Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Monday 23 November |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Miguel Pro
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

You can now hike the Camino de Santiago from anywhere in the world


Simone Ramella | Flickr CC BY 2.0

Theresa Civantos Barber - published on 06/18/20

This "virtual Camino" uses online street view, postcards, and an interactive, real-time map to help you walk the world's most famous pilgrimage route.

The Camino de Santiago is the most famous pilgrimage route in the world, and for good reason. Since the 9th century, countless pilgrims have walked its 480 miles (772 km) to the Shrine of St. James the Apostle, in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Thousands of people plan to make this pilgrimage each year, especially in the summer. This year, the pandemic-related travel restrictions have upended those plans. But a virtual Camino challenge is making it possible for people all over the world to “walk the Camino,” from wherever they are.

Signing up for the challenge includes the following benefits:

  • Virtual postcards along the journey
  • Ability to track your progress through an interactive map on web or mobile app
  • Street view of your virtual location
  • Finisher’s medal upon completion
  • Personalized digital certificate of completion

One of the Camino pilgrims-from-home is Katie Murphy, a Wisconsin mom who homeschools her six children. She decided to do the challenge as a way to bring together her interest in the Camino and her love for running.

“I have always wanted to complete the real Camino as a pilgrimage,” she said. “I’ve read Fr Dave Pivonka’s book about his experience on the Camino and I have watched the movie The Way.”

With six children at home, Murphy says she’s not in a phase of life to complete the real Camino, but the virtual one intrigued her. When a friend sent her information about it, she thought it would be a wonderful way to experience the Camino without traveling to Spain. The challenge would also encourage and motivate her as a runner.

“I love to run,” she said, “so this is perfect to challenge me to get a lot of miles in for exercise as well.”

Even from home, the challenge can be a real spiritual journey, as pilgrims undertake prayers and devotions. Murphy makes a point to pray for specific intentions on her Camino.

“I have asked friends via social media for prayer petitions,” Murphy said, “and I intentionally pray for those who have asked for prayers while I am completing the miles.”

She’s greatly enjoyed the virtual Camino, and for anyone interested in signing up, she has these words of encouragement:

If you are even considering doing the challenge, just dive right in and sign up! It is far better organized and interactive than I even hoped it would be. It is a great way to challenge yourself physically and spiritually. I have enjoyed receiving the postcards with more detailed information of where I am on my journey. And I love being able to see where I am on the real Camino via the interactive maps. It is also pretty neat to see how many other people are on the journey too.

The virtual Camino can be a source of reflection and physical and spiritual growth, even without leaving your hometown.

“I think so many people feel burdened by the weight of all that has been happening in our nation over the last few months,” Murphy said,.”This challenge is a great way to refocus spiritually and physically.”


Read more:
Retired doctor walks Camino pilgrimage in own driveway, raises $15,000


Read more:
Camino in a wheelchair: Two best friends on a 500-mile spiritual pilgrimage

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful...
Theresa Civantos Barber
5 Quotes from the saints to help you deal wit...
Kathleen N. Hattrup
Learn to pray with Mary with these 12 insight...
Giuseppe Moscati
Larry Peterson
A volcano, a plague, a war: This doctor-saint...
J-P Mauro
Cardinal calls Catholics to attend global Euc...
Luz Ivonne Ream
What’s the secret of this couple’s 64 years o...
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio's favorite prayer of petition
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.