Ten tips if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago alone

Tips to do the Camino

Ten tips if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago alone


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The Camino de Santiago is a vital experience that can be lived in very different ways, since it can be done strictly as a religious pilgrimage or as a cultural pilgrimage, or a mixture of both; it can be done on bike, on foot on horseback or even in a wheelchair. But there is one mode of travelling the Camino de Santiago that attracts as many pilgrims as it scares: doing the Camino de Santiago alone.

Travelling the Camino de Santiago alone is not for everyone but it is not just for a select group of people; all you need is a desire to travel and courage, to first face your fears then put on a backpack to go to Santiago. The rest is pure enjoyment.

Now, to travel the Camino de Santiago alone, there are certain difference in comparison to doing so with company, logically. Therefore, today we've decided to write this article with some tips to help you decide whether to take the Jacobean route on your own. 

The issue of safety

Since we’re already talked about safety on the Camino de Santiago not being a problem in this article-- since there are few incidents recorded each year-- we understand that undertaking a solo pilgrimage can be a tad scary, so there are a few tips that will help you have a safer experience.

On one hand, you have your choice of Camino to travel; if you think you'll feel more safe on a Camino with a greater presence of pilgrims, the Camino Francés (63.37%) and the Camino Portugués (17.83%) count for almost 80% of the annual pilgrims, so they are the best options if you want to travel alone, with some extra company ;) The time of year is very important: there will be many more pilgrims on the Camino during the summer, while in December, January or February (the months with the least amount of pilgrims) the Camino will be much more deserted. If you want to travel with more people, pilgrimage between May and October is the best option.

Get a guide book

Traveling with company means that you can divide the responsibilities among the different members of the group, but if you travel alone, all responsibilities will fall on you, so it is advisable that you do so with a Camino guidebook with all the information that you may need (lodging, distances, routes, etc.)

In our section dedicated to the Caminos, you can find a lot of useful information about the Camino you've decided to travel.

Talk to pilgrims

If there is one thing we know with total certainty, it's that you'll start the Camino alone but end it in company, and that's because throughout your crossing you'll encounter tens (possibly hundreds) of pilgrims from all over the world with whom you can form a deep friendship. Talk to them, exchange advice and experiences, and take advantage of the opportunity to meet people from around the world.

Savour the solo moments

Peregrino haciendo el Camino de Santiago solo

Just as we've recommended that you talk and interact with your fellow pilgrims, we also encourage you to enjoy the kilometres without anyone at your side. Those moments are perfect to talk to yourself, meditate on your life or to simply open your eyes and contemplate your surroundings, paying attention to the sounds that you hear and immersing yourself in the magic of the Camino de Santiago.

Avoid walking at night

The vast majority of pilgrims manage a fairly similar schedule since they are early risers and usually pilgrimage during the morning hours, so as to reach the stage in the early afternoon. It is important that you adapt to these hours as much as possible, since walking at night can make following the trail arrows that much more difficult, regardless of how well marked they may be.

Maintain a stable rhythm

Pilgrimage in group is advantageous in that the group regulates the speed of walking so it's harder for you to go too fast or too slow, but when pilgrims do not have this "regulator" so you have to be the one to regulate yourself in order to reach the end of the stage as rested as possible, without the stage lasting too long.

Carry a charged cell phone

If you pilgrimage in group, it is essential to have, even though it can sometimes be a burden; these devices are important to quickly solve any type of inconvenience (accidents, etc.).

If you’re confused, ask

In general terms, the different Caminos are well marked, but even with clear and visible signs it is possible to get lost. If you happen to find yourself in such a situation, the best thing you can do is to ask anyone close to you, whether a pilgrim, a resident, policeman, etc.

Take advantage of locals’ kindness

If there is something that characterises the Camino de Santiago is the incredible willingness that people have to help pilgrims. And we're not just talking about the hospitality staff (fundamental for the operation of shelters and for the progress of the Camino in general) but also the residents and locals you'll encounter along your route. Seeing you with a backpack, they’ll offer your help, guiding you towards the lost path or giving you advice on which places to visit in the city, where to eat, etc. Take advantage of this kindness, ask everything you need to ask and not only will you get an answer, you'll also have met incredible people.

We've come to the end of our article on advice on travelling the Camino de Santiago alone. We hope it's been of use and has helped you to decide on your own whether to make your own solo pilgrimage to Santiago. If you've enjoyed this article, don't hesitate to share it and if you have travelled the Camino, leave us a comment telling us about your experience.

Safe Travels, pilgrims!

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I’m in Madrid now and plan on getting to Sarria to start El Camino in a few days, is that possible, is it best for me to do it on my own or get with a group? I definitely need luggage transfer, but I do have a sleeping bag, towel, pillow, etc. With me

El camino con correos
Hi Kat. It is entirely possible. You can do it the way you want to do it. On the French Way you will always find people, it is not necessary to do it in a group. Buen Camino!

Is it possible to do it in mess than 5 or 6 days? I haven‘t book any accom yet but I am planning to do it next week if I can.

El camino con correos
Yes, you can do the Camino in sections. We have an article dedicated to it in our blog: . ¡Buen Camino!

Hi, I’m planning to do the pilgrim alone in the second half of October from Sarria. I haven’t planned the hotels and the route yet. Do you think I’m too late to find good accommodation options as it is past mid September? Thank you.

El camino con correos
Hello, Kay. Although the accommodations are at full capacity during the summer, if you are going to do the Camino Francés from Sarria, you will have no problem organizing it. ¡Buen Camino!

Hi, I am hoping to do some of the northern route in August - San Sebastian to Bilbao over 7 days (self guided). I have no accomodation booked - hoping to turn up to places on the day as I make my way along the route? Is this a wise option - I have looked at booking places but all options seem very expensive. Also wondering about luggage storage? Thanks

El camino con correos
Hi Michelle, you can see the acomodations in our website and send your backpack in the Camino de Santiago too in this link ¡Buen Camino!

Hi, I have been looking to organise a one week walk for myself but am having trouble finding any info that isn’t related to a self guided tour or guided tour. I have to know things like where do you get the passport to get the stamps… do you need to been accommodation before hand and on the itinerary are the man stops …. But for a day they is programmed 30km and you done make it what can you do?! I’ve been trying to look for some but not gotten much luck. Thank you Julia

El camino con correos
In this link you can see the main Routes with their indicative stages: At the end of each stage there is usually a hostel but there you can see all the accommodations there are. As for the Credential (or pilgrim passport), we leave you here another link on how to get it: Buen Camino!

Daniel Austin
I'm off in June the 8th of this year. I've not over planned my trip except for the first few days. I'm going alone and can't wait to disconnect from my life. I've no expectations of the outcome of my pilgrimage all I know it will benefit me I ways I can't imagine at this time. Can't wait to begin

El camino con correos
Buen Camino!

I am considering doing the Camino alone for 3 weeks in June.. 67 And fit. Is there a good guide book where to look. I’m thinking to maybe start in San Sebastián but am flexible. I will be in Madrid 5/31/22

Hello: I am a fit 66 year old woman and considering doing one of the Camino routes alone. Wondering what it would be like in terms of the number of other pilgrims and the available services in November?? Thank you!

Grace Hann
I am 65 year old, fairly fit female and am thinking of treking alone . I have just started doing research and am wondering if July would be very busy or restrictive in finding accomodations.

El camino con correos
Hi Grace. July is a month of great influx of pilgrims. But the offer of accommodation is also wide. If the Covid does not complicate the gauges, you should not have a problem. Buen Camino!

I’m considering doing the Camino alone next June/July. Do you have any links to accommodation along the route? I would hope to walk approx 25-30km a day and intend walking the whole route

El camino con correos
Hi, Mark! On our website we have an accommodation search engine for the different routes, this is the link: . Buen Camino!

This is a crazy question, but I heard for a small fee you can have you backpack or small suitecase driven to your destination while you walk? is this true and if so, how do you find out about that and also,, how do you find your hotels? is there a guide book with a variety of places to stay other then hostels? Thank you, Chrissy

El camino con correos
Yes, of course. We have a Paq Mochila with which we transport luggage from hostel to hostel. In order to do the service, you have to decide where you are going to sleep. When hiring the Paq Mochila, choose that hostel in our form. We leave you here all the info: Buen Camino!

Hello! My name is chrissy and I too was thinking of doing the Camino alone as well. I'm thinking of September as well. Could you advise the fastest route? also Is there anyplace on here to meet other solo walkers that may want to become a group? even a small group?

El camino con correos
Hi Chrissy! The fastest route thing is relative. It all depends on the days you have, your physical training, your tastes ... We leave you here info on the main routes and their stages. As for forums, we recommend this: Buen Camino!

Hi there! I wish to do the Primitivo route. My wish is to start mid September of 2021. I will be doing this alone but wouldn’t mind to meet a couple of people along the way. Is this time of Year usually populated on this route?

El camino con correos
Hi Lisa! September is a month with a lot of pilgrims and the Primitivo route is quite popular. This year is a little different but he will surely find fellow Route. However, if you want to ensure a large influx of pilgrims, the best choice is the French route. Buen Camino!

Any tips on the best and fastest way to get from Santiago de Compostela back to the airport in Madrid? I have an 11am flight out of Madrid on a Sunday. Looks like the only flights are Saturday evening at 6pm. Do you know of any companies that offer drivers/car for hire at a decent price? I am 23 and traveling with a group of people my age.

El camino con correos
Hi Lynn! You can try car sharing apps like Blablacar. Buen Camino!

John Miller
I am 81 years old and physically very fit. I want to walk the Primitivo route. My 'problem' is that I want to walk with my dog. For me it is a soul search. Can you advise?

El camino con correos
Hi John! This is not a problem ;-). We leave you some tips to do the Camino with your dog: The biggest problem will be finding shelters that accept your partner. But in this link you will find some dog friendly hostels:

John Donoghue
I want to walk the Camino on the Northern route from Irun then join the Camino Primitive into Santiago is this a safe route to walk on your own I am 67 years of age

El camino con correos
Hi John. Of course, all Routes are safe. The important thing is that you go at your own pace and adapt the stages to your physical condition and everything will be fine. Buen Camino!

Natasha Fiket
My husband and I walked the Camino Francais several times in our retirement. We had planned one last Camino when he turned 80, but sadly he died. I do hope I can manage one more Camino when I turn 80 scattering some of his ashes that I saved. I will take my time and savour every moment remembering the times we did it together.

El camino con correos
Oh, Natasha! There will be a special Camino! Lots of courage and strength. Ultreia!

Awesome good tips and it gives the kick off right away... since I am been considering since a year ..thankyou????

El camino con correos
¡Buen Caminno, Hannah!

Claire Faherty
Very helpful. Thankyou.

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