Guided or Self-Guided Walks
Everyone is entitled to do their Camino their way. Perhaps you prefer not to rough it and walk alone for weeks carrying everything on your back. You might choose to book all your accommodation ahead of time and have your backpack transferred each day. If you are unable to carry a heavy backpack--or are unable to walk very long distances over difficult terrain--you can still do the Camino by having your pack (and yourself) transported by taxi or transport services on most of the Camino routes. In order to do this, you must have pre-booked accommodation along the way. This means that you will not be allowed to stay in any of the traditional pilgrim albergues that do not allow pre-booking or vehicle back-up. However, many private albergues do allow pilgrims to stay who have backpacks transported along the route.
Making your own travel arrangements
This is the most popular option but not mandatory by any means. This usually means you book your own ﬂight and stay in hostels (albergues) or small hotels. You can carry your own rucksack or you can get it transferred to your next stop for a small fee.
Traveling with a Charity
Charity organizations will, usually, make all your accommodation and/or you travel arrangements. Some available are:
MS Ireland Camino
Peter McVerry Trust Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind
Some Travel Companies
Camino Groups www.caminogroups.ie
Into the West Adventures www.intothewestadventures
UWalk - Navan www.uwalk.ie
From April to early October you should be able to get direct ﬂights from Dublin to Biarritz (St-Jean-Pied-de-Port or Irun), Bilbao & Santander (Camino del Norte & Primitivo), Santiago de Compostela (Sarria, Tui or Ferrol), Vigo, Porto or Lisbon (for Camino Portugués), Lyon, France (Le Puy), or Seville (Via de la Plata). You can also fly to Madrid and take the bus or train from there. There are many ways to get to your starting point, and more than likely, the last leg will mean getting a train, bus or taxi.
For getting from Biarritz Airport to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, two possible taxi services are Express Bourricot and Biarritz Airport Transfers. It’s cheaper to share the taxi if you can find other pilgrims, there should be some other pilgrims on your ﬂight. You can also get a Bus from Biarritz to Bayonne and from there a train to St Jean.
To get to Sarria from Santiago airport, get a bus to Lugo (about 2
hours) and another bus from Lugo to Sarria (30 minutes).
How Long Does It Take?
As long as you want to spend! Some people set off from their own front door, including pilgrims starting in Ireland, taking the ferry from Cork or Rosslare and walking down through France. Others choose a route and walk it in sections during occasional holidays. The routes have differing lengths; the Camino Francés can take 5 weeks, where the Camino Inglés can take 5 days. You can start your pilgrimage in any country, from any place, on any route. You might only have a few days to walk or a few months. Some pilgrims walk different sections of the Caminos every year.
Travel Within Spain
Spain’s network of train and bus services is one of the best in Europe and there aren’t many places that can’t be reached using one or the other. By European standards, prices are relatively cheap. Spain is crisscrossed with a comprehensive network of rail lines on RENFE, the national rail line. The RENFE website is convenient and easy to use.
Almost every bus schedule in Spain is available on the Movelia website. Here are some of the main bus companies in Spain, all with nationwide services, and English-language version websites:
Travel Insurance is always advisable and make sure you bring your European Health Insurance Card, EHIC, (formerly the E111), it gives you access to reduced cost medical treatment.