This increase marks a new record, surpassing the figures from 2022 Photo: Skyscanner

The Camino de Santiago Sets New Record with Nearly Half a Million Pilgrims in 2023

Historic record: almost half a million pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago in 2023, most of them for religious reasons. Americans top the list. Among the Spaniards, Andalusians are the first

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(ZENIT News / Santiago de Compostela, 01.04.2024).- The Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, has reached a new milestone with almost half a million arrivals in 2023. According to statistics provided by the Pilgrims’ Office, last year saw 446,035 pilgrims from around the world reaching the Apostle’s City.

This increase marks a new record, surpassing the figures from 2022 (438,321) and 2019 (347,511). The upward trend contrasts with statistics from the 1980s and early 1990s when arrivals barely exceeded 10,000. Holy Years, coinciding with the feast of St. James on July 25, always generated a significant increase: 1993 (99,436), 1999 (154,613), 2004 (179,891), and 2010 (272,417).

Of the pilgrims, 44% were Spanish, with Andalusians being the most represented. Among foreigners, Americans topped the list with 32,063 arrivals, followed by Italians (29,036), and Germans (24,342). Other countries in the top ten included Portugal, France, the UK, Mexico, South Korea, and Ireland. Even distant nations like Australia and Canada were represented, with Austria ranking 22nd (2,429) and Switzerland 24th (1,882).

The Pilgrims’ Office reports that 42.6% cited «religious reasons» for walking the Camino, while 34.7% mentioned «religious and other reasons,» and 22.7% did so for «non-religious reasons.» This phenomenon has transcended the religious sphere, becoming a trend and a lifestyle event. The ease provided by backpack transport services and comprehensive tour packages, including luggage transfer, route descriptions, hotel reservations, and emergency assistance, has contributed to the boom of this unique pilgrimage experience. The Camino de Santiago continues to attract spiritual seekers and adventurers alike, solidifying its place as one of the most popular pilgrimage routes in the world.


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