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Choosing a family holiday can be a difficult decision. You may be swayed by the usual sun, sea and sand options – and let’s face it, who isn’t – but look a little deeper and there may be something more that you can do with your holiday time. What about a family walking holiday? If you have an active family, one that likes being outdoors, then a good walking break can be an excellent idea, and we have the perfect destination for you.
The Camino de Santiago is a very famous selection of walking routes in Northern Spain. In English it is known as ‘The Way of St James’. The Camino is a series of pilgrim’s routes taking walkers from one of many starting points to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, where legend has it the remains of the Apostle St James the Great, have been laid to rest. Some of the routes have been walked by pilgrims since the 9th century, and they remain unspoilt and just as beautiful today.
Why the Camino is Great for Kids
As the Camino de Santiago consists of many different routes, there is plenty of interest for children – and mum and dad – along the way. Not least is the fact that a walking holiday in such beautiful surroundings allows you all to enjoy places that you would not normally visit, and to spend time together in a relaxed environment, at your own pace.
The trick to getting things right lies in picking the best route for kids. Bear in mind that some of the routes may be a touch too arduous for younger children – teenagers should be fine with even the hardest of challenges – so you need to plan for this. It is suggested that the final stretch of the Camino Frances, or the French Way, is the ideal one for younger children.
The Camino Frances is one of the most popular of all the routes and traces paths taken by pilgrims heading to Santiago from France. It is among the easiest of walks towards the final sections leading into Santiago, and if you plan correctly, you and your family can enjoy spectacular walks in easy to handle terrain that can be done in a few days.
This is not the only part of the Camino that comes recommended for kids, but it is the one that most families choose, and it is also one of the most significant in terms of religious history and culture, so it makes for a highly educational holiday.
Planning ahead is always a necessity if you are organising a holiday, but when it’s a holiday with kids things are even more important. For example, remember that as you are walking, you will need to take your luggage with you on your back. You can’t expect the children to carry any serious weight, so you need to plan for what you are taking and make sure the adults or teens can handle the weight.
You should also make sure you have your accommodation booked for overnight stops. This can be a chore with a family in tow, so it may be sensible to enlist the help of one of the many companies offering organisation and planning in walking holidays on the Camino.
There is no doubt that the children will enjoy this very exciting and unusual holiday destination, and that they will also take away a lot more than they would simply lounging on the beach, so why not have a closer look at the many opportunities for walking holidays on the Camino de Santiago, and enjoy an experience you will not find anywhere else.