Record pilgrims on el Camino in 2022

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pilgrims standing by Sarria sign

2022 Record Year

Pilgrims were holding back with the pandemic restrictions in 2020 and early 2021, but all worries were gone this year as they returned in record numbers to the Camino.

2022 has been a busy year on el Camino. As of October 16th, more than 400,000 pilgrims arrived in Santiago, shattering all previous records for number of pilgrims walking the Camino- and we are not even done with the year yet.

404,308 people have arrived in Santiago so far this year!

With Covid restrictions easing, people are feeling more comfortable to travel, and with it being the last Holy Year until 2027, travelers decided it was a good time to walk. If you walked this year, you could feel the joyous and celebratory energy of the Camino. You would also see that hotels and restaurants were busy and many pilgrims had to keep walking to smaller villages if they hadn't booked ahead. All of this is just part of the spirit of the Camino.

Weather was unpredictable this year. We had late snow along the French Camino, but then the rest of the season was almost unbearably hot. Pamplona set a record for the hottest day ever recorded and even along the Portuguese coast there were record heat days.

Our guided tours started off with a church group from Houston, Texas, and continued with a couple of Easygoing Caminos with pilgrims from all over. It was a crazy year for travel, as airlines struggled to keep up with demand after the pandemic cuts. Between flight delays and lost luggage events, we had lots of challenges to overcome. Luckily, our travelers had true pilgrim hearts and they met each obstacle with grace and humor (and maybe some extra Spanish wine). It's always heartwarming to see people finish and fall in love with the Camino even when their trip was not exactly perfect.

Our self-guided tours were busy as ever, and we had many repeat travelers venture beyond the typical last 100Km and try out the complete Portuguese route from Lisbon or the French route from Pamplona. Lots of people walk the Camino to celebrate a special occasion. This year we were excited to help a newlywed couple from the states walk the Camino for their honeymoon. We've also had a record number of people walk the Camino del Norte, one of the more challenging hikes.

I've loved keeping in touch with our walkers and receiving pictures from them along the way. With such a busy and crazy travel year, it's safe to say the Camino is once again welcoming her pilgrims with open arms. Reservations for 2023 are already in full force, don't delay if you plan to travel next year.

Buen Camino, friends.

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