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Advice for two weeks on the Camino?

VA Hiker

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (August–September 2019)
Hi! I’ll start my first Camino in SJPdP in late August 2019. My current plan is to walk for 15 or 16 days. What are some of the best itineraries for that amount of time?

I have a few ideas but would love to hear what others think. One idea is to walk from SJPdP to Logroño, take a bus from Logroño to Sarria, walk from Sarria to Santiago, then walk from Santiago to Finisterre. Is that too ambitious for 15 or 16 days? I’m not yet sure whether a compostela is a goal, so I’m open to all ideas.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
If I wanted to end up in Santiago/Finisterre I would figure out where I would need to start to walk there, so that I could have one continuous walk without skipping around.
You can also consider doing the Camino Portuguese or the Primitivo.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
It's doable in that timeframe, but you'd be walking over 20km per day for that entire period, without a break or any time for a 'rest day'. If you're an inexperienced long distance walker that could be pretty demanding.

If you're not too worried about the Compostela, I'd strongly recommend starting in SJPP, and then just walking for 15 or 16 days. Part of the joy of a long distance pilgrimage walk is the sense of continuity and community you build up as you go. With your plan, you'd just be starting to 'go with the flow', when you'd have to abruptly end that, catch a bus 500km westwards (so basically a whole day of travelling), and then starting again from Sarria (which is the minimum starting point for receiving the Compostela, so it's the start of the pilgrim 'highway' - anyway might be a shock to the system!)

If I were you, I'd plan on walking to Burgos (or a bit further) - which also means better transport links back to Madrid if that's where you're flying from. That leaves you a nice two weeks to walk to Finisterre the next time - and a great excuse to come back again and finish what you've started!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I'm not going to assume you will have the option of going back to Spain and walk the entire Frances route or even continue it at a later time. I also recommend walking the Frances first simply because it is in my experience the most interesting route and has the most infrastructure. Best for first time pilgrims.
Get a guidebook if don't already have one. Start in Saint Jean Pied De Port or Pamplona, whichever best meets your time and preference. As you walk you will quickly learn your pace and distance each day preferred. Then you can, using your guidebook, figure out which locations you will want to bus or train or taxi ahead to meet your schedule.
It is that simple. Many pilgrims do it that way. I did it once that way when I only had 17 days total to walk due to job obligations and had to get back. It was wonderful.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
I’ll start my first Camino in SJPdP in late August 2019. My current plan is to walk for 15 or 16 days. What are some of the best itineraries for that amount of time?
@VA Hiker , I note this will be your "first Camino". On that basis I suggest you start at Saint-Jean and walk continously for the time you have. In practical terms you should achieve Burgos with ease. And have half day "pauses" at Pamplona and Logrono and a full day at Burgos.

For your second camino I would suggest returning to Burgos and continue to say Astorga or Ponferrada. And for your third ...

In my experience, this pattern is common for Europeans pilgrims who use one or two weeks of their annual leave in this way.

For your first camino, what ever you decide, I say kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hi! I’ll start my first Camino in SJPdP in late August 2019. My current plan is to walk for 15 or 16 days. What are some of the best itineraries for that amount of time?

I have a few ideas but would love to hear what others think. One idea is to walk from SJPdP to Logroño, take a bus from Logroño to Sarria, walk from Sarria to Santiago, then walk from Santiago to Finisterre. Is that too ambitious for 15 or 16 days? I’m not yet sure whether a compostela is a goal, so I’m open to all ideas.
If you are open to all ideas, then I would ask how tied you are to starting in SJPdP. Also something to consider is how open you are to coming back and walking a Camino again if you find the experience worthwhile.

If you are really tied to SJPdP but open to not getting a Compostela, I would advise doing as Alwyn suggests and just walking as far as you get. Especially so if you are open to returning in the future.

If you are not tied to SJPdP, you may consider other routes:
  • If you are pretty fit, the Primitivo might be a good choice. It is supposed to be very beautiful. But it also seems to be something of a challenging route for a beginner.
  • If you want something a little tamer for your first Camino, the Portugues from Porto may be a good choice. It is the second most walked Camino (after the Frances) and takes you though a number of nice towns and villages with farmland and woodland.

Either of these would let you walk a complete Camino and possibly on to Finisterre.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Even if the Compostela is not a goal, finishing in Santiago is quite an experience, especially for the first time.
Do you have to start in SJPP? If you start in Leon, you can have a continuous experience of starting/finishing a camino.
If you want to start in SJPP, then yup, your plan sounds good.
And the Portuguese Camino from Porto is also awesome and fits in that timeframe. You are spoiled for options! :D
 

Mark McCarthy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2014 2015
Lourdes 2 SdC 2016
Sarria 2 SdC April&Oct 2016 & (April 2018)
Camino Baztan June 2017
I would start in León, it is my favourite city on the Camino and you get the experience of 13-15 continuous walking and get to experience Cruz de Ferro and O Cebreiro.
 

Mynewnorth

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués 2019
Hi! I’ll start my first Camino in SJPdP in late August 2019. My current plan is to walk for 15 or 16 days. What are some of the best itineraries for that amount of time?

I have a few ideas but would love to hear what others think. One idea is to walk from SJPdP to Logroño, take a bus from Logroño to Sarria, walk from Sarria to Santiago, then walk from Santiago to Finisterre. Is that too ambitious for 15 or 16 days? I’m not yet sure whether a compostela is a goal, so I’m open to all ideas.

I am also thinking of starting in SjPp first timer, and ambitiously will try to make it to Burgos or as far as I can. And yes- definitely to return in 2020 to again go as far as I can, depending on holidays/time off.

Trying to decide on flights and dates...

Buen camino!
 

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