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Discovering the Camino de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is not only a road but a set of Christian Pilgrimage routes. These have a medieval origin, leading you to the Tomb of St. Santiago the Apostle, located in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, Spain.

Santiago, son of Zebedee, was one of the disciples and apostles of Jesus of Nazareth. After the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ, James went to Spain and Portugal to carry the gospel of Jesus.

Seeing that his goal was about to fail, James decided to return to Jerusalem, where a king named Herod Agrippa I had him beheaded. After this, the disciples of the apostle Santiago secretly moved his body to northern Spain so they could bury it in a safe place.

By 813, a man named Paio claimed that the apostle Santiago appeared to him, telling him where his tomb was, and later arrived at the place and confirmed what he had been told.

To verify that the tomb found was that of the apostle Santiago, King Alfonso II walked from Oviedo to Galicia and ordered to build a small church when he confirmed the existence of the remains, to later rebuild it and know it today as the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

What is the Way of St. Santiago of Compostela, and which routes to follow?

The Way of St. Santiago is not only a road but a set of routes leading to the same destination across Europe, which unite France and Spain in some popular routes. Below we will describe the most popular ones.

The French Way

This route has the longest historical tradition and is the most popular among travelers since two-thirds of the pilgrims take this route with average difficulty. On this route, you will be able to observe the variety of landscapes and contemplate its incredible wealth of monuments.

In addition, this road is characterized as being the route with the most churches. The “disadvantage” of this route is the large number of pilgrims who travel the way since you can start your itinerary from different points until you reach Spain and Santiago de Compostela.

Primitive Way

The oldest route with low difficulty, from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela, covers the first Roman roads. Something interesting about this road is that the first person to take it was King Alfonso II. The latter’s trip was based on verifying if the apostle’s remains were those buried in Compostela.

Its green valleys, forests, and natural and dirt roads where grazing animals graze are the elements that most characterize this route, in addition to having perfect signage and areas with little asphalt.

However, the annoying thing about this route would be the mud that can form in winter and early spring. These inconveniences should be considered if you decide to take this historic road.

North Road

Of the two routes mentioned above, this road is the least crowded of the three. This is because in the historical period of the Reconquest, when this conflict advanced, the southern lands regained peace, leading to the Camino del Norte losing popularity among pilgrims. However, thanks to the spread of the Camino de Santiago, it has gradually regained its popularity.

Consider that the distance of this route is the second longest, only behind the Via de la Plata.

This is a natural paradise. The landscape is more coastal, and you are very close to the ocean by cliffs in many sections.

Be aware that public accommodation for pilgrims and travelers is scarce, but don’t be discouraged. There are signs along the way for albergues.

Why Experience the Camino de Santiago?

There are many reasons why you should do this route at least once. While each person is a world apart, there is no denying that the results of traveling here have been very similar.

Get To Know Yourself Better

Travelers agree that this tour helps them to find and get to know themselves in the best way while walking. If there is anything to spare, it is time to think and reflect on problems or concerns. In addition, it is possible to do a self-analysis to discover everything that affects you and how to solve it.

Out of Your Comfort Zone

These routes also help to get out of the everyday routine. On numerous occasions, we question what we are doing with our lives, however, do not hesitate to make a little effort and walk through the beautiful nature of Spain.

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