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Navigation and information

Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
There is, in web world, an enormous amount of navigational and planning software, advice, apps etc concerning the Camino de Santiago. (Camino Francés)

I will start by stating that the things I found to be of most use, and the only things I will take in future , are
1. For Day to day planning
The paper sheet on the profiles for the camino given out at the Pilgrim office in SJPdP. (copy also available to download on this forum)
The list of Albergues, available on this forum.
Booking.com for the ability to book ahead for pensiones /hotels when required.

2. Navigation.
The Michelin Camino de Santiago map guide, which also has the addresses of various Albergues

The Viewranger gps phone app just in case I get hopelessly lost. (There are many GPS apps this just happens to be the one I know and like). Only used twice last time due to daydreaming and not noticing the very prominent arrows at the turn!

For town history, advice on places to visit then I have Google.

In short one piece of paper a very small map booklet and a smartphone.

Due to the yellow arrows, then I'm not sure I need the map book next time.

What do others think?
Did you find something better than I intend to use or decent alternatives.
 
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filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I hiked from Vézelay to Santiago over two months, September to October in 2020. Due to issues with finding accommodation that was actually open, I found that booking.com was invaluable. Many private Albergues are now using such websites and I could walk peacefully, knowing that I would had accommodation. I found this out the hard way - with justification, municipal Albergues, when open, were limiting the number of beds used. In addition, in order to generate business, some of the offers of more upmarket private accommodation were unbelievable. I missed the usual atmosphere everywhere as only in about two locations were communal kitchens ‘open’.

I have also had good maps and booklets from tourist offices; you do need to be specific that you are hiking. I especially value a gorgeous colour, glossy booklet (in English) called The Northern Ways to Santiago (Servicio Central de Publicationes del Gobierno Vasco).

I had planned to hike from Almeria to Granada in May, having read George Brenan’s excellent ‘South from Granada’ but Easyjet have just cancelled the flight..

‘Magwood’ has attempted to instruct me in the use of gps... but I find that my COMPASS always sorts me out!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
filly,
How wonderful it must have been to be able to walk in 2020 despite the pandemic! "From Vezelay to Santiago" would be a great title when you write up your memories.

November 2008 I simply climbed the hill behind our farmhouse in Champagne facing the Marne River and started walking south towards Vezelay and hopefully Santiago! Following small roads and eventual marked paths like you I generally stayed in chambres d'hotes.

During the cold, foggy 26 km slog to Laroche Migennes I bought a welcome goody at a small boulangerie and ate happily while sitting on a public bench, too lazy to remove my pack. When I continued walking a car of Gendarmes stopped and checked my papers!! Rural France just can't be too careful about old ladies out hiking alone late in November!

These police were rather stunned that I was going to Vezelay; I didn't dare mention I was aiming for Spain and Santiago! Although I intended to continue on to SJPdP my knees did not and hence I stopped at
la colline éternelle.
...This journey to Vezelay is described in my blog AllMyCaminos.

What camino are you planning next? Whenever/wherever I wish you Buen camino and in the truest sense Ultreia
 
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPD-Burgos 2012/13 …. suspended the VdlP in Fuente de Cantos 3/20
There is, in web world, an enormous amount of navigational and planning software, advice, apps etc concerning the Camino de Santiago. (Camino Francés)

I will start by stating that the things I found to be of most use, and the only things I will take in future , are
1. For Day to day planning
The paper sheet on the profiles for the camino given out at the Pilgrim office in SJPdP. (copy also available to download on this forum)
The list of Albergues, available on this forum.
Booking.com for the ability to book ahead for pensiones /hotels when required.

2. Navigation.
The Michelin Camino de Santiago map guide, which also has the addresses of various Albergues

The Viewranger gps phone app just in case I get hopelessly lost. (There are many GPS apps this just happens to be the one I know and like). Only used twice last time due to daydreaming and not noticing the very prominent arrows at the turn!

For town history, advice on places to visit then I have Google.

In short one piece of paper a very small map booklet and a smartphone.

Due to the yellow arrows, then I'm not sure I need the map book next time.

What do others think?
Did you find something better than I intend to use or decent alternatives.
Some links might be helpful, please
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
Some links might be helpful, please
Which links do you require?
I use this forums resources for the profile of the Frances and the list of Albergues.

The Michelin Camino de Santiago map is available through Amazon.

booking.com is simply that

Viewranger (which has
just been taken over) is

I don't use anything else, but I'm sure if you want you could Google for other information. Actually the resources offered by this forum are probably a great starting point in general.

I stated what I use, I asked if anyone had any other ideas.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)

filly

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
filly,
How wonderful it must have been to be able to walk in 2020 despite the pandemic! "From Vezelay to Santiago" would be a great title when you write up your memories.

November 2008 I simply climbed the hill behind our farmhouse in Champagne facing the Marne River and started walking south towards Vezelay and hopefully Santiago! Following small roads and eventual marked paths like you I generally stayed in chambres d'hotes.

During the cold, foggy 26 km slog to Laroche Migennes I bought a welcome goody at a small boulangerie and ate happily while sitting on a public bench, too lazy to remove my pack. When I continued walking a car of Gendarmes stopped and checked my papers!! Rural France just can't be too careful about old ladies out hiking alone late in November!

These police were rather stunned that I was going to Vezelay; I didn't dare mention I was aiming for Spain and Santiago! Although I intended to continue on to SJPdP my knees did not and hence I stopped at
la colline éternelle.
...This journey to Vezelay is described in my blog AllMyCaminos.

What camino are you planning next? Whenever/wherever I wish you Buen camino and in the truest sense Ultreia
Thanks Margaret for this. I have followed your own journey on your blog: much enjoyed. I also hope to rent your Paris apartment for a week when permitted to travel from the UK. My next hike will be wild camping the Pennine Way in June. I have flights to Seville/from Santiago end August/beginning of October to do the VdePlata for the third time, with a variant via Invierno or all the way up to Gijon. Zamora is probably my favourite city in Spain.. I also plan to repeat the Norte with a detour to the Picos de Europa (inspired by the famous priest of Guedes who was posted in a village up there previously).
 

RRat

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Planning 2017
There is, in web world, an enormous amount of navigational and planning software, advice, apps etc concerning the Camino de Santiago. (Camino Francés)

I will start by stating that the things I found to be of most use, and the only things I will take in future , are
1. For Day to day planning
The paper sheet on the profiles for the camino given out at the Pilgrim office in SJPdP. (copy also available to download on this forum)
The list of Albergues, available on this forum.
Booking.com for the ability to book ahead for pensiones /hotels when required.

2. Navigation.
The Michelin Camino de Santiago map guide, which also has the addresses of various Albergues

The Viewranger gps phone app just in case I get hopelessly lost. (There are many GPS apps this just happens to be the one I know and like). Only used twice last time due to daydreaming and not noticing the very prominent arrows at the turn!

For town history, advice on places to visit then I have Google.

In short one piece of paper a very small map booklet and a smartphone.

Due to the yellow arrows, then I'm not sure I need the map book next time.

What do others think?
Did you find something better than I intend to use or decent alternatives.
Upon arrival to your alburge. After the cold beer. After your hot shower, After washing and hanging your clothes. After determining where your having dinner. A short stroll to determine you way out of town in the dark tomorrow is helpful. You might even pass a small store so you can obtain snacks for tomorrow.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
There is, in web world, an enormous amount of navigational and planning software, advice, apps etc concerning the Camino de Santiago. (Camino Francés)

I will start by stating that the things I found to be of most use, and the only things I will take in future , are
1. For Day to day planning
The paper sheet on the profiles for the camino given out at the Pilgrim office in SJPdP. (copy also available to download on this forum)
The list of Albergues, available on this forum.
Booking.com for the ability to book ahead for pensiones /hotels when required.

2. Navigation.
The Michelin Camino de Santiago map guide, which also has the addresses of various Albergues

The Viewranger gps phone app just in case I get hopelessly lost. (There are many GPS apps this just happens to be the one I know and like). Only used twice last time due to daydreaming and not noticing the very prominent arrows at the turn!

For town history, advice on places to visit then I have Google.

In short one piece of paper a very small map booklet and a smartphone.

Due to the yellow arrows, then I'm not sure I need the map book next time.

What do others think?
Did you find something better than I intend to use or decent alternatives.
1. For day to day planning I like to use a variety of sources and cross check them against each other. They all make mistakes, but when three say one thing and one says another, chances are the error is with the fourth. For the Frances, I tend to use the KIndle version of the Village to Village guide and the Brierley Map (which includes accommodation information), the Gronze.com website, and various apps (Wisely+, Buen Camino, Camino Pilgrim - Camino Ninja is one I got but I haven't used yet because it came out after I walked my most recent CF).

2. For navigation, I use the aforementioned apps if I get lost.

3. For town history, advice on places to visit, nothing beats the Kindle version of Gitlitz and Davidson's The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook. This can be supplemented by other guides or Google for newer things to see but 99% of what I'm looking for is there, in a more useful format.

No paper, just the smartphone.
 

ngadiman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hello All
I just got to find out about this walk yesterday, and have trying to get more information since then.

I am not sure if this question is even legit, but I can't figure out how one starts off navigating from each start point. For example, for the Camino Portugese, it is mentioned that one should start at the Porto Cathedral. Well, I guess you can use a Google Map on your smartphone to find the Cathedral from the hotel/hostel. From there, how do you commence your camino? Using the Google Map again with the walking route option??? Appreciate any information. Thank you.
 
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
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how to successfully prepare for your Camino
This book's focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared.

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hello All
I just got to find out about this walk yesterday, and have trying to get more information since then.

I am not sure if this question is even legit, but I can't figure out how one starts off navigating from each start point. For example, for the Camino Portugese, it is mentioned that one should start at the Porto Cathedral. Well, I guess you can use a Google Map on your smartphone to find the Cathedral from the hotel/hostel. From there, how do you commence your camino? Using the Google Map again with the walking route option??? Appreciate any information. Thank you.
There are lots of Camino apps with GPS that works even when you are offline. I really like the Buen Camino app. But most of the Caminos are well marked, and you can just follow the yellow arrows!
 

Doughnut NZ

From Aotearoa New Zealand
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I would not recommend using Google Maps to navigate the route of the Camino. This is because G Maps will always default to its idea of a good route and if you follow its suggestions then you will only occasionally be on the Camino.

If you are walking the Frances then you really don't need a map, just follow the yellow arrows or in popular times just follow the line of pilgrims ahead of you.

The only time I used G Maps was to find a particular Albergue, bar or restaurant. Usually at the end of the days walking.

On less well travelled Caminos then you may need one of the Camino apps.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I would not recommend using Google Maps to navigate the route of the Camino. This is because G Maps will always default to its idea of a good route and if you follow its suggestions then you will only occasionally be on the Camino.
@Doughnut NZ is right. Google Maps is great for driving or regular walking directions on roads, but not for the Camino.
As I said above, my preference is for a Camino specific app with GPS that also lists albergues and other accommodations, along with giving you some general information about the area.
There is a map app that does show the Camino routes - Windy Maps. Available for Apple
or Android
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
Hello All
I just got to find out about this walk yesterday, and have trying to get more information since then.

I am not sure if this question is even legit, but I can't figure out how one starts off navigating from each start point. For example, for the Camino Portugese, it is mentioned that one should start at the Porto Cathedral. Well, I guess you can use a Google Map on your smartphone to find the Cathedral from the hotel/hostel. From there, how do you commence your camino? Using the Google Map again with the walking route option??? Appreciate any information. Thank you.
It depends on where you are starting and what resources you have with you. :)

To start with the simplest situation. If you are starting in Spain or Portugal and you have no guidebooks or apps or anything, then:
  1. Just look for a yellow arrow. There should be one in sight if you look hard enough.
  2. Proceed in the direction that the arrow is pointing until you see another arrow.
  3. Repeat step 2 until you get to the Cathedral in Santiago.
If you have a guidebook or an app it is much easier. A guidebook will have some sort of map of the place you are starting the Camino with a showing the streets and marking the Camino as a line through them. That will tell you which way to walk and where to turn. An app will do the same thing on the screen, generally with the added benefit of showing you where you are located on the map so you can see if you have drifted off the Camino and what you need to do to get back on. But even with those, you will mostly just find yourself following the yellow arrows. The yellow arrows will become your friends.

If you are starting in France or elsewhere the Camino may be marked with something other than yellow arrows. In France, the Camino is often on "GR" routes, often marked with red and white stripes. These may not be quite as easy to discern directions from as arrows, but they are good for letting you know that you are still on route. Be a bit wary where there are several GR routes as they all use the white and red stripes and you don't want to get on the wrong one. A guidebook or app may be more helpful there.

If you have a bit of technical savvy and you are on one of the lesser walked Caminos, there may not be a guidebook or app specific to that Camino. In that case, there is still often a GPS track that is available for download. That GPS track can be imported into Google My Maps or some other general mapping tool (e.g. Maps.me, Wikiloc, Windy Maps) to provide you that guidance where you can see a map with the Caminno overlaid and where you are at the moment.

I hope this helps.
 
Last edited:
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Planning for 2021
In fact this very forum has gps files that can be downloaded to your chosen app or device.

Try the forum resources or the search function.
 
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ngadiman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hello. Over the weekend, I managed to watch some youtube videos which answered my question. I was researching for the Camino Portuguese route which recommends to start from the cathedral in Porto. To my astonishment, I found out that the yellow arrows for directions started, in fact, right at the cathedral. My earlier thought was the yellow arrow markers are on the track further down the route. Thanks to those who have answered. Appreciate that.

And I take note of your advice on Google Map.

To @David Tallan, your statement : "That GPS track can be imported into Google My Maps or some other general mapping tool (e.g. Maps.me, Wikiloc, Windy Maps) to provide you that guidance where you can see a map with the Caminno overlaid and where you are at the moment." -- I'll try to learn how to use this advice. It's sure is something which I would love to use.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
To @David Tallan, your statement : "That GPS track can be imported into Google My Maps or some other general mapping tool (e.g. Maps.me, Wikiloc, Windy Maps)
The Camino track does not need to be imported into Windy Maps. It is already there.
20210510_061759.jpg

However, I prefer to use the maps is the Buen Camino app, which gives you more information about the Camino.
Screenshot_20210510-062122_Buen Camino.jpg

As you are walking it shows the distance to the next location.
20210510_062717.jpg
For each location it shows accommodations, points of interests, and tips about the Camino.
Screenshot_20210510-063127_Buen Camino.jpg
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
The Camino track does not need to be imported into Windy Maps. It is already there.
View attachment 99806

However, I prefer to use the maps is the Buen Camino app, which gives you more information about the Camino.
View attachment 99807

As you are walking it shows the distance to the next location.
View attachment 99808
For each location it shows accommodations, points of interests, and tips about the Camino.
View attachment 99809
My statement that a Camino GPS track could be imported into apps like Windy Maps was specifically aimed at less walked routes:
If you have a bit of technical savvy and you are on one of the lesser walked Caminos, there may not be a guidebook or app specific to that Camino. In that case, there is still often a GPS track that is available for download. [emphasis added]
For more frequently walked Caminos, like the Camino Frances, I prefer the specialty apps like Buen Camino or Wisely+ or Camino Ninja or Camino Pilgrim. There are many and many of them are very good. They are certainly worth the small amount you will pay for them in the context of your entire Camino budget and the benefit you will receive. I generally take several. They weigh nothing!
 

ngadiman

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
i downloaded Buen Camino and Camino Ninja for testing yesterday.

I failed in understanding how Buen Camino works. It is confusing to me...

Camino Ninja - double thumbs up....

@trecile - loves what you show for Buen Camino. i'll give Buen Camino another try.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
i downloaded Buen Camino and Camino Ninja for testing yesterday.

I failed in understanding how Buen Camino works. It is confusing to me...

Camino Ninja - double thumbs up....

@trecile - loves what you show for Buen Camino. i'll give Buen Camino another try.
The Buen Camino app has many features, some of which I only discovered after using it for a couple of weeks. This video tutorial explains quite a bit. The introduction is in Spanish, then the rest is in English.
 
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