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Looking for a route from Genoa to the Camino de Santiago


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Time of past OR future Camino
Via Postumia- unknown link - Camino de Santiago
I plan to start my first pilgrim walk using the Via Postumia in March 2025 from Aquileia to Genoa. Looking for a connecting route to walk to Santiago de Compostela. I will be 60 yo when I start. Unfit now but hope to a lot fitter by the time I start. As this is my first walk I am looking for an easy route. Time won't be an issue. The Via Tolosana was suggested but reading posts here it sounds like it might be too much for me.
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One alternative would be like pilgrims of old as Genoa is a port and take a ship. There is a ferry to Barcelona, from where there is a route to Montserrat and the camino catalan. The camino catalan splits into 2 options one heading to the camino aragones which connects to the camino frances at Puente de la reina, while the other heads for the camino ebro and Zaragoza, connecting to the Camino Frances at Logroño. But this would miss France and reduce your time
The Via Tolosana was suggested but reading posts here it sounds like it might be too much for me.
That’s the obvious choice though. What I would do (having loosely plotted something similar once) would be to take the Sentiero Liguria from Genoa to the French border and then the Via Aurelia to Arles, followed by the Via Tolosana (Arles Route).

But as a first pilgrimage all of this might indeed be too much. The ship to Barcelona idea is quite an interesting one to connect you to more pilgrim-friendly trails.
St James' Way - Self-guided 4-7 day Walking Packages, Reading to Southampton, 110 kms
When thinking about how easy or difficult a route is, don't forget the cultural challenges. A walk from Genoa to Santiago would cross, at minimum, Italian, French, Catalan, and Spanish cultural zones. And in general, the more pilgrim traffic a path receives, the easier it is to navigate the local culture.

I walked the Camino Frances speaking minimal Spanish because I was surrounded by other pilgrims and the locals saw pilgrims every day. Each town had well-marked pilgrim-oriented food and lodging. While walking seldom-traveled paths a pilgrim will have to hunt for food and shelter on their own.

If tackling the above sounds like a lot of fun, then your path may be very rewarding. On the other hand, if the above sounds difficult, I would look for one of the well-known paths in Spain or the Via Francigena in Italy.
I plan to start my first pilgrim walk using the Via Postumia in March 2025 from Aquileia to Genoa. Looking for a connecting route to walk to Santiago de Compostela.
Carry on from Genova to Menton on the Coastal route -- if you use mapy.cz, you can seek alternatives on the Italian section, where the "official" route might make some annoying detours into the mountains ; there is always a coastal alternative, though a good deal of that will be tarmac, so you'd need to advise yourself case by case -- though it seems since last time I was there, the number of coastal cycling/walking paths parallel to the main roads has increased.

From Menton until you get way past Nice, the "official" route becomes really annoying, making a lengthy detour in the mountains, but then the historic route through Nice is quite annoying too as a dreadful and lengthy urban trudge. Though at least I'd recommend staying at Laghet with the nuns there. And Vence to be fair is lovely.

Things get a LOT more sensible after you reach Mandelieu-la-Napoule, and after Théoule-sur-Mer, both the "official" route in the mountain or the tarmac coastal variant would be fine (I chose the latter), as the Estérel is very beautiful. The coastal tarmac one would be busy in tourist season, but traffic shouldn't be too bad, and you would find many watering holes along the way.

Then Saint-Raphaël/Fréjus > Aix-en-Provence > Salon-de-Provence > Arles > Saint-Gilles > Montpellier is dead easy, just follow the waymarkers whilst being careful when they try and lead you around some villages instead of going through them.

Then the Arles Way if you want.

If you need a physically easier route after Montpellier here's what I'd suggest :

It should be waymarked a little, though mapy.cz is a bit unhelpful on this route, except insofar as finding little country roads and so on.

Montpellier > Fabrègues (Albergue IIRC) > Gigean.

From there, I believe the official route goes via Mèze to Agde -- but there is an alternative > Balaruc-le-Vieux > Sète > coastal cycling path > Agde. (the historic route here has been heavily tarmacked, so things are a bit messy for foot pilgrims, though the hiking itself is dead easy once you've chosen your way)

Then > Béziers (great Albergue), and from there take the variant route of the Arles Way via Carcassonne. It starts out along the Canal du Midi, which you could actually choose to follow for a long distance, though there are some other waymarked routes in the same direction, and they look better.

Eventually though > Carcassonne ; then back along the Canal du Midi more or less > Castelnaudary > back onto the Arles Way proper near Labastide d'Anjou > Toulouse. Then it's OK until Oloron-Sainte-Marie.

The Somport or SJPP question is the big one after that, though I will say the following -- there's an option on the SJPP variant to make things easier by going DIY Oloron > Navarrenx (this is actually lovely if you do it right) then either just follow the Le Puy route or take an acceptable tarmac route to Saint-Palais, which is busy but not too inhospitable to people walking on it, then get in to SJPP from there.


The other possible route would be from Béziers > Narbonne > Perpignan (Albergue) > Perthus pass (THE easiest place to get over the Pyrenees) > Figueres > Girona > Sils > Sant Celoni (all this is along the Via Augusta / Via Romea) > (not sure but I think it's waymarked) > Sant Cugat del Valles > Montserrat > Igualada > Cervera > Tárrega --- then with 20/20 hindsight, I'd suggest > Lleida > Fraga then by trail Fraga > Mequinenza > Caspe & then the Ebro Way > Fuentes de Ebro > Zaragoza > Logroño.

It's a significantly longer route than heading up via Carcassonne, and it would be a pretty lonely one, but it has hands down the easiest hiking !!
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The Via Tolosana was suggested but reading posts here it sounds like it might be too much for me.
Hi Gary, I think after the nearly 1'000km from Aquileia to Genoa you have training enough to do the next part.
Via Postumia is flat until Vicenza. Following a nice hill up and down to Lonigo. Flat again, and hills from Verona to Pastrengo and Monzambano. Flat again until Castelnuovo Val Tidone and then nice big hills every day until Genoa.
I did the variant Genoa to Arles through the hills.

Arles to Puente la Reina with a good training is possible. Have a look at my homepage for my route history (PDFs)
Buon Camino Paul (now at age 67) starting on Via Francigena Canterbury - Rom mid March


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