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Sarria to Santiago the last week in July

Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2014)
Frances (2017)
I have a friend who wants to walk for a week on Frances during the last week in July. She will be travelling from Malaga so logistically a flight to Santiago where she can leave her suitcase, bus to Sarria, then walk back would seem the easiest. However she is concerned about the number of pilgrims and availability of accommodation. Any comments or alternative routes would be appreciated. This is her first experience on the Camino.
 
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Camino Sanabres (The last part of the Via de la Plata).

 
The feast day of Santiago is 25 July. That tends to make the town and the Caminos especially busy for a few days either side. Not the ideal time to walk if you are concerned about numbers. The Camino Portugues is gaining in popularity in recent years and I would expect that to be busy too. There will probably be fewer people walking the Sanabres or the Camino Ingles but there are also fewer albergues and hostals on those routes so that might not be an unmixed blessing. Personally I am very reluctant to book accommodation in advance but if I had to walk any of the "final 100km" routes in that period then I would seriously consider making reservations well ahead of time.
 
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I have a friend who wants to walk for a week on Frances during the last week in July. She will be travelling from Malaga so logistically a flight to Santiago where she can leave her suitcase, bus to Sarria, then walk back would seem the easiest. However she is concerned about the number of pilgrims and availability of accommodation. Any comments or alternative routes would be appreciated. This is her first experience on the Camino.
Hola

There will be people on the road in July, but this is part of the Camino.
The most crowded stretch is between Saria and Santiago, as a lot of people would like to have a compostela.

She could consider to get herself to Pamplona and walk for a week.
Different experience, but much more complicated logistically.

It is a question/problem that is often raised - the Saria to Santiago and "I don't want a lot of people", but then she has to pick a month where there are less walking.
She could do a late autumn walk.

I guess what I am saying is you can't expect to walk for one week, get a compostela and be alone.
For that she is just about 30-40 years to late..

I hope this helps.

Buen Camino
Lettinggo
 
I guess what I am saying is you can't expect to walk for one week, get a compostela and be alone.
For that she is just about 30-40 years to late..
You certainly can't expect that in July or the rest of the ever-expanding "pilgrimage season". I walked the Frances in January this year. After Sarria I stayed in Xunta albergues in Barbadelo, Gonzar, Melide and Santa Irene. In Barbadelo and Santa Irene I had the albergues to myself. In Melide and Gonzar there was one other pilgrim. While walking during the day I rarely saw another pilgrim. It really was like going back 30 years but with far better accommodation! :)
 
I have a friend who wants to walk for a week on Frances during the last week in July. She will be travelling from Malaga so logistically a flight to Santiago where she can leave her suitcase, bus to Sarria, then walk back would seem the easiest. However she is concerned about the number of pilgrims and availability of accommodation. Any comments or alternative routes would be appreciated. This is her first experience on the Camino.
From Santiago she could get almost anywhere within the 100 km mark. Montfort de Lemos is the 100 for the Invierno or Ferrol for the Ingles?
 
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during the last week in July. She will be travelling from Malaga so logistically a flight to Santiago where she can leave her suitcase, bus to Sarria, then walk back would seem the easiest. However she is concerned about the number of pilgrims and availability of accommodation.
Just want to point out that this is actually two questions: What about the number of pilgrims and what about the availability of accommodation for me? This part of Galicia between Sarria and Santiago appears to have plenty of accommodation to meet high demand ...

Also, I would not overestimate the importance of getting a Compostela for those who walk in July from Sarria ... it is summer when people take their holidays; they want to walk in green Galicia; for a week or two; and end in the town of Santiago with all it has to offer ... my guess at least.
 
The first edition came out in 2003 and has become the go-to-guide for many pilgrims over the years. It is shipping with a Pilgrim Passport (Credential) from the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela.
Thanks for the replies. Just to explain a bit more, she will be in Spain
for 6 weeks study purposes. Her dates are fixed but she would like to experience some of the Camino with the view of returning to do more next year. Her concern with the number of people is in regards to accommodation, she is not wanting to be alone or to get the Compostela. It is mainly the logistics of travelling from Malaga and making an easy start on the Camino. I should also add that she is flying back to Australia from Santiago.
 
Her concern with the number of people is in regards to accommodation, she is not wanting to be alone or to get the Compostela.
One thing that I would try do if I were in her place: Start mid-week in Sarria. When you look at the known daily arrival numbers in Santiago (i.e. Compostela numbers) you can see how cyclic the pattern is: higher numbers on Thursdays, Fridays and/or weekends, and of course just before the apostle's feast day in July, and considerably fewer on the other weekdays. That's because so many start five days to one week earlier in Sarria on a Saturday or a Sunday.
 
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If she is walking alone, she probably will find a bed as long as she stays off the traditional stages or is prepared to walk on a bit if beds are tight. Lots of Spanish families and school groups during July.
 
I suggest walking from Tui on the Portuguese, Monforte de Lemos on the Invierno, Ourense on the Sanabres, or Ferrol on the Ingles.
  • All qualify for a Compostela, if you get at least two stamps per day in your credencial.
  • All have adequate accommodations available, especially in the summer months.
  • All will have fewer pilgrims on the way towards Santiago.
Of course, this later observation is a relative one. All the routes will be more crowded in July and August as that is the peak holiday months for most Europeans, especially those from Spain and Portugal.

I have avoided listing those 100 km routes that merge with the end of the Camino Frances. While this is traditionally the 'main' route most pilgrims walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port, it is best walked in the "hip" months of April-May and September-October. The hip months are after the Easter break which always sees a spike in pilgrims, as well as when schools and universities are in session. The latter consideration removes most students and academics from most all pilgrimage routes.

There are likely a myriad of other ways to accomplish this pilgrimage. I am sure someone else will add them here.

I hope this helps,

Tom
 
Hi Everyone... thanks for your comments, and thanks Trish for posting my question. Ill be flying into Santiago from Malaga on 22nd July... and I fly back to Australia on 2nd August. So I have that time to do a week walk on the camino. I will need to bus or train out to start my chosen walk. Then walk back into Santiago to collect my case, sleep the night and then fly home.

I realise I am coming in peak season. So I can prebook my accommodation in Santiago.
Im really excited to walk a week of the camino. Im just worried that in peak season about finding a bed each night, as I would rather not have to prebook as I dont know how far I can walk etc... I would really just love the flexibility of being able to walk along. So yes, I was thinking of doing an alternative route so I might be able to achieve this. I would love any suggestions for what section to walk for a week.
And, is there a bus or train I can to start? eg: Ferrol, Tui etc... these two routes certainly look like a good alternative option.
 

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Ideal pocket guides for during & after your Camino. Each weighs only 1.4 oz (40g)!
I suggest walking from Tui on the Portuguese, Monforte de Lemos on the Invierno, Ourense on the Sanabres, or Ferrol on the Ingles.
  • All qualify for a Compostela, if you get at least two stamps per day in your credencial.
  • All have adequate accommodations available, especially in the summer months.
  • All will have fewer pilgrims on the way towards Santiago.
Of course, this later observation is a relative one. All the routes will be more crowded in July and August as that is the peak holiday months for most Europeans, especially those from Spain and Portugal.

I have avoided listing those 100 km routes that merge with the end of the Camino Frances. While this is traditionally the 'main' route most pilgrims walk from Saint Jean Pied de Port, it is best walked in the "hip" months of April-May and September-October. The hip months are after the Easter break which always sees a spike in pilgrims, as well as when schools and universities are in session. The latter consideration removes most students and academics from most all pilgrimage routes.

There are likely a myriad of other ways to accomplish this pilgrimage. I am sure someone else will add them here.

I hope this helps,

Tom
thank you..
 
I would love any suggestions for what section to walk for a week.
And, is there a bus or train I can to start? eg: Ferrol, Tui etc... these two routes certainly look like a good alternative option.
From Santiago bus station, I took a bus to Valença, (a few years ago), you then walk from Valença to Tui - it is only a few kilometres. Just checking this minute, I see there is now an Alsa bus to Tui, apparently. It is a lovely walk. So is the walk from Ferrol - take a train from Santiago station. I am sure there are buses too. Far less crowded than the Sarria to Santiago section.
 
From Santiago bus station, I took a bus to Valença, (a few years ago), you then walk from Valença to Tui - it is only a few kilometres. Just checking this minute, I see there is now an Alsa bus to Tui, apparently. It is a lovely walk. So is the walk from Ferrol - take a train from Santiago station. I am sure there are buses too. Far less crowded than the Sarria to Santiago section.
thank you... both of these walk seem like a great option.... and I can pre book my bus ticket too.
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Thanks for the replies. Just to explain a bit more, she will be in Spain
for 6 weeks study purposes. Her dates are fixed but she would like to experience some of the Camino with the view of returning to do more next year. Her concern with the number of people is in regards to accommodation, she is not wanting to be alone or to get the Compostela. It is mainly the logistics of travelling from Malaga and making an easy start on the Camino. I should also add that she is flying back to Australia from Santiago.
I would suggest choosing somewhere between Pamplona and Astroga on the Camino Frances. This should provide a balance of not being seriously overcrowded, but also not lonely to. Gronze is an ideal resource for learning stages and distances.

She has 2 options regarding luggage, either the one you said that is leaving it in Santiago or sending it on day by day, therefore going straight from Malaga to the starting point of the walk.
 
If you plan to stay in mostly public albergues you may not have to worry too much as this post suggests that public and parochial albergues often do not fill up since they cannot be reserved:

Ironically, as more and more pilgrims have taken to booking ahead, the traditional albergues are finding they are not always as full as they used to be. If the muni or donativo is full (some towns have both), there will be private albergues and budget hotels nearby, or you can walk on to the next stop on the route. At least on the Francés there will be alternatives not too far away
 
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Does anyone one which bus goes from Santiago to Valenca/Tui on 23rd July? I have searched the few I could find online but I can't find any buses going that day yet.
I would love any links or bus company names that you know travel this day.
Or, any private shuttle companies I can pay to take me there.
Thank you in advance.
Do I need to prebook a bus... or if I turn up at the Santiago bus station I can get a ticket easy enough?
I would like to confirm though... that I bus actually goes on this day... I can't find that info yet.
 
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If you plan to stay in mostly public albergues you may not have to worry too much as this post suggests that public and parochial albergues often do not fill up since they cannot be reserved:
So when posts talk about 'pre-booking' they are not talking about the albergues.... is this correct?
 
Does anyone one which bus goes from Santiago to Valenca/Tui on 23rd July? I have searched the few I could find online but I can't find any buses going that day yet.
I would love any links or bus company names that you know travel this day.
Or, any private shuttle companies I can pay to take me there.
Thank you in advance.
Do I need to prebook a bus... or if I turn up at the Santiago bus station I can get a ticket easy enough?
I would like to confirm though... that I bus actually goes on this day... I can't find that info yet.
You may be too early for bus booking.
 
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So when posts talk about 'pre-booking' they are not talking about the albergues.... is this correct?
They are talking about private albergues, pensiones, hotels, etc. rather than municipal or parochial albergues which usually don't take reservations.
 
There's absolutely no way to predict pilgrim numbers at any given time. I've walked the traditionally busy season only to find myself alone on the path in some sections and the lone pilgrim in an albergue.
You gotta just jump into it feet first and do it. Not overthink. Besides, no room at the inn is an inconvenience, not life or death.
 
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There's absolutely no way to predict pilgrim numbers at any given time. I've walked the traditionally busy season only to find myself alone on the path in some sections and the lone pilgrim in an albergue.
You gotta just jump into it feet first and do it. Not overthink. Besides, no room at the inn is an inconvenience, not life or death.
ooooo thank you... yes I really just want to turn up and walk... and let the rest sort itself out without me overthinking it.... if I know Ill be okay finding a bed someway... Ill be good... I was just getting the impressing from these forums that the busy season is crazy and you might get stranded with no bed!
I really just want to be able to relax and walk and embrace the experience.
And, I know if I can't find a bed at once place... I might have to taxi to somewhere that has a bed! Which I can deal with if needed... yes - its not life or death! A part of the camino journey. Thank you for your comment...
 
ooooo thank you... yes I really just want to turn up and walk... and let the rest sort itself out without me overthinking it.... if I know Ill be okay finding a bed someway... Ill be good... I was just getting the impressing from these forums that the busy season is crazy and you might get stranded with no bed!
I really just want to be able to relax and walk and embrace the experience.
And, I know if I can't find a bed at once place... I might have to taxi to somewhere that has a bed! Which I can deal with if needed... yes - its not life or death! A part of the camino journey. Thank you for your comment...
There is a real freedom to allowing the day to unfold before you.
 
ooooo thank you... yes I really just want to turn up and walk... and let the rest sort itself out without me overthinking it.... if I know Ill be okay finding a bed someway... Ill be good... I was just getting the impressing from these forums that the busy season is crazy and you might get stranded with no bed!
I really just want to be able to relax and walk and embrace the experience.
And, I know if I can't find a bed at once place... I might have to taxi to somewhere that has a bed! Which I can deal with if needed... yes - its not life or death! A part of the camino journey. Thank you for your comment...
Also there's nothing wrong with making a reservation at a private albergue if it does appear as though you will need to.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
Does anyone one which bus goes from Santiago to Valenca/Tui on 23rd July? I have searched the few I could find online but I can't find any buses going that day yet.
I would love any links or bus company names that you know travel this day.
Or, any private shuttle companies I can pay to take me there.
Thank you in advance.
Do I need to prebook a bus... or if I turn up at the Santiago bus station I can get a ticket easy enough?
I would like to confirm though... that I bus actually goes on this day... I can't find that info yet.
From memory, I think it was Alsa. Have a look at http://rome2rio.com/
If you are in Santiago the day before, walk to the bus station (next to the railway station), the people there are very helpful And you can buy your ticket ahead.
 

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