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19 days - start in Burgos or León?

annasofie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Marts/April 2019 - Burgos to Santiago
Hi!

As it is now I have 19 days and it seems Burgos to Santiago is 21 days while Leon to Santiago is generally 13 days - I am not in super walking shape (have not been training much by walking, but I do crossfit two times a week). What would you do? It's important for me to end in Santiago, so starting before and ending earlier is not an option. I'm willing to take a bus if needed, but I'd love to hear your experiences!
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I'd do neither. Start in Fromista instead, which is easily accessible by train, and 18 or 19 days out from Santiago. Perfect!
Even better, get off the train in Fromista and amble the few kms to stay you first night in Población de Campos - there is a wonderful albergue there (whose name I can't remember, but search the Forum and you should find some mention of it). Fromista is where most people stop, so one village along will get you out of the wave, if there is one.
Just make sure someone on the train knows you will be getting off the train in Fromista, to make sure you don't miss the stop. It is not a big place.
 

MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
If you are just generally fit you should have not problem getting Burgos to Santiago in 19days. The recommend stages are very safe meaning that basically everyone (and any age) can do them without many problems. So if you feel that you are more fit and/or younger than the general public means that you could easily walk longer/further each day, and experience more of the camino. One thing talking for a shorter walk is if you know you want to take longer stops in the major cities or other sites, but then again talking a bus one step ahead is very easy on the camino.

I would say, if you like walking, then start in Burgos and then just make plans to take a bus for a stage or two if you haven’t reached Leon by a certain date.

Edit: Some people also start in SJPDP and then take a bus to Leon/Astorga and walk to Santiago. This way you would get to experience two of the (IMO) most beaufiful stages of the CF.
 
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Cayou

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 Villafranca to Santiago
2016 St Jean to Los Arcos
2018 24-Sept Leon to Finnisterre
1. Get some walking in - even if only some 5k's with your pack. It's important to get those tendons and muscles activated and strengthened. Less chance of injury on the trail.
2. I'd go with Leon and enjoy the journey. 2 nights in Leon for jet lag and sightseeing. Take an easy/rest 10k day from Triacastela to Samos. It's a special place and original pilgrim's stop, and the trail to Sarria was a favorite.
3. You can come back next time to St Jean to complete.
That's my 2cents, but do what works for you ...
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Start in Leon. If you see that you have a day or two extra, no big deal. Shorten some days or take a day off. Also plenty of transportation options to Leon.
Keep it simple. No need for over complicated advice on this one. It is your first Camino.
 

vlogan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various
Start in SJPDP, walk 3 days to Pamplona, take the train to Leon (Dep13:17 Arr17:21, Tourist fare 20euros approx.), then walk to Santiago. Good luck in what you decide to do.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I'd start on León and continue on to Finisterre and/or Muxia if I had enough time.
stay you first night in Población de Campos - there is a wonderful albergue there (whose name I can't remember, but search the Forum and you should find some mention of it).
It's La Finca, and it has the best bunks of any albergue that I've stayed in. Each one is like a tiny room, and you access the upper bunks via mini staircases.

 

annasofie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Marts/April 2019 - Burgos to Santiago
I'd do neither. Start in Fromista instead, which is easily accessible by train, and 18 or 19 days out from Santiago. Perfect!
Even better, get off the train in Fromista and amble the few kms to stay you first night in Población de Campos - there is a wonderful albergue there (whose name I can't remember, but search the Forum and you should find some mention of it). Fromista is where most people stop, so one village along will get you out of the wave, if there is one.
Just make sure someone on the train knows you will be getting off the train in Fromista, to make sure you don't miss the stop. It is not a big place.
That is a great idea. I checked it and it seems I can take the train to Burgos and then catch the bus to Fromista in the same day. I would arrive around 19:00 in Fromista though (only one bus a day doing that trip), not sure if that is too late? At least it's too late to go on to the next pueblo unfortunately, even though that albergue sounds amazing.
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
Hi!

As it is now I have 19 days and it seems Burgos to Santiago is 21 days while Leon to Santiago is generally 13 days - I am not in super walking shape (have not been training much by walking, but I do crossfit two times a week). What would you do? It's important for me to end in Santiago, so starting before and ending earlier is not an option. I'm willing to take a bus if needed, but I'd love to hear your experiences!
Hello anasofie,
You might want to consider the following, given your timescale;

Burgos to Ponferrada 12 days, Bus to Sarria, Sarria to SDC 5 days.

That would give you two days spare to use as rest days or to shorten the distance of your daily walks, and give you your desire to end in SDC.

Given you are walking the CF, accommodation and such like should be ok.

Buen (whatever you decide) Camino
 

annasofie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Marts/April 2019 - Burgos to Santiago
Hello anasofie,
You might want to consider the following, given your timescale;

Burgos to Ponferrada 12 days, Bus to Sarria, Sarria to SDC 5 days.

That would give you two days spare to use as rest days or to shorten the distance of your daily walks, and give you your desire to end in SDC.

Given you are walking the CF, accommodation and such like should be ok.

Buen (whatever you decide) Camino
Thank you, that is also a good suggestion. Is it a good idea to plan for rest days? I'm a bit unsure as I've read some people doing the whole strech without any restdays
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
That is a great idea. I checked it and it seems I can take the train to Burgos and then catch the bus to Fromista in the same day. I would arrive around 19:00 in Fromista though (only one bus a day doing that trip), not sure if that is too late? At least it's too late to go on to the next pueblo unfortunately, even though that albergue sounds amazing.
It's only 3.4 km to Población de Campos from Fromista, and I think that Albergue La Finca is before you actually reach Población.
 
Last edited:

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Double check the bus situation from Burgos to Fromista. A few years ago I had to go back to Burgos from there, and the most convenient option was to bus to Palencia, train to Burgos, then reverse order to get back to Fromista. Of course there will be buses between B and P.

The train station in Burgos is not close to the bus station. If you are arriving in Burgos by train, it may be easier to instead take the train to Palencia. The train and bus stations are next to each other in Palencia.
 

NorthernLight

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Thank you, that is also a good suggestion. Is it a good idea to plan for rest days? I'm a bit unsure as I've read some people doing the whole strech without any restdays
Some people do the whole stretch without rest days. Planning for rest days gives you breathing room in case of fatigue, injury, illness or just plain 'oh my goodness this place is gorgeous and I want more time here'. If you leave yourself no bonus time, it may all feel like a rush.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
Thank you, that is also a good suggestion. Is it a good idea to plan for rest days? I'm a bit unsure as I've read some people doing the whole strech without any restdays
JohnMcM has a good proposal. You will be able to walk the whole Meseta Burgos-Leon + much more. I am walking Burgos SdC in April - May. It will be 22 days.

However, You can play with different alternatives for your walk here: It is a great tool! :

www.godesalco.com/plan

Easy to play with. You can also plan stages, print out elevation maps. mm.. and laminate.

And get yourself a good guidebook. I use this one:

https://www.santiagodecompostela.me/collections/most-popular/products/wise-pilgrim-guides-the-camino-frances
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
This looks like a perfect time to post my usual thoughts on this topic. Here it is:


One thing to consider if you want to do the camino under your power but don't have enough time to walk the whole way is to rent a bicycle for the meseta section. (I am neither for nor against doing this; I'm just just presenting the idea.)

In Burgos (and maybe even earlier in Logrono) you can rent bikes to be returned in Leon or Astorga. Burgos and Astorga are end points of the meseta where the Camino Frances runs. Roughly, they are 240 kilometers apart (that's 150 miles) and that should be able to be biked in four days, maybe three. Brierley's guidebook suggests 10 days to walk this distance so this could shave a week off the time you need to do your camino.

There are a number of places where you can rent. Here are some links I've collected (but the list may not be complete):
Some other thoughts:
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
Thank you, that is also a good suggestion. Is it a good idea to plan for rest days? I'm a bit unsure as I've read some people doing the whole strech without any restdays
Hello again,
I made my suggestion based upon your original post.

You ask if it is a good idea to plan for rest days. I guess that's something only you can decide for yourself.

Yes, people do walk the whole stretch without rest days.

I would guess there are nearly the same number who do take rest days, or at least, decide to walk one or more very short days.

Whatever you decide, Buen (good choice for you) Camino
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I would arrive around 19:00 in Fromista though (only one bus a day doing that trip), not sure if that is too late? At least it's too late to go on to the next pueblo unfortunately, even though that albergue sounds amazing.
It's only 3.4 km to Población de Campos from Fromista, and I think that Albergue La Finca is before you actually reach Población.
@trecile is right. It's a bit before the PdC.
Why not take the train? There are 2 trains a day from Madrid, at about 6AM and a bit before 4PM.
Here are your (several) transport options.

And, my opinion? Walk the meseta. It is very special.
 

annasofie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Marts/April 2019 - Burgos to Santiago
@trecile is right. It's a bit before the PdC.
Why not take the train? There are 2 trains a day from Madrid, at about 6AM and a bit before 4PM.
Here are your (several) transport options.

And, my opinion? Walk the meseta. It is very special.
I'm coming from Barcelona, but I just checked again, and it seems the train goes to Palencia, so that is a lot easier. Then I might still be able go to La Finca.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
I'm coming from Barcelona, but I just checked again, and it seems the train goes to Palencia, so that is a lot easier. Then I might still be able go to La Finca.
La Finca only has 20 beds, so it's probably a good idea to make a reservation there.

 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
I'm coming from Barcelona, but I just checked again, and it seems the train goes to Palencia, so that is a lot easier. Then I might still be able go to La Finca.
Yay! The train station in Fromista is bang on the Camino. come out, take a left when you get to the main road, and off you go!
And yes, I'd definitely make that booking, and let them know when you expect to arrive in Fromista - they'll know how long it'll take to get to La Finca from there.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
19 days is about 400K if that's all you do, but no Camino is complete if the hiking is all that you do.

So think about maybe about 16 days, and so 320-350 and only towards 400 if you were experienced and strong enough to not need to ask these questions ...

Outwards from Compostela, that lands you at about between Leon and Astorga, depending on whether you might wish to walk on to Fisterra or not. And on whether you want to keep that as an option or not.

More time than you need for the projected walk is anyway better than squeezing things too tight, unless you start from and live in Europe.
 

Svenolavo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés 2010-14, 2016-17, and July 2019 (deo volente).
I think Burgos is a good place to start, if your goal is Santiago. I and my girlfriend (now wife) walked Burgos - Santiago in exactly 19 days in June-July 2017. On day 8, we took the bus from León to Astorga (thus avoiding the most boring part of Camino francés: León - Hospital de Órbigo) and then rested the whole day in Astorga. On day 14, we walked only 10 kms, from Triacastela to Samos, and had one more day of rest there. Only one day we walked more than 30 kms (day 11: Molinaseca - Villafranca del Bierzo). I wish you good luck and Buen camino!
 

Acordner

New Member
Burgos is such a wonderful city, it seems like a shame to miss. I walked from SJPP to Burgos and then I took a train from Burgos to Leon and walked on to Santiago from there. It took me 32 days, but I would spend an extra day in towns I really liked like Logrono and Burgos.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Personally, for a first camino, I would not feel happy walking a bit, stopping it and then getting back on the path some cities later.
Burgos is indeed a great city to visit, but maybe just go there, visit and bus to Leon to start your walk from there? This way, you do not lose sight of the walking partners you may make along the way :) Also, if you get extra days in the end, just enjoy Santiago or continue to Finisterre!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I think Burgos is a good place to start, if your goal is Santiago. I and my girlfriend (now wife) walked Burgos - Santiago in exactly 19 days in June-July 2017. On day 8, we took the bus from León to Astorga (thus avoiding the most boring part of Camino francés: León - Hospital de Órbigo) and then rested the whole day in Astorga.
So not 19 days then ... I've never understood this notion of skipping some "boring" bits ; walking through from the northerly outskirts of Nice this year then through the city and along through the entire urban and suburban landscape over several days 'til Fréjus (where the historical Provençal finally starts to get a bit more Camino-like) was the absolute most "boring" section of any Camino I've ever walked so far, but the experience of having endured it is precious in my memory. Including because I met a friend in an improbable place when I was exhausted and in some funk, and thanks to the kindnesses of some unlikely priests, an odd meal of fish & chips that I had not at all expected, and the lonely wet night out in the freezing cold that I had. Also my first sip of good proper English beer I'd had in I think a decade.

Difficult certainly, but no proper Camino is ever "boring".

We are Pilgrims, not tourists.
 

Svenolavo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés 2010-14, 2016-17, and July 2019 (deo volente).
We are Pilgrims, not tourists.
I agree, and have myself walked from St. Jean several times without skipping any part of the camino. But the problem under discussion here is how to do the Camino francés if you only have 19 days at your disposal.
 

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