A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Number of sellos/stamps needed

Carfax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Samos to SDC April and May 2016
SDC to Fisterra and Muxia) August 2016
#1
Would someone please point me at the authoritative policy for the number of stamps needed to qualify for the compostella when walking.

I understood (when I did my camino in 2016) that the rule was:

One a day if starting more than 100km distant from SDC
Two a day if starting at 100km from SDC

I now have it from two Australian sites that the rule is:

One a day if starting more than a 100km distant from SDC, then two a day for the final 100 km.

Set me straight please
 

Carfax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Samos to SDC April and May 2016
SDC to Fisterra and Muxia) August 2016
#3
Thanks Peter for the quick response.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#4
Would someone please point me at the authoritative policy
You should go to the website of the Santiago Pilgrim Office to confirm it, but the following is quoted from there (with underlining added by me):

To get the “Compostela” you must:
  • Make the pilgrimage for religious or spiritual reasons, or at least an attitude of search.
  • Do the last 100 km on foot or horseback, or the last 200 km by bicycle. It is understood that the pilgrimage starts at one point and from there you come to visit the Tomb of St. James.
  • You must collect the stamps on the “Credencial del Peregrino” from the places you pass through to certify that you have been there. Stamps from churches, hostels, monasteries, cathedrals and all places related to the Way are preferred, but if not they can also be stamped in other institutions: town halls, cafés, etc. 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).
You can do the Way in stages, provided they are in chronological and geographical order. However, if you only do the minimum required distance (last 100 or 200 km), you must always get your Credencial stamped at the start and end of each stage, including the corresponding date, to show that the pilgrim has resumed the Way in the same place where they last stopped (i.e. you should always get the stamp at the starting point even though you have already stamped the card in the same place at the end of the previous stage).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#5
One a day if starting more than a 100km distant from SDC, then two a day for the final 100 km.
Just to reword the above (which is correct,) once a day for the far distances from Santiago and then once you hit the 100 km mark (200 for bicyclists) you shift over to do two per day.

[EDIT: I was not quite right. Via a private conversation I have been set straight about the number of sellos needed for a compostela. You do need the two per day to show that you have walked the last 100 km or bicycled the last 200 km but stamps are optional before this.

It is however usual to get at least one sello per day on camino because some albergues require you to have a credential to get a bed. If you are lucky and a good liar I suppose you could travel with a blank credential and call each night your first night in an albergue but it is easier to just get the stamp. Not only does the stamped credential make a great souvenir but it also can get you discounts at some places.]
 
Last edited:

SinBosun

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning for September 2016
#6
This is what I thought to be the case, but, in September 2016, when I went for my compostela with 1 per day until the last 100 km, I was told at the desk that I should have had 2 everyday. This did not please me, having ng walked from St J PDP.
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#7
Rules is rules. That's why everybody breaks them. I hope you got your Compostella @SinBosun. Remember the Voluntarios at the Pilgrims Office are but themselves, volunteers giving up their time and not always fully versed in the subtleties of the meanings of a rule ;)

It is scarcely a challenge getting two stamps a day on the whole of the Frances from StJdP (provided you are carrying enough blanks to start with). I have a couple of Credencial with 4 or more in a single day - if I wanted a souvenir of the place I asked for a sello. Its been more challenging on some of the quieter routes. On the Vasque Interior I ended up with a receipt stamp from the local ferretria 'cos the Albergue, the Correos, the Ayuntamiento and the only bar were all shut and the Casa Rural where we stayed the night, when asked for a sello responded 'no tengo'.

I did end up in a discussion with the lovely voluntario at the PO last year as to whether my somewhat meandering route could be considered to constitute a pilgrimage to Santiago but we came to amicable agreement.

I have never encountered a challenge to anyone who can demonstrate they have walked from anywhere farther than the designated 100k but maybe I'm just lucky (or inattentive).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#8
Just to reword the above (which is correct,) once a day for the far distances from Santiago and then once you hit the 100 km mark (200 for bicyclists) you shift over to do two per day.
I almost got that right. Via a private conversation I have been set straight about the number of sellos needed for a compostela. You do need the two per day to show that you have walked the last 100 km or bicycled the last 200 km but stamps are optional before this.

It is however usual to get at least one sello per day on camino because some albergues require you to have a credential to get a bed. If you are lucky and a good liar I suppose you could travel with a blank credential and call each night your first night in an albergue but it is easier to just get the stamp. Not only does the stamped credential make a great souvenir but it also can get you discounts at some places.

I'm editing my original post on this thread. Thanks go to my correspondent for using nothing worse than a wet noodle for a lash.
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept 2016
#9
.....If you are lucky and a good liar I suppose you could travel with a blank credential and call each night your first night in an albergue....
There are a few albergues that require you to have started at least a certain distance before. Struggling to remember which ones. Burgos comes to mind and I think it was something like 50km prior. In these cases you need at least one stamp a day to show you've done the distance.

On the official credencial from Santiago it says two sello per day for the last 100km (foot). As it's in Spanish most English speakers don't seem to read it.
 

Carfax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Samos to SDC April and May 2016
SDC to Fisterra and Muxia) August 2016
#10
You should go to the website of the Santiago Pilgrim Office to confirm it, but the following is quoted from there (with underlining added by me):

To get the “Compostela” you must:
  • Make the pilgrimage for religious or spiritual reasons, or at least an attitude of search.
  • Do the last 100 km on foot or horseback, or the last 200 km by bicycle. It is understood that the pilgrimage starts at one point and from there you come to visit the Tomb of St. James.
  • You must collect the stamps on the “Credencial del Peregrino” from the places you pass through to certify that you have been there. Stamps from churches, hostels, monasteries, cathedrals and all places related to the Way are preferred, but if not they can also be stamped in other institutions: town halls, cafés, etc. 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).
You can do the Way in stages, provided they are in chronological and geographical order. However, if you only do the minimum required distance (last 100 or 200 km), you must always get your Credencial stamped at the start and end of each stage, including the corresponding date, to show that the pilgrim has resumed the Way in the same place where they last stopped (i.e. you should always get the stamp at the starting point even though you have already stamped the card in the same place at the end of the previous stage).
Thanks - I had not come across the Pilgrim Office website before! That was very useful.
 

Carfax

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Samos to SDC April and May 2016
SDC to Fisterra and Muxia) August 2016
#11
Just to reword the above (which is correct,) once a day for the far distances from Santiago and then once you hit the 100 km mark (200 for bicyclists) you shift over to do two per day.

[EDIT: I was not quite right. Via a private conversation I have been set straight about the number of sellos needed for a compostela. You do need the two per day to show that you have walked the last 100 km or bicycled the last 200 km but stamps are optional before this.

It is however usual to get at least one sello per day on camino because some albergues require you to have a credential to get a bed. If you are lucky and a good liar I suppose you could travel with a blank credential and call each night your first night in an albergue but it is easier to just get the stamp. Not only does the stamped credential make a great souvenir but it also can get you discounts at some places.]
Re-reading the "rules" I can see that interpretation. The question this raises is how does the Pilgrim Office then give an appropriate certificate of distance? Surely the whole concept of that is based on the assumption that sellos are collected from the starting point onwards. No need for further discussion though - Thanks
 

Momonne

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primtivo, Portuguese, VDLP
#12
The question this raises is how does the Pilgrim Office then give an appropriate certificate of distance? Surely the whole concept of that is based on the assumption that sellos are collected from the starting point onwards. No need for further discussion though - Thanks
They don’t. :D Some look at the first stamp and credit you with the full distance as if you had walked the whole thing even if you skipped here and there or a whole long section. They really do not have time to calculate the true distance one has recorded with stamps.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#14
If you have a rest day, can you/do you need to get another sello from the same place? And will the albuerge let you back in for a 2nd night, or will you need to find somewhere else to sleep?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
#15
Two good questions. That unfortunately earn vague answers.
Sellos, probably not if you are outside the 100km ring. Your credencial just needs to demonstrate a contiguous journey.
Albergues, depends. Most private Albergues will cheerfully take a two day booking though they will still want you off the premises during at least the morning while they do the cleaning, so no lie-in. Municipal, Junta, Parrochial albergues usually will require a 'sick-note' or some other justification to let you stay two nights. And will want you out the door with the rest of the pilgs in the morning. The local hostales, hotels etc will be pleased to see you ( and you get a lie-in).
 

Bogong

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First, March 2014
#16
Rules is rules. That's why everybody breaks them. I hope you got your Compostella @SinBosun. Remember the Voluntarios at the Pilgrims Office are but themselves, volunteers giving up their time and not always fully versed in the subtleties of the meanings of a rule ;)

It is scarcely a challenge getting two stamps a day on the whole of the Frances from StJdP (provided you are carrying enough blanks to start with). I have a couple of Credencial with 4 or more in a single day - if I wanted a souvenir of the place I asked for a sello. Its been more challenging on some of the quieter routes. On the Vasque Interior I ended up with a receipt stamp from the local ferretria 'cos the Albergue, the Correos, the Ayuntamiento and the only bar were all shut and the Casa Rural where we stayed the night, when asked for a sello responded 'no tengo'.

I did end up in a discussion with the lovely voluntario at the PO last year as to whether my somewhat meandering route could be considered to constitute a pilgrimage to Santiago but we came to amicable agreement.

I have never encountered a challenge to anyone who can demonstrate they have walked from anywhere farther than the designated 100k but maybe I'm just lucky (or inattentive).

An earlier posting indicating a preference for sellos from churches, monasteries etc is poignant. When I walked practically none of the churches were open, but I did find the lady in Torres del Rio who had the key and was happy to open up this wonderful place. The church halfway up the rise in Sarria had a sign saying sellos but it was closed too and no sign of a sello stamp anywhere. Even the Cathedral in Pamplona was closed - on a Sunday afternoon!

So my credential looks like a bit of a bar crawl! Not a single sello on my last day - well actually it was only 2 very early morning hours in the rain from Lavacolla.

Nobody at the Pilgrim Office seemed to mind! Maybe because I looked like a filthy tramp and smelt to high heaven!

De Colores

Bogong
 
#17
If you have a rest day, can you/do you need to get another sello from the same place? And will the albuerge let you back in for a 2nd night, or will you need to find somewhere else to sleep?
If you take a rest day, you don't need stamps on that day, although the person at the pilgrims office may ask you about the missing day. I had an unplanned rest day between Sarria and Santiago with no stamps on that day. It was fine. The pilgrims office just want to make sure that you walked the last 100 km and didn't skip ahead by taxi or something.

For lodging around rest days - I always just stayed in a hotel when I wanted a rest day - then I could sleep in, take a long hot shower, use a blow dryer, scatter my belongings all over the place... a bit of luxury :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2018)
#18
When more than 100km away, when do you tend to get your daily sello.... on arrival at the hostel, at a church en route, on leaving the hostel in the morning? Or doesn’t it matter, so long as you get one?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
#19
When more than 100km away, when do you tend to get your daily sello.... on arrival at the hostel, at a church en route, on leaving the hostel in the morning? Or doesn’t it matter, so long as you get one?
I found it easiest to get the sello on arrival at a hostel.
In Guadix, I declined a stamp from my accommodation because I thought I'd be clever and get a stamp from the Church of Santiago. I showed up there at the wrong time for evening mass and missed my chance. Then I went on a bit of a goose chase to get a sello. (I ended up with a sello from a café for that day).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#20
When more than 100km away, when do you tend to get your daily sello.... on arrival at the hostel, at a church en route, on leaving the hostel in the morning? Or doesn’t it matter, so long as you get one?
If walking the CF then if you stay in albergues it is an essential part of the check-in process. If staying in private accommodation such as pensions, hostals, hotels, etc. then get your pilgrim passport out at check-in and in my experience they will have a stamp for you.
In addition most churches, bars, cafes, tourist offices, other government offices, tourist shops, and various random camino stops will have their own sellos. Getting the stamps is easy. Remembering to get two per day in the last 100 kms not so much. I forgot on one day but luckily got a kind vollie in SdC.
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
#21
I think it may be important to advise that the scrutiny at the Pilgrim Office is not actually as intense as this thread may indicate.

I (and others here) have worked in the Pilgrim Office as a volunteer and issued Compostellas.
The practice is to ask the Pilgrim where they have started to walk and if they walked the last 100 miles on foot. The credential is then looked at to see that it appears to match what has been reported by the Pilgrim.

The long lines and time just do not allow a detailed inspection and detailed audit of the dates and number of sellos.....it becomes fairly easy to notice a suspect credential and more scrutiny would be made and questions asked.
I cannot think of a time that a valid credential was rejected because a Pilgrim failed to have two stamps on Each Day of the last 100km.

It is important to consider the purpose of the requirement...to try to weed out those who are not actually walking as required. The two stamp ruling does make it a bit harder for those who make false claims....but is not intended to deny those who faithfully fulfilled the requirement but may have forgot or missed a stamp.
Don't stress too much over the issue.
Try to get the 2 sellos ...but don't let it dominate your Camino.
 
#22
My credential was suspect, because I got extra questions and a detailed audit. I did have a rest day with no stamps, so that was probably the reason. I explained. The woman at the pilgrims office asked me multiple times if I had walked the whole way from Sarria - asked specifically if I took a taxi or a bus. I had not. She issued my compostela, but I honestly don't think she believed me. It was weird.
 

Kurt5280

Crazy Enough To Try It Again!
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: SJPDP to Finisterre & Muxia 9/15 (MTB) - Norte: Bayonne to Muxia & Finisterre 9/18 (MTB)
#23
Based on my experience...at least 1x Cello/day greater than 200-km from Santiago...at least 2x Cello/day anywhere less than 200-km from Santiago...the only places that my Credential was questioned was in Finisterre and Muxia because the distance was so great between Cellos...so I had to explained in very broken Spanish that I was a Bicigrino...but I saw other Pilgrims have problems with only 1x Cello/day in Santiago, Finisterre, and Muxia.
 
Camino(s) past & future
French way (June 2018) with Finisterra. Camino Dragonte being considered en route.
#24
I think it may be important to advise that the scrutiny at the Pilgrim Office is not actually as intense as this thread may indicate.

I (and others here) have worked in the Pilgrim Office as a volunteer and issued Compostellas.
The practice is to ask the Pilgrim where they have started to walk and if they walked the last 100 miles on foot. The credential is then looked at to see that it appears to match what has been reported by the Pilgrim.

The long lines and time just do not allow a detailed inspection and detailed audit of the dates and number of sellos.....it becomes fairly easy to notice a suspect credential and more scrutiny would be made and questions asked.
I cannot think of a time that a valid credential was rejected because a Pilgrim failed to have two stamps on Each Day of the last 100km.

It is important to consider the purpose of the requirement...to try to weed out those who are not actually walking as required. The two stamp ruling does make it a bit harder for those who make false claims....but is not intended to deny those who faithfully fulfilled the requirement but may have forgot or missed a stamp.
Don't stress too much over the issue.
Try to get the 2 sellos ...but don't let it dominate your Camino.
Hi, I will be walking from Samoa to Portomarin in one day, not stopping in Sarria. Will I need 2 stamps for that day?
 

OLDER threads on this topic



A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Pilgrims here right now

Advertisement
Booking.com

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 33 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 107 14.6%
  • May

    Votes: 179 24.5%
  • June

    Votes: 52 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.1%
  • August

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 218 29.8%
  • October

    Votes: 89 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top