Shell motif Camino de Santiago

The pilgrimage routes to
Santiago de Compostela
in pictures

Shell motif
  • english
  • castellano
  • gallego
  • catalan
  • francais
  • deutsch
  • italiano
  • nederlands
  • portuguese
  • korean
  • svenska
  • chinese
  • japanese

New !
  • Slideshows are now available for most of the Caminos on this website. You can just click on the Slideshow link and see the Camino roll by from end to end! For the captions, you will need to go to our main pages, each covering a day's walk on the Camino
Map of the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain
For a larger printable map of the Caminos in Spain, please click here

The Camino de Santiago network of ancient pilgrimage routes

The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and coming together at the tomb of St. James (Santiago in Spanish) in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain. The most popular route (which gets very crowded in mid-summer) is the Camino Francés which stretches 780 km. (nearly 500 miles) from St. Jean-Pied-du-Port near Biarritz in France to Santiago. This is fed by three major French routes: the Voie de Tours, the Voie de Vezelay, and the Voie du Puy. It is also joined along its route by the Camino Aragones (which is fed by the Voie d'Arles which crosses the Pyrenees at the Somport Pass), by the Camí de San Jaume from Montserrat near Barcelona, the Ruta de Tunel from Irun, the Camino Primitivo from Bilbao and Oviedo, and by the Camino de Levante from Valencia and Toledo.

Other Spanish routes are the Camino Inglés from Ferrol & A Coruña, the Via de la Plata from Seville and Salamanca, and the Camino Portugues from Oporto.

The network is similar to a river system - small brooks join together to make streams, and the streams join together to make rivers, most of which join together to make the Camino Francés. During the middle ages, people walked out of their front doors and started off to Santiago, which was how the network grew up. Nowadays, cheap air travel has given many the opportunity to fly to their starting point, and often to do different sections in successive years. Some people set out on the Camino for spiritual reasons; many others find spiritual reasons along the Way as they meet other pilgrims, attend pilgrim masses in churches and monasteries and cathedrals, and see the large infrastructure of buildings provided for pilgrims over many centuries.

Walking the Camino is not difficult - most of the stages are fairly flat on good paths. The main difficulty is that few of us have walked continuously for 10, 20 or 30 days. You learn more about your feet than you would ever have thought possible! And you also learn a lot about life - I have tried to express what I learned in the poem on this site.

The purpose of this website is to give you information about what it is actually like to walk one of the Caminos, and to choose which one would be the most congenial. Do not assume that you need to walk the Camino Francés just because everyone else does - the other routes are much emptier and have lots to offer.

The Picture Pages of the Camino website at

This website was started in 2002 with 32 pages on the Camino Francés with English captions. Since then it has grown in size and scope every year. It now has over 500 pages, with a total of nearly 5,000 pictures. These pages give day-by-day descriptions of 11 Spanish Caminos, nearly all of them in both English and Spanish, and some of them in up to 6 other languages. The most recent Caminosadded to thesite are the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo to Lugo which then joins with the Camino Francés, and the Camí Sant Jaume in Catalonia.

This considerable achievement has been much assisted by the Xunta de Galicia and by Turespaña through the Spanish Tourist Office in London. This sponsorship is gratefully acknowledged.

The contribution this website is making to the needs of pilgrims is powerfully demonstrated by the increase in traffic from 172,000 pages in 2003 to 1,708,000 in 2011.This increase has been much helped by our visitors who have liked the site and have told their friends or used our "send a photo" facility - please feel free to do the same!

We are now working closely with two other Camino websites, the Confraternity of St James and . The Confraternity of St. James provides a wide range of resources about the Camino de Santiago, including descriptions of all the major routes in Spain, France and other countries, pilgrim guides (giving routes, distances, and facilities), all of which are available through an on-line Bookshop, a picture gallery (searchable by subject, such as Roman bridges, and using All Terms/Any Terms searching), and an on-line catalogue listing the contents of the CSJ's large library. has a large number of discussion forums, 17 of them specific to individual caminos in Spain and also in France, and more related to specific issues such as equipment, biking, and the weather. On these pages, you can get first-hand impressions of questions which others have raised in the past, and can ask questions specific to your individual pilgrimage. It also carries recent news items about the Camino

  • This website is intended to complement the many excellent books, maps, and guides available commercially or through the national Confraternities listed in our links page
  • We hope that this site will be useful to those considering walking the Camino, to show them the conditions they can expect to encounter and the standards of the refugios. Please tell us if you have found it helpful in this way.
  • We also hope that it will be a useful reminder to those who have, like us, walked the Camino in the past. Please tell us
Finally, Buen Camino!