Camino Walks: Introducing Europe’s Pilgrimage Routes

Walkers on one of Europe's scenic pilgrimage routes | Edwina Parsons
Walkers on one of Europe's scenic pilgrimage routes | Edwina Parsons

From Ireland to Spain and Switzerland to Italy, for centuries people have been congregating to places of worship like Santiago de Compostela and St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. Coming from all directions, this has led to an extensive network of pilgrimage routes across Europe. 

Today, walkers and cyclists alike can enjoy these Camino walks, known as some of the world’s great active travel experiences. To help you find your way amongst all the options you have, we are introducing below the most famous Camino trails and how you can enjoy them. 

 

Spanish Camino de Santiago 

The end point of many Camino journeys is the city of Santiago de Compostela, which is the capital of an autonomous community in Spain's northwest. Naturally, Spain has a large network of Camino routes snaking their way through the countryside to reach this spiritual destination. The most famous one takes you from St Jean Pied de Port in the Pyrenees via famous places like Leon and Sarria to the tomb of St James in Santiago de Compostela. 

 
Santiago de Compostela Cathedral |  <i>Janet Oldham</i>

Find all trips

Via Francigena in Italy & Switzerland

Ancient history and Roman ruins, romantic cities and rustic villages, world-famous cuisine, rich culture and mind-blowing natural beauty – all of this is present along the Via Francigena in Italy. The trail culminates at St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, where walkers & cyclists obtain the final stamp in their credenziale. Begin your walk in Switzerland or follow the Italian section of this pilgrimage route that starts at the St Bernard Pass on the border with Switzerland and travels via the Apennine Mountains and Tuscany to Rome. 

 
Pilgrim walking into St Peters in Rome at the end of the Via Francigena |  <i>Tim Charody</i>

Find all trips

Camino Portuguese

For many pilgrims, the Camino Portuguese is more spiritually connected to the Camino than any other way as in Portugal, it is said, is where St James first preached. It is also believed that his final journey to Santiago was via Portugal when his bones were brought back from Jerusalem following his beheading. There Portuguese Camino routes typically starts in Lisbon and takes walkers and cyclists via Porto and Tui to Santiago.

 
Happy cyclists on the Porto to Santiago self guided cycle |  <i>Pat Rochon</i>

Find all trips

 

The French Way of St James

The French Way of St James, also known as the Via Podiensis or Camino Le Puy Way, is often called the most beautiful of all the Camino pilgrimages. It takes walkers and cyclists alike from the ancient town of Le Puy en Velay to the Pyrenees at St Jean Pied de Port. The route passes a multitude of churches and monasteries, resembling a travelling museum of Romanesque art.

 
On the Way of St James in the Haute Provence near St Privat |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

Find all trips

St Francis Way (Italy)

The St Francis Way is an Italian Camino route inspired by the life of St Francis of Assisi and links Florence to Rome. Walk through the “green heart” of Italy on this scenic and historic pilgrimage in eastern Tuscany and northern Umbria.

 
Walking on the open landscapes of western Tuscany on the St Francis Way

Find all trips

Other Camino Trails in Spain

There are numerous more Camino pilgrimage routes in Spain such as the Camino Primitivo – the original trail from Oviedo and via Lugo; the Camino del Norte – along the north coast of Spain and considered the safest option during the time of the Moors; the English Way – that starts in Ferrol on the Atlantic Sea where the English arrived; or the Camino Finisterre – an extension to Cape Finisterre (historically considered the edge of the world known) after having reached Santiago de Compostela. 

 

2021 is an important year for the Camino de Santiago: it is a Jacobean Holy Year, and a Camino pilgrimage during this time is even more symbolic, as well as there being other special experiences to encounter. Read the Definitive Guide to the Jacobean Holy Year Camino Pilgrimage by our friends at UTracks. 

 

Did you know? You can obtain Dual Pilgrimage status if you complete both the Camino de Santiago and the Kumano Kodo trail in Japan. 


Contact our team to choose one of the spectacular European pilgrimage route to walk or cycle.
 
Europe, Camino Pilgrimage, Walking, Cycling, Spain, Italy, Portugal, France

Comment (0)

Your comment will be visible after the administrator's approval.







b i u quote


Save Comment
Join Newsletter
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/ADS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Adventures South"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Adventure South</div>
Adventure South NZ is unrivalled in their geographic coverage, originality and overall quality of adventures holidays in New Zealand. Choose from walking, cycling, winter or multi-activity holidays, on either the North or South Island.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/AWH.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Australian Walking Holidays"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Australian Walking Holidays</div>
Australian Walking Holidays specialises in small group guided walking adventures. Since 1982 we have been guiding small groups of travellers on Australia's finest walks across our tropical, coastal or red centre landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/GCT.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Great Canadian Trails"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Great Canadian Trails</div>
Great Canadian Trails specialises in active holidays in Canada. With both guided and supported self-guided options available, our unique itineraries draw upon some of Canada's most inspiring parks, trails and landscapes from coast to coast.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/HUM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Humac Challenge"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Huma Charity Challenge</div>
Huma enables those with adventurous spirits to challenge themselves and make a difference for a cause close to their heart. Travel, fundraise and meet life-long friends on one of Huma's meaningful and unique challenges around the world.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/SHX.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Sherpa Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Sherpa Expeditions</div>
Sherpa Expeditions is a specialist in self guided and guided walking and cycling holidays in the United Kingdom and Europe. Detailed route notes provide a definite guide to places in Europe for active walkers and cyclists.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/TAS.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Tasmania Expeditions"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Tasmanian Expeditions</div>
Tasmanian Expeditions is the most experienced operator of treks and adventure travel holidays in Tasmania. We own and operate the most comprehensive range of adventure holidays available across Tasmania's varied landscapes.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/UTX-new.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Utracks"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>UTracks</div>
UTracks are the active European holiday specialists. Whether you prefer cycling or walking, 2-star or 4-star, small groups or self guided, land, river or sea – UTracks can help you to explore Europe exactly the way you want.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/WYA.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="World Youth Adventures"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>World Youth Adventures</div>
World Youth Adventures is our specialist division dedicated to organising tailor made overseas school group adventures. Specialists in Service Learning projects, choose from more destinations than any other school group provider.
<img src='/portals/World%20Expeditions/Icons/brands/small/YOM.jpg' class='brandPopoverIcon' alt="Yomads"> <div class='brandPopoverBrandName'>Yomads</div>
Yomads offers adventures for the 20s and 30s on six continents. Designed as a way to bring young and likeminded travellers together, Yomads caters to those interested in lightly structured and active trips that allow freedom to roam and explore.