Four Ways to Travel the Camino de Santiago

Camino de  Santiago pic

Camino de Santiago
Image: whc.unesco.org

A Maryland lawyer with over two decades of legal experience, J. Christopher Llinas provides criminal and traffic-related legal services. An avid traveler in his free time, Christopher Llinas has hiked the Camino del Santiago in Spain.

Also known as the Way of St. James, the Camino de Santiago consists of a network of routes that wind throughout Europe and converge at Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain, the supposed burial place of James the Apostle. The first pilgrims traveled the route in the ninth and 10th centuries, despite the risk of doing so in Muslim-ruled lands that were hostile to Christians. Today, pilgrims travel along four main routes: the French Way, the Northern Way, the Silver Way, and the Primitive Way.

The French Way begins on the French side of the Pyrenees and winds through northern Spain. The most famous route, it hosted over 180,000 pilgrims in 2004. The trail’s popularity is due in part to its flat terrain and pleasant weather.

The Northern Way is known for being quiet and picturesque, giving pilgrims beautiful views of the Bay of Biscay. It snakes along the northern coast of Spain, through the mountains of Asturias and presents the greatest physical challenge to travelers.

Starting in southern Spain at Seville, the Silver Way follows an ancient Roman trade route that served as a thoroughfare for the transport and trade of silver. The Silver Way is the longest route of the Camino de Santiago.

Beginning in Asturias, the Primitive Way is the first pilgrimage route. It is an exceptional route for nature lovers, giving them views of beautiful scenery and taking them through numerous hospitably quaint villages.

Two Underrated Spanish Cities That Warrant a Visit

Granada, Spain pic

Granada, Spain
Image: gospain.about.com

J. Christopher Llinas draws on more than 20 years of experience as an attorney to serve clients through his Ocean Pines, Maryland, law practice. In his leisure time, Christopher Llinas enjoys international travel and has visited various destinations around the world, including Spain.

There are many wondrous sights and sounds to behold when visiting Spain for the first time. With cities like Madrid and Barcelona dominating the tourist landscape, however, travelers can sometimes overlook lesser-known cities. With that in mind, here are two under-the-radar cities in Spain that tourists should consider visiting.

Until the 16th century, Toledo was actually the capital of Spain. The city sits atop a mountain in the central region of the country and boasts the influences of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, all of whom have made up significant portions of its population over the centuries. Today, Toledo is a marvel of medieval art and architecture that dates all the way back to the days of the Roman Empire. Spending an afternoon walking among the city’s streets paints a picture of life as it was centuries ago.

Granada City bears an interesting heritage, as it was once a stronghold of the Moorish empire. While the empire effectively ended with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella’s capture of the city in 1492, Granada still retains significant aspects of Moorish culture, including the Alhambra. A famous 13th-century palace, the Alhambra offers visitors the opportunity to view its stunning architecture, gardens, and fountains. The Muslim quarter also gives a unique insight into Spanish history.

Best Time to Visit the Peruvian Amazon

Peruvian Amazon pic

Peruvian Amazon
Image: rei.com

Attorney Chris Llinas practices through his firm J. Christopher Llinas, Attorney at Law in Ocean Pines, Maryland. In his free time, Chris Llinas enjoys ecotourism and traveling to off-the-beaten-path destinations. He has visited the Peruvian jungle twice.

The swathe of Amazon Rainforest located in Peru is home to more than 1,300 bird species and countless other animal and plant varieties.

Picking a time to visit can be tricky and generally depends on what the traveler is hoping to see. Those who want to spend most of the day exploring the jungle will want to visit during the dry season, which runs from June to October. The rain is less plentiful, and the humidity is at its lowest. Additionally, the mosquito population is smallest during the dry season.

The rainy season makes for optimal river explorations. Visitors who wish to journey down the Amazon River are encouraged to book a trip from November through April. Peru is often the preferred spot for river explorations because it is farther upstream and thus has greater biodiversity. Animals that live and hunt near the river are easiest to spot during the rainy season, while land mammals are easier to spot during the dry season. Additionally the farther from civilization you travel, the more creatures you will likely encounter.