There are different pilgrimage routes to Santiago. Traditionally, pilgrims left their home to arrive at the “House of Saint James”, the Cathedral, and therefore it would be difficult to establish all the possible pilgrimage routes. The Way of Saint James is not an end in itself, but a means of arriving at the destination: the Tomb of Saint James. However, it can be said that there are several major and traditional routes that receive the greatest flow of pilgrims:
The French Way
The route that is most used today and which enters the Peninsula through Roncesvalles, passing through Pamplona, Logroño, Burgos, León, Astorga, Ponferrada, and entering Galicia through O Cebreiro.
The Northern Way
It borders the Cantabrian coast, passing through Irún, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Gijón, Avilés and entering Galicia through Ribadeo.
The Primitive Way
It begins in Oviedo and leads pilgrims to Santiago through the interior of Asturias, passing through Lugo and joining the Northern Way and the French Way in its final stage.
The English Way
Thus known due to the flow of pilgrims from the British Isles, who travelled by sea and landed in A Coruña or Ferrol and from there continued on foot.
The Portuguese Way
Passes through different routes in Portugal (interior and coast) until it enters Galicia through Tui.
The Vía de la Plata
Begins in Seville and passes through Mérida and Zamora, entering Galicia through Ourense.
The pilgrimage needs to be prepared from different angles: the physical, the spiritual and also by collecting information. This can be obtained from the Pilgrim’s Office, at the Bishoprics, in the Saint James Brotherhoods, and at the Friends of The Way Associations, where former pilgrims and people involved in pilgrimaging provide interesting information and practical advice.