Camino de Santiago with a Camper van: what should you know?

An increasingly popular option to do the Camino de Santiago is in a camper van in which to carry everything you need for this adventure

Camper, image from Envato Elements

Camper, image from Envato Elements

The Camino de Santiago is a unique experience, and many choose to do it in the most traditional way: on foot. However, there are several reasons why some prefer to bet on an option that is also a lifestyle in itself and do the Camino de Santiago in a campervan.

Many people have switched to campers beyond tourism, and have turned them into their lifestyle. Living in a camper means leading a minimalist life, far from the routine that is limited to home and work, and mainly nomadic. The freedom to choose where to wake up each day is a unique attraction, and shares the philosophy of the Camino de Santiago of the importance of the way, not just the destination.

Although this lifestyle has been around since the 1960s, it gradually became closer to tourism, but now there is a current that is recovering it, with current technological developments that make life in a campervan somewhat more accessible for those who want to live this way.

Why do the Camino de Santiago in a camper

Preparations are easier, since you don't have to look at all the hostels in advance. You will be able to sleep in a familiar bed each of the nights you spend along the way. In addition, it allows you to carry everything you need, without being as selective in your backpack as a pilgrim on foot has to be.

Another reason to choose this means of doing the Camino de Santiago is for health reasons. Not all of us are in the most adequate physical shape to start walking 30 kilometers a day. The stages can cause a lot of physical wear and tear, which can be avoided by doing the route in a campervan.

If you want to do the Camino de Santiago in record time, without leaving any stage to do, you will not get it faster than in a camper. The Camino is an experience that, on foot, takes time that not all of us have, and in those cases it is much easier to do it in a camper to cover the stages that would take several days in a shorter time.

Camper, image from Envato Elements

Camper, image from Envato Elements

Stages of the Camino de Santiago in camper

Also to do in a camper, the Camino de Santiago offers several routes. However, due to the beauty of the route along the Cantabrian Sea and through mountains, we recommend the Camino by the Coast. The route begins in Irún, crosses the Bidasoa and the Eo to Arzúa, where it coincides with the Camino Frances and arrives at Compostela.

It consists of 35 stages and covers 820 kilometers until it reaches the cathedral of Santiago. We tell you the most important points and where you can spend the night with the camper in each of them.

  • Irún: from here we start the route.
  • Donostia: you can spend the night in the Beiro motorhome area, with 44 places and a rate between €4 and €7, depending on the season.
  • Zarautz: the caravan area is about 10 kilometers from the center, offers 10 places and is free.
  • Bilbao: in the Kobetamendi area there are 70 places and the fare is €15. You can also choose to park at the hostel, which has 8 spaces and a fee of €6.
  • Castro Urdiales: you can park for free in the Cotolino park or outside the Riomar stadium.
  • Santander: the Las Llamas area offers 25 free places.
  • Colombres: the Casa Junco hotel car park has 15 free spaces.
  • Llanes: in the Llanes motorhome area there are 20 places available, with an overnight rate of €3.
  • Ribadesella: the parking area for campers of ​​this town is small, with 5 free places. If you get to Colunga, you will find an area with 20 places with a fee of €4.50.
  • Ribadeo: Parking in Ribadeo is free, but camping is prohibited.
  • Santiago de Compostela: the Compostela area offers 80 places with a fee of €12.

We have left many places in the inkwell, but the good thing about going with the camper is that you can change your route on the fly without losing much time. If you want to know more details about the parking areas for caravans and campers, you can check this guide.


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