The most recommended Camino books

Who picked these books? Meet our 8 experts.

8 authors created a book list connected to the Camino de Santiago, and here are their favorite Camino de Santiago books.
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Book cover of The Pilgrimage: A Contemporary Quest for Ancient Wisdom

Astrid V. J. Author Of The Companion's Tale

From my list on uplifting and transformational stories.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an award-winning and USA Today bestselling South African author, social anthropologist, and transformational life coach. Human transformation and the question of human social nature are key themes in all of my writing, which explores the experiences of people on the margins or with a background of overlapping cultures. I am a book dragon who loves reading adventures in almost every genre and that broad scope of my reading explorations has wormed its way into my writing style which, though broadly defined as fantasy, encompasses elements from other styles in a rich and ‘aromatic’ blend.

Astrid's book list on uplifting and transformational stories

Astrid V. J. Why did Astrid love this book?

This deeply moving tale in Coelho’s well-known philosophical style was my first-ever conscious encounter with key principles of transformation. I’d read some of his other books but although they were uplifting, this one resonated so powerfully I realised it contained keys to unlocking my own self-exploration. It touched me so deeply I created a list of quotes that resonated with me and kept them close, even learning some by heart.

By Paulo Coelho, Julia Sanches (translator),

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Pilgrimage as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this gripping story, Paulo Coelho is on a quest for the ultimate in self-knowledge, wisdom and spiritual mastery.

Guided by his mysterious companion Petrus, he takes the road to Santiago, going through a series of trials and tests along the way, even coming face to face with someone who may just be the devil himself. Why is the road to the simple life so hard? Will Paulo be strong enough to complete the journey towards humility, belief and faith?

The Pilgrimage paved the way to Paulo Coehlo's international best-selling novel The Alchemist. In many ways, these two volumes are…


Book cover of The Cactus Eaters: How I Lost My Mind—and Almost Found Myself—on the Pacific Crest Trail

Keith Foskett Author Of The Journey in Between

From my list on hiking, adventuring, and the outdoors.

Why am I passionate about this?

Keith Foskett has hiked around 15,000 miles on classic hiking trails including the Pacific Crest Trail, El Camino de Santiago, and the Appalachian Trail. He has written four books, and contributes to various outdoor publications. Having once been described as an anomaly (it was apparently a compliment), he now divides his time between walking, cycling, and delving into the merits of woollen underwear.

Keith's book list on hiking, adventuring, and the outdoors

Keith Foskett Why did Keith love this book?

I’d just finished the Camino de Santiago, and my hiking addiction was borderline dangerous. I read everything I could get my hands on, especially about the Pacific Crest Trail, which was next on my list. This is a simple, well-told story of a guy and his girlfriend who decide to hike a long-distance trail. It’s a familiar tale which happens every year. White tells it well, speckles it with humour, and gives a fun-filled insight into one of the greatest long-distance trails on earth.

By Dan White,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cactus Eaters as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When Dan and his girlfriend set out to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, his parents wondered how two people who had never shared an apartment could survive in a four-by-six foot tent in the desert. Not to mention the fact that the trail stretches from Mexico to Canada, through boiling desert and snowcapped mountain passes. Despite the warnings of their loved ones, and even some naysaying strangers, Dan and Melissa set out into the wilderness. They are dubbed "The Lois and Clark Expedition" by their long-limbed, loping guru "The Gingerbread Man" after covering the requisite number of miles to be…


Book cover of A Journey of Days

Sanjiva Wijesinha Author Of Strangers on the Camino: Father, Son - and Holy Trail

From my list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it.

Why am I passionate about this?

The pilgrim’s journey to the ancient Catholic shrine at Santiago de Compostela had fascinated me ever since I first read about it. For centuries, pilgrims had made this arduous journey, the majority of them on foot, along a trail in northern Spain that stretched for over five hundred miles. Many had written of the transformation they underwent as a result of making this journey. Even though I am not a Catholic, I decided to undertake the journey myself in 2011 in the company of my son – and then decided to write about what I had experienced and learned as a result of my journey. Having written my book I became interested in learning what others who had done this journey had to say about the Camino. What was their experience, what perspective did they offer, were they also changed (as I was) by undertaking this “pilgrimage”?

Sanjiva's book list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it

Sanjiva Wijesinha Why did Sanjiva love this book?

Guy Thatcher's book contains useful information and evocative descriptions of places along the trail, people he met, the weather he encountered, and his everyday experience - together with pertinent observations and views. If you have done the pilgrimage, you will enjoy revisiting it through this book. If you are thinking about doing the pilgrimage, it will set the scene and encourage you to undertake it.

By Guy Thatcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Journey of Days as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Journey of Days: Relearning Life s Lessons on the Camino de Santiago, by Guy Thatcher, takes us for a 700-kilometre walk along the camino in northern Spain, an age-old pilgrimage route walked by young and old alike for centuries. He walked the camino hoping to discover the reason for the compulsion that drove him there.

This is an elegantly presented, intelligent book. Your goal may not be to walk the camino, as Thatcher has done, but you ll come away informed, inspired and touched by this beautiful narrative. The real story is the pilgrims met along the way. This…


Book cover of A Soldier to Santiago: Finding Peace on the Warrior Path

Sanjiva Wijesinha Author Of Strangers on the Camino: Father, Son - and Holy Trail

From my list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it.

Why am I passionate about this?

The pilgrim’s journey to the ancient Catholic shrine at Santiago de Compostela had fascinated me ever since I first read about it. For centuries, pilgrims had made this arduous journey, the majority of them on foot, along a trail in northern Spain that stretched for over five hundred miles. Many had written of the transformation they underwent as a result of making this journey. Even though I am not a Catholic, I decided to undertake the journey myself in 2011 in the company of my son – and then decided to write about what I had experienced and learned as a result of my journey. Having written my book I became interested in learning what others who had done this journey had to say about the Camino. What was their experience, what perspective did they offer, were they also changed (as I was) by undertaking this “pilgrimage”?

Sanjiva's book list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it

Sanjiva Wijesinha Why did Sanjiva love this book?

As a military veteran myself, Brad Genereaux’s story deeply touched me on many levels.

He talks about the three things a veteran loses when he or she leaves the military – a sense of Purpose, a supportive community, and a feeling of self-worth. Serving in uniform, soldiers give their all for their country, yet once their service is over many find themselves inadequately supported and unable to settle back into civilian life.

A Soldier to Santiago is the honest story of a stiff, formal, no-nonsense Senior Chief Petty Officer of the US Navy - someone who’d spent years building walls inside himself to compartmentalise the violence and tragedies that had been part of his 22-year military life. Once he left the service he found himself descending into a dark depressive hole without purpose, identity, or mission in life. 

In his own words, he discovered “I fit in….nowhere”.

Brad’s pilgrimage along…

By Brad Genereux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Soldier to Santiago as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Has life passed you by? And you fit in—nowhere?

"I gave the best years of my life to a cause—to a belief that proved false. I loved living on the edge. The thrill of standing the watch. Rushing into harm’s way on behalf of my country. For over 22 years and with pride, I represented America by wearing the cloth of the nation. When my service was all over? Life had passed me by and . . . I fit in — nowhere." — Senior Chief Petty Officer Brad Genereux

Is forgiveness and peace within the grasp of those who…


Book cover of The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook

Beebe Bahrami Author Of The Way of the Wild Goose: Three Pilgrimages Following Geese, Stars, and Hunches on the Camino de Santiago

From my list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning writer, anthropologist, and trekker. Much of my writing is centered on France, Spain, and Portugal and the trails of the Camino de Santiago. My passion for the Camino and its rich legacy arose over three decades ago as a study abroad student in southern Spain when I first heard about the Camino and journeyed across Spain, France, and Portugal. I knew then that my life would forever be bound up with going deeper into the rich histories, cultures, and places of these many-layered geographies. I'm best known for my travel memoirs (Café Oc, Café Neandertal), guidebooks (Moon Camino de Santiago, The Spiritual Traveler Spain), and widely published travel essays. 

Beebe's book list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago

Beebe Bahrami Why did Beebe love this book?

This is the definitive guide to the historical details of the Camino de Santiago, answering any question, however large or small—from the Roman stones on the path to the meaning of engravings, paintings, and stained glass windows—in the many churches and monuments along the way.

By David M. Gitlitz, Linda Kay Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers tour the most popular pilgrimage route in the world, covering the ground traversed by Medieval pilgrims as they trek accross the Pyranees from France to Spain headed for the tomb of the Apostle James. Original. 12,500 first printing.


Book cover of What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim: A Midlife Misadventure on Spain's Camino de Santiago de Compostela

Jill Franks Author Of Every Stranger a God: Hiking The English Moors

From my list on adventure travel with a quirky narrator.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an English professor/long-distance hiker who loves both the experience of walking in cool places and then writing about the adventure. I've hiked across several European countries and odd sections of the Appalachian Trail—such as New Jersey. As for the "quirky narrator" part, apparently I'm brave, brazen, or bizarre to explore the world unescorted. I find I meet more people when traveling alone and pursue my thoughts to a greater extent. I love it when a writer finds a way to put their vulnerabilities on the page in a way that doesn't alienate others (or themselves). I love books with strong, individualistic narrative voices that draw you into their stories.

Jill's book list on adventure travel with a quirky narrator

Jill Franks Why did Jill love this book?

Christmas's tale was one of the two narratives (out of dozens I read) that inspired me to make pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago, the other being Emilio Estevez's film, The Way. What I admire about Christmas is that she is unafraid of criticisms that will inevitably be directed towards a female writer who tells it all, just like it is: Her distaste for the women who accompanied her on a pilgrimage. Her decision to move on alone. Her unstinting descriptions of dismay about the physical challenges of long-distance hiking. Her distrust of men who have intentions on her person! Yet Christmas's experience is not all negative. Like other "true pilgrims," Christmas steps out of her western, worried, ego-centered self and finds a refreshing new perspective.

By Jane Christmas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

To celebrate her 50th birthday and face the challenges of mid-life, Jane Christmas joins 14 women to hike the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Despite a psychic's warning of catfights, death, and a sexy, fair-haired man, Christmas soldiers on. After a week of squabbles, the group splinters and the real adventure begins. In vivid, witty style, she recounts her battles with loneliness, hallucinations of being joined by Steve Martin, as well as picturesque villages and even the fair-haired man. What the Psychic Told the Pilgrim is one trip neither the author nor the reader will forget.


Book cover of The Camino Ingles: 6 days (or less) to Santiago

Sanjiva Wijesinha Author Of Strangers on the Camino: Father, Son - and Holy Trail

From my list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it.

Why am I passionate about this?

The pilgrim’s journey to the ancient Catholic shrine at Santiago de Compostela had fascinated me ever since I first read about it. For centuries, pilgrims had made this arduous journey, the majority of them on foot, along a trail in northern Spain that stretched for over five hundred miles. Many had written of the transformation they underwent as a result of making this journey. Even though I am not a Catholic, I decided to undertake the journey myself in 2011 in the company of my son – and then decided to write about what I had experienced and learned as a result of my journey. Having written my book I became interested in learning what others who had done this journey had to say about the Camino. What was their experience, what perspective did they offer, were they also changed (as I was) by undertaking this “pilgrimage”?

Sanjiva's book list on the Camino de Santiago from someone who walked it

Sanjiva Wijesinha Why did Sanjiva love this book?

For anyone who would like to walk the Camino Ingles (the 'Short Camino' - or the 'Road less traveled by'), Susan Jagannath's book is the ideal companion.

I liked the way she began each chapter with an apt quotation. In addition to encouraging and motivating the reader to undertake this journey, she provides much practical advice about planning and preparation, and then proceeds to describe her own journey along this ‘One Week Camino’ together with a lot of useful information about places to stay and things to see as well as addresses, phone numbers, and webpages. The e-book is regularly updated – which makes it essential reading for the prospective pilgrim

By Susan Jagannath,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Camino Ingles as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

THE 2022 UPDATE

Are you thinking of walking a Camino? But a bit overwhelmed by the thought of the Camino Frances? Walk the Ingles, the shorter, sweeter, safer, and just as authentic hike in a post-pandemic world.

Get checklists, printables and fully updated information sheets on the "new normal" from the reader bonuses.

The Camino Inglés is a smart choice if you want to walk in 2022.

The Camino Inglés spans one province, Galicia, and its capital is Santiago de Compostela, the hallowed goal of the centuries-old pilgrimage. The Cathedral is now open to visitors and pilgrims.

Did you want…


Book cover of A Hug for the Apostle : On Foot from Chartres to Santiago de Compostela

Beebe Bahrami Author Of The Way of the Wild Goose: Three Pilgrimages Following Geese, Stars, and Hunches on the Camino de Santiago

From my list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning writer, anthropologist, and trekker. Much of my writing is centered on France, Spain, and Portugal and the trails of the Camino de Santiago. My passion for the Camino and its rich legacy arose over three decades ago as a study abroad student in southern Spain when I first heard about the Camino and journeyed across Spain, France, and Portugal. I knew then that my life would forever be bound up with going deeper into the rich histories, cultures, and places of these many-layered geographies. I'm best known for my travel memoirs (Café Oc, Café Neandertal), guidebooks (Moon Camino de Santiago, The Spiritual Traveler Spain), and widely published travel essays. 

Beebe's book list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago

Beebe Bahrami Why did Beebe love this book?

A Hug for the Apostle: On Foot from Chartres to Santiago de Compostela documents in engaging detail and voice a very long walk, from Chartres to Santiago de Compostela in the mid-1980s, before the Camino was well known and had dedicated infrastructural support. Dennett’s intrepid account is not only about this journey but also about the historical and cultural roots of the Camino, with a strong respect for, and colorful detail of, locals and their cultures, pilgrims, and the places through which she walked.

By Laurie Dennett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Hug for the Apostle as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A Hug for the Aposlte: On foot from Chartres to Santiago de Compostela by Laurie Dennett Foreward by His Excellency Mr. R. Roy McMurtry Hardcover book published by Macmillan of Canada, copyright 1987


Book cover of Death of a Pilgrim

Lisa Rose Wright Author Of Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart

From my list on Galicia Spain.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have lived in beautiful green Galicia for 14 years and am passionately in love with this undiscovered area of Spain. Whilst writing my own travelogue memoirs, I have avidly researched my adopted country and love nothing more than to travel the area, discovering new delights round each corner. I have discovered that Galicia is not just ‘that wet bit of Spain’ and is in fact a whole world away from the Mediterranean costas of the south with its own language – the language of poets, its own identity, and its very own being. Here I have tried to choose books I feel demonstrate that uniqueness, that special quality which makes Galicia extraordinary.

Lisa's book list on Galicia Spain

Lisa Rose Wright Why did Lisa love this book?

This series of murder mysteries set along the pilgrim’s way, El Camino de Santiago ought to do for Galicia what Montalbano did for Sicily, with beautiful scenery, Galician food, intrigue, and of course, suspicious death.

The stories are interesting and clever but for me it’s the sense of place which really draws me to these books. The author writes with a love for the area which comes alive through her descriptive prose so I can see the places clearly in my mind as I read. Thankfully there are far less murders in Galicia than in A D Thorne’s books but I don’t mind a body or two when the setting is so beautiful.

By A. D. Thorne,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Death of a Pilgrim as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Two years previously Richard's quick thinking and brave action had prevented a bomb blast which would have killed schoolchildren and politicians. A second blast injured him and caused the death of his wife. Unable, physically and emotionally, to continue his police career, he retreated to a cottage in rural Galicia and opened up a small gallery to sell his watercolour paintings, putting his past life firmly behind him. One morning, he finds an English pilgrim murdered in front of his gallery. Once her identity becomes known he is forced to face his past and the truth he has been running…


Book cover of Pilgrim Stories: On and Off the Road to Santiago: Journeys Along an Ancient Way in Modern Spain

Beebe Bahrami Author Of The Way of the Wild Goose: Three Pilgrimages Following Geese, Stars, and Hunches on the Camino de Santiago

From my list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an award-winning writer, anthropologist, and trekker. Much of my writing is centered on France, Spain, and Portugal and the trails of the Camino de Santiago. My passion for the Camino and its rich legacy arose over three decades ago as a study abroad student in southern Spain when I first heard about the Camino and journeyed across Spain, France, and Portugal. I knew then that my life would forever be bound up with going deeper into the rich histories, cultures, and places of these many-layered geographies. I'm best known for my travel memoirs (Café Oc, Café Neandertal), guidebooks (Moon Camino de Santiago, The Spiritual Traveler Spain), and widely published travel essays. 

Beebe's book list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago

Beebe Bahrami Why did Beebe love this book?

Pilgrim Stories is an engaging anthropologist’s account of gathering and making sense of pilgrim experiences and stories from all walks of life, before, during, and after their pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela. It is a wonderful work that captures the complex and transformative pilgrimage process as it plays out on individual and collective physical, psychological, and spiritual levels. 

By Nancy Louise Frey,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Pilgrim Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Each year thousands of men and women from more than sixty countries journey by foot and bicycle across northern Spain, following the medieval pilgrimage road known as the Camino de Santiago. Their destination is Santiago de Compostela, where the remains of the apostle James are said to be buried. These modern-day pilgrims and the role of the pilgrimage in their lives are the subject of Nancy Louise Frey's fascinating book. Unlike the religiously-oriented pilgrims who visit Marian shrines such as Lourdes, the modern Road of St. James attracts an ecumenical mix of largely well-educated, urban middle-class participants. Eschewing comfortable methods…