on the Portuguese Camino and in June on the Primitivo but mostly after hiking when we went out for dinner or drinks.

Suggested summer hiking clothes for men

| Rain jacketHiking shirt | Hiking T-shirtHiking pants | Rain poncho | Board shortsPajama T-shirt | Pajama shortsBoxer shortsBuff | Hiking beltHatSunglasses | Socks | Hiking shoes Flip flops |

Sleeping clothes

For summer I’d suggest to take a cotton T-shirt and shorts for sleeping and changing after shower for women. For men cotton shorts and a vest/T-shirt. For winter you can use a thermal shirt and pants for sleeping for women and long fleece pants and a thermal shirt for men. A great item to have for sleeping and wearing after the shower is one toe socks that can be worn with flip flops. It’s not necessary for summer but nice to have for colder months. 

Extra clothes to change

In case you go out for dinner or a drink. It’s optional; for summer I packed one T-shirt and a pair of shorts. A good alternative for guys are board shorts, you can wear them as a change and for swimming (if you walk one of the coastal Caminos). For winter we didn’t take any extras like warm clothes take too much space.

Alya on the Camino del Norte in October
Alya on the Camino del Norte at the beginning of October, wearing long trekking pants, shirt, fleece, cap, and Salomon shoes.

Underwear

For ladies. I’d recommend sports bras over normal bras – they are definitely more comfortable for hiking. Pack three-four pairs of panties, same with boxer shorts. On both Caminos, we had a washing machine at least in every third albergue (except the part of Camino Portugues from Lisbon to Porto where facilities, in general, are poorer than to the other routes), plus many albergues have drying machines as well, we almost never did hand washing.

Flip flops

Highly recommended to take a pair of flip flops to wear in albergues, your feet have to rest from wearing heavy hiking boots all day. In summer you can wear them outside as well it’s too hot to walk around in shoes.

Suggested spring/fall clothes for women

| Rain jacketFleeceRunning shirt Running T-shirt | Hiking pants | Yoga pantsRain poncho | Pajama pants | Pajama T-shirtSports bras | Panties | Socks | Cap | Sunglasses | Hiking shoes | Flip flops |

Cap or hat

For summer season it’s a must-have item, most of the routes go through open areas without shade, you will need some sun protection for your head. I prefer wearing a cap it’s more comfortable for me. Campbell always hikes in a hat which is better for sun protection as it covers a bigger area.

Swimming costume

If you walk one of the routes along the coast in summer, take a swimming costume or bikini. Plus there are hot springs or thermal baths as well on some Caminos.

Headwear or buff

For some extra sun protection take a buff. Campbell was wearing it on the Portuguese Camino almost all the time. It’s a multi-use item you can use it to cover your neck, face, head, etc.

Sunglasses

For summer definitely, pack sunglasses though on some Caminos e.g. Primitivo in June we didn’t get many chances to wear them.

Suggested spring/fall clothes for men

| Rain jacketFleece | Hiking shirts | Hiking pants | Hiking pantsRain poncho | Pajama T-shirt | Pajama shortsBoxer shorts | CapBuff Hiking belt  |  Sunglasses | Socks | Hiking shoes Flip flops |

Winter addition 

If you venture to walk the Camino in winter you’ll definitely need some extra warm clothes so prepare for your backpack being fuller and heavier. If you walk shoulder season; early spring or late fall pack more warm items like for winter it’s very likely you’ll need it. 

Smart wool shirt

For walking in cold months a merino wool hiking shirt will be great; it’s light and thin, can be worn under a fleece if it’s really cold, keeps your body warm, doesn’t absorb odors and easy to wash and dry.

Thermals

Very handy to have thermal shirt and pants for the cold season you can use it for both, sleeping and, if it gets really cold, for wearing it under your hiking clothes. We didn’t take it for summer and there was no need even on dull and rainy days it wasn’t that cold. We both have packed thermal underwear for walking Camino del Norte in October with an idea to wear it mainly for sleeping. 

Gaiters

We didn’t pack them and did regret about it when we were walking the Camino Finisterre in November, it rained very strong and a lot, we didn’t have waterproof hiking pants and once our pants got wet water started running down into the shoes. For the off-season, gaiters will be quite handy. Some of our fellow pilgrims tried to make them out of plastic bags but with a strong wind, it didn’t work at all. If you walk the Camino in winter and get caught in the snow (it happened to our friends that walked the Primitive Way in late October) gaiters will work as well.

Gloves

Don’t pack thick gloves just a pair of fleece gloves will be fine even if it gets cold it’s unlikely it’ll go far below 0°C/32°F during the day.

Beanie

Same as with gloves take a beanie for cold days.

Suggested winter clothes for women 

| Warm jacketFleeceRunning shirt Merino wool shirt | Hiking pants | Fleece hiking pantsRain poncho | Gaiters | Thermal underwear | Sports bras | One toe socksPantiesSocks | Gloves | Beanie | Hiking shoes | Flip flops |

Suggested winter clothes for men

| Warm jacketFleece | Merino wool shirt | Hiking shirt | Hiking pants  | Fleece hiking pants | Rain poncho | Fleece pants Thermal top Boxer shorts | Beanie | Gloves | Socks | One toe socks | Gaiters | Hiking belt | Hiking shoes Flip flops |

Gadgets and devices

It’s all up to you to decide whether to make your backpack heavier by packing a big camera with lenses or keep it light and take photos with a phone or maybe pack a GoPro for taking videos. In the end, the Camino is about personal experience and it’s your choice what kind of experience you want to have. 

Smartphone

Probably the most useful device you can take on the Camino you can use it for navigation, Camino apps, taking photos, using social media, listening to music or audiobooks, alarm, etc. Don’t know about you but we prefer Samsung over iPhone. I recently bought a new phone Samsung Galaxy S9 and quite happy with it.

Camera

If you still don’t trust the quality of your phone photos take a digital camera like Olympus OM-D, it takes good photos and ok video, plus it is small and light. We always take our Canon 80D with but the only reason we do it because we’re bloggers if it wasn’t for that we wouldn’t even consider taking this big camera with two lenses.

GoPro

Another cool and small thing that will help to capture your Camino. We just bought a new GoPro Hero 6 and are quite impressed with the quality of the footage though we used it mostly underwater. Even the photos are pretty good. If you have a smartphone and a GoPro no need to pack a camera as well. It’s very easy to do editing with free GoPro Quik app just connect the GoPro to your phone and in 10 minutes you’ll get an awesome video with music. Just a couple of months after we bought it they released GoPro Hero7.  If you want a budget alternative check AKASO EK7000 it might be not as great as GoPro but costs less than half.

All the videos in this post were taken with GoPro Hero6. Here is another example of the footage we took with it on the Camino del Norte.

Kindle

Campbell’s best friend, he always packs it when we go traveling. It’s a great thing to have on the Camino, in weeks of walking you’ll have time to read several books and it’s not always easy to find a book in a language you know just download a couple of books and it’s last your for the whole way. I’d suggest buying Kindle Paperwhite in this case you won’t need extra light to read in the dark. If you read a lot it might be worth joining Kindle unlimited program by Amazon you get access to hundreds of thousands of Ebooks and audiobooks with it.

Power bank

We had one but never used it, there are electricity and power outlets in all albergues, restaurants or cafes on the way, no need to carry a power bank but I know some people always take it with.

| Canon camera | Olympus cameraGoPro Hero7 BlackKindle | SmartphoneGPS Watch | Power bank | Earphones |

Toiletries

    • Toothbrush
    • Deodorant
    • Cream/body lotion
    • Humid tissues
    • Hand sanitizer
  • Toilet paper (never needed)

| Toiletry bag Razor | Silicone travel bottles | Silicone cream jars | Small manicure set | 3 in 1 Soap | Soap case |

First aid kit

You walk past several pharmacies every day we were always able to buy some medicine or plasters on the way. Note! If you need to buy something with a prescription you can ask your doctor back home to send it to you via e-mail and print it somewhere, we never had a problem of buying medicine this way in Spain or Portugal. Sometimes if we didn’t have a printed prescription we could send it to the pharmacy’s e-mail.

    • First Aid kit – you can buy a ready made kit and take out some unnecessary stuff and add something else. This kit has plasters, bandages, safety pin, scissors, even a mini sewing kit, and many other items. 
    • Plasters – something you’ll definitely need for the Camino. Tip! If you have spots on your feet where you usually get blisters, try to prevent them by first putting some vaseline on it and then plaster. If you already have blister you can use Compeed – a special plaster that you can put on blisters, it reduces the pain and protects against rubbing. There are special blister prevention patches for shoes as well. We’ve never used them but the reviews are quite good.
    • Antiseptic/iodine.
    • Vaseline – you can use it for blister prevention put it every morning on your feet (some areas) before you start walking. It’ll help to reduce chafing.
  • Imodium – in case you have some stomach problems, we never had any issues in Portugal or Spain.
  • Anti-inflammatory – to reduce muscular pain, swelling, e.g. Ibuprofen.
  • Aspirin – in case you get cold or flu.

| First Aid Kit | Blister Patches | Compeed | Vaseline | Imodium | Ibuprofen | Aspirin |

Recommended Camino apps

  • Wise Pilgrim
  • Buen Camino
  • Trek Right
  • Maps.me

Books and guide books

We listed here guide books for different Caminos, plus some related to Camino de Santiago books.

    • The Northern Caminos (Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Ingles, and Finisterre) by Dave Whitson. Paperback and Kindle.

PIN IT FOR LATER!

Packing list for the Camino de Santiago, all seasons, men and women

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43 Comments

  1. Sosthenes Behn

    I am planning on the Portuguese Camino beginning in Lisbon in September 2021.
    Any suggestions would be welcome and appreciated.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello! If you click on Camino de Santiago menu you’ll find three blog posts on the Portuguese Camino including one on walking the Camino from Lisbon. There you can find all our suggestions and tips.
      Cheers!

  2. Samantha Steele

    Greetings Campbell and Alya! You both are such an inspiration! y name is Samantha and my husband is Mike. We both would like to spend much more of our time travelling and blogging about our experiences. Mike and I are planning to leave at the end of September to hike the Portuguese Camino. Last year I hiked part of it with my daughter and then the Finisterre/Muxia Way by myself. We planning to start in Santiago and head south to at least to Porto, then rent a car and visit the Picos de Europa to hike there. We have a total of 5 weeks. It seems as if very few people hike away from Santiago southward towards Porto. Everything I’ve seen so far is in the opposite direction, northward. Do you know of a reason why we should not travel southbound? Are the arrows another color instead of yellow heading north? Thanks for your help!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Samantha! Thank you for the comment! The main reason people walk the Camino to Santiago to Santiago and not the other way around is that it’s a pilgrimage route people are heading from whatever they are towards the sacred place. You can walk it from north to south we saw some people doing, I’m not sure about the route marking but I guess there will be some arrows they might be blue, not yellow color, blue arrows are used to mark the Camino de Fatima some people walk from Santiago de Compostela to Fatima a small town in Portugal. I’d recommend checking the weather forecast before going to the Picos de Europa it might rain quite a lot in October.
      Buen Camino!

  3. Hi Campbell and Alya. Thanks for the wonderful blog – it’s truly a marvellous resource in an age of endless cat videos and where the US President seeks advice from Kanye West.

    I’m flying from Australia to do the Portuguese Coastal way in October 2019 and am seeking your views on whether you think it would be difficult to do it with a 30L backpack, noting that I will bring a sleeping bag.

    Many thanks in advance for your help, cheers, Chris

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, Chris! Thank you for the comment! We’re glad you’ve found it helpful! Your backpack might be quite packed but I believe it’s possible if you don’t take extra stuff. I’m currently walking with a 40l pack carrying a sleeping bag and a laptop and there is still quite a lot of space, I guess if it wasn’t for the laptop I would be able to pack everything into a 30l backpack. If your sleeping bag doesn’t fit in you can always attach it from the outside you’ll just need a bigger rain cover to keep it dry in case of rain.
      Enjoy the Camino!

  4. Hi I am planning to do the Portuguese Coastal , starting early June 2020. Could you please let me know where you got your credential in south Africa. (I live in Johannesburg.
    Many thanks
    Lexie

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello Lexie, you can contact Andrée Lombard, chairperson of Confraternity St James of South Africa (CSJofSA). Telephone and email on their website https://www.csjofsa.za.org/ Andrée has been so helpful, they also supply members walking the Camino with the appropriate letter required for visa application.

  5. Hi. Thanks for all the details. Amazing post.
    I am doing the Camino Primitivo at the beginning of April. Any special recommendation, based on your previous experience?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Almir! Thank you for the comment! For the Primitivo, I’d definitely recommend having a rain poncho, good waterproof shoes and a backpack cover, in the mountains in Asturias it might rain quite a bit in April, there might be even snow on some parts of the Camino. We walked it in June and at least half of the time it rained but you might be lucky and got no rain at all just be prepared in case you do.
      Buen Camino!

  6. Hey, there!
    Great info!
    I’m planning on hiking the Camino Del Norte Sept-Oct. What city do you recommend flying into(coming from United States) to begin the hike?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Michael! Thank you for the comment! You can fly either to Barcelona or Madrid there are direct buses from both cities. We flew to Barcelona and from there took a bus to Irun (the starting point of the Camino del Norte).
      Cheers!

  7. Hello,
    I am planning on walking the Camino Portugues from Porto (probably on the coast to Caminha, then on the central route) and I am wondering if I should bother with trekking poles. I live in the Alps and use them here but there is so little evelation there that I am wondering if I should. What do you think? Thank you.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Valerie! If you use hiking poles only for ascends and descends you will be fine without them on the Portuguese Camino as you said the inclination on the route is close to 0, plus most of the time you walk on asphalt or boardwalks it won’t be slippery if it rains. Still, many people use them for different reasons (extra stability, to improve the posture when walking with a backpack, etc.). We didn’t have poles on the Portuguese Camino and didn’t feel like we needed them but t’s a personal choice, we use them exclusively in the mountains.
      Buen Camino!

  8. Jacqui Stearn

    What a great blog. I am planning to complete one of the routes late September/October, so weighing up my options. One factor that I can’t seem to find you covering is where there is availability of portage/backpack transfer as I am no longer able to carry the weight due to loss of cartilage in my inner knee joints. Any tips?

    Best wishes,

    Jacqui

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jacqui! Thank you very much for the comment! We cover backpack transfer service in all the posts about specific Camino routes not in this post. You can arrange backpack delivery on any Camin route, it usually costs 5-6 Euro per backpack per day. From what we’ve seen many pilgrims use Correos service (Spanish post). Once you decide on the route you can enquire on their site the estimated cost for the whole route or per stage. We’ve never used it but know many people who did.
      Buen Camino!

  9. Robert Tanzie

    Much enjoy your helpful site. Will be going on Portuguese Camino del Mar ! August.
    Roberto de Madrid

  10. A good, well put together blog. A comment on Travel Insurance with World Nomads – I just found out that it is only available to those under 65 years of age. I was 66 a few weeks ago! C’est la vie as they say in St Jean PdP.

  11. cinzia garoglio

    Ciao ti scrivo dall’Italia e partirò per il cammino da Porto, mi piacerebbe fare la via costiera ma ho solo 8 giorni di cammino.
    Posso farcela? O mi conviene fare la via centrale?
    Grazie del blog…mi consigli una buona app con mappe.
    Grazie!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Cinzia! Thank you for the comment! Whichever route you choose 8 days it’s not much time to complete the route. The Central route is shorter, about 260 km, if you want to walk the whole route you’ll have to walk more than 30 km a day. If you walk the Coastal Route your daily distance will be about 35 km. I don’t know if you personally can walk that far every day or not. As an option, you can start in Porto walk either route and somewhere in the middle take a bus to skip a couple of stages and then continue walking. Just remember to get the Compostela you have to walk at least the last 100 km to Santiago de Compostela.
      Buen Camino!

  12. Hi I’m preparing to walk the Coastal route on 19 June aiming to do 20/25kms a day. Where do I find lists of Albergues en route so I can book ahead somewhat.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Perry! If you open our post “Portuguese Camino Coastal Route” at the end of each day you’ll find a list of suggested accommodation options for that day. Keep n mind that you can book only private albergues, hostels and hotels, public albergues (the most budget accommodation on the Camino) can’t be booked in advance, they work on the principle “first come first served”.
      Buen Camino!

  13. Chantelle

    Hi, thank you for a very detailed article! I am doing a small part of this hike in September this year as i am not able to start with my friends from Porto. Do you know if it is possible to start walking this route from Tai, ending in Santiago de Compostelo? If so do i purchase the Camino passport in Tai or do my friends get it for me in Porto? And if not, can i still do the hike without this just for the fun of it? Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Chantelle! Many people start walking the Portuguese Camino from Tui based on this I guess you’ll be able to get a Credential (Camino passport) there, at the cathedral or in one of the albergues. You can walk the Camino without it but you won’t be able to stay in public albergues though private albergues and hotels on the way don’t require it, and you won’t get the Compostela (Certificate confirming you walked the Camino) in Santiago without it. By the way, we got both our Credentials in South Africa beforehand.
      Buen Camino!

  14. You anwsered to all I wanted to know! 🙂 You are great, thank you!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Iva! Thank you very much for the feedback! We’re glad the post was helpful!
      Buen Camino!

  15. Stephanie

    Hi there

    Thank you so much for such a lovely site.
    I am hoping to do 3 weeks of Camino solo as a thirty year old woman.

    Which route and Stratton point has the nicest views, atmosphere and warmest weather for the month of June? How many km a day did you walk? If I have three weeks should where should I start?

    Thank you very much

    Stephanie

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Stephanie! Thank you for the comment! Based on what you say I think The Coastal Route of the Portuguese Camino might be the best option for you. If you start in Porto it’ll take between 12 and 14 days to walk to Santiago. In June it’s nice and warm in Portugal, we walked this route in May and it was very warm. From Santiago you can continue and walk to Finisterre and Muxia, it’s a short extension of the Camino that takes you to what was considered “the end of the world” in old time. It’ll take you about 4-5 days. In total you’ll be walking for about 3 weeks. On the Coastal route we walked 20-25 km a day, not very long stage. Hopefully it’ll help you to decide!
      Buen Camino!

  16. Jaime Hidalgo

    Thanks for the info… My 17 yr old son will be going this July with a small group of kids from his HS… he is looking forward to the journey but your blog helps with providing some of the details he needs to have a successful trip…. thanks

  17. Hi Stingy Nomads
    I loved your blog and I am literally using it as my main guide to plan my camino de santiago that I am planning to start in about 10 days! It was in my traveling pipeline for a long time and finally, I reelly feel it’s a good time for me to do it now.
    I choose the litoral portuguese camino because I love the view of the sea and don’t want a crowded route even tough I am a woman and traveling alone.
    I have several questions for you and thank you in advance fo replies:
    1- I thought I would do only 7 days; in this case, which step would you recommend me to skip (doing it by bus or train)?
    2- I thought using the backpack transfer as I am not sure I can walk with heavy bag but do I need to reserve the transfer ahead of time or can I do it while on the camino (as I have not yet reserved any albergues)?
    3- What do you think of the availability of public albergues during this period; May 25- June 8? 4- You probably know of “couchsurfing”, do you think I can use it on the camino?
    Thank you so much for your blog and for helping…
    All the best,
    Aliya
    (You are Alya and I am Aliya!)

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, again! What a coincidence with our names! My name is actually spelled with “i” sometimes). I guess I answered your first question in reply for your comment on the Packing list for the Camino.
      Regarding backpack transfer I’m sure you can arrange it on the way I would just recommend to contact one of the companies beforehand to find out some details. As I know the delivery can be arranged only between private albergues/hotstels/hotels not between public albergues. I guess the main reason is because you can’t book public albergues in advanced they work on principle first come first serve, plus I guess they don’t want to take responsibility for somebody’s luggage as most of the times public albergues are run by volunteers. I would recommend to pack really light you don’t need much stuff for a 7-day walk just a couple of clothing items and toiletries, I’m sure you can fit it into a 30l backpack.
      As for availability of public albergues we walked this route about the same time the end of May and never had a problem with finding beds in public albergues. We do know couchsurfing but never used it for the Camino logistically it’s quite difficult to find a host exactly on the route as most of the time you stay in small towns I’m not sure how many people who live in those place are in couchsurfing.
      Enjoy the Camino!

  18. Serkan Altay

    What an awesome website. I look forward to learning more about your travels. I think I’ve been bitten by the adventure bug so this website will no doubt give me some great tips! thanks

  19. I’m leaving early May walking the Portugues Way from Lisbon. I’m time poor and will bus to Fatima then bus to Coimbra, walking then to Porto where I’ll meet with my daughter and together continue onto Santiago de Compostela. I’m very excited! Thank you very much indeed for your comprehensive advice; I’ve been paining over clothes and reading where less is better. Great to learn from someone who’s walked the trail!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jen! Thank you for the comment! Hope you’ll enjoy the Portuguese Camino! We walked it in May as well and it was beautiful, many flowers and trees in blossom.
      Buen Camino!

  20. Ivan Valio

    Hello! Thank you for detailed description! I found this text very useful! I’m going in two weks on Camino. My wife and me will start in Pamplona. Could you please write me where in Pamplona can I get first credential for Camino.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Ivan! We have never been to Pamplona (we walked other Camino routes not the French one) but I know that many people start walking the Camino Frances there from our experience I can say that you should be able to get your Credential at one of the albergues (public or private) or at the cathedral in Pamplona, sometimes Tourism information offices sell Credentials as well.
      Buen Camino!

  21. Robin Noto

    Thank you for writing this blog, it is really insightful and inspiring! I do have a question though: My sister and I are planning to walk the Camino Coastal Route from Porto Portugal to Santiago. Where in Porto would we get the Credential? Am I understanding correctly it has the different alburgues listed to stop at?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Robin! Thank you for the comment! You must be able to get the Credential at Se cathedral (where the walk starts) or at one of the listed albergues in Porto, many albergues on the way sell it as well so if you don’t get it before the walk you can still get it on the first day. I remember on the way out of Porto (if following the Senda Litoral) there wad an information center where you can get a stamp I think they might sell Credentials as well. You won’t miss it it says “Get stamps here” or something like this.
      Buen Camino!

  22. Marieta Randall

    Thank you so much. First time I found all the info in one place

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