2017 was yet another record-breaking year for the Camino with over 300,000 people reaching their objective at Santiago de Compostela and an even greater demand for Camino holidays than ever before.
With that, Follow the Camino has been creating new and unique ways for people to experience the Camino, including themed tours like Camino Zen and alternative routes like the Portuguese Coastal Route.
Follow the Camino Managing Director, Umberto di Venosa, comments, “The Camino is having its best year to date in 2017, surpassing all previous records and continuing to impress new and returning visitors from around the world. It’s a testament to how popular the Camino has become, with interest in alternative routes like the Portuguese Coastal Way growing every day.Nearly 18,000 Americans completed the Camino pilgrimage in 2017, with many citing the social aspect, health benefits, and amazing natural scenery as reasons to do it.”
What’s in store for 2018?
Camino Zen tours will put a holistic spin on the traditional pilgrimage with daily yoga sessions. You’ll start and end each day with sun salutations, walking sections on the Camino in between. It’s open to all levels and you can go as part of a group or with your own personal yogi. The first takes place in September with more dates to be announced soon. https://www.followthecamino.com/camino_tours/camino-zen-yoga-guided-tours
Portuguese Coastal Route
The Portuguese Coastal Way is the most in-demand route at Follow the Camino and passes through beaches, forests and charming ancient cities. This unspoiled alternative route is perfect for pilgrims in search of tranquillity, and as is standard with Follow the Camino trips, includes handpicked accommodation and luggage transfer, as well as airport pick-up and bike and horse-riding options.
Webinars – For those living outside Ireland unable to attend our Advice Evenings or Training Days, we’re hosting regular Webinars about the Camino that put you in direct contact with the experts starting in January.
What Follow the Camino Does
Follow the Camino are the original Camino experts with a team of Camino planners creating tailor-made walking and cycling holidays on the Camino de Santiago since 2007. The tour operator was the first to operate the Camino by creating manageable sections along the main routes – an approach that’s since been adopted universally by Camino operators.
Follow the Camino has been making the Camino more accessible to all for the past 10 years by designing bespoke guided and self-guided tours to suit individual needs. Umberto says, “The team works closely with all our loyal customers and understand that there’s no one way to experience the Way.”
The Camino de Santiago can be a spiritual quest, religious experience or simply a healthy challenge. Whatever the motivation for walking the Camino, Follow the Camino’s multilingual customer service lightens the pilgrim’s load considerably by supporting them at every step, night or day, leaving more time to be present in the moment.
Follow the Camino History
Follow the Camino was set up in 2007 by Umberto di Venosa, an avid walker and qualified Mountain Leader who made the Camino more accessible by devising the names of the numbered sections used by all tour operators today. Originally moving to Ireland from France to play rugby after college, Umberto followed his passion and founded the One Foot Abroad Walking Holidays business in 2006 and is now also following his other passion, his new Irish family.
· Camino de Santiago translates as The Way of St James
· The scallop shell and yellow arrow are the most iconic symbols associated with the Camino, and are used as markers along the routes
· There are 9 main Camino routes. The Camino Frances, the French Way, is the most popular
· Pilgrims must walk 62 miles, cycle 124 miles, or horse ride 124 miles to Santiago to be eligible to obtain a Compostela – a Latin certificate confirming completion of the pilgrimage
· The number of pilgrims on the Camino has tripled over the last 10 years
· Over 300,000 pilgrims reached Santiago de Compostela in 2017
· The number of US citizens going on the Camino has grown by over 47% since 2014
· The first written reference of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage dates back to a 12th Century manuscript attributed to Pope Callixtus II
· Follow the Camino offers different kinds of trips along the Camino, including all nine main routes, the Last 100km, Short Days, Camino Zen Guided, Camino by Bike, Camino by Horseback, Romantic Retreats, and more.
· Follow the Camino’s seven-night Self-Guided Tours start at $842 with Guided Tours starting at $950
For more go to www.followthecamino