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Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Hi everyone! This is a bit long, but bear with me because it's important. :) Something I thought about often while walking the Camino (Frances and Portuguese) was how easy, accessible and delicious it was to eat 100% vegan the whole time (I was even able to eat whole foods plant based, i.e. "healthy vegan", for most of my meals!). I really want to share this with anyone who comes across my post because I have seen SO many people in various Camino forums say that it simply isn't possible and you should start introducing animal products into your diet in preparation. That's nonsense, I promise you! Furthermore, I even met a woman on the Camino who's vegan and told me she was buying baby food at the store because she didn't know what else to eat - I couldn't believe it!

There was a wealth of vegan restaurants and albergues (or places with vegan options), along both Caminos I walked. I honestly think I've eaten some of my best vegan meals I've ever had on the Camino this summer. If there was ever a dry patch, which did happen a few times, there was always easy vegan staples in the store (grains, beans, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds). I will say that you need to prepare in advance (i.e. shopping in a bigger city and carrying some food in your pack) if you plan to sleep in a smaller village, or if it is a Sunday, as many places will be closed. That said, I found a fully vegetarian restaurant (with vegan options) in a few different teensy villages (surprise, surprise!) and many tiny shops that had at least microwave rice and beans to get you through a meal.

To be vegan on the Camino isn't as easy as eating non-vegan, of course, but we're all used to that living in a non-vegan world. :p It takes some preparation, but I found the prep time researching albergues and restaurants super enjoyable! The anticipation made it all even more exciting. :)

I highly recommend looking up eateries on your route on happycow.com prior to going, as well as checking out heartofthecamino.com/life/vegetarian-way/ for a pretty complete list of veg albergues (only one of them is 100% vegan, but they almost all have a vegan option, and there are more veg places that aren't included on this list!)

If you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to contact me. I want everyone to know that it's 100% doable to be vegan and to know how to do it - everyone should know this for the sake of our health, the beautiful animals and the environment. Don't be another pilgrim that starts introducing dairy into their diet prior to going because you don't think it's possible - it is possible and you can look forward to some delicious meals as well as a bit of "back to basics" meals out of the grocery store. :)
 

Dani7

Stop wishing, start doing.
Camino(s) past & future
(2020) Camino Frances
Thank you SO much for this information and reassurance. I knew it would not be impossible and you just confirmed it. Thanks for taking the time to post about your experience 👍😀
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
What a lovely positive post!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hi everyone! This is a bit long, but bear with me because it's important. :) Something I thought about often while walking the Camino (Frances and Portuguese) was how easy, accessible and delicious it was to eat 100% vegan the whole time (I was even able to eat whole foods plant based, i.e. "healthy vegan", for most of my meals!). I really want to share this with anyone who comes across my post because I have seen SO many people in various Camino forums say that it simply isn't possible and you should start introducing animal products into your diet in preparation. That's nonsense, I promise you! Furthermore, I even met a woman on the Camino who's vegan and told me she was buying baby food at the store because she didn't know what else to eat - I couldn't believe it!

There was a wealth of vegan restaurants and albergues (or places with vegan options), along both Caminos I walked. I honestly think I've eaten some of my best vegan meals I've ever had on the Camino this summer. If there was ever a dry patch, which did happen a few times, there was always easy vegan staples in the store (grains, beans, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds). I will say that you need to prepare in advance (i.e. shopping in a bigger city and carrying some food in your pack) if you plan to sleep in a smaller village, or if it is a Sunday, as many places will be closed. That said, I found a fully vegetarian restaurant (with vegan options) in a few different teensy villages (surprise, surprise!) and many tiny shops that had at least microwave rice and beans to get you through a meal.

To be vegan on the Camino isn't as easy as eating non-vegan, of course, but we're all used to that living in a non-vegan world. :p It takes some preparation, but I found the prep time researching albergues and restaurants super enjoyable! The anticipation made it all even more exciting. :)

I highly recommend looking up eateries on your route on happycow.com prior to going, as well as checking out heartofthecamino.com/life/vegetarian-way/ for a pretty complete list of veg albergues (only one of them is 100% vegan, but they almost all have a vegan option, and there are more veg places that aren't included on this list!)

If you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to contact me. I want everyone to know that it's 100% doable to be vegan and to know how to do it - everyone should know this for the sake of our health, the beautiful animals and the environment. Don't be another pilgrim that starts introducing dairy into their diet prior to going because you don't think it's possible - it is possible and you can look forward to some delicious meals as well as a bit of "back to basics" meals out of the grocery store. :)
Hi, Mary,

Excellent and reassuring post although I'm far from vegan and vegetarian myself. If you have compiled a list of such albergues and/or restaurants maybe you could post it (only .pdf files allowed) in Resources section of this forum. I'm sure many will be thankful for that.

Have a nice day :)
 

Malachiuri

CaminoTranquilo
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Burgos '17
St Jean to Fisterra '18
St Jean to Fisterra '20
Portuguese '20
Norte '21
I met a lovely woman from Ireland who was vegan a couple years ago in Burgos. She thought ahead and had a nice little card printed up in literate Spanish and French detailing her dietary needs and then laminated. If there was any doubt due to the language barrier, she would break out the card and a big goofy grin for the waiter. Every darn time the response was great and she got some nice meals.

Specialty diets can be hard to adhere to and little things like what she did really made it a breeze.

M
 

bbates225

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July (2017) Camino Frances (couldn't finish)
June/July (2020) Camino Frances (will try again)
Hi everyone! This is a bit long, but bear with me because it's important. :) Something I thought about often while walking the Camino (Frances and Portuguese) was how easy, accessible and delicious it was to eat 100% vegan the whole time (I was even able to eat whole foods plant based, i.e. "healthy vegan", for most of my meals!). I really want to share this with anyone who comes across my post because I have seen SO many people in various Camino forums say that it simply isn't possible and you should start introducing animal products into your diet in preparation. That's nonsense, I promise you! Furthermore, I even met a woman on the Camino who's vegan and told me she was buying baby food at the store because she didn't know what else to eat - I couldn't believe it!

There was a wealth of vegan restaurants and albergues (or places with vegan options), along both Caminos I walked. I honestly think I've eaten some of my best vegan meals I've ever had on the Camino this summer. If there was ever a dry patch, which did happen a few times, there was always easy vegan staples in the store (grains, beans, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds). I will say that you need to prepare in advance (i.e. shopping in a bigger city and carrying some food in your pack) if you plan to sleep in a smaller village, or if it is a Sunday, as many places will be closed. That said, I found a fully vegetarian restaurant (with vegan options) in a few different teensy villages (surprise, surprise!) and many tiny shops that had at least microwave rice and beans to get you through a meal.

To be vegan on the Camino isn't as easy as eating non-vegan, of course, but we're all used to that living in a non-vegan world. :p It takes some preparation, but I found the prep time researching albergues and restaurants super enjoyable! The anticipation made it all even more exciting. :)

I highly recommend looking up eateries on your route on happycow.com prior to going, as well as checking out heartofthecamino.com/life/vegetarian-way/ for a pretty complete list of veg albergues (only one of them is 100% vegan, but they almost all have a vegan option, and there are more veg places that aren't included on this list!)

If you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to contact me. I want everyone to know that it's 100% doable to be vegan and to know how to do it - everyone should know this for the sake of our health, the beautiful animals and the environment. Don't be another pilgrim that starts introducing dairy into their diet prior to going because you don't think it's possible - it is possible and you can look forward to some delicious meals as well as a bit of "back to basics" meals out of the grocery store. :)
Thank you so much for this. I am vegan and although I didn't start adding meat/dairy into my diet before I left, I did weaken and gave in while on the Camino due to lack of planning on my part. It just got easier, especially after my heels started hurting so badly I could barely walk. This will help me stay strong when I return next year :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
At this momeent there is a couple who are walking their second camino from Finisterre in the north west of France to Finisterre in the north west of Spain and left Leon yesterday or today. Their first camino was the Frances. They are strictly vegan. They prepare and always carry some basics with them together with a small lightweight cooker. They are doing a blog and if anyone wishes to contact them or look at their blog, please PM me
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
It is so refreshing to read a post that is positive and proactive, rather than whining about how hard it is to eat vegan or vegetarian food on the camino. Thank you, @Maryfm91.
In the few years that I have been walking, there's been a noticible improvement on the Frances in the availability of vegetarian and vegan food. Alas, it is much harder on less traveled caminos, but it just takes a bit of patience, planning, and flexibility - we who do not eat animal products are eating quite differently than the locals!
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I have walked my last two caminos on a plant only diet. I am an experienced camino walker and knew what facilities I might expect to find on a lesser walked route (Mozárabe from Almería last year, and Ruta de la Lana this year).
The Mozárabe was a lot easier as there were more albergues with self catering facilities. This year on the Lana was more tricky, partly because we were walking during the easter celebrations when many of what facilities existed were closed. However I never starved, although I ate very unappealing meals on many occasions. I never once considered introducing animal products to my diet. Without fail restaurateurs would try to accommodate me, although I often paid a high price for eating off-menu. As the OP suggests, it is essential to plan ahead. I wrote a blog post on my vegan camino experience last year including details of extra items I took to make life easier. If interested, you can see it here
 

franklion

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
So great to see such a positive and healthy thread on here!

To piggyback on it all and offer even more resources -- my partner and I walked the Camino last year as vegans. As you all mentioned, its possible, but just takes a little bit of patience and planning.

We wanted to share our experiences and tips with other peregrinos, so we threw together a small guide of sorts, that was compiled with help from other guides and people we've met on the way.

This is just a first draft, so feedback or additions are more than welcome. I will also add this to the resources section, as KinkyOne recommended. Saludos!

 

Attachments

gehns

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'm starting Camino on September 5, 2019!
I'm a strict vegan/plant-based. This is encouraging! Last year, I hiked the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail eating only 100% vegan foods. This year, I'm hoping to hike Camino as vegan, too. My walk starts on September 6!
 

zoey.caminodelnorte

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (A Coruña)(2014)Primitivo (2014) del Norte (2016) del Norte/Primitivo (2017)
My partner and I are also vegan and I've done 5 caminos, 1 as a vegetarian and 4 as a vegan. (Norte x2, Primitivo, Salvador, Lebaniego/Vadiniense. It's really not hard! Happy cow is your friend and I echo about extra planning being necessary for Sundays or small places.

It's also good to know that allergens are in bold on ingredient lists in Europe so you can look out for eggs and milk at least(except for the trickier ones honey included).

I'd definitely recommend learning enough Spanish to know what to avoid but I think anyone planning a vegan Camino will be more than okay. We definitely don't shy away from vegan junk food or accidentally vegan products especially while hiking but there are healthy options too.

If anyone is planning on doing the above caminos as a vegan they can also contact me! I can give more info about specific products or brands as I lived in Spain for 4 years.

Don't lose hope and don't give up, it will be fine :)
 

Sho

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, 2019
I'm glad to see this post featured. The accompanying salad photo has eggs, so it's not actually vegan :)
 

Felicia V

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2017
Returning 2018
While I am not vegan, my sister and I are vegetarians. Never a problem, just takes a bit of mindfulness. Thx you so much for this post.
Btw, am I the only one who gained 5 pounds? Lol
 

Mycroft

Member
So great to see such a positive and healthy thread on here!

To piggyback on it all and offer even more resources -- my partner and I walked the Camino last year as vegans. As you all mentioned, its possible, but just takes a little bit of patience and planning.

We wanted to share our experiences and tips with other peregrinos, so we threw together a small guide of sorts, that was compiled with help from other guides and people we've met on the way.

This is just a first draft, so feedback or additions are more than welcome. I will also add this to the resources section, as KinkyOne recommended. Saludos!

Which Camino did you walk last year?
 

Mycroft

Member
I'm a strict vegan/plant-based. This is encouraging! Last year, I hiked the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail eating only 100% vegan foods. This year, I'm hoping to hike Camino as vegan, too. My walk starts on September 6!
Which Camino is that, Gehns?
 

Mycroft

Member
Hi everyone! This is a bit long, but bear with me because it's important. :) Something I thought about often while walking the Camino (Frances and Portuguese) was how easy, accessible and delicious it was to eat 100% vegan the whole time (I was even able to eat whole foods plant based, i.e. "healthy vegan", for most of my meals!). I really want to share this with anyone who comes across my post because I have seen SO many people in various Camino forums say that it simply isn't possible and you should start introducing animal products into your diet in preparation. That's nonsense, I promise you! Furthermore, I even met a woman on the Camino who's vegan and told me she was buying baby food at the store because she didn't know what else to eat - I couldn't believe it!

There was a wealth of vegan restaurants and albergues (or places with vegan options), along both Caminos I walked. I honestly think I've eaten some of my best vegan meals I've ever had on the Camino this summer. If there was ever a dry patch, which did happen a few times, there was always easy vegan staples in the store (grains, beans, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds). I will say that you need to prepare in advance (i.e. shopping in a bigger city and carrying some food in your pack) if you plan to sleep in a smaller village, or if it is a Sunday, as many places will be closed. That said, I found a fully vegetarian restaurant (with vegan options) in a few different teensy villages (surprise, surprise!) and many tiny shops that had at least microwave rice and beans to get you through a meal.

To be vegan on the Camino isn't as easy as eating non-vegan, of course, but we're all used to that living in a non-vegan world. :p It takes some preparation, but I found the prep time researching albergues and restaurants super enjoyable! The anticipation made it all even more exciting. :)

I highly recommend looking up eateries on your route on happycow.com prior to going, as well as checking out heartofthecamino.com/life/vegetarian-way/ for a pretty complete list of veg albergues (only one of them is 100% vegan, but they almost all have a vegan option, and there are more veg places that aren't included on this list!)

If you have any questions at all, PLEASE feel free to contact me. I want everyone to know that it's 100% doable to be vegan and to know how to do it - everyone should know this for the sake of our health, the beautiful animals and the environment. Don't be another pilgrim that starts introducing dairy into their diet prior to going because you don't think it's possible - it is possible and you can look forward to some delicious meals as well as a bit of "back to basics" meals out of the grocery store. :)
I echo everyone's appreciation, Mary. I am lacto-ovo vegetarian, and vegan when such options present. I leave in 2 days for the Portugues. I looked up restaurants on happycow for Porto but it didn't occur to me to look for the small towns because of the negativity about options I've read previously. Mary, I'll be on the Coastal route of the Portugues, detouring on the Variante. If I have time at the end, I hope to go to Muxia. If you have any advice or anecdotes you'd like to share, I look forward to hearing about veg restaurants or shops where you found Good Eats!
 

Marciagayle

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2020
Such great information. I’m hoping to walk my first Camino next May and I’ve been curious about if I’d be able to stay on my WFPB diet. I’m happy to know I can!!
 

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Hi there, I just finished it! I hope it helps :) Feel free to email me (maryfm91@gmail.com) if you have more specific questions. There were far more things I could've included in here, but this is the bulk of it! https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vrR1vPm0vWvrjmeG_MDn3j0PsCrEB1Mr

Hi, Mary,

Excellent and reassuring post although I'm far from vegan and vegetarian myself. If you have compiled a list of such albergues and/or restaurants maybe you could post it (only .pdf files allowed) in Resources section of this forum. I'm sure many will be thankful for that.

Have a nice day :)
 
Last edited:

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
This should help you! Preparation makes such a difference. :) Feel free to email me (maryfm91@gmail.com) if you have more specific questions. There were far more things I could've included in here, but this is the bulk of it! https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vrR1vPm0vWvrjmeG_MDn3j0PsCrEB1Mr

Thank you so much for this. I am vegan and although I didn't start adding meat/dairy into my diet before I left, I did weaken and gave in while on the Camino due to lack of planning on my part. It just got easier, especially after my heels started hurting so badly I could barely walk. This will help me stay strong when I return next year :)
 
Last edited:

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Ooo!! I'm hoping to walk the PCT in the next couple of years and would LOVE to hear all about how to be vegan on it. Can we talk via email or somewhere else so I can ask questions and learn?

I'm a strict vegan/plant-based. This is encouraging! Last year, I hiked the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail eating only 100% vegan foods. This year, I'm hoping to hike Camino as vegan, too. My walk starts on September 6!
 

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Also, this can help you on the Camino! I'm a strict vegan as well. :) Feel free to email me (maryfm91@gmail.com) if you have more specific questions. There were far more things I could've included in here, but this is the bulk of it! https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vrR1vPm0vWvrjmeG_MDn3j0PsCrEB1Mr

I'm a strict vegan/plant-based. This is encouraging! Last year, I hiked the 2650-mile Pacific Crest Trail eating only 100% vegan foods. This year, I'm hoping to hike Camino as vegan, too. My walk starts on September 6!
 
Last edited:

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Too weird, I definitely didn't upload that picture!

I'm glad to see this post featured. The accompanying salad photo has eggs, so it's not actually vegan :)
 

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
I can try to pull together a list, I did the coastal route as well! Options are definitely more abundant on the Frances, but still found it quite easy to get the whole food staples I needed.

I echo everyone's appreciation, Mary. I am lacto-ovo vegetarian, and vegan when such options present. I leave in 2 days for the Portugues. I looked up restaurants on happycow for Porto but it didn't occur to me to look for the small towns because of the negativity about options I've read previously. Mary, I'll be on the Coastal route of the Portugues, detouring on the Variante. If I have time at the end, I hope to go to Muxia. If you have any advice or anecdotes you'd like to share, I look forward to hearing about veg restaurants or shops where you found Good Eats!
 

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Last edited:

Mycroft

Member
You can for sure! I'd say I ate WFPB about 85% of the time, as I did enjoy the vegan restaurants and wanted to support them. :) I hope this helps. :) https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZXUmJxnYZXWJnI_J_sTrM7fVRC3z92_k/view?usp=sharing
Maryfm, this list is fabulous. I am leaving tomorrow to begin my journey to Porto where I hope to find bamboo cutlery since I do not have time to get any here before I leave. Will look for your recommended silicon dish as well. My plan at the moment is to take notes as I walk the Coastal Route and in the end, if I have anything pertinent, send this on to you so you can compile one for the Camino Portugues as well, if you are so inclined. One thing I will mention is I believe there is an 'r' missing in your note about making brown rice.
Many many thanks for your good work, and thoughtfulness for sharing this!
 

Maryfm91

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (September 2016)
Camino Frances & Portuguese (June-August 2019)
Awe thank you so much, I hope it'll be helpful! There's some great vegan restaurants I found through HappyCow on the coastal route, including one WFPB one that is sugar and oil free. :) Good luck finding the cutlery and tupperwares! My cutlery is from ToGoWare and the tupperware was a gift, so I'm not sure where to recommend getting it. Buen Camino!! (And thank you for the catches on the typos, I've corrected them.)

Maryfm, this list is fabulous. I am leaving tomorrow to begin my journey to Porto where I hope to find bamboo cutlery since I do not have time to get any here before I leave. Will look for your recommended silicon dish as well. My plan at the moment is to take notes as I walk the Coastal Route and in the end, if I have anything pertinent, send this on to you so you can compile one for the Camino Portugues as well, if you are so inclined. One thing I will mention is I believe there is an 'r' missing in your note about making brown rice.
Many many thanks for your good work, and thoughtfulness for sharing this!
 

Mycroft

Member
Awe thank you so much, I hope it'll be helpful! There's some great vegan restaurants I found through HappyCow on the coastal route, including one WFPB one that is sugar and oil free. :) Good luck finding the cutlery and tupperwares! My cutlery is from ToGoWare and the tupperware was a gift, so I'm not sure where to recommend getting it. Buen Camino!! (And thank you for the catches on the typos, I've corrected them.)
All the best to you. Hopefully I'll have some bits and pieces to add to your file--maybe come November.
 

bbates225

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
June/July (2017) Camino Frances (couldn't finish)
June/July (2020) Camino Frances (will try again)
This should help you! Preparation makes such a difference. :) Feel free to email me (maryfm91@gmail.com) if you have more specific questions. There were far more things I could've included in here, but this is the bulk of it! https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vrR1vPm0vWvrjmeG_MDn3j0PsCrEB1Mr
This list is amazing. Great job. I'll never know for sure, but once home, someone brought up the idea that since I did start eating meat and dairy, it might have caused the inflammation in my system that brought on the bursitis in my heels. This list is going in my Camino 2020 folder for reference. Thanks again for your time and patience with the list. BTW... I love overnight oats 😍
 

zoey.caminodelnorte

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Ingles (A Coruña)(2014)Primitivo (2014) del Norte (2016) del Norte/Primitivo (2017)
Hey everyone, I also made a short note of advice for pilgrims which is just a few paragraphs of general overview aimed more at people who want to cook in albergues, but it won't let me post it here. I guess if anyone wants it they can send me their email and I can send it along.
 

K Turner

One step at a time
Camino(s) past & future
14 August 2019 (SJPdP 16 August)
I was at a cafe in Foncebadon yesterday and they had a print near the counter. At first glance it looks like the path from SJPP to Santiago. Then I noticed it was labeled "The Vegetarian Camino Frances," marking where to get great meals along the Way. I am not vegetarian but thought that was great! My husband and I both have anaphylactic food allergies and though not the same, it does make me respect the various needs out there.
 

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