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For more than a thousand years, pilgrims have been making their way on foot to the Spanish city Santiago de Compostela, the purported resting place of the remains of Saint James, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ. The pilgrims walk hundreds of miles that make up the Camino, which in Spanish means the path, a road, a route, a way. Movies about walking the Camino de Santiago.

Pilgrims from every background are today drawn to the Camino from all over the world and for a wide variety of reasons. Some are ill, some grieving, some confused, some celebrating, some walk out of devotion or in fulfilment of a vow and others are just simply curious. Some will have walked a hundred miles, others five hundred and others more than a thousand.

What is nevertheless common to them all is that they will have left behind what is familiar and habitual in order to wake each day to a new vista, to a new stretch of road, to the scents and flavours of a land other than their own.

The best way to prepare for such a walk? To know if this pilgrimage is for you? The Road to Santiago movie is a very real account of the journey as walked by Alan Fields; an authentic, down to earth documentary which will transport you to the trail and put you in his shoes. Documentary about Camino de Santiago.

Trailer: The Road to Santiago

Documentary Review

Narrated by Alan Field, along with his friend Jody Latham, both are off on the walk along the Camino, only this will be a very long walk. Neither trained for this walk, nor have they ever walked for longer than a few miles. Now they need to walk around 15-25 miles a day for twenty-eight consecutive days.

Starting at Saint Jean Pied de Port in France and continuing over the mountainous Pyrenees, along the landscapes and wine growing Rioja region, across the barren deserted Meseta, visiting the majestic Cathedrals of Pamplona, Burgos and Leon, through the luscious valleys of the Galicia region towards Santiago de Compostela, covering around 500 miles, Alan and Jody will not only discover the nature of the Camino, but of themselves.

Inspired to do the walk by reading acclaimed author Paulo Coelho’s book ‘The Pilgrimage’, they will try to follow in the authors own footsteps, followed by a meeting with the author to take place in a forest somewhere in Geneva on completion of the walk. What’s it like to walk the Camino de Santiago.

The Camino was the inspiration behind the world’s best selling book by the same author called ‘The Alchemist’. What was special about the Camino to inspire such a book to be written, which has sold over 85 million copies and soon to be made into a movie blockbuster by the Weinstein Company, is something only those that walk it know. Movies about the Camino trail.

Steeped in history and religious myth and legend, the Camino is also the ‘walk of walks’ for most ramblers today. So whether it is the stories of the knights of the templar or the burial grounds of El Cid, or the old churches, which hold stories of miracles that dot the landscape along the ‘way’, this is sure to be a journey of the mind, soul and body. Camino de santiago documentary.

The Camino is unpredictable. So many people begin the walk, over 100,000 people a year, but not all complete it. Even lives have been claimed on the way, as many as 12 deaths in 2013 alone, some hit by passing vehicles along the dangerous roads, drowning or from existing health problems.

Those who have completed the Camino often report that, having set out with one purpose in mind, their eyes were subsequently opened to other possibilities and aspects of the Pilgrimage and many profess themselves to have been changed by the experience, both in their attitude to others and in their conception of themselves. Once it was the Apostle who was believed to work miracles on behalf of the pilgrim and now it was the Camino itself.

The Road to Santiago is a documentary which presents a real journey packed with incidents and chance encounters, both questioning others and themselves. There are arguments, laughter and the meeting of strangers who become family, excruciating body pain, the miracles of ‘Our Lady,’ the possible meeting with Paulo Coelho and the notorious snoring in the albergues (hostals).

All this will make the Camino a walk to remember, not only for Alan and Jody, but also for the viewers who will have the chance to walk alongside them.

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Megan is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging since 2007, with the main aim of inspiring others to embark on their own worldwide adventure. Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

Follow their journey on Facebook, TwitterYouTube, Pinterest and Instagram.

Photo credits: Featured photo by Marcin Bajer. De Pamplona a Puente la Reina by Instant2010. El Camino De Santiago de Compostela by Or Hiltch. Pinterest image of camino symbol on ground by Manuel.

    28 Comments

  1. I watched another similar documentary about this pilgrimage on a flight home from Europe. Although I am not sure I am cut out or called to walk the road to Santiago, I am completely and utterly intrigued. It is interesting, Meg, that you mention how people start the journey for one reason, and then it turns into something else. As I recall, that was also brought out in the film I watched. I love transformative travel stories, and I need to watch this documentary soon.

    • I think you’ll really enjoy the documentary Howard – I too love transformative travel stories, and watching how, in this case, the pilgrimage starts out with one purpose and ends having taken on another.

      If you would love to take on the challenge but are not sure if you would be able to complete the whole thing, the nice thing is that there are options for buses between some of the towns. The thing I really love about the Camino is that it’s a personal journey and the experience for one person may be completely different to the next 🙂

      Enjoy the documentary!

  2. What a fascinating story. I had not heard of this walk before as I’m not particularly religious, but I love the history and greatly admire the courage and dedication it takes to attempt these journeys. I also enjoy documentaries very much and looking forward to adding this one to my list. Thank you for sharing.

    • Glad we could introduce you to the Camino Tonya! The thing I really love about the Camino is that the pilgrimage isn’t just a religious journey any more. While it did start out that way, people nowadays walk it for all kinds of reasons, and it’s a really wonderful way to disconnect from the world and find your place in it again. A fantastic opportunity to reflect and find personal peace 🙂

      Hope you enjoy the documentary!

  3. I have been to Spain thrice and for next time was contemplating of taking this route even though I am not religious at all. If done properly the entire route, it is going to be taxing and that’s what is holding me back… at least for now.

    What I did not know was the movie part. 🙂 Would love to watch it.

    • Definitely check out the documentary Nisha, it’s a really great look at exactly what it takes/means to complete the route.

      The wonderful thing about the route is that it’s a personal journey, and if you find it too taxing you can always jump a bus to the next town and then pick up the route from there. Or spend some extended time in one town to recuperate and gain your motivation back.

      I think that because this is such a personal journey, if you manage to achieve what you’re there to achieve, it doesn’t matter if you don’t complete the whole way 🙂

  4. Thank you for this review! I’ve been looking for a good documentary so I’m hoping I can find a copy of this. I’m about to check Netflix and Hulu because I’ve got a whole day with no plans!! I’m especially thrilled about this because I read The Alchemist when I was younger and definitely loved it. And I’m also a fan of Coehlo so this will be interesting for me.

    • Definitely jump over to their site and check out the doc then Erica – sounds like it’s right up your alley 🙂 Enjoy!

  5. Ahhh! I would love to watch this. Do you know where we can buy a copy for viewing? I’m a fan of pilgrimages and even though I am not religious, its the whole being one with yourself and discovering your own limits. This walk is something that I would love to do

    • Jump through to their website and you can purchase a download directly there. I totally agree with you – the Camino is something I would love to do, not necessarily for religious reasons, but definitely for the spiritual and personal development aspects of the road.

      Enjoy the film!

  6. Defenitely a documentary I wanna watch. The story about the pilgrims is very fascinating. Thanks for the tip Megan.

  7. This reminds me of Tibet where devotees would walk for days and months to the temple. Thanks for sharing!

    • Wow, I hadn’t heard of pilgrimages through Tibet – might have to look into that more and see if there are any films I can watch on it too 🙂 Thanks for the tip!

  8. I am inspired to the el camino when I watched the way movie. As I am typing this I have my 36 days itinerary planned and waiting for my visa appointment by first week of May. I am also doing a lot pre-trip research and i plan to write about it when I complete it. wish me luck! Need all your prayers!

    • I loved that movie too … best of luck Carla! It’s very exciting to hear that you’ll be taking on the Camino also – wishing you all the best in your journey 🙂

  9. This is one of the most famous long distance walks in Europe, and the documentary sounds like a great source of inspiration and information for anyone planning the hike.

    • Absolutely Dave – it’s both incredibly inspirational and informative at the same time. It’s a really fantastic opportunity for those thinking about completing the walk to have this kind of insight into what it takes and what to expect 🙂

  10. I like docs so may have to check this out.

    • Definitely Holly – click on through to their site and you can download the film 🙂

  11. I love watching documentaries that explore stories to a depth I wouldn’t be able to reach myself. Films like these really enrich any planned itinerary, I know many people who would want to watch this. Can’t wait to spread the word, thanks Meg! 🙂

    • Totally agree with you Mar – thankyou for sharing!

  12. It’s very interesting to see how important the journey to Santiago de Compostela is to so many different people. Great review!

    • I agree with you – it’s such a deeply personal journey on so many different levels, and I love how it means so many different things to different people 🙂

  13. Such a fascinating plot for a movie! Imagining the lives lost during the journey… very important to those who believe and those who wish to experience adventure…. may be some day in future I too will set off.
    Great post.

    • Absolutely Indrani … it’s incredibly sobering to watch as they make their way past various memorials along the way. The memorials are a beautiful way to be immortalized and remembered by the more than 200,000 who walk the Camino each year.

  14. Growing up in a former Spanish colony and having been raised in a Catholic country, I very much understand the dedication and devotion of the pilgrims on embarking this historical route. I’ve been to Spain but not in this area. It’s something I would be curious in if ever I find myself in the area. I bet the scenery and landscape is amazing. Thanks for sharing the short documentary! Another one on my list!

    • I can definitely see how you would have grown up learning about the Camino Trisha, I hope you have the chance to journey back to Spain in the future and experience the Camino first hand 🙂

      Enjoy the documentary!

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