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Is this a problem?

Fencly__

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
The Camino Frances 2020
Hello guys, I would love to try the camino frances, I will do it on the next summer break, so I don’t have to quit with school... but, in that time I will be 17 years old.
Is that a problem? My parents know about my intentions, they support it and they could sign some papers so I could travel around Europe on my own, but I’m not sure that would be enough.. what do you guys think?
And no, I dont really want to wait another year.. :/
Thanks:)
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hello guys, I would love to try the camino frances, I will do it on the next summer break, so I don’t have to quit with school... but, in that time I will be 17 years old.
Is that a problem? My parents know about my intentions, they support it and they could sign some papers so I could travel around Europe on my own, but I’m not sure that would be enough.. what do you guys think?
And no, I dont really want to wait another year.. :/
Thanks:)
Hi, Fencly,

No problem at all I think. In most EU countries legal age is 18 (alcohol, tobacco, voting etc.) but for some things it's 16 or even 14. If you would have document written and signed by your parents (maybe even translated in Spanish/English) with you and stamped by notary or police station (somebody would surely chime in on this) I don't see any problems. I can see you are coming from Chech Republic so you're EU citizen. Again no problem here or in case of police control much less hassle than if you would come from the other side of the globe ;)

You'll be OK, just take usual precaution when travelling alone although you'll be in company of many friendly strangers.

Buen Camino!
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Fencly, welcome to the forum! I'm not entirely sure of the legalities, but I've met 17-year olds who've done the camino without a problem. In my experience, it seems more common for European teenagers to be allowed to travel independently than in some parts of the world (I remember walking with a 17-year old Danish girl, and some of the non-European pilgrims were horrified that her parents would allow her to travel alone! And then she shocked them even more by admitting it wasn't her first solo adventure!)

As KinkyOne says, best to have a letter from your parents (translated into Spanish), just in case. Legally speaking, 17 is a bit of an 'in-between' age, and some hotels might have a minimum age limit of 18 to avoid liability. But when it comes to the pilgrim albergues, it shouldn't be a problem. The hospitaleros are volunteers who don't necessarily have training in this sort of thing, your age is unlikely to raise a red flag, but if someone is worried the letter should be enough. You'll also be surrounded by de facto 'guardians' - the other pilgrims will probably all be clucking over you to make sure you're ok.

Final note; you'll get some advice, anecdotes, and even encouragement on this forum, but if you want absolute clarity it's probably best to contact the Spanish embassy in your country for confirmation.
 
D

Deleted member 3000

Guest
The age of majority in Spain is 18, as it is for all the EU except Scotland (the age of consent in Spain is 16). As a "child" you may not be able to stay in hostales and albergues. Since you need a passport to check into most accommodations, your age will be available to the facility, it will be up to them on enforcement. I suggest that you have notarized permission letters from your parents. That should prevent a problem.
 

Lisakline

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
I am walking in March and April of 2019.
Hi fencly
I just finished the camino and i met young people doing it. No problem! They were treated like everyone else, i thought. I would recommend leaning a few phrases in Spanish. That goes for everyone, not just young people, though!
 
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Phil71

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese (2014,2016),Primitivo (2015), San Salvador (2017), Norte (2018), Ingles (2018)
I walked for a week or so with a 17 year old lad from Czech last year. No problems for him. He actually had his 18th birthday on the trail so we went out for pizza and beer!
 

JimM

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Camino Portuguese and Via de la Plata
Hello guys, I would love to try the camino frances, I will do it on the next summer break, so I don’t have to quit with school... but, in that time I will be 17 years old.
Is that a problem? My parents know about my intentions, they support it and they could sign some papers so I could travel around Europe on my own, but I’m not sure that would be enough.. what do you guys think?
And no, I dont really want to wait another year.. :/
Thanks:)
Hi Fencly,
Often on the Camino you meet people and form a “Camino Family”. On day one in Orisson our family happened over drinks at the albergue. 2 Americans, a guy from England, a guy from Canada, a girl from Germany and a guy from Denmark. Most were in their 30’s, one guy was 49 and I was 71 years old at the time. The third night at dinner in Zubiri we added a 17 year old to our Camino Family. For a 17 year old American he was different because he was very mature, had traveled on his own a great deal and was very comfortable around people of all ages. He did drink a few beers or a bit of wine, but never in excess. The Camino I am referring to was in October which can be a bit different from a summer Camino. There will be people of all ages, but more young people on summer break or taking a gap year. So with all that said, a 17 year old can walk the Camino, but be aware that you will be in a foreign country with people of all ages and nationalities and no limit on alcohol consumption. The question is: are you ready for the Camino?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello guys, I would love to try the camino frances, I will do it on the next summer break, so I don’t have to quit with school... but, in that time I will be 17 years old.
Is that a problem? My parents know about my intentions, they support it and they could sign some papers so I could travel around Europe on my own, but I’m not sure that would be enough.. what do you guys think?
And no, I dont really want to wait another year.. :/
Thanks:)
What do I think? If you are smart enough to have worked out your post, asking for opinions, and already having thought about getting a parental approval letter - looks to me like you will be just fine. On my first camino we often coincided with a young French guy we called Tintin. We last saw him at the bus station in Santiago, penniless. We gave him his fare to Finisterre... just mind where you keep your money and passport, and have a great camino.
 

freeflyer123

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
www.cyclingsofties.blog
Camino de Santiago, 2013
What do I think? If you are smart enough to have worked out your post, asking for opinions, and already having thought about getting a parental approval letter - looks to me like you will be just fine. On my first camino we often coincided with a young French guy we called Tintin. We last saw him at the bus station in Santiago, penniless. We gave him his fare to Finisterre... just mind where you keep your money and passport, and have a great camino.
Great advice. I would go even further and say get hold of a small neck pouch to keep your money and passport, etc. in. You could have it hidden underneath your top - I do this every time I go on my travels. Never let it out of your sight to ensure you don't lose it.

Goodness, just reading about your forthcoming Camino Fencly, makes me wish I was 17 all over again. Sadly, we have to turn the number around, as I'm now a sprightly 71 year old 😁. I asked myself if I would have let my 17-year-old child go off alone to walk the Camino and I decided that, yes, I would have happily let them go as these days young men and women of that age are pretty much savvy about how the world works. Buen camino.
 

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