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Help me choose my May-June 2019 camino (~18 days)

Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#1
TL;DR - Which camino would you recommend in late spring for about 18 days?

Things have changed a bit since the last time I asked for advice about choosing a camino for 2019. Now, it looks like I’ll have a window to walk a solo camino in late May - early June while junglegirl is leading a tour in India. So I've been looking at the map for the last couple of days and thinking about possible options.

Here are a few things to consider:
  • I would have a maximum of about 18 walking days.
  • On my first two caminos, I walked about 25km/day. But junglegirl had to deal with painful plantar fasciitis in both feet on both caminos, so that slowed us somewhat. I think 30km/day should be pretty doable. I’ll be 39 and somewhat fit.
  • Finishing in Santiago is not a must, but it’s always nice.
  • I prefer to walk ‘full’ caminos (even though I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron) rather than parts of caminos.
  • I like historic villages/churches/sites, especially from the Roman and medieval eras. Some examples of sites I really liked on the Francés and Primitivo were the St. Anton monastery, the church of San Martín in Frómista , the pre-Romanesque churches outside Oviedo, the Roman walls of Lugo etc.
  • I used to live in Switzerland (and have hiked in the Dolomites, Himalayas, Patagonia etc) so I've been pretty spoiled when it comes to scenery, and therefore I wasn't really blown away by any scenery on the Francés or the Primitivo.
  • I speak Spanish pretty well (probably upper B2 on a good day), so language barriers wouldn't be an issue on remote caminos.
  • I like 'camino spirit' so I'd probably rather not be completely alone. But perhaps I could be convinced otherwise!
  • I'm fine with albergues or private accommodation, though I'd obviously rather not spend too much.
With all that in mind, here are the four caminos that are currently on my radar.
  • Invierno (10 days) + Finisterre (4 days). I didn’t make it to Finisterre on either of my first two caminos so that would be nice, although I’d feel a little bit bad by going without junglegirl. I don't know much about the Invierno.
  • Salvador (5 days) + Primitivo (12-13 days), including the Camino Verde crossover to the Norte. I’ve already done the Primitivo, but I really liked it despite the poor weather. I would love to do it in better weather although the time of year would be almost identical. Plus, the Salvador and the crossover add some new elements and everyone I know who’s done the Salvador raved about it.
  • Madrid (13 days) + Francés Sahagún-León (3 days). I don’t know much about the Madrid but if nothing else this one would be the easiest starting point for me to get to, by overnight train from Lisbon. I’ve already been to Segovia but it’ll have been 12 years since my visit by next year.
  • Olvidado (@peregrina2000 did it in exactly 18 days!). Mostly I just love the name, but the recent @alansykes thread about it makes it sound pretty spectacular.
Which of these (or another one that I haven't thought of yet) would you recommend?

Thanks!
 

MKalcolm M

Solvitur ambulando - It is solved by walking
Camino(s) past & future
north route spring 2013
#2
Could I suggest a fifth option for your radar? Start in Irun and walk the Norte to Oviedo, and further if you have the time. I have walked the Frances, Portuguese, Salvador and liked them all, but the one I would do again would be the Norte. Many people walk the Norte and then move to the Primitivo, and since you have already done this part, it can be considered a full camino. Oviedo is in itself a place of pilgrimage (hence the Salvador finishing there) and a perfectly acceptable place to stop. You may have enough time to bus or train to Santiago and then walk on to Finesterre, which gives a nice feling of finishing at the last camino sign. There are several convents and monasteries to visit or stay in on the Norte, and some lovely old towns to pass through. The coastal views and walking along vast beaches was a great part of this for me, I walked with a Swiss lass who really enjoyed the sea, something she didn't see at home!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2001 and 2006,Parts of Via de la Plata 2007 and 2010 Camino de Madrid 2012,Camino de Madrid 2013, Camino de Levante 2014, Camino de Madrid 2015
#4
I did Madrid-Leon 2013. I love the Madrid route and did 3 days Sahagun to Leon to show my friend that I walked with the difference between the two caminos.If you search for
"Camino de Madrid 2013 extras + 3 days on the Francés" on youtube you will find the pictures for our trip.

All the best, Roger from Sweden
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
#5
What about starting "somewhere" on the Arles route (Pau?) and then the Camino Aragones to Puente la Reina?

Buen Camino, SY
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#6
Thanks for the suggestions so far! Keep 'em coming!
Could I suggest a fifth option for your radar? Start in Irun and walk the Norte to Oviedo, and further if you have the time.
I hadn't really considered the Norte for this camino because I'd still like to do it in full one day.
What about starting "somewhere" on the Arles route (Pau?) and then the Camino Aragones to Puente la Reina?
This sounds really intriguing. But it seems like another one that I might prefer to dedicate more time to (i.e. all the way from Arles to Santiago). Also, the start (especially) and end points are quite a bit further from home than the other options which isn't ideal on this occasion. I will be returning to Portugal from Australia only a few days before starting and I'd prefer not to book anything for the camino (including transport to/from) in case it falls through. So ideally, I would be able to just jump on the train from Lisbon to Madrid and either travel a bit further to the start point, or just start walking on the Madrid.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#7
How about the Camino Portugues from Lisbon (doable in 3 weeks) or - if you only have 18 days - from Santarém (skipping some of the road walking at the beginning)? This would enable you maximum flexibility as you could almost start from your home.

Santarém (lots of churches, City walls), Tomar (UNESCO heritage site and eldest synagogue in Portugal), Conigimbra (Roman excavations), Coimbra, Porto, Valenca and Tui offer lots of historic sites.

Otherwise I would favour Salvador+Primitivo as the latter offers some alternatives (via Pola de Allande, after Lugo).

BC
Alexandra
 

Martin64

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2nd 2017
#8
TL;DR - Which camino would you recommend in late spring for about 18 days?

Things have changed a bit since the last time I asked for advice about choosing a camino for 2019. Now, it looks like I’ll have a window to walk a solo camino in late May - early June while junglegirl is leading a tour in India. So I've been looking at the map for the last couple of days and thinking about possible options.

Here are a few things to consider:
  • I would have a maximum of about 18 walking days.
  • On my first two caminos, I walked about 25km/day. But junglegirl had to deal with painful plantar fasciitis in both feet on both caminos, so that slowed us somewhat. I think 30km/day should be pretty doable. I’ll be 39 and somewhat fit.
  • Finishing in Santiago is not a must, but it’s always nice.
  • I prefer to walk ‘full’ caminos (even though I know that’s a bit of an oxymoron) rather than parts of caminos.
  • I like historic villages/churches/sites, especially from the Roman and medieval eras. Some examples of sites I really liked on the Francés and Primitivo were the St. Anton monastery, the church of San Martín in Frómista , the pre-Romanesque churches outside Oviedo, the Roman walls of Lugo etc.
  • I used to live in Switzerland (and have hiked in the Dolomites, Himalayas, Patagonia etc) so I've been pretty spoiled when it comes to scenery, and therefore I wasn't really blown away by any scenery on the Francés or the Primitivo.
  • I speak Spanish pretty well (probably upper B2 on a good day), so language barriers wouldn't be an issue on remote caminos.
  • I like 'camino spirit' so I'd probably rather not be completely alone. But perhaps I could be convinced otherwise!
  • I'm fine with albergues or private accommodation, though I'd obviously rather not spend too much.
With all that in mind, here are the four caminos that are currently on my radar.
  • Invierno (10 days) + Finisterre (4 days). I didn’t make it to Finisterre on either of my first two caminos so that would be nice, although I’d feel a little bit bad by going without junglegirl. I don't know much about the Invierno.
  • Salvador (5 days) + Primitivo (12-13 days), including the Camino Verde crossover to the Norte. I’ve already done the Primitivo, but I really liked it despite the poor weather. I would love to do it in better weather although the time of year would be almost identical. Plus, the Salvador and the crossover add some new elements and everyone I know who’s done the Salvador raved about it.
  • Madrid (13 days) + Francés Sahagún-León (3 days). I don’t know much about the Madrid but if nothing else this one would be the easiest starting point for me to get to, by overnight train from Lisbon. I’ve already been to Segovia but it’ll have been 12 years since my visit by next year.
  • Olvidado (@peregrina2000 did it in exactly 18 days!). Mostly I just love the name, but the recent @alansykes thread about it makes it sound pretty spectacular.
Which of these (or another one that I haven't thought of yet) would you recommend?

Thanks!
I’m doing the primitivo in June 2019. Go for this one.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#9
How about the Camino Portugues from Lisbon (doable in 3 weeks) or - if you only have 18 days - from Santarém (skipping some of the road walking at the beginning)? This would enable you maximum flexibility as you could almost start from your home.
Yes, the Portuguese is an obvious choice but junglegirl is quite keen on doing the central from Lisbon so I don't think I could get away with doing it solo. I could do the coastal route from Porto but I'm less interested in that.

Santarém (lots of churches, City walls), Tomar (UNESCO heritage site and eldest synagogue in Portugal), Conigimbra (Roman excavations), Coimbra, Porto, Valenca and Tui offer lots of historic sites.
All this stuff is definitely right up my alley! Although it's a little bit unfortunate that if/when I get around to the CP, most of this won't be new for me because I have already been to Porto and Coimbra multiple times, as well as Conimbriga and Tomar.
 
#10

Invierno (10 days) + Finisterre (4 days).
I didn’t make it to Finisterre on either of my first two caminos so that would be nice, although I’d feel a little bit bad by going without junglegirl. I don't know much about the Invierno.
  • Salvador (5 days) + Primitivo (12-13 days), including the Camino Verde crossover to the Norte. I’ve already done the Primitivo, but I really liked it despite the poor weather. I would love to do it in better weather although the time of year would be almost identical. Plus, the Salvador and the crossover add some new elements and everyone I know who’s done the Salvador raved about it.
  • Madrid (13 days) + Francés Sahagún-León (3 days). I don’t know much about the Madrid but if nothing else this one would be the easiest starting point for me to get to, by overnight train from Lisbon. I’ve already been to Segovia but it’ll have been 12 years since my visit by next year.
  • Olvidado (@peregrina2000 did it in exactly 18 days!). Mostly I just love the name, but the recent @alansykes thread about it makes it sound pretty spectacular.
Which of these (or another one that I haven't thought of yet) would you recommend?

Thanks!
My comments on all four terrific options.

Invierno plus Finisterre (and while you are at it, add Muxia since you have time). I think that if you walk it once, you will want to returtn with junglegirl, so no downside here. Since you would also have some extra days, you could also think about part of the Camino dos Faros along the coast. Another way to add days would be to do a circle from Ponferrada to some of the most beautiful countryside and towns I’ve walked through. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...n-splendor-from-ponferrada-or-el-acebo.27697/


Salvador and Primitivo. Easy to mix it up and change stages for a return visit to the Primitivo, and you might be able to time it so you could go see Santa Eulalia de Bóveda, which for someone with your interests, would be a great little detour. And also the castro and museum outside Grandas de Salime. That is one place I have always wanted to stop and visit and have never gotten there despite multiple Primitivos. You could also mix it up by doing the alternative you didn’t do, either Pola or Hospitales. Both are IMO very nice. And the Salvador in five days will be great. Early June should be glorious. Do not miss a visit to Santa Cristina de Lena, it is a gobsmackingly beautiful pre-romanesque church.

The Camino de Madrid is in many ways a perfect camino—very little road walking, lots of great albergues, nice small towns like Medina de Rioseco and Villalón, and you could take a detour to Valladolid with its sculpture museum in the building with what has got to be one of the best plateresque facades in Spain. Segovia is always worth a visit no matter how many times you have been there, and if you haven’t seen the aqueduct lit up at night you would have a great treat. And don’t forget the church in Wamba!

Olviadado — with the new mountain stages Ender has marked, and Alan has just walked, I think Bilbao to Ponferrada will be a bit longer. My guess is that those mountain stages would add 2-3 days to the camino. But you could start in Aguilar, which is where Alan joined it, and then once in Ponferrada, walk the circle and go on to as Médulas to add some more days. From Bilbao there is a lot of road walking at the beginning, and accommodations are not plentiful. And the reservoir and town of Arija are downright depressing.

So those are my off the cuff reactions, but as you well know, you can’t go wrong! Buen camino,Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#11
Brilliant help as always Laurie, many thanks.
My comments on all four terrific options.
Another way to add days would be to do a circle from Ponferrada to some of the most beautiful countryside and towns I’ve walked through. https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...n-splendor-from-ponferrada-or-el-acebo.27697/
I didn't know about this! It sounds like a great addition to a possible Invierno.
The Camino de Madrid is in many ways a perfect camino.
Sounds fantastic. I had been thinking about the Rota Vicentina for junglegirl and I in the first two weeks of April (as a short option further south with warmer weather), but it seems she would rather do a 'proper camino'. So maybe we should do either the Madrid or the Invierno then. It looks like there was a fair bit of snow on the Madrid in April this year but as we know, this spring had unusually dreadful weather throughout most of the Iberian peninsula so I don't know if that should be a deterrent or not.

Then perhaps Salvador+Primitivo might be the best choice for my solo camino. We visited the Castro museum + ruins last time but unfortunately missed Santa Eulalia de Bóveda because it was closed the day we were in the vicinity. And as you said there are lots of ways to mix it up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
#12
@jungleboy , greetings.

If you are not wedded to walking in Spain I have something completly different for your consideration.

Le Puy-en-Velay to Moissac: 14 plus days - 416 km.

Le Puy is where one of the earliest recorded pilgrims to Compostella, Godelasco, started from. Le Puy is about two hours by train from Lyon, France's seond largest city. Lyon is about two hours by fast train from the rail station in Charles de Gaulle airport (20 km north east of Paris).

Their are a variety of gite d'etape (French equivalent of Spanish albergue) along the Way. I walked in April 2016 and had no trouble getting a bed at the first gite I stopped at each day. And most stops had more than one gite. Except in the smallest villages, an evening meal was usually on offer. As I do not speak French I did not book ahead except on two occassions. Then I asked my overnight hostess to make the call for me before leaving that morning.

You will likely encounter many French and Swiss doing as you are: spending one or two week of their annual leave on the Way, restarting from where they stopped last time.

There are a number of guides. The one I found most helpful for me was the Michelin 161 Chemins de Compostelle. It is neither thick, large or heavy. When opened, the top page shows a distance and elevation image with stops and major points of interest marked and a selection of accomodation with contact details. The facing page has a standard Michelin map for the stage with the route highlighted. This guide suggests 19 days to Moissac with half under 20 km. You can make your own stages: I managed Moissac in 14 days. Alternatively you could stop at Cahors after 345 km (Michelin suggests 16 days) with rail links to Paris.

There are a number of highlights. For me these included:
*) Massif Central - a plateau over 1,000 m asl - 4 or 5 days;
*) Estaing - fairy tale castle on a hill with the town around it;
*) Conques - monastery and medieval houses in a secluded valley;
*) Lauzerte - newish buildings, medieval streets on a rock outcrop.
And Moissac makes a good place to stop for a full day before moving on.

Moissac is served by rail with links to Paris (for example) through either Bordeaux or Toulouse.

Whatever you decide, kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (Spring '17)
Primitivo (Spring '18)
TBD (2019)
#13
@jungleboy , greetings.

If you are not wedded to walking in Spain I have something completly different for your consideration.
Thanks for this but I'm afraid I am a bit wedded to Spain for this particular camino, because of ease of access and travel time for a short camino.

But Le Puy is definitely something I would like to do with more time, maybe as soon as 2020, so I'll keep your notes in mind!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#15
@jungleboy , greetings.

If you are not wedded to walking in Spain I have something completly different for your consideration.

Le Puy-en-Velay to Moissac: 14 plus days - 416 km.

Le Puy is where one of the earliest recorded pilgrims to Compostella, Godelasco, started from. Le Puy is about two hours by train from Lyon, France's seond largest city. Lyon is about two hours by fast train from the rail station in Charles de Gaulle airport (20 km north east of Paris).

Their are a variety of gite d'etape (French equivalent of Spanish albergue) along the Way. I walked in April 2016 and had no trouble getting a bed at the first gite I stopped at each day. And most stops had more than one gite. Except in the smallest villages, an evening meal was usually on offer. As I do not speak French I did not book ahead except on two occassions. Then I asked my overnight hostess to make the call for me before leaving that morning.

You will likely encounter many French and Swiss doing as you are: spending one or two week of their annual leave on the Way, restarting from where they stopped last time.

There are a number of guides. The one I found most helpful for me was the Michelin 161 Chemins de Compostelle. It is neither thick, large or heavy. When opened, the top page shows a distance and elevation image with stops and major points of interest marked and a selection of accomodation with contact details. The facing page has a standard Michelin map for the stage with the route highlighted. This guide suggests 19 days to Moissac with half under 20 km. You can make your own stages: I managed Moissac in 14 days. Alternatively you could stop at Cahors after 345 km (Michelin suggests 16 days) with rail links to Paris.

There are a number of highlights. For me these included:
*) Massif Central - a plateau over 1,000 m asl - 4 or 5 days;
*) Estaing - fairy tale castle on a hill with the town around it;
*) Conques - monastery and medieval houses in a secluded valley;
*) Lauzerte - newish buildings, medieval streets on a rock outcrop.
And Moissac makes a good place to stop for a full day before moving on.

Moissac is served by rail with links to Paris (for example) through either Bordeaux or Toulouse.

Whatever you decide, kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going).
I walked Le Puy to Auvillar, adding in the Cele Variant and it was all incredible. It was a nice change of architecture and terrain from walking the caminos in Spain three times prior...That said, I love them all!
 

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