Do you need a towel for the Camino de Santiago?

Published by


do you need a towel on the camino


If you’re preparing for the Camino de Santiago you may have a few questions about what to pack. Amongst these you might wonder whether you need a towel for the Camino de Santiago. And, if so, what type of towel is best to pack? Find out more in our short guide.

  1. Do you need a towel for the Camino de Santiago?
  2. Do you need a beach towel for the Camino de Santiago?
  3. Best towels for the Camino de Santiago in 2023
  4. What else should you pack for the Camino de Santiago?

Do you need a towel for the Camino de Santiago?

The majority of walkers or cyclists on the Camino de Santiago will need a towel. If you plan to stay in albergues, hostels and even basic pensions you will need to bring a towel. This type of basic accommodation will not supply towels to guests on the Camino de Santiago. And, you will most definitely need a towel when you shower!

If however, you are planning to solely stay in hotels or more up market accommodation, you will not need a towel as you will be provided with fresh towels in your hotels.

Want to know more about the different accommodation on the Camino – find our guide to albergues here.

Do you need a beach towel for the Camino de Santiago?

If you are walking the Camino del Norte or the Camino Portuguese coastal route, you might wonder whether you ought to pack a beach towel. We would strongly advise you not to pack a beach towel in addition to a shower towel. Carrying two towels, even if they are lightweight, is likely to make your backpack too heavy.

Walking the Camino de Santiago: A Guide for Women

Emma from Lotus Eaters Travel has written a guide for every woman taking on the adventure of a lifetime and walking the Camino de Santiago for the first time.

This book is full of tips on what to pack, advice on preparing for your journey and important details to help you get the most from the Camino. Whilst it does not include maps, it does include itineraries for the main Camino routes, as well as daily stage guides for the last 100km of the walk. You can find a detailed training plan to help prepare you for the Camino as well as extensive information on what to expect when you walk.

Inside this book you will also find information specifically for women walking the Camino, including a chapter on women’s safety and the answers to frequently asked questions like “what are the toilets like on the Camino?” and “How to deal with bed bugs on the Camino?”

It is split into three sections: Preparing for the Camino (packing, training, budgeting, finding motivation), Walking the Camino (choosing who to walk with, meeting people, accommodation, staying healthy, staying safe) and After the Camino (what to do next.)

Find it on Amazon now

Best towels for the Camino de Santiago in 2023

In our experience, the best type of towel to take on the Camino in your backpack is a trek towel. This is because trek towels are lightweight, small and dry quickly. On the Camino de Santiago quick dry is important because you will use your towel every day and will need it dry and ready to pack by the morning.

  1. Best large towel – this best selling towel is a great option if you want a larger towel for the Camino. Great if you’re a taller or larger person, or just prefer to keep your modesty!
  2. Best small towel – if you’re a petite person, a medium sized towel may be a better option than a large. This will pack up nicely into your backpack.
  3. Best colourful towel – if you want a trek towel to make you stand out on the Camino, or just bring some cheer to shower time, then try one of these patterned and brightly coloured trek towels.

If you don’t like using a trek towel, there are also some great alternatives.

  1. A sarong – a sarong is a great lightweight alternative to a trek towel. The texture is completely different and may feel better on your skin. Sarong’s can also double up as something you can wear to the beach, or use a beach towel on the coastal Camino routes.
  2. Hammam style towel – a Turkish style hammam towel is another alternative to a trek towel. Many people prefer this style of towel as the texture is different. This towel is 100% cotton too.

What else should you pack for the Camino de Santiago?

We’ve written a few other guides to help you pack for the Camino. You can find them below:

John and Emma’s hiking gear. These are items we love to use when we go hiking, find them here on Amazon.

Osprey 40L, Multi, O/S

HOKA ONE ONE Mens Speedgoat 4 Textile Synthetic Trainers

HOKA ONE ONE Women’s Clifton 8

CWVLC Unisex Cushioned Compression Athletic Ankle Socks Multipack

Dr. Scholl’s Blister Cushions, Seal & Heal Bandage, 8 Cushions

Montem Ultra Strong Trekking, Walking, and Hiking Poles – One Pair (2 Poles)

Best Albergues on the Camino Frances: Our faves from 2023

THE BEST ALBERGUES ON THE CAMINO FRANCES: LOTUS EATERS TRAVEL FAVORITES. We recently walked the Camino Frances, the 780km pilgrimage from from Saint Jean Pied do Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. There are many reasons that we love walking the Camino. One of the reasons is the opportunity to stay in…

Most of our planning is done using other blogs, but you can’t beat a guide book at the bottom of your case.

Find them here on Amazon.





Please note that some links on our website are partnered with affiliates. Using an affiliate links does not make it more expensive for you to purchase. We receive a small commission whenever you buy something which in turn allows us to keep writing independent travel guides and your support is greatly appreciated.