The universe of the internet is indeed an amazing place! If one stops to think about it, it is very strange and ironic that the 21st century phenomenon of the internet should be used to support pilgrims undertaking what is in its essence a medieval activity.
American Pilgrims on the Camino provides here a sampling of other sites that pilgrims, past, present and future, will find to be of interest. We are always interested in learning about new sites and resources. If you have one to suggest, please communicate with our webmaster. Please be aware however that our Board of Directors has established a policy against listing purely commercial sites, this while fully recognizing that there some such are sites and services that our visitors will find to be of great use.
Other associations providing assistance to pilgrims
Transportation in Spain
Weather and climate information
Google Earth overlays
Routes other than the Camino francés
Cycling the Camino
Special interest forums
Other sites that might prove useful, interesting or amusing
Other pilgrimages around the world
Other associations providing assistance to pilgrims:
This list is intended to offer links primarily to associations in countries other than Spain. It is not exhaustive. The word "Credentials" is appended to the descriptions for associations that offer credentials. See the specific sites for details.
• The Canadian Company of Pilgrims: The Canadian Company of Pilgrims is the Canadian analog to American Pilgrims on the Camino. Their mission is to provide assistance to Canadian pilgrims. Credentials.
• The Confraternity of Saint James, England: The British Confraternity is an association of former and current pilgrims interested in the history and culture of Spain. A very comprehensive site featuring an unusually large amount of historical information about Santiago and the Camino. The source of the almost indispensable CSJ Pilgrim Guidebooks. Credentials.
• The Confraternity of Saint James of South Africa: The mission of the Confraternity of Saint James of South Africa is to provide updated information on the Santiago pilgrimage routes - especially in the South African context. Useful FAQ page and links to other sites for the various pilgrimage routes to Santiago. Credentials.
• Australian Friends of the Camino: An association formed in April 2011 to link together Australian pilgrims. Their website is a work in progress (4/11). Credentials.
• Irish Society of Friends of Saint James: (Cumann Cáirde San Séamus i nÉirinn) The Irish association for the Camino de Santiago. Credentials.
• Association Québécoise des Pèlerins et Amis du Chemin de Saint-Jacques: The Quebec Association of Pilgrims is a very large and active group based in Quebec, Canada and they maintain a large and comprehensive web site. They have a number of regional chapters in Quebec. Credentials. (French)
• La Société Française des Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle: A site based in Paris with sections focusing on la Société and its assistance to pilgrims as well as the Centre d'Etudes, de Recherches et d'Histoire Compostellanes (The Center for Studies, Research and the History of the Camino). Credentials. (French)
• Confraternity of Saint James, Norway: The Norwegian Confraternity gathers people with interest in pilgrimage and the Camino de Santiago. The Confraternity encourages international relationships on an ecumenical as well as historical, cultural and ecological bases. In addition, they consider their most important work to be revitalization of pilgrim roads in Norway and to focus on Norwegian cultural connections to St. James, St. Olav and others in the pilgrimage tradition. (Norwegian, English, Dutch, Spanish, Portuguese)
• Nederlands Genootschap van Sint Jacob: The Dutch Genootschap van Sint Jacob (Association of St. James) maintains a very extensive site including information on the Camino in Spain as well as routes within the Netherlands. The Genootschap also carries out an extensive calendar of local events. Credentials. (Dutch)
• German associations:
Deutsche St. Jakobus-Gesellschaft e.V. Credentials. (German)
Region Mitteldeutschland in der Deutschen St. Jakobus-Gesellschaft e.V. (German)
Region Norddeutschland in der Deutschen St. Jakobus-Gesellschaft e.V. Credentials. (German)
Fränkische St. Jakobus-Gesellschaft Würzburg e.V. Credentials. (German, Spanish, English)
Freundeskreis der Jakobuspilger Hermandad de Santiago e.V. Paderborn (German)
• Sankt Jakobs Bruderschaft Österreich: Credentials. (German)
• Polski Klub Camino de Santiago: Credentials. (Polish, Spanish, English, German, French)
• Vlaams Genootschap van Santiago de Compostela: Credentials. (Flemish)
• Association Belge des Amis de Saint Jacques de Compostelle: Credentials. (French)
• Les Amis du chemin de Saint–Jacques de Compostelle Suisse: Credentials. (French, German)
• Italian associations:
Confraternita di San Jacopo di Compostella: Credentials. (Italian)
Il cammini verso Santiago de Compostela: (Italian)
• Brazilian associations:
Associação de Confrades e Amigos do Caminho de Santiago de Compostela–São Paulo–Brasil: Credentials. (Portuguese)
Caminho de Santiago de Compostela O Portal Peregrino: (Portuguese, English, Spanish)
Associação Brasileira dos Amigos do Caminho de Santiago: Credentials. (Portuguese)
• : The Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago in Japan. Credentials. (Japanese)
• Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago: The Federación Española is the parent organization of the various regional associations of Amigos del Camino. In this capacity they are involved in providing information to peregrinos, in overseeing the physical state of the route, in the training and placement of volunteer hospitaleros, in promoting scholarly studies and meetings concerned with the Camino and in the publication of the journal Peregrino. The web site contains a wealth of information including practical advice on equipment and clothing, on pilgrim first aid, how the system of albergues operates, detailed descriptions of all routes within Spain including maps, albergues and other services. Also has an extremely useful list of all Camino associations in Spain with web site links to all. (Spanish)
• Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Madrid: Although this is an association whose principal focus is the Camino de Madrid they have a great amount of information on numerous other routes. They also have a concise list of other associations in Spain and France. Credentials. (Spanish)
• The site caminosantiago.org has a very good directory of Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago. This site is in Spanish and most, if not all, of the linked-to sites are as well.
• Xacobeo: Xacobeo.es is the web site maintained by the Xunta de Galicia. The site contains a wealth of information about the various routes in Galicia as they converge on Santiago. Of particular interest will be the interactive maps found under the link St. James' way and the extensive collection of events planned for Galicia during 2010 found under the link Program 2010.
• Associação dos Amigos do Caminho Português de Santiago: The site of the Association of Friends of the Camino portugués. The site has the history of the route and a limited amount of practical information. (Portuguese and English but some pages only in Portuguese)
• Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Zaragoza: The site of the Association of Friends of the Camino de Santiago de Zaragoza. Somport - Jaca - Puente la Reina. Credentials. (Spanish)
• Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Sevilla: The site of the Association of Friends of the Camino Seville, better known perhaps as the Vía de la Plata . Sevilla - Zafra - Salamanca - Astorga. (Spanish) Site gives locations in Seville where credentials may be obtained in person.
Transportation in Spain:
• RENFE: El Red Nacional de Ferrocarriles Españoles, the Spanish national rail system. The site is available in English. RENFE provides convenient, fast and frequent travel to numerous cities and towns on the Camino and other pilgrim routes. (RENFE's site is tricky or even frustrating to use. TripAdvisor has a very long document about how to go about using it. You should pay particular attention to their points 1 through 6 and 12. Download HERE.)
• EuskoTren: Train, tram and bus services in Páis Vasco. Among other routes, they provide very frequent service between San Sebastián/Donostia and Hendaye. The site is in Basque but on the site's entry page the link to the left is for the Spanish version of the site.
• FEVE: Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha operates a system that generally runs along the northern coast of Spain from Ferrol on the western end to San Sebastián on the eastern. In addition there is a line that extends from Bilbao down to León.
• General information: The web site Spain FAQs has a page with general information on trains in Spain.
• Train travel other than Spain: The site of the Deutsche Bundesbahn is excellent for travel research in all of Europe in spite of its appearance of being Gernany-oriented, although it will not give prices nor allow reservations or ticket purchases except for travel with a departure or arrival in Germany. The RailEurope site is easy to navigate for train travel all over Europe. You can also use the SNCF (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer) site but it is not quite as straightforward. (French but a limited version in English)
• ALSA: ALSA is probably the most extensive bus system within Spain. They serve numerous locales along the Camino.
SPECIAL NOTE: The ALSA website has a special section for using their system to get from your city of entry in Spain to your starting point on a Camino and then optionally getting from Santiago to your city of departure from Spain, plus a few places in France. They also have information on transporting a bicycle. Click HERE. (These links are to the English version of the site but the site is also available in Spanish, French, German, Catalán, Galician and Euskera.)
• PLM Autocares: PLM Autocares provides service from Madrid to a number or localities along the eastern third of the francés inside Spain. These include Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Estella, Los Arcos, Viana, Logroño, Najera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Belorado.
• El Grupo La Unión and La Burundesa: La Unión Group and La Burundesa provides service in País Vasco and points on the Camino francés as far west as Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Belorado. These include Bilbao, San Sebastian, Pamplona, Logroño, Santo Domingo de la Calzada and Belorado
• Movelia: Movelia.es is a general purpose bus schedule and ticketing service for Spain but also with facility for connections to other countries.
• Arriva: The Arriva bus line operates between Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre as well as between other locations in Galicia. (This link is to the English version of the site but the site is also available in Spanish, Catalán and Galician.)
• Monbus: Monbus has service in Galicia including a connection from Santiago de Compostela back to Sarría, a common starting point for those wanting to walk only the last 100 km. In addition there is service between Santiago and Finisterre as well as between other locations in Galicia. There is service to Piedrafita do Cebreiro, only a few km from O Cebreiro, from several departure points.
• Empresa Freire: Of interest to peregrinos Empresa Freire has a route that runs from Santiago to Palas de Rei on the francés and then northeast to Lugo.
• Continental Auto: On the Camino francés, Continental serves Pamplona, Burgos and León. Not many routes along the Camino, but could be of use for getting to these three cities from elsewhere in Spain.
• La Estellesa: La Estellesa has frequent service on the Camino between Pamplona and Logroño. They offer service for Pamplona, Puente la Reina, Estella, Los Arcos, Sansol, Viana and Logroño as well as numerous small villages along this route.
• Estación de Autobuses, Madrid: The Web site of the central bus station in Madrid. (Spanish)
• General information: The web site Spain FAQs has a page with general information on buses in Spain as well as a long list of bus companies.
Air (inside Spain):
• Air Europa: Air Europa is a carrier that serves Santiago among other destinations in Spain, but the links tend to be unusual for North American travelers.
• Iberia: Iberia is Spain’s largest air transport group and as such has an extensive network of routes within the country as well as to foreign destinations. The linked page is for travel within Spain and is in Spanish. For the Iberia page for travel from and to the United States, select "USA" in the list of countries on the drop-down menu in the upper right corner. For English, click on "English" in the same corner.
• Want to know about the common arrival airports for flights from North America or internally for accessing the Camino. Click on the airport name:
Madrid Barajas (MAD)
Santiago de Compostela (SCQ)
• The web site AFerry.co.uk serves as an agent for numerous ferry lines in Europe. Click on Spain in the map for lines serving Spain. In addition, the site Spain FAQs has general information and an extensive list of ferry lines.
Other transportation links:
• Madrid Metro: The website of the Madrid Metro system. Download a schematic map of the system. ( 1.1MB ) (Spanish)
Strikes and travel disruptions:
Publicly operated modes of transportation - RENFE, Iberia and the Madrid Metro - are suseptible to strikes so travelers need to be aware of what is happening. One site that is a good source for such information is Easy Travel Report. Private companies, e.g., ALSA, are generally not affected by these disruptions.
Travel to some common starting points:
• To get to Roncesvalles we will assume that you can find your way by air, train or bus to Pamplona, the closest city with extensive transportation connections. To Roncesvalles you then have the choice of bus, van or taxi. The bus service is Autocares Artieda. Click HERE for information about service from Pamplona to Roncesvalles specifically. City buses from the airport to the city center and the bus station run frequently. Express Bourricot provides, among other services, van transport from Pamplona to Roncesvalles. There is also taxi service to Roncesvalles: Asociación TeleTaxi San Fermín (948 232 300), Asociación Radio Taxi (948 221 212) and Francisco Igoa Martinez (649 725 951). Obviously the taxi will cost much more than the bus. Also see the note below about ALSA's service from Pamplona to St. Jean.
• To get to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port we will assume that you can find your way by air, train or bus to Bayonne (actually Biarritz BIQ in the case of air), the closest city with extensive transportation connections. The most commonly used means is the TGV (high-speed train) service from Paris. There are then several trains every day from Bayonne to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Consult the SNCF site. It is also possible to travel by taxi from Pamplona. See the information immediately above for Roncesvalles.
As it is somewhat complicated and/or expensive returning to Paris from Santiago, travelers from the U.S. should consider an 'open jaw' ticket traveling from the U.S. to Paris and then returning to the U.S. from Madrid.
The ALSA bus system in Spain in 2013 wil be offering a once-a-day service from Pamplona to St. Jean-Pied-de-Port . The departure from Pamplona is at 14:00 with an arrival in St. Jean at 15:45 and the itinerary includes a stop at Roncesvalles at 14:50. It appears that this service begins operations in 2013 on March 22 but it is not apparent when it terminates. In ALSA's website click on International, select the destination country of France, select the departure point of Pamplona, select the destination city of St. Jean, select your date of travel and finally click Search. If you will be purchasing tickets online, select the number or seats before clicking Search. The unfortunate aspect of this is that in order to arrive by bus from Madrid in time to make the 14:00 departure, one will have to leave Madrid (Estación Avenida América) on a 07:00 or 08:00 bus depending on the day of the week. Taking a 07:35 train from Madrid will also allow an arrival in Pamplona in time. But all of this means that North American air travelers arriving at Madrid Barajas mid- to late-morning will not be able to continue on to St. Jean the day of arrival in Spain.
ALSA also has service Pamplona to Bayonne (Bayona in Spanish) but the arrival is at 1:30 in the morning.
Express Bourricot provides, among other services, van transport from Pamplona and Hendaye to St. Jean. New in 2013 they have the Morning Shuttle that leaves St. Jean at 8:00 a.m. and then makes several stops at points on the way up the route. They also offer options for luggage transport.
It would also be possible to use rail with a combination of the Spanish RENFE and the French SNCF with a connection in Hendaye. You can consult the separate systems or simply use the RailEurope site.
The bus line ATCRB has service throughout the day from Hendaye to Bayonne from where one can connect to the local train to St. Jean or to the TGV to Paris.
• To get to O Cebreiro the bus will be your best choice from Santiago de Compostela, from Madrid or from various transportation hubs on the Camino to the east of O Cebreiro. From Santiago the bus line ALSA has a half dozen buses a day to the village of Piedrafita O Cebreiro which is about 5 km from O Cebreiro itself. ALSA also has service to Piedrafita O Cebreiro directly from Madrid, about a six-hour journey and in addition via an itinerary that passes through Burgos, Palencia, Astorga and Ponferrada among other places. All of those will have good connections from other locations in Spain or along the Camino either by bus or by train. From Piedrafita O Cebreiro you have two possibilities—simply walk it (you're about to walk 150 km after all) or take a taxi.
• To get to Sarria there are two general options, bus and train. From Madrid by bus you will have to use the ALSA bus system to Lugo and then Monbus from Lugo back to Sarria. Several of these actually depart from Madrid's Barajas Airport, a great convenience. Monbus also serves Santiago to Sarria. In addition, RENFE has direct service from Madrid and Barcelona, perhaps the most likely entry points into Spain for travelers arriving from North America. After you enter the RENFE site, find the "Welcome" link that will take you to an English version of the site. Click "Find all stations ". You will then be presented with a list of every station in Spain. Select your day of travel and then your station of origin, Madrid or Barcelona for our purpose here. In the list of available destinations that appears, click on "S" and then Sarria. A search results page will appear. If there is a direct itinerary (no transfer), this will be presented first but if this is not to your liking, see if there is the offer "Para buscar trenes con transbordo seleccione fecha de viaje" ("To search for trains with a transfer, select the date of travel"). You can select the date and click "Buscar transbordo" ("Search for a transfer") to see a list of itineraries that involve a transfer.
To Sarria from Santiago again see Monbus. Click on Horarios on the left then Santiago de Compostela and Sarria for the origin and destination. This bus appears not to run Saturdays and Sundays - but check for yourself! Monbus serves various other towns along the western end of the francés.
Weather and climate information:
• Current conditions :
Click on the block to see the multi-day forecast. (Note that current conditions update only when the respective airports are open.)
• Instituto Nacional de Meteorología: The Spanish national weather bureau is the ultimate source for weather and climate information in Spain. Below are some selected locations along the Camino francés and a few other routes with links to current, 7-day forecasts (what you're actually going to get) as well as links to climate data (what you should expect on average). If you're asking yourself "When should I go?" the climate tables are a resource to consider.
Sites devoted to maps:
General map sites
Enter a town or city name and "Spain" in the "Search Maps " field. Or just entering "Spain" will bring up the entire country from where you can maneuver graphically. Satellite images are available down to a certain resolution.
This link is to the Spain page. Enter a town or city name in the "City" field.
This link is to the Spain page. Enter a town or city name in the "A" field where you see "Spain". Satellite images are available down to a certain resolution.
Sites with good Camino maps and route planning information
• Godesalco.com: A site that that contains a great deal of route planning information, particularly the Camino Planner and the Camino Maps pages. The former allows the user to construct a customized distance, elevation and itinerary plan while the latter makes clever use of Google Maps to obtain satellite images. (These two pages are in English although the rest of the site is in Spanish.)
• caminosantiago.com: A site that generally has a lot of information, but this LINK is to a page where one can download a nice set of overview maps of the Camino francés.
Maps and satellite imagery in France:
• geoportail.fr: The Géoportail site of the French government is a marvelous resource for maps and salellite imagery in France. To start with try entering the name of a town in the field "Nom de la commune" below the world map. The Caminos in France are labelled with "Saint Jacques de Compostelle" but you will have to know the GR route numbers to follow the paths.
Continuing with the theme of the Middle Ages encountering the 21st century, there are a number of apps for smart phones and tablet computers. American Pilgrims does not endorse any of these but simply presents them as being potentially useful apps to have while on the Road. Some of these are free while some have a nominal cost involved. Most of these are presently in Spanish but it is possible to create a serviceable translation into English through Google Translate.
• Camino by Biko: This app includes complete guides to the Caminos francés, aragonés, primitivo, del Norte, la Plata, Sanabrés and Finisterre (the inglés and portugués are missing at the present). Each route has information by stage, including albergues, route details, notes and "touristic" suggestions. The albergue listings include complete descriptions of each albergue, its equipment and infrastructure as well as nearby services. (Free, Spanish)
• Bluguía: This app is described as "a touristic, multi-media audio guide" for the Way of Saint James. The title is appended with "Galicia" but in the description it talks about "the french route". (Free, English)
• Camino de Santiago, Camino francés by Digital Lithium: A collection of maps published by the Instituto Geográfico Nacional. There is apparently useful additional information such as the location of albergues. The description says that the language is English but all of the descriptive information and images are in Spanish. ($1.99, Although not clear this price may purchase only one map and further maps must be purchased as needed.)
• Step Cal, The Pedometer: While not a Camino guide, this app estimates various walking measurements after being given a stride length. Operates in English or metric units. ($0.99, English, French, Spanish, German, Russian)
Google Earth overlays:
Google Earth is described on the Google site as combining "the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips." This service requires downloading the Google Earth application onto your computer. Although there are more powerful versions that must be purchased, the basic version is free. Versions are available for the Mac, Windows and Linux operating systems. To download Google Earth, click on the logo.
• Google Earth Community: This is the main page for the Google Earth Community Forums. In the search box top center enter "camino de santiago" with the quotes. This will produce a fairly focused list for the Camino.
Routes other than the Camino francés:
You are invited to visit our Routes Overviews page for brief descriptions of the other routes in Spain and France. In addition we have here a few links to a few other sites with much more detailed information on alternative Caminos.
• Chemin d'Arles : Arles, France to Puente la Reina. A tidy little site in French, English and German with maps, picture galleries, a forum and numerous links to other sites that focus on the Arles route.
• El Camino fonseca: Salamanca to Zamora to Ourense to Santiago de Compostela. This is a rather comprehensive site about this lesser traveled route to Santiago. An overall map, a list of albergues, a section on bicycling the route, several photographic galleries and a few related web links. Housed at the University of Salamanca. (Spanish)
• Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago Vía de la Plata: This association has a comprehensive site covering the distance from Sevilla to Astorga and with additional coverage of the Vía de la Plata portugués and the Ruta sanabrés (Spanish).
• The Confraternity of Saint James: A link to the Confraternity's page with overviews of almost two dozen routes on the Iberian Peninsula as well as in France, Switzerland and Germany. Plus the pilgrim road from Oslo to Trondheim, the Way of St. Olav.
• Federación Española de Asociaciones de Amigos del Camino de Santiago: This site contains detailed descriptions of all routes within Spain including maps, albergues and other services. (Spanish. Site may not function well with some browsers. The main drop-down menus are virtually invisible under the logo at the top of the page.)
• Mundicamino.com: While not a site devoted to any single route, Mundicamino has a comprehensive list of routes throughout Spain with both general and detailed information. (Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese)
• Gronze.com: Again not a site devoted to any single route, Gronze has a comprehensive list of routes throughout Spain and France. The site has particularly complete information on various routes with overview and detailed maps, descriptive information on the routes, villages and albergues. This site is also the source for a good guidebook covering the francés, the aragonés and the finisterra. (Catalán and Spanish but with Google's automated translation facility into English, French, German and Italian)
• Peter Robbins: British walker/pilgrim Peter Robbins has a very comprehensive compilation of all the roads to Santiago in Europe each with a short description.
• Jakobus: A very extensive site focusing on Jakobsweg, the Camino de Santiago in Germany. In addition one section has pages on the Way of Saint James in the Netherlands, Belgium, Poland, Austria and Switzerland as well as general information on routes in France and Spain. (German)
• World Heritage Sites of the Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France: In 1998, several sites in France were added to the UNESCO World Heritage Sites under the description: Routes of Santiago de Compostela in France. They are places related to the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Western Spain, a part of the Way of Saint James. Usually they are churches or hospitals. Wikipedia entry.
• Chemin de Compostelle: A site with much general practical advice and information on walking the Caminos but of special interest will be a comprehensive interactive map of all lodging between Le Puy and the Spanish border (GR 65) and an exhaustive list of Associations des Amis de Saint Jacques in all parts of France as well as associations in other countries. (French)
• Les Amis et Pèlerins de Saint-Jacques de la Voie de Vézelay: An organization and site dedicated to the Vía Lemovicensis (Voie Vézelay). The site contains information about transportation to Vézelay, stages and accommodations along the route. Les Amis also publish the only complete guidebook to the route, Itinéraire du Pèlerin de Saint-Jacques sur la Voie historique de Vézelay (Via lemovicensis) and they post regular updates to the guide on the web site. . (French)
• Association Bretonne des Amis de Saint-Jacques de Compostelle: The Breton Association of Friends of Saint James has a page in English devoted to routes in Brittany with a map of routes and an invitation to e-mail for details of these routes. They suggest that the Brittany routes should be particularly inviting for peregrinos from the British Isles. The French version of the site has a great deal of information.
The Routes of St. James in Switzerland (Jakobsweg durch die Schweiz): The well-designed, easy to navigate and comprehensive site of the Projekt Europäische Jakobswege contains everything that a walker would need for the Routes of St. James in Switzerland. Maps, route descriptions, elevation profiles, types of route signage, information about lodging, transportation, churches, groceries and more. Most of this information has been consolidated into a collection of beautiful PDF-formatted brochures organized in sections. (English, German, French)
Cycling the Camino:
As between 15 and 20% of pilgrims are currently cycling the Camino rather than walking, we offer this assortment of links to sites which contain information that should be useful for cyclists.
• The International Bicycle Fund: The IBF is an independent, non-profit organization whose primary purpose is to promote bicycle transportation. There are two specific pages in the site that should be consulted concerning transporting your bike to the Camino: Airline baggage regulations for bikes and the report "Bikes Can Fly".
• GoExploring: A useful site with a list of suggested equipment, a Spanish-English bicycling vocabulary and a representative day-by-day travel plan.
• interam.com: An essential site for the cycling peregrino with many photographs, suggested packing and equipment lists, an interactive map, a basic FAQ section and a long list of books and web site links.
• Santiago Bicicleta: The Santiago Bicicleta Yahoo! group is "geared" to those who have ridden, or who are planning to ride, the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across northern Spain, or any of the connecting routes
* Bicigrino: A large and growing site with extensive information on bicycling the Camino francés, the Vía de la Plata and the Camino del Norte. (Spanish)
• Galicia Television: Surely the best collection of webcams connected with the Camino, including O Cebreiro, the interior of the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela, Finisterre and several of the plazas around the cathedral. All the sites are in Galicia. All are streaming, updated typically about every second, and some of the cameras rotate. Sign on at the proper time and watch (although not hear) the Pilgrims' Mass in the cathedral or by prior arrangement wave to friends back home from some plaza.
• Burgos: The intersection in Burgos which has the well-known statue of El Cid. Streaming updated every 5 seconds.
• León: The facade of the cathedral of León. Updated every 30 seconds.
• Madrid Man: A large collection of webcams around Spain.
• Pamplona: The Plaza de Castillo in Pamplona.
• About.com: A large collection of webcams around Spain.
• TimeAndDate: So the webcam image is completely black. Maybe it's the middle of the night in Spain.
Special interest groups and forums:
• Santiagobis: Santiagobis is a Yahoo group devoted to the Camino de Santiago in all of its aspects. In order to access its information you will have to create a Yahoo account which is free. In addition to the messaging capability, there are always a number of photo galleries and you'll find a treasure trove of internet links on every conceivable topic relating to the Camino. Moderated, very active.
• Camino de Santiago Forum (www.caminodesantiago.me/board): A forum moderated and overseen by Ivar Rekve, a resident of Santiago de Compostela, with special interest areas on various routes, traveling to and from the Camino, biking, equipment, books and more. Very active.
• Camino de Santiago Forum (www.caminodesantiago.me.uk/forum): Another forum of the same name as that above which also has special interest areas on various routes, traveling to and from the Camino, biking, equipment, books and more. Very active.
• GoCamino: The GoCamino listserv, an independent, unmoderated site, is operated by volunteers on behalf of all Camino pilgrims. Although GoCamino is not an official site of American Pilgrims on the Camino, we encourage all pilgrim-related communication channels. Already a subscriber to GoCamino? Click here for the login page.
• Santiago Bicicleta: The Santiago Bicicleta Yahoo! group is "geared" to those who have ridden, or who are planning to ride, the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route across northern Spain, or any of the connecting routes.
• Saint James: ThisYahoo forum is for "ex, future and ever pilgrims". Its goal is to "maintain alive the spirit of Saint James's Route, helping each other."
• Forum Way of Saint James: The forum is described as a meeting point for pilgrims or future pilgrims willing to share their questions or experiences and for all those people seeking information on the Camino de Santiago. The forum is part of the pilgrim-information service of www.jacobeo.net.
• Facebook: Have a Facebook account? If so, consider joining the American Pilgrims' Facebook group. Search for it there using "American Pilgrims on the Camino (APOC)".
Other useful, interesting or amusing sites:
• Mundicamino: Certainly one of the most comprehensive Camino sites on the internet. A great deal of detailed information about essentially all the routes in Spain. A huge list of links to other Camino-related sites. (Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese)
• Leslie's Camino de Santiago : A personal site but with a huge (!) amount of information including planning, equipment and packing lists, books, photo galleries, albergues and much more.
• UCLA, Dept of Spanish & Portuguese: An interesting but rambling site with many essays on various facets of the history and lore of the Camino (Partly in Spanish)
• The Joining of Heaven and Earth: This beautiful and informative site focuses on the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela but more broadly on the Romanesque World of western Europe in which it flourished during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. There are a number of very nice videos in the site.
• Centro Virtual Cervantes, El Camino de Santiago: A tiny part of a site devoted at all facets of Spanish literature, culture and art. The section on the Camino is organized around an interactive map and is a wonderful source for cultural and historical information of the entire Camino francés. (Spanish)
• santiago-compostela.net: A very comprehensive site begun in 2005 with the assistance of the Spanish Tourist Office in London and by the Xunta de Galicia. Information on nine Camino routes with an extensive collection of photographic essays on the routes, flowers, waymarks and sundials (!).
• caminosantiago.com: A somewhat commercial site, but it has much interesting cultural and historical information about the Camino francés. It also offers advice on first aid, on bicycling (including repair facilities along the francés), an extensive list of (horse) riding clubs along the francés and information about bus and train travel.
• Correos de España: The Spanish postal system. For answers to all your questions about the postal system in Spain, visit their site. (this link is English but other languages are available). Interested in mailing a package ahead to yourself? See our information on the lista de correos service.
• The Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) list of prohibited and allowed items in carry-on: From the SeatGuru (part of TripAdvisor) comes this definitive list of items prohibited and allowed in carry-on luggage onboard aircraft in the U.S. We understand that individual TSA officers have the discretion to decide if a particular item is a danger or not but in our opinion, if an item is clearly on this list and is noted as being prohibited, you are taking the chance of having it confiscated if you try to carry it on. (While you're in this web site, click on the SeatGuru logo to go to their home page. An interesting site!)
• The Telegraph Online Newspaper: This somewhat dated site is a hodgepodge of information about the Camino including a brief overview of the pilgrimage to Santiago, essays on medieval relic worship and the Santiago legend, a concise distance chart and a good FAQ.
• Archidiócesis de Santiago de Compostela: The website of the Archdiocese of Santiago. (Spanish)
• La Oficina de Acogida de Peregrinos: The website of the Pilgrims' Welcome Office (Rúa do Vilar 3/1, MapQuest map, Google Earth image, signs all over the city pointing to it), which has voluminous quantities of information on the history of pilgrimage generally and the Camino particularly, the Compostela and Holy Years. American Pilgrims has a page of graphs with pilgrim statistics drawn largely from data published by the Oficina's website. (Spanish, English, German, French, Italian)
• The Cathedral of Santiago: The website of the Cathedral of Santiago containing voluminous amounts of information about the cathedral, liturgical services, the cathedral museum, visits to the roof, archeological excavation, pilgrimage, the cathedral archives and administration.(Spanish, English, Galician)
• Los Paradores de España: You've been staying in albergues for 12 straight days now and could use a bit of pampering? You're seven days from Santiago and your friends and family are asking if they could do something nice for you to celebrate your arrival? Consider the splurge of a night in one of the luxurious and historic hotels in this system operated by the Spanish federal government. Facilities actually on the francés route are in Santo Domingo de la Calzada, León, Villafranca del Bierzo and the crown jewel of the system in Santiago itself. (English but also Spanish, French, German and Catalán)
• TimeAndDate: What is the current time in Burgos? Madrid? Barcelona? Shanghai?
• Academic Technology Services of The University of California at Los Angeles has created a virtual fly-through of the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
• Galicia in 360°: A site with great 360° pictures of numerous sites in Santiago and around Galicia. You can control the rotation and zoom settings with the arrows under the picture. Jump to other sites by using the map or by clicking on the hotspots in the pictures.
• Bird's eye: Bird's eye or aerial views of numerous major cities around the world.
• La Fuente del Vino: Here it is! The famous fountain of wine at the Bodegas Irache. For the web cam, click on Fuente del Vino and then Web Cam in the center of the page. Apparently operational 9:00 to 19:00 Spanish time.
• Los Sellos del Camino: A quirky but most interesting site devoted to collecting all the sellos (pilgrim's stamps) available on the Caminos. (Spanish)
• Labyrinths.org: This site of The Labyrinth Coalition includes information, links, a calendar of labyrinth-related events and the only complete directory of labyrinth Locators on the web.
• Here's something different: Camino humor. (Spanish)
• An assortment of personal sites, essays, reflections and blogs:
Big Fun in a Tiny Pueblo: Rebekah Scott's blog written from Moratinos, on the Camino.
JohnnieWalker: One of the best blogs on the Camino!
30 Days to Santiago: A personal site with a wide range of material. A nascent pilgrim connection or registration facility.
The Winter Pilgrim: The blog of an American peregrina who specializes in winter pilgrimages - Canterbury to Rome; Aachen, Germany to Santiago; Kiev, Ukraine to Patras, Greece; Denver, Colorado to Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico City; Santiag de Compostela o to Jerusalem via North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt) and presently Buenos Aires, Argentina to Mexico City.
The Reluctant Pilgrim: A Hopeful Unbeliever Walks the Camino de Santiago (Use the blog archive to read in sequence)
Camino Dreaming: A nicely done site that has a good collection of pratcical tips; Second Wind, a novel that will be posted in episodes; and a blog.
Other pilgrimages around the world:
The web sites linked here are considered to merely be representative of the information available. You are urged to do further searching for additional information.
• Pilgrims and Pilgrimage: A site maintained by the University of York (Heslington, York, UK) that explores the concept of pilgrimage, a concept common to almost all cultures and faiths through the centuries, and which still today profoundly influences millions of people.
• Canterbury Cathedral: The Cathedral's history goes back to 597 CE when St. Augustine arrived in Kent, having been sent from Rome by Pope Gregory the Great to bring Christianity to the Anglo-Saxons. In 1170 Archbishop Thomas Becket was murdered in the Cathedral.
• Durham Cathedral: Durham Cathedral was built to house the shrine of the Anglo-Saxon saint and bishop, Cuthbert, whose reputation drew pilgrims came from all over England.
• The Jesus Trail: The Jesus Trail is a 65-kilometer hiking trail in the Galilee region of Israel connecting important sites from the life of Jesus as well as other historical and religious sites. The trail begins in Nazareth and ends in Capurnaum.
Japan: The Shikoku pilgrimage is the pilgrimage of eighty-eight temples on the island of Shikoku, Japan. It is believed that all eighty-eight temples were visited by the famous Buddhist monk Kukai who was born in Zentsuji, Shikoku in 774.
• Dave Turkington's site: A very extensive site by Dave Turkington who walked on the Shikoku in 1999, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.
• David Moreton: A very extensive site with numerous references and links. The location for ordering A Journey of the Soul and Shikoku Japan 88 Route Guide, probably the two essential books to carry.
• The Pilgrimage of the 88 Temples of Shikoku: A quite comprehensive website covering planning, equipment, accommodations and photographs. (English, French)
• The Shikoku, A brief guide dating based on the authors experience in 2001.
• 88 Temple Pilgrimage Wikitravel Guide: A good overview of the pilgrimage.
• A page of observations and practical suggestions by Gideon Lewis-Kraus who walked the entire Shikoku pilgrimage in the spring of 2010.
• The Basilica de Guadalupe, la Cuidad de México: The enormous basilica of Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Mexico City is the most visited pilgrimage site in the Western Hemisphere. The shrine of Guadalupe is a place of extraordinary vitality and celebration.
Norway: Oslo to Trondheim: Since the early eleventh century, St. Olaf's Way has attracted thousands of pilgrims who have passed through forests and conquered mountainous skylines. The goal is the Nidaros Cathedral in Trondheim to pay homage to St. Olaf. Some good sites are
• Pilegrimsleden Olavsvegene til Trondheim. This website, dedicated to St. Olaf's Way to Trondheim, contains a wealth of information on the route. (Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English, German Spanish)
• The Pilgrim Sly Treks Norway. A blog written during a pilgrimage made in the summer of 2009. Good practical information and numerous images.
• St. Olav's Way, A one-page overview of the route on the site of the Confraternity of Saint James, Norway.
• Rome: The Via Francigena, first documented by a 10th-century English archbishop, is the ancient pilgrimage route from Canterbury across France, Switzerland and Italy to Rome. The route was designated a Cultural Route by the Council of Europe in 1994. A few good sites on the Francigena are
• Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome: An extensive site maintained by the Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome. (English)
• The International Association Via Francigena: The Association Internationale Via Francigena maintains an extensive site on this route. (English, French, German, Italian, Dutch) They also offer a document that describes the requirements for and the method to obtain the testimonium, the Francigena equivalent of the compostela. (Italian and English, German and French)
• European Association of the Via Francigena: Founded in 2001 by 34 Italian municipalities and provincial administrations in Italy to promote the Via Francigena, the association now it includes 94 members, including Rome, Canterbury (UK) and Communauté Lys-Romane (F). The Association offers a credential. (Italian, French, English)
• Via Francigena: A website of this name which has a lot of information an dwhich offers a credential. (Google translation into English, French, German, Portugues and Spanish)
• Via Francigena: This magazine, published in Italian and English by the European Association of the Vie Francigena, is issued twice a year.
• Via Francigena: Via Francigena is a Yahoo group devoted to the Via Francigena. In order to access its information you will have to create a Yahoo account which is free. Moderated, moderately active.
• Il Cammino di Assisi (Italian, English, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese)
• The Way of St. Andrews: St. Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland and the town where his relics were kept on the east coast of Fife overlooking the North Sea was established as a pilgrimage site over 1000 years ago. There are various routes terminating in St. Andrews or Edinburgh.
• The Saint Paul Trail: The Saint Paul Trail follows the route walked by St. Paul on his first missionary journey in Asia Minor. It is a way-marked footpath from Perge, 10 km E of Antalya, to Yalvac, NE of Lake Egirdir. There is a second branch starting at Aspendos, 40 km E of Antalya and joining the first route at the Roman site of Adada. The route totals about 500 km.
The United States:
• The Santuario de Chimayó, New Mexico: During Semana Santa thousands of pilgrims journey to El Santuario de Chimayó, a tiny shrine in northern New Mexico. The destination of the pilgrims, El Santuario de Chimayó, is believed to hold the power to heal mind and body.
• The Camino de Chimayó: An American Camino, the Camino de Chimayó, styled after the Camino de Santiago, is under development. The route is on graded and paved tracks through the Rocky Mountains and, starting in Denver, Colorado, will take pilgrims 560 km in 18 stages to the Santuario de Chimayó in northern New Mexico. At this time support infrastructure for the Camino de Chimayó needs to be pre-arranged. Visit the website for details.
• The California Missions Trail, California: In 1768, King Carlos III of Spain ordered his troops to establish the first European stronghold in Alta California. They built a series of 21 compounds, or "missions," from San Diego to Sonoma. And they founded the mission trail, El Camino Real, on a route followed by indigenous peoples, which itself was part of the migration path from Asia. This site is devoted to reviving this trail and establishing it as a path of pilgrimage.