No doubt if you are thinking about walking the Camino de Santiago you have thought about the risk. Are long distance treks dangerous? Is the Camino de Santiago dangerous? Are other long distance treks around the world risky?
As with all adventure, yes, there is some risk in walking for an extended amount of time. People die on the Camino de Santiago each year which is not really all that surprising given the sheer number of people that attempt it: See 6 Month Statistics Camino de Santiago – 2016. But, I will tell you the same thing I tell people who ask me this question. Spain is generally just as safe as any other place in the world. It is no more risky to hike there than it is in the United States, or Canada or Ireland or Costa Rica etc… I lived in Spain for 2 years and feel very comfortable and safe there.
To decrease the level of danger (which is a strong word for the Camino de Santiago) you simply need to prepare yourself physically for the walk. If you have already read my book you will know that I did not prepare as I should have. Do people get robbed now and again? Yes. But you are more likely to be burgled in a major American city than trekking through the north of Spain.
Prepare Physically To Decrease Risks
Several have already died on the Camino in 2016 including a teacher from Ireland who died hours after completing his journey.
A British couple was recently rescued after getting lost in the Pyrenees, narrowly escaping the same fate. (Note that it is extremely difficult to get lost on the Camino de Santiago. This couple was walking a less traveled route. Not the Camino Frances.)
Deaths on the Camino de Santiago by Year (Age Range 36 – 97)
- 9 passed away in 2013
- 17 people died while attempting to complete the Camino de Santiago in 2014
- 13 pilgrims died on the Camino de Santiago in 2015