Ukrainian Camino will resume in April after a two-year hiatus

The official season of the Saint James Way of Podillya (Camino Podolico) in Ukraine begins on April 25. Information for tourists and pilgrims has already begun to be updated on the website of the route, which has not officially functioned since 2022 due to Russian aggression.

Camino Podolico is a cultural and pilgrimage route from Vinnytsia to Kamianets-Podilskyi through the town of Bar, modeled after the Saint James Ways, which pass through the whole Europe. The route was launched in test mode thanks to the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation in 2021.

Due to the full-scale war of the Russian Federation against Ukraine, the organizers were unable to open the official season, which was supposed to start in the spring of 2022, and postponed the launch indefinitely. The main reason was the large number of shellings and the overcrowding of temporary residences with internally displaced persons. But despite all the warnings, several dozens of people during these two years still went on hiking and cycling trips, getting to know the beauty and hospitality of Podillya. Organizers constantly receive requests from those willing to walk the route, in particular, from military personnel, veterans and family members of the defenders.

«This year is very important, because the route was officially on hiatus for two years. But now we, together with all the coordinators, with all the communities of the Camino Podolico Way are working to start from April 25, as it was originally intended. After all, a lot of people write to us (in particular, the soldiers) that they plan either to spend a vacation on the route (as a small retreat for psychological recovery in war conditions), or to complete the route and at the same time collect some donations to support our defenders. That is why, since the end of last year, we have been preparing for the full functioning of the route with all the necessary information support and infrastructure», – says the director of the Department of City Marketing and Tourism of Vinnytsia City Council Oleksandr Vesheleni. 

Peculiarities of walking the Camino Podolico Way during the war

On the website, in the Route section, information about places where one can eat and stay for the night is already being updated: apartments, hotels, hostels, green estates, etc. The organizers emphasize that accommodation must be booked in advance at all stops and a reserve should be sought in case of full occupancy of one or another establishment. 

Also, a constant attribute of the Camino Podolico route is the pilgrim's passport, which will be issued in Vinnytsia and Bar, and where the stamps or marks must be placed in the communities that the traveller or pilgrim passes through. But in order to receive the main document - the certificate of the route’s completion – having all the marks from each of the community will not be mandatory. The only thing that must be confirmed is the continuity of the route: from Vinnytsia to Bar (certificate of walking half of the way) or from Vinnytsia to Kamianets-Podilskyi (certificate of walking or cycling all 250 kilometres of the Camino Podolico Way).  

As for security issues, information about available shelters in communities and general recommendations for the safety of pilgrims will be available on the website later.

This year there are some plans to expand the Camino Podolico route and create alternative branches. A special highlight will be the part of the route leading to the only functioning church and spring of St. James in Podillya region, which is located approximately 30 kilometres from Kamianets-Podilskyi in the village of Panivtsi of Ternopil oblast. A group visit to these objects is planned at the opening of the season, the registration will be available in mid-April. 

You can follow all updates and announcements on the Camino Podolico Facebook nd Instagram pages, as well as on the official website Feedback forms are also available there, through which you can receive detailed information for planning your trip.