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How many detours can I fit in on my second Camino?

Camino(s) past & future
- Frances from Leon (2017)
- Planning full Frances to Muxia, possibly with Invierno route (2019)
#1
Hola pilgrims!

I am currently planning my second Camino for a late September start in St Jean. I'll be walking the Frances, but am open to being convinced otherwise if other pilgrims wanted to message me their recommendations and opinions.

My first Camino was in July 2017, when my mum and I walked from Leon. It was DIFFICULT, but I absolutely loved it and have thought about it nearly every day since.

I will have a fair amount of time, as I will have just graduated university and am willing to take a few months off after having worked and studied for nearly seven years.

As I have that spare time, I am interested in hearing what detours other pilgrims could recommend. I am keen to take it slow, enjoy my time, and see as many things on and around the Camino as possible. I already am thinking of bussing to Santo Domingo de los Silos and then walking the Ruta de la Lana back and staying a bit longer at Castrojeriz to climb the castle.

Would other pilgrims have any recommendations for detours along the Frances, especially ones that are within 4ish walking days roundtrip distance/bus and walk back distance etc.
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
yes
#3
Iglesia de San Salvador de Vilar de Donas

Turn right about an hour before Palas de Rei. You can stay on the road to get to Palas, or go back to the Camino route. Both are mostly paved.
 
Camino(s) past & future
January 2019, French Camino
#6
Alternatively, you can start your Camino much farther (say, Paris) or once you complete it you can continue to, say, Porto or Lisbon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
#8
If you are not going to walk from Somport, I'd recommend a detour to Eunate just before Puente la Reina. (If you are walking from Somport, I think it isn't a detour but on the route.) I've also heard that the detour to San Millan de la Cogolla and the Suso and Yuso monasteries between Najera and Santo Domingo is very nice, although I haven't been there myself.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Casino Portugues (parts) 2015: CF 2016; Le Puy thru Moissac 2017.
#9
Although not a detour, consider the alternate route to the monastery at Samos. A very interesting spot and the trip down the valley is beautiful. However, if you want to fit this into a single day the return to the main route makes it a tiring day, especially if conditions are muddy.
 

MarkyD

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
#10
Is there a way to find out this information?
I've met volunteers pilgrims doing stints at the following: Albergue Verde in Hospital de Órbigo (Just speak to owner on arrival or contact in advance) - they are doing building project ( to make a bigger Yoga studio I think) and have Yurts on adjacent land.
Albergue de Marcelino in La Faba - very rustic, on steep hill up towards O Cebreiro.
Some albergues have a type of application form for those interested to work as volunteers - it's a bit more formal process and usually requires a 4-5 day training programme before you can submit your availability dates. The pilgrim associations should be able to provide more information on this. I hope this helps.
 

Kat Kostrzewska

Online guide https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2018), Via Tolosana (2012) Camino Norte (2014)
#11
One of my favourite places on the Camino is Cartuja de Miraflores in Burgos. A hidden gem of the Way. Every single time I’m there I am surprised that so few pilgrims visit this Carthusian monastery. Getting there is very easy – you have to walk/cycle the path along the river. The walk is the most pleasant and Cartuja is an absolute must-see. I love their small shop as well. A short description, photos and directions with map you will find there https://caminodesantiagobybike.co.uk/6-ages-to-hontanas-54-70-km/ just scroll the page down. I will always recommend Cartuja de Miraflores to everybody.


The other place that I discovered this year is Canas. I was on my way to San Millan de la Cogolla when I saw this superb Cistercian convent. I stopped and I am so glad I did. The church was build in the 13th century, its enormous alabaster windows were the actual reason why I stopped. 13th-century tomb of Urraca and the chapter house are just amazing. So is the small painting collection. The place is beautiful and peaceful. I prefer it to San Millan, that I have to say was a bit of a disappointment. Don’t get me wrong – I understand the importance of that monastery, but a lot of its artistic wealth is lost. History was not kind to San Millan.


So if you have time check Canas (La Rioja; between Najera and Azofra). It is only 5 km from Azofra, perhaps you can get there from Najera and then go directly to Azofra. Apparently, there is also a direct route from Canas to Santo Domingo.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
#12
It's not a detour and you may already have done this but you can continue on past Santiago to Finisterre and Muxia.

I would have liked to have walked from SdC along the Camino Portuguese in reverse to at least the border (but I had a wife with different ideas.)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Frances (x4), Finisterre, Aragon, Via de la Plata, Portuguese 2011 -2015. Hospitalero 2015
#13
There are more alternatives to the already great suggestions listed above:
1. St Jean to Roncevalles: via Valcarlos
2. Estella to Los Arcos: via Luquin. Very beautiful
3. Fromista to Carrion de los Condes: Instead of walking beside a busy road with little shade, walk beside the river to Villovieco and an interesting church Ermita de la Virgen del Rio.
4. Sahagun to Mansilla de las Mulas: via Calzada del Coto and Calzadilla de los Hermanillos
5. La Virgen del Camino to Hospital de Orbiga: via Villar de Mazarife.
6. Villafranca del Bierzzo to Trabelo: Instead of walking alongside the busy main road, take the track up in the mountains above (known as the Praedela track). Beautiful and stunning views.
7. After Leon walk the San Salvador and Primitivo caminos to Santiago
None of these are especially arduous and are signed sufficiently to find your way. I also highly recommend the route from Somport as SYates suggests, and a visit to the beautiful little church at Eunate as David Tallan suggests. Check opening times which is sure to found using 'Search' in the top right hand corner of this page.
Good luck
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#15
Hola pilgrims!

I am currently planning my second Camino for a late September start in St Jean. I'll be walking the Frances, but am open to being convinced otherwise if other pilgrims wanted to message me their recommendations and opinions.

My first Camino was in July 2017, when my mum and I walked from Leon. It was DIFFICULT, but I absolutely loved it and have thought about it nearly every day since.

I will have a fair amount of time, as I will have just graduated university and am willing to take a few months off after having worked and studied for nearly seven years.

As I have that spare time, I am interested in hearing what detours other pilgrims could recommend. I am keen to take it slow, enjoy my time, and see as many things on and around the Camino as possible. I already am thinking of bussing to Santo Domingo de los Silos and then walking the Ruta de la Lana back and staying a bit longer at Castrojeriz to climb the castle.

Would other pilgrims have any recommendations for detours along the Frances, especially ones that are within 4ish walking days roundtrip distance/bus and walk back distance etc.
Hola!

As you already see above there are many detours both as different alternatives of the CF and other monasteries/towns etc. off the route. Amont these I would strongly suggest Cistercian convent in Canas. With all suggestions here I would say that many hidden gems could be find in local Turist Offices pamphlets etc. and just wing it along the way.

But if you want to prolong your walking taking in different Caminos or just bits of them then there are also several nice options:
- don't know where you are coming from and where would be the best (price-wise) place for you to enter Spain but if you choose Biarritz (BIQ) airport then you can walk from Bayonne (half an hour bus ride from BIQ) on Voie de la Nive to SJPdP and continue on CF,
- you mentioned a visit to Sto.Domingo de Silos. Why not walk parallel Camino Castellano-Aragones from Gallur (best connection from Logrono) through Soria to SDdS (just south of Burgos) and then bus/train back to Logrono and do the CF stretch between Logrono and Burgos. Or vice versa.
- since you only walked from Leon with your mom from there the route is already known to you. In Leon you can veer off to the NW on San Salvador to Oviedo and either continue on del Norte or Primitivo to SdC,
- another possibility is few days later in Ponferrada where you can change for Camino de Invierno. It's much less walked Camino with adequate infrastructure and a lot of beauty. The route connects with Camino Sanabres which is a branch of de la Plata and a couple of days before Santiago you could have more company. This way you can also avoid crowds from Sarria on.

This map of Caminos can give you pretty good picture what I meant with last two suggestions:
https://www.rayyrosa.com/caminos (scroll down a bit)

Happy planning!
 

Lydia Gillen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007/8/9 2011 (C.F 2015)
#16
I see you already plan to go to Santa Domingo de Silos. It is a wonderful place. I always stay at least three nights so that I have two complete days there.
Tip; always wear warm clothes in the Monastery as is can be cold there.
Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016, Astorga to Fisterra
Sept 2018, SJPDP to Fisterra
#18
I walked the Frances from SJPdP in sept/Oct 2018 and can highly recommend to detour in Ponferada and follow the Camino Invierno (Winter Route) to Santiago. There is a thread about the Invierno in this forum. A beautiful and very solitary walk, whereas that stretch is hugely crowded on the CF.
From Santiago it is also a great experience to walk further to Muxia and Finisterra.. I walked to Muxia and from there to Finisterra to end at the light house by the great ocean.
As others suggested, the Somport start would be my own next choice.
Best og luck and buen Camino!
 



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