The Camino de Santiago, one of the oldest and most famous pilgrimages in the world, attracts thousands of walkers each year in search of adventure, spirituality, and a connection with history.

However, there is something special about embarking on this journey during a Holy Year when the celebration of Saint James coincides with a Sunday, which happens approximately every 5-6-11 years. What makes this experience even more memorable? Discover it in the following article and start your organized trip on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.


History and significance of the Holy Year

The term “Holy Year” dates back centuries when it was established that if July 25, the feast of Saint James the Apostle, fell on a Sunday, it was declared a holy or jubilee year. This tradition began in the 12th century and since then has been a special time for pilgrims walking the various routes that converge in Santiago de Compostela.

During Holy Years, the pilgrimage is filled with a unique energy, with festivals, cultural events, and a celebratory atmosphere that envelops both pilgrims and visitors alike. It is a time when the essence of adventure is magnified, and every step becomes part of a collective and enriching experience.


Share stories, laughter, and moments of reflection

During a Holy Year, the Camino comes to life in a special way. The streets host even more pilgrims from around the world, sharing stories, laughter, and moments of reflection. The sense of camaraderie and mutual support is palpable, making the experience even more enriching from a spiritual point of view.

Additionally, with the increase in the number of pilgrims during Holy Years, services are usually better prepared to accommodate the pilgrims. Whether you take the Camino to Santiago de Compostela from Sarria or opt for the full adventure and complete the French Camino.

From hostels to restaurants and shops, everything is ready to meet the needs of the walkers, making the journey more comfortable and accessible.


Special events and celebrations

During a Holy Year, Santiago de Compostela and the towns along the different routes, such as the Portuguese Camino or the Northern Camino, come alive. There are more events and celebrations that enrich the pilgrim’s experience.


Religious ceremonies

In the heart of Santiago de Compostela, the majestic Cathedral hosts special religious ceremonies in honor of Saint James the Apostle. The Pilgrim’s Mass, which is celebrated daily, takes on special significance during Holy Years, with a greater number of faithful and pilgrims coming together in prayer and thanksgiving for having completed their pilgrimage.


Opening of the Holy Door

Only during the Holy Year is the Holy Door of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela opened. This tradition symbolizes a gateway to forgiveness and spiritual renewal. Crossing it is considered an act of great religious and spiritual significance, offering pilgrims plenary indulgence.


Concerts and shows

Throughout the Holy Year, a variety of concerts and shows are organized in the squares and streets of Santiago de Compostela, as well as in other towns along the Camino. From traditional Galician music to performances by international artists, there are options for all tastes and ages, creating a festive and vibrant atmosphere.


Cultural exhibitions

The museums and cultural centers of Santiago de Compostela often host temporary exhibitions related to the Camino de Santiago during Holy Years. These exhibitions offer a unique opportunity to learn more about the history, art, and culture surrounding this iconic pilgrimage, enriching the traveler’s experience.


Gastronomic festivals

From fresh seafood tastings to local wine samplings, these events allow pilgrims to enjoy the authentic flavors of Galicia and share culinary experiences with other travelers.

Local celebrations

You can find religious processions, craft fairs, and medieval markets. These local festivities offer a unique insight into the culture and traditions of each region, adding variety and color to the pilgrim’s journey.


Recommendations to make the most of your Camino in a Holy Year

There are different ways to experience this beautiful journey. This allows you to complete the Camino de Santiago from Tui through all stages, or choose the route that best suits your preferences and needs. Be sure to follow these recommendations:

  • Book accommodations and services in advance to ensure you have everything in order during your journey.
  • While it is important to have a plan, it is also essential to stay open to surprises and unexpected encounters that the Camino has in store for you.
  • To ensure a seamless experience, consider the advice of travel planning professionals. They can help you design an itinerary tailored to your needs and preferences, ensuring an unforgettable experience on the Camino.

Indeed, planning a trip like the Camino de Santiago can be challenging, especially during Holy Years when the demand for services and accommodations is higher. Having the help of travel experts can make the difference between a memorable experience and one filled with setbacks.


Walking the Camino during a Holy Year is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the essence of this ancient pilgrimage and live moments that will be etched in memory forever.

With good planning and the help of professionals, this adventure will become an unforgettable journey, full of meaning and connection with the history and tradition of the Camino de Santiago. Buen Camino!

When are the next Holy Years? In 2027, 2032, 2038, and 2049.