The Camino de Santiago is a historic pilgrimage route that attracts thousands of people every year. Most people embark on the journey on foot during the day, enjoying the landscapes and camaraderie with other pilgrims. However, there is a unique experience that many miss out on: night hiking on the Camino.

Walking the Camino at night offers a completely new perspective of the journey. The world transforms under the cloak of darkness, creating a serene and mystical atmosphere. The sounds of the day fade away, replaced by the croaking of frogs, the singing of crickets, and the whisper of the wind. The absence of daylight allows for the appreciation of the night sky’s beauty, filled with intensely shining stars.

If you are drawn to the idea of experiencing the Camino de Santiago in a different way, read on to discover everything you need to know about night hiking.


Preparing for Night Hiking on the Camino de Santiago

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, it is essential to prepare adequately for night hiking on the Camino de Santiago. Here are some key aspects to consider:

Choose the Best Time

Not all seasons are suitable for night hiking. The ideal time to do this activity is during the warmer months of the year, from spring to early autumn. During these times, the nights are longer and the temperatures more pleasant. Avoid the winter months, when daylight hours are scarce, and temperatures can drop drastically.

Select a Familiar Section

For your first night hiking experience, we recommend choosing a section of the Camino de Santiago that you are already familiar with. Walking on familiar terrain will give you greater confidence and allow you to focus on enjoying the surroundings under the moonlight.

If you have not walked the Camino before, we suggest hiring the services of a travel agency for the Camino de Santiago. These agencies offer guided night routes on different sections. You can do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria organized by an experienced guide who will accompany you and provide interesting information about the place.


Choose the Right Route

While the most popular Jacobean route is the Camino Francés, there are other Camino de Santiago trails that are also suitable for night hiking. Here are some alternatives:


Portuguese Camino Route

Especially in its section from Porto to Santiago, the Portuguese Camino Route offers beautiful rural and coastal landscapes that transform magically under the moonlight. The stages between Valença do Minho and Tui, or from Arcade to Pontevedra, are ideal for a peaceful night walk due to their flat and well-signposted terrain.

If you do not have much experience in night hiking, we recommend opting for a short or flat section, such as the route from Tui to Santiago in 5 stages. This route runs mostly through flat and well-signposted areas.

Northern Way

The Northern Way runs along the northern coast of Spain, offering pilgrims panoramic views of the Cantabrian Sea. The stages between Ribadesella and Llanes, or from Santander to Santillana del Mar, are interesting options for night hiking thanks to their coastal profile and the sea breeze that will accompany you on your way.


Essential Gear for Night Hiking

To ensure your safety and well-being during night hiking, it is essential to have the right gear. Here is a list of essential items:

  • Headlamp. This is a headlamp that will allow you to have your hands free while walking. Choose a model with enough light power to illuminate the path at your feet and the immediate surroundings. Opt for a model with both white and red light. The white light will help you illuminate the trail, while the red light will allow you to see without dazzling other hikers.
  • Trekking poles. Both day and night, they will provide you with greater stability and balance when walking at night. They will also help relieve pressure on your knees, especially on descents.
  • Reflective clothing. It is important that you are visible to drivers and other night hikers. Use reflective clothing or incorporate reflective elements into your outfit, such as vests or armbands.
  • Comfortable and appropriate footwear. Choose comfortable, waterproof footwear that provides good grip on different types of terrain. Make sure your hiking boots or shoes are in good condition and that the sole has enough traction to prevent slipping.
  • Backpack with water and snacks. Always carry a backpack with the essentials for the journey, especially to keep properly hydrated.


Tips for Night Hiking on the Camino de Santiago

In addition to the right gear, there are some valuable tips that will help you enjoy a safe and pleasant experience during your night hiking on the Camino de Santiago:

  • Plan your route in advance. Do not venture out without first planning your route. Consult maps and specialized guides for night hikers. Make sure you know the distance of the section you are going to walk, the accumulated elevation, and the points of interest you will find along the way.
  • Inform someone of your plan. Before setting out, inform a family member, friend, or the hostel manager where you are staying about your intention to go night hiking. Indicate the route you are going to follow, the expected return time, and any relevant information that may be useful in case of an emergency.
  • Walk in a group or pair. Night hiking is more enjoyable and safe if you do it in the company of others. Walk in a group or pair, as this will provide you with additional support and security in case of any mishaps. If you are traveling alone, consider joining a guided tour.
  • Follow the signs and keep to the main paths. Although the Camino de Santiago is well marked, it is important to pay special attention to the signs during night hiking. Use a flashlight or headlamp to illuminate the signs and make sure you stay on the main paths. Avoid shortcuts or little-used paths that may be confusing or less safe at night.
  • Adapt your pace. Walking at night requires adjusting your pace to the conditions. Walk more slowly and carefully, especially on descents or areas with irregular terrain. Pay attention to the ground and avoid tripping or falling. Allow yourself time to enjoy the experience without rushing.
  • Respect the environment and other hikers. Night hiking allows you to enjoy nature in its purest form. Respect the environment, avoid making noise, and keep it clean. Likewise, respect other hikers who may be resting or walking. Maintain a low voice volume and avoid dazzling others with your flashlight or headlamp.



Night hiking on the Camino de Santiago offers a unique and enriching experience. The tranquility, serenity, and beauty of the night will allow you to connect with nature and yourself in a special way. By following the tips and recommendations mentioned above, you will be able to enjoy a safe and memorable adventure.

Prepare adequately, plan your route, and immerse yourself in the magic of the night on the Camino de Santiago. Discover a new way to experience this ancient pilgrimage route and be surprised by the charms that the moonlight reveals along the way.