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Which part to walk in two weeks?

SwedishSpanish

New Member
Past OR future Camino
I plan on walking the Camino in June or aug 2019
Hi! I am planning on walking parts of el Camino in late August/beginning sept or late June this year. I can walk for two weeks. I’ve never walked el Camino before. I have som basic questions I hope you can help me with: can you suggest a suitable part of the Camino? First I thought the last part so that I could reach Santiago but then I read this is the most popular path with lots of guided tours. I will be walking alone. Someone recommende the very first stretch, starting from Biarritz. I want to meet people but not necessarily bus loads of tourists, maybe more “genuine pilgrims”. I don’t mind heat but of course don’t want it to be 30 degrees every day. Is end June or end August better? What do you recommend for a two week walk? Thanks a lot in advance!
 
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Jo Jo

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF, July '14 & Sep-Oct '16
Via di Francesco, July '15,
CP Oct. '17, Salvador & Primitivo Sep '19
In that time, I would recommend the Camino Portugese, starting in Porto. It takes about 10 days or so, it has plenty of infrastructure, there are plenty of pilgrims to form a camino family, it has a much nicer entrance to SdC than the slog past the SdC airport, and the first day you get to walk by the ocean before cutting inland to the central route. If you finish early you can walk to Finesterre or Muxia.

Alternatively, the Camino Primitivo would be slightly longer but doable in two weeks. I have not (yet) walked it, however, so I can't recommend it (and I'm unsure on infrastructure and pilgrim numbers--the CF and the CP have enough pilgrims and infrastructure, both of which really help you make it to SdC, especially for a first Camino).

Buen Camino,
Jo Jo
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
Doesn't really matter. Should you walk from Sarria, or Porto, or A Coruña you will easily reach SdC and then what? Been there done that? And not come back? You will miss so many wonderful experiences. My opinion? Start from SJPP and walk two weeks. You enjoy it, come back and do another two weeks. The Camino will still be here, Satiago is not going anywhere, and while everyone has his/her own Camino, the entire route, starting from SJPP, or Porto, or Le Puy, or Vezelay, or Sevilla no matter, is by far the greatest self-achievement, the greatest self-satisfaction. Yes I have walked to Santiago but...will always follow you.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
1989
I would walk from Porto to Santiago on the Camino Portugues or from Leon to Santiago on the Camino Frances. Another option might be to walk the Camino Ingles and then on to Finisterre and Muxia.

Or, as was said you can start much further back (Roncesvalles, Saint Jean Pied-de-Port, or even Le Puy), walk two weeks, and then resume where you left off another year. Just bring back your credencial and remember to get the first stamp when you resume where you got the last stamp when you left off.
 
Past OR future Camino
2012
Hi! I am planning on walking parts of el Camino in late August/beginning sept or late June this year. I can walk for two weeks. I’ve never walked el Camino before. I have som basic questions I hope you can help me with: can you suggest a suitable part of the Camino? First I thought the last part so that I could reach Santiago but then I read this is the most popular path with lots of guided tours. I will be walking alone. Someone recommende the very first stretch, starting from Biarritz. I want to meet people but not necessarily bus loads of tourists, maybe more “genuine pilgrims”. I don’t mind heat but of course don’t want it to be 30 degrees every day. Is end June or end August better? What do you recommend for a two week walk? Thanks a lot in advance!

Welcome to the forum @SwedishSpanish. Be minded that there are the same number of "genuine pilgrims" walking from Sarria as there are on any other stretch of any Camino. If not no "genuine pilgrim" would ever get to Santiago.

If you want to make pilgrimage to Santiago, and you have two weeks in which to make it, walk from say Leon on the Frances. Oviedo on the Primitivo, Gijon on the Norte, Porto or Zamora. If you are "pilgrimage curious" walk any route, from wherever you can easily get to from your home for however long you can. The Frances, from St Jean pied de Porte (a small town in southern France) is probably the most popular and populated route and with dense supporting infrastructure. The Primitivo from Oviedo is the "oldest" route, very pretty, well supported but not over-populated.

June may have more comfortable walking weather than late August but in 300km of walking at heights from near sea-level to 1300 metres of altitude introduces plenty of variety.

You will find a wealth of information here about just about every possible route.

Happy planning and Buen Camino
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Past OR future Camino
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
It is YOUR first camino, so what would you like? I'd surely want to finish in Santiago, have that experience... and then maybe go back to explore other routes when possible. Which I did :)

Two weeks is perfect to walk Porto-Santiago. It is the second most popular route after the Frances, has all the infrastructure, but less than half of the people. I loved it and highly recommend.

Leon to Santiago is also a good option. Check this forum, you will find plenty of ideas! :)
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi! I am planning on walking parts of el Camino in late August/beginning sept or late June this year. I can walk for two weeks. I’ve never walked el Camino before. I have som basic questions I hope you can help me with: can you suggest a suitable part of the Camino? First I thought the last part so that I could reach Santiago but then I read this is the most popular path with lots of guided tours. I will be walking alone. Someone recommende the very first stretch, starting from Biarritz. I want to meet people but not necessarily bus loads of tourists, maybe more “genuine pilgrims”. I don’t mind heat but of course don’t want it to be 30 degrees every day. Is end June or end August better? What do you recommend for a two week walk? Thanks a lot in advance!

avoid the rush hour, you'll be fine. 2 weeks puts you in León. and, there aren't hordes of guided tours, more like hordes of pilgrims with big backpacks.
in any case, if you want to avoid the 'crowds' in galicia, then walk to burgos starting in SJPdP, but you'll miss the best part in my opinion: walking into santiago
 

Bala

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2015, 2018, 2022
Doesn't really matter. Should you walk from Sarria, or Porto, or A Coruña you will easily reach SdC and then what? Been there done that? And not come back? You will miss so many wonderful experiences. My opinion? Start from SJPP and walk two weeks. You enjoy it, come back and do another two weeks. The Camino will still be here, Satiago is not going anywhere, and while everyone has his/her own Camino, the entire route, starting from SJPP, or Porto, or Le Puy, or Vezelay, or Sevilla no matter, is by far the greatest self-achievement, the greatest self-satisfaction. Yes I have walked to Santiago but...will always follow you.

I agree with Scruffy . Start in SJPP, walk two weeks, then come back, walk some more, continuing from where you left off, then come back again if you need to. That's exactly what I did over the course of 3 years. It was wonderful.

On my 2nd and 3rd times I could share the experiences of the long-haul pilgrims and I felt the sense of both the physical distance I had covered and the emotional and spiritual journeys I'd made in those ensuing three years. There was something deeply satisfying about walking into Santiago, knowing how long ago I'd started and how many miles I'd traveled to get there.

As for who you will meet in the final 100km or the first 100km, you will meet the people you need to meet. It's a pilgrimage. Somehow it just works out like that. 😉

Wishing you all the best. 😊
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
Walking the CF: start from St Jean Pied is lovely. For me that's the most beautiful section, and then next time do the next sections. Galician paths will be crowded, and Santiago will be heaving. August and first half of September will be very hot. Bilbao to Gijon is pretty spectacular too.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Hi! I am planning on walking parts of el Camino in late August/beginning sept or late June this year. I can walk for two weeks. I’ve never walked el Camino before. I have som basic questions I hope you can help me with: can you suggest a suitable part of the Camino? First I thought the last part so that I could reach Santiago but then I read this is the most popular path with lots of guided tours. I will be walking alone. Someone recommende the very first stretch, starting from Biarritz. I want to meet people but not necessarily bus loads of tourists, maybe more “genuine pilgrims”. I don’t mind heat but of course don’t want it to be 30 degrees every day. Is end June or end August better? What do you recommend for a two week walk? Thanks a lot in advance!


SwedishSpanish:

Welcome to the forum.

If you want to finish in Santiago, I would recommend you start in Leon on the CF or walk the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo.

If a Santiago finish is not important, but Company is you can start anywhere on the CF, Burgos, Pamplona, Roncesvalles etc. You could also walk the CN (Norte) along the coast starting in Irun, San Sebastian, Bilbao etc.

The term "Genuine Pilgrim" is a descriptor used by some Pilgrims to devalue others who walk the Camino differently than they do. There is no such thing, imo, as a "Genuine Pilgrim".

I have walked all my Camino's in the Spring so I can not provide an opinion on weather.

There are lots of packing list recommendations on the forum.

Whatever choice you make, it will be your Camino.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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Keith Camino

2019 April 01 Camino Del Norte
Past OR future Camino
2018 March Camino Portuguese from Porto
2017 April 01-16 Camino Primitivo + Fisterra
I had the same intentions and constraints on my first two Caminos (my third will be Norte starting 01 Apr 2019). So in Mar/Apr 2017 I walked the Primitivo from Oviedo to SdC in 12 days. But I was averaging 28 km per day and the total was about 343 km. Also, as I got closer to merging with the Camino Frances, I decided to walk the Camino Verde which is a crossover from Primitivo to Camino Norte. The CV starts after Boimorto and there are posts on here that give great directions. I loved the trip and am pleased to have hit higher open meadows in the mountains and seen the Monastery in Sobrado, but it was steady going. (I had such a great time walking this one, that I pushed on to Fisterra to wrap up my first Camino.)

My wife joined me to walk Camino Portuguese from Porto to SJP in Mar/Apr 2018. We took the coastal route and loved it. There is also an in-land route but I can't comment on that. The weather did get ugly-wet for a few days and plastic ponchos became our favourite gear those days. We walked for 11 days at 25 km per day for a total of 275 km. We hadn't trained and we're not very active, but it was achievable. On the Camino Portuguese, there is also the alternate route "Variante Espiritual" which involves staying closer to the coast but hiking over a steep headland after Pontevedra and then catching a ferry to travel up to Padron. I couldn't convince my wife to do it, but that might also add some extra adventure to this trip.

Have a great time on your trip, and be prepared for hot sun.

Ultreya,
Keith
 

Beeks

Member
Past OR future Camino
(2019) only 2 weeks available! St. Jean PDP - Pamplona, then Sarria - SDC with the family,
My family has a limited time this April. We're starting in St.Jean and walking to Pamplona. We wanted a traditional start, the vibe and enthusiasm of beginning trekkers, and the challenge and beauty of the Pyrenees.

Taking the train from Pamplona to Sarria, then doing the last 100k for the compestela, important for my wife. About 115 miles in all over 11 days.

Buen camino!
 
D

Deleted member 59555

Guest
Hi! I am planning on walking parts of el Camino in late August/beginning sept or late June this year. I can walk for two weeks. I’ve never walked el Camino before. I have som basic questions I hope you can help me with: can you suggest a suitable part of the Camino? First I thought the last part so that I could reach Santiago but then I read this is the most popular path with lots of guided tours. I will be walking alone. Someone recommende the very first stretch, starting from Biarritz. I want to meet people but not necessarily bus loads of tourists, maybe more “genuine pilgrims”. I don’t mind heat but of course don’t want it to be 30 degrees every day. Is end June or end August better? What do you recommend for a two week walk? Thanks a lot in advance!
Yes as a lot have said do the Porto walk I feel it is more satisfying to complete a walk rather than some of a bigger walk Good luck God bless.
 

countycork

Member
Past OR future Camino
26th May 2013
I also agree with everything Scruffy said and as Bala said ‘There was something deeply satisfying about walking into Santiago, knowing how long ago I'd started and how many miles I'd traveled to get there’. Took me 4 years to reach Santiago! Hoping to do the Porto walk in September.
 

Korean bell

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
Hi! I am planning on walking parts of el Camino in late August/beginning sept or late June this year. I can walk for two weeks. I’ve never walked el Camino before. I have som basic questions I hope you can help me with: can you suggest a suitable part of the Camino? First I thought the last part so that I could reach Santiago but then I read this is the most popular path with lots of guided tours. I will be walking alone. Someone recommende the very first stretch, starting from Biarritz. I want to meet people but not necessarily bus loads of tourists, maybe more “genuine pilgrims”. I don’t mind heat but of course don’t want it to be 30 degrees every day. Is end June or end August better? What do you recommend for a two week walk? Thanks a lot in advance!
Hi,

Last year, starting the 2nd week of September, we walked from Astorga to SJDC in 2 weeks. We did this with 1 short day in Ponferada. It was a doable distance. You'll get to walk through Galacia, which is amazing. If you don't want a compestela, you can start at SJDP and walk too Burgos in 2 weeks. This route will be my next Camino. Have great trip. Buenos Camino.
 
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Lucy72

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Planning to do my first two weeks Mid-April 2022.
SwedishSpanish:

Welcome to the forum.

If you want to finish in Santiago, I would recommend you start in Leon on the CF or walk the Camino Primitivo from Oviedo.

If a Santiago finish is not important, but Company is you can start anywhere on the CF, Burgos, Pamplona, Roncesvalles etc. You could also walk the CN (Norte) along the coast starting in Irun, San Sebastian, Bilbao etc.

The term "Genuine Pilgrim" is a descriptor used by some Pilgrims to devalue others who walk the Camino differently than they do. There is no such thing, imo, as a "Genuine Pilgrim".

I have walked all my Camino's in the Spring so I can not provide an opinion on weather.

There are lots of packing list recommendations on the forum.

Whatever choice you make, it will be your Camino.

Ultreya,
Joe
Hi Joe,

I am planning on two weeks mid April 2022. Any recommendations on a starting points? Did you book your hostels in advance? I know the weather can be a bit tricky that time of year. Any tips or advice welcome.

Thank you.

Best,
Lucy
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Hi Joe,

I am planning on two weeks mid April 2022. Any recommendations on a starting points? Did you book your hostels in advance? I know the weather can be a bit tricky that time of year. Any tips or advice welcome.

Thank you.

Best,
Lucy
Is it important for you to get a Compostela ? If that is the case then in two weeks you can get from Leon to Santiago. If it was me I would probably book the first couple of days, Leon itself and maybe the first night walking, and then book a day ahead if at all.
If you don't care about a Compostela, then you can start earlier and walk from there for two weeks - as long as you plan to start and finish where it is easy to travel. The bigger cities along the Camino make sense as it is easy to bus or train to an airport from those.
Leon is easy as it just a short trip from Madrid. You can fly into Madrid, bus/train to Leon and walk out the next day or spend a rest day before you start as Leon is a really nice city. See the cathedral, it is really worth seeing.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Hi Joe,

I am planning on two weeks mid April 2022. Any recommendations on a starting points? Did you book your hostels in advance? I know the weather can be a bit tricky that time of year. Any tips or advice welcome.

Thank you.

Best,
Lucy
I'd recommend that you start your own thread to get the attention that your question deserves.
Buen Camino!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Hi Joe,

I am planning on two weeks mid April 2022. Any recommendations on a starting points? Did you book your hostels in advance? I know the weather can be a bit tricky that time of year. Any tips or advice welcome.

Thank you.

Best,
Lucy
Lucy:

I would recommend starting in Leon, for the Frances, if you want to finish in Santiago. The weather in April could range from the 20's in the mountains to the 90's on the Meseta. It will rain in Galacia so rain gear or if you prefer a Pancho will be a necessity. As far as accommodations, based on the pent up demand to walk a Camino this coming Spring will probably be crowded. I do not book ahead but Based on demand and issues that will still remain with Covid, I think it is probably wise to do so. The issue with booking ahead, imo, is it does not allow you to be flexible in your journey. That said, it gives comfort to many knowing they have a bed. I would try doing it one day ahead and after a few days determine if necessary.

The Primitivo could be another option but it is a little more challenging route.

If you do not need to finish in Santiago, you could walk the Madrid.

These choices all depend somewhat on your level of fitness.

Get good shoes and break them in. I would also never hike without rain gear. There is good light weight rain gear. So if you have a local REI or equivalent type store, go talk to them and they should be able to help you get what you need.

I would also recommend you learn some basic Spanish. Take a class or two at local community college or work with Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone etc.

Covid has changed the Camino, imo. I would have, in the past, suggested you get good shoes, rain gear, pack light and just let the Camino be your guide. That said, with Covid, reduced accommodation, increased popularity of the Camino and everyones differing comfort zones. The comments above would be my current thoughts.

I will probably be walking again in the Spring and our paths might cross. I just received my CR code and will be leaving Sunday for Spain.

Buen Camino Lucy and I hope I have been helpful.

Feel free to ask me any other questions you have or have your thread separated to get a broader response as suggested by Trecile.

Joe
 
Last edited:

paddington

Member
Past OR future Camino
may (2019)
Lucy:

I would recommend starting in Leon, for the Frances, if you want to finish in Santiago. The weather in April could range from the 20's in the mountains to the 90's on the Meseta. It will rain in Galacia so rain gear or if you prefer a Pancho will be a necessity. As far as accommodations, based on the pent up demand to walk a Camino this coming Spring will probably be crowded. I do not book ahead but Based on demand and issues that will still remain with Covid, I think it is probably wise to do so. The issue with booking ahead, imo, is it does not allow you to be flexible in your journey. That said, it give comfort to many knowing they have a bed. I would try doing it one day ahead to not eliminate any changes.

The Primitivo could be another option but it is a little more challenging route.

If you do not need to finish in Santiago, you could walk the Madrid.

These choices all depend somewhat on your level of fitness.

Get good shoes and break them in. I would also never hike without rain gear. There is good light weight rain gear. So if you have a local REI or equivalent type store, go talk to them and they should be able to help you get what you need.

I would also recommend, if you do not already, you learn some level of Spanish. Take a class or two at local community college or work with Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone etc.

Covid has changed the Camino, imo. I would have, in the past, suggested you get good shoes, rain gear, pack light and just let the Camino be your guide. That said, with Covid, reduced accommodation, increased popularity of the Camino and everyones differing comfort zones. The comments above would be my current thoughts.

I will probably be walking again in the Spring and our paths might cross. I just received my CR code and will be leaving Sunday for Spain.

Buen Camino Lucy and I hope I have been helpful.

Feel free to ask me any other questions you have or have your thread separated to get a broader response as suggested by Trecile.

Joe
I agree with the Leon to Santiago recommendation. Easy to get to Leon by train from Madrid and easy to get back to Madrid by plane from santiago
Lots to see along this stretch , the gaudi palace in astorga, the Templar’s castle in ponferrada, the iron cross outside of foncebadon, the charming village of o’ceberio,
Lots of larger villages and towns along the route with a variety of lodging options .
 
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dougfitz

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
I faced a similar choice in 2014 when I had a little over two weeks to walk after attending my son's wedding in England. I chose to walk a slightly longer Camino Ingles route, starting in the small hamlet of Covas (or Cobas), walking around the headland into Ferrol. Then the CI, followed by walking to Muxia and finally Finisterre.

I stayed in the albergue in Covas, which has since closed, walked to SDC over six days, and then took five days to walk to Finisterre. I would need to check, but I recall with a day in Santiago, and the first and last days travelling, I was in Spain for a fortnight.

I can understand you might be more cautious on your first camino, but this shouldn't stop you considering walking a mix of established routes.
 

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