St James' Way: practical advice
There are many ways to travel St. James’ Way - on foot, by bike, on horseback… and all of them enable you to discover Spain’s rich culture and landscapes. Choose your option and enjoy the experience that best suits you. Following are some tips to make your journey more comfortable.
If you’re cycling...
- You should know that there are routes and stages with variants for people cycling the Camino. Some stretches are on roads. They are usually well signposted, but you can also find them in specific guide-books.
- If you can, ride a mountain bike. Before you start, it’s a good idea to practice - it’s quite different cycling with your bike loaded up with packs.- Don’t forget to check your bike is in good working order, especially the brakes, gears, and tyres. You should have a helmet, cycling clothes, a rain cape, gloves, and suitable shoes. And of course, bring a puncture kit and basic tools in case of breakdowns.- If you’re staying at pilgrims’ hostels, try to choose the largest ones, because by around 8 pm their priority is providing accommodation for pilgrims travelling on foot.- If you need it when you get to Santiago de Compostela, the Pilgrim’s Office (Rúa do Vilar) has a left-luggage service for backpacks and bicycles.
Credential and Compostela
- The credential (or pilgrim's passport) will enable you to stay in pilgrims’ hostels. You can get one at the hostel where you start your route, or before your trip from a Friends of the Camino association.
- The credential is not the same as the “Compostela”, which is mainly given to people taking a religious or spiritual pilgrimage, and who have travelled at least the last 100 kilometres to Santiago walking or on horseback, or the last 200 kilometres by bicycle.
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