Paul walking between Guarda and Oia

How much does it cost to walk the Camino de Santiago?

Paul Ryken Last Updated: Monday 30 March 2020 Afford your trip, Portugal, Spain Leave a Comment

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The Camino de Santiago/Way of St James is not for everyone. But those who do want to walk one (or several) of the routes that lead to Santiago de Compostela often do a bit of research and planning before they embark on their Camino adventure. If you are one of them, today’s article might be for you.

We’ll be diving into the actual costs we (a couple) incurred walking the Camino Portugués in April 2019. While we walked it at a more leisurely pace – taking 19 days to get from our starting point (Caminha) to Santiago de Compostela (a total walking distance of 183km) – the daily costs are comparable for those who have a similar style of travelling to us.

We walked a total of 183km, combining the Camino Portugués de la Costa, Central and Variante Espiritual
We walked a total of 183km, combining the Camino Portugués de la Costa, Central and Variante Espiritual

So, let’s start with some assumptions.

Assumptions

  • As mentioned, the costs are based upon a couple travelling together.
  • We did not do the Camino as part of an organised tour but as individual travellers.
  • We arrived at the start of our Camino with everything we needed for the walk and for our continued travel afterwards. We did send one backpack straight from our starting point to Santiago (costing us EUR40 – considered under Miscellaneous in below summary table).
  • Not considered is the entry or exit transport into/out of Portugal/Spain.
  • We are digital nomads so base ourselves in accommodation that has good Wi-Fi so that we are able to work when we weren’t walking.
  • Included in the overall daily costs (for the period of time we are in the country) are:
We halved our stuff and sent one backpack straight to Santiago.
We halved our stuff and sent one backpack straight to Santiago.

What Route We Walked

We started from Caminha (on the Portuguese/Spanish border), walking a combination of the Camino Portugués de la Costa, the Camino Portugués Central and the Variante Espiritual.

All up, we stayed in seventeen locations (all for one night only, except Combarro where we stayed two nights). For our full route click on the map below or read our more detailed post.

Map of our stops on the Camino de Santiago in 2019
Map of our stops on the Camino de Santiago in 2019

Accommodation

We slept in a variety of standards of accommodation, from dorm beds in municipal and private albergues to a 4-star hotel. We mixed it up quite a bit. Not only because albergues were not always available, or our own room with bathroom cost the same as two dorm beds. But we also wanted to have a good night’s sleep occasionally. And that was easier to achieve when we didn’t share the room with 10 other people.

Most Expensive Sleep (Casa Puertas in Oia): USD56.22 / EUR50.00 (per room per night)

Least Expensive Sleep (Albergue de Peregrinos Municipal in A Guarda): USD5.62 / EUR5.00 (per person per night)

On the Camino, it's not always 'you get what you pay for': Two dorm beds might cost as much as a room with your own bathroom
On the Camino, it's not always 'you get what you pay for': Two dorm beds might cost as much as a room with your own bathroom

Groceries and Dining

Proportionally, we spent more on dining out than we normally would. This was primarily because we didn’t want to carry more than snacks and water each day.

We usually had one substantial hot meal per day (normally the pilgrim’s lunch or menú del día) and a light, cold evening meal, often a bocadillo (a baguette sandwich) with whatever we could get our hands on jamón (cured ham), queso (cheese), tomatoes, tortilla (Spanish omelette), you name it.

If our accommodation didn’t provide breakfast or we knew there would be no cafeteria/bar nearby to have breakfast, we would buy enough ingredients to make two bocadillos: one for dinner and another one for breakfast the next morning. While a good base for our daily hike, we were over bocadillos by the time we got to Santiago…

Most Expensive Meal (Cafe Bar Riez in Vilanova de Arousa): USD30.83 / EUR27.50 (two people for lunch)

A simple bocadillo like this with tomatoes, jamon, patatas and tortilla was often our dinner on the Camino
A simple bocadillo like this with tomatoes, jamon, patatas and tortilla was often our dinner on the Camino

Transport

These are the costs for the two boat rides involved in doing the Camino Portugués de la Costa (the border crossing into Spain) and the Variante Espiritual (Traslatio boat ride from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecesures – it follows the route St James’ remains traveled).

Our transportation costs do not include the train ride from Porto to Caminha (our starting point).

How much money do you need to travel? We keep tabs on how much we spend as we roam around the world. Check our countries list and work out how much your next trip may cost you.

Communications

This category includes the costs for using our Private Box mail service and to have a minimum credit on our mobile phones to be able to make emergency calls and receive texts.

Our communication costs on the Camino itself were zero, and this is despite the fact that we are bloggers who continued to do at least some work along the way. Rather unexpectedly, every single accommodation we stayed at had wireless internet. Some were faster than others, but all had some internet access allowing us to publish articles, provide updates on social media and respond to messages.

Walking the Camino, you won’t need to get a new SIM card or pay roaming charges to stay connected with your loved ones back home. Just use the Wi-Fi provided at your accommodation or at the many cafes and restaurants along the way.

Travel Costs Summary Table

CategoriesEUR per person per day
CommunicationsEUR0.321%
GroceriesEUR1.684%
DiningEUR16.1639%
LeisureEUR0.230%
AccommodationEUR17.5342%
MiscellaneousEUR1.664%
FinanceEUR0.130%
Health (including Travel Insurance)EUR2.927%
TransportEUR1.263%
Government CostsEUR0.000%
Total per person per dayEUR41.90

19 nights on the Camino Portugués from Caminha, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain: USD1,790.41 / EUR1,592.13 (two people)

Daily Expenses: USD47.12 / EUR41.90 (per person)

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Cash Needs for the Camino

Given restaurants and accommodations along the Camino Portugués don’t always accept credit cards, you do need to carry cash (though not too much for safety reasons). We paid for 39% of our total spend in cash (EUR). The biggest portion of that was on accommodation. There are ATMs in all small towns/larger villages, so you don’t need to withdraw / exchange everything at once.

Other Cost Summaries and Budgets

Other websites have calculated the costs as shown in the table below. We are unsure whether their data includes entry/exit cost. However, it is good to compare our actual versus their data.

NameDaily Amount Per Person - EURTravel Style
Stingy Nomads CostsEUR24.00Budget
Camino AdventuresEUR35.00Budget
65 Litre LifeEUR20.00 / EUR44.29Budget / Mid-range
Backpacking BrunetteEUR40.91Budget
Wayfaring ViewsEUR42.00Mid-range
Gabriel SchirmEUR37.00Budget to Mid-Range

Other web sites such as Numbeo and Price Of Travel do not show consolidated daily averages but break it down by the various items (for example, bread, milk, etc).

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Have you completed the Camino de Santiago? What was your route, when did you do it and more importantly how much did it cost? Please leave a comment below or send us an email.

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How much does it cost to walk the Camino de Santiago?
How much does it cost to walk the Camino de Santiago?
How much does it cost to walk the Camino de Santiago?

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