Pilgrim Paths are routes used to make meaningful journeys to places of spiritual significance. The Camino de Santiago (the Way of St. James) is the most famous pilgrim path in the world. The remains, or relics, of St James, were transported by his followers to Spain and are said to be buried in Santiago de Compostela. But the Camino de Santiago is not a single route but a large network of ancient pilgrim routes stretching across Europe and finishing at the tomb of St. James.
The Camino Francés route, known as The French Way in the English language, is the most popular route for pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago to walk. In full, it is a 780km trail that starts in Saint Jean Pied de Port and finishes in the city of Santiago de Compostela. The most popular starting point of the Camino Francés is the town of Sarria, around 100km from Santiago de Compostela. Starting there still allows pilgrims to receive their official Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Certificate. Shorter Camino walks are also perfect for those who have limited time for holidays or prefer the Camino experience over the challenge of a long hike.
There is a strong history of pilgrims paths in Ireland with many medieval routes to significant Christian sites such as St. Kevin’s Way to Glendalough, the Kerry Camino to St. James’s Church in Dingle, Tochar Phadraig (or St Patrick’s Way) to Croagh Patrick, The Saint’s Way (or Crosan na Noamh) on the Dingle Peninsula to the foot of Mount Brandon (named after the famous St. Brendan the Navigator), St. Finbarr’s Way to Gougane Barra in Co. Cork, Slí Cholmcille in Co. Donegal and the Mám Éan Pilgrim Trail located in Connemara and part of our West of Ireland tours. Many of these routes are also part of the Camino network and listed as official pilgrim routes by the Camino Society Ireland.