The annual statistics report of the Pilgrim’s Office, located in Santiago de Compostela, reveals information about the most popular starting points of the Camino de Santiago in recent years. This information is collected by the number of pilgrims who arrived in Santiago de Compostela and went to Pilgrim’s Office to collect their longed-for certificate “La Compostela” after stamping their Pilgrim credential twice a day during their pilgrimage.If you would like to know which are the 10 Camino de Santiago most preferred starting points, please read on.
Most pilgrims start their pilgrimage in Sarria, a village of Lugo, to end their way after 100 km in Santiago de Compostela, which are the minimum required kilometres to get the desired Compostela. These 100 kilometres pass through the last stages of the French Way and can take up to one week to complete them.
Nº 1 preferred starting point – Sarria
2.- Saint Jean Pied de Port – French Way
Saint Jean Pied de Port is the last village in France before entering Spain so it is seen as the sencond of the main starting points of the French Camino. If you decide to start in Saint Jean Pied de Port, you will need about forty days of pilgrimage to get to Santiago de Compostela.
Nº2 starting point: Saint Jean Pied de Port
3.- Porto – Portuguese Way
This second biggest city in Portugal is the third preferred option by pilgrims. If you chose this route of the Portuguese Camino, you will need around 15 days to get to Santiago de Compostela.
Nº 3 – Porto and its famous Luis I bridge
4.- Tui – Portuguese Way
Again the Portuguese Way, many pilgrims also start the Portuguese Way in Tui, a Galician town located on the border between Spain and Portugal. A one-week journey to reach Santiago de Compostela.
Nº 4 – Tui and its Cathedral
5.- Ferrol – English Way
As the fifth option, pilgrims choose to start their Camino in Ferrol. This town is located on the Atlantic coast, in Galicia, and is part of the English Camino.
Nº 5 – Ferrol and its estuary
6.- León – French Way
This city of Castilla y León, famous for its architecture and good cuisine, is the starting point for many pilgrims who choose the French Camino. This route has a duration of 15 days by foot or six stages by bike.
Nº 6 – León and its old town
7.- O Cebreiro – French Way
This small village of Lugo and famous for its pallozas, a traditional dwelling from the mountains of Lugo, is other strategic point of departure for many pilgrims. To complete this route, it is necessary 10 days of pilgrimage.
Nº7 – O Cebreiro and its famous pallozas
8.- Oviedo – Primitive Way
Oviedo, a city of Asturias, is also a usual starting point, specially for those who want to walk the Primitive Camino, one of the most difficult of the Camino de Santiago Routes but perhaps the most historical Camino too.
Nº 8 Oviedo
9.- Valença do Minho – Portuguese Way
Right on the border betwen Spain and Portugal , we find Valença do Minho, the last portuguese location on the Camino Portuguese before entering Galicia. This village is well-know for its fortress by the Miño River which protected them.
Nº 9 – Valença do Minho and its fortress
10.- Ponferrada – French Way
Once again a starting point along the French Way , Ponferrada is one of the preferred starting points of the Camino.
Nº 10 Ponferrada and its Templarios Castle
Although, these are the 2018 10 of the most preferred starting points of the Camino de Santiago, you can start anywhere as long as you walk at least 100 km or cycle 200 km will get to Santiago de Compostela and get your Compostela showing 2 stamps per day!