Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
There are many factors that will have an impact on the number of km you walk per day. Age, fitness, weight of pack, injury, weatherand conditions, equipment, availability of accomodation and desire to rest, sightsee can all affect your journey.
Before I began my Camino, I was given the following advice: The first week - average about 20km per day. The second week - about 25km per day. After that, you can do pretty much what you want - depending on how you feel. I paid attention to that and it worked quite well for me. Near the end I found that I could walk much farther (if not faster due to blisters) and hardly tire at all. You beocome accustomed to the pack - discard what you realize you do not need and, if you listen to the rythym of your body, you know what you can and cannot do.
Soem people raced to get through it - as if on a marathon! I preferred to enjoy the scenery, the people, the ambience, rural Spain. Yes, I had a goal, but if I arrived at 14:00h or 18:00 h, I was not particularly concerned. It is your Camino, do it at your pace.
As Deirdre says the best approach is to flexible with regards to your daily destination and listen to your body, watch the weather and look in advance of each day at the level of challenge each section offers in terms of hills, lack of shade, possible end points etc.
I followed, very roughly, the stages recommended in the the John Brierley guide. I like the way it shows very clearly what hills to expect as I prefer to do shorter days when there is a lot of uphill involved and even less when there is a lot of downhill as I find this even harder!
The only problem with following such a popular guide is that there are sometimes bottlenecks of pilgrims in places that are either popular or have limited accommodation. For that reason I would suggest having a look at several possible stopping points for each day and see how you feel when you get there.
You are very lucky not to have to walk against the clock - so many people seem to be walking so fast and with such single-minded determination that they fail to drink in the beauty of their surroundings.
I remember crossing a bridge between Fromista and Carrion de los Condes and being thrilled at the sound of thousands of frogs croaking very loudly. I had never seen so many frogs in one place before and the noise was quite deafening. The noise continued for several miles all the way along the riverbank. When I enthused about this to some other speed- merchant pilgrims at the albergue that evening they looked blank and said "Frogs? What frogs?" What a shame to have missed this and presumably so many other memorable experiences of the camino.
Enjoy your planning and ultimately your camino.
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Once connected to the site click on English
Click on the route you are doing – Camino de Santiago for the Camino Frances
Click on the circle to the left of the town where you are starting, eg: Roncesvalles
Scroll down to the town where you will finish, Santiago, and click on the right circle.
You can write your name in the space provided, then click on SEND THIS FORM
In the new page, the mileage between each village and town will be displayed. Click on each place where you would like to stay or the place closest to the distance you want to walk. If you are planning on walking 20km per day, click on the town closest to the 20km distance displayed to the left of the town. Eg: Roncesvalles is ticked. Click on Zubiri – 21,8km will be displayed.
Then click on Pamplona and 20,5km will be displayed.
Continue choosing your overnight stops until you have reached Santiago.
Enter the dates of your pilgrimage in the space provided.
Click on SEND THIS FORM
The next window will offer you different documents to download with your daily schedule, profile of the route etc.
I usually click on the last option which gives you a print out of dates, days, towns, mileage between, mileage left to walk, symbols for accommodation, sunrise and sunset times and lunar illumination.
Can't ask for more than that!
Depends. I found myself walking about 30ish km per day to start with, maybe a bit less, then whittled it down to a couple of 19-20 km days, then when I hit the Meseta, I managed a 41ish km day and a couple of 37ish km days... Depends how you're feeling, whether you want to carry on a little further, etc.
I remember when I left Burgos, I had no idea I'd walk as far as Castrojeriz, but there was a lovely breeze and having had a nice long break about 10km from there, and having previously done it and knowing the terrain, I chose to continue.
I tend to walk between 25 & 35km per day - I think you'll find most do around the 25km mark.
But one thing I would watch out for. Try to make your third day a short day, 20ish km, 25km max. I have always found the third day the worst, and speaking to others, they seem to find the same thing. But after that, just go as you feel.
My experience last summer was very much like Minkey's. Starting with 31 & 33km, then 20, 20, 34, 37 .... Your legs or spirit will tell you when it is right to stop.
I think that is one thing against too much planning. When I started my first camino in Arles in 2003, I planned the 15 days to Toulouse, and kept to all 15 stops. In 2004, I returned twice to the camino, Toulouse to Lescar (near Pau), all eight stages planned, and kept, and then in the summer, I walked from Lescar to Sto Domingo. This time of course into Spain and no reservations, and I stayed at 9 of the 13 places I had planned to stay. 2005, and only stayed at 6 of the 14 I had planned. I don't bother planning anymore, I just have a general idea of where I want to be by half-way through to make sure I arrive where I need to be at the end to catch the bus/aeroplane home. And I feel it gives such a sense of liberty - no suggestion of "I must be at X" tonight. Maybe it has come through experience I don't know, but for me it is a much better way of walking.
But I appreciate that in France (reservations generally advised) and on caminos other than the Frances where albergues are not so frequent, rather more in the way of planning would be better, even if it is only as the day before!