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first time pilgrim: How long does it take to walk?

ScottC

New Member
I am planning to walk from St Jean at the end of August and have really only 30-32 days to do it in. I a mfairly fit and a good walker. All that I have read tells me that it takes between 28 days and 35 days to complete. I also know that rest days are important... so my question is (and I know it is silly) but from experienced walkers how long does it take?

Scott
 
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KiwiNomad06

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy-Santiago(2008) Cluny-Conques+prt CF(2012)
If you only have a certain number of days, that is how long it can take you. Many people skip a bit somewhere along the way and take a bus over a few stages so they can arrive in Santiago the day they need to for various reasons. If you are a fairly fit walker, chances are 30-32 days could be ample, barring unforeseen events. But if not, so long as you walk the last 100km you can still get a Compostela.
Margaret
 

evanlow

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances06
Primitivo07
Plata08
Norte12
Levante(14-15)
Vasco16
Mozarabe(16-17)
Madrid17
Portuguese18
There is a reason for the days. If you follow most guides, you will take around 30 days from St. Jean to Compostela.

I started from Roncesvalles in 2006, it took me 29 days with no rest days. Twice in the journey, I had some issues with the boots, tendons, etc, that slowed me down a little. Eventually it still took the same number of days as in the guides.

So plan for 30 days plus the number of rest days. If may be able to take a few days if you are fit.

But with such a long journey there are no guarantee on the camino. That's the beauty of the camino. It defies exact planning.
 

mrtrok

New Member
You should be able to do it in that time. We did it in 32 days in 2008. This included staying in Burgos for an extra day and taking a bus into Leon to avoid having to walk through the depressing industrial zone.
 
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alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Listed in my signature
Scott, it depends where you start. As you will see, over and over again in this forum, there is NO 'official' starting point for the Frances. Many start in St Jean, others in Roncevalles, others - well, wherever they want. If you are concerned about time, and wish to walk the whole way and not take any buses, start closer to Santiago, ie. Pamplona. If a Compestela is important to you, you must walk the last 100km; other than that, it doesn't matter if you walk 1000km, 850, or 105 kilometers to the Camino Office (forgive me, but I can't remember the official name for this). Do NOT feel you are 'missing' anything, the Camino is what you make of it, it doesn't make you.
 

ScottC

New Member
Thanks for all those thoughts - they have helped me deal with the dilemma of "doing it because it is there" as opposed to "walking my pilgrimage".
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
I 'walked my pilgrimage' in 2002 from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 27 days with no official 'rest' days (and my walking buddy was 74 years old).
You don't have to walk an average distance each day to keep on track. Start slowly at the beginning until you have got into the rythym of day-to-day walking. Some days we walked 15km and others - especially on the meseta - 40km.
We walked a few really short days so that the remainder of the day was a rest day. Remember that you can only spend one night in an albergue. Most albergues ask you to leave by 8am - 8h30. You will then have to check into a hotel for your extra night.
 

ScottC

New Member
sillydoll said:
I 'walked my pilgrimage' in 2002 from Roncesvalles to Santiago in 27 days with no official 'rest' days (and my walking buddy was 74 years old).
You don't have to walk an average distance each day to keep on track. Start slowly at the beginning until you have got into the rythym of day-to-day walking. Some days we walked 15km and others - especially on the meseta - 40km.
We walked a few really short days so that the remainder of the day was a rest day. Remember that you can only spend one night in an albergue. Most albergues ask you to leave by 8am - 8h30. You will then have to check into a hotel for your extra night.

This is very helpful thanks - I will be doing it alone and I understand the need t ostart relatively slowiy. I think I have now confirmed for myself that I should start inside Spain to give myself enough time to do it and a little at the end.
 

gapowell

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2011 - from SJPP) (2012 - from Geneva) (2015 - from SJPP) (2016 - from Cologne)
Hi Scott, just to add a bit of confusion... and following on from your comment above... of course, start from wherever you feel comfortable. BUT, especially if you feel fit and your boots (and feet) are broken in, then don't miss that wonderful walk over the Pyrenees from SJPP...! The views are breathtaking. It is a hard walk, no doubt... but if you can do that first long day, you can do any day. And you will be able to do it all inside 30 days.

Are you planning to go on to Finisterre?
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Scott, if your time is limited try to save on travelling to and from the Camino. If it is easier to start in Pamplona because of transport links, then start there. Come back another time and walk from Le Puy to Pamplona......
 

Houlet

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014
Via de la Plata 2015
Camino Sanabres 2015
Camino Norde 2017
That works well for those between the ages of 25 and 40!:)

I did 80 days last year, averaging about 20km per day. I am not between 25 and 40...

Thanks I did it in 21 days this year and you have just reduced my age by somewhere between 26 and 41 years. :)
 
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Dutch

Straightforward
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
I would rather skip a day in between then skip the walk from Sjpdp to Roncesvalles. That first day is awesome!!!!! Don't miss out on this one.
Skip a day on the meseta for instance or make a few longer days to walk in some time, but miss that first day? That, to me, would be a shame.
 

cher99840

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
The OP asked this question and completed his Camino in 2010. He hasn't been heard from since 2011, so we're not talking to him. Good info for anyone tho. :).
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Year of past OR future Camino
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Hahhahaha.....how stupid of me :)

I just looked at the last post and ussumed the discussion was recent
 

Joe Poblador

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues in 2015
Thanks for the alert of the question having been posted in 2012. :p
Good info for me, though, as I am vacillating between the Camino Portugues (from Lisbon) vs. the Camino Frances (from SJPdP) as my first camino in May 2015, and I also only have 30 days.
Y'all just helped me decide on going the Frances way!
 
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Joy Ding

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First Camino this summer 2015
For those who did it in 20-21 days - I have exactly 21 days of walking time! Do you remember your stops? It would be superbly helpful to get an idea of where you stopped and on average how many hours you walked daily.
Was it ever a problem finding a bed if you walked longer, ie past 1pm?
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
For those who did it in 20-21 days - I have exactly 21 days of walking time! Do you remember your stops? It would be superbly helpful to get an idea of where you stopped and on average how many hours you walked daily.
Was it ever a problem finding a bed if you walked longer, ie past 1pm?

Dear Joy, if you want to do the Camino Frances, I'd tell you to start in Burgos (if you are a strong walker) or later (maybe better), to fit in that schedule.
Stops vary a lot, due to weather, your physical conditions or if you thought the place was pretty and wants to stay longer.

In average, I walked 6-7 hours per day in a comfortable pace for me, starting never after 7h30am.
We went in May and didn't have problems finding beds. The only day the albergue was full (after Cebreiro), we walked a bit more and took a private room in an inn in Biduedo.

Take a look in guides, books and in this forum, they will help your planning. But go with an open mind that things may change - it's actually one of the best things of the Camino. You are free to listen to your body and decide if you should go on or stop.

Buen Camino!
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Year of past OR future Camino
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
I am planning to walk from St Jean at the end of August and have really only 30-32 days to do it in. I a mfairly fit and a good walker. All that I have read tells me that it takes between 28 days and 35 days to complete. I also know that rest days are important... so my question is (and I know it is silly) but from experienced walkers how long does it take?

Scott
Hi Scott , I returned 4 weeks ago and walked for 37 day's nice and easy . I did look around , visit places and meeting lot's off nice people along the way .
I wish you a very nice time on the Camino , Peter .
 

fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
Hi walked mid April ...took me thirty five days......started off quite slow for first week then increased daily kilometres to a max of 33 but usually less than that....around 20-25 then 25--29km ....some of my group went quicker in the beginning but quite a few of those ended up behind me ....having had episodes of tendonitis..or severe blisters. I did not have any of these problems.
Didn't have full days off but always arrived at a city by 1pm ish to allow for sight seeing. On those days prob only walked 12-15km.
 

fiona99

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Finnisterre and Muxia April/June 2015.
Camino Portuguese. Porto - ?? 2017.
For those who did it in 20-21 days - I have exactly 21 days of walking time! Do you remember your stops? It would be superbly helpful to get an idea of where you stopped and on average how many hours you walked daily.
Was it ever a problem finding a bed if you walked longer, ie past 1pm?
Hi joy ...I only got caught out once....ended up having to walk another 12km...making a 33km day .....not good as was extremely hot and there was no one else in sight....After that whenever I planned my next days stage I made sure that I knew how far the next albergue was.....and if it was more than say 5km I would shorten my days walk. I don't think the big gaps in albergues happens very often but worth checking when you do your planning.
 
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kparker1

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
NOne.
A lot of comments her I will have about 28 days in June from St-jean to Santiago. I am 31 pretty healthy. Would this realistically be enough, I see some posts here saying 21-26 days is this true?. I know slow and steady is the best but I am flying from Canada and time away from work is limited.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
I am planning to walk from St Jean at the end of August and have really only 30-32 days to do it in. I a mfairly fit and a good walker. All that I have read tells me that it takes between 28 days and 35 days to complete. I also know that rest days are important... so my question is (and I know it is silly) but from experienced walkers how long does it take?

Scott

Hey Scott, your question is impossible to answer -- probably you couldn't even answer it yourself.

The question is contingent on daily hiking speed, which is the far more important factor than your hourly speed or your training speed.

Only you will know what your comfortable daily speed is, and then only after a week to 10 days or more of walking.

Having said that, 30-32 days is probably sufficient, if you're a good walker -- good walkers typically take about 4.5 weeks, and if you're good and strong enough to be capable of picking up your pace when needed, even if that might mean leaving some people behind sooner rather than later (it's inevitable regardless), then you should be OK from the sound of it.

A more pedantic answer to your question is that, fastest to slowest, the Camino can take anything between 10 days and two and a half months. That information will not help you as such, but it may hopefully help you realise that you will only know how long it takes after you've done it.

Personally, my first "proper" Camino in 94 (though the 93 one was vital personally) ended up as SJPP to Santiago in 3 weeks (longer to there from Paris) ; my last one in 2014 took about 2 months for a similar distance, and 69 days from Lourdes.

Bottom line -- you'll see when you get there, but from the sound of things I'd say that you have a good handle on it.

Buen Camino !!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Year of past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Many people skip a bit somewhere along the way and take a bus over a few stages

Which is very silly, sorry, I mean that it's a mistake rather than being "stupid" or anything like that -- better to start from closer to the Shrine that's compatible with your time frame.

And spiritually, encouraging people to take a bus is unhelpful.
 
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cher99840

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 2017 Camino Frances SJPP-Santiago
2015 St. Olav's Way Oslo-Trondheim
2017 VdlP Seville-Merida
aaarrrrgg ancient-thread-itis-a-phobia strikes again !!!

Nothing wrong with resurrecting an old thread as there is a lot of good info in them. But when prople address an OP directly as if he is awaiting an answer, and he asked the question years ago, I think they deserve to know that. I have fallen into the same trap of not noticing the date and was grateful when it was brought to my attention.
 

james walter purdum iv

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
camino francés sept 1, 2015
I am planning to walk from St Jean at the end of August and have really only 30-32 days to do it in. I a mfairly fit and a good walker. All that I have read tells me that it takes between 28 days and 35 days to complete. I also know that rest days are important... so my question is (and I know it is silly) but from experienced walkers how long does it take?

Scott
It took me 37 with 2 rest days.. I’m 280 lbs and wasn’t in the best shape lol. Motor on the meseta and you should be good in 31 days
 

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