Pilgrimage to Santiago
The pilgrimage to Santiago is for many people a time for freedom and adventure, a return to a simple style of life many have forgotten. The way of living during the pilgrimage emphasizes the importance of values and nature, and the extensive and profound culture of living close to it.
What is the pilgrimage to Santiago?
The road is an ancient route that was originally followed by pilgrims who went to Compostela to visit the tomb of the Apostle Santiago. They made pilgrimages from different parts of Europe and were driven by a religious motivation.
Over time various routes leading to Compostela became very popular, and more and more people around the world became interested in reaching this place. today, many of the pilgrims have a religious reason for doing the pilgrimage, while others solely want to experience this extraordinary place that many people talk about.
Today the pilgrimage to Santiago enjoys international recognition and its prestige has led it to be declared by the European Parliament cultural prime route, and heritage of humanity by UNESCO.
How many routes are there?
There are different routes to Santiago, among which you can choose depending on your starting point. We recommend the following ones:
- The Portuguese route: a beautiful way, will take you to Santiago de Compostela through ancient woodlands, Roman roads and stone crosses. You will cross Galicia, and we highly recommend you try this route on foot.
- The French route: It is the most famous and busiest one and full of cultural, artistic and scenic landscapes. We recommend you try this route on foot.
- The north route: It runs through the most beautiful spots of the North of Spain, passing through the Basque country, Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. We recommend you try this route by bike.
- Silver way: Natural landscapes and historic cities such as Salamanca and Zamora are located along this route. We recommend you try this route by bike.
Why considering doing the pilgrimage to Santiago?
- Because of a religious or spiritual motivation.
- To share the achievement of a common goal with other pilgrims.
- Because of an adventurous spirit, and desire to discover, experience, and face a new challenge.
Whatever your motivation is, the experience will enrich your life. Whether you choose to walk a few kilometers or the whole route, you will grow mentally and improve your self-esteem.
For students of Spanish it is a great opportunity to practice the language; to interact with other pilgrims of different parts from Spain and South America, and with people who live in the places you will travel through.
Things you should know before doing the pilgrimage!
- Plan your trip: the pilgrimage to Santiago requires prior planning, in which you must consider various aspects: how many days are you considering, how many stages do you want to perform, from where you want to start your pilgrimage, how do you want to do it; on foot, by bike or even on horseback, and how many kilometers on average are you willing to do during one day (recommended: between 20 and 25 kilometers daily by foot).
- The Pilgrim’s credential is a document, that is carried by the pilgrims and is required to get access to the hostels for pilgrims and to get the Compostela. You must have the credentials before starting your pilgrimage, and once you are on your way you have to ask for a special sealing in establishments along the way, including the town or city where you start.
- The Compostela is a centenary document certifying completion of the pilgrimage. Having covered at least the last 100 km walking, or the last 200 km if you do it by bike, as well as having your Pilgrim’s credential dated and sealed correctly, it will be handed out to you in Santiago. It is a document of symbolic value, which you can save as a souvenir.
Living Language offers you all the support needed to plan your trip and get your pilgrim’s credential before beginning your pilgrimage. There are plenty of hostels for pilgrims along the entire way, in which you can stay overnight, as well as hotels and Inns. Please contact us!.