Home Travel The Camino Inglés – detailed guide & walking stages

The Camino Inglés – detailed guide & walking stages

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The Camino Inglés or the English Way is one of the shorter routes of the Camino de Santiago network in Europe. This route is growing in popularity, every year more and more pilgrims choose this Camino, but it’s still far from being as busy and crowded as the Camino Francés. It’s considered that the English Way was established as a route in the 12th century when pilgrims from England and Northern European Countries arrived in A Coruña and some other Spanish ports by ship and continued on foot to Santiago de Compostela. According to the Pilgrims’ Reception Office in 2018, over 14 000 pilgrims completed the Camino Inglés which is only 4% of the pilgrims.

For us, the English Way was our 6th Camino de Santiago that we completed in a year and probably the easiest one due to its short distance.

Camino Inglés route options

There are two routes on the Camino; the first starts in Ferrol, total distance 116 km, the second starts in A Coruña, total distance 74 km. We’ve walked only the route from Ferrol, but from what we’ve read the route from A Coruña is not well-marked, it’s tricky to find the way and you have to use GPS navigation sometimes. Both routes join at Hospital de Bruma and continue to Santiago together.

We read in some online sources that though the route from A Coruña is shorter than 100 km (the required walking minimum to get the Compostela) pilgrims can still get the Compostela for completing this route. We inquired about it at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office in Santiago de Compostela and as for June 2019 it’s not exactly right; only pilgrims who live in A Coruña and walk from there to Santiago can get the Compostela. Another option if you started walking let’s say somewhere in Ireland (like old-times pilgrims did), then arrive in Spain and continue walking from A Coruña and your total walked distance is more than 100 km then you can get your Compostela. If you just start in A Coruña (you don’t live there) and walk 74 km to Santiago you won’t be able to get the Compostela for this route.

Camino Inglés facts

  • Distance – 116 km/72 mi
  • The time required – 4-6 days
  • Starting point – Ferrol
  • Finishing point – Santiago de Compostela
  • Total ascend (in 5 days) – 2520 m
  • Total descend (in 5 days) – 2230 m
  • Walking surface – 82 km out of 116 km on asphalt
  • Route marking – distance poles, yellow arrows, and shells
  • Average cost – 25€ per person per day
  • Accommodation – public and private albergues, hotels

Camino de Santiago dictionary

Camino – “way” in Spanish.

Peregrino – “pilgrim” in Spanish.

Credential – a small paper book or spreadsheet with your name on it and places for stamps, at every albergue or hotel you stay you get a stamp into your Credential

Albergue – a special place where pilgrims can stay. There are two types of albergues; public and private, only pilgrims with Credentials can stay in public albergues, private albergues are more like hostels anybody can stay there.

Compostela – a certificate a pilgrim can get at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office in Santiago de Compostela after walking at least the last 100 km of any Camino route finishing in Santiago de Compostela. To get the Compostela you have to show you Credential with stamps.

A pilgrim's credential with stamps, Camino de Santiago
A pilgrim’s Credential with stamps from different albergues and bars on the route. A must-have item for getting the Compostela.

Need to know about the route

The English Way is the shortest Camino de Santiago route (except Camino Finisterre which starts in Santiago de Compostela), it’s a great route for first-time pilgrims who want to get a taste of the Camino before starting one of the longer routes.

The Camino Inglés goes through only one Spanish region – Galicia.

You have to carry your Credential with and make sure you get stamped at every place you stay. Many restaurants on the way offer stamps as well. As for June 2019 to get the Compostela, it’s required to have 2 stamps per day for the last 100 km; one you can get at the albergue/hotel you stay and one in a restaurant/café or church on the way. The whole Camino Inglés is only 116 km basically you need two stamps for every day on this route. We didn’t get two stamps on the first day and it wasn’t a problem for getting the Compostela.

Though it’s a short route some parts of it can be quite challenging due to several ascends and descends on the way.

It’s possible to arrange luggage transfer on the route, there are several companies that do luggage delivery on the Camino Inglés, Correos – a Spanish post office is probably the biggest one here. They pick your backpack/suitcase at one place and deliver it to the next stop so when you arrive your luggage is already there.

Having a local SIM card is almost necessary for this Camino to phone albergues, to find accommodation on the map, etc.

In Spain supermarkets and shops are closed on Sundays and public holidays.

Distance pole on the Camino Inglés, Galicia, Spain
The English Way from the start till the end is marked with the distance poles – a traditional route marking in Galicia

Packing list for the English Way

A great advantage of this route is its short distance, only 116 km, compared to the other Camino routes so you’ll need less than a week to complete it which means you can reduce your luggage to the minimum. We have a detailed Camino de Santiago packing list post where you can find packing tips for both men and women for different seasons. Here it is!

Detailed packing list for the Camino de Santiago

Best season for walking

From our Camino experience in Galicia, you can be lucky or unlucky with the weather regardless of the season, we had some cold and rainy days in June and nice and sunny days in October but in general, it rains a lot here. Obviously, summer is the warmest time with the least rain and the sunniest days. We usually try to walk the Camino not in peak season, July and August as it’s the busiest time. May, June, and September are good months for walking the English Way; warm but not too hot, not too much rain and not too many people. April and October can be nice as well if you’re lucky with the weather. Walking this Camino completely off-season (November – March) is quite risky as you might walk the entire route in the pouring rain.

We walked the Camino Inglés at the end of May – the beginning of June and were very lucky with the weather it was very hot for Galicia, about 30-32°C, we got light rain only one morning, the rest of the time it was sunny. I must say the year before we walked the Camino Primitivo at about the same time and it was totally different; cold and rainy for 10 days.

Camino Inglés cost

Accommodation. Public albergues cost between 6€ and 7€ per person. Private albergues/hostels 12-15€ per person. Hotels/guesthouses – from 29€ for a double and 20€ for a single room.  

Eating out. Traditional Menu del Día (a set meal with starter, main, bread, drink, dessert or coffee) is about 10-12€. A tapa (Tortilla, sandwich, etc.) from 1,5€. A cup of coffee from 1€. Breakfast (Tostada/croissant and coffee) from 2,5€. Beer/glass of wine – 1-2€.

Shopping (food). We bought stuff in supermarkets and made our food most of the time, our average shopping bill for two meals (dinner and breakfast) was about 7€ per person. It’s definitely cheaper to make your own food than to eat out.

Transport. Buses from A Coruña to Ferrol cost 8€ per person. If you land in Madrid a bus to Ferrol will cost from 26€ (on ALSA website), the journey takes 8 hours. A train from Madrid to Ferrol costs 40€, it takes 7 hours to get there. Tickets can be purchased on RENFE website. Getting to Ferrol from Barcelona takes longer and costs more. 

Distance pole marking the last 8 km to Santiago de Compostela on the English Way of the Camino de Santiago
Alya at the pole marking last 8 km to Santiago de Compostela on the English Way

Our budget break down, 5 days, 2 people

We stayed 3 nights in public albergues, 1 night in a hotel and 1 night in a private albergue. We cooked our own food most of the time though one day we had to eat out three times because it was Sunday and all the shops and supermarkets were closed. We often stopped for coffee, average twice a day, and sometimes went out for a beer or a glass of wine.

  • Accommodation – 97€
  • Eating out – 57€
  • Shopping (food) – 62€
  • Coffee – 20€
  • Transport (bus A Coruña – Ferrol) – 16€
  • Laundry – 5€

Total: 257€ or 25€ per person per day

Accommodation on the English Way

There are different accommodation options on the route from public albergues (the most budget options) to private albergues and hotels, which one to choose depends on your budget and preferences. We personally most of the time stay in public albergues, on the longer Camino routes once a week we book a private room in a hotel. This Camino is pretty short so even if you stay in private every night it won’t ruin your budget.

Public albergues (6-7€ pp.) on the English Way can be found in;

  • Neda
  • Pontedeume
  • Miño
  • Betanzos (as for June 2019 this albergue has only 6 beds available due to the renovation)
  • Presedo
  • Hospital de Bruma

More accommodation options on the route

Ferrol (0 km) we listed here the closets to the Camino starting point hotels

Neda (14 km)

Fene (18 km)

Pontedeume (28 km)

Exterior of the public albergue in Hospital de Bruma, the English Way of the Camino de Santiago
Public albergue in Hospital de Bruma, the Camino Inglés

Miño (40 km)

Betanzos (51 km)

Presedo (63 km)

  • Luxury | Rectoral de Cines (away from the Camino but according to the pilgrim’s reviews they offer free pick up and drop off) |

Hospital de Bruma (76 km)

  • Luxury | Hotel Canaima (away from the route, provide free pick up and drop off for pilgrims) |

San Paio de Buscás (83 km)

Hotel Restaurante Nogallás (about 3 km past San Paio, away from the route)

Sigüeiro (100 km)

Santiago de Compostela (116 km)

First of all, I’d like to mention one absolutely amazing place to stay right next to the cathedral San Martín Pinario or Seminario Mayor, they have special prices for pilgrims. It can be booked over e-mail reservas@sanmartinpinario.eu or phone (+34) 981 56 02 82. Double room with bathroom – 40€, single room – 25€. I’d strongly recommend to book it beforehand especially in season, in June we were told it was booked two weeks ahead.

There are many places to stay in Santiago for private albergues and hostels to fancy hotels and apartments.

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, the end of all the Camino de Santiago routes
The finishing point of the Camino de Santiago; Praza do Obradoiro and the cathedral

Travel insurance for the Camino Inglés

Walking like any other outdoor activity involves a risk of getting an injury or losing some of your gear. It’s always recommended to have travel insurance when you go away. The Camino Inglés is not an exclusion though it’s not a high altitude hike through remote areas it’s still a physically challenging experience. It’s good to know that your insurance will cover you in case of any unpredictable emergency be it an injury, gear loss or device break down. 

World Nomads insurance company operates all over the world, they have special packages for passionate walkers. It doesn’t matter where you live or where you are at the moment, it takes less than 2 minutes to get a quote and you can buy it online even if you are already traveling. We advise always to read the small print and be sure you buy the correct policy. 

Note! If you have a European Health Insurance card you don’t need any other medical insurance for Spain.

Day 0. Getting to Ferrol

We arrived here from Portugal for us it was a long bus journey with two switches; Lisbon – Vigo, Vigo – A Coruña (same bus ticket) and A Coruña – Ferrol. I’m pretty confident you can get a direct bus to A Coruña from most big Spanish cities e.g. Madrid, Barcelona, etc. From A Coruña there are many buses to Ferrol they leave every hour or so, the journey takes about 1 hour, price 8€ per person. All buses leave and arrive from the same bus terminal in A Coruña it’s easy to switch the bus there.

There are no public albergues in Ferrol only private hostels and hotels. We stayed at Hotel Almendra, about 700 m from the bus station and 1 km from the port. The place was nice and clean, we got a private room with a bathroom for 29€.

Day 1. Ferrol – Neda, 14 km

  • Time – 2h45min.
  • Ascend – 178 m
  • Descend – 160 m
  • Walking on asphalt – 10 km, basically most of the day though here and there you walk on the gravel road or boardwalk.
  • Walking on the road – 0 km
  • Difficulty level – 1 out of 5, very short and easy day
Elevation profile Day 1 of Camino Inglés, Camino de Santiago, Spain
Elevation profile Day 1; Ferrol to Neda. As you can see there are no significant ascends and descends on the route.

The Camino starts at the port of Ferrol, there is a route marking pole next to the restaurant. We didn’t use any GPS or map to find the starting point just asked locals where the port (Puerto) is and once we got there we found the sign quite easily. From there on the route was marked well all the way to Neda.

Route map Ferrol to Neda, the English Way, Spain
Route map Day 1 walk from Ferrol to Neda, the English Way of St.James

We started walking quite late and for this reason, we decided to stop in Neda if you start early morning it might be better to continue walking but the next public albergue is 15 km away from Neda which means your first walking day will be 29 km.

A church and a cross on the way from Ferro to Neda, the Camino Inglés,
The scenery on the first day of the Camino Inglés, on the way from Ferrol to Neda

Highlights

  • The port and the historical center of Ferrol

Challenges

  • Nothing specific just a lot of walking on a hard surface 

Neda

Neda is a nice small town on the river.

Albergue de peregrinos de Neda

A typical municipal (public) albergue, quite spacious, located very close to the route, in the tranquil area close to the river. To get in you have to phone the hospitalero (host) and get a code to open a box with a key. The hospitalero arrives at 8 pm to do check-in. Price 6€ per person.

Day 2. Neda – Miño, 26 km

  • Time – 5h50min.
  • Ascend – 648 m
  • Descend – 641 m
  • Walking on asphalt – 19 km
  • Walking on the road – 700 m
  • Difficulty level – 4 out of 5, a relatively long walking day with a couple of very steep ascends and descends
Elevation profile Day 2 Camino Ingles, Spain
Elevation profile Day 2; Neda to Miño. Here start the hills.

It was a long and pretty challenging day but there were many places to stop on the way for coffee, lunch and rest. We stopped 3 times it made the walk nicer and easier. The first half of the day the route went through suburbial areas with not much to see. After that, the route became more scenic we got to walk through the beautiful forest from time to time.

Pontedeume is about halfway for the day, a great place to stop for coffee or lunch. If you have time you can walk around a bit and do some sightseeing. Another option is to stop here and continue walking the next day.

Note! In Pontedeume the route is marked with metal shells on the ground, don’t miss them.

Route map Day 2 Neda to Miño, Camino Inglés
Route map Day 2 walk from Neda to Miño.

Walking through the forest we saw several stands with shells (a traditional symbol of the Camino) that you could purchase for donation and two or three spots with cooler boxes with cool drinks, juices, and water – for donation as well, we haven’t seen it before on any other Camino route.

After Pontedeume the scenery became less urbanized, more walking through the forest and fields.

Shells for sale and a donation box on the English Way of St.James
Shells (a traditional symbol of the Camino) for sale in the forest on the Camino Inglés, Galicia

Highlights

  • The historical center of Pontedeume; Torreón de los Andrade, Puente de Piedra, Iglesia Parroquial de Santiago and a couple of other churches in the historical center of the town.
  • Beautiful lush green forest
  • Playa Grande de Miño, close to the albergue

Challenges

  • A couple of steep ascends in the second half of the day starting from Pontedeume.
  • A lot of walking on asphalt which makes your feet quite tired compared to walking on a footpath or gravel road.

Miño

Don’t miss the albergue sign in Miño, it’s on the opposite side of the Tourism information sign, pointing the same direction as the information office, after that there are signs on the righthand side of the road pointing to the albergue.  

Albergue de peregrinos de Miño

A nice and new albergue, located about 700 m away from the Camino in a quiet spot next to the river, close to a nice sandy beach. Price 6€ per person. Because we walked different stages from those that are suggested by the guidebooks most pilgrims walk past Miño) we were the only pilgrims in the albergue.  

Day 3. Miño – Presedo, 23 km

  • Time – 4h53min.
  • Ascend – 700 m
  • Descend – 556 m
  • Walking on asphalt – 21 km basically the whole day
  • Walking on the road – 4 km, the last 3 km to Presedo were on the road
  • Difficulty level – 4 out of 5
Camino Inglés Day 3 elevation profile. Camino de Santiago, Spain
Elevation profile Day 3: Miño to Presedo

The first half of the walk to Betanzos went quick, we stopped in the town for about 1-1,5 hours to drink coffee and to do some sightseeing, there are many interesting places to see luckily most of them are on the route or not far away from it.

After Betanzos the Camino continued climbing up and down almost non stop which was fine till the last 3 km that we had to walk on the road, it wasn’t a very busy road but there were some trucks and buses driving by.  

During the whole day, we saw only four pilgrims but when we arrived in Presedo there were 6 other people in the albergue.

Route map Day 3 Miño to Presedo, the English Way of St.James
Route map Day 3 walk from Miño to Presedo, the English Way of St.James

Highlights

  • The beautiful forest outside of Miño
  • The historical center of Betanzos; Plaza of Irmáns García Naveira, Plaza de la Constitución, several churches, and historical buildings.

Challenges

  • Walking  on asphalt all day
  • Many steep ascends and descends
  • Walking on the road for the last 3 km
Betanzos town, the English Way, Camino de Santiago
A beautiful town of Betanzos a well-worth stop on the way

Presedo

Presedo is not a town there is only an albergue and a restaurant, your food options are to eat in the restaurant (about 500 m away from the albergue) or to bring food from Betanzos and cook your own meal (the albergue has a kitchen). There are two or three big supermarkets in Betanzos (Lidl, Eroski, Gadis, etc.), about 100 m away from the Camino, at the exit from the city; at the roundabout turn right and go two or three blocks down the street.

Albergue de peregrinos de Presedo

Albergue is located about 400 m from the restaurant and 200 m from the Camino route, there is a sign pointing the direction. If you arrive first you’ll have to phone the person in charge (Mari) and she’ll explain to you how to get the key to open the albergue, she comes at 7 pm to do check-in.  Price 7€.

Day 4. Presedo – Sigüeiro, 37 km

  • Time – 7h40min.
  • Ascend – 673 m
  • Descend – 581 m
  • Walking on the asphalt – 22 km most part of the day
  • Walking on the road – 4 km
  • Difficulty level – 5 out of 5
English Way Camino de Santiago elevation profile Day 4
Elevation profile Day 4; Presedo to Sigüeiro

Note! We wanted to have one long walking day on this Camino, for this reason, we decided to walk two stages in one day if you’re not up for this it’s better to split this day into two stages; Presedo – Hospital de Bruma, 13 km and Hospital de Bruma – Sigüeiro, 24 km. A good thing about walking a short stage to Hospital de Bruma is that you’ll definitely arrive there before the majority of pilgrims (who come from Betanzos) which can guarantee you a spot. 

Route map Day 4 Presedo to Sigüeiro, Camino Inglés, Spain
Route map Day 4 walk from Presedo to Sigüeiro. A very long walking day

The first 30 km went quick though the main ascend for the day was right in the beginning in the first 2 hours or so. As usual, we stopped for coffee several times, it was a nice day, part of the walk was through the forest nice and quiet scenery. The last 6-7 km were not that pleasant we started getting tired the route got very monotonous (walking next to the highway) and it was quite hot. We were very happy when we finally reached Sigüeiro.

Fields on the 4th day of the Camino Ingles, Galicia, Spain
A typical scenery for the day on the way from Presedo to Sigüeiro

Highlights

  • Beautiful Galician forest
  • At 16 km in front of the bar, there are several metal and stone sculptures of people and animals, the most impressive is a giant dinosaur.

Challenges

  • Walking on asphalt for most of the day
  • Very long distance  
  • Steep ascends in the first half of the day
  • The last 4-5 km to Sigüeiro next to the highway and then 1 km on the road (not very busy) past the industrial area of the town.

Sigüeiro

This town is a great stop before Santiago there are a couple of private albergues and several hotels though no public albergue here.

 

Albergue Camino Real

A great place right on the Camino very easy to find just follow Camino signs through Sigüeiro and you won’t miss it. The albergue has very good facilities, it’s very comfortable, the location is perfect; close to the supermarket, ATMs, restaurants and right on the route. Price 15€ per bed including breakfast.

Day 5. Sigüeiro – Santiago de Compostela, 16,5 km

  • Time – 3h23min.
  • Ascend – 321 m
  • Descend – 292 m
  • Walking on asphalt – 10 km in the beginning and at the end of the day
  • Walking on the road – 0 km, no road walking today!
  • Difficulty level – 2 out of 5
Camino Ingles Day 5 elevation profile, Camino de Santiago
Elevation profile Day 5 Sigüeiro to Santiago de Compostela

If you want to arrive in time for the pilgrims’ mass that takes place at 12 pm every day it’s better to leave early, at 8 am the latest, to have enough time to store your backpack and get a spot in the cathedral. Note! You’re not allowed to enter the cathedral with a backpack you can leave it in your hotel in Santiago if it’s not far or you can store it at the storage (2 Euro for up to 24 hours) for the time of the mass and pick it up later. The storage is about 200 m from Plaza Obradoiro in front of the Pilgrims’ Reception Office.

Route map Day 5 of the Camino Inglés
Route map Day 5 walk from Sigüeiro to Santiago de Compostela. The last day of the English Way

Time went very fast we didn’t even notice how we got to the outskirts of Santiago, from there it’s about 5 km more to walk through the city to the cathedral. There is a church Parroquia de San Caetano on the way where you can get the last stamp before the cathedral. Out of all the Camino routes we’ve done the part of the English Way through the city is probably the best and the shortest.

The Enchanted forest, English Way, Camino de Santiago
The Enchanted forest on the English Way, just before entering Santiago de Compostela

Highlights

  • Beautiful forest Bosque Encantado (Enchanted forest) in the middle of the day
  • Arriving in Santiago de Compostella – the highlight of the route, always a magical feeling of seeing hundreds of pilgrims coming from different directions to Plaza de Obradoiro.

Challenges

  • Several short ascends and descends
  • A part of the last 5 km to the cathedral the route goes through the industrial outskirts of Santiago de Compostela.

If after finishing the English Way you feel like walking for a couple of more days the Camino Finisterre-Muxía is a great option. It starts from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela and takes you through the Galician forest to the sea, to Finisterre Cape. If you don’t have enough time to complete the route or don’t feel like walking anymore you can always do a bus tour from Santiago and visit the cape and the surrounding area.

Getting the Compostela at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office

The Office is opened from 8 am to 8 pm but there are many people inside they might close the gate at 7 pm or even a bit earlier make sure to arrive early enough.

For many people it’ a must-do thing after finishing the Camino after the Camino Inglés we went for the first time to get the Compostela though we’ve walked 6 different routes, we could get the Compostelas for the previous Caminos that we walked last year as well.

In our experience, the best time to go for the certificate is late afternoon/evening when there are the least people e.g. we went at 11 am, 1 pm and 6.30 pm and the latest time was the best there were only 10 people before us when the queue at the earlier times was about 60 people.

To get your Compostela you’ll need a Credential with stamps and a passport (sometimes they ask to show it if they are not sure about your name spelling in the Credential). The Compostela is free, you don’t pay anything for that. You can get the Certificate of Distance as well, it is similar to the Compostela but has more details on the route you walked like the starting point, total distance, etc., it costs 3€. To keep your Compostela safe you can buy a special tube for it we had our Compostelas in there in our check-in luggage and they were like new without any damage after the flight.

As I already mentioned before, according to the new rules, you need two stamps a day for the last 100 km for any Camino route which basically means two stamps for every day of the English Way.

Books and guidebooks for the English Way

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