Home People The Pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago

The Pilgrimage to Camino de Santiago

Every year thousands of American tourists make the walk or pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great, believed to be in the Saint James the Great, in Galicia, north-west Spain.

Walking the Camino de Santiago

Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela (pixabay/gustavoboulhosa)

The Camino de Santiago is an amazing journey. When you reach the end and arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia you will see other pilgrims from all over the world. It is an emotional experience. Some are carrying injured and hobble into the cathedral.  Others are just lost in the emotion of the event.

Historically, pilgrims would make the same journey which is now one of historical and cultural wonder. The journey from beginning to end takes 30 days and covers 790kms. Your hike begins in the small French village of Saint Jean Pied de Port, close to the Spanish border. If you prefer you can begin your trek from different stages if you feel the time and distances is a little far or doesn’t fit into your schedule.

The American Pilgrim Credential

(Pixabay/jackmac34 )

The American Pilgrim Credential or Compostela is like a passport for your hike. Every place on the route you visit you will be able to get your compostela stamped. This not only provides a record of where you’ve visited but it also gives you a great souvenir for your trip.

It also has a practical purpose outlined below and you can find more information by following this link: https://santiagoways.com/en/pilgrim-credential/

Why is my American Pilgrim Credential Important?

Your American Pilgrim Credential provides the following:

  • A means of identifying you as a pilgrim on the Camino de Santiago. This provides you with opportunities to claim discounts at hostels, museums, and monasteries
  • Useful information on the places you visit
  • Sections to get stamped from Camino de Santiago attractions together with the date you visited them. You should aim to get a minimum of one stamp per day unless you are cycling in which case two is expected.

You can get stamps from the following places:

  • Tourist offices
  • Restaurants and other places of interest
  • Hostels
  • Churches or museums
Pilgrim Credential

You can claim your American Pilgrim Credential providing you are making the journey on foot, cycle, or by horse. It cannot be used if you are traveling by car or motorbike.

It is best to get the official American Pilgrim Credential as this provides the most benefits. To get your credential you will need to provide a proof of identification. You can apply for a friend as long as you can provide their identification too.

The credential is available from a range of Cathedral of Santiago affiliated outlets such as parishes, Amigos del Camino associations, and hostels, but perhaps the easiest way is to use a tour operator. The better ones can deliver it to your starting hostel which saves a lot of hassle. Queues for the passport can be long especially in the more popular summer months.

The price of the credential is free but many make a donation of around 2€ ($2.25 USD). Some outlets will charge between 0,50€ and 2€ for the document.

Get your American Pilgrim Credential and join thousands of others in what can only be described as an unforgettable journey.