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Eight weeks on the Camino

2020 Camino Guides

Dana Madigan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from Villafranca (2019)
Hey All,
I have 8 weeks holidays from university this summer (early June to early august) and am looking for advice over where to start?
Last summer I did the last ~200km of the Camino Francés in 8 days and LOVED it! I didn’t plan my days really, I just got up and walked as far as I wanted that day and there was always an albergue available with no booking ahead!
I guess for this longer Camino I would like the same. My budget is fairly limited (€30/day) and I would like my starting point to be fairly accessible from Paris CDG... I am sounding very demanding, I know, but I have been thinking about this since January and I cannot figure out where to start! I looked into the Camino del Norte but that seems crowed?!? And the Francés but from somewhere along the le puy route but there doesn’t seem to be many accessible towns there?!?
Thanks in advance 😊
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Early June on the Norte would be a perfect time to start. It gets very busy towards the end of July and these numbers would be nearer the start which you would have long past. Starting in Bayonne would be an option as well, you would knocking on the 1000km door if you do the continuation to Finestera and Muxia.

Buen Camino
 
Last edited:

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Hi Dana, you're very lucky to be able to spend 8 weeks on the Camino!

The Camino del Norte is a great walk, but it could be challenging to keep within your budget as albergue beds aren't always available. This might also be an issue if you begin your walk on the Le Puy route (but others might be better able to comment on that aspect).

A simple solution might be to walk the Camino Francés from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Finisterre and/or Muxia. Take a leisurely approach and ramble along every detour! If you still have the time and inclination to keep walking, you could walk back to Santiago and/or take transport to e.g. A Coruña, Ferrol, Ourense, Lugo or Tui to walk the final stretch of another Camino. No need to worry about the detail at this stage - you can make all of this up as you go along. You'll probably meet other university students on your walk, so who knows what exciting plans might emerge!

With regard to transport from Paris, you can reach Saint Jean Pied de Port via a train to Bayonne. I see that you're from Ireland - if you're starting from there, a flight to Biarritz is the most direct option.

Good luck with your deliberations - no doubt others will chime in soon with different suggestions. Happy planning and Buen Camino! Nuala
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
You can start in France somewhere on the Chemin du Puy, which connects with the Camino Francés in St Jean Pied de Port.

 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-SANT-FIN (09/2018)
PORTO-SANT (11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe, BR (01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT (09/2019)
Best value for Money CP one-way ticket, start in Lisbon spend couple of days, walk to Porto, stay couple of days then take one rest day every week. Coastal route from Porto and detour spiritual variant to Santiago, stay couple of days then to Muxia and Finisterre for couple of days. Soak it all in, some places deserve more than one night visit like Madrid and visit magical Toledo before flying out of Madrid (Good option for budget flight) 🤠
 
Last edited:

EckMS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
several
Hi Dana,

you could fly to Lourdes in southern France. Walk to Oloron St. Marie, where you join the Via Tolosana leading to the Somport Pass. From there the Camino Aragones leads you to Puente la Reina on the Camino Frances.
This is about 200km more than the CF from SJPP and you can enjoy the very beautiful Camino Aragones. It would restrict your stay in France to only a few days, which would be good for your budget.
Eckart
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
Let me throw in another possibility. As you have walked the last 200 km's on the Frances already, why not change direction in Leon, and walk the Salvador to Oviedo, and from there walk the Primitivo (or the Norte) towards Santiago. Happy planning !
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
My budget is fairly limited (€30/day) and I would like my starting point to be fairly accessible from Paris CDG...
Your daily limit points you firmly into Spain.

Starting at Le Puy (from CDG it is 2 hours by GTV to Lyon and €70 and another 2 hours by TER and €??) and you would most probably blow your daily budget every day on a bed in a gite d'etape alone.

If you are familiar with long distance walking and are fit in body and mind a really long distance step would be: a) start in Barcelona and walk to Bilbao - covering in reverse the first voyage by Ignatius of Loyola
b) continue westwards by whichever route takes your fancy from the suggestions of others

Kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going)
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
AlwynWellington is correct about your budget and France. I would second doing the Norte route. If you are an early riser and I do not mean at 5am either you should have no trouble getting into the municipal albergues. I walked the Norte starting in mid September which is as or more busy than the beginning of June. If you choose to stay on the Norte instead of taking the Primitivo which when I walked, most pilgrims chose to do, the Norte will really become very peaceful and you will have no issues finding a bed.It is beautiful camino. At night there were always groups of young people that were making cheap and delicious dinners that they always invited me to and I accepted on many evenings. I always gave them more money then they wanted and they would never take more than 5 euros. It was usually vegetarian but a good vegetarian cook can make some mouth watering meals. There are plenty of grocery stores to buy food for lunch and snacks for the next day. You could easily do the Norte for under 30E a day.
 

Isca-camigo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Like the Frances or any other route you have off Camino places you can walk to on the Norte, such as Santo Toribio and Covodonga, both are 2 or 3 day walks with Albergues on the routes.
At the begining of last year Eroski and their mobile site had the running total for albergues on the Norte at 200, that would include the 10-15 in Arzua, the stopping point of the Norte. They stopped giving the total but that is a considerable number, not as much as the 500 on the Frances but plenty of places to find low cost accommodation for people on a budget.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Hey All,
I have 8 weeks holidays from university this summer (early June to early august) and am looking for advice over where to start?
Last summer I did the last ~200km of the Camino Francés in 8 days and LOVED it! I didn’t plan my days really, I just got up and walked as far as I wanted that day and there was always an albergue available with no booking ahead!
I guess for this longer Camino I would like the same. My budget is fairly limited (€30/day) and I would like my starting point to be fairly accessible from Paris CDG... I am sounding very demanding, I know, but I have been thinking about this since January and I cannot figure out where to start! I looked into the Camino del Norte but that seems crowed?!? And the Francés but from somewhere along the le puy route but there doesn’t seem to be many accessible towns there?!?
Thanks in advance 😊
While you have the time to start in France, everything I've read suggests that you don't have the budget, given the limits your wrote. With that budget, you are probably best limiting yourself to Spain and/or Portugal. Given your pace and the amount of time that you have, the Camino Mozarabe leading into the VDLP came to mind. It may be a bit of a warm walk, though.

Alternatively, you could try more leisurely walks or combining multiple pilgrimages. There are some great suggestions above. Another one that I've been thinking about is Camino Madrid to San Salvador to Primitivo.
 

Sharonn

La peregrina lenta
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
Camino Portugues 2017
Camino Frances 2019
If you start in St JPdP you will have enough time to take a rest day every week or to explore the bigger towns on the Camino Frances eg Pamplona, Logrono, Burgos etc etc by spending 2 days in each. You will also have enough time to spend a few days in Santiago and possibly a week in Finisterre/Muxia or you could walk there. What a privilege to be able to do a longer, slower camino. We did something similar last year, June to August. I used an app but it wasn't really necessary to book anything ahead of time except the first 2 nights, Santiago and Muxia because we were 4. Only disadvantage of the slow pace was that most pilgrims passed us and we didn't make many friends.
 

Richmond Gardner

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
Let me throw in another possibility. As you have walked the last 200 km's on the Frances already, why not change direction in Leon, and walk the Salvador to Oviedo, and from there walk the Primitivo (or the Norte) towards Santiago. Happy planning !
Yes! This is a way to explore much of the Frances, without repeating the end, well, until you get to Melide... (more octopus anyone?) However, connecting with the Primitivo and enjoying the route over a beautiful hilly stretch, would be a great trip. I wonder how crowded it will be this summer ( I went last year at the end of August through the first week of September and found it fairly busy, but not crazy crowded ).
 

Richard Smith

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Kumano Kodo 2014
We met an Irish guy on the CF who was walking on a budget of 4E per day. A fit guy who needed a personal challenge at that time in his life.
He was mostly wild camping (set up late/pack up early) or sleeping in the portico of a church.
 

Dana Madigan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances from Villafranca (2019)
Thanks so much everyone for taking the time out to reply!

From the sounds of it my best bet is to start on the Frances in St Jean... I'm going to take my time and then maybe get some of the Portuguese in as well and then finish off in Finisterre... this plan may change another 10 times before I start out but that's part of the beauty of the camino right? :)
 

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