The rewards of the Camino de Santiago far outweigh the pain – even if you’re not a believer
A fierce sun beats down against your back. Your bag is heavy, your feet are sore and you’ve walked for two weeks through northern Spain, with two more to go before you reach Santiago de Compostela.
You tread the same route that Christian pilgrims have taken for more than a millennium. Once, it was only the truly pious who set off on the holy route, but now the Camino de Santiago has become a spiritual journey that transcends religion, attracting more than 250,000 pilgrims each year.
The Camino de Santiago – or the Way of St James – was first taken in the Middle Ages, when King Alfonso II heard that the holy remains of the apostle St James had been discovered, and travelled west from his court in Oviedo to Galicia to confirm it.