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Which route? Best walking surfaces

2020 Camino Guides

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Like @Kiwi-family, I am not planning a route next year, just idly researching.....

I decided after this year's Portuguese, that the actual surface of my walk is important to me. I don't like rolly pebbles or shaley surfaces (difficult with my poor balance and eyesight), nor did I like the hard cobbles and stone sets on the Portuguese.

I do not mind a bit of road walking if it is not too hot.

Of all the walks I have done so far, the best surface by far, was the Madrid.

So, my question for you intrepid, walked many different caminoists - any ideas? Which paths have the best surfaces? Excluding those I've already done (CF, Norte, Portuguese, Madrid, VdlP, Le Puy, Tours, Arles).
 

norelle

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2011 April, 2014 March) San Salvador, Primitivo, Finisterre, Muxia (June 2015) Del Norte (Sept/Oct 2016)
I loved the San Salvador / Primitivo combination!

Good luck with your ‘research’ 😉
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
My hypothetical research into the Ruta de la Lana makes me wonder if it might fit the bill. Or Levante?
Salvador/Primitivo is surely a must-walk too, although it can get a bit pebbly (although more path-ish)
 

backpack45scb

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2001 CF, 04-6 LP, 07 Port, 08-10 Arles, 11 Mozá,12-13 Gen-LP. 00-10 PCT, 15 Norte, 16 Primi
Like @Kiwi-family, Which paths have the best surfaces? Excluding those I've already done (CF, Norte, Portuguese, Madrid, VdlP, Le Puy, Tours, Arles).
The one we have been working on the last couple of years is the Vezelay. We've done about 200 miles of it. It is mostly country roads like the Norte, only easier ups and downs. Very quiet. You might see another walker maybe once every 3 or 4 days, except in the evening in the albergues. The people you see have started in the Netherlands, Germany or other distant places and have been already walking a month or more, so they are fast.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@backpack45scb yes, it’s on my list. It’s a few years since I walked a French route, and the ones I’ve done all had lovely surfaces.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
If you liked Madrid the most then I suggest Levante (or Sureste which overlapse on few stretches). Apart from first 3-4 days there is not much tarmac but mostly light gravel service/AG roads or paths. Very nice, solitary and contemplative Camino.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Have to add this for Levante. You have some pretty nice castles (some in ruins) and small villages on the way not to mention towns like Valencia, Toledo, Avila and Zamora with amazing architecture and history.

And self-proclaimed garlic capital of the world Las Pedroneras :D
 

Beeman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
Have to add this for Levante. You have some pretty nice castles (some in ruins) and small villages on the way not to mention towns like Valencia, Toledo, Avila and Zamora with amazing architecture and history.

And self-proclaimed garlic capital of the world Las Pedroneras :D
And I thought ir was Gilroy!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Would super-like that @LesBrass - it is a very lovely part of the world.

All plans now in storage until after the New Year!
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Have to add this for Levante. You have some pretty nice castles (some in ruins) and small villages on the way not to mention towns like Valencia, Toledo, Avila and Zamora with amazing architecture and history.

And self-proclaimed garlic capital of the world Las Pedroneras :D
Totally agree with Kinky, except for the first 3-4 days out of Valencia with only asphalt (especially hard in the summer when I did it), the rest is a mixed bag. It certainly is nothing like the Norte (especially in Cantabria) or the Portuguese, the last being IMHO the worst as far as hard surfaces.

My favorite part is actually the Toledo-Zamora section with a few mountain passes but both very doable.

I'm contemplating the Lana which I hope will also be kind to the feet and joints.
 

Beeman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo,2017,Argonne and salvador,sept.2019
I walked the Primitivo last fall and loved it! I am 74 and just in average shape and had no trouble. Those who say it is difficult must live in Kansas! I walked the hospitalis route and was a bit disappointed. If I were to walk it again,I would take the other route. I took the Camino Verde from Lugo to Sobrado and really liked it. It was well-marked and pretty easy. I walked on to Lavacola and Santiago,completely avoiding the Frances. It was also easy to follow,in spite of what has been said about it. The primitivo has plenty to keep a 12 year old interested! Also,the walk on to Muxia is relatively easy,very pretty,and well worth the trip. I did it in 3 days,which was very dooable as there is not much up and down. Whatever you choose,BUEN CAMINO
 

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