This week, the city of Santiago de Compostela celebrates St James' Day on 25 July with special church services, art exhibitions, theatre productions, street shows, concerts and processions. The patron saint of Portugal and Spain has also inspired pilgrims to flock to the city from many corners of Europe using the 'Way of St James' – probably the most popular long distance walking routes in the world with well over 200,000 people embarking on their own personal journey each year.
Macs Adventure, the walking and cycling specialist has 45 different self-guided itineraries within the Way of St James' network. The tour operator helps modern-day walkers navigate the numerous options and tailor-makes itineraries while offering knowledgeable and in-depth personal advice to ensure you have the most rewarding experience possible. For all Camino trips, Macs Adventure provides flexible durations and start dates, offers daily door-to-door baggage transfers and all customers are provided with detailed maps, route notes and characterful accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
The routes are divided up as follows:
The Camino Frances (the French Way). This route starts in the beautiful town of St Jean Pied de Port, in the French Pyrenees, from where it takes 753 km to reach Santiago.
Camino del Norte (the Northern Way). This 836 km of trail offers great maritime walking through Northern Spain and the towns of San Sebastian, Bilbao and Santander.
Camino Portugues (the Portuguese Way). Officially starting in Lisbon, this route is a mixture of coastal, forest and open countryside trails, but the 611 km to Santiago de Compostela is almost entirely flat. The 7 night 'Camino Portugues: final stage Tui to Santiago' covers 110 km and is easy to navigate following quiet country roads and woodland paths.
Le Puy-en-Velay. This 743 km route passes through charming French villages and towns such as Mossaic. Walk through vineyards, rolling hills, hamlets, villages and alongside river streams and over rocky, volcanic landscapes.
Camino Ingles. In the Middle Ages, the news of the Camino spread all over Europe, and pilgrims from the UK and Ireland would sail down to Spain to start their pilgrimage. Today, Macs Adventure uses the route from Ferrol – and the distance to Santiago is just over 100 km.
Camino Primitivo. Offering tranquility and a challenge, this route crosses the diverse and rugged landscapes of Asturias in Northern Spain and was an essential part of any medieval pilgrimage as diverting to the Camara Santa cathedral in Oviedo was just as important as arriving at Santiago.
Camino de Finisterre (the Finisterre Way). The Camino Finisterre is the only Camino where you walk away from Santiago de Compostela. This trip takes you from the magnificent Cathedral in Santiago, through spectacular Galician countryside to finish at the ocean and gaining a real sense of completion to your Camino de Santiago. Pilgrims would traditionally walk to the ocean to burn their possessions after completing their pilgrimage and even today, modern pilgrims will burn their boots at Finisterre.