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Where to aquire the Credential


New Member
I am planning to do the Camino in about a month - the second week of March. I am worried about a couple of things: Where does one obtain the Pilgrim's "passport"? The American-based Friends of the Camino says on their website that they offer one free but offer no contact details or even e-mail so that you could request one. Does anyone have any suggestions? Also, I plan to start second week of March 2005 and wonder if anyone else is planning on the same time? Also, is it difficult to get from Madrid to St. Jean? Thanks so much for any help anyone can offer!

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Staff member
Hi Neil,

Welcome to the board. I have done some checking and found this list of places where you can obtain your credentials (see below).

I am not familiar with the passport give by “American-based Friends of the Camino”. Has anyone else heard of this one?

Regarding getting from Madrid to St. Jean. I have not travelled that leg myself, but I would look to travel by bus or train. Please check links below:

Train –

Bus -

If anyone has anything to add, please feel free to add to this.

Welcome to Santiago!


Where to acquire the Credential

RONCESVALLES - Oficina del peregrino.
CANFRANC - Oficina de turismo de Canfranc Estación (Torre de Fusileros, situada entre Canfranc Estación y Canfranc Pueblo).
JACA - Iglesia de Santiago.
LARRASOAÑA - Albergue Municipal de Peregrinos (D. Santiago Zubiri).
PAMPLONA - Albergue de peregrinos. - La Universidad de Navarra también las distribuye en el punto de información que tiene en el Edificio Central del campus universitario.
PUENTE LA REINA - Albergue de peregrinos.
ESTELLA - Albergue de peregrinos.
LOGROÑO - Albergue Municipal de peregrinos.
SANTO DOMINGO DE LA CALZADA - Albergue de peregrinos de la Cofradía del Santo.
BURGOS - Albergue de peregrinos (Asociación de amigos del Camino de Burgos).
FRÓMISTA - Oficina del peregrino (Monasterio de San Zoilo).
LEÓN - Albergue de peregrinos.
ASTORGA - Albergue de peregrinos.
MOLINASECA - Albergue de peregrinos (Alfredo).
PONFERRADA - Albergue de peregrinos.
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO - Albergue de peregrinos AVE FÉNIX (Jato).
O CEBREIRO - Albergue de peregrinos.
SAMOS - Albergue del Monasterio.
SARRIA - Albergue de peregrinos.
PORTOMARÍN - Albergue de peregrinos.
neilbalk said:
I am planning to do the Camino in about a month - the second week of March.

The Ides of March? Is this wise? More seriously, beware Holy Week, which is a BIG holiday in Spain.

neilbalk said:
Where does one obtain the Pilgrim's "passport"?

besides Ivar's list, you should also be able to get one in St Jean; see Confraternity's page

neilbalk said:
The American-based Friends of the Camino says on their website that they offer one free but offer no contact details or even e-mail so that you could request one.

you're probably looking at the old website. Try

neilbalk said:
is it difficult to get from Madrid to St. Jean?

yes. Wrong side of Pyrenees. Madrid Amigos give some advice on getting to Camino Frances from Madrid on their website
but getting to St Jean involves using a taxi over the Pyrenees. The alternative is to go via Irun to Bayonne, and train from there. A long journey.

However, there's no rule that you have to start in St Jean - why not start in Madrid? There's a description on the Madrid Amigos site, and the Confraternity publish a guide in English.


New Member
Most Spanish pilgrims from Madrid would start at Roncesvalles and obtain a credencial there-its too convoluted to go round the coast via Bayonne to get to St Jean.

Take the train or bus (faster) to Pamplona and take the 1800 bus (1600 on Saturdays) up to Roncesvalles.

stacey murphy

New Member
Hello Neil,
I have the same questions as you and am going to be starting the trail middle of March as well. It does seem complicated to start at Jean St. pied, so, unless I find an easy was to get there, I will start from Paploma, where I am hoping I can get a pilgrim's passpost as The Friends of the Camino have no contact info. Hope to see you on the trail.
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New Member

Thanks so much for the research and replies Ivar, Peter, Marion and Stacey. Peter's link to the American Pilgrim's site proved very useful and I got in contact with someone there. Also, I did find a route via train (although a long ride) from in case anyone else has similar queries. Thanks again!


Active Member
neilbalk said:
Where does one obtain the Pilgrim's "passport"?

Late response but I have just got down to detail planning for my pilgrimage and I too am looking for a passport. The reason I want one in advance is so that I can get my first stamp from my own church St James here in England.
According to csj website if you are not a member “don’t ask us” try somewhere else. To join csj would cost £20 + £10 + postage so a “free to members” passport would cost me approx £30.42. Call me old fashioned but that’s a bit steep considering the Irish CSJ only ask 10€ for non members. Also as directed I can get one from elsewhere at a fraction of that cost. I don’t know what the csj finances are like but suppose they charged £5 + postage x number of uk pilgrims = money in the bank to use for csj projects or have I missed the point?
So looks like I shall have to look down the back of the sofa and dig out some euros and get a passport posted over from France so that I can start from the uk. I am already looking forward to the high lonely plains in January.

I distinctly remember the then Chairman of the Confraternity stating at an AGM a few years ago that the CSJ would always provide a free passport to anyone from Britain, member or not - it is, after all, supposed to be a charity. The webpage probably reflects the fact that most people start at some point like St-Jean or Roncesvalles where they can pick one up anyway, and the CSJ has better things to do than post one to them. I would agree with you that it would be better to send one to someone like yourself on a cost+ basis, and then hope you might be interested enough to join on your return. Try pestering them ;-)


New Member
Hello Neil

The Confraternity is always happy to consider applications from people not able to pay the membership subscription. I am sure Laurie Dennett as Chairman said that noone should be prevented through lack of means from making the pilgrimage, rather than the CSJ would provide 'free' passports to anyone who asks.

The membership subscription should not be seen as a payment for which one receives goods of a certain value. By subscribing, people support the work we do advising, supporting and encouraging pilgrims, not to mention publishing a pretty full range of inexpensive Guides to a large number of routes, a good website a comprehensive library as well as a quarterley Bulletin, running 2 refuges etc etc.

Many of the other Associations you mention have not been able to sustsain their efforts after initial enthusiasm and I would not be sure that on every occasuon you would receive a Pilgrim credencial.

I hope that sets the scene a bit more clearly. For a pilgrimage from England, for someone unwilling to join the CSJ I would advise the creation of one's own document. It should state that you a bona fide pilgrim-perhaps the priest at your St James church starting point could stamp and sign it for you? In Spain credencials are necessary to access the refuges. In England and France they serve more as a record of your journey.

Our present chairman has got the matter of finding stamps in England down to a fine art, travelling equipped with scissors and pritt stick. He collects logos/art work from church leaflets and makes his own stamps, dating each entry himself.(Most churches only have a stamp saying 'Not to be taken away)!

Remember that you only have to show that you have completed the final 100km (200km for cyclists) to be considered for a 'compostela' at the end.

Marion said:
I am sure Laurie Dennett as Chairman said that noone should be prevented through lack of means from making the pilgrimage, rather than the CSJ would provide 'free' passports to anyone who asks.

no, it was specifically on the question of the credencial and whether people had to be a member to get one. I think it was in the debate on becoming a company. Don't remember the exact words but something like 'I would hope that pilgrims would always be able to get a passport without charge.' Anyone wanting to use the increasing amount of pilgrim accommodation in France needs to show that they are a pilgrim too, which is normally done with a credencial. Be interesting to know what they consider to be proof of being a pilgrim.
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Active Member
pilgrim passport

Peter and Marion

Thanks for that information. I did have another question about what a passport actually was and could I just design my own which I think you have answered.

Fact is though csj still state on their website if you are not a member do not apply to us. Anyway I have sent 20€ to France for a passport in the hope that they will send one back over to me. It could have been a donation to csj. Might consider membership when I return or want to volunteer as a warden.

Re: pilgrim passport

michael said:
I did have another question about what a passport actually was and could I just design my own

"the pilgrim credential can exclusively be drawn up by the Church through its institutions – that is to say, Bishopric, Parish, Confraternity, etc. or institutions authorized by the Church."
If you were to design one together with your local church so that it is obviously originating from the church, then the pilgrim office in Santiago _should_ accept it. But if you want to be absolutely sure of getting a compostela, you might be better picking up an official credencial in Spain as well. At one time they were reluctant to accept even the CSJ's pilgrim record as a credencial.


New Member
The Canadian Company of Pilgrims ( also known as The LIttle Company of Pilgrims) issues credentials to its members. Membership is $10.00 CDN and a credential is $5.00 CDN the total equates to approx. 7 pounds sterling.


Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2006, Camino Portuguese 2009
I got one from . On the side of the site it says Quick Links and under that there is a place to click that says credentials.
There is a form to fill out and they ask if you would like to give a donation but they send it without one.


I have a question regarding getting credentials at Roncesvalles. I read somewhere (and I can't find it anymore) that they require a "letter of introduction" from your local parish priest or some other competent person. My boyfriend and I are not religious, so I would like to know who I should procure this letter from in order for it to be accepted at Roncesvalles. Any advice?
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Active Member
Good afternoon

I walked the camino in October from Cebreiro to Santiago . I picked up my credential at the church in OCebreiro.

My walking partner got one at the Pilgrim Office in Santiago(we flew into santiago and then took a bus to pedrafieta).

I was not asked for a letter. IMHO , I dont think that is required.

In the Netherlands( I live here), there is an organisation that sells the Credential for Euro 2,75 . But one has to be member and that costs probably another E20 per year (total first year Euro 31).

We picked up our credentials in Spain for Euro and less. So dont bother about these stories about getting letters or being members of organisation or paying exorbitant money to get the credentials .

Do look at this site ... egrino.htm

I quote

How to get the credential
You can get it at the starting point, in hostels (usually) and also at the Collegiate Church of Orreaga/Roncesvalles or in the Archbishopric of Pamplona. It costs approximately 1 euro and should be stamped at each stop on the way in inns, tourist offices, etc. to be able to gain access to pilgrims' hostels. Priority is usually given to people walking the route over those on horseback or cycling.

La Compostela
This is a document that certifies that a person has made the pilgrimage to Santiago. It is issued by the Chapter of the Cathedral of Santiago after you have shown the duly stamped credential. There is just one minimum requirement: you must have done at least 100 kilometres on foot or on horseback, or 200 kilometres by bicycle.

Other recommended documents
Up-to-date information on accommodation, a good (and not very heavy) Guide to the Pilgrim's Way, a road map, Identity Card/Passport, National Insurance/Social Security/European Health Card and bank cards.




Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
For Klarita

At Roncesvalles, and elsewhere in Spain, you do not need a letter of introduction from your local priest pilgrim to get a credential. Just go to the Pilgrim Office in Roncesvalles and fill in a simple form. The passport costs about 2euros.

My credentials have come from Roncesvalles and also Madrid Cathedral, and an additional one from Viana albergue and at no time was I asked to provide anything other than personal information.



Then it must have been some old or incorrect information. In any case thanks, for all the replies, that has basically solved my only worry. Now I just have to plan the getting there and back (it is quite a way from Prague), and off we go!

dave 2

New Member
hi neil, im coming from gb plan tostart from st jean on march 13th, hope to see you on the road hope the sun shines happy days

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