14 Fascinating Facts & Figures About the Camino de Santiago

Camino de Santiago Albert Rodriguez

Camino de Santiago by Albert Rodriguez

For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have walked the Camino de Santiago (Way of St. James), seeking penance, enlightenment, and adventure. Their destination was Santiago de Compostela, Spain, where it is believed the remains of St. James, Apostle and patron saint of the country, are buried. Here are some of our favorite facts and figures about the famous pilgrimage trail.

  1. Number of people each year who visit Santiago de Compostela (primarily by modes of transportation such as train, plane, etc): 2.5 million

  2. green valley next to pamplonaMost popular route: The Camino Frances, which begins in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France and passes through Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, Leon, and Astorga. The pilgrimage to Santiago concludes at the Tomb of Saint James in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

  3. Length of Camino de Santiago from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago de Compostela: 800 km (497 miles)

  4. Average time taken to walk this route: 30 days

  5. Camino shellThe scallop shell, commonly found on the shores in Galicia, has long been the symbol of the Camino de Santiago. The shell is frequently seen along the trail to help guide pilgrims. In addition, pilgrims often wear shells or attach them to backpacks to denote that they are travelers on the famous trail.

  6. Santo Domingo de SilosHow do you document your pilgrimage? The official document used by pilgrims to record their journey to Santiago de Compostela is called a credencial. Pilgrims need to have at least two sellos (stamps) per day for at least the last 100 kilometers if they are walking or traveling on horseback, and 200 kilometers if they are cycling, to qualify for a Compostela.

  7. Number of Pilgrims who received the Compostela in 2013: 215,880

  8. Percentage of Pilgrims who were over 60 in 2013: 15.5%

  9. Percentage of pilgrims who received the Compostela by bicycle in 2013: 12.34%

  10. Number of pilgrims who received the Compostela by horse in 2013: 977

  11. Percentage of pilgrims in 2013 who were Spanish: approximately 49%

  12. Services offered by the Pilgrims’ Office in Santiago de Compostela include: Welcoming pilgrims and issuing the Compostela, bicycle parking, toilets for pilgrims, and a service returning bicycles home.

  13. Capacity of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela: 1,200

  14. Botafumiero courtesy Santiago de Compostela tourist boardSize of the Botafumiero: The famous Botafumiero, which is one of the largest censers in the world, weighs 80 kilograms (176 pounds) and is 1.60 meters (more than 5 feet) in height.

Want to hike along the Camino de Santiago? Join Academic Arrangements Abroad and The Metropolitan Museum of Art in August to explore the history, legends and legacy of Europe’s most famous walking trail. Additional tours are being organized in 2016.

Please call our office at 1-800-221-1944 for details and availability.


5 thoughts on “14 Fascinating Facts & Figures About the Camino de Santiago

  1. Pingback: Vino con Vista Vezelay France: The Way of Saint James and the Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to Spain | Vino Con Vista Italy Travel Guides and Events

  2. Pingback: 8 Top Blog Posts of 2014 | Discover the World with Academic Arrangements Abroad

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