Walking the Camino de Santiago was an incredible experience for us, and we always recommend that others take this journey. Prospective pilgrims who are considering walking the Camino alone, especially those who are women, wonder if it is safe to walk the path to St. James. Safety is a very important consideration, and we provide information below based on others’ experiences as well as our own walking the Camino.
Is it safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone? Overall, it is safe to walk the Camino de Santiago alone, even if you are a woman. Although there have been reported incidents, this number is very small. While you can expect it to be safe to walk alone, it is a good idea to take certain precautions, which we outline below.
Reasons why you can expect the Camino to be safe
Overall, the consensus from other pilgrims is that it is safe to walk the Camino de Santiago by yourself, even if you are a woman. Pilgrims have shared many reasons why you can expect walking to Santiago de Compostela to be a safe experience. These reasons include:
How safe is it to walk alone, especially if you are a woman?
The Camino de Santiago is very safe. Pilgrims have shared, over and over, that they felt safe walking the Camino alone and did not experience any negative incidents. Women pilgrims have also expressed that they felt so safe upon walking their first Camino alone that they planned follow-up solo pilgrimages to St. James.
When we walked the Camino, we felt very safe. Irene is usually very attentive to safety and quick to notice safety concerns. But, given that we did pass towns, cafes, and albergues all the time, and given that there were usually pilgrims walking around us, she felt no concerns.
In addition, we would encounter the same pilgrims over and over again along the way. Even though we never officially walked with them as part of a group, and didn’t even know some of their names, we recognized each other and greeted each other all the time. There was a feeling of safety in knowing that others knew you, and a feeling of confidence that they would be there for you if you needed any help.
Another indication, for us, of the safety of the Camino, is that we regularly encountered single moms with children walking the Camino. These ladies obviously felt so that not only did they choose to walk the Camino, but they also felt it was safe enough to bring a child.
Although the above reasons indicate that the Camino is a safe place, and our own experience was safe and without incidents, the truth is that there have been some incidents along the Camino. But, the number of incidents is small.
Some have suggested that the number of reported incidents might be due to the increase in number of pilgrims over the last few years. They suggest that with more people walking the Camino, there is a greater possibility of unwelcome behaviors.
But, pilgrims also say that unwelcome behaviors will be experienced no matter where you are, and that this fear should not get in the way of your walking the Camino. Pilgrims suggest going on your pilgrimage, even if you are alone, but taking a few precautions, some of which are described below.
Precautions solo pilgrims, especially women, can take on the Camino
If you are walking the Camino de Santiago by yourself, there are several precautions you can take to increase your safety. While these recommendations are geared towards solo Camino pilgrims, some can be applicable to groups, and some also applicable in locations near the Camino.
Our experience, and the experience of most pilgrims, has been extremely positive and safe. Many pilgrims have even reported feeling safer on the Camino than in their own cities. We believe that it is safe to walk the Camino, even if you are alone, even if you are a woman and alone. But, danger is possible anywhere, so be sure you take the necessary precautions and listen to your instincts. Be safe, and enjoy your pilgrimage!