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Listening to music while on the camino

Takbolehtahan

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2025
Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
 
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Hi Rey,
I took my headphones expecting to be listening a lot as I walked, however I found the sound of the countryside and conversations with other pilgrims much more rewarding. I did have the music blasting at various points though when the mood required, and if I had to put a figure on it I would say about 5% of my walking time overall was with music. . .
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I usually did not listen to music. The only time I did was when I was struggling because it helped me keep going. So I would walk for a song and then stop to recover a bit and walk for another song.

I would always walk with just one earbud in though to stay aware of my surroundings.
 
I haven't done my camino yet, but usually listen to music or a podcast while walking. I normally walk alone, but gladly give up my music when walking with someone else.

Here in the states I usually listen to Pandora, is there a similar service available in Spain (I will be walking the Frances)?
 
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I didn't listen to music or podcasts on my Caminos.
However, it took some work on my part to get used to walking for such long distances with just my thoughts to keep myself company! Who knew it would be so hard?
During my "training walks," I usually used headphones but, as I got closer to the time to begin my journey, I stopped using them.
I guess I realized that, since I was as physically fit as I could expect, I had to get myself mentally fit as well.
Walking without headphones allowed me to hear the sounds of nature and my surrounds and made me more approachable to other pilgrims.
I didn't miss the headphones while walking.
 
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I absolutely packed my earbuds and had my plethora of Playlists all set up and ready to go. I love music, I listened to it extensively while on training walks back home. Ironically when i would get slightly tired and start lagging one of those WWII Soviet marches would blare out as if on que and "perk me up" .... I was sure I would not survive long days on Camino without my music....

... que in "The Camino" and days listened to the music turned out to be ONE FAT ZERO! There are other threads on the subject and many Pilgrims mentioned on them that it was nice to just "get in tune with Camino". It didn't take me long to do so :)
 
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I haven’t done my camino yet (planned for this August), although I’ve been doing daily walks for years. For a while, I was listening to podcasts as a way of distracting myself from stress. I was into current events, but it got depressing so i started to listen to other topics like exercise, wellness, etc, but eventually I just quit listening, as the stress has subsided so I can actually listen to the sounds around me. That being said, it happens I’m an advanced amateur pianist with a lot of predilection for Spanish classical repertoire (Albeniz, Granados, de Falla), I have played several of those works, and I would LOOVE to hear these as I walk on the Spanish countryside. It might help me get inspired and improve my interpretation. I’m also craving hearing some Spanish literature as well, to get in touch with novels I read in my youth (I’m a native Spanish speaker from Latin America, but i’ve been in the US for a long time and my Spanish is getting rusty). So I’m looking for Spanish literature audiobooks.

There was a novel I read in middle school titled Marianela, which takes place in Northern Spain, about an ophthalmologist that operates on a blind man, restoring his vision, and the young woman that was taking care of him but was afraid of him seeing her as she really looked.

I still remember fragments from the opening lines: “Se puso el sol…” (the sun set)… “adelante, siempre adelante” (forward, always forward) -(maybe an Ultreia reference?)….”estamos, pues, en el Norte de España…” (we are, thus, on the north of Spain). It would be so cool to her works like this, along with El Quijote, El Poema del Mío Cid, poems by Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, listening to Granados Goyescas, maybe also some of the Spanish pop songs from my youth (in the 1970s) by Raphael, Rocio Dúrcal, Joan Manuel Serrat, etc.

It might help me get back in touch with my cultural roots…

Or I might just be content with walking and having great conversations and forgo the audio experience. Or maybe sing along with other pilgrims. Dancing the camino? Sounds wonderful, but I don’t know if my poor feet can take the extra punishment, but I guess I won’t know until I’m there, who knows what will happen?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I listened to a lot of stuff on my first Camino. I guess I was uncomfortable being alone with my thoughts for a prolonged time.

On the second Camino between Lisbon and Porto it was too dangerous to not pay attention to the cars next to you on the road (no sidewall options). I slowly got used to the discomfort of not having distractions.

By my third Camino I was enjoying the silence of the countryside and the presence of my own inner thoughts so much that I only listened to music once during the day.

Daily walking these days in the city near busy traffic still feels better with music. Its just too loud and chaotic otherwise. Can't even hear myself think. As soon as the calming sounds of nature come, it feels better to not listen to anything.
 
When I walked my first Camino Francés, I thought I'd be listening to podcasts and music all the time.

I soon realised that I much preferred to listen to the sounds and rhythms of nature instead, and to be available to my fellow peregrinos for those magical chats along the Way.

By the time I finished at Finisterre, I had 343 podcasts that I hadn't heard.

That said, I did have a few "go-to" tunes to inspire me at certain moments, and my brain played random tunes that became inextricably linked to those wonderful six weeks on the Camino.

I've walked two more Camino routes from Porto and Ferrol, and those treasured tunes are still deployed at righteous moments.

A certain film soundtrack features heavily, you'll guess which one.

 
I have often been on backroads caminos with no distraction from conversation, but generally did so unplugged, especially in the morning. Later on in the day, when pushing through to my destination, I found the random selection on my iPod very helpful.

Some pilgrims seem quite inspired by their music and I once spent an agreeable quarter-hour once, watching two Flemish pilgrims walk-dancing to some mysterious tune, known only to them-- by their rythyms, synchronized to the same music. Perhaps this should be encouraged.
 
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Ah, @Bradypus, yes. Those tunes for getting up-hill at the end of the day… very useful. And I always assume that anyone listening should express a little more discretion, or move away 😉.

Meanwhile, anyone following this thread with particular inclinations might like to seek out and download JC’s remix of Merle Travis’ classic “Sixteen Tons”:

“You walk 16 k and what do you get, a little bit closer but you’re not there yet, the Albergue owner says your luggage didn’t show, and you start to wonder why you ever left home….”

Anyone fond of rabbit holes might like to abandon this thread and seek out Merle’s other classic “I am a Pilgrim”. 😉
 
Ah, @Bradypus, yes. Those tunes for getting up-hill at the end of the day… very useful. And I always assume that anyone listening should express a little more discretion, or move away 😉.

Meanwhile, anyone following this thread with particular inclinations might like to seek out and download JC’s remix of Merle Travis’ classic “Sixteen Tons”:

“You walk 16 k and what do you get, a little bit closer but you’re not there yet, the Albergue owner says your luggage didn’t show, and you start to wonder why you ever left home….”

Anyone fond of rabbit holes might like to abandon this thread and seek out Merle’s other classic “I am a Pilgrim”. 😉


Blimey! Those bring back memories 😉
The originals, that is …
 
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I personally didn't listen to anything other than the environment on either Camino, though I did sing to myself somewhat on one really bad day on the Primitivo. Also, my current phone doesn't support wired headphones.

My only suggestion/ request is that if you choose to listen, please don't use both earbuds/headphones in order to shut out the environment. I've seen more than one accident on road races where someone zoned out and didn't hear the bike/ cart/emergency vehicle ( no, i'm not kidding, sadly)coming up from behind. Don't be that person.
 
As you like.

I've used music on more challenging, more solitary walks to motivate myself (get to the campsite on a 40km day before check-in closes and you need to wild camp without a shower otherwise, or walking all alone through 10kms of industrial areas next to a road, that kind of thing - music can help to get a faster pace!).

Also, for falling asleep sometimes.

But usually I prefer listening to natures music when I walk. Birds singing, wind, water, insects buzzing around, rain on leaves, church bells in the distance, cow/sheep/horse bells... (and of course snoring people in the dormitorios 😂).

Sometimes I like to sing, also, but only when I'm sure that nobody is around who could hear me!
 
I only plug my ear buds in if there is a person I need to shut out. Rarely have I needed to do it

Other than that I like to be aware of my surroundings and wouldn't want to miss a chance conversation with another pilgrim or local ( those I sometimes still ponder today ) birdsong ...

I can listen to music at home while I am on here typing or wondering about my fellow pilgrims from a few years ago
 
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I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)
by The Proclaimers
My sister used to live in the same village as The Proclaimers. Many years later I was in a small supermarket in a village on the Olavsleden in northern Sweden when that song started to play on the music system. I don't think the staff understood why that middle-aged Scottish man started to laugh out loud right next to the shelves of tinned fish. :)

I also had a fit of the giggles when I saw this dead ringer for both the brothers advertising tyres on Shikoku!

1707554804977.png 1707559545387.png
 
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I have listened to a playlist while walking alone and a little tired and needed a little pick me up.
 
I like listening to music and some songs can now bring me back to the Camino in an instant. Didn't listen all the time though. But very useful on a summer Camino and the temp is well into the 30s, you are knackered, and there is 5 km of road to go. I tend to sing out loud but I tend to do the quieter routes so there maybe only one person that can hear me if that. Can be useful on uphill stretches too.
But early morning I prefer birdsong.
 
I will be walking Vdlp starting 19th Feb with 2 sets of earbuds 1 as backup and one speaker box for solitary rural areas so I can sing and dance when the mood strikes me. I will be mindful of other Pilgrims. But if anyone hears any Paco Lucia, Estopa, Fiti y los Fitpaldies, Jarabe de Palo or some Manu Chao that may be me!
 
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In line with (almost) everybody else, I have never felt the need to listen to anything other than what was going on around me, while walking. I've never felt the need to listen to music in albergues either, once I've stopped. This is probably why I find the idea of 365/24/7 staffed albergues with guitars at the ready rather abhorrent.
 
Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
Hello!
I tried listening to music during my pilgrimage and I couldn’t, as in I had no desire. Whenever I attempted to listen I’d quickly turn it off. I found more satisfying in listening to the sounds of the Camino.
 
My family does a thing on holidays where we pick one song to play at the start of every day, that becomes the memory of the holiday so whenever we hear it we are instantly transported back. Works for long car trips also (put it on after rest stops). The idea is you pick something you might hear on the radio, not something so obscure you'd never hear it, and not something tied to another event, like don't pick your wedding song.

My daughter and I are planning this for our upcoming Camino. We're going with "All Right" by Christopher Cross ("it's all right, think we're gonna make it / think it might just work out this time...") We are bringing just one set of earbuds to share for just one song as we step out each day.

I imagine by the 2nd or 3rd week we'll be so sick of that song. Ugh not again! But by the time we reach SDC, we'll be crying that it's the last morning with All Right, and perhaps wishing we had more days. And then whenever we hear it in years to come, we will FEEL the Camino.
 
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Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
I walked the Camino Frances in 2022 and never listened to music. My phone was on airplane mode simply so I could take pictures. I think this helped me to be in the moment and experience my surroundings in a very real way. I passed others who had on earbuds and they sometimes didn't even know I was walking beside them...
 
On my walks in the city almost always listening to music. On my Caminos no music as I find there are too many other sounds of interest. On my recent PEI Island Walk I reverted to music as there was no one around 😂
 
Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
Hi Rey, I love music & bring my earphones on all travels. On Camino however, I only listened when I was on a solo stretch for a while, or maybe on the last few kms when the feet were struggling & I needed to stay motivated. Early morning birdsong & chatting with fellow pilgrim's cannot be ignored, but bring your music for the 'tricky times' & maybe to share in the evening sessions/get-togethers! 🎶
Buen Camino 👣🎵😇
Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
I reckon I'm an outlier. I have an iPod Nano that I brought and actually listened to while walking (and I'll do so on my next Camino). Of course, my all time favorite "get in the mood for the Camino" songs is New Slang by The Shins (courtesy of the movie soundtrack for "The Way"). I also used the iPod to study Spanish and French while walking.
 
Having spent 10 weeks on Camino Frances over since 2017 I'd say I have used earphones for no more than a couple of hours and that was when I was on my own and just tired and need a distraction.

I don't like earphones on the Camino. I want to hear all there is to hear from the cuckoo to the lark to footsteps to .... And I don't like when I salute another pilgrim on the path and they don't hear me and ignore me as they are lost behind their earphones. Of course its OK; everyone to themselves. But really there is whole world to listen to, to tune into on the Camino. Liam
 
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You may call me a bit strange here, I have walked 7 Caminos and will start my 8th on the 1st June, I always walk alone but never ignore other pilgrims I meet along the way. All my Pilgrim Walks are just that, so I concentrate on saying the rosary, prayers and visiting churches, and enjoying and listening to the views and countryside, and towns and villages I walk through along the Way. I take plenty of photos and produce a blog for my family and friends at the end of each day. I am sure there are others who do the same.
Perhaps I have written on the wrong subject here as the question was relating to music on the Caminos.
For me it will always be a pilgrimage walk to Santiago on whichever Camino.
 
On my 2016 Camino with my son we made a point of not listening to music or podcasts or anything while we walked. We wanted to be present in the moment and just listen to the sounds of nature. This lasted all the way to Santiago. Then, on the next day as we walked on towards Finisterre and later in the day's walk he was really flagging. I suggested he try listening to some music. And the effect was amazing! He really got a second wind. Ever since then I haven't been so down about listening to music while walking a Camino and may do so if I really need a pick me up.

On my next Camino I am considering listening to some Spanish podcasts while walking some of the time.
 
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Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
I prefer listening to my own thoughts.
 
Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
I didn't take any music as the peace and quiet of the camino (+ the sound of the birdsong) was one of the best things about it. Obviously if people want to take their own buds and playlists that is a personal thing but I would feel you are missing something better.
 
When I walk at home over terrain that I walk regularly, I often listen to podcasts. When I'm walking a camino over territory that I've never walked before and am unlikely to ever walk again, my only music is earworms mixed with my thoughts - no matter what the days stage looks like. One of the most important attributes of any camino (I'm currently on the Levante) is to be alone with your thoughts and to be present to experience what you're passing.
 
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I don't hate music as such but I only listen to it when somebody else puts it on or plays it. On the Camino I was on my own, nobody to switch any music playing device on so I didn't listen. I remember one morning in an albergue they woke us up with beautiful Gregorian chants.
 
I do like to listen to music while walking, but only with one earbud in for safety reasons.
 
One earbud when I'm struggling at the end of the day and when I'm going to sleep to block out noise (I set the timer for it to go off in a bit when I'm asleep.
 
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Sometimes I’ll put my earbuds in for a couple of quiet tunes before i drift off to sleep.

I have a pack that has pockets on the shoulder straps similar to running vests, and I’ll slip my phone in it and play either classical guitar music or some light jazz. This is usually on fairly low and someone would need to be next to me before they even noticed I had it on. I prefer this method rather than earbuds while I walk so that I can be situationally aware.
 
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Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
There are some amazing podcasts and a stunning series of stimulating tunes to be enjoyed on any of the Camino's that might be trod, wherever those are geographically located. These podcasts and tunes are to be found on Channel Nature and can be readily heard, require no ear pods or headphones. Quite stunning sound quality is available, once tuned in. Buen Camino peregrino !!
 
On previous caminos I've listened to music when I needed a bit of motivation , or just sang out loud. This next one , I will be listening for part of everyday as I have a bunch of songs to learn by heart. Repetition will help them stick. Again, towards the end of the day and with just one ear bud. Sometimes I set out with no wish to listen to anything except what Tha camino offers, but find myself singing anyway.
 
Here's an alternate music listening event. As I approached the Camino's end, I encountered large school groups either singing with a leader who was belting out the tunes through a megaphone or they were blaring music through a portable speaker. Not pleasant...
 
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Here's al alternate music listening event. As I approached the Camino's end, I encountered large school groups either singing with a leader who was belting out the tunes through a megaphone or they were blaring music through a portable speaker. Not pleasant...
Totally agree. Music is wonderful if not forced on those who prefer to walk with their own thoughts
 
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My sister used to live in the same village as The Proclaimers. Many years later I was in a small supermarket in a village on the Olavsleden in northern Sweden when that song started to play on the music system. I don't think the staff understood why that middle-aged Scottish man started to laugh out loud right next to the shelves of tinned fish. :)
I had a similar experience. A friend and I took the bus from Santiago to Fisterra, and had a taxi meet us there to return us back to Santiago later that day. When I got in, I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) was playing on the radio in the taxi. I started laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. My friend, whose Spanish was far better than mine, explained why her friend was laughing hysterically in his taxi. It felt as though we were indeed meant to take that very taxi back to Santiago after our 500 mile journey had “nearly” ended in Santiago the previous day.
 
Hi All,
Thanks for allowing me to post here. I'm just doing a little study to understand people's habits while they are doing the camino. I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
(Admin, feel free to remove this post if you find that it is not appropriate.)
Cheers,
Rey
Interested in folks' answers. I never used earbuds and music on the Camino Frances, but on long days on the Via Francigena, where all the end towns are at the top of high hills, I found it energized me to groove to Motown hits or dance songs. Just enough to conquer the slog...
 
I'm just curious to know whether people listen to music while on the camino and, if yes, approximately what percentage of the day do you spend listening to music?
Call me a curmudgeon but I dislike it when someone starts a thread asking a random question without providing any background or sharing their own experience/opinion. 🤨
 
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Hi Rey,
I took my headphones expecting to be listening a lot as I walked, however I found the sound of the countryside and conversations with other pilgrims much more rewarding. I did have the music blasting at various points though when the mood required, and if I had to put a figure on it I would say about 5% of my walking time overall was with music. . .
If you're listening to music you won't get to hear the cuckoo birds, for the complete silence on the meseta or the wind or the windmill's. I agree with you The sounds of the countryside.
 
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I had a similar experience. A friend and I took the bus from Santiago to Fisterra, and had a taxi meet us there to return us back to Santiago later that day. When I got in, I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) was playing on the radio in the taxi. I started laughing so hard I could hardly breathe. My friend, whose Spanish was far better than mine, explained why her friend was laughing hysterically in his taxi. It felt as though we were indeed meant to take that very taxi back to Santiago after our 500 mile journey had “nearly” ended in Santiago the previous day.
On Camino I said to girl I was walking with as she had relationship issues do you know the song by Nelly Fertado “I’m like a bird” she said no then came up to me in Albergue 3 hours later and said that song was playing in the bar. I wiggled my fingers and hummed the Twilight Zone theme tune and chuckled!
 
This has been a fun thread and clearly reflects what an eclectic bunch we are. Shame that the OP hasn’t been back to garner the fruits of their “study”.

Meanwhile, at an excellent gig given by the Informers a few nights ago I noticed a friend with ear-buds in. I mimed “tinnitus?” (not easy) and after a shake of his head he shouted “Brighton vs Tottenham”. I guess that was a contribution to “keeping music live” 🤪
 
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I once tried to listen to music outside Portomarin when I enveloped by a horde of high school scholars. Unfortunately nothing could restore the quiet until they were over the next hill. Then I sincerely enjoyed the silence.
 

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