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How Many days to walk from Canterbury to Rome?

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(15,16,18)CheminduPuy(16) Portuguese(16 VDLP(17)Primitivo(17)Ireland-3000K(18) Norte18Vasco17
Wondering how long to walk from Canterbury to Rome for someone who averages 29K per day on Camino Frances? Thinking 70 days but have seen many suggestions around 90? Perhaps the Alps or lack of auberges and gites have an influence?
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@Kevin considine I think you are in the right 'ballpark' there Kevin. I think I did 87 or 88 days last year including maybe half a dozen rest days. I think I averaged 25 km per day, and would normally do a bit more on Camino, but I wasn't in a particular hurry on VF. I don't think there are any special difficulties quite honestly compared to a variety of Caminos such as yours. It is not especially physically difficult. Accommodation may dictate your route a bit until you get to Italy, unless you are going to camp. So sometimes it will mean a longer day, but overall, I found it quite comparable to Camino, especially the more solitary caminos. Rest days/sightseeing days are a personal consideration. I had a couple or friends to call on along the way which accounted for three days. I was held up for 24 hours by snow in the Alps. I felt less and less inclined to stop for a break of any kind as I got nearer to Rome.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
I normally average about 30km per day on a longer walk. I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015. I ignored the official route in northern France and mostly walked on canal towpaths to Besancon and joined the VF there. That may have made my journey slightly quicker than it might otherwise have been. I took 66 days to walk from Canterbury to Rome. That would be at the shorter end of the spectrum.
 

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
I posted the following in Ivar's Via Francigena Forum.

Home - unknown km – traditional start.

London - 2000 km, 90 days walking 30 days cycling – combine the Canterbury pilgrimage and the VF.

Canterbury - 1900 km, 85 days walking 28 days cycling – formal VF start.

Bescancon - 1200 km, 60 days walking 20 days cycling – just before the Jura missing most boring bits of France.

Lausanne - 1050 km, 55 days walking 18 days cycling – easy air and rail access.

Martigny - 950 km, 50 days walking 17 days cycling – equivalent of SJPP.

Grand St Bernard Pass - 900 km, 47 days walking 15 days cycling – equivalent of Roncesvalles.

Lucca - 400 km, 20 days walking 7 days cycling – minimum for cyclists to obtain Testimonium.

Acquapendente - 130 km, 7 days walking 3 days cycling – minimum for walkers to obtain Testimonium.
 

Carolethecatlover

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 2018
I normally average about 30km per day on a longer walk. I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015. I ignored the official route in northern France and mostly walked on canal towpaths to Besancon and joined the VF there. That may have made my journey slightly quicker than it might otherwise have been. I took 66 days to walk from Canterbury to Rome. That would be at the shorter end of the spectrum.
Canal towpaths in France? Tell me more...please.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Canal towpaths in France? Tell me more...please.
I posted my daily stages on Ivar's VF forum at the time which may help you understand my route to Besancon. The French canal authority have an overview map of the canal system on their website which may also be useful. Being flat and relatively straight most of the time the canal network makes for easy and straightforward walking. In a few areas I left the canals and walked on minor roads instead - rural roads in France can be very quiet with limited traffic. The French national mapping agency has an excellent website which allows you to view long-distance footpaths if you choose the appropriate map type and zoom level.

 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(15,16,18)CheminduPuy(16) Portuguese(16 VDLP(17)Primitivo(17)Ireland-3000K(18) Norte18Vasco17
@Kevin considine I think you are in the right 'ballpark' there Kevin. I think I did 87 or 88 days last year including maybe half a dozen rest days. I think I averaged 25 km per day, and would normally do a bit more on Camino, but I wasn't in a particular hurry on VF. I don't think there are any special difficulties quite honestly compared to a variety of Caminos such as yours. It is not especially physically difficult. Accommodation may dictate your route a bit until you get to Italy, unless you are going to camp. So sometimes it will mean a longer day, but overall, I found it quite comparable to Camino, especially the more solitary caminos. Rest days/sightseeing days are a personal consideration. I had a couple or friends to call on along the way which accounted for three days. I was held up for 24 hours by snow in the Alps. I felt less and less inclined to stop for a break of any kind as I got nearer to Rome.
Thanks Bradypus.
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Wondering how long to walk from Canterbury to Rome for someone who averages 29K per day on Camino Frances? Thinking 70 days but have seen many suggestions around 90? Perhaps the Alps or lack of auberges and gites have an influence?
This is so often asked, especially by those constrained by the 90 days Schengen limit. I was aged 69 when I walked from Canterbury to Rome, and actual walking days were 75, but with quite a few days off. You'll probably want time in eg Reims, Besançon, Lucca, Siena. However, I know people who finished in 60 or so days - too fast, imo. I also hear complaints of lack of albergues/gîtes. No! The infrastructure in France is improving all the time, and Italy has plenty of ostelli. Check out www.pilgrimstorome.org.uk/accommodation. And buon cammino!
 

kazrobbo

Tassie Kaz
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012)
CP(2015)
St Olavs Way Norway(2016)
88 Temples Japan(2017)
PWC & VF(2019)
Israel (2020)
Wondering how long to walk from Canterbury to Rome for someone who averages 29K per day on Camino Frances? Thinking 70 days but have seen many suggestions around 90? Perhaps the Alps or lack of auberges and gites have an influence?
There are many variables in such a long walk. I took 93 days from London to Rome but that included detours (by train) to Luxembourg & Firenze & 4 days injury recovery (shin splints). You can deduct approx 7 days for London to Canterbury.
It's true accommodation preferences or options can dictate daily distances in some regions but what constitutes a comfortable distance is very much an individual thing. The canal paths are a great way to give yourself a break (eg from navigating) or clock up the kms quickly & easily if you need/want to.
I think rather than accommodation, terrain & even the weather, it's the sheer distance & length of time it takes. It can be a bit of a roller coaster; some days you have energy to burn & others your legs feel like lead...& for no apparent reason! It's quite an experience...enjoy the ride (walk).
👣 🌏
 
Last edited:

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
From memory i took 90 days. I didnt always follow the specified route but took some short cuts.the ww1 cemeteries in France were a sobering highlight.
 

MichelleElynHogan

Veteran Member
Efren Gonzalez is a professional VLOG'r and did the Francigena last year. He has a day to day Vlog on Youtube. Search for, "fren" to find his channel. He has also done the CF and is posting thr Camino Portugues right now, though he did it after the Francigena last year.

Efren is like a Bear Gryllis of the Camino World.

You will find that Efren's trip covers 85 days from Canterbury to Rome, and he went prepared to wild camp, and usd a trolley to carry his 40+ lb load, incl cams, drone, computer stuff etc.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aragon/Frances 08, Arles 10, Le Puy 12, Geneva 14, VdlP 15, Norte/Primitivo 15, VF 17, Levante 18,
I walked the Via Francigena in March/April 3 years ago in 70 days, with one “rest” day- but took the bus for about 90 km over the Alps as it was early in the spring and I don’t do snowshoes or skis which would have been needed to follow the trail or road 3 meters under snow. I loved the French network of families to stay with, especially as I was walking alone and craved folks to talk with in the evening. I’ve walked many caminos but the VF will always remain very special. I’m not a fast walker but I am persistent. 70 days felt fine.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(15,16,18)CheminduPuy(16) Portuguese(16 VDLP(17)Primitivo(17)Ireland-3000K(18) Norte18Vasco17
I walked the Via Francigena in March/April 3 years ago in 70 days, with one “rest” day- but took the bus for about 90 km over the Alps as it was early in the spring and I don’t do snowshoes or skis which would have been needed to follow the trail or road 3 meters under snow. I loved the French network of families to stay with, especially as I was walking alone and craved folks to talk with in the evening. I’ve walked many caminos but the VF will always remain very special. I’m not a fast walker but I am persistent. 70 days felt fine.
How did you connect with the Fench network of families? I walked to Santiago from Ireland last year and one of the highlights was my stays with French families.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
How did you connect with the Fench network of families? I walked to Santiago from Ireland last year and one of the highlights was my stays with French families.
Start with Mme Jacqueminet after Reims and she will make the onward connections for you!
Mme Jacqueminet Viviane, 6 Rue St Martin – 51380 TREPAIL. Tel: 03 26 57 82 29.
I see she has disappeared off the accommodation list of Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome. I am not sure why. Maybe someone can confirm if they stayed this year?? - I stayed in 2018.
The list looks rather different from the one I used, which was dated earlier. And I guess this one is more up to date.
There are 'pilgrim helpers/welcomers' in the Cathedral in Reims and again in the Church of Notre Dame (not the large Cathedral) in Chalons-en-Champagne who will connect you also with families.
M et Mme Songy in Coole are justly famous also, and if not available will find someone else for you. I am surprised to see they have disappeared off the list also.
That was one of the best stretches of the VF for warmly hospitable accommodation.....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(15,16,18)CheminduPuy(16) Portuguese(16 VDLP(17)Primitivo(17)Ireland-3000K(18) Norte18Vasco17
Start with Mme Jacqueminet after Reims and she will make the onward connections for you!
Mme Jacqueminet Viviane, 6 Rue St Martin – 51380 TREPAIL. Tel: 03 26 57 82 29.
I see she has disappeared off the accommodation list of Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome. I am not sure why. Maybe someone can confirm if they stayed this year?? - I stayed in 2018.
The list looks rather different from the one I used, which was dated earlier. And I guess this one is more up to date.
There are 'pilgrim helpers/welcomers' in the Cathedral in Reims and again in the Church of Notre Dame (not the large Cathedral) in Chalons-en-Champagne who will connect you also with families.
M et Mme Songy in Coole are justly famous also, and if not available will find someone else for you. I am surprised to see they have disappeared off the list also.
That was one of the best stretches of the VF for warmly hospitable accommodation.....
Thanks for sharing this info.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Aragon/Frances 08, Arles 10, Le Puy 12, Geneva 14, VdlP 15, Norte/Primitivo 15, VF 17, Levante 18,
Yes, I agree with all of Timr ‘s suggestions, and think I used all of them. I particularly remember the list of families provided by the Pilgrim Welcome desk in the Reims cathedral. I also found small town tourist information offices occasionally had lists, both in France and in Switzerland.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
@Kevin considine, @Sitkapilgrim is quite right! You will hear people say 'there is no pilgrim accommodation in France' but really this is far from the truth. But you have to dig around a bit to find it! But in fact there is an astonishing network of presbyteries (the house of a priest), monasteries and convents, old schools and private houses as well as very sympathetic gîtes. And one of my favourites (though there were several) was
https://croq-loisirs.jimdo.com/ Croq Loisirs in Dampierre-sur-Salon. It is an activity centre for primary school children with a huge pilgrim welcome.
And yes indeed there is quite a good network of Tourist Offices in France too, which are most helpful too. And the Mairie in any small town will also help.
 

Turonensis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Regular pilgrim to Compostela since early 1960s
"Canterbury - 1900 km, 85 days walking 28 days cycling..."
I have walked the Camino de Santiago from various starting points - including London to Compostela - and never in any great hurry. However, I did Canterbury to Rome just once by bicycle, as I had to be there for a particular date. It took me just two weeks. (Lightly packed De Rosa steel frame racing bike, Campagnolo 30-gears, seat pin rack with 8kg bag including 1kg sleeping bag and 1kg tent.) That's half the time suggested above. I was not racing - and if you are a pilgrim you maybe want to linger - but it seems a bit strange that you would take 28 days on this route? How could you spin out the journey by that much? :)

I did mostly the flat route through northern France (Dieppe then keeping south of Paris on river and canal routes) then up through Saint-Ursanne following the River Doubs, into Switzerland to Lucerne and over the St Gotthard pass. Straight through the centre of Italy: Bologna, Florence, Assisi, Rome.

If you are fit and have a good bike, this is an easy route in 14 days and doesn't pose any great challenge. 28 days? That would give you a week's break in the Alps and another week's break to look around Florence!
 
Last edited:

William Marques

Moderator
Staff member
I have walked the Camino de Santiago from various starting points - including London to Compostela - and never in any great hurry. However, I did Canterbury to Rome just once by bicycle, as I had to be there for a particular date. It took me just two weeks. (Lightly packed De Rosa steel frame racing bike, Campagnolo 30-gears, seat pin rack with 8kg bag including 1kg sleeping bag and 1kg tent.) That's half the time suggested above. I was not racing - and if you are a pilgrim you maybe want to linger - but it seems a bit strange that you would take 28 days on this route? How could you spin out the journey by that much? :)

I did mostly the flat route through northern France (Dieppe then keeping south of Paris on river and canal routes) then up through Saint-Ursanne following the River Doubs, into Switzerland to Lucerne and over the St Gotthard pass. Straight through the centre of Italy: Bologna, Florence, Assisi, Rome.

If you are fit and have a good bike, this is an easy route in 14 days and doesn't pose any great challenge. 28 days? That would give you a week's break in the Alps and another week's break to look around Florence!
If you rode 1900 km in 14 days that is about 135 km a day. Fine for a cyclist on a racing bike who does not want to stop and visit the many places worth seeing on the. If you are travelling along Sigeric's route at a more leisurely pace, perhaps on a touring, hybrid or mountain bike and wanting to spend time at some of the fascinating towns on the way twice that seems sensible to me.
 

Turonensis

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Regular pilgrim to Compostela since early 1960s
...that is about 135 km a day. Fine for a cyclist on a racing bike who does not want to stop and visit the many places worth seeing....
135km per day is actually a very short daily distance for an experienced "minimalist" rider: 135 miles per day would be more realistic! Minimalists are sub-group of touring cyclists, ultra-lightweight tourers who used to be a rare phenomenon, but I have noticed many more minimalists in recent years. Cycling is more popular and leisure pursuits often have to be fitted into shorter breaks. If you think about it, my two week Canterbury-Rome trip entirely supports your suggestion that allowing four weeks to Rome would be a sensible time-scale for those who want to look around in a more leisurely way. I didn't expect everyone to do this route in 14 days! The smiley face at the end of my comment was a clue.

Stopping and seeing or stopping and praying, a two week run from UK to Rome still allowed me to assist at Mass in Chartres cathedral; in two parish churches on the way through Switzerland and northern Italy; a Franciscan hermitage near Florence and another near Spoleto; plus the same overall sense of pilgrimage that made my arrival at Mass in the Lateran a real sense of spiritual goal. And I was in Rome on time for my scheduled work meeting next day: achieved with pedal power, not air miles! We all go about pilgrimage in different ways and sometimes have to combine it with busy lives, and that is my experience!
 

Cliff175

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
I normally average about 30km per day on a longer walk. I walked from Canterbury to Rome in summer 2015. I ignored the official route in northern France and mostly walked on canal towpaths to Besancon and joined the VF there. That may have made my journey slightly quicker than it might otherwise have been. I took 66 days to walk from Canterbury to Rome. That would be at the shorter end of the spectrum.
Could you tell me where you started on the canal path ? Does the canal enter Besançon ? I would like to walk VF however could not go for 90 days.... 60 or so is possible. I would appreciate any advice,
Thank You
 

Cliff175

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
Is it possible to obtain canal maps? Would you recommend I carry a tent?
Thank You for your reply
Cliff
 

Cliff175

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
What are ING maps...
thank you
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Is it possible to obtain canal maps? Would you recommend I carry a tent?
If you intend to walk the canal routes I would strongly recommend bringing a tent. You will spend a lot of time off the main VF route and therefore away from the pilgrim infrastructure. You should also be prepared to wild-camp on occasion rather than using official campsites which are not always available at convenient distances. This is not something that everyone is comfortable with. VNF have redesigned their website and I can no longer find the online schematic maps which I used in 2015. For highly detailed topographical maps you can use the government mapping agency's excellent site: https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/carte. IGN is the acronym for the agency - the Institut Geographique National. The mobile version of their website is especially helpful. For most of my navigation in France and Switzerland I simply used pages cut from a detailed road atlas and referred to Google Maps and the IGN maps in larger towns or where navigation proved complicated. Once in Italy the official VF mapping was adequate in all except the largest of towns.
 

Cliff175

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
If you intend to walk the canal routes I would strongly recommend bringing a tent. You will spend a lot of time off the main VF route and therefore away from the pilgrim infrastructure. You should also be prepared to wild-camp on occasion rather than using official campsites which are not always available at convenient distances. This is not something that everyone is comfortable with. VNF have redesigned their website and I can no longer find the online schematic maps which I used in 2015. For highly detailed topographical maps you can use the government mapping agency's excellent site: https://www.geoportail.gouv.fr/carte. IGN is the acronym for the agency - the Institut Geographique National. The mobile version of their website is especially helpful. For most of my navigation in France and Switzerland I simply used pages cut from a detailed road atlas and referred to Google Maps and the IGN maps in larger towns or where navigation proved complicated. Once in Italy the official VF mapping was adequate in all except the largest of towns.
Thank you for your advice.. I'm not walking until April - May of 2021 , so have some time to prepare.

Do you live in Scotland ? My wife and I are going this MAY, for couple of weeks. We may walk West Highland Way... not sure my wife has a bad knee now for couple months so we will have to see how that plays out. If not we'll travel around Scotland...she's a real whiskey lover. Had my DNA done ...about 25 % Scotish which I never knew, so we decided to visit Scotland.
Again thank you for your advice
Cliff
 

John R McLean

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese from Porto (2017)
Iona-Rome-Jerusalem (2019-20)
Start with Mme Jacqueminet after Reims and she will make the onward connections for you!
Mme Jacqueminet Viviane, 6 Rue St Martin – 51380 TREPAIL. Tel: 03 26 57 82 29.
I see she has disappeared off the accommodation list of Confraternity of Pilgrims to Rome. I am not sure why. Maybe someone can confirm if they stayed this year?? - I stayed in 2018.
The list looks rather different from the one I used, which was dated earlier. And I guess this one is more up to date.
There are 'pilgrim helpers/welcomers' in the Cathedral in Reims and again in the Church of Notre Dame (not the large Cathedral) in Chalons-en-Champagne who will connect you also with families.
M et Mme Songy in Coole are justly famous also, and if not available will find someone else for you. I am surprised to see they have disappeared off the list also.
That was one of the best stretches of the VF for warmly hospitable accommodation.....
Yes, I can confirm that I stayed with her this summer. Wonderful and extremely helpful woman. I encountered so much kindness along the way.
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Yes, I can confirm that I stayed with her this summer. Wonderful and extremely helpful woman. I encountered so much kindness along the way.
It is great to have that update John. How far towards Jerusalem have you got? I would be interested to hear of your progress. I have stopped at Thessaloniki for the moment and will return next year to continue....
 

John R McLean

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Completed Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portuguese from Porto (2017)
Iona-Rome-Jerusalem (2019-20)
Hi Tim
Unfortunately I was called home from Martingny on Sept 7th to see my ailing father. He passed away on Sept 14th. I will be returning next Sept to complete my journey. I have not been participating in any if the forums or FB pages for a while since I've got back home. It's been a sad struggle but things are looking up and I'm just getting going on "replanning"
Take Care
John
 

timr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
Hi Tim
Unfortunately I was called home from Martingny on Sept 7th to see my ailing father. He passed away on Sept 14th. I will be returning next Sept to complete my journey. I have not been participating in any if the forums or FB pages for a while since I've got back home. It's been a sad struggle but things are looking up and I'm just getting going on "replanning"
Take Care
John
Oh very sad to hear that John. Good that you were able to get home. Take your time. Tim
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Do you live in Scotland ? My wife and I are going this MAY, for couple of weeks. We may walk West Highland Way... not sure my wife has a bad knee now for couple months so we will have to see how that plays out. If not we'll travel around Scotland...she's a real whiskey lover. Had my DNA done ...about 25 % Scotish which I never knew, so we decided to visit Scotland.
Although I was born and brought up in Scotland I have not lived there for many years. I now live in Wales. I walked the West Highland Way in the 1980s not long after the route was created. I keep telling myself that I will walk it again soon :) I hope that you do walk the WHW and enjoy the experience. Just one observation: if your wife is a "whiskey" fan you might be better off visiting Ireland. In Scotland we make our national drink with no 'e' in it ;)
 

Cliff175

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April / May Camino Frances 2013
Portuguese Camino May of 2014
St. jean to pomplona, - Santander to Oviedo, SAN Salvador to Leon , to Santiago in 2015
2017 March -- VDLP Seville to Santiago
I’ll have to check the labels ....make sure I am in the right country...should be great fun.
Kind of having second thoughts on VF , saw utube video...walking through france looks like mostly road walking..., having to call ahead for reservations... not many pilgrims.... I only speak English, so could be complicated....waiting for book on canal routes as you suggested, see how that looks. I have time to decide.
May just walk Camino Northe instead...
Or start close to Bernard Pass. Seems like it could be less complicated ,
Thank You for your advice,
Cliff
 

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