Movie The Way and the Camino de Santiago: 5 Astonishing Similarities

Posted on March 29, 2017

Comparing the Movie The Way and the Camino:

Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez created the Movie The Way as a personal project. It is the story of Tom, who finds healing and friends on the beautiful French Way. In this blog, we will talk about how the movie compares to Real Camino de Santiago Experiences.

1) Life Changing Experience

In the movie, Tom decides to walk the Camino during a difficult moment. The Camino de Santiago has a profound impact on him by providing greater meaning and direction for his life.

TRUE: When all you have to do is admire beautiful locations and have time to think, it is a state of mind similar to meditation. In fact some people have given a name to this feeling, they call it “walking meditation”. As it happened in the movie, the Camino is the perfect opportunity to relax and disconnect!

2) New Relationships

Although not part of the movie, the Way itself was inspired by the true story of Sheen’s grandson, Taylor who met his wife on the trail. Also in the movie, the main character, Tom finds good friends along the way. After the group arrives in Santiago, the other members accompany Tom to the sea where he scatters his son’s ashes.

TRUE: Some people prefer to walk quietly on their own while others prefer to socialize some more. Several of our Pilgrims have become good friends and in fact, lots of them have met again in their home countries, different countries and back at other routes of the Camino de Santiago.

As a Camino de Santiago Tour Company with 10 years of experience we know of a few cases where our pilgrims met someone and started a romantic relationship thanks to the Camino.

3) From Grief to Peace through Walking the Camino

In the movie the Way, Tom has his son’s remains cremated, and decides to make the Pilgrimage carrying his son’s ashes to Santiago.

TRUE: Lots of people find peace and healing through making the Camino. In fact, many Pilgrims scatter their loved ones’ ashes along the route or at Finisterre. Other people find peace by listening to the beautiful mass at Santiago, where sometimes they mention the name of their loved ones.

4) Possible Theft?

On the pilgrimage, a young man steals Tom’s backpack.

TRUE OR FALSE: The Camino de Santiago is not a dangerous route, however petty theft could happen. Any possible incident is also determined by the places where you stay and sleep; how you handle the transportation of your bags and who is guiding you. To minimize all risks, it is recommended to walk the Camino with a reputable and local agency.

5) Different Nationalities, New Learnings

While walking the Camino, Tom meets other Pilgrims from around the world.

TRUE: the Camino de Santiago is a Social Pilgrimage, you will find people from all over the world, different nationalities, beliefs, cultures and different reasons for walking the Camino. It is a true learning experience!


The movie The Way is recommended in case you are thinking about walking the Camino de Santiago. For those who are interested in walking the Camino but for some reason can not do it, our Road trip tour takes you to several of the sites described in the film.

If you have any questions about any of our routes please let us know. We are here to help you!



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