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How much of the Camino Frances can I cover in 19 days?

2020 Camino Guides

Ali55

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July to August (2020)
Am trying to organise a trip for myself and my daughter for next July to August - 21 days in total - and, accepting that this is no way enough time to complete the whole route on foot, am starting to feel a little overwhelmed about where to start!

Realistically, I expect the first day of the trip to be taken up getting to our starting point (where ever that may be) and also expect to cover some sections of the journey by public transport (but which bits to miss out?!).

Day 21 would be our return to the UK so that leaves 19 days walking in total.

Has anyone got any suggestions?

Thanking you in advance!!!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Am trying to organise a trip for myself and my daughter for next July to August - 21 days in total - and, accepting that this is no way enough time to complete the whole route on foot, am starting to feel a little overwhelmed about where to start!

Realistically, I expect the first day of the trip to be taken up getting to our starting point (where ever that may be) and also expect to cover some sections of the journey by public transport (but which bits to miss out?!).

Day 21 would be our return to the UK so that leaves 19 days walking in total.

Has anyone got any suggestions?

Thanking you in advance!!!
Hi!

I wouldn't skip any part of any Camino.
On Camino Frances it's quite easy to plan your daily stages because the longest distance you have to cover without overnight stay (of any kind) is 17km long. So I would say that the answer to your question is how much you can/want to walk each day. If you'll do some math the average walking speed is 4km/h so if you want to walk 20km stages that would mean 5hrs + 1hr rest. If that's enough for one day it's up to you ;)

Happy planning!
 

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)
Am trying to organise a trip for myself and my daughter for next July to August - 21 days in total - and, accepting that this is no way enough time to complete the whole route on foot, am starting to feel a little overwhelmed about where to start!

Realistically, I expect the first day of the trip to be taken up getting to our starting point (where ever that may be) and also expect to cover some sections of the journey by public transport (but which bits to miss out?!).

Day 21 would be our return to the UK so that leaves 19 days walking in total.

Has anyone got any suggestions?

Thanking you in advance!!!
Ali55:

Not knowing much about your walking pace or from where you plan to enter Spain makes this question a little harder to answer. I will make the assumption you will fly from the U.K. to Madrid.

I would recommend starting in Burgos. Burgos is easily accessible by train or bus from Madrid. I believe you can make Santiago from here in 19 days. This might not give you much time in Santiago to relax before heading home but, imo, easily doable.

Should you want to possibly go on to Finisterre, you could start in Sahagun or even Leon. This would give you the extra time to smell the roses, spend time in Santiago with new mates and even go on to Finisterre.

There is also a website www.gronze.com that might be helpful in your planning.

Hope this helps.

Joe
 

Ali55

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July to August (2020)
Many thanks for your responses!
I was trying to be independent and work it our for myself but asking for help was a GOOD idea:) as I was getting nowhere fasto_O (largely due to impatience on my part, I have to admit)
You have helped me decide where to fly to (Madrid) and where to start from (Burgos).
Why am I walking the Camino? Because I feel like I just have to and that feeling won't let me go!
Thanks again!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Get a guidebook, calculate how far you will probably walk each day and plan accordingly as far as where to start, or just start anywhere you want to and if you are behind schedule to Santiago just grab a bus or taxi and jump ahead to get back on schedule or if you are ahead of schedule reduce your daily distance until you are back on schedule.
So many options on the Frances. So many ways to walk it. It really is a worry free walk.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, May-June (2017)
Ingles, June (2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Le Puy-Santiago (2023)
Many thanks for your responses!
I was trying to be independent and work it our for myself but asking for help was a GOOD idea:) as I was getting nowhere fasto_O (largely due to impatience on my part, I have to admit)
You have helped me decide where to fly to (Madrid) and where to start from (Burgos).
Why am I walking the Camino? Because I feel like I just have to and that feeling won't let me go!
Thanks again!
Burgos is beautiful and a great place to start. And, I understand that feeling that won’t go away, I had it 2 years ago when I did the CF. Still had it so I did the CI this year, still have it. Buen Camino.
 

Ian L

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances summer 2017 (SJPP to Fromista)
Camino Frances summer 2019 (Fromista to Santiago)
Hi Ali55, welcome to the forum:

If your goal is to make it to Santiago in those 19 days, my advice would be to figure out how far you want to walk each day, and multiply that by 19. Then start in a town or city, that can be accessed easily by train or bus, around that distance.

Besides the already mentioned starting points of Burgos, Sahagun or Leon, the town of Fromista is another town that can be easily reached by train from Madrid. It's about 420km from Santiago.

In 2017, I like you had only 19 walking days to spend on the Camino Frances. I started in Saint Jean Pied de Port and made it to Fromista. This year I went back and completed the rest of it. I'm glad I chose to do it that way, because I can't think of any section that I would want to skip.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
If this is your first Camino, I wouldn't push yourself too hard. You don't know if you are one of those people who can happily walk 30 km or more or of you are one of those people who gets terrible blisters when sustaining daily distances of over 25 km.

If you think you will have another opportunity to walk in the future, you could start in St. Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalles and walk from there, stopping where you end up. Keep your credencials and when you return start where you left off, getting the first stamp of your second leg at the same place you got the last stamp of the first.

If you really want to finish at Santiago de Compostela this trip, I would advise starting at Fromista or Sahagun. That gives you plenty of time in case you find out that you can't walk as far as you thought day after day. If you use it up, you'll be glad you had it. If you arrive in Santiago with days to spare, you can always walk on to Finisterre and/or Muxia.
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Many thanks for your responses!
I was trying to be independent and work it our for myself but asking for help was a GOOD idea:) as I was getting nowhere fasto_O (largely due to impatience on my part, I have to admit)
You have helped me decide where to fly to (Madrid) and where to start from (Burgos).
Why am I walking the Camino? Because I feel like I just have to and that feeling won't let me go!
Thanks again!
As I detest flying I would choose Bilbao, less time in air. From there, there are regular buses to Burgos. Ryanair, Vuelling and BA have non stop flights from UK. I have bussed both routes and without a doubt, the scenery from Bilbao is quite spectacular
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2015
Here is some information I wrote previously about bikes on the meseta. It's a copy and paste.

One thing to consider if you want to do the camino under your power but don't have enough time to walk the whole way is to rent a bicycle for the meseta section. (I am neither for nor against doing this; I'm just just presenting the idea.)
In Burgos (and maybe even earlier in Logrono) you can rent bikes to be returned in Leon or Astorga. Burgos and Astorga are end points of the meseta where the Camino Frances runs. Roughly, they are 240 kilometers apart (that's 150 miles) and that should be able to be biked in four days, maybe three. Brierley's guidebook suggests 10 days to walk this distance so this could shave a week off the time you need to do your camino.
There are a number of places where you can rent. Here are some links I've collected (but the list may not be complete):
Some other thoughts:
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
trying to organise a trip for myself and my daughter for next July to August ... whole route.
@Ali55 , kia ora (greetings, good health)

Your primary focus seems to be spending 19 days with your daughter walking in Spain. And any part of the Camino Frances is an excellent route to spend that time together.

Two things will determine what you both can do:

1) Fitness and stamina to get up and get going by sunrise, graze on the way, complete at least 25 km (6-8 hours walking plus stops), find two beds when you are ready to stop, wash your smalls, get a meal, sleep, repeat - for 19 days. And you both have suitable shoes and socks.

If you both are already used to that regime in the relenting heat of summer then it will be a doddle for you both. I also suggest a start from Burgos. Consider an Alsa bus from Terminal 4 of Madrid Airport.

If your fitness and stamina is less certain then I suggest you both consider starting at Ponferrada. Not certain whether bus or train is best.

2) The weight you each carry

Being the height of summer you could probably omit sleeping bags and all other camping gear. Maybe only one change of top, underwear and socks plus personal items and wet weather protection. While a parka would suffice, my longer term suggestion woould be an Altus coat. Same outcome but can also be worn over your pack to give some air circulation, as well as covering your shorts/skirts.

Plus a resuable bottle of water. And some food for the day. All up, say, including the pack, well under 4 kg each.

Not knowing your current fitness etc level I suggest you find multi day trips near home to work out on. The hiking option at WayMarkedTrails.org may be help you.

To conclude I say kia kaha (take care, be strong, get going) and I look forward to reading about your achievements.
 

Liam Ryan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016
Hi and greetings from Ireland.
My opinion, for what it’s worth, is to start in St Jean. Fly to Biarritz. It’s 20 of the Brierley stages to reach Leon which allows easy bus access to Bilbao for return flight. You can return whenever to complete. I have only reached Leon and will finish ‘sometime’!!! I know some Irish who are doing the Camino F one week per year. It’s what works individually. Take your time and hopefully get to enjoy it all if not in the one go. Best of luck. Liam
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
@AlwynWellington :

- why "get going by sunrise"? I have never ever started before 8am even in the summer (on 10 different Caminos, some of them I repeated).
- why "at least 25 km"? My shortest stage was only 6km and the longest 42km.

If they want to spend 19 days together none of these two things are important.
 

DBride

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances from Burgos April 2019
My first Camino I started from Burgos. I had 22 days walking and not hurrying. So this will be nice start for you. ;)
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
@AlwynWellington :

- why "get going by sunrise"? I have never ever started before 8am even in the summer (on 10 different Caminos, some of them I repeated).
- why "at least 25 km"? My shortest stage was only 6km and the longest 42km.

If they want to spend 19 days together none of these two things are important.
I think the "at least 25 km" was tied to the Burgos starting place. If they couldn't count on that, Ponferrada was suggested.
 

Dennis Ferguson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2016
Am trying to organise a trip for myself and my daughter for next July to August - 21 days in total - and, accepting that this is no way enough time to complete the whole route on foot, am starting to feel a little overwhelmed about where to start!

Realistically, I expect the first day of the trip to be taken up getting to our starting point (where ever that may be) and also expect to cover some sections of the journey by public transport (but which bits to miss out?!).

Day 21 would be our return to the UK so that leaves 19 days walking in total.

Has anyone got any suggestions?

Thanking you in advance!!!
Hi, I'd advise you keep within your daily walking limit (not knowing the age of your daughter).
I used a John Brierly map only book to work back from Santiago de Compostela allowing at least one day's rest.
 

november_moon

Veteran Member
We did Burgos to Santiago in about 24 days - most of our walking days were around 18-22 km and we had a couple of rest days. We wouldn't have been able to get to Santiago in 19 days without skipping ahead.

Defnitely consider how far you think you'll walk in a day, add some buffer, and then project back to find a good starting point.
 

AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
please see signature
- why ... ?
From @Ali55 's original post I took two major points.
1) spend time together
2) complete (in Santiago)

And most responses picked up the "completion" point. They did not understand, for example, walk till you've used up 17 days and bus (etc) to Santiago on day 18 to fly home on day 19.

Starting about sunrise was a suggestion focussed on both spending time together on the way (grazing) and maximising choices about where to stop that day.

Plus, we are all different. Some people, presumably like you @KinkyOne , are indifferent to the heat of the day. Others, like me, prefer to not be out in the midday sun. There is only one way to find out.

@KinkyOne , I appreciate the points you make.
 

Ali55

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
July to August (2020)
This interesting ! The first consideration i had when planning was making sure I walked the final 100km to get my certificate but why should that matter?
 

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