Camino de Santiago is an ancient pilgrimage that dates back to the 9th Century. Simply put, a local shepard found the remains of St James in this region and thousands of people began walking to Santiago from their home as a pilgrimage.
For this reason, there are many different routes for the Camino with some starting in Portugal and others in France. But all of these routes eventually come together like the branches on a tree when they reach the cathedral in Santiago.
Here’s a map to better illustrate these routes…
Choosing a Route for the Camino de Santiago
Each Camino is different in terms of logistics, scenery etc. Some routes are more challenging or busy than others but they all lead to the same destination. You might not have time to walk the full distance and this is why many pilgrims choose to walk the Camino in sections eg. a week or two each year. Some people even decide to leave their jobs to walk the full Camino and others are self-employed or work online which allows them more time to take more trips!
The Camino Frances (French Way) is marked as the yellow line in the image above and this is the most popular Camino route. It starts in St Jean Pied de Port in France and takes approx four to five weeks to walk 700km to Santiago and a few extra days to reach Finnisterre which is where the remains of St James were discovered. However, the Camino Frances is one of many routes with Camino Ingles, Camino del Norte, Camino Portuguese and Camino Primitivo being just a few more to mention.
I hope this answers the question in the title 😉