The Camino Ingles, also known as the English Way, is a popular pilgrimage route in northern Spain that has been attracting travelers for centuries. This route starts in the historic port city of Ferrol and stretches for approximately 119 kilometers, ending in Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Saint James are believed to be buried. The Camino Ingles offers stunning views, historical landmarks, and a peaceful journey through the Galician countryside. The Camino Ingles isn’t as well traveled as the Frances or Portuguese routes, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that changes in the years ahead. I recently finished a pilgrimage of the Ingles with my family and have selected 45 photos that will make you want to walk the Camino Ingles.
1. Ferrol is a fantastic city to launch off on a new pilgrimage. For those that have walked the Portuguese route, you can think of Ferrol as a very small version of Porto. The city has restaurants, markets, and department stores (Decathlon and El Corte Ingles) to load up on food and any gear you may have forgotten at home. There are also some really nice attractions centered around the naval history of the harbor. I strongly suggest a visit to the naval museum, and if you’re short on time, a simple walk around the harbor is equally rewarding.
2. Every great story begins with an introduction. On the Camino Ingles, there is a large stone block signifying the start of the pilgrimage. Just behind the starting point is a large archway and narrow road that began our journey towards Santiago.
3. After leaving the harbor of Ferrol, the Camino Ingles works its way through the heart of Ferrol. This was one of the last places to grab food/snacks on the first 10km of this first stage, as many other places were closed on an early Sunday. Owen was charging ahead, with excited little legs that couldn’t move fast enough.
4. The scallop shell is a common symbol of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, and is often referred to as the “Camino Scallop”. It is believed to have both a practical and a spiritual significance for pilgrims who walk the Camino. Practically, the scallop shell was used by pilgrims as a way to gather food and water during their journey. They would use the shell to scoop water from streams or to collect food like berries and nuts. The shell was also used as a bowl or plate to eat from. Spiritually, the scallop shell has come to represent the journey of the pilgrim. The shell’s grooves, which radiate outwards from a central point, are said to represent the different paths pilgrims take to reach the Camino. Just as the grooves all lead to a single point, the pilgrim’s journey is said to lead to the final destination of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Saint James are believed to be buried.
5. The first stage on the Camino Ingles has pilgrims spending their first few miles along the shoreline. Our first day was one continuous ‘pinch me’ moment.
6. One of my favorite parts of the Camino experience is the coffee culture in small towns and villages. Each town tends to have a cafe/bar where locals congregate for news, conversation, coffee, food, beer, and more. These stops are vital for well fed and highly caffeinated pilgrims. I tend to start my days with a few americanos and tortilla, then transition to bocadillos and Aquarius’ as the day grows long.
7. Walking the Camino Ingles with my 5-year old son was a lot of fun. I walked my first Camino in 2012, and covered the entire 500-mile Frances in 23 days. I slowed things down a lot more in 2018, when I took my then 2-year old on the Portuguese Route. For the Ingles, we took things even slower and enjoyed every mile of walking. It was amazing to see The Way through his eyes, and allow him the time to explore and play whenever he wanted a break.
8. A hórreo is a traditional raised granary or storage building that is commonly found in the northern regions of Spain, particularly in Galicia, Asturias, and Cantabria. The word “hórreo” comes from the Latin “horreum”, which means barn or storehouse.
The design of the hórreo has remained largely unchanged for centuries, and many of these structures are now considered historical landmarks. Some hórreos have been converted into houses, barns, or storage sheds, while others remain in use for their original purpose, storing crops such as corn, beans, and potatoes.
9. On previous Caminos, I took the budget friendly option and stayed in albergues and affordable hotels. On the Ingles, there aren’t as many accommodations, and I was forced to book at a few really nice Bed and Breakfasts. This turned out to be a great investment though, as we had the time and space to really relax at the end of each day.
10. At the top of the uphill section between Miño and Betanzos, we found a table with snacks and drinks. Just as Owen darted towards the table, we were welcomed by two gentlemen that were incredibly cheerful despite the weather. After a brief conversation, we learned that they were part of a trail angel group that supported pilgrims. These stations were common along the Camino Frances, but this was the first and only one we came across on the Ingles. It’s always inspiring to have the support of the local communities along The Way.
11. At the end of a long day of hiking, it’s nice to have a beer, bread, and tapas before jumping into the pilgrims menu for a dinner order.
12. I was walking slightly ahead of Owen and Julia with my head down in the drizzle as we approached the town of Gas.Just then, I saw a flash of white on the road up ahead. As my eyes focused in, I realized it was an untethered horse looking into the window of a house. As we got close to the horse, it turned around in a relaxed stance and gave us a friendly head nod.
13. Everywhere we go, Owen makes friends with every animal we come across.
14. There were times when my little guy grew tired of his pack. It was easy enough for me to carry his load a few miles at a time.
15. Raixo is one of my favorite lunch order while walking a Camino. It’s a simple dish of pork and potatoes, but hits all of the right notes to keep me charging ahead on long days.
16. The town of Betanzos dates back to the time of the Romans, when it was known as Flauvium Brigantium. Later on in the Medieval period, the town’s name changed to Carunio. Walking into the town of Betanzos feels like stepping back into history, with one of the best preserved old quarters in all of Galicia.
17. Tetería Peregrino is a pilgrim stop between Pontedeume and Miño. It has a beautiful shaded outdoor seating area patrolled by the sweetest little dog you’re ever likely to meet. There is also a clean restroom, and a gift shop that sells Camino related memorabilia. We took a nice long break enjoying the beautiful weather and met a couple walking the Camino with their 2-year old daughter in a stroller. It was really cool to see another kid on the Camino.
18. Once we arrived in Ferrol, we checked in to our accommodation for the night, the well known and well reviewed Parador Hotel. This hotel was perfectly situated for exploring the area on our 0-day, and for getting us to the starting point of the Camino Ingles the following morning.
19. There are few things more exciting than counting down the kilometers on the final days towards Santiago!
20. Along the Ria de Ferrol we passed through Molino de Las Aceñas at the 8 mile marker on the Ingles. This tide mill has a fascinating history that dates back to the 18th century. Molino de Las Aceñas was used as one of the primary flour factories in Galicia during the 18th and 19th centuries.
21. After leaving Molino de Las Aceñas, we reached the 100km marker. With a total distance of 114km on the Camino Ingles, Owen had already knocked out the first 14km (8.7 miles) with nothing but smiles and laughter. To celebrate, we walked a little off trail into the town of Xubia to celebrate for a pizza lunch.
22. After a long day of walking, it’s always nice to commune with pilgrims and refuel for the days ahead. I had some incredible meals in Galicia on the Ingles and looked forward to dinner each night.
23. The beautiful grounds of the Pazo da Merced hotel include a beautiful pool and an affable jack russell terrier that was constantly baiting us into a game of fetch.
24. If I wasn’t ordering a plate of raixo for lunch, I was picking up a hamburger or bocadillo depending on what was available.
25. On all three Caminos I’ve walked, I’ve made friends with a few horses along the Way. These horses see people pass by all day long, and are always very social.
26. The beach town of Miño was a real treat after a long day of walking. We had a nice dinner at the hotel, and then Owen spent the evening running around on the beach.
27. The best part of a pilgrimage is meeting fellow pilgrims. We had amazing little Camino family on the Ingles, and I’m hoping I can get together with everyone soon here in the States.
28. In Pontedeume, we climbed the Torreón dos Andrade guard tower. The base level of the tower is a visitor center to the overall museum. From the base, steps take visitors to three higher levels displaying art, castle replicas, and other interesting artifacts. At the very top of Torreón dos Andrade, visitors get a fantastic view of the Rio de Eume estuary, the Ponte de Eume bridge, boat moorings, the fish market, and the town of Cabanas. Owen felt like a real super hero having made it all the way to the top!
29. I’ve already talked about my love of Raixo for lunch. For Owen and Julia, the lunchtime order was always pizza!
30. The weather can be volatile in Galicia. One day you’ll have cold rain, and a few days later it can be 90 degrees. We had a few days of heat at the tail end of the Ingles, and saw the sheep hiding from the sun under a horreo.
31. For us to beat the heat, we made sure to hydrate. Owen loved drinking peach juice boxes, and Julia and I opted for Aquarius.
32. Facilities on the Ingles aren’t as numerous as the Frances or Portuguese routes, so sometimes you just have to sit at a bus stop to take a break, beat the heat, and relax.
33. In Siguero, we attended a conference on the Camino Ingles. We enjoyed the music, food, crafts, and energy.
34. As much as I love staying at the private hotels after a long day of walking, nothing beats the energy of an albergue. Camino Real made for the perfect stop on our final night before Santiago.
35. The climb out of Pontedeume is a big one, but offers fantastic views form the top of the Rio Eume. After a day of rain and grey skies, it was beautiful to see the landscape on a blue-bird day. Owen was powered by a few bottles of zumo de melocoton (peach juice), and had no problem with the steep 500ft climb out of town.
36. After a steep climb it’s always fun to celebrate! Especially when the elevation profile map calls for a few miles of level walking.
37. One of my favorite parts of the Camino experience is walking through old towns and villages that I’d otherwise never see while traveling.
38. We didn’t bring any swimwear for our visit to the beaches of Miño…but that didn’t stop Owen from going in the water!
39. It’s hard to explain the comfort and welcome pilgrims experience at cafes and bars along The Way to those that have never walked. It really is something special to be greeted like family when walking through the door, before refueling and hydrating for the miles ahead.
40. I don’t know how my son will look back at this experience when he’s older, but I hope it is something he returns to as an adult to find what I found.
41. Every walk towards Santiago is filled with my favorite cake, the Torta de Santiago! The Torta de Santiago is an almond cake from Galicia with origins in the Middle Ages and the Camino de Santiago. The torta is made using ground almonds, eggs, and sugar, with other flavors depending on the recipe.
42. Bagpipes are a traditional instrument in Galicia, the region of Spain where Santiago de Compostela is located. They have a strong cultural significance in the region, and are often played during celebrations and festivals.
In the context of the Camino de Santiago, bagpipes have come to be associated with the final destination of the pilgrimage: the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of Saint James are believed to be buried. The tradition of playing bagpipes at the Cathedral dates back to the Middle Ages, when pilgrims would arrive in Santiago de Compostela after weeks or months of walking, often exhausted and emotional. The sound of the bagpipes, with their mournful, haunting notes, would serve as a symbol of the pilgrims’ journey and a way to welcome them to their destination.
43. A visit to Galicia is not complete without a few orders of pulpo (octopus), langostinos (crayfish), and other local seafood delicacies.
44. The final destination, Santiago de Compostella! It’s hard to put into words what it feels like to stand in front of the cathedral. It’s one of those life experiences you just have to see for yourself.
45. After walking to Santiago on all three occasions, I’ve gotten up early to experience the city while most visitors are sleeping. It’s something I suggest if you’re up for an early morning. In my opinion, it’s the best way to see the city.
13 thoughts on “45 Photos That Will Make You Want to Walk the Camino Ingles”
Lots of happy memories for you there. I am so excited to be heading to Spain in May to create some more amazing camino memories. Buen camino to you. Mel
So glad to hear you’ll be heading to Spain in May to create some memories on the Camino! Which route will you be walking?
Great to see a photo summary of your pilgrimage. Any one of these photos would be enough. What’s next? Another trail/pilgrimage?
Thanks, Charles! I’ve been planning out a few things. I think we’ll do another camino in 2-3 years when my son is old enough to walk the Primativo. That is the one route to Santiago I really want to do.
What an incredible journey and wonderful photos.
Thank you! It was a lot of fun, but as always…we’re already planning the next one 🙂
Where are you considering?
Croatia is high on the list right now! I also have a loose itinerary planned for the Dolomites. I’m just keeping my eye on airfare and will jump on a deal and plan a trip based on that 🙂
All those memories and cute pictures make me want to hit The Way again… Thanks for sharing the love of that particular trail again with us.
Happy trails elswhere !
Thank you, Juls! Happy trails to you as well!
That’s a beautiful family adventure, thanks for sharing! Spain is in my family’s calendar for the fall. We’re headed to Paris in April. Worth investing in a 23mm, or 35mm lens? I only have the Fuji 18-55mm kit lens. I was happy with it during my past few trips that involved more landscapes and portraits. But I always felt that I could have had a better lens for the job. I am looking for the best option to travel light and do a mix of portrait and city photography.
Thank you, Pasquale! Paris should be beautiful in the fall! Your 18-55 should be a nice travel lens. For this Camino, I traveled with my Sony a7c and my compact 35mm/f2.8 and 40mm/f.2.5. For my Fuji kit, that would have been the 23mm/f2 and 27mm/f2.8. If I were going to Paris, I’d bring a compact prime along, and the 23 or 35 would be top of the list.