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Conflicted - Going Afoot or Going by the FEVE railway (or both)?

LorneB

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - Porto to Vigo, 2017; Vigo to SDC to Muxia, 2018
Hey, everyone.

Would welcome your thoughts, especially from anyone who has experience both Camino-walking and riding the FEVE railway.

One of the best experiences I’ve ever had was walking the Portugues from Porto to SDC and then Muxia (first half in 2017, second half in 2018). I’m going to have somewhere between ten and fifteen days to spend in Spain and environs in the first part of May, and would love to go walking again, potentially on the Ingles, though also possibly from Muxia to Fisterre and back to SDC, which I feel I never got to really know. Or, who knows, maybe a subset of a longer route.

On the other hand…

Ever since I learned about the FEVE railroad in northern Spain, and the possibility of getting a pass that allows one to jump on and off fairly spontaneously, that’s also enormously appealed to me.

I’m thinking of possibly spending time with both – some walking, some train travel – but also wonder if that just ends up short-changing both experiences.

Feel free to share your thoughts about this, whether to express your own preferences or to ask me some good, guiding questions so I can think about my own.

Thanks,



LorneB
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hi @LorneB ,

I do not have any experience walking the Norte but I did travel with FEVE from Santander via Oviedo to Ferrol to start the Ingles.
And yes I saw some pilgrims hopping off at certain points so your plan is certainly doable.
Santander was ideal for me to fly into from Belgium.
It was a very long traintrip but so worthwile. Wonderful landscapes and views.
Lots and lots of stops but this only added to the charm of travelling.

I can totally recommend it.

Happy preparations!
 

jungleboy

Nick
Camino(s) past & future
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
I do not think there is a problem in doing both. Most people take 5 or 6 days to walk the Inglés. That would give you a few days to travel the FEVE lines too. The standard fares are quite cheap anyway.
This might be the way to go. Separate your trip into two parts - one train, one walking. If you do a bit of both every day you might find it hard to switch from one mindset to another.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
This might be the way to go. Separate your trip into two parts - one train, one walking. If you do a bit of both every day you might find it hard to switch from one mindset to another.
It is not really possible to do a bit of both each day. Ferrol is the western terminus of the FEVE line and the starting point of the Camino Inglés. The only place where the two overlap.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
The Feve is slow and enjoyable. And cheap. Ferrol to Oviedo took about 7 hours and with Tarjeta Dorada (gold card for over 60s) cost about 12€. It took three days to reach Bilbao, ie Ferrol to Oviedo, Oviedo to Santander, Santander to Bilbao. You can also go Bilbao to Léon.
 

LorneB

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - Porto to Vigo, 2017; Vigo to SDC to Muxia, 2018
The Feve is slow and enjoyable. And cheap. Ferrol to Oviedo took about 7 hours and with Tarjeta Dorada (gold card for over 60s) cost about 12€. It took three days to reach Bilbao, ie Ferrol to Oviedo, Oviedo to Santander, Santander to Bilbao. You can also go Bilbao to Léon.
Slow and enjoyable. Now that's the way (no pun intended)!!
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Slow and enjoyable. Now that's the way (no pun intended)!!
It is VERY slow. I remember something like nine hours from Oviedo to Ferrol. It hardly gets started before it stops again. About 200 times. Two conductors.. they changed shifts and when the second one looked at my ticket he had a pitying expression 😂
The other thing to bear in mind is that the views are not nearly as great as you might think, looking at the map. I had envisaged beachy sea views. A lot of the time it's in forest and you can't see a thing.
It is cheap though.
 
Last edited:

FooteK

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SdC, 2013; Lourdes to SdC, 2015; ??? to SdC (2020)
In your heart, you know what you want to do - what feels most right to you. Do it.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
We have used the FEVE from Santander to Ferrol, took 4 days to do so as we stopped off in Llanes, Oviedo and Ribadeo. Tarjeta Dorada and half price fares as the 'pass' would have cost more than that option
You could check where the Norte and FEVE coincide and walk sections (eg Llanes to Ribadasella (Gronze etapa 18) or just go through to Ferrol and walk. Gronze is a good resource for this along with Google maps..
Plenty of options.
Buen Camino
 

LorneB

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - Porto to Vigo, 2017; Vigo to SDC to Muxia, 2018
It is VERY slow. I remember something like nine hours from Oviedo to Ferrol. It hardly gets started before it stops again. About 200 times. Two conductors.. they changed shifts and when the second one looked at my ticket he had a pitying expression 😂
The other thing to bear in mind is that the views are not nearly as great as you might think, looking at the map. I had envisaged beachy sea views. A lot of the time it's in forest and you can't see a thing.
It is cheap though.
Kind of reminds me of the lyrics from "The City of New Orleans"...fifteen cars and fifteen restless riders, three conductors, twenty-five sacks of mail

Thanks for forewarning me about the views.
 

LorneB

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - Porto to Vigo, 2017; Vigo to SDC to Muxia, 2018
In your heart, you know what you want to do - what feels most right to you. Do it.
Of course, my heart is saying....both, I want both! Kidding aside, though, I think you're right. Both do appeal, but hopefully I can tune into something other than intellect in finding my answer. I may just pack like a Camino walker, which can't hurt if I'm merely a train rambler, and decide once I land.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
No need to limit yourself to FEVE. My favorite train journeys all follow other caminos, and you get a sense of the countryside that's different than walking.

Last year I took the train from Santiago to Irun and then walked back more or less the way I'd come - along the Via de Bayona, CF, and Invierno. It takes about 10 or 11 hours but is a gorgeous ride.

The strange thing is that neither the VdB/Vasco nor the Invierno were a fraction as difficult as I imagined they would be seeing the landscape from the train. I was questioning ny sanity by the time I got to Irun but the walk back wasn't so hard after all........
 

hecate105

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'09 Portuguese Estellas '14 Aurelia '16 St Davids '17 Via Augusta/V dl P. '18/'19 Michael Mary Way
We cycled along the Norte on our way home and jumped on the train for several sections - mostly so I could avoid the mountains.... I thought it was stunning scenery on the train and when cycling.... if you don't 'need' a compostela you are free to travel as you wish.... Enjoy the process!
 

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