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Santiago Cathedral at night

Sailing boat or train-hotel, two unusual ways to experience The Way of Saint James


Options to make the Way an unforgettable experience

The Way of Saint James or Camino de Santiago is a unique route where the journey can be more important than the destination. Although the most traditional way to complete it is on foot, and a few kilometres always need to be walked, there are much more comfortable options that make the experience even more unforgettable.

The Way by sea

There is also the option of completing The Way of Saint James in a sailing boat while stopping in ports such as Santander, Gijón and A Coruña, for example. The North Marinas association hold the “Sail the Way” crossing every year (typically in summer). You can take part individually or as a group, whether or not you have a boat or a captain’s license. Registration usually opens in January on its website.

If you prefer, you can complete the Way by boat at another time, as you wish. You always have the option of renting a boat, hiring a captain or sailing yourself. If you want to receive the “Compostela” (accreditation that you have completed The Way of Saint James), you will have to sail 100 nautical miles and walk the final kilometres on foot to receive the final stamp at the Monte do Gozo. You will find interesting fishing villages such as Cudillero, San Vicente de la Barquera and Bermeo among the ports where you will stop. Another way to sail part of The Way of Saint James is the sea route of Arousa and the Ulla river. This route by catamaran commemorates the voyage bringing the body of Saint James the Apostle to Galicia. The boat leaves from O Grove, a town known for its seafood, and arrives at Padrón.

Port in San Vicente de la Barquera

The Way by train

The Tren Peregrino or Pilgrim Train goes from Madrid to Santiago de Compostela, providing accommodation and catering in a hotel on rails. Once in Galicia, the train stops in different cities such as Vigo, Pontevedra and Vilagarcía de Arousa. In each place you can choose whether to travel an entire stage, half a stage, walk it, cycle it or spend the day getting to know the city. In this way, you can receive the “Compostela” when you arrive in Santiago de Compostela provided you have walked 100 km of the pilgrimage (or 200 km if you have cycled). You also have the benefit of leaving your luggage on the train and sleeping there every night.The Tren Peregrino usually runs in August and the journey takes five days and four nights.

Collage of the Tren Peregrino
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