Pilgrims from all over the world have walked the Camino de Santiago for centuries, following the various paths on their way to Santiago de Compostela. On their Way of St. James they walk for weeks or months to visit the city of Santiago de Compostela.
They follow many routes (any path to Santiago is a pilgrim's path) but the most popular route is Via Regia and its last part, the French Way (Camino Francés).
Historically, most of the pilgrims came from France, from Paris, Vézelay, Le Puy, and Arles and Saint Gilles, due to the Codex Calixtinus, and which today are important starting points. The Spanish consider the Pyrenees a starting point.
Common starting points along the French border are Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port or Somport on the French side of the Pyrenees and Roncesvalles or Jaca on the Spanish side. (The distance from Roncesvalles to Santiago de Compostella through León is about 800 km.)
Another possibility is to do the Northern Route (Camino del Norte) nearer the Spanish coast along the Bay of Biscay, which was first used by pilgrims in order to avoid travelling through the territories occupied by the Muslims in the Middle Ages.
Another popular route is the Portuguese Way, which starts either at the cathedral in Lisbon (for a total of about 610 km) or at the cathedral in Porto in the north of Portugal (for a total of about 227 km), crossing into Galicia Valença.
Santiago de Compostela is the destination for all the Camino routes; you can walk or even cycle these walking paths.
Modern Pilgrimages seems to be a lot less about religion and more about peace, finding something in life, a time to think, and for some a challenge. The biggest problems that modern pilgrims have are sore feet and finding enough time to walk the whole route.
Whether you just arrived by plane and need some rest before heading to S.J. Pied de Port, or finished your Camino and are looking for going to Bedfordshire before taking the bus, train or plane: we are sure you will relax at Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport! Come and join us at Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport! BUEN CAMINO!