9 Ways to Inspire your Friends to Walk the Camino de Santiago

Are you a veteran Camino pilgrim who has been badgering your friends to take the plunge and plan their own pilgrimage? Or are you inspired and dreaming of a Camino adventure but want to convince and spouse, friend or relative to go with you? Or are you a Camino evangelist who just wants to spread the word so that others “see the light”? Here is some convincing ammunition for your persuasive argument:

  1. It’s logistically simple.

    You don’t need to book accommodations in advance. You don’t need to figure out complicated transportation (other than getting to and from the Camino, your transport is your legs). You don’t need to be an Eagle Scout with an advanced navigation degree. You don’t need to buy and carry and set up a fancy tent or rehydrate overpriced backpacking meals that taste like cardboard or mail yourself supplies.  Just pack a backpack and go!


    Check out that teeny tiniest of backpacks.

  2. You don’t have to carry a heavy pack.

    With no need for a tent or any food (other than a snack or two), you can get away with a super light pack (aim for 10-15 pounds / 5-7 kg). There are even luggage transfer services that will take your bag from town to town by car if needed.

  3. You can do it on your own.

    I wish I had a bocadillo for every time a friend has told me they would like to do a certain trip, but don’t have a travel companion to go along. This is especially true for hiking and other outdoor trips where there is safety in numbers. The huge upside in the popularity of the Camino is that you automatically have walking companions. You will naturally find others who are walking at similar paces and rhythm to you and never be completely isolated.

  4. It’s crazy cheap.

    With the recent devaluation of the euro, traveling in Spain has never been more inexpensive, especially for Americans. The Camino is set up to be affordable since the objective is to be a spiritual pilgrimage as opposed to a vacation. How else can you travel in western Europe for as little as $20 a day (assuming dorm accommodations and cooking your own food)? Bump that budget up to $50 and you can upgrade to private rooms and restaurant meals.


    The wine flows like water, literally, at the free wine fountain at the Irache Winery.

  5. The wine.

    ‘Nuff said. Spanish wine is delicious and incredibly cheap. You’ll walk right through La Rioja region, world famous for wine, where a couple of euros will get you a bottle that would cost $20 in the US. A glass of table wine in a cafe runs around €1 and the pilgrim menú fixed menu dinners come with half a bottle per person.

  6. The history.

    It’s an ancient route, you can walk where millions have walked for the past thousand years. There’s something pretty amazing about passing through the same villages described in the Codex Calixtinus in the year 1139.

  7. You get in wicked good shape.

    Walking 500 miles has awesome health effects on your body. You will be stronger, leaner, and cardiovascularly way fitter, even if you stuff yourself on baguettes, pork and wine every day. You could literally add years to your life, especially if you keep up the walking habit when you return home.


    Making friends around the dinner table.

  8. You will make amazing friends from around the world.

    Misery loves company, you can’t help but bond with other pilgrims who are also suffering through blisters, tired legs, and snoring bunkmates. Of course, you share the high points as well, all the sweeter because of the challenges.

  9. It’s a pilgrimage.

    Whether you are religious, spiritual, or none of the above, the Camino proves to be meaningful and life-changing for so many who walk it. Coelho calls it the “strange road to Santiago.” Others reference “Camino magic” or trust that “the Camino provides.” So many walkers are there to process major life events, losing a job, getting a divorce, the death of a loved one, or simply searching for meaning in life. Somewhere in the midst of the physical challenge, the time to think, the friendships and relationships formed, and the “magic” of the Camino, those who complete the pilgrimage often find their lives infused with clarity, meaning and inspiration. And who doesn’t need a little more of that?

So what are you waiting for?


What are you waiting for?

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