What is the Credencial That Pilgrims Carry on the Camino de SantiagoThe credencial, also known as the 'pilgrim passport', is a small cardboard booklet that pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago carry throughout their walk. The credencial is stamped along the way (usually at the hostel where you stay) as proof that you really have walked the Camino de Santiago.
In Santiago de Compostela, you hand in your completed credencial. You are then given your 'compostela', the certificate proving you have done the Camino de Santiago.
How Many Stamps in My Credencial Do I Need to Get?If you are completing an entire Camino de Santiago Route, you only need to get one stamp per day.
However, those starting their walk in Galicia need to get their credencial stamped twice a day.
Where Do I Get My Credencial?If you are starting the Camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port, you should get your credencial from Accueil St Jacques, which is found at 39 rue de la Citadelle. For those starting in Roncesvalles, get your credencial at the Abbey. At other points on the Camino, ask at your refugio (hostel). They may have them or be able to tell you were to get one.
What Happens if I Forget to Get the Hostel to Stamp My Credencial?Churches, the town council and the Guardia Civil (a bit like a local police force) can also stamp your credencial.
What Happens if I Lose My Credencial?The authorities in Santiago de Compostela only insist that you have walked at least 100km of the way. So if you lose your credencial more than 100km from the end, you can just get a new credencial. Ask your hostel where to get one from.
You will have more of a problem if you lose your credencial with less than 100km to go, as you will be unable to prove how far you've come. So look after it!