The Camino de Santiago (The Way of Saint James), is a network of pilgrims’ ways leading to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia, northwestern Spain. Pilgrimages were at their peak from the 13th to 16th centuries before the Reformation of the Church and various European wars that hindered travel. The Camino routes are once again becoming popular for distance walks, spiritual journeys, endurance challenges or just the opportunity to do something different for a holiday.


Traditionally, Camino pilgrims started their journey from their own homes and various Camino de Santiago routes developed over time crossing most of Europe. The Camino Ingles, was the route preferred by Irish and British pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Pilgrims would take a boat from the main ports in their countries and land in the north of Spain to continue their journey. The main starting point on this Camino route is A Coruña, in Galicia, Spain.

Celtic Camino

While A Coruña is a traditional starting point, it is only 75km away from Santiago, meaning pilgrims wouldn’t be able to obtain their Compostela certificate in Santiago. It is now possible to walk 25km on the Boyne Valley Camino around Drogheda and then do a further 75km from A Coruña to Santiago; a combination of the two walks will give pilgrims the required 100km for a Compostela. The Boyne Valley Camino reconnects ancient routes between Drogheda and A Coruña.

link from Drogheda to a Coruña

In medieval times pilgrims travelled long distances to Drogheda from all over the North East and Midlands before embarking for A Coruña in Spain. In Drogheda, it is understood that there was a hostel/hospital catering for the pilgrims by providing shelter and rest while they waited for the ships. It was located near the town walls in what is now the Scotch Hall area. Several references are made to Drogheda as a departure point in Dr Bernadette Cunningham’s book, ‘Medieval Irish pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela’.


Mellifont Abbey

a Coruña

A Coruña is the most populated city in Galicia and the second most populated municipality in the autonomous community and seventeenth overall in the country. The city is the provincial capital of the province of the same name, having also served as political capital of the Kingdom of Galicia. This beautiful city contains a port, a marina and lovely beaches as well as many gorgeous streets, alleys, squares, parks and architecture to explore.