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Trying to work out the length of my camino for flights

stevoport

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.

Ive been doing a lot of research on how many days it takes to walk this route and im quite nervous about booking flights because a lot of the information i am gathering is giving me different days it takes to complete the full journey ( i understand everyone of course does it at their own pace). I would like to take a few rest days, again, im really unsure as to how many i would need and of course i would like to take a break in santiago before i return to Ireland.

Any help, suggestions and information would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Stephen
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Stephen, regardless of how fit you are, I think that at a minimum the 33 days to do actual walking, rather arbitrarily proposed by Brierley, will ensure that you stop in the must-see places. For 1000 years, the pilgrimage has been included in the idea of a well-educated person’s "grand tour” of Europe... the sites that have become part of the UNESCO a world heritage portfolio.
Yes, you could do it faster.... perhaps in 10-14 days by bike... but you will have an experience akin to “If it is Tuesday, it must be Belgium”. Only a few years later, you will not know what you saw or where you were.
If you are travelling from N. America, I’d give yourself 42 days if possible. 3 days on each side of the walking to do the flying and ground transit. And a few rest days for places like Burgos, Legrono and Astorga. Others might suggest a rest in Leon and Pamplona too.
Many say that only the destination matters, but were that true the Cathedral and hospital system, the museum and university system that arose in the medieval period would not rest along the routes that take one from Canterbury to Jerusalem, Jerusalem to Santiago, and all points of Iberia to Santiago.
Turning 40 is a big deal.... and I think you will not regret it if you grant it as much time as you possibly can. I recognize that some travellers cannot get that much time away. If you are limited by a matter of a few weeks, then I would recommend starting further along the route, for you have already visited SJPdP.
Buen Camino
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
St John Brierley lays out a 33 day journey, reputedly one day for each year the Christ was on Earth. One Oscar Pasarin is recorded as having completed the route in 6 days 14 hours and 49 minutes. I've walked it in 28 days and taken 40.

Pick a number between 30 & 40, add 5 rest/sick days, at least one full day in Santiago, perhaps 5 days to Finistere and the bus back.

If you are flying from/to Ireland or the UK then book your return flight maybe a week in advance from wherever on the Camino when you know you will be done. If you end up "stuck" in Santiago for an extra day or two, well never mind ;)

All this depends of course on international travel and walking the Camino being possible in August. Frankly IMO that is highly unlikely.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
St John Brierley lays out a 33 day journey, reputedly one day for each year the Christ was on Earth.

Yeah, when I said “arbitrary” what I meant was that he could still have chosen any number of other measures devoted to the recognition of the Christ and made a rationale for it. I choose to focus on the arbitrary bit because in following too closely the “one must use 33 days” advice, then one risks riding the Disney version of Camino.
Post pandemic, that Disney part might be a bit muted..... one can hope.
:)
 

Rowena

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances(2015, 2018) Le Puy-SJPP(2016) Geneva Way(2017) Portugués Muxia Fisterra(2019) Invierno(2021)
In 2015 I walked from SJPP to Santiago in 33 days, with no rest days. At that time I was 66 years old. In 2018 I walked the Camino Frances a second time, starting in Pamplona, cutting out the first three days. I walked for 33 days then too, and I took a few rest half days so that I could visit places of interest, but I always wanted to walk on again the next day. Oh, and both times I took the bus in and out of Leon, something I now regret. Next time I’ll walk that part too. I’m hoping the pandemic ends while I’m still capable!
You’re young and fit, so it really depends on how quickly you want to arrive, or whether you want to explore along the way. If you arrive in Santiago ahead of schedule, you can always walk out to Finisterre.
My guidebook breaks the walk into 33 stages, but there are plenty of options for stopping at places in between. Even if you don’t take the guidebook with you, I have found it very useful for the planning part of the journey.
Good luck and Buen Camino,
Rowena
 
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stevoport

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Hi Folks,

Thanks so much for the replies i really appreicate it. Im currently studying Art History in University part time, so Faye, you've made some really interesting points, thank you.

I was just working out dates there, I either have (if i book my flights now and plan ahead) 37 or 39 days from the day I start walking in StJdP until my flight leaves from Santiago.

I ant the challenge, but being a history, architeture and art lover and academic on the subject it sounds like there will be a wealth of sights for me to see.

Tincatinker.... Do you really think there will be no Camino this year? I would presume (as the EU are looking at it) about 75% of the population should be vacinatted by september. Also another year of closing the hospitality industry would be absolutely detremental to it and they may not survive a second year under lock down conditions.

Just to note, im travelling from Ireland :)
 

RefugeInsomniac

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2023
This online planner (https://godesalco.com/plan/frances) may help you develop a daily stage outline, based on Km per-day you find comfortable. Again, used as a planning tool, not necessarily a set-guide. Choose your Start and End Locations, then go to the next page to develop your daily stages. I tend to enjoy a 20 to 30+/- km day, pending all the variables of location, and how I'm feeling; too many days above 30km tends to wear the old bones down. IMO, 33+ days should suffice. Not sure if August will be open, but if so, enjoy your Camino!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2015); Aragones-Frances (2016); VdlP-Sanabres (2017); Madrid-Frances-Invierno (2019)Levante
@stevoport
It is difficult to decide how you will want to do something that you have never done before. In my opinion, there are two issues that you need to consider: How far will you want to walk in a day? How much time will you want to take along the Way to stop for a rest or to spend more time visiting the sights?
Do you have any experience doing day-long walks? If not, I suggest that you try it out. Only your body can determine what a comfortable pace is for you. Preferably, your day-long walks should be with a pack loaded with what you initially consider essentials for the walk. You will learn from that.
For my first camino, I planned for a day off every week, then discovered that I didn't want days off. I ended up with a massive amount of time when I had arrived in Santiago and was ready to return home. But that was definitely preferable to having to push myself or leave out part of the walk, in order to get my flight home to western Canada.
As for how much time you want to spend seeing the sights as you proceed along the camino, you have shared above your interests in history and architecture. I strongly suggest that you buy a copy of The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: the Complete Cultural Handbook. by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, and dive in. You will love it, and can get an online copy to take with you on your phone. There is a lot of reading in it, plenty to keep you busy until your departure. You will have a wonderful time. Buen camino.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
First one in 1977 by train. Many since then by foot. Next one ASAP.
Hi Folks,

Thanks so much for the replies i really appreicate it. Im currently studying Art History in University part time, so Faye, you've made some really interesting points, thank you.

I was just working out dates there, I either have (if i book my flights now and plan ahead) 37 or 39 days from the day I start walking in StJdP until my flight leaves from Santiago.

I ant the challenge, but being a history, architeture and art lover and academic on the subject it sounds like there will be a wealth of sights for me to see.

Tincatinker.... Do you really think there will be no Camino this year? I would presume (as the EU are looking at it) about 75% of the population should be vacinatted by september. Also another year of closing the hospitality industry would be absolutely detremental to it and they may not survive a second year under lock down conditions.

Just to note, im travelling from Ireland :)
If you're an art history student and a lover of architecture then you can't possibly walk the Frances in 33 days and finish feeling satisfied. There's simply too much to see, to appreciate, to savor! You'll find yourself constantly wanting to linger..... Why, you could easily spend three days each in Burgos and Leon, and still not see everything! The biggest mistake you can make on the Frances is to walk too fast!

Get yourself copies of Gitlitz & Davidson (as per @Albertagirl) and Georgiana King - walk as slowly as you possibly can -- and then you'll finish up thinking that you've done something grand.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
@stevoport
It is difficult to decide how you will want to do something that you have never done before. In my opinion, there are two issues that you need to consider: How far will you want to walk in a day? How much time will you want to take along the Way to stop for a rest or to spend more time visiting the sights?
Do you have any experience doing day-long walks? If not, I suggest that you try it out. Only your body can determine what a comfortable pace is for you. Preferably, your day-long walks should be with a pack loaded with what you initially consider essentials for the walk. You will learn from that.
For my first camino, I planned for a day off every week, then discovered that I didn't want days off. I ended up with a massive amount of time when I had arrived in Santiago and was ready to return home. But that was definitely preferable to having to push myself or leave out part of the walk, in order to get my flight home to western Canada.
As for how much time you want to spend seeing the sights as you proceed along the camino, you have shared above your interests in history and architecture. I strongly suggest that you buy a copy of The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: the Complete Cultural Handbook. by David M. Gitlitz and Linda Kay Davidson, and dive in. You will love it, and can get an online copy to take with you on your phone. There is a lot of reading in it, plenty to keep you busy until your departure. You will have a wonderful time. Buen camino.
agree with Alberta girl as I'm reading that book :) I was only 65 when I first started in 2003 and promptly abandoned the Brierly stages! Having time on my hands enables me to go as slow as I please which is now how I like it :) The architecture is fantastic and next time round I intend to actually see it . It, like the history, is all around you and is part of the story. Not to be missed, says me.

Buen camino

Samarkand.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Hi Folks,

Thanks so much for the replies i really appreicate it. Im currently studying Art History in University part time, so Faye, you've made some really interesting points, thank you.

I was just working out dates there, I either have (if i book my flights now and plan ahead) 37 or 39 days from the day I start walking in StJdP until my flight leaves from Santiago.

I ant the challenge, but being a history, architeture and art lover and academic on the subject it sounds like there will be a wealth of sights for me to see.

Tincatinker.... Do you really think there will be no Camino this year? I would presume (as the EU are looking at it) about 75% of the population should be vacinatted by september. Also another year of closing the hospitality industry would be absolutely detremental to it and they may not survive a second year under lock down conditions.

Just to note, im travelling from Ireland :)

Wonderful!! I recommend that you acquire the book Miracle Cures by Robert A. Scott. He's a medical sociologist, but the book is part history of medicine, part history of pilgrimage, and largely political economy of faith, of healing and of the pilgrim routes in Europe.

For what it's worth -- flaws in the history and all (larlgey because he relies on local narratives about which he is little over-credulous), I recommend James Michener's Iberia. He's not an art historian and you might quarrel with his assessments at many points, but it's a really great lark. I read it aloud to my Spouse at night, and we often end up crying, "Huzzah!" or "Tell us how you really fell, Michener!" and chase our exclamations with a bit of Bierzo or Verdejo...

Buen Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
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
If we're going to be artbitrary, I would go for 40 days. I have done it in 32 (my first Camino) and that was a mistake-- about a fifth of my Camino was spent being frazzled by trying to keep to my schedule, and I could barely notice all around me. This was one of my motivators for returning. For a major-birthday Camino, I would suggest more days than fewer.

Along with perhaps a few days around Santiago to look at the city, check out the churches, and hang with other pilgrims you have met along the way-- do not omit this bit-- I have come to suggest that post-pilgrimage people take a decompression week, possibly in a village along the northern coast or in Galicia or Portugal, or slow-motion to Muxia. Download Gitlitz and Davidson on to your telephone-- it is one of my bedside books. Other posters have given you some very helpful advice, and I wish I had known these things years ago.

Perhaps, then, set aside if you can, seven weeks. After all, you're only hitting 40 once. But you can easily shift its commemoration to a more practical time.

But.... a warning.... you might have to do it in 2022. We're not out of the pandemic woods at all and we're not likely to have a clear idea for some months yet. Pay close attention to the scientists and the Spanish and provincial authorities before you book anything. Our legitimate celebratory needs come second these days.
 
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Arn

Veteran Member
Based on your professional/interest bent, the 33-44 days is a good number. Look at all the resources offered above, pick out the top "specific" locations/sights you want to visit and immerse. Take a day, or two, or more at each and use the in between days to walk at a less leisurely pace.
Buen Camino
Arn
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.
...

Knowing a little more about your interests now, I will say that Burgos is a must-stay-over town... not only for the cathedral, but for the spectacular museum of human evolution. ...and that leads me to try to persuade you to arrive early enough to Atapuerca to be able to visit the archeological site that supplies the artifacts and geological data to the Burgos museum.

Buen Camino
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.

Ive been doing a lot of research on how many days it takes to walk this route and im quite nervous about booking flights because a lot of the information i am gathering is giving me different days it takes to complete the full journey ( i understand everyone of course does it at their own pace). I would like to take a few rest days, again, im really unsure as to how many i would need and of course i would like to take a break in santiago before i return to Ireland.

Any help, suggestions and information would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Stephen
What these others have said, to start with. We budgeted around 45 days our first time and had maybe 11 extra at the end. We took the train and bus to Salamanca and then to Fisterra and then to Madrid to fly home to the US. I think 35 is a better number of days to plan for walking, if you get there in 33 you are fine. We did take rest days in Pamplona, Burgos, and Leon...that last because we got there on Sunday and needed to mail something next day. We also took rest days in Santiago.

The phenomenon of the "Camino Family" functions as a substitute for what, if you were in Scouting in your youth, you used to call the "buddy system." As you're apparently walking solo, you will probably want to think the whole idea over. Many people seem to find it very emotionally touching, apart from the practical element that it's harder to get lost by missing the painted arrow when there are two or three sets of eyes on the lookout.

DH and I walk as buddies, it suits us, occasionally we walk along with another pilgrim for a little while and have met many very interesting people that way.

You sound like you want to start in mid to late August, which is the hot season. It is often a difficult thing for the Irish, and other northern Europe folks, to walk in the heat. (I'm from latitude 27.5N so have the opposite difficulty.) You might want to consider the matter of layers, and having the warm weather shirt not be a dark color. You may want to think on your hydration setup. We carried water bottles from the store, refilled at fountains on the way, washing every day, and at the end of the week picked up a new one, tossed the old one in the trash can and carried on. Many other people have good results with either the permanent rigid plastic ones or the water bladder inside of their packs. The last thing I will mention is that I have never regretted having poles. You can look at the Equipment section of this site for many opinions on these and other gear matters.

Buen Camino.
 

John H.

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Hope things are open for you at that time. You are younger and likely more fit than I was for my 1st Camino but age and fitness are not the only important factors. Daily distance can be a function of fitness level, how well you prepare your body and care for your feet, pack weight, state of mind, personality and preferences. I did it in 26 days and loved it. And yes I did stop to smell the roses too. Some will say that is too fast, but many people I met on the CF and on this forum have done it in 25-28 days and loved it. I didn't feel the need for a rest day until I arrived at SdC. This also gave me enough spare days to walk to Finisterre & Muxia. Next time I would try to plan 28 days vs. 26, and then continue to the coast. Don't be too rigid about planning your specific daily distances now. Plan this each night for the following day. Don't feel the need to follow the guidebooks for the daily distances. You can almost always go 5-10 kms further or shorter and also find great accommodation - often better and less busy. That is the beauty of the Camino France.

To prepare your body, you might want to do a lot of walking that includes really long hill stretches which can strengthen your legs. To prepare your feet, I recommend a lot of pavement walking which will toughen-up the skin, show you where blisters might show-up and tell you if you have the best footwear and size. Consider going up a 1/2 size. Buen Camino!
 
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Tim Floyd

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
TDMB 2016
Cotswold Way 2018
Portugues 2021
@stevoport
You are getting a lot of good advice here, and something that should be pretty obvious by now is that everyone has a different view based on their own experiences. All are correct and valid. That is the beauty of the Camino - it is different for everyone. Which also means it is hard to give advice.

When people ask me I tell them what I experienced. I budgeted 45 days. We finished in 40, which was great because we did a few extra days in Santiago then flew to London for a few days before our return home. We took it fairly slow - tried to average about 12 miles a day. Some were longer, some were shorter. I liked stopping to see the small towns and enjoy the sites along the way, so we did not push hard at all. We did take some rest days in the big places, but in hindsight I would have rather taken them in some of the smaller towns - Navarette, Astorgia, Arcos - which is what I will do next time. Brierley was my most valuable resource for information, but I ignored his segments almost from the beginning and stayed a lot at intermediary locations.

I will tell you what I tell everyone who asks. Budget more time than you probably need because it is easy to kill extra time seeing great things, but it is terrible to have to hurry and push to meet a tight deadline. Listen to your body and rest when you need it. Let it happen and enjoy some spontaneity. You are younger than me so you can probably go faster easily, but you might meet up with a great group of Camino friends who will move a little slower and you will want to stay with them. The people you meet on the Camino are some of the best things about it.

I envy you and wish I could get there this year again. It will probably be 2022 for my return. Wish you well in your adventure.
 

CWBuff

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
@stevoport
Hi and welcome
All the good advise - I guess you still have to do some calculation and thinking
Not touching COVID (as we all know currently its a no-g- to all of us Yanks and nobody knows when that may change and no speculation on the topic will help - heck there are gazillion posts on this Forum on the topic), thus....
I am still hopeful for my 1st Camino which is slotted for the end of May. Interestingly enough I am also planning to celebrate my birthday (62nd) while at it (only if all goes according to the plan - it will be on the Finisterre leg)....
Anyways - I am allotting 37 total days SJPdP --> SdC with an idea of 3 "play hookie" days sandwiched into that number (thus 34 walking days). the last day is more or less couple of hours in the morning (again if all is well then its 9 km Vilamaior - Santiago de Compostela)
I plan to hang around in SdC for 1 more extra day and do Finisterre in 4 more.... and then fly back home the following day
hence my calculation is 43 days from stepping off (hopefully onto Napoleon Route) in SjPdP until I get on the plane (SdC or A Coruna - still working out the details...)
roughly 6 weeks total time (I was Blessed with my CEO being gracious enough to give me so much time to be absent)
I have a O\W plane PHL-CdG on AerLingus via Dublin (needless to say keeping my fingers X-ed) and because some details are still in the works and as stated COVID is still a big part of everything I am not committing to the return leg just yet... but I have a pretty darn good idea on which date i want to be flying

Personal preferences and abilities of course differ so, figure out what works best for ya. I would tent to agree with folks that say approximate about 40 days (and 40 nights....LOL) If you arrive earlier - well... enjoy the town
Good Luck and Buen Camino!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I will tell you what I tell everyone who asks. Budget more time than you probably need because it is easy to kill extra time seeing great things, but it is terrible to have to hurry and push to meet a tight deadline.
THIS
There are tons of places that you can visit in Spain if you have extra time after your Camino. Much better to have extra time than be under a time crunch.
 

Donna Sch

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
VdLP-Sanabres-Fisterra (Summer 2015); Levante-Invierno (Feb/Mar 2019);
England Camino routes ?2024
There is nothing worse than feeling rushed. For the first week I try to keep distances under 20km unless there is no choice just to let the body settle in. After that I assume I need to do between 18-25km depending on the route. For the VDLP I had to average 22km per day. But it wasn't long before 30km was easy and 40km was long but okay.
Always underestimate and build in rest days. I tend to research everything so I know what I want to see along the way. (And that is half the fun of planning caminos.) If you have extra time you have the freedom to stay put or visit other things when you finish.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Year of past OR future Camino
"Portuguese Camino"
"Slow Camino"
"The First Pilgrim"
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I used AAA Travel to make my airline reservations as well as to purchase trip insurance. I flew Jet Blue from Portland Maine to JFK on February 29, leaving at 12:35 p.m. and landing at 1:52, which cost $119 one way.

The flight from JFK to Madrid was Iberia 6250 on an Airbus A 330-300 which departed New York at 5:35 p.m. and landed in Spain at 6:40 am. There is a seven-hour time difference, so that made it a six-hour flight, and even longer coming home flying against the wind. The cost on Iberia was $462 and it was an additional $108 for trip insurance from AAA.

I took 40 days to do the entire Route Frances - and never walked much more than 20 km per day.

I was walking off season when a tenth as many pilgrims walk in February as in the summer months.

I also stayed at places in between Brierley's designated stops. So I was really alone most of the time.

Listening to the great silence.
 
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Simon B

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Ingles and Camino Frances. VDLP Spring 2019
HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.

Ive been doing a lot of research on how many days it takes to walk this route and im quite nervous about booking flights because a lot of the information i am gathering is giving me different days it takes to complete the full journey ( i understand everyone of course does it at their own pace). I would like to take a few rest days, again, im really unsure as to how many i would need and of course i would like to take a break in santiago before i return to Ireland.

Any help, suggestions and information would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Stephen
I took 28 days. Had no rest days but to me not an issue.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Dear fellow pilgrim,

Not having a guidebook at hand (just phone) gives you the freedom to chose your pace and places to rest.
I've walked from SJPdP to SdC in 27 days and was age 49 as I walked. Having 30 days off (plus a weekend) was perfect. I've booked my flight back home from Sarria via rome2rio.com. Travelled by bus to Porto and flew back home from there (much cheaper than from SdC).

Very helpful in choosing a nice place to rest is the PDF here in forum.

BC
Roland
 

Vince Rollason

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.

Ive been doing a lot of research on how many days it takes to walk this route and im quite nervous about booking flights because a lot of the information i am gathering is giving me different days it takes to complete the full journey ( i understand everyone of course does it at their own pace). I would like to take a few rest days, again, im really unsure as to how many i would need and of course i would like to take a break in santiago before i return to Ireland.

Any help, suggestions and information would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Stephen

HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.

Ive been doing a lot of research on how many days it takes to walk this route and im quite nervous about booking flights because a lot of the information i am gathering is giving me different days it takes to complete the full journey ( i understand everyone of course does it at their own pace). I would like to take a few rest days, again, im really unsure as to how many i would need and of course i would like to take a break in santiago before i return to Ireland.

Any help, suggestions and information would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Stephen
Hi Stephen

I walked my first Camino in 2013 for my 60th birthday. It took me 33 days which is roughly 24k per day on average. I walked every day without a rest day but some days were quite short to allow recovery from the longer days. I never booked a return flight until I got to Santiago. Ryanair fly from there to Stanstead every day and it is easy to get on a flight. My son flew out and met me and we had five good days in Santiago. I also worked on the assumption that if I ran into problems I would have to make my way home from where ever I was at the time. This approach paid dividends the second time I went as I got vey sick in Pamplona and had to come home from there. I was later able to go back to Sarria and complete the walk to Santiago. I adopted the same approach in 2019 on Camino da Costa from Porto walking every day but with no return flight to put me under time pressure.
Buen Camino
Vince
 

Shalaw

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015
It took us 32 days. We left SJPdP on September 6 and strolled into Santiago on October 7. That included two rest days, plus we decided to cycle the meseta, which took a six day walk down to two days on bikes (I plan to go back one day, just to walk the meseta). A lot of people don’t like that approach, but it afforded us 10 extra days to visit other parts of Europe after our Camino. As far as how many rest days to take, your body will let you know, and there’s no telling how many that will be, so it’s a good idea to have a substantial time cushion, if you can. I wouldn’t make your timeline too tight, because when we were on our Camino, we met some people who had to rush rush rush to get to Santiago because they had to catch their flight the next day, so took the fun out of it.

Buen Camino!
 
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AlwynWellington

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
please see signature
Only your body can determine what a comfortable pace is for you. Preferably, your day-long walks should be with a pack loaded with what you initially consider essentials for the walk. You will learn from that.
@stevoport, @Albertagirl is absolutely right about about training walks (plural). At age 77 I completed from Saint-Jean in under 30 days including sightseeing days at Burgos and Leon. But I had four years in which to find the gear that suited me, to reduce weight and get moderately fit. And I had started from Le Puy-en-Velay in south central France so was match-fit when going from Saint-Jean to Roncevaux (Roncesvalles).

So just get going with your training, within whatever lockdown rules you have.

As to whether you will be able to travel to Spain and walk across it, I am with @Tincatinker and @RefugeInsomniac: think about 2022.

As for your birthday, find a church near you dedicated to Saint Michael and do a (small) pilgrimage there, is my suggestion.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (Be strong, confident and patient) and get going when it is possible without worry for you and others.
 
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David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
When I went with my 16 year old son in 2016 I gave us 2 months in Spain. The plan was for one month on the Camino and one month seeing the rest of Spain. As it turned out, we spent 41 days walking: 37 from Roncesvalles to Santiago and 4 more to Finisterre. We needed that time. We found that when we tried to walk 25-30 km a day for several days in a row it created serious issues. Fortunately, we had a lot of cushion.

Now I advise everyone, especially those walking their first Camino, to give themselves a good cushion of time (if they possibly can) when booking their flights. If you don't need it there is plenty to see in Iberia.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
@stevoport, @Albertagirl is absolutely right about about training walks (plural). At age 77 I completed from Saint-Jean in under 30 days including sightseeing days at Burgos and Leon. But I had four years in which to find the gear that suited me, to reduce weight and get moderately fit. And I had started from Le Puy-en-Velay in south central France so was match-fit when going from Saint-Jean to Roncevaux (Roncesvalles).

So just get going with your training, within whatever lockdown rules you have.

As to whether you will be able to travel to Spain and walk across it, I am with @Tincatinker and @RefugeInsomniac: think about 2022.

As for your birthday, find a church near you dedicated to Saint Michael and do a (small) pilgrimage there, is my suggestion.

Kia kaha, kia māia, kia mana'wa'nui (Be strong, confident and patient) and get going when it is possible without worry for you and others.
Why St. Michael? Just because "St. Michael Archangel defend us in battle, be our protection...Amen" or was that just a typo and you meant St. James? ;)
 

Bala

Veteran member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
Why St. Michael? Just because "St. Michael Archangel defend us in battle, be our protection...Amen" or was that just a typo and you meant St. James? ;)
The OP's birthday, Sept. 29, is the Feast of St. Michael. 😊
 
Last edited:

GailGwyn

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
part Camino Frances (2013), Part Camino Norte (2014)Camino Frances (2019)Camino Portuguese (2020)
HI Everybody.

Im really hoping for some help on this topic. This year in mid to late august I plan on taking a few weeks off my job and walking the Camino from St John De Port to Santiago. Im 39 years of age and of a very good level of fitness. My plan is to walk the Camino and have my 40th birthday quitely on the way, ideally arriving in Santiago on my birthday (the 29th of september), but thats not possible its not the end of the world. . I have been in St John de Port previously and whatever impression stuck with me there watching people start their Camino, it became something that i wanted to experience and it became a dream of mine.

Ive been doing a lot of research on how many days it takes to walk this route and im quite nervous about booking flights because a lot of the information i am gathering is giving me different days it takes to complete the full journey ( i understand everyone of course does it at their own pace). I would like to take a few rest days, again, im really unsure as to how many i would need and of course i would like to take a break in santiago before i return to Ireland.

Any help, suggestions and information would be really appreciated.

Thank you

Stephen
My husband and I walked from SJPP to Santiago in May 2019. We followed, more or less, the Brierley stages. It took us 34 days, which included 1 rest day in Leon.

I cannot wait to walk it again, BUT, next time it will be at a more relaxed pace, stopping when it feels right, and having time to 'relax into it's.

Take as much time as you can. If you have time left over when you reach Santiago, you'll still have lots of options.

Buen Camino.
 

Rj7797

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017
I can echo the thoughts of others who walked and took 30-34 days. I did 33 and if I went again I would plan for 45 or so if not more. You can walk to Fisterra and Muxia with extra time and have more rest days etc. I often like to day dream about having that much time and just going with the flow. Best of luck!
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
I found that once I got going, I always wanted to keep walking… Which is not to mean I covered exceptional distances every day. Just that I Felt an urge to walk every day. I think between 30 and 33 days would be a good pace for most people and it’s always nice to have a cushion if you’re going to meet somebody, or plan for bad weather. it’s an odyssey and if you can afford the time it’s always nice to just keep going.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I found that once I got going, I always wanted to keep walking… Which is not to mean I covered exceptional distances every day. Just that I Felt an urge to walk every day.
That's why I don't like to take full rest days. Instead, if I want a bit of a rest, I'll walk two short days in a row, spending the night in a private room where I can sleep in. I like to do this especially before and after larger cities, like León and Burgos. I can arrive by noon, have the whole afternoon and evening to explore the city, then sleep in a bit and get a later than normal start.

I also think that walking to Finisterre and/or Muxía is a perfect way to end the Camino. I get to Santiago and think "now what?" Having another short destination to keep walking to helps with post Camino recovery.
 

Cleigh

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
My husband and I walked the CF in Sept 2019 and took 34 days. We did not take any rest days as we just felt like walking...it's kind of addictive. 20-28km a day is easy to accomplish and still be at your destination by 2-3pm. We had prebooked hotels/casas/pensions as well so no need to rush to find a spot.
 

pepi

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2013, 14, 16, 17, 18
Gronze gives a very good overview for basic scheduling. To be faster is never a problem. If slower due to weather, aches, fatigue, smelling the roses, etc. it is easy to shortcut a stretch with a bus. (I don't care what the orthodox say). This btw also dispenses the need for rest days (which for me are always too long)
Examples: Bussing from Belorado to Burgos and/or from Sahagun to Leon will not only give you one day each, but also a half of an additional day each to explore the two cities; and this in consideration that you actually don't miss much other than to walk in dreary industrial suburbs around Burgos and Leon. This alone gives you all the flexibility you need just in case your initial Gronze schedule runs tight. For me, that's savvy.
Buen Camino
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I have taken a full rest day in some of the lovely major cities or towns...Burgos, Leon, Bilbao, Santillana, Lugo, Oviedo, but after a day I feel stifled and am more than eager to be on my way again to experience the peace and quiet of nature, new terrain, and small villages.
 
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