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Traveling Spain...do it before or after Camino?

mr_clutch31

New Member
Hi, a new user to this board. Buen Camino!

I'm planning for a walk this May-June. Since I plan to stay about 6 weeks in Spain, I'd like to travel around the country (Madrid, Andalucia, and Barcelona) while I'm there. I was wondering tho', what is a better idea - travel before or after the camino?

I first thought about traveling after b/c it would allow me to pack as light as possible for the walk, and i can shop some stuff (e.g. extra clothing, gifts) once i start traveling around. It also gives me a lot of flexibility on the camino schedule.

However, now I'm worried that after the walk I could be physically and emotionally drained so that the travel afterwards might not be enjoyable. If I travel before, It's not like I will be traveling for a month before the walk, so i don't think that can really drain me down. I'd be backpacking so perhaps 1-2 weeks of moderate walking could maybe help me get ready for the camino?

What would be your suggestions? I'm 24 male btw. Thanks
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I'd say after your camino mainly for 2 reasons: you can buy the odd souvenir and add it to your pack without then having to take it on the camino. Secondly you will be fitter at the end of the camino which should make travelling around easier. I suppose there is also the remote possibility that you can injure yourself (turn an ankle, catch some bug) if you travel around before the camino.
 

MermaidLilli

Active Member
How important is the Camino to you? If it is very important, then I would walk before, so that if there was an injury (like I had with my ankle) you would have some extra time to get well, continue and hopefully finish it.
And for the above reasons as well.
Lillian
 
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
As well, you will likely have picked up some basic Spanish and an acquaintance with local customs during your Camino. If you are fortunate, as you walk along you will have acquired Spanish friends who will likely insist that you visit, and take great delight in showing you their home turf.
 

jeff001

Active Member
You could also do it during. When you get to someplace like Leon that has good transportation connections you could take a break from the camino and do your other sightseeing. This might be especially helpful if you are having any physical problems that could use some time for healing. Doing your other traveling first takes away the option of taking time off for more than a day or 2.
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
Jeff, I don't think I could break the rythym of the camino by doing tourist sight-seeing in between walking. For me walking the camino is almost a suspension of real life - like stepping onto an alternate-life conveyor belt with a life and and a momentum of its own: not easy to get on and off and back on again!
I would use Ivar's storage facility, post your travel clothes ahead and collect them when you reach Santiago.
 

alipilgrim

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Listed in my signature
I'd say Camino first, that way you can take as long as you want to do the walk, have as many rest days or detour days (I second Rebekah's recommendation on visiting Silos as mentioned in another thread) and not feel rushed about making your return flight home.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Everyone seems to think Camino first- and I do too (and agree with Sil about doing it in one go)

Camino first - you won't be the same person at the end so your plans may change - and you never know, you may decide to walk back to where you started.

Anyway, if you toured first you wouldn't enjoy it because you would be thinking about the Camino all the time!
If you do get to Barcelona pop up to Figueras, about 20 miles north, and have a look at the Salvadore Dali museum - stunning!
 

Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones 2008, del Norte 2009, VdlP 2011, Ingles 2014, Camino de Madri 2015, Frances 2017
I will go with the flow on this one, and agree that the camino should come first. But I would suggest that if you can, allow a couple of days after you complete your camino before you get stuck into the tourism bit. I found that after 6 weeks on the road, I was physically and emotionally spent. My friend and I went to Madrid the day after we finished our camino, and went sight-seeing on the open-topped buses that go around the city. We promptly dropped off from tiredness, and wasted the 20 euros the tour cost us. Enjoy your time in Spain, however you do it.
Buen camino Alan
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Of course, after your Camino. Many reasons: because you can walk without thinking of returning home, and because while walking you can decide which part of Spain you prefer to visit after yuor Camino. And also because your luggage...

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

30daystosantiago

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 solo and 2013 with wife and toddler
My own experience was to travel afterwards. Upon reaching Santiago, I treated myself to the parador for a few days to rest my feet, I also took in Finisterre...then I headed to Alicante for a few days for some relaxation on the beach with a few good books. Afterwards and feeling somewhat recuperated, I traveled to Barcelona for several active days...finally, I spent the better part of 3 weeks driving and training it through France...it was great to reflect back on my Camino while exploring new places. Good luck!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Hola amigo!

I would do it after the pilgrimage, I think, first, you will have got to know Spain better and you will love our country even more!

Also, you will feel in a great condition after yur pilgrimage

And, finally, if you postpone starting your camino, you will only be thinking of when you will get to start walking while you are enjoying, say, Salamanca, Toledo, Barcelona or Granada!

Buen camino!
 

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