Discover idyllic scenery and maybe a bit more of yourself on Europe's greatest pilgrimage
From uncovering the history of ancient ruins to tasting Galician specialities and bathing in holy springs, the Camino de Santiago is an enriching journey in many ways. With your local leader by your side, you can focus on putting one foot in front of the other without sweating the (not-so) small stuff – like organising accommodation and luggage transfers – which is all taken care of for you. This means more time to immerse yourself in the culture of Spain or Portugal. Get ready for an unforgettable adventure that'll get you out of your comfort zone.
Our Camino de Santiago trips
Highlights of the Camino trail
Camino de Santiago tour reviews
Camino de Santiago FAQs
Trips on or before 31 December 2022
If your Intrepid trip starts on or before 31 December 2022, you must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.
If you are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons, you may apply for an exemption. Exemptions will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. To apply, you must provide a medical certificate from a medical professional.
Children under 18 are exempt. Children aged between 5 and 17 years old must provide proof of either vaccination, recovery or a negative COVID-19 test.
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
The Camino de Santiago, or “the way of St James”, is one of Europe's oldest and most iconic pilgrimages. Every year, thousands of pilgrims walk to the Cathedral of Santiago Compostela in Galicia, Spain. The cathedral is purportedly where the tomb of St James (one of Jesus’s 12 apostles) is located and it has been one of the most spiritually significant places for Christians since the 10th century. Walking the Camino is a personally enriching experience no matter what your beliefs are as it has a special way of bringing people from diverse backgrounds together.
Back in the Middle Ages, thousands of pilgrims walked to the holy site of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia from all over Europe and we have them to thank for the many Camino routes across Spain, Portugal and France today. Each route is beautiful in its own way ranging from idyllic rural Spanish countryside to the wind-swept Portuguese coast. The most popular Camino walking routes are:
Camino Frances: 772 km (480 mi)
Camino Portugues: 610 km (380 mi)
Camino del Norte: 827 km (514 mi)
Camino Primitivo: 321 km (199 mi)
Camino Ingles: 119 km (74 mi)
Camino Finisterre: 90 km (155 mi)
Most of the Camino routes are in mild oceanic or Mediterranean climate zones with warm summers and mild winters, so you can do it comfortably any time of year. The best time of year to walk the Camino really depends on what you want to gain from the trip. The summer months (June through September) are the busiest, and while the weather is reliably warm and sunny, the routes are highly trafficked and might not be the best option if solitude is what you’re looking for. If you don’t cope too well in the heat, spring and autumn may be better options – it’s also quieter at this time of year. December through February are the coolest and wettest months, but the routes are super quiet, peaceful and arguably more comfortable to hike without the summer sun beaming down on you.
There are many Camino routes across Europe, some of which are up to 1000 kilometres (621 miles) long. You don't need to commit to that distance, though. To get the Compostela (the official Certificate of completion for the Camino de Santiago), you only need to walk the last 100 kilometres to Santiago on any of the Camino trails.
On a guided Camino de Santiago walk, your main luggage will be transported to each place you stay so the good news is you don’t have to lug it around with you! For clothing items, you’ll need comfortable and lightweight activewear. This includes leggings, vests, t-shirts and shorts. You should also bring a light jumper to pop on in the evening if the temperature drops, and a wind-proof jacket if you're visiting in the cooler months. You’ll also need a comfy pair of hiking boots (make sure they've been broken in), several pairs of hiking socks and a hiking pole. Lastly, don't forget a small day bag to carry your essentials like a reusable water bottle, a change of clothes, ID and snacks.
Most of the Camino walking trails are well signed and it's easy and safe enough to walk without a guide. Although you could book accommodation, organise luggage transfers and do the walk alone, you might not get to experience the benefits of connecting with other like-minded travellers like you do in a group setting. You'll also miss out on the guidance and inside knowledge of your local leader who'll be by your side sharing stories, history and banter along the way.
The journey is long and is bound to challenge you – whether that's physically, mentally or emotionally – but if you do a guided walk your leader and group will be there to support you, and vice versa. Compared to a self-guided Camino walk, everything is taken care of so you can focus on immersing yourself in the gorgeous scenery, eating delicious food, getting to know others, reconnecting with yourself, or whatever it was that inspired you to embark on this journey. You also have access to immediate assistance if you twist your ankle, get sick or experience any type of emergency.
All three of our Camino trip itineraries differ quite significantly – our Classic Camino de Santiago trek covers the last 100 kilometres of this popular route, so if you are up for ticking this hike off your bucket list, this one's for you.
Our Portuguese Camino trip is longer and more physically demanding, but offers more options to sample fantastic food and wine products from Portugal and Spain.
The newest addition to the range, our Camino del Norte hiking trip, covers the last stretch of the Northern Way and is the most remote trek out of the three. It takes the longest and requires you to be prepared for challenging hiking days, and if you start the hike, you must complete it. So while it might be the hardest, the rewards are worth it: solitude, quite trails and tranquil, Galician countryside.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.