The credencial is the pilgrims’ ‘passport’ on the Way, a 14-page, accordion-pleated document, obtainable in advance or during the pilgrimage. Besides some of the pilgrims’ personal details, it provides space for collecting stamps. Pilgrims also have to keep to the rules listed in the credencial. Collecting the stamps of albergues and refugios in one’s credencial is necessary to prove one has accomplished the pilgrimage and so can obtain the compostela. You might also meet some people who are voluntary helpers of pilgrims on the Way. Stop and enjoy their stories and their help, and do not forget to ask for a stamp!
Where to obtain a credencial
Generally you can get a credencial at pilgrims’ offices, albergues, churches, chapels, police stations, from the Guardia Civil, or sometimes at town halls.
If you have to start the Camino without an official credencial, just make sure to collect stamps on a piece of paper. Later on, having bought a credencial somewhere on the way, you can attach this piece of paper to it.
Here is a list of places where you can obtain a credencial:
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port pilgrims’ office (Rue de la Citadelle, 39)
Roncesvalles Centro de Atención al Peregrino (Casa Prioral)
Pamplona the main building of the University of Navarre
Sarria pilgrims’ office.