Walking El Camino is a relatively cheap option for extended travel in Europe. My 6 weeks walking Le Puy in 2016 cost CAD$2,500 + airfare, and my Camino in 2019 cost much less. I was more familiar with the route the second time, and had fewer unexpected expenses.

My cost breakdowns

Round-trip flight to Paris: CAD$450-$800

2019: Flying out of Montréal for my second Camino cost about $450 round-trip.

2016: I booked round-trip from Vancouver to Paris for $650, though I ended up extending and purchasing a separate ticket home for 35,000 Aeroplan points and $105 in taxes (ouch). If you aren’t confident about your timeline, get a flexible ticket!

Transport to Le Puy-en-Velay: €48 – €100

2019: I took the train directly from CDG airport in Paris to Le Puy for about €100 one-way. This wasn’t the cheapest option but was much less stressful.

2016: I took a Ouibus (now BlaBlaCar) from Paris to Lyon for €29, then a SNCF train to Le Puy for €18.60.

Daily living expenses (food and shelter): €18 – €38

2019: I stayed exclusively in gîtes (hostels). These cost €8 to €15 a night for a bed in a shared room. My personal groceries for three meals a day were €10 to €15.

2016: I stayed mostly in chambres d’hôtes (B&B’s) for €30 to €33 a night. This included dinner, breakfast, and a bed. I would also buy snacks and a sandwich every day for €3 to €5.

Unclaimed medical expenses: €80

2016: Blister covers and creams were an unforeseen expense not covered under my insurance. I also bought walking poles in Moissac for €37 (there are cheaper options). 

My claimed medical expenses in 2016 totaled €1,380. Get insurance!

Cell phone SIM: €12-€35

2019: I went with Bouygues for my second Camino. The SIM card came with unlimited calls and 50GB of data for €12.

2016: I bought a Free Mobile SIM card in Paris with unlimited international phone calls and data. It was €20 a month and €15 for the SIM card.

You can’t just pop a new SIM card into your phone if you’re under contract with your current provider. Ask your provider to “unlock” your phone if so (about CAD$50 in 2016).

More info on phone plans here.

Wine, souvenirs, extras: €100

2016-2019: I didn’t buy many souvenirs aside from my shell, credential, and certificate, but there were plenty of chats over wine and snacks that I didn’t initially budget for.

Credit cards or cash?

2016-2019: Most gîtes and chambres d’hôtes don’t accept credit card payments, so it’s good to have cash on hand. The Miam Miam Dodo guidebook marks which accommodations take card payments.

This may have changed with new Covid-19 precautions. Shoot me a line if you’re on the route with an update!