The Camino de Santiago can be done in many different ways. Among them, we highlight the option of doing the Camino de Santiago with children, we find this a fantastic option to live a family experience that will unite you more than you have ever been.
As you know, the Way of St. James changes the life of those who travel it. There are many advantages that this experience can bring to the family unit, especially when it comes to creating very special and significant relationships between its members.
Advantages of doing the Camino de Santiago with your family
In order to do the Way of St. James certain recommendations are necessary, as well as a good planning, in order to be able to enjoy the Way in family without surprises.
In addition, we want to highlight the advantages of doing the Camino de Santiago with children:
A different holiday
The little children will enjoy an experience of which they will keep a beautiful memory throughout their lives.
During the Camino de Santiago, there will be moments that will require extra effort, especially by the youngest ones. The Jacobean route can be an important lesson in their lives. It will show them that every effort has its reward.
Consolidation of Values
Children will be inculcated with fundamental values for day-to-day life such as: constancy, teamwork, solidarity, etc., all of which are very present on the Camino de Santiago.
What is the recommended minimum age for children doing the Camino?
It is always said that there is no minimum age to travel the Camino de Santiago, and it is true, because in our pilgrimages we have met people of all ages.
Our personal opinion is that children going on pilgrimage should be at least 3 years old. From that age, the pilgrim can enjoy the experience a little more.
We also recommend that you have a children’s mountain stroller if your child is under 6 years old. It will be of great help when the child is tired or you are faced with a particularly complicated area.
As you know, all the routes have a special attraction and certain characteristics that make each one of the routes of the Jacobean route unique. We recommend two routes to make the Way with your family:
First of all, and as expected, we recommend the French Way. It has softer and more comfortable profiles, with routes in which it is very feasible to carry a child’s stroller if necessary. However, we must highlight the most pronounced peaks that we can find in this stage, such as the climbs to Roncesvalles or at the entrance of Galicia in O Cebreiro. In these cases, we must prepare or request transfer support.
The main problem of this route is the hot weather during the summer months, children will be exposed to the sun for hours with the risks and loss of energy that this involves.
Northern Way and Portuguese Way
The other routes that we recommend to travel with children are: the Primitive Way and the Portuguese, these are much more attractive during the summer season, because despite their more extreme relief, the routes are fresher and more diverse, with some coastal stage and with forests that prevent high temperatures from affecting small pilgrims.
Pilgrim helps you
If you want to know the routes along which the different routes of the Camino are developed, and thus be able to plan your stages better we offer you the best and most complete information of the Jacobean routes in our section of Routes.
What is the best time of year to do the Camino de Santiago with children?
Although we believe that any season is a good time to set out on the Way of St. James, we cannot say the same when travelling with the little children of the house.
In the case of traveling with children, the best season to do the Camino is undoubtedly in spring or atumn. These two seasons are characterized by their mild temperatures, which will benefit the walk of the youngest.
However, we must bear in mind that these seasons are the rainiest, especially in Galicia, so you must also take into account this factor to walk with the climate that best suits your needs and preferences.
Previous training of the children who are going to do the Camino de Santiago
In the same way that adults have to follow a physical training to face the Way, children will also have to follow more or less the same processes, although logically in a way adapted to them.
Some recommendations are:
Adapt to the shoes before starting the adventure
It is, practically, the most important part when facing the Way.
In this way, possible blisters and scratches will be avoided that will make it difficult for them to continue with the journey. The child should use them early enough to get used to them and avoid injuries that discourage them from continuing walking.
Share routes one or two months before starting the Camino de Santiago
They must be developed on land similar to those that will be found during the journey to Santiago de Compostela.
These excursions should be made progressively, starting with short walks. In this way, the child will get used to walking without getting frustrated by tiredness and possible illnesses that may occur during it.
Children should carry their own backpack
The child must get used to walking with a minimum weightto get used to carrying it.
The child should not carry a very heavy backpack, with a small one that carries the essentials will suffice. Surely, he will be very excited to carry his own backpack like the rest of pilgrims.
It’s time for adventure
In short, after reading this post, we are sure that the wish to begin the Camino de Santiago with your family has surfaced in you.
From Pilgrim, we encourage you to start this experience that we are sure will love all members of the family, from the smallest to the oldest.
We recommend to organize with a travel agency the Way with the children, as it will be easier to manage the subject of accommodation and transfers, and we are specialists in that, since we adapt the Way of St. James to all profiles of pilgrims, regardless of age or physical condition.