• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Hello! First Camino April/May

Maartje1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April/May 2024
Hi! Nice to ‘meet’ you all.

From about early/mid April I hope to be on my first Camino. I have until about mid May. Every day different ideas arise for routes, from Camino Frances (busy!), or Camino Norte (rainy!) to a combo of Madrid-Salvador-primitivo (messy!) Or even to finish my Camino by walking ‘the wrong way’ from Compostela to Porto (airport). Whether to walk a few days in the middle (Salvador) with my partner, or to stick to one Camino and go solo all the way. The options are overwhelming! Also things like potential bed races (not appealing), the weather, pleasant solitude vs loneliness vs the Camino vibe/family make for difficult decisions! Your insights are very welcome. All in all I am very excited where the road will take me :)
Cheers,
Maartje
 
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.
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Hi! Nice to ‘meet’ you all.

From about early/mid April I hope to be on my first Camino. I have until about mid May. Every day different ideas arise for routes, from Camino Frances (busy!), or Camino Norte (rainy!) to a combo of Madrid-Salvador-primitivo (messy!) Or even to finish my Camino by walking ‘the wrong way’ from Compostela to Porto (airport). Whether to walk a few days in the middle (Salvador) with my partner, or to stick to one Camino and go solo all the way. The options are overwhelming! Also things like potential bed races (not appealing), the weather, pleasant solitude vs loneliness vs the Camino vibe/family make for difficult decisions! Your insights are very welcome. All in all I am very excited where the road will take me :)
Cheers,
Maartje
The Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo combination is a nice one (I walked it myself this year) but I wouldn't recommend it for a first camino. For a first camino I would generally recommend one with plenty of infrastructure. More infrastructure = more flexibility = better able to adapt to what you discover works for  you while you are on the Camino. It isn't until you are actually on the Camino that you will learn how far your body is ready to walk each day, or you will discover how much you enjoy the company of other pilgrims vs solitude. Reading in advance is no substitute. That is why the Frances is generally recommended so often for a first camino. It has the infrastructure that best enables you to adapt to what you learn as you start walking.

I would advise not allowing yourself to be put off by the stories you read about how crowded it is. For the most part people's expectations are set by their first camino and that is what they try and go back and recapture. As the Camino grows in popularity, there are more people and that becomes a difference from their first camino and people complain about it. People who walked the Camino Frances first in recent years have continued to have great, transformational experiences that bring them back.

If you do find that you want a less crowded camino than you are experiencing on the Frances there are a number of strategies to get one. You can start walking earlier or later in the day. You can stop "off stage", between the stage ends recommended in the most popular guides. The Primitivo merges with the Frances for the last 50 km after Melide, making this the busiest stretch on any camino. I walked it this year in late July, the busiest time of the year. I didn't experience a bed race and had plenty of solitude on the trail, just by stopping at Salceda and Lavacolla instead of Arzua.

If you had felt yourself really called to another route I would have tried not to stand in your way. Many have had wonderful and successful first caminos on the Norte, for example. But if you are betwixt and between, not really sure which route to take, for a first camino I would highly recommend the Frances, if you have the time.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
The Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo combination is a nice one (I walked it myself this year) but I wouldn't recommend it for a first camino. For a first camino I would generally recommend one with plenty of infrastructure. More infrastructure = more flexibility = better able to adapt to what you discover works for  you while you are on the Camino. It isn't until you are actually on the Camino that you will learn how far your body is ready to walk each day, or you will discover how much you enjoy the company of other pilgrims vs solitude. Reading in advance is no substitute. That is why the Frances is generally recommended so often for a first camino. It has the infrastructure that best enables you to adapt to what you learn as you start walking.

I would advise not allowing yourself to be put off by the stories you read about how crowded it is. For the most part people's expectations are set by their first camino and that is what they try and go back and recapture. As the Camino grows in popularity, there are more people and that becomes a difference from their first camino and people complain about it. People who walked the Camino Frances first in recent years have continued to have great, transformational experiences that bring them back.

If you do find that you want a less crowded camino than you are experiencing on the Frances there are a number of strategies to get one. You can start walking earlier or later in the day. You can stop "off stage", between the stage ends recommended in the most popular guides. The Primitivo merges with the Frances for the last 50 km after Melide, making this the busiest stretch on any camino. I walked it this year in late July, the busiest time of the year. I didn't experience a bed race and had plenty of solitude on the trail, just by stopping at Salceda and Lavacolla instead of Arzua.

If you had felt yourself really called to another route I would have tried not to stand in your way. Many have had wonderful and successful first caminos on the Norte, for example. But if you are betwixt and between, not really sure which route to take, for a first camino I would highly recommend the Frances, if you have the time.
Thank you for your insight! Much appreciated.
 

Most read last week in this forum

Just out of curiosity about forum members, and since this is anonymous, how old are you?
Hello. Can anyone advise on return travel from Santiago to the north east of England/ Newcastle/north west/Manchester. EasyJet run seasonal flights which don’t cover November when we will be...
I will arrive at SJDP 1st of May .. less than a month to go ! Any tips? Should I train walking with my backpack ?
Hello, everyone I am doing the camino de france next spring on a bike. It looks really rocky going down hill from Burguete. Is there a safer rought not going down the rocky path? Should I stay on...
Hi, First Camino ….and in fact first time on a forum chat! I am going to do a (leisurely!) trail from Porto to Santiago mixing Litoral/Coastal, Central and Spiritual over three weeks ( including 2...
April 17 @HelS (Villatuerta - Santiago)

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top