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Salamanca to Santiago, please comment

2020 Camino Guides

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
I am considering walking from Salamanca to Santiago de Compostela in spring 2020 and have just started to try and figure out what stages could work for me. I am most comfortable walking around 20 km per day.
I used godesalco.com for info on distances and availability of places to stay. As I will be on a budget, I would prefer to stay at albergues rather than hotels or pensiones.

Could those of you who have walked that stretch please have a look at my stages and comment if there is anything I overlooked (places not to be missed, places to avoid, especially difficult stages)?

As profile maps sometimes seem to distort reality depending on proportion, I would like to know how difficult you felt this camino to be in comparison to stages on the camino francés (the only one I have walked so far). Are there many steep ascents or descents, comparable to SJPP to Orisson or Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca?

My time frame for this camino will be anywhere between March 25 and May 5, 2020. Considering that April 12 will be Easter Sunday, how would you schedule this walk in order to avoid typical startig points on typical starting dates?
Would you expect most Easter walkers to start in Ourense to cover the minimum 100 km for their Compostela, or would Salamanca and Zamora also be busy with pilgrims starting their journey?

Thank you, peregrinos!

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 19.20.46.png
 

SioCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2015, CPo 2016, VDLP[Sev-Các] 2017, VDLP[Các-Sal] 2018
Hi there
I haven’t walked at Easter time as try to avoid it. But considering that Zamora has a very famous Semana Santa festival I would probably try to avoid being there for Easter (unless you had accommodation booked well in advance). Can’t speak for other locations.
I usually copy my godesalco output into excel and then play around with dates e.g. trying to avoid typically starting points on Fridays and Saturdays.
Glancing at your planned itinerary nothing seems to jump out- I think I walked Asturianos to Requejo which was a long day but I made it longer by sightseeing in Puebla before continuing to Requejo. It was fine though I probably regretting climbing up the tower at the castillo!!!! Perhaps others would recommend staying in Puebla though as it is a very historic town.
Depending on the numbers walking at the same time you might want to keep your options open. Walking this stretch in May this year I rarely booked ahead - only when I had a very long day planned or wanted to treat myself to a room rather than a bunk. But I didn’t have anything booked before starting other that my arrival night.

Hope this is of help and best wishes - I loved this camino. Pretty challenging in parts (for me coming over the mountains between Puebla and Laza as I had a few longer days - but it was lovely.

Buen camino
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
Hi there
I haven’t walked at Easter time as try to avoid it. But considering that Zamora has a very famous Semana Santa festival I would probably try to avoid being there for Easter (unless you had accommodation booked well in advance). Can’t speak for other locations.
I usually copy my godesalco output into excel and then play around with dates e.g. trying to avoid typically starting points on Fridays and Saturdays.
Glancing at your planned itinerary nothing seems to jump out- I think I walked Asturianos to Requejo which was a long day but I made it longer by sightseeing in Puebla before continuing to Requejo. It was fine though I probably regretting climbing up the tower at the castillo!!!! Perhaps others would recommend staying in Puebla though as it is a very historic town.
Depending on the numbers walking at the same time you might want to keep your options open. Walking this stretch in May this year I rarely booked ahead - only when I had a very long day planned or wanted to treat myself to a room rather than a bunk. But I didn’t have anything booked before starting other that my arrival night.

Hope this is of help and best wishes - I loved this camino. Pretty challenging in parts (for me coming over the mountains between Puebla and Laza as I had a few longer days - but it was lovely.

Buen camino
Thank you very much for taking the time to comment! Good to know about the Zamora festivities. After reading through some earlier posts on the forum where most agreed the walk from Salamanca to Zamora was not so great, I might rather start in Zamora (before the start of Semana Santa) and maybe walk on to Finisterre after Santiago, instead. I'll have a closer look at Puebla and the things to see there, thanks for bringing it to my attention. :)
 

jimmyc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
I am considering walking from Salamanca to Santiago de Compostela in spring 2020 and have just started to try and figure out what stages could work for me. I am most comfortable walking around 20 km per day.
I used godesalco.com for info on distances and availability of places to stay. As I will be on a budget, I would prefer to stay at albergues rather than hotels or pensiones.

Could those of you who have walked that stretch please have a look at my stages and comment if there is anything I overlooked (places not to be missed, places to avoid, especially difficult stages)?

As profile maps sometimes seem to distort reality depending on proportion, I would like to know how difficult you felt this camino to be in comparison to stages on the camino francés (the only one I have walked so far). Are there many steep ascents or descents, comparable to SJPP to Orisson or Cruz de Ferro to Molinaseca?

My time frame for this camino will be anywhere between March 25 and May 5, 2020. Considering that April 12 will be Easter Sunday, how would you schedule this walk in order to avoid typical startig points on typical starting dates?
Would you expect most Easter walkers to start in Ourense to cover the minimum 100 km for their Compostela, or would Salamanca and Zamora also be busy with pilgrims starting their journey?

Thank you, peregrinos!

View attachment 65714
I have just returned from walking these exact same legs but from Granje de Moreruela. I am almost 80 and did not find the paths too difficult. Between Granje de Moreruela and Tabara there is an alternative route once you cross the river. The river path is very tough for the first few hundred meters but you can keep to the road if you wish. The albergue at Villar de Farfon is wonderful but she only has four beds. I would suggest that you ring her in advance to ensure that you reserve a bed.
The most difficult days walk is from Lubian to la Gudina with rough walking paths and much up and down..
There is a steep long ascent between Orense and Cea and it is on a busy road so take your time and be careful of the traffic.
If you stay at the albergue in Outeira make sure you carry food as there is no restaurant nearby.
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
I have just returned from walking these exact same legs but from Granje de Moreruela. I am almost 80 and did not find the paths too difficult. Between Granje de Moreruela and Tabara there is an alternative route once you cross the river. The river path is very tough for the first few hundred meters but you can keep to the road if you wish. The albergue at Villar de Farfon is wonderful but she only has four beds. I would suggest that you ring her in advance to ensure that you reserve a bed.
The most difficult days walk is from Lubian to la Gudina with rough walking paths and much up and down..
There is a steep long ascent between Orense and Cea and it is on a busy road so take your time and be careful of the traffic.
If you stay at the albergue in Outeira make sure you carry food as there is no restaurant nearby.
Thank you so much for those detailed observations, Jimmy. I just copied them into my "next camino" folder. Would I have to buy food in Bandeira to carry on to Outeira, or is there any shop in between?
 

jimmyc

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Thank you so much for those detailed observations, Jimmy. I just copied them into my "next camino" folder. Would I have to buy food in Bandeira to carry on to Outeira, or is there any shop in between?
You can buy food at the supermarket in Ponte Ulla which is about 7kms before Outeiro.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Or stay in Ponte Ulla. It's a nice place with several options for sleeping and eating - and that means you walk up the not insignificant hill in the morning, rather than the afternoon.

But if you do stay in Outeiro, there's a big grocery store in Ponte Ulla so you can stock up.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Mozarabe Almeria (2017)
Cherhill to Canterbury - Pilgrims' Way (2018)
Via Francigena (2019)
Your first two days are longer than your ideal of 20km. Furthermore, those stages are not picturesque - I find that the kilometers "weigh more" when the way is less pleasant. My preference is to go easy and avoid injury at the start - Once you're in the rhythm of the Camino you can choose to adjust your plan for more aggressive stages later.

If your ideal is 20km, you might want to consider taking four days for Salamanca - Zamora to give yourself an easier ramp up:

Salamanca to Calzada (16km)
Calzada to Cubo (22km)
Cubo to Villanueva (13.5km)
Villanueva to Zamora (19km)

In May next year, the Albergue at Albergueria should be open again (between Laza and Villar de Barrio), which may offer you some other options for stages 13 to 17 in your plan.

For the last night in Outeiro - As others have mentioned, you could stay in Ponte Ulla, or buy some groceries in Ponte Ulla and stay in Outeiro. A third option is to walk three more kilometers and stay in Deseiro-Sergude. There you have a private albergue next to a restaurant and the shortest possible final stage to Santiago.
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
Your first two days are longer than your ideal of 20km. Furthermore, those stages are not picturesque - I find that the kilometers "weigh more" when the way is less pleasant. My preference is to go easy and avoid injury at the start - Once you're in the rhythm of the Camino you can choose to adjust your plan for more aggressive stages later.

If your ideal is 20km, you might want to consider taking four days for Salamanca - Zamora to give yourself an easier ramp up:

Salamanca to Calzada (16km)
Calzada to Cubo (22km)
Cubo to Villanueva (13.5km)
Villanueva to Zamora (19km)

In May next year, the Albergue at Albergueria should be open again (between Laza and Villar de Barrio), which may offer you some other options for stages 13 to 17 in your plan.

For the last night in Outeiro - As others have mentioned, you could stay in Ponte Ulla, or buy some groceries in Ponte Ulla and stay in Outeiro. A third option is to walk three more kilometers and stay in Deseiro-Sergude. There you have a private albergue next to a restaurant and the shortest possible final stage to Santiago.
Thanks a lot for your suggestions, Raggy!
The slow start from Salamanca to Zamora sounds like a good idea, although I might skip that part altogether and walk on to Finisterra after reaching Santiago, instead.
Good to know there is not only an albergue, but also a restaurant at Deseiro-Sergude! That seems to be a great alternative to staying in Outeiro and having to carry food. Thanks again!
 

Quijote141

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April (2017) and April (2018)
April (2019)
Yoyo, thanks for asking question. Am planning same route to begin after Easter.
 

Beverleycamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First one march 2020
I am planing this same route in February 2020 with my 75 year old mother. I’m a bit nervous of the weather in February but it’s the best time for us. Have a great time and I will let you know how I get on x
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am following this thread as the Vdlp is tucked in my mind, preferably to walk it in two separate chunks of time. A thousand kilometers is a bit too long for me in one go.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks a lot for your suggestions, Raggy!
The slow start from Salamanca to Zamora sounds like a good idea, although I might skip that part altogether and walk on to Finisterra after reaching Santiago, instead.
Good to know there is not only an albergue, but also a restaurant at Deseiro-Sergude! That seems to be a great alternative to staying in Outeiro and having to carry food. Thanks again!
Yes, those kms from Salamanca to Zamora are not among the Vdlp’s most inspirational. BUT.. Salamanca itself is one of Spain’s true gems. I cannot imagine being 60 kms from Salamanca and not spending some time there, but of course every camino presents at least a few agonizing choices.

I like @Raggy’s suggestions. When I walked, I collapsed his four day option into three. Years ago, I spent a night in the cute little hobbit house albergue in Calzada de Valdunciel. Since that’s such a short day, it gives you extra hours in Salamanca in the morning if you wish. There is a very good highway restaurant about a km from the village, with excellent menús del día, at least that was the case years ago.

The second day I walked to Villanueva del Campeán — it’s a bigger town,, and gronze shows it was 33 km, but it really didn’t feel like that many. I walk long stages now and love it, but back then I was not generally doing stages over 30. Being totally flat may have something to do with it. I remember very nice people in Villanueva and plenty of services.

And then having a very short day into Zamora the next day is also a great opportunity to add some hours for visiting that wonderful city. 26 Romanesque churches, a well-restored castle, cathedral with tapestries and many other jewels in the museum, the river Duero, a beautiful graceful 19th century neighborhood. It is really one of my favorite small cities in Spain.

But the walk from Santiago to Finisterre and Muxia is also oh so nice, so I am afraid you are just going to have to make some hard choices!
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
If you are walking during Semana Santa 2020, I strongly suggest you book at least the major cities NOW, not later. I've booked my entire VDLP from Zafra to Astorga where it was allowed and was shocked to find many places already full. Just sayin'
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
I am planing this same route in February 2020 with my 75 year old mother. I’m a bit nervous of the weather in February but it’s the best time for us. Have a great time and I will let you know how I get on x
Have a great camino, @Beverleycamino, what a beautiful project to have with your mother! Please do let us know how everything works out for you!
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
Yes, those kms from Salamanca to Zamora are not among the Vdlp’s most inspirational. BUT.. Salamanca itself is one of Spain’s true gems. I cannot imagine being 60 kms from Salamanca and not spending some time there, but of course every camino presents at least a few agonizing choices.

I like @Raggy’s suggestions. When I walked, I collapsed his four day option into three. Years ago, I spent a night in the cute little hobbit house albergue in Calzada de Valdunciel. Since that’s such a short day, it gives you extra hours in Salamanca in the morning if you wish. There is a very good highway restaurant about a km from the village, with excellent menús del día, at least that was the case years ago.

The second day I walked to Villanueva del Campeán — it’s a bigger town,, and gronze shows it was 33 km, but it really didn’t feel like that many. I walk long stages now and love it, but back then I was not generally doing stages over 30. Being totally flat may have something to do with it. I remember very nice people in Villanueva and plenty of services.

And then having a very short day into Zamora the next day is also a great opportunity to add some hours for visiting that wonderful city. 26 Romanesque churches, a well-restored castle, cathedral with tapestries and many other jewels in the museum, the river Duero, a beautiful graceful 19th century neighborhood. It is really one of my favorite small cities in Spain.

But the walk from Santiago to Finisterre and Muxia is also oh so nice, so I am afraid you are just going to have to make some hard choices!
Thank you very much for responding in so much detail, @peregrina2000 . I copied your comments for future reference. As some committments have come up for april, I'll probably have to move my camino to june 2020. Then, however I might have a few more days at my disposal, so starting in Salamanca and still getting all the way to Fisterra/Muxia seems doable :D, although I am not a 30km walker like you. I'm looking forward to seeing all those amazing places you mentioned.
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
If you are walking during Semana Santa 2020, I strongly suggest you book at least the major cities NOW, not later. I've booked my entire VDLP from Zafra to Astorga where it was allowed and was shocked to find many places already full. Just sayin'
Thank you, @Anniesantiago ! Although I will have to move my camino plans away from Semana Santa to june, I will think about booking a few places as soon as my dates are set.
 

Yoyo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017: CF 800 km
2019: CF 180 km
I am following this thread as the Vdlp is tucked in my mind, preferably to walk it in two separate chunks of time. A thousand kilometers is a bit too long for me in one go.
As much as I would like to attempt it, doing a 1000 km camino is not possible for me right now, either. So the Sanabrés it will be, with just a few extra km on the VdlP, starting in Salamanca.
Happy planning for your "two chunks camino", @Camino Chrissy!
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
The Sanabrés is delicious, it is Galicia at it´s best, in my opinion. No matter how uphill it is, it is always spectacular! This I think is the Camino VdlP keeping a bit of the best to the last and it reminded me what a Camino is truly about. Enjoy and buen camino x
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
The Sanabrés is delicious, it is Galicia at it´s best, in my opinion. No matter how uphill it is, it is always spectacular! This I think is the Camino VdlP keeping a bit of the best to the last and it reminded me what a Camino is truly about. Enjoy and buen camino x
Don't wish to derail this thread, but just wanted to say that anyone who expresses these opinions about the Sanabrés is going to love the Invierno, at least so long as you like solitary walking. Lainey, I saw you made a comment that the Invierno was high on you list, this is just to give my own opinion that you are headed in the right direction!
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Laurie what great advice My plan for my walk next September is the Mendocino, the Madrid (from Guadalajera) and then the Invierno and I have never been so excited!
Elaine
 

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