Camping on the camino is not the most obvious choice, but there are camp-out lovers who can’t resist this way of traveling.
We would advice to dive into the possibilities of the Camino del Norte. There are way more camping sites on that coastal route. They are usually more expensive than albergues.
On the Camino Francés there are camping sites, but they are often not near the track. For more advice on camping along the Camino Francés we recommend this page on www.caminodesantiago.me forum.
If you decide to go camping and you don’t mind camping stealthily (‘acampada libre) you should take a few things into account.
Before you decide to go camping on the camino and get together all your camping gear, you should know there are rules to follow…
- Ask for permission if the land is privately owned
- there are albergues that offer camping possibilities on their own land
- keep your camping spot clean
- don’t camp in Parques Naturales, it’s forbidden
- be gone right after dawn if you are not sure your camping within the legal limits
Each ‘comunidad autónoma’ has its own legislation that can be either less or more strict than the national legislation. This applies also to what is considered legal camping. Make sure you ask around to make sure you are not doing anything illegal (or at least make sure you are not caught doing it…). The local municipality laws may also include even stricter rules. Here are some national law indications:
- National law dictates that it is prohibited to camp outside official camping sites if it concerns more than 3 tents with a maximum of 10 persons. The distance between different camping groups needs to be more than 500 meters. You can only camp-out for a maximum of 3 days.
- free camping is completely prohibited in Aragón, Asturias, Andalucía, Cantabria, Extremadura, Galicia and Valencia. Make sure to check where your camino runs through.
- free camping is allowed in Castilla la Mancha y Castilla León, Navarra, Murcia, and in País Vasco. However, it is still recommended to check for local laws.
- camping on the beach is in general prohibited by national law.
Be VERY CAREFUL with fire/cigarettes. There are many forest fires in Spain that each year burn away beautiful parts of my country! We have seen this even during the walk: pilgrims smoking while walking and just tipping their ashes in the air – stupid enough to not think about the consequences of a little spark, some wind and a very dry environment.
- Light weight tent
- Sleeping bag adapted to the season
- Sleeping mat
- Camp stove / Cooking gear
- Trail seat
This post is also available in: Dutch