Decreed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987 with over 1,800 buildings rich in historical significance, it’s no surprise that the Camino de Santiago (also known as the Way of St-James) welcomes more than 200,000 walkers annually.
Originally an ancient pilgrimage route, today the Camino de Santiago Trail is frequented by people from all walks of life, of all ages, ethnicities and beliefs from all over the world.
The reasons for walking the Camino de Santiago range anywhere from looking to lose weight or just being on holiday, to religious or spiritual motives.
No matter one’s reasons for being there though, all walk away with a unique, unforgettable experience.
St James was one of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus who ventured as a missionary to preach the Gospel. After many years of traveling after Jesus’ death, he returned to Jerusalem, where he became the first disciple to die as a martyr under King Herod in the year 44. From this point, there are many stories or beliefs that surround why and how St-James’ remains ended up so far from the place he perished.
The most common story tells that his body was carried back to Iberia (Spain) by some of the loyal followers he would have met during his mission. The fact cannot be proven, but is very plausible. The disciples presumably made the journey on a stone boat carried by angels and laid his remains in a peaceful place in Northern Spain close to the coast. His tomb lay undisturbed until year 813 when a hermit was led to his grave and the local Bishop confirmed the remains as those of St-James. It didn’t take long for word of this amazing discovery to spread throughout Europe and people started flocking to visit the gravesite, most of them on foot.
So many people came over the centuries that a Cathedral was built around St-James’ remains and a city evolved. Since most either traveled on foot or horseback at that time, set paths to reach Santiago de Compostela became established over time. The most popular and common route being the Camino Frances, the same trail you will be walking which we refer to as the Camino de Santiago Trail.
Regardless of one’s beliefs or faith, whether they are a follower of St-James or not, believe in his story or not, one cannot deny the unique and inspiring adventure millions of people have, and still are benefiting from by walking the Camino de Santiago Trail.
Whatever your motivations may be for embarking on this adventure, we hope you will meet your goals and that the Camino de Santiago, along with our services, will surpass your expectations, as it did ours.