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Looking for advice on long (Spanish) Camino routes

2020 Camino Guides

tarasis

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Portuguese (Porto) (2019)
Last year I did Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Santiago, then Santiago to Finisterre, then Porto to Santiago (more coastal route).

This year I am hoping to spend 3+ months on the Camino. Ideally walking only 20-35km a day.

Kinda thinking completing North, South, East/ South East.

Def want Lisbon to Santiago

Looking at these as ideas, but not sure how much infrastructure there is on some

Lisbon to Santiago - distance 616km https://stingynomads.com/camino-fatima-walk-lisbon-porto/

Huelva to Santiago -

Cádiz to Santiago

Algeciras to Santiago

Malaga to Santiago

Almeria to Santiago

Cartagena to Santiago

Alacant / Alicante to Santiago

Valencia to Santiago

Barcelona to Santiago

Girona to Santiago

Via Salamanca / Zamora / Granja de Moreruela / Astorga / Burgos / Toledo

Ferrol / A Coruña to Santiago (starting in Ireland)

(Edit to correct my West to East *facepalm*)
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I walked the Camino Catalan from Barcelona to the Aragonese to Puente de Reina and Pamplona this past autumn. It took three weeks. Lodging and food wasn't really a problem. Very few other pilgrims were there. In the spring it should be quite a sight, lots of orchards.

The Catalan can be extended by starting earlier near the northeastern corner of Spain but I hear facilities are a bit scarcer on that section. Check on the Catalan sub-forum.

A few days from Monserrat the Catalan splits and you can take the southern arm to Zaragoza and then to the CF (at Logrono?). That would keep you off more parts of the CF that you haven't seen. Then at Ponferrada you could get off the CF to take the Invierno.

Anyway using the Catalan you could walk from the easternmost point of Spain to the westernmost (at least the traditional westernmost spot).
 

lindam

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, VDLP, Invierno, Portuguese, Madrid, Ingles, Fisterra, Muxia, Catalan/Aragones/Loyola Norte
I have walked from Barcelona to Santiago and posted some details about the Catalan route portion of my trip on the forum. The total number of days walking was 52. Having walked both the routes from Barcelona, I would highly recommend the route that goes via Huesca. It would, of course, involve some repetition of part of the Frances route but you could add novelty by including the Invierno route and the Dragonte for an unforgetable day of walking. Happy planning!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
You might want to think about starting in France, maybe Le Puy and hook up with the Camino Norte. You would be walking two absolutely beautiful and quiet Caminos. I think the total distance is a little less than 1600k. No need to rush either one of these caminos. if you averaged about 25k a day you would need about 64 days to walk, not including rest days.
Here is a link on how to connect the two caminos:
 
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy-SJPDP 2014, VDLP 2014,
Arles-SDC 2015, Lisbon-SDC 2017, Part Ruta de la Lana 2019, VDLP 2019
You could try Arles-SDC, 1630kms. Crosses at Somport, then on Aragones to the Francés at Puenta la Reina. Then you could do the Invierno from Ponferrada, joining Sanabres at Lalin, thence SDC, as mentioned above. I had intended to do the Invierno, but by the time I reached the Francés I’d had well more than enough of my own company, solitary in albergues etc. On the Arles route I had company for a maximum of a week out of Arles, but from Toulouse to Puenta la Reina I was entirely alone. Also at Arres on the Aragones there is the most wonderful albergue, just gorgeous, restored entirely by volunteers. I did it September to November 2015, aged 61. Arles is worth spending a couple of days in. There is a MiamMiam Dodo for the route, which is very good. It’s got mostly symbols, so easy to understand. Don’t believe the guide when they say hosts speak English; they generally have about as much English as I do French (none), but we managed.

Why from Lisbon on the Portugues? Trust me it’s not great walking, lots of cobble and tarmac. And the rubbish (not from pilgrims) was overwhelming. A start from Porto is way better, which you’ve done.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Thank you @lindam, @Rick of Rick and Peg, and @lt56ny for the advice/suggestions. I've just started digging into them.

I hadn't considered starting in France as my French is worse than my Spanish (and thats non-existant, but I've started learning in), but I'll dig into it and see.
Just a thought about French in France. After Bonjour I am lost. I was able to make it through with some interesting experiences at times. You will adapt. The Le Puy route is predominately retired people and most of them are French. Very few people speak English and if they do it is pretty basic. But everyone was helpful and I still made some great friendships with hands and smiles and pointing alot. When I went I didn't have a smartphone so I didn't even have a translation app. But it was a great experience and you do not need French to see the fantastic views, the markings or the food which makes the food in Spain eating at McDonalds. In my humble opinion anyway.
 

tarasis

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2019)
Portuguese (Porto) (2019)
You could try Arles-SDC, 1630kms. Crosses at Somport, then on Aragones to the Francés at Puenta la Reina. Then you could do the Invierno from Ponferrada, joining Sanabres at Lalin, thence SDC, as mentioned above. I had intended to do the Invierno, but by the time I reached the Francés I’d had well more than enough of my own company, solitary in albergues etc. On the Arles route I had company for a maximum of a week out of Arles, but from Toulouse to Puenta la Reina I was entirely alone. Also at Arres on the Aragones there is the most wonderful albergue, just gorgeous, restored entirely by volunteers. I did it September to November 2015, aged 61. Arles is worth spending a couple of days in. There is a MiamMiam Dodo for the route, which is very good. It’s got mostly symbols, so easy to understand. Don’t believe the guide when they say hosts speak English; they generally have about as much English as I do French (none), but we managed.

Why from Lisbon on the Portugues? Trust me it’s not great walking, lots of cobble and tarmac. And the rubbish (not from pilgrims) was overwhelming. A start from Porto is way better, which you’ve done.
Thanks for the ideas, I will have a look at the map. I'm not sure how I'd feel about the lack of company over so long, I don't socialise a lot at home so might be okay, but thanks for the heads up.

Why Lisbon / Faro, basically to see more of the country. The is disappointing to hear about the rubbish.

The Porto stretch up (more Coastal), was indeed beautiful, and I could basically happily walk back and forth along the stretch everyday and not finish the camino. I nearly turned around when I got to Spain because I was quickly missing being by the sea & the sunsets.

Are you familiar with www.gronze.com? That should be a great help.
I wasn't, thank you.

Just a thought about French in France. After Bonjour I am lost. I was able to make it through with some interesting experiences at times. You will adapt. The Le Puy route is predominately retired people and most of them are French. Very few people speak English and if they do it is pretty basic. But everyone was helpful and I still made some great friendships with hands and smiles and pointing alot. When I went I didn't have a smartphone so I didn't even have a translation app. But it was a great experience and you do not need French to see the fantastic views, the markings or the food which makes the food in Spain eating at McDonalds. In my humble opinion anyway.
Thats great to hear. I had coped for the couple of days I was in SJPdP but there wasnt really much need to speak French there. Thank you for the insight.

-------------

The route options I made a note of the other day (all where inside Spain because thats the map I had to hand). Note I do have the town names written in my notebook with the switch points.

1) Portuguese (Faro to SdC, via Lisboa, Porto, Espiritual)
2) Estreche - Via De la Plata - Sanabrés
3) Levante - Sureste - Frances - Invierno
4) Sant Jaume - Catalán - Argonés - Baztan - Norte
 
Camino(s) past & future
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
4) Sant Jaume - Catalán - Argonés - Baztan - Norte
I was hoping to walk from Barcelona to San Sebastian (sea to sea) last year but I stopped at Pamplona due to weather concerns. That last stretch can be done by (at least)

1) The Baztan in reverse to Bayonne and then to Irun by a camino whose name I can't remember.

2) A shortcut by taking the Baztan in reverse just to Elizondo and then taking the hiking trail GR11 to Irun with a night in Bera (but that night probably would not be cheap).

3) Another shortcut using the Baztan for a bit and then connecting somehow (probably road walking) to an old railroad converted to a walking/bicycling path going to Irun. I did see on booking sites a lot of places to stay along the rail trail but I gave up on my walk before finding a good connection to the trail from the Baztan.

Information on the rail trail, THE BIDASOA "GREEN ROUTE", can be found here:

Or the same link in a version that can be printed:
https://www.turismo.navarra.es/eng/organice-viaje/recurso/Patrimonio/5362/Via-Verde-del-Bidasoa.htm
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
Thanks for the ideas, I will have a look at the map. I'm not sure how I'd feel about the lack of company over so long, I don't socialise a lot at home so might be okay, but thanks for the heads up.

Why Lisbon / Faro, basically to see more of the country. The is disappointing to hear about the rubbish.

The Porto stretch up (more Coastal), was indeed beautiful, and I could basically happily walk back and forth along the stretch everyday and not finish the camino. I nearly turned around when I got to Spain because I was quickly missing being by the sea & the sunsets.



I wasn't, thank you.



Thats great to hear. I had coped for the couple of days I was in SJPdP but there wasnt really much need to speak French there. Thank you for the insight.

-------------

The route options I made a note of the other day (all where inside Spain because thats the map I had to hand). Note I do have the town names written in my notebook with the switch points.

1) Portuguese (Faro to SdC, via Lisboa, Porto, Espiritual)
2) Estreche - Via De la Plata - Sanabrés
3) Levante - Sureste - Frances - Invierno
4) Sant Jaume - Catalán - Argonés - Baztan - Norte
I am really interested in which route you choose. I went from Lisbon to Santiago along the interior route. I have done no investigation about infrastructure or what the route is like from Faro. If you have checked this out from Faro would like to know where you got that information. It sounds interesting and would consider walking from there one day. Looking forward to the day I can walk the VDLP.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Many happy hours can be spent with google maps and gronze.com or mundicamino.com. I would second @lindam 's recommendation on the Catalan via Huesca, as it is a most remarkable route-- you can then finish on to the Aragonese, and then head up to the del Norte. But on most of the secondary routes, after the Francese, del Norte, de la Plata, Aragonese, and Primitivo, you will be walking on your own much of the time. I have walked the Catalan by Huesca three times and do not think that I met ten other pilgrims. On the Castellano-Aragonese, I met two.

I am looking at the Levante out of Valencia, which would get you much of the way to Santiago, but although there seems to be support for pilgrims, I do not expect to be overwhelmed with company and that, in lieu of English conversation, my castellano will improve markedly.

@lt56ny 's suggestion is a good one, and I would not let a lack of French stand in your way, any more than a lack of castellano. Indeed, you'll find English more available in France, as there is always English-speaking staff at the tourisme and the mairie (remember that there is a significant population of UK and Irish in France, who are served by the local bureaucracy in their language), and it is the acquired language among young people. But, as one of my Syrian refugee acquaintances tells me, French is so close to English as to make no matter (!), and the alphabet is the same (!!). I would like to do some of the longer routes in France as I speak fairly decent French and the food is excellent, but the higher costs of France make planning more challenging for me.
 

E du P B

@storiesfrommysuitcase
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Ingles, Portugues de Faro, Catalan, Aragonés, San Salvador, Primitivo y VF.
Hi there, we walked for Faro to Santiago 2018. From Faro to Sagres we used maps.me to follow the coast line, there were heaps of good tracks and we walked on the beach a lot as well. Beautiful little towns to stay in but a little more expensive than the towns when you head north as it’s quite touristy. From Sagres we followed the Rota Vincentina (mostly on the fisherman’s trail) absolutely beautiful!
Last year we walked Barcelona to Santiago it was wonderful, the camino Catalan is well marked and there are great albergues (we took the northern Catalan through Huesca and from Tarrega until we joined the Camino Aragonés near a Jaca we saw no other pilgrims, from the Aragonés we joined the Frances until León then headed north on the San Salvador (incredibly beautiful) then on to the Primitivo to Santiago. We loved it.
 

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