The Camino de Santiago is a 1,000 year old pilgrim route. Many people have walked it, and many more will. People have written Camino books about it. Others have been inspired by these books. Below are some of the best Camino books, written in a variety of styles and tones to suit all.
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The Pilgrimage – Paulo Coelho
Paulo Coelho is a Brazilian author who penned ‘The Pilgrimage’ in 1987. The story begins following Paulo’s failed initialisation into a religious order.
He is then tasked with walking the Camino de Santiago in order to find a sword which will grant him acceptance into the order.
He is guided along the way by Petrus who teaches him new spiritual and meditative exercises.
He begins to understand what it’s like to live a truly simple way of life.
Paul Coelho followed up this debut book with the best-selling ‘The Alchemist‘.
The Artist’s Journey: The Perfumed Pilgrim Tackles the Camino de Santiago – Marcia Shaver
In her book, “The Artist’s Journey: The Perfumed Pilgrim Tackles the Camino de Santiago”, Marcia Shaver combines her passion for drawing and her love of travel.
Readers are compelled to join Marcia and her well-chosen walking companion as they set a pace that permits time to draw and drink in the revitalizing countryside.
During the 1,299,851 step Pilgrimage across Spain, Marcia rediscovered her physical strength- and more.
From the depths of her soul rose her true nature as the Pilgrims Way nurtured it and allowed it to shine forth in this exquisite account of her journey.
Marcia’s can-do, let’s-have-fun spirit transports the easy chair traveler- and will send many a reader on the same journey of the body and heart.
The Camino: A Journey of the Spirit – Shirley Maclaine
Shirley Maclaine received anonymous letters imploring her to undertake the spiritual trek that is the Camino de Santiago.
Shirley writes about her spiritual journey on the Camino, as well as documenting the physical challenges.
For a woman in her sixties, walking 500 miles in thirty days was no easy feat.
Readers are taken on a journey of visions, realisations and revelations and gain an insight into the physical and spiritual journey that Shirley undertook.
Shirley writes with typical self-deprecated humour and makes the book enjoyable for all to read.
Buen Camino – Natasha & Peter Murtagh
This book follows a father-daughter duo from Ireland, Natasha and Peter Murtagh.
They begin by undertaking a traditional pilgrimage in Ireland – climbing Croagh Patrick, the holy mountain County Mayo.
From there, they head towards France to the beginning of the Camino Frances and begin their trek towards Santiago.
The book covers their journey as well as their experiences with other pilgrims.
They learn what it’s like to live simply by staying in the most basic accommodations along the Camino – pilgrim hostels.
Travels with my Donkey – Tim Moore
Tim Moore pens this comedy travel book about his own pilgrimage along the Camino.
Rather than do it the easy way, Tim decides to undertake the trek with a trusy steed – a donkey named Shinto – in tow.
The comedy comes from Tim’s lack of knowledge of any Spanish, pilgrims being far more interested in Shinto, and Shinto enjoying a far more care-free Camino than Tim.
Tim Moore’s previous books involved him re-tracing the Arctic route of a 19th century explorer and cycling a stage of the Tour de France.
This next instalment – walking the Camino Frances with a donkey – is a fantastic and humourous account of what it’s like to walk the Camino.
To The Field of Stars – Kevin Codd
Kevin Codd undertook a journey on the Camino in 2003 and documented his trek.
For 35 days he hiked along the Camino de Santiago and tells us about both his physical and spiritual journey.
With relatively short chapters detailing a couple of days at a time, Codd shares a variety of aspects of what it’s like to walk the Camino.
He tells us stories of other pilgrims and how his own way of thinking changes. His mental and physical challenges are all laid bare on the page.
To The Field of Stars gives a great account of what its like spiritually to walk the Camino Frances.
A Journey of Days – Guy Thatcher
Guy Thatcher writes this, not as a guide for the Camino, but in a way to inform and inspire.
Much of the story comes from the pilgrims he meets along the way.
This camaraderie is one of the main reasons that people walk the Camino de Santiago.