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Actual distance between SJPDP and Santiago: 785 km vs 790 km?

Princess Kaguya

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino Fisterra (2018)
Hello fellow pilgrims,

I am finding myself in a bit of a puzzler: I completed the camino frances last year and here I am looking back at photos and notes on my John Brierly guidebook.

As I was trying to recreate the itinerary with our actual stops and distances covered per day (slightly different from the daily sections recommended in the guidebook), I came across this website that really helps in calculating distances: https://godesalco.com/plan/frances

HOWEVER, on this website, much praised by pilgrims, the total distance SJPDP to Santiago is 790 km, while the guidebook, also praised by many pilgrims, says 785 km.

So, which one is correct?
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
It could be neither. My compostela says 799km. When I started, I was under the impression it was 791km, but I don't remember the source. It could also depend on which option you choose at the various forks in the road and which route you take into cities like Burgos.
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Walking that distance is not a precision matter. The difference of 5 km over 790 km is less than 1%. You cannot expect better than that - unless you want the straight-line-point-to-point measurement by GPS, which would be rather useless when it comes to knowing how much you'll have to walk in a day. Also, little detours happen for road work which can change every day. Then consider that the people walking and measuring it might cross the street and back inefficiently. One could possibly measure a precise length by using very sophisticated mapping and visualization tools (I'm just guessing here), by why would a camino-guide writer do that? :)
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Time of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Hello fellow pilgrims,

I am finding myself in a bit of a puzzler: I completed the camino frances last year and here I am looking back at photos and notes on my John Brierly guidebook.

As I was trying to recreate the itinerary with our actual stops and distances covered per day (slightly different from the daily sections recommended in the guidebook), I came across this website that really helps in calculating distances: https://godesalco.com/plan/frances

HOWEVER, on this website, much praised by pilgrims, the total distance SJPDP to Santiago is 790 km, while the guidebook, also praised by many pilgrims, says 785 km.

So, which one is correct?
When I'am not mistaking the Pilgrimsoffice in Santiago use 790km. on the distance certificate.
But what is a km. more ore les.
 
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KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I always find distances mentioned in guides slightly different than my Wikiloc recordings. Usually they are shorter than my GPS tracks but I think I know why. I'm measuring them from point to point which mostly means from albergue to albergue and I continue GPS recording the next day at exactly the same spot I finished the day before. OTOH I suspect that guides include distances measured from the end of town to the beginning of the next one but not through the town/village.

There could also be other "glitches". I remember the signs with distances before and after one town on Camino Levante. The one before town A stated that it's (from the memory) 13kms to next town, town B. After I walked 3 kms through town A I found the sign on the outskirts that was saying there are 15kms (instead of 10) to town B. Figure that :D
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
Hello fellow pilgrims,

I am finding myself in a bit of a puzzler: I completed the camino frances last year and here I am looking back at photos and notes on my John Brierly guidebook.

As I was trying to recreate the itinerary with our actual stops and distances covered per day (slightly different from the daily sections recommended in the guidebook), I came across this website that really helps in calculating distances: https://godesalco.com/plan/frances

HOWEVER, on this website, much praised by pilgrims, the total distance SJPDP to Santiago is 790 km, while the guidebook, also praised by many pilgrims, says 785 km.

So, which one is correct?
Probably neither. I'd assume the measurements are now made using GPS co-ordinates hence the ridiculous number of decimal places on the markers - who needs to know to the nearest millimetre? That wouldn't take into account the up and down slopes. 800km will do me fine.
 
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Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
Don't forget that uphill kilometers are longer than downhill kilometers.
By the way, seriously, a slope doesn't actually add a lot to the distance walked. As an example let's take a steep 20 percent slope of 2,000 meter elevation gain over a horizontal distance distance of 10 km. The length of the hypotenuse/slope is just a bit under 10.2 km.
 

Princess Kaguya

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Primitivo (2018)
Camino Fisterra (2018)
Thank you for all your replies!
In nutshell, the answer is there will always be discrepancies between measurements due to logistical, geographical and human limitations. The camino is around 790 km, and that's all we need to know :)

Thank you!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
It's rather alarming to see how the girth of the earth must have grown between 2014-2016 and now. According to various official Distance Certificates issued by the Pilgrims Office and displayed on the net, the (pilgrim's) distance between Saint Jean Pied de Port and Santiago used to be 775 km and is now 799 km.

PS: Who came up with 799 km? It looks of course more convincing and "more accurate" than 800 km. :cool:
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
It might be that in a straight line but what about wandering around town (a) looking for the best confiteria (b) checking out the opening hours of the church (c) finding an ATM machine (d) wondering which restaurant is favoured by the locals (e) finding the pharmacy with a stock of blue rock tape. By my reckoning that has to add at least 200km!
 

Bradypus

Migratory hermit
Time of past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
PS: Who came up with 799 km? It looks of course more convincing and "more accurate" than 800 km. :cool:
Must be the same principle that makes so many shops price things at £3.99 rather than £4. I wonder how many people would refuse to buy if they had to cough up the extra 1p? :)
 

Shalaw

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2015
Portuguese is next!
My compostela says it’s 775kms. Lol. So I guess it depends on who fills it out in Santiago?!
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022
The OFFICIAL distance from SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela is 799 kilometers. It was previously 775 km. My distance certificate from 2014 states the smaller number.

The change is fairly recent. About 18 months ago, someone got the notion to recalculate all of the distances on the various Camino routes precisely, using GPS technology. This is the result.

Hope this helps.
 
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Shalaw

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2015
Portuguese is next!
The OFFICIAL distance from SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela is 799 kilometers. It was previously 775 km. My distance certificate from 2014 states the smaller number.

The change is fairly recent. About 18 months ago, someone got the notion to recalculate all of the distances on the various Camino routes precisely, using GPS technology. This is the result.

Hope this helps.

Hi there. Is there a link??
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Travel318
I found none of the guidebooks measured the same as my GPS and additionally two other distance measuring units I had. I consider all distances published “relative”.
 
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jmcarp

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
+/- 5km??? It only matters if you're getting paid by the kilometer. What about those kilometers that one walks going from the albergue to a tienda for food, to a bar for a beer or glass of wine with your friends after you've showered and washed your clothes, walked around the town or village to take in a bit of the local culture? They all add up after four or five weeks--do they matter? What about walking from the airport to the taxi stand, bus stop, or train station? Isn't that part of your Camino? Or as someone else said, what about the extra km walked when you weren't paying attention and missed a yellow arrow (or thought the shell symbol really pointed the way based on its orientation)? Sorry if I seem sarcastic, but is that what the Camino is about? Not for me, anyway.
 

Felipe

Veteran Member
This (in Google Maps) is probably the original source of the 790 km estimation. Even if accurate, it obviously shows the road distance. The path could be longer (it takes some detours by interesting or relevant places) and alternatively shorter (because walkers are able to manage some steep slopes and close turns better than vehicles).
But anyway, we like round numbers. And they are easier to remember.
 
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Shalaw

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2015
Portuguese is next!
Nope. You need to do the Camino and arrive at the Pilgrim Office to get the distance certificate. The distance tables are not published.

That’s exactly what I did, in 2015!! So it makes sense that my distance certificate says 775kms. Sorry, I misread your post and thought when you said, “this is the result”, that there was a link with all the distances for all the caminos. Lol.
 

Lance Chambers

Lance Chambers
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria (2015), SJPdP (2016), Burgos (2017), SJPdP (2018), Burgos (2019), SJPdP (2020?).
There is a large sign as you leave Roncess valles that tells you that you need to walk 790 kms to get to Santiago and you need to walk 25.4 kms to get to Roncess from St. Jean.

Add them together and you get 815.4 kms. I never trusted the idea that the total was 790.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
There is a large sign as you leave Roncess valles that tells you that you need to walk 790 kms to get to Santiago and you need to walk 25.4 kms to get to Roncess from St. Jean.

Add them together and you get 815.4 kms. I never trusted the idea that the total was 790.
The sign stating 790 kms is a road sign, so that most likely accounts for the differences.
 

supersullivan

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago 2012. SJPP-Santiago-Finisterre-Muxia 2013. Ponferrada-Santiago June 2014. Leon-Santiago-Finisterre September 2014. April-May 2015: SJPP- S de C- Finisterre -Muxia- S de C.
2015: 832.78 kms, St J. P. de P. to S de C. measured using my hiking G. P. S. unit. Recorded distances daily from departure in morning to arrival at end of day so evening excursions /walk arounds excluded.
There are so many option variations. 2 different routes choices leaving St J P. de P.
Leaving V. del Bierzo presents a choice of 3 routes of different lengths.
Shortly after Leon, 2 choices etc.
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...99950740253.2113467.1301217680&type=3&theater
 
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estorildon

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
I assume walking around in circles every time you stop for the day to find food and drink shouldn't be considered as supersullivan found by using his GPS device. This photo is from a stele near the Font de Roland at the French and Spanish border which is a little more than 18 statute km from SJPdP. DSCN0061.JPG
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
A "Tourigrino" trip once Covid has passed, so 2023
It's rather alarming to see how the girth of the earth must have grown between 2014-2016 and now. According to various official Distance Certificates issued by the Pilgrims Office and displayed on the net, the (pilgrim's) distance between Saint Jean Pied de Port and Santiago used to be 775 km and is now 799 km.

PS: Who came up with 799 km? It looks of course more convincing and "more accurate" than 800 km. :cool:
Which brings to mind the question "Who was the first person to put two feet on Mount Everest":

"The first person to put two feet on the top of Mount Everest was Bengal mathematician Radhanath Sikdar. He was the first person to identify Everest as the world's highest mountain. He measured it to be exactly 29,000 feet. However, he thought no-one would believe him, thinking he just rounded the number off, so he added two feet to the measurement to make it look as if he was incredibly precise. So 29,002 feet was the official measurement, although it is now known to be 29,028 feet."
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
Some in the past; more in the future!
The change is fairly recent. About 18 months ago, someone got the notion to recalculate all of the distances on the various Camino routes precisely, using GPS technology. This is the result.

Hope this helps.

It does indeed, thanks. I was also surprised to see on my Compostela this year that the Primitivo from Oviedo was listed as 334km, when I had thought it was about 311km. So I assume this was recalculated as well.
 

Avenelite

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
When I'am not mistaking the Pilgrimsoffice in Santiago use 790km. on the distance certificate.
But what is a km. more ore les.
My certificate, issued by the Pilgrim Office, having started in St Jean, has 775kms on it. Perhaps I should have checked at the time: June 16th, 2016. (Right then, though, it had felt closer to 1,775kms and the celebratory drink awaited! Priorities?) Thanks "t2andreo" for your explanation above, regarding the change in recent years. Now, why did I laminate that certificate? Just kidding: I am so happy to have it, regardless of kms recorded.
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
It's rather alarming to see how the girth of the earth must have grown between 2014-2016 and now. According to various official Distance Certificates issued by the Pilgrims Office and displayed on the net, the (pilgrim's) distance between Saint Jean Pied de Port and Santiago used to be 775 km and is now 799 km.

PS: Who came up with 799 km? It looks of course more convincing and "more accurate" than 800 km. :cool:
My thoughts too - 2016 mine said 775km, then this year while getting my del note compostela I saw someone's Frances route said 799km!! No matter the distance, what an experience!!!
 

Telboyo

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
I intend to leave the UK the day Before Brexit and walkMarch -April 2019 Camino Frances
The OFFICIAL distance from SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela is 799 kilometers. It was previously 775 km. My distance certificate from 2014 states the smaller number.

The change is fairly recent. About 18 months ago, someone got the notion to recalculate all of the distances on the various Camino routes precisely, using GPS technology. This is the result.

Hope this helps.

That's global warming for you, the extra temperature has made the earth expand.
 
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Rich1

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (5/15)
Frances & Muxia (2016-18)
Camino from Madrid (9/18)
Frances to Burgos (9/19)
TBC
I have a handheld Garmin GPS device, a Garmin GPS watch, and an iPhone with GPS. I once experimented by measuring a walk with all 3 devices. Unsurprisingly I got 3 different results.
Whatever the official distance is, the Actual distance is probably at least +/-1%, and that presumably assumes taking the absolute shortest route - the racing line.
I doubt that any of us walk less than 800km if we include visits to cathedrals, and the searches for shops and albergue.
I tell everyone it's 800km...its a good enough figure :)
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
I have a handheld Garmin GPS device, a Garmin GPS watch, and an iPhone with GPS. I once experimented by measuring a walk with all 3 devices. Unsurprisingly I got 3 different results.
Whatever the official distance is, the Actual distance is probably at least +/-1%, and that presumably assumes taking the absolute shortest route - the racing line.
I doubt that any of us walk less than 800km if we include visits to cathedrals, and the searches for shops and albergue.
I tell everyone it's 800km...its a good enough figure :)
As we say around here, that's close enough for government work.
 

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