Rota Vicentina Highlights

The Rota Vicentina is an emerging long-distance walking trail in southwest Portugal known largely for its natural beauty. The Fisherman’s Trail, the popular coastal variation of the route, affords sensational ocean views in remote areas of the Alentejo and Algarve. Although the scenery takes centre stage, that’s not the only reason to walk all orContinue reading “Rota Vicentina Highlights”

Camino Starting Cities

One of the most common questions about the Camino de Santiago is one without a good answer: ‘How on earth do I get to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port?’ The small village in the French Pyrenees, the modern starting point of the Camino Francés, is not exactly an international transport hub and is difficult to reach, no matter whereContinue reading “Camino Starting Cities”

The Camino de Santiago in Portugal

While the Camino de Santiago is indelibly linked with Spain, there are an increasing number of camino routes in Portugal in addition to the country’s other long-distance trails including the Rota Vicentina and pilgrimage routes to Fátima. Here is an overview of the 10 main routes that form the Camino de Santiago in Portugal, whereContinue reading “The Camino de Santiago in Portugal”

Caminho da Geira e dos Arrieiros Highlights

The Caminho da Geira e dos Arrieiros is an up-and-coming 239km camino linking the Portuguese city of Braga to Santiago de Compostela. ‘The Geira’ is an isolated camino that takes adventurous pilgrims on Roman roads past beautiful natural scenery, three border crossings and some of Galicia’s oldest vineyards. Here are the highlights of the theContinue reading “Caminho da Geira e dos Arrieiros Highlights”

Best Islamic Architecture on the Camino de Santiago

Though modern pilgrims cite various reasons for undertaking the Camino de Santiago – ranging from adventure to spirituality to physical exercise – the journey is, at its heart, a Christian pilgrimage with roots deep in the Middle Ages.  The medieval era in Spain is not simply a Christian story, however. On the contrary, the periodContinue reading “Best Islamic Architecture on the Camino de Santiago”

Best Roman Sites on the Camino de Santiago

Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago tread in the very footsteps of the Roman Empire, traversing Roman roads and Roman bridges as they make their way to Santiago de Compostela. Roman milestones and castra (fortified settlements) are also found along the camino and serve as constant reminders of Rome’s expanse and organisational capacity. These mostContinue reading “Best Roman Sites on the Camino de Santiago”

Estoria de Espanna

The Estoria de Espanna (modern Spanish: Historia de España) is a landmark 13th-century history of Spain written in Old Spanish under the patronage of King Alfonso X ‘The Wise’ of Castile. Recently, the University of Birmingham created a digital edition of the Estoria by bringing together various extant medieval manuscripts. I was fortunate to beContinue reading “Estoria de Espanna”

Nearly 85% Decrease in Pilgrims in 2020

With global travel including the Camino de Santiago thrown into turmoil by the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 saw the fewest pilgrims on record (for the period 2004-2020) and an 84.5% decrease from the peak of 2019. That eye-opening decrease is the most notable detail of the following analysis, which uses pilgrim statistics published by the PilgrimContinue reading “Nearly 85% Decrease in Pilgrims in 2020”

How Will The Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Santiago Holy Year 2021?

The 2021 Holy Year in Santiago de Compostela and on the Camino de Santiago will undoubtedly be greatly affected by the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. With the situation changing frequently, it’s impossible to predict 2021 pilgrim numbers with certainty or to know which safety and security measures that impact the camino will be in place. ThisContinue reading “How Will The Coronavirus Pandemic Affect Santiago Holy Year 2021?”

How a Pandemic Camino is Different

As with almost everything else around the globe, the Camino de Santiago has been greatly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The pilgrimage ground to a halt when Europe went into lockdown in spring 2020, but as Spain began to reopen in June and July, it became possible to walk the camino again. Being residents inContinue reading “How a Pandemic Camino is Different”