Free Hugs on the Camino

I wanted to "walk for peace", but also to "do something for peace" while walking on the Camino.


"Free Hugs" is the most "simple and stupid" way to show your unconditional love to the others.

Hugging each other, heart on heart, is a very strong way to give a peace sign and to reject racism, fear and hate of the stranger.

What if this could change the world?

What is a "free hug"?

Everyone knows what a hug is. You surely hug your loved ones. But have you ever hugged someone you didn't know at all?

Pilgrims hugging each other at their arrival in Santiago
Pilgrims hugging each other at their arrival in Santiago

By offering free hugs (usually carrying a sign or wearing a tee shirt), you just offer a moment of unconditional love to the others, without forcing anyone, without asking anything in return. Of course, when you give, you receive a lot, too.

Why give Free Hugs on the Camino Frances?

Walking from Santiago on the Camino Frances is a unique opportunity to hug hundreds of different people, from all over the world, each day.

Santiago (or rather Cabo Fisterra) is also the starting point of the Jerusalem Way. This way is symbolised by a dove of peace.

The Jerusalem Way (source
The Jerusalem Way (source

The "reverse Camino Frances" was also followed by St. Francis, 800 years ago, when he returned from his pilgrimage in Santiago.

Where do "Free Hugs" come from?

The Free Hugs Campaign is a social movement involving individuals who offer hugs to strangers in public places, just to make others feel better [Source : Wikipedia]

It all started in Australia, back in 2004 (see video below).

Free Hugs campaings happened in various countries:

  • Free hugs for peace for Korea - Japan peace in 2013
  • Free hugs on Brussels Grand Place, on Sept. 21, 2014
  • Free hugs in Nantes by my friend Christelle Armand, on Sept. 4, 2014
Free hugs for peace between Korea and Japan
Free hugs for peace between Korea and Japan

How to give "Free Hugs"?

There is no "recipe" to give free hugs. Just carry a sign saying "Free Hugs" and when someone comes to you, open your arms and wrap them around him or her, with all the love you can give. That's it.

An illustrated "guidebook" has been published about free hugging. You can download it here :

Adobe Acrobat Document 4.0 MB

More information on