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How to get there, What to take, how about a tent ... ?


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Hi, i'll be arriving from Amsterdam... what's the best way to get there directly? plane? train?
our plan is to start in about a month... i plan (if it's possible) to take a tent and when possible stay outside... is it a problem? what do i need to take wih me - gear-wise? especially clothes... do i need something warm like a coat? ... thanks
John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.
People really need info about where you are going and when before they can give you answers.....
hmm, well since it IS a page about The Le Puy Route (that should indicate the where) and since i did say in about a month... i thought it's a bit more than implicit =] ... but i'll try to be more informative from now on
Zohard, people start at many different places along any particular route. Even in Spain on the Camino Frances, they might start at Pamplona, or at Roncesvalles, or even at Burgos, Leon or maybe at Sarria.
Presuming you are hoping to start at Le Puy En Velay you might have to go to Paris first from Amsterdam. From there you can take the TGV and then change onto a more local line for Le Puy. You could change at at St. Etienne and get a train for Le Puy. Some of the trains go to Lyon - choose the best train for your time of travel. You'll need to specify "Le Puy En Velay" because there are lots of Le Puys in France!
You have chosen a beautiful - but arduous route - and Margaret is the best person to ask for advice. Check out her blog for answers to questions you didn't even know to ask!!
Buen suerte.
Even the Le Puy route has a lot of variation in it. If you start from Le Puy itself, you will be crossing some high altitude places in your first week, including the Aubrac Plateau, and even in summer you might encounter alpine conditions there. But further south along the route, near Moissac etc, the numbers of people walking in July and August apparently really drop off because of the heat.

I arrived in Paris and took two trains to reach Le Puy, but from Amsterdam you may find cheaper flights to somewhere like Lyon or St Etienne, and you could catch a train from there.

I met a couple who carried a tent but they were not able to use it very often, and they posted it back home again. (They were French.) Even the lightest of tents adds to the weight you would be carrying, and after a while you might find you would like to get rid of that weight.....

John Brierley 2023 Camino Guide
Get your today and start planning.

With all honesty i'm really starting to be confused...
I'm certainly not looking for a tough route!! i've explained (in detail) that i will be trekking with my girlfriend who isn't in shape. we're looking for a simple route... i seriously don't understand why would someone tell me that it's a good route for me if it's a tough one!? ...

i really don't know where to ask my questions here...
i couldn't understand if you meant that they couldn't use their tent throughout the entire trek or just the french section of it...?

it's really quite simple, i'll be arriving in amsterdam either in a month or in the first of august... no later than that! i'm looking forward to do this anciant walk with my girlfriend who never did anything like this in her life and who is not in shape. also, since we haven't seen each other in a few months we need our privacy and would like to use a tent...
i certainly don't HAVE to start in France i just thought it'll be nice to start from there because of what people told me but if it's hard and not functional i would drop it and will welcom any suggestions on where to start...
another important issue is, if basically what you're telling me is that setting a tent throughout the way is more or less impossible i will have to revalue my intentions of doing the Santiago. i don't think i can spend two months of walking with my girlfriend without having a moment of privacy.

about the weight, i do not know how difficult the Santiago is but i've trekked in other places. i walked all through Israel - which took about a month and a half and i carried 23KG on my back. it was tough but not something that is beyond my capability. i also trekked in nepal for seven months with 18KG on my back - again, the only problem i had was the bloody blisters =]
i'm in decent condition and i'm traveling with a backpack for the last four months so i think it'll be ok for me to start whereever BUT like i said before. my girlfriend has never trekked or carried backpacks and i would like for us to start someplace more flat and simple. at least for the first week... anyway... you're all telling me i should decide where i want to start but with all honesty i'm not from europe! i don't know these places... that is why i'm here on a forum looking for suggestions?!! ...

so let me ask again

1) where should i start the Santiago if i'm looking for a simple and easy route?
2) using a tent, is it doable? what routes will provide better terrain and weather to use a tent?
3) what should the weather be like if we're talking about starting in jul/aug ?

thankyou for your help and i'm sorry if i seem a bit frustrated =] ... i'm in india and it's not easy to find a steady internet here
Hi Zohard,

1) where should i start the Santiago if i'm looking for a simple and easy route?
2) using a tent, is it doable? what routes will provide better terrain and weather to use a tent?
3) what should the weather be like if we're talking about starting in jul/aug ?

1) I think your confusion stems from the idea that there is a simple, easy long distance route to Santiago when in fact there are about 20 different routes, some shorter than others, some easy and some difficult and some with a mixture of both. You are an experienced hiker so I'm sure you know that if you walk over 1000km across a country you will encounter easy - difficult - and everything in between! Most of the longer routes cross mountain ranges, different climate zones and have both flat and easy, and hilly difficult sections. I would say, walk the Camino Frances - the most popular route but also the busiest and can be very hot and crowded in summer.
2) You could probably use a tent throughout France and Spain if you wanted to - but you might not want to in the higher, colder places or places where you have no access to water or food. In some built up areas there might not be anywhere to camp wild and camp sites are often more expensive than staying in a refuge or albergue as they charge for you and the tent.
3) End of July and August are the busiest months (European holiday season) and the hottest so you will have to factor that into your plans as well. The Camino Frances in the north of Spain doesn't get as hot as the Via de la Plata (over 40oC in some sections).

If you find time on an internet, it might be worth looking at one website - - where you can read overviews on all the individual routes to Santiago.

If your girlfriend hasn't walked more than 2 days in a row she might find a long trek like this really difficult. Is this really what she wants to do? If so, she still has time to start training.
I suggest check out the Confraternity of St James website and take a look at the Camino Madrid, which leads to Santiago joining the Camino Frances on the Meseta. It is a newer route, relatively easy, not crowded and good accommodation on the way. If you stay in little guesthouses you have privacy and may be camp occasionally. Sounds like you can carry most of the weight and let your less fit girlfriend carry a day pack to even things out a bit. Sounds like you need to get a little clearer on your priorities and objectives for your trip. Gitti
hi zohard
it seems to me that what your looking for is time and privacy with your girlfriend after time apart,
now dragging some lass who has never trecked before,never carried a backpack and maybe is a little bit out of condition on long days walking and then camping with no running water or toilets and then expecting "privacy" wow you sure know how to treat a girl.
is it about your needs or your girlfriends what are you looking for friend??

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