Camino Trends 2019

Magic Hill’s Camino trends for 2019 were:

Families

80% growth in families walking the Camino with us in 2019. This includes adult parents and adult children, particularly where the adult children live in a different Country to their parents, and parents with teenage children. The most popular routes for families to walk were the French and Finisterre Way.

Teenagers

120% growth in the number of teenagers walking with us on the Camino in 2019. The millennial generation walked the Camino as part of a:

  • Family Holiday– as one parent quoted “our children (17 and 16) are too old for Disney and the kids clubs in the Costa del Sol, so we tried this trip to do something different. It was a fantastic bonding experience for us all and the kids loved it.”
  • Challenge– a number of our teenage clients walked to raise funds for a charity while some Irish teenagers did it to obtain their Gaisce or ‘great achievement’ award. For more information about the Gaisce programme, click on this link: Gaisce Award.
  • Transition Year– others walked it as a Transition Year trip with their school.

The Camino enables teenagers to have a digital detox, reconnect with nature, connect with people from different cultures, practice Spanish as well as providing an opportunity to talk.

Swapping the beach resort holiday for a Camino is the perfect complement to formal school education. Exposing teenager’s to real life situations in unfamiliar environments will provide invaluable life skills and enable them to become more resilient as well as boost confidence and self esteem.

Student Group at Monte de Gozo, French Way, September 2019

Milestone Birthdays

95% growth in groups walking the Camino to celebrate a milestone birthday, in particular a 40th and 50th birthday. We found people celebrating a milestone birthday are shifting from the traditional party in Vegas to an outdoor experiential holiday closer to home; the Camino in Spain.

Christmas Present

For Christmas 2018, our 4 day Camino taster trips were popular Christmas presents for loved ones, in particular for men. The most popular gifts were our: Northern Way and French Way.

Why do People Walk the Camino?

Walking the Camino is about going back to basics and enjoying the simpler things in life – walking, nature  and conversation! It offers time to reflect and opportunities to talk…not the usual small talk encounters in every day life but in-depth conversations about life and the future. The conversations that we just don’t have time to have in the real world today as life is busy.

Plus it is great fun and you get to meet people from all over the world which opens your mind to different languages, cultures and ways of thinking.

The people you meet along the Camino is an education in itself .. the most interesting and inspiring people that have crossed my path in life has been on the Camino, it has opened my eyes to what we are truly capable of – if we persist. Examples include:

  • an English lady with a prosthetic arm and leg (who very proudly wore shorts and t shirts the entire time – inspirational),
  • wheelchair users from the U.S,
  • 85 children with cancer from Malaga aged between 2 and 18 along with all their volunteer helpers,
  • 16 young adults from Madrid with Down Syndrome with their wonderful cares,
  • a group of students from South Korea walking the entire 800km of the French Way as part of their school education programme,
  • an American father and his 21 year old daughter who walked it together after the daughter survived leukaemia,
  • an elderly Austrian couple walking their ‘final adventure’ as the husband was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness,
  • a 7 year old girl from Barcelona on her second Camino with her Dad,
  • an Italian couple with their 18 month old son Libero (which means free in Italian) who walked 1,000km from France to the Galician coast at Finisterre (Libero loved meeting people along the way as he got lots of attention, he walked/ran parts and was also carried on his Mums back),
  • 6 Spanish prison inmates walking the Camino to help them reintegrate into society once they are released,
  • a recently retired man from Denmark who walked for 2 months from Paris to Santiago (approx 1,600km),
  • an 83 year old Irishman, his 76 year old wife and two adult children walked 90km from Santiago to Finisterre
the list goes on …..
16 Young Adults with Down Syndrome from Madrid who walked the Camino in July 2019

These encounters, together with the huge sense of achievement when you complete your Camino challenge and collect the Compostela (certificate of completion), help you realise that anything can be achieved in life, if you persevere. It will encourage you to push through your comfort zone – physically and mentally on the Camino – and in real life at home.

Some people say the Camino is their therapy, but ask any person who has walked the Camino and they will all tell you “the Camino gives back to you what you give to it”.

Written by Bronagh Carroll, Magic Hill Holidays