03 Aug 20

Hiking in Spain with dietary restrictions

Mel Reynolds Camino

Having specific dietary needs can be a daunting prospect when you travel overseas and Spain is no different. However, with a little preparation, you can make the most of the huge variety of fantastic food in Spain and your holiday hassle-free. There are some tips for you below. These suggestions apply if you have common specific dietary preferences or requirements such as food allergies, gluten intolerance, being vegetarian, or medical conditions such as diabetes or allergies.

Educate yourself about the type of food likely to be available on the Camino. Look at online forums and blogs to see how others have handled their needs. You can search using terms like ‘gluten-free or vegan on the Camino. See if there is a local association in Australia and Spain and if they have suggestions.

Learn and practise the Spanish phrase for your particular requirement so there is no confusion with communication.

Print a specific language card in Spanish and take this with you so it is readily available to use in restaurants, supermarkets and your accommodation. You can then inform the property or restaurant so there is no confusion when you are sitting down to eat. This may also apply to foods you can eat so you can find them easily. See: SelectWisely.comAllergyTranslation.com

Take suitable snacks from home and make sure these are unopened on arrival into Spain so you have supplies during your trip. These can be transferred in your main bag apart from what you will need each day en route.

RAW Travel Camino trips include breakfast and we will inform the properties and most will do their best to accommodate dietary requirements although they are not always understood. It is important you reiterate this when you check in. If you are fructose intolerant for example, you may need to explain which foods you can not eat. The breakfasts will be a mix of home cooked meals in the casa rurales, to a simple continental style breakfast to a full buffet breakfast. Where possible, we would try and accommodate you where there is more choice.

Be flexible where possible. Understand that dietary intolerances of preferences are not as prevalent or as well understood in Spain. There may be misunderstandings and common ones for vegetarians are ‘vegetarian soups made with meat stock’ and ‘salad with tuna’.

Seek out eating places that will suit you, eg Kosher restaurants will not serve pork, Indian restaurants will not serve beef, and Italian and Indian restaurants usually have good vegetarian options.

Buy fresh and clean. Make the most of the local markets and shops and buy snacks such as fruit, vegetables and nuts where you can see the ingredients rather than muesli bars where you may not be sure of the content.

If you have medical needs (eg for diabetes or allergies) take your medication and a spare script with you. Make sure your insurance covers you for anaphylaxis and take a treatment plan with you.

Let the airline know and pre-order your meal. Most, but not all, airlines can cater for specific needs.

Useful phrases

Vegetarians / Vegans

  • Do you have any vegetarian meals? Tiene un menú para vegetarianos?
  • Without meat, please. Sin carne, por favor.
  • I do not eat meat. No como carne.
  • Does it have meat? Lleva carne?
  • I am a vegan. Soy vegano.
  • Without tuna, please. Sin atún, por favor.
  • I do not eat meat, dairy, eggs or any animal products. No como carne, lácteos, huevos o productos de origen animal.

You have two economical options when eating out. The pilgrim’s menu (Menu del Peregrino), which is a set 3-course menu for a set price, or the daily menu (Menu del Día), which offers more variety. When ordering the daily menu ask for two starters instead of the main course as it tends to be meat laden. This way you will usually have a combination of a vegetarian soup, pasta, and salad, with wine and dessert.


I have a nut allergy. Soy alérgico a los frutos secos.

I cannot eat foods or beverages that contain peanuts, peanut butter, peanut flour, peanut oil, nuts, cereals, muesli. Please do not bring foods or beverages with these ingredients. Can you recommend something else?
Hola, soy alérgico a los frutos secos. Comer alimentos que contengan cacahuete, mantequilla de cacahuete, harina de cacahuete, aceite de cacahuete, frutos secos, cereales, muesli me sentarán mal. Por favor, no me traiga comida o bebida que contenga estos ingredientes. Por favor, recomendar otra cosa.

I have an egg allergy. Soy alérgico a los huevos.

I am allergic to seafood. Soy alérgico a los mariscos.

I am allergic to soy. Soy alérgica a la soja.

Lactose intolerance
I am lactose intolerant. Soy alérgico a los productos lácteos.

Gluten intolerance
I am gluten intolerant. Soy celíaca/o. Tengo intolerancia al gluten.


  • Celiac. Celiaquía
  • I cannot eat wheat, barley, rye or oats: No puedo comer trigo, centeno, cebada y avena.

I am diabetic. Soy diabético.

Mel Reynolds

Written By

Mel Reynolds

Mel is the Sales Manager and Co-Owner of RAW Travel. She has spent a lifetime hiking many of the world's best trails. Mel believes the best way to understand the world is to explore it on foot. Many of her fondest memories are food related! She always has a great story to tell and loves creating memorable experiences for RAW clients.

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