2021 is a Holy Year, so there will be many more pilgrims on the Camino trail than in other years. While it may seem wise to hold off committing to travel next year, there are compelling reasons to go ahead and book now.

Every year, thousands of Australians (and many more from around the world) head to Europe to walk the El Camino de Santiago trail. In 2021, there will be many more pilgrims on the Camino trail than in other years, particularly in the last sections from Sarria to Santiago and on the Portuguese route from Baiona to Santiago.

This is because Pope Francis announced 2021 as the Holy Year of Mercy. Traditionally on these designated ‘holy years’ many more people make the special pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela on foot via France, Spain, and Portugal.

There is so much fascinating history and ceremony around holy years. You can read more about this very special Camino year here.

On 1 July, Spain will welcome back some European pilgrims with hotels and albergues adapting to new regulations. The Camino will require more planning and compliance with the local regulations, and there will be some changes, but we are excited that it will soon be open again.

We understand your uncertainty about whether to book your 2021 travel plans. But to have the experience of a lifetime on the Camino in 2021, you will need to book early – it is the only way we will be able to secure accommodation at our preferred hotels and avoid disappointment. If you wait until December to book, we may not be able to secure any availability at all for 2021 as most of the Camino accommodation closes during the European winter months.

If you have preferred travel dates, we strongly encourage you to book as soon as possible. You only need $1 to secure your booking for 2021.

We have set departures (with accommodation secured for 2021) as well as new ‘essentials’ options in Spain and Portugal for pilgrims who would prefer not to use traditional dorm-style accommodation. For these trips, we have hand-selected well-located, clean and comfortable properties to ensure you have a comfortable stay and can relax and enjoy the Camino de Santiago.

Essential Sarria to Santiago (8 days, self guided)

There is something for everyone along this section of the Camino: historic sites and churches, beautiful views, local cuisine and the companionship of other pilgrims, to name a few. The countryside is beautiful and it is the perfect walk to get a taste of Spanish culture and the rural lifestyles in Spain. And of course you get to experience the crowning glory of walking into Santiago de Compostela!

Cost: from $895pp (twin share)


Essential Portuguese Coastal Camino – Porto to Santiago (15 days, self guided)

This section of the stunning Portuguese Coastal Camino is bursting with history, vibrant towns and natural beauty. From charming Porto you’ll traverse the Atlantic coast of northern Portugal before heading inland after Pontevedra in Spain and continuing to Santiago de Compostela.

from $1760pp (twin share)


Get expert travel advice from hikers who’ve walked the world!

Contact our Camino Destination Specialists at [email protected] to find out more.