I have had some friends inquire as to the cost of completing the Camino. How can one afford to spend almost 40 days in Europe?
Well, for a thousand years peregrinos along the Camino de Santiago have been taken in and cared for by the people and villages along the various routes. Historically, most peregrinos were penniless. They slept in churches and refugios along the route and ate whatever they could scrounge up. Pilgrimage today is not quite as difficult, but the traditions of communal accommodations and fellowship continues as it has for centuries.
Today’s peregrinos sleep in government or private run refugios, hostels, pensions, and some locals offer spare bedrooms for rent to help their annual income. Some of the overnight accommodations are donation only while others charge from 5 to 10 euros per night. Most peregrinos eat a light breakast, use the market to gather lunch and finish up with a pilgrim’s menu at the village restaurant or a communal dinner at the hostel. All in all, the euro costs are minimal as the experience itself makes up for it in its richness.
If you are contemplating the Camino don’t let the cost hold you back. You will never be able to spend as much time in Europe/Spain for as little cost and gain as many memories as this adventure has to offer.
If you would like an individual euro estimate I have found a neat Camino expense calculator:
I had to smile at the beer comment that pops up after your total is calculated.