• This section is a collection of FAQs on the Camino. No new questions can be posted here, but questions that are asked often will be move here by a moderator.
  • Missing the daily forum e-mail? Subscribe again.
A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

How many Km\day?

riatolken

Member
Camino(s) past & future
plan to walk end of may 2013
I have looked at the guidebooks, and are planning to try and stick to the suggested walking distance per day (Bierkley), but would any of you suggest that you can walk on some of the days more km than was suggested in the guidebook? I do not want to rush, would like to do sightseeing in the late afternoons.
 

billvinhage

Member
Camino(s) past & future
SAINT-JEAN/SANTAIGO (2013)
BURGOS-SANTIAGO (2015)
SAINT-JEAN/SANTIAGO (2016)
I plan to start out EZ about 20 km per day then after about 10 days on ramp it up to what my body tells me
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
By all means it is YOUR Camino and the beauty of it all is that you can walk as long or short days if you want. I personally do not follow the Brierley guide because lots of people choose this option. Result : crowdy and possible rush for beds. I preferred to stop in between stages and had the best experiences in the small villages / hamlets.
Listen to your feet and also to your heart ! If you like to stop after ten k. then that is ok too!
Buen Camino!
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
SabineP said:
By all means it is YOUR Camino and the beauty of it all is that you can walk as long or short days if you want. I personally do not follow the Brierley guide because lots of people choose this option. Result : crowdy and possible rush for beds. I preferred to stop in between stages and had the best experiences in the small villages / hamlets.
Listen to your feet and also to your heart ! If you like to stop after ten k. then that is ok too!
Buen Camino!
I totally agree with Sabine! Try not to follow the suggested stages, where the larger amount of Pilgim's choose to stop, but enjoy some of the lovey in-between villages, where you will find smaller attractive Albergues, often run by their owners! Usually a much better experience!
Remember that Brierly's isn't the only guide on the market (what about the French, the Germsn, the Spanish, the Italian, the Korean, the Polish, the Brazilian or Portugese ones)? The majority choose more or less the same stages!!! :? Anne
 

zilla.kzilla

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan (2013)
Additionally, if you stick to Brierley, you might miss some wonderful albergues like San Bol (my favorite so ) far, or Boadilla (En El Camino). Not to mention the nondescript town of Villatuerta with a wonderful albergue that may not bee there much longer, Casa Magica. There are several others that are between stages and offer wonderful experiences.
 

annakappa

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
zilla.kzilla said:
Additionally, if you stick to Brierley, you might miss some wonderful albergues like San Bol (my favorite so ) far, or Boadilla (En El Camino). Not to mention the nondescript town of Villatuerta with a wonderful albergue that may not bee there much longer, Casa Magica. There are several others that are between stages and offer wonderful experiences.
And what about Grañon, Tosantos, Acacio & Orietta in Viloria La Rioja, Rabe de las Calzadas (lLibranos Domine), San Saturnino in Ventosa, Albergo Vilares de Orbigo in Vilares de Orbigo, Pequeño Potala in Ruitlan, casa García in Gonzar, casa Domingo in Casanova. Just to name a few of the excepcional Albergues that you Will miss if you follow the recommended stages! Anne
PS? I am still not sure what is going to happen with Casa Mágica in Villatuerta. A great pity if It has closed.
 

Corwen

Member
Plan for 20k per day, you may be able to do more later when fit but then again you may need a day off somewhere and it will be impossible to catch up with yourself and finish on time if you planned for 25 per day.

Don't be tempted to do big days near the end either just to get there, lots of people injure themselves doing 40k days right at the end. If you are walking on to Finisterre you will have to do longer days, so make sure you arrive in Santiago fit and healthy!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Please do not, with no intended disrespect to the good man himself, follow the Brierley stages. All you do is re-inforce the tour-guided nature of the modern Camino . Help to emphasise the hot-spots and leave the non-head-line villages wondering where all the pilgrims have gone. The next Albuerge at Brierley's stage end is not a target, it hasn't been selected on the quality of its mattresses, plumbing or Caldo de Gallego. It's just there, where Brierley thinks you should stop walking every day.
Every off-stage Albuerge I encountered was a revelation: some wonderful, some less so, but they were never full of puzzled pilgrims comparing Brierley and reality.

To contribute to your original question: start slow, go faster and further when you and your body want to and never listen to the go-faster goblins. There will be a bed, you will find some food: the Camino is not a race.
 

SabineP

Camino = Empathy + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
One of my dearest experiences on my 2013 Camino was getting invited to attend choirpractice in the church of Rabé de las Calzadas. A village just 13 k. from Burgos. I only walked 13 k. that day.
Yes, the albergue wasn't even open , I arrived in Rabé around 11.45 and glad I did because otherwise I would not have heard those beautiful voices in the church...
Just want to say : Rabé will not get a big mention in the different Camino guides but villages and encounters like I described above are for me what my Camino was all about...
 

Attachments

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I never felt compelled to follow the Brierley stages, although there were times where that was most convenient on the CF.

If you want to start slowly, Brierley is far from sympathetic. The first three stages are a total of nearly 94km, climb adjusted using the Naismith Rule (Brierley has a different way of doing the climb adjustments which appears to halve the effect first identified by Naismith). This is an average of over 30km/day (climb adjusted) and quite a challenge under any circumstances. It is little wonder that those who attempt this suffer from the pilgrim shuffle for the first week or so.

I think attempting shorter distances, and not thinking one has to follow Brierley religiously, is a good way to start.
 

Hope-ologist

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (Sept. 2013)
Dougfitz,
This will be my first camino starting out on my 59th birthday, September 17th. I don't see any of the stages in my future. Although I have the time to do the whole Camino Frances, I'm an active cancer fighter so I'll be starting from Sarria. Plan to take 8 days to do it so I can have 2 rest and sight-seeing days. My oncologist is not too crazy about all this but he'll get over it. Considering having my big pack delivered each day and carrying a day pack with me. Depends on how my training goes.
 

NicoZ

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013
riatolken said:
I have looked at the guidebooks, and are planning to try and stick to the suggested walking distance per day (Bierkley), but would any of you suggest that you can walk on some of the days more km than was suggested in the guidebook? I do not want to rush, would like to do sightseeing in the late afternoons.
Only you know what shape you're in. If you feel like it you can.

Having said that. If you start out slow and easy you can always pick up the pace later. If OTOH you push too hard and get worn down or worse injured :|

IMHO the thing to remember is it's not one day. It's day after day.
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
I absolutely LOVE the Brierly guides. I absolutely ignore his suggested 'stages'! I walk as far as I comfortable can. In a fortnight's time I start out on the southern part of the Portuguese camino [from Lisbon to Porto]. My first three days are 11 kms, 16 kms and 20 kms.
I have no wish to repeat last year's horror of developing blisters requiring hospital treatment. If I have to catch a train/bus/thumb a lift I will, rather than repeat that experience.
Brierly usually suggests towns/villages within his 'stages' which offer some form of accommodation. That's very useful.
Many bomberos [Fire Stations] en route offer a floor to sleep on. I could certainly get down on the floor, but would never be able to get up, so that's not an option for me.
So ..... take your time, don't try to walk too far, and, above all, enjoy yourself. It's not a race!
 

fallow

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2014)
You are an inspiration! I will be starting from Pamplona on the 6th or 7th September and have to leave Santiago on the 1st October. I hope to meet you somewhere. Who knows. All the best to you!
 

Letsgocamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2013 Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela.
Camino Portuguese Porto to SdeC May 31 2017.
Vaya con Dios, Hope-ologist sir. Wish we could meet up but my journey begins next Thursday. The hubs and I are starting in Ponferrada. Again, good luck and buen camino. I will say a prayer for your safe trip.
 

orlaithballach

New Member
Hope-ologist i too am an active cancer fighter, planning on walking either in late sept./oct into early nov. or later march-mid may (2014). i keep committing to a time line, then having real life goof things up. :)

i haven't exactly discussed this completely with my onc. i got approval to do "whatever i feel good enough to do" and then started planning. i need this walk as a symbol of not letting cancer live my life for me... so whether she agrees or not, i'm doing it.

have a great walk. i hope you'll blog....i'd love to read about how it goes.
 

Hope-ologist

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (Sept. 2013)
My onc knows I'm going to do it no matter what he says. If I didn't make it, I be fighting to the end. Cancer has to be fought hard, harder than sitting in a chair getting poison pumped into you. You understand that. Unfortunately, not enough do. Hopefully our walks will inspire new brothers and sisters to be more than patients and become fighters. I'll make sure you know when the American Cancer Fighters are on the ground in Spain.
 

sharondb

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2010, Camino Frances 2011, Camino Madrid 2014
I walked the Frances in 2010 and 2011. I had planned to walk the Portuguese this year in may but was diagnosed with breast cancer in February. Having chemo now but plan to walk again April or May next year. We need to fight and become survivors!!!
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Ordinary KM/day is 20-25 for most people, depending mostly on the difficulty of terrain.

But really -- there is NO POINT asking other people's advice, just walk at whichever rate you like.

The difference in daily KM between the slowest and the fastest is ~10-15 versus ~200 KM/day

I used to do 40 KM/day with spikes up to 65, another member in another thread declared 80 KM/day --- but bottom line is, NONE of this who can pee highest up the wall matters in the SLIGHTEST

Choose whichever distance pushes you without debilitating you ; OR choose whichever distance makes you happy and comfortable.

Compostela ain't going anywhere, and it will be there at the end no matter HOW quickly or slowly or averagely you'll be hiking ...
 

Corwen

Member
80km/day means average walking pace for 24 hours straight, or to put it another way 2 marathons. These distances are possible for the ultra-marathon crowd, and maybe the odd athlete could run the whole Camino from St Jean in 10 days, but I'm not sure this is a 'Pilgrimage', it is sport. We met some French guys planning on cycling from Brittany to Santiago in a week, doing some 150 mile days, but again this doesn't strike me as a Pilgrimage, rather an endurance sporting challenge.

Better to allow lots of time for rest and contingencies and go slowly, 20k per day is plenty.
 

Hope-ologist

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (Sept. 2013)
Sharondb, thinking about making this pilgrimage helped bring me through six months of treatment that is so hard, some are lost trying to do it. My fight and my walk starts in Sarria this year. I hope my God heals me enough to do it all next year. My prayer is your diagnosis will only be a short delay to getting back on the trail again. Meanwhile, I'll walk and fight for you as well.
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
this is your camino. walk as far or as short a stage as you like. the brierley guide is just a guide. it is not a bible for the camino.

i regret i walked all the way from sjpdp to sdc without having any rest days to enjoy sightseeing in some of the beautiful cities/pueblos on my first camino. howver i did take rest days on my second camino.

buen camino.
 

trevorcc

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPD to Santiago 2013,2014 planning Camino de Levante Sept. 2016, now planning March 2018
I have looked and read all about the stops, but I have decided that I will let the road lead me if a church or bar calls I will stop and melt into the camino. As well I will let my old knees tell me how much.
I have a lot to think about and I do not expect answers but I will allow the Camino to help me.

Trevor :
 

indyinmaine

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - SJPdP to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2013
I've been asking that question of myself for the last three months, trying to get in shape. I have found a COMPLETELY different answer from a Swiss friend of mine who has been walking in the Alps all of his life:
Walk 50 minutes and rest 10 minutes. When your legs start to get REALLY tired, stop. I found that with the same amount of effort I increased my walking distance by well over 15%.

I think I'm ready to do from 20 to 25.

Indyinmaine
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
I walk to a variation of the 10 min after 50 pattern when I use a GPS. After an hour of 'moving time' I stop and take my pack off, sit down and enjoy the view.
Where the villages were suitably placed on the CF it translated roughly as 'don't pass an open bar'. Stop for a coffee or water wherever you can. Whenever I disregarded this, I found I went for ages before another bar, and my stomach thought my throat had been cut.

Regards
 
Last edited:

julie

Active Member
Where the villages were suitably placed on the CF it translated roughly as 'don't pass an open bar'. Stop for a coffee or water wherever you can. Whenever I disregarded this, I found I went for ages before another bar, and my stomach thought my throat had been cut.
Absolutely! It is so frustrating when you bypass a bar because you have decided to stop at the one in the next village and, when you arrive, the bar is closed.

I don't have any set walking pattern. When I feel like a rest/something to eat/to write in my journal, I stop for a while. Sometimes that's after an hour, sometimes it's more like two hours. We're all different but we all need to listen to the subtle clues our body gives out and stop, eat or tend to hot spots before they become an issue.
 

zakosdad

CaminoWalkers
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2013 CF Sept (2019?)
We have pondered this question and now that we purchased our plane tickets we find we will have 45 days in Spain. Hoping to have 5 rest days giving us 40 walking days at a moderate pace. So we will spend a biblical 40 days wandering in the desert :) Will use the guide book for all its helpful information but are opening ourselves up to experience not just the "walk" but everything along the way - especially the sights and the people.
 

David

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Moissac to Santiago Spring 2005 was the first foray.
The key point with Guide Books is the word 'Guide' - don't follow what they say as if it is law. When you want to walk, walk. When you are tired, stop - easy.
And Dougfitz's 50-10 walking guide is one I follow too .. though it can become 90-20 - and getting those boots and socks off regularly - ahhh bliss, your feet will thank you.
 

Annie Little

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept-Oct 2016
I have two guides.. brierly which I dont really like and another by Anna Dintaman which I am finding much easier to read BUT what is helping me also prepare for the coming start is a website someone ( I think AnnieSantiago not sure ) wrote about in their blog :

http://www.godesalco.com/plan

making a rough plan for myself..... I intend to start very slow.... and build up

Annie
 

Rosemaryk1

Active Member
this is your camino. walk as far or as short a stage as you like. the brierley guide is just a guide. it is not a bible for the camino.

i regret i walked all the way from sjpdp to sdc without having any rest days to enjoy sightseeing in some of the beautiful cities/pueblos on my first camino. howver i did take rest days on my second camino.

buen camino.
Hi Pigaw,
After reading your post I changed my ticket to allow a walking time of 38 days instead of 31......hopefully I will be able to include Finisterre in there. But most important is visiting where I am going! Not just walking and walking. Thanks for helping me make my decision!
Rosemary
 

piogaw

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances (05/06 2012) sjpdp-sdc; vdlp/camino sanabrea (02/03 2013) sevilla-sdc; hospitalero sdc june 2013, august-september 2013; caminho portugues (03 2014) lisboa-sdc
Hi Pigaw,
After reading your post I changed my ticket to allow a walking time of 38 days instead of 31......hopefully I will be able to include Finisterre in there. But most important is visiting where I am going! Not just walking and walking. Thanks for helping me make my decision!
Rosemary
Hello rosemary,

Having come a long way from the colorado rockies i am happy for you to have some extra days to enjoy the camino frances. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful sceneries. This will also give you time to enjoy walking to finisterre. I hope you will stay in santiago for 2 nights and enjoy santiago and also have the chance to meet your other camino families before going back home to the states.

I hope to see you in santiago as i will be going back to work as a volunteer in my albergue and also helping out in the oficina del peregrino.

Enjoy your camino. And god blessing on you. Contact me if you need anymore helps.
 
Last edited:

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Assuming no medical problems, 25 KM/day average is pretty much normal.

So, between about 20 and 30 K each day.

And see my post above for the extremes.
 

Canucks

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances, SJPDP to Santiago (2013), Le Puy to SJPDP (2014)
We are on our 2nd to last day before Santiago!! We have found, only for us, that 20-25km is comfortable, 30 feels long, and the 35km ones we did were feeling like it dragged on. Many others we walked with found their bodies told the, similar things. However, there were ones struggling at 18km and folks that thought 35km was just a starting point.
Fitness and, most importantly, mental determination will dictate.
 

vicrev

Active Member
Just gets back to doing what YOU are comfortable with, as in all ways...........:)........keep smiling..........Vicrev
 

Rosemaryk1

Active Member
Hello rosemary,

Having come a long way from the colorado rockies i am happy for you to have some extra days to enjoy the camino frances. Take your time and enjoy the beautiful sceneries. This will also give you time to enjoy walking to finisterre. I hope you will stay in santiago for 2 nights and enjoy santiago and also have the chance to meet your other camino families before going back home to the states.

I hope to see you in santiago as i will be going back to work as a volunteer in my albergue and also helping out in the oficina del peregrino.

Enjoy your camino. And god blessing on you. Contact me if you neeD anymore helps.
Thank you so very much and I shall most definitely look you up when I arrive in Santiago! How fun!
 

jmcarp

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
...Where the villages were suitably placed on the CF it translated roughly as 'don't pass an open bar'. Stop for a coffee or water wherever you can...
Great advice! You can't go wrong with that plan in mind. However, if you're walking with a friend or perhaps a really interesting person you just met along the Camino who doesn't want to stop, you may be tempted to push on. Don't worry, you'll always meet up with them at the next bar, or the next day, or a week down the road. That's the beauty of the Camino -- so many people and stories weaving their way in and out and into your walk again as the days pass.

As for the original question, we used both the Brierley guide and the Dintaman/Landis guide as a planning resource, but did not try to stick with their stages. We did, however, use the "slow" Camino itinerary from http://www.hikingthecamino.com/plan/fast-and-slow-itineraries as our guide (40 days averaging 20KM per day). But we varied from that as our whims or the demands of the day led us. And as several others mentioned, we tried to stay at as many of the small albergues as possible -- especially the private ones which served an in-house, home-cooked meal. One of which I didn't see mentioned elsewhere is Casa Banderas in Vilacha, which turned out to be one of our favorites.

Jim
 

Magwood

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
See signature line for links to daily posts to blogs from many caminos
I walked last year with my daughter, and for the first week with two strong and fit men. On reaching Finisterre, via Muxia, we had walked for 34 days without a rest day and averaged 27 km per day. My longest day was 37 km, but it was such an uplifting day, with the stop at Cruz del Ferro and the beautiful descent into Molinaseca, that I (literally) took it in my stride, whereas some much shorter days seemed much harder work. It is mostly in the mind and inspiring surroundings lifted my flagging spirits again and again.

It will be interesting to discover what my average daily distance will be after completing my forthcoming camino Portuguese - solo this time - so no-one to influence my pace.
 

tploomis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
An aspect of the Camino Frances I really liked was the freedom to walk as far or as little as we felt like doing, and the numerous lodgings along the way made this possible. We took three rest days in the big cities to sightsee and one sick day, completing the Camino Frances from SJPP in 43 days. When walking, our shortest day was 7 miles and our longest was 18.5. There were many people who seemed burdened by the expectation that they had to keep a schedule, walking so many miles a day to complete the Camino in a pre-set time. I think it helps to plan for the walk to be significantly longer than you think it will actually take, so you have time to go slowly if you feel like it. When it was over, I wished I had slowed it down even more. On this Camino most walkers passed me, including a Frenchman in his 90's, but I thoroughly enjoyed my Camino!
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
---or Boadilla (En El Camino).
With a lovely, clean albergue, a pool(!) and peace. Do not walk by! What a luxury to just relax by and in the pool, in a green garden, before dinner!

As for avg. kms/day: If you need to finish on a certain date, do your math. If not, experience total freedom (maybe for the first time?) and just make your day, day by day. But I completely understand those who need to set fixed dates, though.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Daily distances cited in the guidebooks are not sacred; do not attempt 40 km the first day! Unfortunately the most common camino injury is the result of trying to walk too far too quickly carrying too much! Consider the topography and the weather plus your health and pack weight as well as personal strength and ability to endure. Only the last 100 k MUST be walked in order to receive the treasured Compostela or pilgrim certificate in Santiago.

I always start walking slowly and go VERY easy for the first week. ‘Slow, but dependable’ could be my motto. Since I am old I average 20 km per day for 55 days to walk from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago and continuing to Finisterre. It would be so sad to need to rush along the route or even bus ahead in order to keep to some preset timetable. Part of camino pleasure is savoring each moment; how could you savor such a rush? Then these precious golden days would just be dross.

Margaret Meredith
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Camino(s) past & future
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
Oh, Margaret you are so right! Mind you, I know I'll get blisters, even if I only walk 12 kms the first day. I guess I have delicate feet unlike the rest of me ;).
I always walk alone! Then it's so easy to take your own time, talk to the animals and insects [which I do, being a bit bonkers] and talk to God.
I leave behind all the worries, cares and time-tables of life and have only two things to think about - where shall I eat and where shall I sleep?
Of course, I develop my own 'camino family' and we may meet up from time to time along the way, but I always walk alone.
I walk such short stages!! But I remember on one camino, while I was smelling some wild roses and a 'pilgrim' went past.
"Buen camino!" I said.
"Can't stop," he replied, "...got to do forty kilometres today!" and he disappeared in the distance.
But he never smelt my wild roses .... :)
 

kingbuxton

New Member
Its completely different for everybody, the main thing is to stick to your own pace and forget about what the guide book says.

I walked from St. Jean to Santiago in 19 days last year. I had a great time and definately experienced the Camino. I had a small backpack and light shoes so was able to walk 50km most days, 65km at most. A lot of people seem to judge or have a strange idea that those of us that do long distances dont understand the Camino or miss out on so much, this is not true at all. I had the whole Camino to myself almost every afternoon and walked from sun up to sun down every day and experienced every step of the way. I'm a strong walker and a good packer so I stuck to my own pace and comfort zone and walked exactly what I felt like walking every day. My advice is to pack light, you want to walk the Camino not carry the Camino! Stick to whatever makes you happy and feels good, whether its 10km a day or 80km. Good luck!
 
Camino(s) past & future
future September/October (2014)
Please do not, with no intended disrespect to the good man himself, follow the Brierley stages. All you do is re-inforce the tour-guided nature of the modern Camino . Help to emphasise the hot-spots and leave the non-head-line villages wondering where all the pilgrims have gone. The next Albuerge at Brierley's stage end is not a target, it hasn't been selected on the quality of its mattresses, plumbing or Caldo de Gallego. It's just there, where Brierley thinks you should stop walking every day.
Every off-stage Albuerge I encountered was a revelation: some wonderful, some less so, but they were never full of puzzled pilgrims comparing Brierley and reality.

To contribute to your original question: start slow, go faster and further when you and your body want to and never listen to the go-faster goblins. There will be a bed, you will find some food: the Camino is not a race.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Could recommend a guide book that you might use for a first time adventure on the cds?
Sandra:

Are you going to bring your Iphone, Ipad or other smartphone device? If so, a guide is unnecessary weight, especially on the Frances. You can easily utilize your device on a variety of sites (Eroski/Gronze) for similar information. Should you be going electronic free, the Brierley guide or some other guide is useful but again not necessary. That said, the daily suggested distances or stops in each guide are just that, suggestions. Listen to your body and stop when it suggests, the Camino will take care of the rest. With the exception of about three stages, there is an Albergue every 6-10 km's or 4-6 miles.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2012, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011
Could recommend a guide book that you might use for a first time adventure on the cds?
Brierley's guides are quite good - just don't feel compelled to walk strictly to his stages. Sometimes you will want to, eg to stay in Burgos, Leon, Astorga or some other major towns. At other times, there are wonderful places to stay that aren't at Brierley's stage end points.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
Please do not, with no intended disrespect to the good man himself, follow the Brierley stages. All you do is re-inforce the tour-guided nature of the modern Camino . Help to emphasise the hot-spots and leave the non-head-line villages wondering where all the pilgrims have gone. The next Albuerge at Brierley's stage end is not a target, it hasn't been selected on the quality of its mattresses, plumbing or Caldo de Gallego. It's just there, where Brierley thinks you should stop walking every day.
Every off-stage Albuerge I encountered was a revelation: some wonderful, some less so, but they were never full of puzzled pilgrims comparing Brierley and reality.

To contribute to your original question: start slow, go faster and further when you and your body want to and never listen to the go-faster goblins. There will be a bed, you will find some food: the Camino is not a race.
Tincatinker:

The Brierley guide is based on his Philosophy that the Camino Frances be walked in 33 days. One day for each year Christ walked the Earth. Whether the stages were broken out to accommodate that Philosophical thought or other rational is unknown to me. That said, nowhere in the book, as I recall, does it state other stops or stages as less desirable. The guide does supply good information on non-suggested stops.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Last edited:

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Sandra

The Brierley guide book is very good. The quote from Tincatinker is referring to 'sticking rigidly' to the 'starts and stops' used as each page 'daily stage'. Some of these you may want to stop at. Main thing, walk and stop when you're ready., whether it is where the Brierley page ends, or part way or just past.....when you're ready to stop. Often but not always, easier to find accommodation if you're not all stopping at the same place. It is a very useful guide though. It has great maps, accom info and lots of info on places of interest as you go along.

Buen Camino
 

Kitsambler

Jakobsweg Junkie
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy 2010-11, Prague 2012, Nuremberg 2013, Einsiedeln 2015, Geneva 2017-18
... 25 KM/day average is pretty much normal.
Remember, the definition of average is that half is more and half is less. So that's for the Camino Frances walking population as a whole, not taking into account differences of age, fitness level, or other factors. Please do what feels comfortable for you. It is an unfortunate human tendency to imagine that we are at the center of the bell curve.
 

tploomis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
Tincatinker:

The Brierley guide is based on his Philosophy that the Camino Frances be walked in 33 days. One day for each year Christ walked the Earth. Whether the stages were broken out to accommodate that Philosophical thought or other rational is unknown to me. That said, nowhere in the book, as I recall, does it state other stops or stages are less desirable. The guide does supplies good information on non-suggested stops.

Ultreya,
Joe
You could also walk the Camino in 80 days because Buddha lived to 80 or 35 days because Mozart lived to 35.
 

xin loi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked May 14, 2014 from St Jean France

starting to walk again August 25, 2016 --SJPDP to Finisterre
The Brierley guide--By the end of our hike from SJPDP to Santiago in June, most of us said we would volunteer to go to Hell if we could take Brierley with us. He is a religious nut not a navigator/map maker. His distances between "Places" tend to be endless, e.g. Village two kilometers away takes two hours to walk there. Scale of maps is ridiculous for the terrain--you get the impression that some steep hills are a gentle grade due to his vertical scale being so different from his horizontal scale.

But his advice on albergues is very good. Not perfect, but very good. Do NOT use his guide to determine where to stop each day as too many others do that and therefore pack the albergues. Good rule is to either stop short or go further than his daily ending. There are some really nice places an hour or two on either side of his stops.

Kilometers per day? Still like the girl from Oz who is doing 10 km a day for a year while she explores villages.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Remember, the definition of average is that half is more and half is less. So that's for the Camino Frances walking population as a whole, not taking into account differences of age, fitness level, or other factors. Please do what feels comfortable for you. It is an unfortunate human tendency to imagine that we are at the center of the bell curve.
Actually I meant "daily average", so more on some days and less on others, but those are all very wise words !!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
You could also walk the Camino in 80 days because Buddha lived to 80 or 35 days because Mozart lived to 35.
Tploomis:

I agree with you but I was referring to Brierley's Philosophy stated in his book. My comments were directed at the Brierley guide in regards to daily distances and possibly how he got to his steps. Another guide book writer could have a different thought process as their motivation. Individuals will/should have their own reasons. All, in my opinion, should walk at a pace that suits their personal capabilities.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

tploomis

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept. to Nov., 2013
Tploomis:

I agree with you but I was referring to Brierley's Philosophy stated in his book. My comments were directed at the Brierley guide in regards to daily distances and possibly how he got to his steps. Another guide book writer could have a different thought process as their motivation. Individuals will/should have their own reasons. All, in my opinion, should walk at a pace that suits their personal capabilities.

Ultreya,
Joe
It was clear from your post, Joe, that you were describing Brierley's thought processes, not your own.

My response is my reaction to that part of Brierley's philosophy. I just think that walking the Camino is hard enough without imposing additional, self-imposed, artificial rules on oneself. On the other hand, doing the Camino with an artificial rule guiding one's behavior might also have its own rewards. I'm thinking of one of my walking partners, who set out to walk the entire Camino without underpants. As he got closer to achieving his goal, it became more of an issue, and he began worrying that the rain and cold of O'Cebreiro would defeat him. He persevered however, and was able to get to Santiago and achieve his goal. Part of the fun for him was his own awareness of the ridiculousness of this undertaking. It was nonetheless gratifying. So if somebody wants to walk the Camino in 33 days, for whatever reason, have at it!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
It was clear from your post, Joe, that you were describing Brierley's thought processes, not your own.

My response is my reaction to that part of Brierley's philosophy. I just think that walking the Camino is hard enough without imposing additional, self-imposed, artificial rules on oneself. On the other hand, doing the Camino with an artificial rule guiding one's behavior might also have its own rewards. I'm thinking of one of my walking partners, who set out to walk the entire Camino without underpants. As he got closer to achieving his goal, it became more of an issue, and he began worrying that the rain and cold of O'Cebreiro would defeat him. He persevered however, and was able to get to Santiago and achieve his goal. Part of the fun for him was his own awareness of the ridiculousness of this undertaking. It was nonetheless gratifying. So if somebody wants to walk the Camino in 33 days, for whatever reason, have at it!
A commando Camino. I hope he had a large jar of Vaseline or some other equivalent.
 
Camino(s) past & future
future September/October (2014)
Sandra:

Are you going to bring your Iphone, Ipad or other smartphone device? If so, a guide is unnecessary weight, especially on the Frances. You can easily utilize your device on a variety of sites (Eroski/Gronze) for similar information. Should you be going electronic free, the Brierley guide or some other guide is useful but again not necessary. That said, the daily suggested distances or stops in each guide are just that, suggestions. Listen to your body and stop when it suggests, the Camino will take care of the rest. With the exception of about three stages, there is an Albergue every 6-10 km's or 4-6 miles.

Ultreya,
Joe
Thank you :)
 

rsvp125

New Member
Use the Brierley guide only for the maps and Albergue info if the walking distances don't suit you. Relax and see how you go. Stop trying to "run the race in your head before you run it"! (It's not a race, this is a euphemism) Buon Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2009) Le Puy (2018)
I have looked at the guidebooks, and are planning to try and stick to the suggested walking distance per day (Bierkley), but would any of you suggest that you can walk on some of the days more km than was suggested in the guidebook? I do not want to rush, would like to do sightseeing in the late afternoons.
The guidebook is just that. Only be guided by it. Don't let it rule our experience. I suggest you do what you want each day. My wife and I tried to follow the guidebook but after 7 days made the decision to reduce our daily k's each day to about 15 to 20. This immediately improved our aches and pains and increased our enjoyment. We then also added in 3 to 4 rest days at locations we liked - deciding on that as we arrived. No planning was the order of the day. Everyone's Camino is different apart from the route itself.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
The guidebook is just that. Only be guided by it. Don't let it rule our experience. I suggest you do what you want each day. My wife and I tried to follow the guidebook but after 7 days made the decision to reduce our daily k's each day to about 15 to 20. This immediately improved our aches and pains and increased our enjoyment. We then also added in 3 to 4 rest days at locations we liked - deciding on that as we arrived. No planning was the order of the day. Everyone's Camino is different apart from the route itself.
Probably the best advice given ;) That said, I have the liberty of spending as much time as I need to do the walk. Others may have limitations and must plan accordingly, which I fully respect. As for me, I go with no return ticket, and fix it when I am done. I know: It is easy for me to say, as I have a "short" way home, and I have all the time I need, as a retired person. Others are not that fortunate, I know. But it makes it very comfortable for me.

I like the freedom of stopping after 10-15 kms and just relax, watching pilgrims go by, while I am installed with a bed in the albergue and a cold beer in my hand... But then again, most days I do 20-25 kms.

One tip, though: Stay in places in between the recommendations in the guidebooks: Can be much nicer and less crowded, since so many folks follow the guidebooks...
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Future: June July 2016 Frances from St Jean
As Alexwalker, my time to walk the Camino will be flexible. I've allowed myself for up to two months, if necessary, because I want to absorb the history and culture along the way. I like to take my time when travelling. I travel solo so that I can spend as much time to check out everything in detail without being hassled to hurry up... or to slow down.

I often make mistakes when travelling. I easily get lost but always seem find my way....eventually! I would feel bad if someone was relying on me to always get it right and on time, that's another good reason for me to go solo. I don't want to have to explain why I did or did not take a particular road or turn off.

I love company but I think it's true that the best way to travel the Camino is at your own pace and in your own way. If a town or village appeals to me I might want to spend a day or two there. If I want to skip a meal or go to bed early, I can do that when on my own. I know I will meet special people along the way but I suspect most of them will be travelling faster than I will be.

I see the Camino as a spiritual journey. I need to go at a slower pace to absorb the spirituality of the Camino. I need time to pray and contemplate.... and just to listen to God sometimes. Speaking for myself, I can't do these things if I were racing from destination to destination.

I have jotted down some great tips from this thread. Thanks very much folks! I suspect I won't be covering more than about 15 to 20 km per day on average.
 

Rosie Bentley

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2017
And what about Grañon, Tosantos, Acacio & Orietta in Viloria La Rioja, Rabe de las Calzadas (lLibranos Domine), San Saturnino in Ventosa, Albergo Vilares de Orbigo in Vilares de Orbigo, Pequeño Potala in Ruitlan, casa García in Gonzar, casa Domingo in Casanova. Just to name a few of the excepcional Albergues that you Will miss if you follow the recommended stages! Anne
PS? I am still not sure what is going to happen with Casa Mágica in Villatuerta. A great pity if It has closed.
Thank you for these suggested albergues!
 

Tracey Adem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future 2018
Its completely different for everybody, the main thing is to stick to your own pace and forget about what the guide book says.

I walked from St. Jean to Santiago in 19 days last year. I had a great time and definately experienced the Camino. I had a small backpack and light shoes so was able to walk 50km most days, 65km at most. A lot of people seem to judge or have a strange idea that those of us that do long distances dont understand the Camino or miss out on so much, this is not true at all. I had the whole Camino to myself almost every afternoon and walked from sun up to sun down every day and experienced every step of the way. I'm a strong walker and a good packer so I stuck to my own pace and comfort zone and walked exactly what I felt like walking every day. My advice is to pack light, you want to walk the Camino not carry the Camino! Stick to whatever makes you happy and feels good, whether its 10km a day or 80km. Good luck!
Can I ask what kind of light shoes? A hiker or just a standard runner?
 

Walkandwalk

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: Camino Frances 2016, 2018
For me it depended from the weather, but most of the time about 25km a day. But if the weather is too cold or rainy, than just 15km or something like that.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
How far you walk each day will depend on a lot of things: distance between villages, weather, terrain and hills, how fit you are, how far your companions like to walk, etc. We walked between 15 and 33 km per day, but the sweet spot was 20 to 25 km.
 

Rhun Leeding

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago - Sept/Oct 2015
Camino Ingles & Santiago to Finisterre & Muxia Sept/Oct 2016
This is such a tough one, because ultimately it comes down to so many different factors. Physical ability, preferences around breaks, how much time you have and the different stopping places available as well. I'll be walking in September/October time, and am planning to average around 26-28km a day. Unfortunately for me, work restrictions mean I'm already pushing my luck to get that much time off, so needs must a little.

My previous Caminos have been much shorter at around two weeks, and I had the luxury of taking a little more time to enjoy the sights, but the extra distance also means training has already started for me. Stepping up the mileage and trying to make sure I'm well ahead of the curve when I finally get to SJPP.
 

Book your lodging here

Booking.com


Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 37 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 133 15.6%
  • May

    Votes: 205 24.0%
  • June

    Votes: 61 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 254 29.7%
  • October

    Votes: 101 11.8%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top