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How many stamps are required to receive a certificate of completion Compostela?

Toncho

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances March - April 2017
#1
I'm guessing this question has been asked before but I cannot find the answer in the FAQ's etc.. My guide book suggests that a credential requires 2x stamps per day. Am I right in assuming this is only meant for those pilgrims who walk just the last 100 km and that folk (like myself) who intend to hike the complete SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela route only need to have their credential stamped once each day? I realise that in addition to albergues and hotels, bars and restaurants also give out stamps but I would just like to avoid the hassle if its not strictly required.
Buen Camino!
Tony
 

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W

whariwharangi

Guest
#3
I'm guessing this question has been asked before but I cannot find the answer in the FAQ's etc.. My guide book suggests that a credential requires 2x stamps per day. Am I right in assuming this is only meant for those pilgrims who walk just the last 100 km and that folk (like myself) who intend to hike the complete SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela route only need to have their credential stamped once each day? I realise that in addition to albergues and hotels, bars and restaurants also give out stamps but I would just like to avoid the hassle if its not strictly required.
Buen Camino!
Tony
Here is Santiago Pilgrim office website faqs. There is a stated requirement for 2 stamps per day for the last 100 km. I obtained 1 per day from SJPdP to Santiago ... as per the instructions in my credencial ... and received a compostela. I guess the staff has discretion to decide if you are gaming the system or not.
https://oficinadelperegrino.com/en/faqs/
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012-13; 2013-4;2016-17 SDC-Muxia-Finisterre 2015, 2018 Ferrol-SDC 2018
#4
Yes 2 stamps a day if you are walking from Sarria , but only 1 if starting from SJPP.

Feel free to get extra if you want - I got additional ones at the last stop in France and also at the church in Navarette. They leave a lasting memory when you look back at the Credential after you have finished.
 

Toncho

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances March - April 2017
#5
Sorry Tony but you will need 2 stamps per day from Sarria to SDC, it's really no big deal getting them, one where you overnight and the other where you have breakfast or lunch.
Hi Waka
Many thanks for your swift and helpful response.
All the best
Tony
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#6
Yes 2 stamps a day if you are walking from Sarria , but only 1 if starting from SJPP.
That may often be the case, in practice, but the stated requirement is that you get 2 stamps/day for the section from Sarria to Santiago (i.e. no matter where you started before Sarria).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Villada to SdC) (2016)
Primitivo (Ribadesella to SdC) (2017)
#9
I got one stamp everyday on the Sarria - SdC stage, except Palas de Rei (camped on the picnic area outside the village, but got a stamp at the church at Vilar de Donas) and the day I hit Santiago (40km day, to tired to do anything but drink beer and sleep) and I got a Compostella without issue. Yes I had done some previous stages. But as stated every single trader, cafe, albergue, hotel, church, etc, has a stamp and you could easily fill 2-3 credentials on that last section alone. Its geared up for the tourist walkers who want their piece of paper to prove they did a bit. I will probably never walk the Sarria section again. I had more hassle with gypsies and beggars in that last 120km than the previous sections I did between Villada and Ponferrada.

If you are walking the whole thing, don't worry about how many stamps you get per day. One per day at wherever you sleep is more than fine. If you want to get more, feel free to do so. The church at Vilar de Donas is worth a detour if you like history, and even more to see the rusted camino sign and water tap for pilgrims by it (just about the only water tap for pilgrims I came across in Galicia).

Worry about the state of your feet, the weather and other important things.

Turn up to the pilgrim office rocking whatever rucksack and gear you walked in. From what I saw when I was there, they tended to question the people who turned up looking like tourists (and who looked overly clean and tidy, like they just got off a train/plane). The ones that actually looked like they made the effort (and maybe smelled like they made the effort) didn't have any problems (or maybe they just wanted them to leave quickly). As ever, YMMV.
 

Terry R

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte & Primitivo ( May/June 2017) Camino Portugues (April 2018)
#10
I'm new here, and this may sound like a stupid question, but I am going to ask it anyways. I am doing my very first Camino from end of May to mid June, starting from Santander. I will be doing the northern route, coming down through Baamonde, and was wondering, is this where I need to start collecting my 2 stamps a day, or somewhere else? Thanks for any info. I really enjoy this site, and all the great tips.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#11
I will be doing the northern route, coming down through Baamonde, and was wondering, is this where I need to start collecting my 2 stamps a day, or somewhere else?
Hi Terry, welcome to the forum! Yes, you can start collecting 2 stamps a day from Baamonde.
Jill
P.S. In Baamonde don’t miss visiting the house of Victor Corral, the sculptor, now a museum. If he is there he might show you around.
 

Terry R

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte & Primitivo ( May/June 2017) Camino Portugues (April 2018)
#12
Thanks for the tip Jill, I will make a note of it.
 

Aurigny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, 2016; Português Central, 2017; Port. Interior, 2017; Primitivo, 2018; Port. Coastal, 2018.
#13
Like Pathfinder says, my impression is that the Pilgrims' Office takes a holistic approach, and doesn't question the story the credencial seems to tell unless there's reason to do so. The first time, I showed up there deeply tanned, dust-stained, carrying my backpack, and very skinny. The second time, I was dripping wet, mud-stained, carrying my backpack, and very skinny. On both occasions the individual behind the desk spent perhaps three seconds checking out the point of departure and skimming the pages to see if there was a reasonable number of stamps contained therein, before shoving it back at me and starting to fill out the compostelle.
 

aisbr

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP (17), Frances (16,11,12&13), Portuguese (15), Norte & Primitivo (14), Finisterre & Muxia
#14
Last year I had only collected 1 stamp a day from St Jean to Santiago (occasionally picking up an extra stamp here or there) - I did get my compostella but was told that I should have collected two for each day from Sarria regardless of having walked from St Jean. As mentioned earlier it is very easy to pick up stamps along the way and they are lovely to have to look back on when you are back at home.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Villada to SdC) (2016)
Primitivo (Ribadesella to SdC) (2017)
#15
Last year I had only collected 1 stamp a day from St Jean to Santiago (occasionally picking up an extra stamp here or there) - I did get my compostella but was told that I should have collected two for each day from Sarria regardless of having walked from St Jean. As mentioned earlier it is very easy to pick up stamps along the way and they are lovely to have to look back on when you are back at home.
So this just confirms that even the pilgrim office no longer views this as anything but a business venture. Make all pilgrims use local businesses to gain stamps. Everything nowadays seems to just boil down to money. I wonder who at the office is getting the backhanders for that little rule? If a person has walked 800km, how many stamps you get for the last 120km is pretty bloody irrelevant. If you start in Sarria, I suppose thats fair game though, since there must be a fair number of people cheating/gaming the system.

Anyway, my faith in the system diminished a little more. In some countries this might be seen as a sign of corruption. You go use our local businesses and get a stamp, then you are eligible to have your piece of paper at the end.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#16
Make all pilgrims use local businesses to gain stamps.
Not exactly. The bars have their stamp and ink pad on the counter in the last 100kms. I have frequently seen pilgrims walk in, stamp their credential, and walk out again, especially the Spaniards.
Jill
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Villada to SdC) (2016)
Primitivo (Ribadesella to SdC) (2017)
#17
Its more the fact they are telling people they must do it. That's what irks me the most. Maybe I'm being overly harsh.

As far as I was aware you got a stamp at your albergue/hotel after a days walk. Now its two stamps in the last 100km. Whats the difference between the last 100km and the x km that preceded it, that makes it so special that you should get a second stamp? It seems like unnecessary bureaucracy.

In the end whether a person walked or cheated is irrelevant. If they cheated, they will always know they are a fraud and that piece of paper they got is worthless. The Pilgrim offiice wins either way. They get the money for the certificate/tube. So why bother adding more conditions?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (Villada to SdC) (2016)
Primitivo (Ribadesella to SdC) (2017)
#19
Ok I am probably being overly harsh then.

But the two stamps still irks me and I would like a reason why the last 100km is any different to the rest of Spain. An email to the Pilgrim office is in order.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#20
Ok I am probably being overly harsh then.
But the two stamps still irks me and I would like a reason why the last 100km is any different to the rest of Spain. An email to the Pilgrim office is in order.
Yes, I think you are being extremely harsh and cynical.

There is no need at all, to give or receive the compostela. The cathedral in Santiago doesn't owe us anything, so how can we be indignant about the rules? As far "why the 100 km", that is a subject of debate among people who give out the compostela. I might just as well ask "Why can't I walk 73 km anywhere in the world and walk up to a church anywhere in the world and demand a certificate?"

The Camino de Santiago is an ancient tradition, and the compostela is a modern add-on, with some "rules" created by the people who offer it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013 Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portuguese Porto to SdeC May 31 2017.
#21
What about Porto to SdC? Any stamp requirements there?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#22
What about Porto to SdC? Any stamp requirements there?
Same as other routes: 2 stamps each day for the last 100 km. The official website provides information here, saying "You have to stamp the Credencial twice a day at least on the last 100 km (for pilgrims on foot or on horseback) or on the last 200 km (for cyclists pilgrims)."
 
Camino(s) past & future
Some but not all, and other routes too.
#24
They conversation regarding 1 or 2 stamps per day from Sarria has been talk about in so many threads. Yes you may have only got 1 and managed to get your compostela, but the bottom line is you require 2. It would be a shame if you ignored the rules and was refused a compostela.
Rules is rules, ignore them at your peril, and if it irks you to get 2 then so be it.
I did get my compostela on my last pilgrimage but on my next ones I probably won't bother, because I find the stamps in the credential are more of a reflection of my pilgrimage than a signed piece of paper at the end to say I've done it, my feet have told me many times during the journey that I've completed the Way.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
#25
We loved having the stamps and collected 2 most days anyway. Our record shows where we stayed and also churches etc we visited as well as some of the cafe-bars. On our way into Santiago itself we collected 'extra' sellos - 2 of them from churches - as part of our pilgrimage. The only camino where this is slightly more difficult is the Camino Ingles, and there we asked a couple of locals to sign our credenciales and also had a stamp offered at a school when the teacher saw us. Happy memories ad not just to follow the rule, which is there surely for a reason and not to 'make money'.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2013 - Camino Portugues 2014 - Camino frances 2016
#26
I walked from pamplona to santiago and only got one stamp every day. Stayed an extra day in Belorado and an extra day in Burgos. Both places I got 2 stamps. One for each day. In the pilgrim office I had no problem. There was however a man in the line next to mine that got rejected because he had not gotten a stamp for every day - he stayed two days in Leon but only got one stamp. They just said "no compostela for you - you try again next year". Felt really sorry for him -
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
#27
There was however a man in the line next to mine that got rejected because he had not gotten a stamp for every day - he stayed two days in Leon but only got one stamp. They just said "no compostela for you - you try again next year". Felt really sorry for him
If this that was the reason for denying a compostela, I find it plainly odd. I don't know any rule against staying in the same place two days -there could be lot of reasons for that. And, as for your tale, he did the right thing and went to a hotel or hostal instead of occupying a bed in an albergue.
The pilgrim's bureau theoretically cares only for the last 100 km (except if you want the new certificate of distance), but I have noticed that they examine other aspects of the credential. In my case, the lady in the desk did not like my first stamp in León (Santo Tomás de Canterbury, a somewhat new private albergue) until she saw another from the same city -San Isidoro, a very known and respected church and sanctuary.
On the other side, she did comment that I had not collected two stamps per day after Sarria, although it was pretty obvious.
 
M

Mark Lee

Guest
#28
I'm no huge fan of rules and regulations for something like walking the Camino, but the two stamp a day thing from Sarria to Santiago doesn't bother me in the least. It's just not that big a deal. I mean I have a credential. The credential has places in it to be stamped. There are numerous places between Sarria and Santiago where you don't even have to get off the path to get a stamp, so get that extra stamp a day, for what, like 5-6 days? Easy peasy. You already have a stamp from where you stayed for the night, so basically the two stamp "rule" is like adding an additional 5-6 stamps you normally wouldn't have. Say it takes two minutes maximum to get each extra stamp. So that's 10-12 minutes of your Camino walk for those extra stamps. Hardly a matter worth debating.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Mar 2010, May/Jun 2016, Sep 2011, 2012, Apr 2014, St Olav's Way 2018
#29
There was however a man in the line next to mine that got rejected because he had not gotten a stamp for every day - he stayed two days in Leon but only got one stamp.
This surprises me. Both times I have done the CF, there have been places where I have stayed for more than one day without getting more than one stamp, and it is never been a problem. And I suspect it has never been a problem because there is no rule requiring the walk to be undertaken as a single, continuous effort. Further, only in the last 100 km is there a requirement, if you leave and return later to complete the walk, to get a stamp at the same place you got your last stamp when you left.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(Apr/May 2018)
VdlP (2020)
#30
So this just confirms that even the pilgrim office no longer views this as anything but a business venture. Make all pilgrims use local businesses to gain stamps. Everything nowadays seems to just boil down to money. I wonder who at the office is getting the backhanders for that little rule? If a person has walked 800km, how many stamps you get for the last 120km is pretty bloody irrelevant. If you start in Sarria, I suppose thats fair game though, since there must be a fair number of people cheating/gaming the system.

Anyway, my faith in the system diminished a little more. In some countries this might be seen as a sign of corruption. You go use our local businesses and get a stamp, then you are eligible to have your piece of paper at the end.
You don't need to buy anything or pay anything to get stamps in the last 100 km. They are everywhere! ;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#31
I'm new here, and this may sound like a stupid question, but I am going to ask it anyways. I am doing my very first Camino from end of May to mid June, starting from Santander. I will be doing the northern route, coming down through Baamonde, and was wondering, is this where I need to start collecting my 2 stamps a day, or somewhere else? Thanks for any info. I really enjoy this site, and all the great tips.
Hola @Terry R well for a start - there are no stupid questions (if you do not know, how will you find out if you do not ask questions!!).

Not sure of the location of Baamonde - (and apologies if this has been answered) - basically the two stamps per day applies over the last 100 km into Santiago. However (and this has been addressed elsewhere) with the new smaller credentials if you are on a typical 35 day camino from St Jean to Santiago you will need a second passport to fulfill this requirement. The cynic in me asks if this is just another method of selling more credentials??!!
 

Sailor

Donante Vitalicio
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Infinito
#32
So true, you just don't need to buy anything to get stamps after Sarria. I remember a person standing in front of a church, yelling at us "tenemos sellos" [we have stamps]. Even the guy with the dog [selling his book La Soledad Compartida] at a rest stop after Arzua had his own sello [a good looking one too, with two humans and two canine footprints]. To all caminantes, que la luz de Dios alumbre su camino.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata.
#33
What gives with all the cynicism? The sun is shining outside!

@Saint Mike II - you only need stamps for the last 100km. One credential is plenty for that. No-one is requiring you to keep records of anything else, or of walking any further for that matter.

You can only be charged €2 for the official Cathedral credentials. That is the rule laid down by the Cathedral for anyone who is authorised to issue them. Other organisations who give out their own credentials may charge more, but using those is your choice. As is having a second credential because you want to keep a complete record of your journey. Why not make your own? Any notebook will do (and I doubt you could buy one of those for much less than €2).
 
Camino(s) past & future
I plan to walk the Camino Frances in May 2018
#34
I like stamps :) If I happen to fill my passport somewhere along the Camino Frances are there places where I can get a second one, or should I get it before I leave?
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18)
#35
Somewhere after Sarria, our credentials started to get pretty full. We stopped into a church, and the priest wanted to stamp our passports. "No thanks, we have no space left" we protested. "Nonsense, I will help you" was his reply. With scissors and tape, he added two more pages to each credential from matching ones he had on hand. Now we had plenty of space, as well as a custom credential made by a guy who has done this before. Don't worry about your credential, the Camino will provide.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de San Salavador (2015)
Camino de la Costa (2016)
#36
I'm guessing this question has been asked before but I cannot find the answer in the FAQ's etc.. My guide book suggests that a credential requires 2x stamps per day. Am I right in assuming this is only meant for those pilgrims who walk just the last 100 km and that folk (like myself) who intend to hike the complete SJPDP to Santiago de Compostela route only need to have their credential stamped once each day? I realise that in addition to albergues and hotels, bars and restaurants also give out stamps but I would just like to avoid the hassle if its not strictly required.
Buen Camino!
Tony
I personally have never worried about getting a credential, the stamps prove where I have walked, the credential is just icing on the cake
 

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