Camino de Santiago – Way of St. James is the pilgrimage route leading to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela in Spain. 

The story of Camino de Santiago started in 813 AD when a hermit Pelagius noticed strange lights (“filed of stars” – Compostela) pointing a location on the old Roman cemetery. He informed the bishop Bishop Theodemir who discover the tomb of St. James the Apostole (Santiago). The bishop informed the king Alfonso II of Asturias, who was the first pilgrim on the Camino. The news about this discovery spread all over Europe and over the centuries millions of people started to walked to Santiago de Compostela and back to their homes.
The pilgrimage in those days was very dangerous. No credit cards, and if you carry bag of gold coins you are likely to get robbed. No police, with every nobleman almost a law into himself. Huge dark forest covered most of Europe with plenty of wild beasts waiting for a weary traveler.  Not to mention no hiking shoes, ergonomic backpacks or hiking clothes. In those days religion played an important part of people’s lives and identity. People went on a pilgrimage to seek divine healing, atone for their sins, or give thanks to God.

Nowadays, doing the Camino is much easier and safer. You can choose your route, choose how many kilometers you’ll walk (or cycle) each day.  Follow the yellow arrows and Camino shell logo as you walk in footsteps of millions of pilgrims who did it before you. Most people who walk the Camino nowadays wouldn’t describe themselves as religious, but they are looking for something that this material world has trouble providing. Living in the present moment, giving and receiving from strangers, how to be happy, how to deal with life’s misfortunes and to find an inner peace. These are just some of the discoveries that can be made on Camino de Santiago and the reasons it is increasing popular today.