Those who wish to live a great adventure during the holidays should not think twice: the French Camino de Santiago is the perfect one for the experience. This pilgrimage, open to everyone, allows you to meet incredible companions in the midst of cities and towns of great beauty.
In this time of summer, following the Camino de Santiago route is an interesting getaway, which provides an experience out of the routine of our daily lives. Some prefer a relaxing holiday to rest, while many others are inclined to embark on an adventure that not only allows them to enjoy their vacations, but also represents a lifelong learning experience and makes them grow as a person. The Camino de Santiago French is an experience like no other to achieve this goal.
This pilgrimage, in addition to offering beautiful landscapes and food, allows you to meet a large number of people of different nationalities and cultures, and connect with yourself, in the middle of a path that, even if it is a bit challenging, is always rewarding.
On the Camino de Santiago, there is a 114-kilometre route, perfect to be done in a single week. Walking at your own pace while sharing with a group (which can be made up of friends and/or strangers) offers a fascinating experience, where perseverance is always rewarded by the final destination: the beautiful Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the tomb of Saint James the Greater is located.
History of the Camino de Santiago
The Camino de Santiago is a religious and tourist route that has more than 12 centuries of history. It all begins with the story of Saint James the Greater, one of the apostles of Jesus Christ and the third closest to Him. He was one of the first to die, which is represented in the martyrdom of Saint James the Greater: which was prophesied by Jesus himself.
His tomb was built within a Roman settlement in the 1st century, and this burial area was abandoned due to the economic decline of the settlement. It is said that the burial area was used until the 8th century by the inhabitants of the nuclei surrounding this settlement, which no longer had as much life as before.
In the 9th century, according to the oldest documents, the tomb was discovered by King Alfonso II of Asturias, who had revelations that the tomb was located there. This was communicated to Teodomiro, the bishop of the kingdom, who fasted for three days and went to the place accompanied by several faithfuls, in order to verify that the remains of the famous apostle were actually there. These two people would be the first pilgrims of the now popular Camino de Santiago.
Little by little, the episcopal seat was moved to this settlement, and temples were built around this tomb, evolving into what is known today as the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Over time, this route became a tradition, to pay homage to both the first pilgrim and the apostle who rests there, being a popular path for both devout Catholics and tourists.
The French Camino de Santiago
Today, the Camino de Santiago is a world-renowned and valued route, in fact, it was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The different routes through which the Camino can be followed allow for different meeting places for people of diverse origins, but who come together with a single objective: to reach the Cathedral where the apostle rests.
The French Camino de Santiago is definitely the most famous of all, being the first to receive the prestigious Unesco award. This route, in addition to providing an easily accessible path for beginners, allows you to discover a wide variety of incredible cities and towns. In this way, the journey will be just as rewarding as the final goal.
During the French Camino de Santiago, 5 stages are explored, the first from Sarria to Portomarín. The second reaches Palas de Rei, and then in the third walk to Ribadixo de Baixo. Then it is explored to Pedrouzo, and from there the final stage is travelled, with the long-awaited destination: the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
On this path several provinces are travelled, allowing to know different cultures, very diverse gastronomy and unique landscapes that will remain embedded in the memory. The experience lived during this route is simply incomparable, and fortunately it is not an exaggeratedly demanding route, which is why it is the most recommended for people who are not used to extreme exercise.
Reasons to do the Camino de Santiago
The different people who do the Camino de Santiago are usually united by the same objective, however, the reasons why they do the route are usually quite diverse. Each person is a world, and knowing why they made the decision to embark on this pilgrimage is a way to connect more with colleagues during the adventure.
One of the most typical reasons is Catholic devotion, since many believers complete the Camino de Santiago for the simple fact of paying homage to the Apostle Santiago el Mayor. The effort and perseverance necessary to complete the route also allows them to develop their Christian faith and, upon reaching their destination, to see that their feelings towards Jesus are stronger than before.
However, not all those who do the Camino de Santiago are devotees of the Christian faith. Many tourists, both Catholic and of other faiths, make the pilgrimage for the simple fact of living a different experience, exploring new places to satisfy their need to know more about the world. Along the way it is important to respect the beliefs of everyone, because on this route everyone is family and the other must be supported.
There are people whose reason for embarking on the Camino de Santiago is personal improvement. Some routes can be quite demanding, making breaks and showers seem like a luxury. Those adventurers looking for a challenge follow this path to push their bodies to the limit and get in shape so that, once the route is over, they feel capable of facing any adversity.