Do you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago with your children? Which route is best for them? We tell you what you will need before launching with children to the Jacobean route
Unfortunately, at present, day-to-day work keeps many parents away from their children throughout the year. The routine leaves little room to spend the time that we would like with the little ones of the house, so in vacation time it is normal to feel indebted to them. The summer holidays and Easter holidays are perfect for a good family getaway with the little ones and organize an unforgettable adventure for everyone. Walking the Camino de Santiago with children can be a great choice regardless of age, although it is recommended that at least have reached the age of 3 years.
Although making the Camino de Santiago with children is a highly recommended experience, it is imperative to take certain precautions and plan the pilgrimage very well. Surely never before the children have walked so many tens of kilometers in a week, so you have to prepare them physically and mentally, in addition to being very attentive to their state at all times.
It is possible to cross several stages of the Camino de Santiago with children from 3 years of age, but you must keep in mind that you need a cart adapted for mountain, because sooner or later they will tire of walking. If children are over 6 years old you can do without the cart, although we must always be very attentive to detect symptoms of tiredness in them, stopping when necessary (hourly should be a little break) and ensuring that they are always hydrated.
The French Way is the best way to go with children. It is the Jacobean route that has more services and accommodation, besides being the most traveled, especially in the last 100 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela. In this last section we will find more places to rest and to supply us than in any other of the French Way, and also the little ones will know with ease walking to other children with whom to relate. In the French Way children will enjoy urban environments such as Santiago de Compostela, a rich cultural heritage and incomparable natural landscapes such as those of Galicia.
It is necessary to introduce the children to the Camino de Santiago, little by little, since it involves a considerable physical effort for them. Therefore especially in the first stages we must be very attentive to make frequent breaks each hour walked. A recommendable itinerary within the French Way are its last 100 kilometers from Sarria, which normally take place in 4 stages. With children, the best idea is to plan this route to Santiago so that each stage does not exceed 15 kilometers, a recommended distance for children.
An extendible advice for all pilgrims is to start walking from early morning to stop at noon, when the hottest hours of the day arrive. Walking from noon can bring us some displeasure in the form of sunshine or dehydration and is that the resistance of children is not comparable to that of an adult. In addition, arriving before noon at the end of the stage, there is more possibility of not finding the complete hostels.
Children are no different from the elders in this; We all have to prepare a few weeks before embarking on a journey where we are going to walk tens of kilometers a day. It is not something that most of us usually do, so prepare to not meet with an unpleasant surprise by doing the Camino. A good idea is to start preparing for a month and a half or two months in advance, and for this it is best to go hiking trails that we find near our locality. If the child is old enough to carry weight on the Road (his own backpack), it is advisable to wear it and, of course, most importantly, to wear the same footwear during its preparation. No brand new boots or sneakers at the beginning of the Road.
The Camino de Santiago is a living experience of cultural leisure that will surely arouse the curiosity of children. We must begin to tell you several months before what the adventure in which the whole family is going to embark, all the amazing things that we are going to discover and all the places we are going to visit. Walking on the Camino de Santiago is a very varied and enriching experience in which you meet new people, you can see animals and you are in full contact with nature. Neither is it wrong to start them on the history of the Camino de Santiago, to tell them.
© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649