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Portugues or Frances?


New Member
My wife and I (coming from the USA) have just over 2 weeks starting 26 July. I walked the Camino Frances from St Jean in 2007, but my wife has not (yet) had the pleasure of the Camino. So I am of course looking forward to sharing that with her.

I've been wondering if we should do the Portugues from Porto or start at Leon on the Camino Frances. Advantage of the former is that it's new for me, but the etapes seem to be rather fixed and give less opportunity for ad-hoc decision making about overnight halts than on the Frances.

I know it's Holy Year - and July/August - so it will be really busy. Any advice on decision-making would be gratefully received.


Nunca se camina solo
Hi - you've summarised the issues I think! Both routes will be really busy and I suspect as you say there may be more options on the Camino Frances... not much in it imho.

But - there is no wrong choice :)



New Member
I walked the Frances camino from SJPDP in May 2009 and the Portugese camino in October 2009. Both of them were really magical,and i walked one in Spring and the other in Autumn,so both of them have their own attractions but I think maybe the Portugese might be the best one for you if your only going to walk from Leon on the Frances camino. keep the Frances for when you have the time to walk it all from SJPDP. But regardless of which one you do,your going to have a fantastic walk.
Good Luck
Pat Rooney


Active Member
Hi, as has been said you've pretty much covered the issues.
You're right there are some pretty long walks on the portugese without intermediate accommodation. It depends how you feel about it. The portugese route is fairly easy terrain, very pretty (the bit in portugal at least!) and may be fractionally less crowded in holy year. If your wife is not used to walking 20-30+km days then you might want to consider either doing the frances or taking some taxis.
The Frances will be busy but will have many more places to stop. That said the walk from Leon involves some serious hills that you probably won't see on the Portugues. If you're looking for the camino experience in terms of lots of international pilgrim conversations then this would be the place to go. There are not so many english speakers on the portugues.
As for needing to start at SJPP if you've walked yourself already you'll know that there is no "start" people start walking whereever they can and walk as far they can in the time available, Leon is as good a place as any. :D


hi, i was in the same position, 2 weeks wnated to start at Leon, but a spanish girl told me go from Porto, it's more beautiful. i walked along to coast, in forests, hills, at the shore of the ocean, it was an experience to walk in the almost untouched nature!!!!! go for the portuguese!!!!
it is not crowded, in protugal you can sleep for free at the firestations, it's a tradition!!! so it's not true you won't find accomodations!!!! and in Spain, the albergues are very beautiful old stone houses, restored, with some modern touch: modern kitchens, bathrooms, libraries!!!! it's very nice!!!!! it does worth going from Porto!!!!!!!!


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