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Frances in 27 days?

Kevin Jackson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2020)
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
 
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It depends how used you are to walking 30km a day every day... I don’t think it is just a question of fitness.
Try it little by little in your training, how comfortable does it feel?
It certainly is possible but ...only you can tell if it is for you.
 
@Kevin Jackson -

Welcome to the Forum!

It seems to me that you have four good, solid answers already.

Having walked at the time of year that you plan, and from direct knowledge of others walking during that time period in other years:

- Yep, the weather will be "dicey". For you two, this means almost certainly walking the Valcarlos option from SJPP to Roncevalles....in snow. If I had been limited in walking time to 27 days, I would have skipped from SJPP to Pamplona. (My typical time is 33 days from SJPP to SdC)

- Okay, now I have you down to 30 days. I typically have one rest day. Kick that out and you are down to 29 days.

- You are 20+ years younger than me at my last walk. So we'll give you a 10% increase in walking efficiency - either speed or time spent walking per day, take your pick. Cool! That's an easy 2 more days taken off the 29 that would have been left to me.

- The distance reality? Pamplona to SdC is about 730 km. Traversing in 27 days requires covering about 27 km or 16.7 mi (+/-) per day.

- You should not expect to accomplish "daily" average right out of the gate (though you may). Your tolerance will build reasonably quickly and I would expect that by a day or so past Burgos, you will be moving above the average pretty easily.

If questions remain, feel free to PM me. I have no problem with responding to a public post but am pretty occupied most hours lately and do not get to drop in as often as I would like.

Buen camino!

B
 
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But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?
Yes, certainly, but not I.
when we're hardened so to speak
The problem is that sometimes one gets injured or blistered, rather than hardened!
We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape.
Sounds quite ambitious to me. Maybe during your training between now and then, you could make a point of walking 30 km for 3 days in a row, wearing your backpack. That will give you a taste of what is involved and how your body might respond. There are many ways to modify your itinerary if and when the need arises - bikes, buses, etc. - but having to do it because of injuries is unfortunate.

Keep in mind that the Napoleon route from SJPP will not be open until at least April 1 (by law). Starting in Roncesvalles would save you some time in the travel to the start, as well as the day or 2 of walking.

I hope you are aware that the popular idea of the Camino starting in SJPP is a modern-day invention and there is nothing sub-standard or incomplete about starting elsewhere. In case you haven't seen it, here is a fun thread on that topic.
 
My strongest recommendation would be to think hard about packing, and pack as light as possible. Shaving kilos from your pack is your best bet for walking further each day. I wrote up my light-packing philosophy and 3.8 kg pack list to share my thoughts on this, as I think it is super important. I took 31 days on the portion from SJPDP to Santiago. I think you could shave days out of my itinerary quite easily. If you skim my daily blog, you'll see days where I took a shorter day for whatever reason, and I think you'll find you can get it to 27 days no problem. My blog is very 'journal-esque' so it lays out my day by day itinerary. I'm 29, but did not train for this walk (I was more of a cyclist at the time than a hiker). Best of luck! Buen Camino!
 
Aim for 32km per day and you will achieve it, if your feet hold out. I managed it in 27 days including 2 nights stay in Burgos to repair my feet and get new socks and insoles on my shoes. Stay clear of Brierley stages and you should not have any problems with accomodation. I walked in April, I had no problems with beds even over Easter, I would walk until 5 pm most days.
 
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I would also start in Pamplona or even Logroño rather than skipping the Meseta between Burgos and León, it can be done, indeed, as somebody suggested above, once you pass Burgos you will be well trained and the terrain willbe suitable for 30 or 35 km days. All in all, if you arrive in Santiago before day 27th, you can always go forward towards Finisterre.
 
The problem is that sometimes one gets injured or blistered, rather than hardened!

Sounds quite ambitious to me. Maybe during your training between now and then, you could make a point of walking 30 km for 3 days in a row, wearing your backpack. That will give you a taste of what is involved and how your body might respond. There are many ways to modify your itinerary if and when the need arises - bikes, buses, etc. - but having to do it because of injuries is unfortunate.

People who don't regularly walk long distances are often surprised by how hard it can be on the body. I'm in my 40s and walk around 10km most days, but I recently tried walking 15-20km several days in a row, and I felt quite battered afterwards.
 
I’ll be another to vote for a Pamplona start.

I started my second camino from Pamplona (as opposed to SJPP on my first) and I can promise you by the time you get to Santiago you most definitely won’t even be thinking about the fact you didn’t start in SJPP. Pamplona to SDC is still a hell of a way and you’ll still bond with all those who started in SJPP, by the time you reach Burgos, Leon and Sarria where many people start you’ll already have cemented friendships that no one will remember you technically didn’t start with them.

That said ... 27 days is still a highly ambitious goal, and from what I’ve seen with others pushing yourself often leads to injuries. But maybe go with an open mind and walk as you feel, if you feel your running out of time a few weeks in when you know what daily distances are comfortable for both of you take a bus ahead to where you can still make it to Santiago by your deadline.
 
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The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
The Brierley ‘stages’ are not even recommended by the man himself as ‘stages’ - generally they’re what fitted onto the one-page map. A few of them (OK at least one ..) don’t obviously end anywhere with accommodation.

Your plan is entirely feasible, but does rely on staying in decent shape.

Good luck.
 
Given that you’re going in and out of Madrid I’ll add to the sensible several above saying ‘start in Pamplona’.

Good point. Another thing to add is that to get from Madrid to SJPP you are likely to get a train to Pamplona and then a bus to SJPP.
I know the bus is stopping for the season this week... not sure if March is too early for it to start back up? I may be wrong but worth a check.
 
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Very realistic.

I did St Jean PdP to Santiago in 25 days but my start was Le Puy and I was in pretty good shape by the time I got to St Jean PdP. But the 25 days was not rushed or ever felt like a race. I actually slowed down because of people I wanted to walk with. There were several other people who also did it in 25/26 days. And one guy I walked with for a bit and who started in St Jean PdP did it in 23 days.

All these people with a couple of exceptions were in 40s to 60s. The couple of exceptions were under 30.
 
I would also start in Pamplona or even Logroño
Logroño would be an excellent place to start - provided you don't overdo the tapas bar crawl on Calle del Laurel the night before you start! 😅
Seriously, though Logroño is about 612 km from Santiago which gives you a very comfortable average daily distance of 22.66 km per day. That gives you a cushion to allow for injuries or rest days. If you finish ahead of schedule you can enjoy a couple of days in Santiago without having to rush home or walk on to Finisterre and/or Muxia.
I always like a plan that gives me freedom to change along the way.
 
Transport luggage-passengers.
From airports to SJPP
Luggage from SJPP to Roncevalles
I always like a plan that gives me freedom to change along the way.
Me too. Being retired and with few home commitments I can leave my plans very open and only book return journeys from Spain to the UK in the last few days of a Camino. Unfortunately many people do not have that degree of flexibility in their planning.
 
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I'm neither for or against this idea but here is some information I wrote previously about bikes on the meseta. It's a copy and paste.

One thing to consider if you want to do the camino under your power but don't have enough time to walk the whole way is to rent a bicycle for the meseta section. (I am neither for nor against doing this; I'm just just presenting the idea.)
In Burgos (and maybe even earlier in Logrono) you can rent bikes to be returned in Leon or Astorga. Burgos and Astorga are end points of the meseta where the Camino Frances runs. Roughly, they are 240 kilometers apart (that's 150 miles) and that should be able to be biked in four days, maybe three. Brierley's guidebook suggests 10 days to walk this distance so this could shave a week off the time you need to do your camino.
There are a number of places where you can rent. Here are some links I've collected (but the list may not be complete):Some other thoughts:
 
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I'm just throwing in another vote for starting in Pamplona. We did SJPP to Santiago in a month but we took rest/healing days after I took a tumble down some stairs. You never know when you may end up needing one of those days. We absolutely loved Pamplona, and the walk heading out of town is amazing!
 
I should clarify something from my original post. You cannot expect to start with your average KM on Day 1. Every single person that I know who got hurt bad enough that they had to drop out or skip ahead by bus/train started way too fast. And "too fast" isn't a set speed but specific to your abilities.

And if you want to speed up the getting in shape process, don't use your poles constantly. Reserve them for the steepest or rockiest terrain. My experience. As always, YMMV.
 
Thanks everyone for the feedback, lots of good thoughts here. :)
Logroño would be an excellent place to start

This is where i would start Kevin
I would also bus the last day into Burgos and then Leon so you can enjoy these wonderful towns.
Then you can enjoy the wilderness 😉 after Astorga. In the hills up high with solitude where you can't hurry.

Logrono is a great town and you have many stops available from there regardless of what happens with feet or weather.

For the ones who say start in STJPP we usually commence in the middle of the GR 65 in France and stop well before SDC. So you get there and enjoy , your age has never followed the crowds , so don't commence here.
Enjoy , that's the main thing.
 
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So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone

I have done my Camino francés from SJPdP to SdC in exact 27 days in summer this year, 3 less than I expected.
The average km per day I have walked was 29,8. I was fast (with a group of fast walkers).

It will be a bit more difficult and you have to be aware, that in April you may have more problems with troubling weather conditions. But if you plan a bit ahead all in all it is doable.

I was 49 on the Camino and had trained a bit to break in my boots. I am in a good shape playing tabletennis as a hobby. After the Camino I am in a better shape than before, lost 7kg and didn't gain any weight since then.
 
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Hi Kevin, I walked it at that time of year in 2016 as pretty unfit 53 year old and did it comfortably in 23 days ( though no rest days), but there were one or two horrendously long days. The key I think is making sure you dont get any blisters, so make sure your boots are well walked in.


Good luck,#
Mark
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

Yes, but that's a fast pace -- it would mean aiming for 30K-40K days, every day, so that even if on particular days you do less, you'll likely still be in the 25K-30K range. It means no more than one rest day.

And basically you need to be "in training" and so on.
 
Hi Kevin, I walked the CF, starting at SJPDP on 11 May and finished in 26 days. It was my intention to take up to 33, but with a couple of missed turns and booked out accommodation near the end, I finished in 26. I was 59 and had a reasonable level of fitness. I suggest you start at SJPDP as you'll get the beauty of the Pyrenees, although at that time of year you're likely to experience fog. The other factor that will affect your walk is blisters. I was fortunate and didn't get any at all, so didn't require rest days. Good luck and Buen Camino.
 
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Good luck. 26 days is pushing pretty hard. I had 3 straight days of 35kms on the Meseta which is flat and my feet felt like mush by days end. You will be doing those sorts of kms on quite a few days to be finishing in 26 days. Once your feet harden up though it will be easier to do the long days. I would still back off a bit first 10 days and ease into it. Try for longer days once on the Meseta, a good place to make up time. I wouldn’t want to push that hard but good luck to you.
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
There are lots of places to stay in-between the points marked in the Brierley book. Check out ‘My Camino Bed’ for a very comprehensive list of places to stay all along the way. You should be able to walk it all in 27 days if you are reasonably fit and determined :)
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
Of course it can be done but the secret is to get up early and be on your way . You will have your 30 + km done and be in your Albergue by 2 pm or 3 pm but the biggest issue you will have is if the weather is wet . Remember your washing and footwear will have to be dry for the next morning. Most pilgrims can walk 5 km per hour so that has to be your target and remember that has to be every hour and every day . I would throw away the guide book too and do it with your own eyes , just follow the yellow arrows .Enjoy it .
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
You should not have any problems. I am 65 and just finished the Camino from SJPDP last week in what I considered a leisurely 23 days. You might have to walk an hour or two more each day but the scenery can be breathtaking and quite enjoyable. Several pilgrims I encountered along the way took a bus, taxi, or train if the felt the need. Buen Camino!
 
Observations from a 40 day trekker. 27 is doable. We met Simon in Foncebadon, doing 35-40 per day. Stayed in touch, he completed in 25 days and was quite proud and no serious injuries. We met a Canadian couple having lunch in Astorga, they were doing 35/day. Both embarked with the objective of accomplishing 800km in under 30 days. Not sight seeing. Not meeting fellow pilgrims. Quick meals on the fly. We've stayed in touch with both. They reminisce about 'the day they did 42km' etc. We reminisce about the amazing cathedral in Burgos etc. They loved their Camino, we loved ours. But they were very different experiences. Point being, I think you can do it. But don't blend expectations and expect both experiences. That would ruin it for you.
PS We are doing Frances again in spring 2020. This time we plan to give ourselves 50 days - it will be our "Stop And Smell The Roses" walk
Buen Camino
 
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My strongest recommendation would be to think hard about packing, and pack as light as possible. Shaving kilos from your pack is your best bet for walking further each day. I wrote up my light-packing philosophy and 3.8 kg pack list to share my thoughts on this, as I think it is super important. I took 31 days on the portion from SJPDP to Santiago. I think you could shave days out of my itinerary quite easily. If you skim my daily blog, you'll see days where I took a shorter day for whatever reason, and I think you'll find you can get it to 27 days no problem. My blog is very 'journal-esque' so it lays out my day by day itinerary. I'm 29, but did not train for this walk (I was more of a cyclist at the time than a hiker). Best of luck! Buen Camino!
What time of year did you walk? And could you keep pack that light in cold weather months?
 
What time of year did you walk? And could you keep pack that light in cold weather months?
I walked Sept 6th to Oct ~11th? It was comfortable for the first couple weeks, then HOT in the maseta, and then chillier in the last couple weeks and then COLD on the coast in October. I was pretty prepared for warmth honestly. I did not wear my warm stuff very often. I know from experience that what I brought could have gotten me through much colder temperatures (I live in Canada and that is also my 'setup' for a lot of trips here). With a real 'down' hooded puffy (lighter than the one I brought but warmer) and a pair of gloves (if you use hiking poles) I think you could get to pretty cold weather and be plenty comfortable. =)
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I accomplished Estella to SdC in 25 days after a conditioning LePuy walk. I have long ago learned how to avoid blisters which can be a real slow down. And, in much earlier caminos, I found that I hit a wall for a while after about 6-8 days of walking; so I listen to my body well and follow my old age mantra of 'I will do discomfort but not misery". And my preference is to have a camino over have a camino fast. I am an old slow walker (4-km/hr over 70) so rely on long walking days. Methinks that requires a different bed-race strategy--in 2016 many albergues were completo by 3-4 pm. Doubt an issue in Mar-Apr but open albergues may be.
Start in Pamplona (easy transportation access) or Roncesvalles. SJPdP is a lovely town but I do not believe that the grueling stage over the Pyrenees is a good way for my body to start a trek. And be ready to take a taxi/bus along the way if you hit real problems.
Anyway, it is certainly doable if all comes together well.
Buen Camino.
 
Yes. Walked sjpdp to sdc in 24 days June/July of 2018. Then 3 days to Fisterre.
I was 50 and daughter 18. Planned for 30 Days but then we wanted to go to Fisterre so picked up the pace. Notmuch time for tourist things in larger towns but that was Ok since we preferred to peace of rural areas. Rarely stayed in the books revommended stage stopping points. everyobe walks their own Camino and this was a perfect Camino for us.
 
You won't know until you try. You will have read several people saying that they did it in less with no problems whatsoever. Others get terrible blisters when they walk 30 km every day and have to walk less to avoid them, or find the pace required for a 28 day Camino from SJPP gruelling and leading to other injuries. Which will it be for you? Chances are you won't know until you try.

You've also seen a couple of alternatives. Which is best for you depends on what is most important to you - starting from SJPP and seeing the Pyrenees? Knowing you can walk it all and not take buses or taxis?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
It can be done in 27 days. You don't have to stop at the brierly stops. Go a bit further every day and you can make up a day or two. Not a problem. You just need to walk on average 20 miles per day. -- Take the first couple days slowly.

More advice! Take a few 20 mile walks with your pack for a few days in a row before you go. I wish I had done this my first time walking... I found out on the camino that my expensive shoes were too small when my feet swelled up after 2 hours of walking. I ended up with blisters that slowed me down-- and my feet were hurting so much even at night they would wake me up. Now I wear wide shoes (mens) and I can wiggle my toes, even after a long day of backpacking. :)
 
And if you want to speed up the getting in shape process, don't use your poles constantly. Reserve them for the steepest or rockiest terrain.
I have no objection to people using poles or not, depending on their preference. However, this is the first time I have ever heard this suggestion that not using them will actually speed up the process of getting-in-shape. It is great that you were happy with your pole usage and non-usage, but what is the rationale and evidence for this theory?
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
You might want to consider starting in Pamplona.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
YES you can do it.

Ive met people who walked like 40km a day and they didn't seem to be exhausted. You could also easily split the days in early and late walks.

But here is my advice and the advice lots of people gave me, when i walked: TAKE YOUR TIME.

There is no rush. It's a total different feel, athmosphere, spirit, whatever you call it, when you are not on a timetable. When you reach Santiago and look back, you will regret rushing some days walking way over your comfort zone. If you have no timetable, you also walk long days, but just because you want it to, not because you have. That's a total different motivation and experience imho.

When you meet people or feel to just hang out and relax, etc. If anything bad happens and you still want to end in Santiago, you can still take the bus to skip a day, but overall i would just relax and take shorter route and being more flexible. The camino shouldn't feel like a race.

In the end, every one walks their way. Some people like some challenge and want to have a tight schedule to keep on going or choose routes that have more mountains, because they got bored of plains. It's all up to you how you walk.

Buen camino.
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.

Hi Kevin, and congrats on making the plan to walk the Camino. My wife and I completed our first Camino this year so, like everyone else who has walked the Camino once, we are now experts. (That's sarcasm, by the way. I feel I have to point that out more these days because people seem to take things so seriously, even on the Camino forum.)
Toward the end of our journey, while walking from Santiago to Finisterre, we ran into a pilgrim who was walking the opposite direction. A friend in our group recognized him from several weeks prior so they started a conversation. We learned that he had walked from SJPP to Santiago in 24 days... and my jaw dropped. This guy was younger (early/mid 30's) and had a very small pack so it didn't seem strange to me that he was able to do it. What seemed strange to me was, why? But the answer to that is a whole other story. For your purposes, all you really need to know is that 27 days is doable, but here's another story of another Pilgrim.
Toward the beginning of our Camino, while walking through Puenta la Riena looking for an albergue, we ran into a friend and fellow pilgrim. Oddly enough, like the first story, he was walking in the opposite direction too. We had spent the day prior with him in Pamplona and knew he was planning on walking to the next village after Puenta la Riena so we were happily surprised to see him, yet curious as to what had happened. Like you, he had only four weeks to complete the Camino. This was the maximum allotted amount of time his wife would allow. His plan was to walk an average of 30 km or more per day, bike through the Maseta, then walk the last part through Galicia into Santiago. Why was he now only 25 km from where we had last seen him that morning?
Turns out, not all of the albergues listed in the guide books are open year round. This was the first week of April and many of the smaller villages were still shuttered for the winter. Our friend did not know this so he walked from Puenta la Riena to the next village, found the albergue closed, then walked to the next village. That too was closed so, faced with another 10 km hike to the next village on top of the roughly 38 km that he had just walked, all with no guarantee that would be open either, he decided to take a cab back to Puenta la Riena.
In the end, our friend was able to make up the time he lost and, we learned later through the Book of Faces, finish his Camino on schedule. The moral of these stories is this: anything is possible. Yes, people have done the Camino Frances route in 27 days or even less. It is possible that you and your brother can plan and complete your journey in that time frame. It is also possible that your plans will go to hell in a hand-basket the moment you step off the plane in Spain. Any number of things can and will happen on the Camino that you won't expect. Make your plans but also plan to be flexible. Our friend didn't expect that albergues wouldn't be open early in the season but, because he was willing to be flexible, all of us had an unexpected, amazing, and unforgettable experience for that one evening in Puenta la Riena.

Buen Camino!
 
No problem. Just grab a bus and jump ahead if need be. Not that big a deal to do that. There is no purist way of walking the Camino, despite what you read on here sometimes.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
I started the Frances in SJPDP on April
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
Absolutely it's possible. I did my first Camino this year in 28 days. Departed SJPDP on April 27, arriving in SDC on May 24, 28 days non stop. I was celebrating turning 70.
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
I walked the Frances in 28 days. Did not plan to, it just worked out that way. With so many options for overnight accommodation you have maximum flexibility. I was 60 at the time so do not think you will have a problem. I also thoroughly enjoyed the whole thing and did not feel overstretched at the end of each day.
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
The trouble is with all sorts of differing advice and suggestions you can get snowed and it can scare the living daylights out of you. Getting overburdened with information can become a bigger hurdle than the walk itself. I got quite terrified until I actually started. I was 69, weighed around 70 kilo and carried a 16 kilo pack reduced to 12 by the time I got to Ponferrada. If you're reasonably fit ( I had a history of bushwalking and XC skiing) it's a relatively easy walk only long. I did it in winter, snow, hail, rain, sleet and wind except for 6 glorious days of sunshine through the Meseta and two or three other overcast and showery days.

It took me 26 days fr St J p de P. There weren't too many others around but from those I overlapped with occasionally around 60% did it in 25 to 26 days.

Just strap your boots and pack on and walk. Head off around 6.30 or so (in the dark) and check for the arrows at anything that looks like a junction. Knock off around 2.30 to 3 or when you feel tired. Don't worry about waking others up, not too many around except in the large towns where the bulk will be tourists who party on and stagger in in the early hours ( curfews didn't seem to apply) - some will be too sozzled to worry about anyway. If you suffer too much hop on a taxi or train for a stage or so.

Go for it with confidence not trepidation!

De Colores. Bogong
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.

Kevin:

The Camino Frances is walkable in 27 days. That said, there are some challenges you might encounter on a 27 day schedule in Winter.

One is weather. The walk from SJPdP will be the Val Carlos route since the Napoleon route is closed until April 1st. The Val Carlos, while being less steep in the beginning, still goes over the mountain and snow could be an issue.

Second, if either of you have an injury your timetable will be thrown off.

My recommendation would be to start in Pamplona. Easier to get to than SJPdP. There is no official starting point. Walking the whole distance is completing the walk.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.

It’s no fun but , and you are right it’s not a race I finished my in 26 with 2 days rest, but that was before I stoped given a squat about turisgrino ( you know the kind) but that’s for another post

zzotte
 
Give it a shot. Start in SJPDP and if you fall behind just take a taxi a section or two to get back on schedule.
 
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Hi Kevin,
Yes it can be done. A substantial minority of pilgrims walk from SJPdP to Santiago in 27 days or even less. At various times of year.
But no-one (not even you) can answer whether you and your brother can walk it in that time, or will wish to do so, once you're on the Way. And it might have an impact on your experience of the Camino de Santiago if you are committed to a sporty schedule.
I'm in my late 50's and fit enough to distance run and am a regular cyclist as well as walker.
I walked from Dax to Santiago in September 2019 in 30 days (SJPdP to Santiago in 27 days), but I had no return journey or particular date booked. It wasn't my first multi-week long distance hike. I had fabulous experiences on my walking pilgrimage, but largely built on the company I shared, the pilgrim family I acquired along the Way. It would have been a pity to have raced ahead of them, just to hit a deadline.
I agree with several advice(s) above to commence at Roncesvalles, especially at the time of year you plan to walk - it buys you a day, and a potentially wet/icy/snowbound, painful day at that. Then go at your comfortable pace from there and be prepared to shortcut a stage or two later if needed, though those who advise the Meseta as worth missing probably haven't seen it in glorious green Spring!

The Brierley stages are an artificial construct, so no problem there. But some albergues don't open until Easter, so that may have more impact on your choices of overnight stops.

Whatever you do decide, you are embarking on a special journey which may be made even more special by sharing it with your brother. Buen Camino!
 
No problem. Just grab a bus and jump ahead if need be. Not that big a deal to do that. There is no purist way of walking the Camino, despite what you read on here sometimes.
Although, if getting a Compostela is important to you, you may want to try and avoid this in the last 100 km.
 
An other issue to be considered is your backpack weight.
The lighter the backpack is, the longer distance you can go.

I could walk 18-23km per day with a heavy backpack for my 1st camino.
This year I reduced my backpack weight into 5kgs, I could walk 30+km, even 40km for some days.

**I love Meseta! Every stage has its own beauty, don’t miss it, if possible. Otherwise you may regret and come back again for the missing stages. This is my experience.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
We did it in 27 days days. Here's a video I prepared earlier :)


However I haven't included the 2 rest days we had [Burgos & Leon]
I was 60 years old when I walked it in 2016. Had a few niggling injuries but very doable imo.

Buen Camino!
 
I've booked the flight for my first camino which I'll be doing with my brother, late March to late April in 2020. After accounting for travel time from and to Madrid, we'll have 27 actual days to walk. I would have preferred to have more days, but 4 weeks was most my brother could get away from work, and going together with him took priority over myself having more time.

So the question is, is doing the camino in 27 days realistic? Yes, I'm aware it's not a race. :) But has anyone here done the camino in 27 days or less?

We'd like to start in SJPDP, and ideally walk the whole distance. We're both in our mid 40s, in average shape. I have the Brierley book, and it looks like there are nearly always albergues between the recommended stages, so my thought is for a few stages in the middle (when we're hardened so to speak), we do three day's walking over two days, and stay at some of those between albergues.
Another option we've considered is renting bikes for a few days on the meseta to cover more distance. Has anyone here done a short term bike rental like that? We really don't want to take the bus for any stages if possible.
I walked the Frances in late September 2011, arrived in Santiago after 27 days with one rest day. The Way is very doable in the time frame you are allowing yourselves, I’m not sure about weather conditions or accommodations at that time of year. My regret post Camino was that I walked it faster than I should have, I had allowed myself 35 days. The Camino is about the sights, the sounds, the animals, and especially your fellow pilgrims you meet along the Way.You might find that if you slow down and take in the experience deeply, consideration can be given to only doing a part now and the returning at a later date to finish. Many pilgrims walk it in stages over many years. I plan to return in the next year or so and walk the Frances at a turtles pace. Buen Camino
 
I don't recall anyone mentioning this in the replies, so sorry if it was already mentioned. Keep in mind that with your tight schedule if obtaining a Camino certificate is a must for you it might not be possible if you arrive in Santiago too late in the day and you are leaving early the next morning. Good Luck!!
 
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Definitely possible as I walked it in 27 days in 2014 (57 years old at time) along with my brother (55) and a fellow we met the first night in Roncesvalles (40 or so). I had already had the benefit of 3 other Camino walks through Switzerland and France prior to SJPP. What helped us was a decision to generally book ahead a day or so ahead of time allowing us to walk longer days (44 km longest in the Mesata) without concern over finding accomodation. Fortunately no significant injuries as well. Whatever you choose to do it will be a great experience...guaranteed!

Guy
 
But some albergues don't open until Easter, so that may have more impact on your choices of overnight stops.

Easter is April 12th. Will a lot of the albergues be closed until then? I didn't consider that possibility, I thought they'd be open by early April.
 
Kevin, this is an example of how you can easily scare yourself. I did endless research before I walked with mounting concern and terror on the accomodation front. At the Pilgrim Office at St J p de P I was given a list of albergues open and closed in winter. By the time I reached Roncesvalles it was just a pulp in the rain and snow even though I had put it in a waterproof pouch held next to my chest. In even more terror I borrowed someone else's list and frantically scribbled things down.

After the third day I realised what a complete waste of time it all was. The list bore little resemblance to the reality, so from then on I just walked until I had had enough, always found somewhere to stay without any real trouble. Except maybe but not really Moratinos. The new albergue (2014) was closed for winter with a sign saying go on to the Peacable Kingdom (Rebekah's place) or back to the new Hostal at the entrance to the town. I couldn't find Rebekah's place at all, there was absolutely no-one to ask, so I went back to the Hostal where the lovely family treated me like one of their own. I was the only guest (happened quite a bit on that walk) , I had a window facing the path in and didn't't see a single other pilgrim come in all the rest of the day.

De Colores. Bogong.
 
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I did it this April, my first Camino in 25 days (with one rest day in Leon), I didn't planed to be that fast, it just happend. Then I walked to Muxia and Finnistera (3 days).
 
Easter is April 12th. Will a lot of the albergues be closed until then? I didn't consider that possibility, I thought they'd be open by early April.
Sorry Kevin,
I hadn't meant to scare you with that thought. One or two smaller places may not have an albergue open at that time of year, but in most places it would just mean a bit less choice. If you're aiming to reach a particular place and your written guide says there's only one place to stay, you can always phone it or check on Google whether it's open and adjust your plans accordingly.
 

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