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Switching caminos - still get a Compostela?


New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (in 2020 I hope!)
Hello, I’m walking the Camino del Norte at the moment (started in San Sebastián). I want to leave the route at Arzua and take a taxi to join friends finishing the portugues route so we can all walk into santiago together. I will end up walking the same distance (joining them at Caldas do Reis). Does anyone know if I will still get my Compostela under these circumstances? Or should I push on beyond Arzua before I go to meet them? I would like to get a Compostela this holy year and am very confused by the rules - so any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
It would be a very unusual request and I think you may be refused a Compostela. The current rules are that you must walk at least the final 100km on a recognised Camino route. The English language version of the pilgrim office website also states "You can do the Way in stages, provided they are in chronological and geographical order." What you are suggesting does not seem to fit that requirement.
Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
The English language version of the pilgrim office website also states "You can do the Way in stages, provided they are in chronological and geographical order."
The Spanish version has additional information that makes it even clearer that @AngelCaido does not qualify for a Compostela when he takes a taxi to switch from the Camino Frances in Arzua to Caldas de Reis on the Portugues. The distance between Caldas de Reis and Santiago is merely some 40 km, the same as the distance between Arzua and Santiago.

Cuando se emprende la peregrinación, se elige un camino oficial y se peregrina por la misma ruta elegida, sin alternar ni mezclar las rutas de peregrinación.
Meaning that on the last 100 km to Santiago you must stay on the same Camino. You cannot mix and match Caminos on the last 100 km if you want to qualify for a Compostela. You could perhaps win the argument in front of the desks of the Pilgrims Office (and good luck with that!) if you walked from Arzua to Caldas de Reis but that is some additional 70 km. The Compostela is a recognition for a pilgrimage to Santiago that is walked in a 'normal' way towards Santiago and not in circles or artificial pirouettes.

BTW, @AngelCaido, it is nice to have a Compostela as a memento for a pilgrimage during a Holy Year but there is no connection whatsoever between Compostelas and Holy Years. Just to clarify in case there is some confusion about those rules, too ☺️. Walk your two days from Arzua, get your Compostela, and join your friends for an additional two days from Caldas de Reis - for the win, as they say ☺️. Buen Camino!
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Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
The above replies are spot on. You can switch all over the place, from one Camino route to another, EXCEPT that the final 100km ending in Santiago (Plaza Obradoiro) must be on ONE approved route.

This rule is clear. I have never heard of an exception. But, I allow that it could be possible.

Hope this settles the matter - sorry it's not the answer you are looking for.


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