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Worth skipping parts of the French Camino for Finisterre?

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and am thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Are there any parts between Sarria and Santiago that are let’s say by the road and crowded etc and worth skipping for Finisterre? Or would you say sticking to one route and taking it easy might be better? Thank you!!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
It being your first Camino, I would move on to Santiago, no doubt, you are in O Cebreiro, but your mind seems to be somewhere else. Yes, there are more people from Sarria onwards, but arriving in Santiago is something else. Next time, you can try to make it to Fisterre, which is a lovely route too.
If you skip stages you will miss your Camino buddies, that counts too!
 
D

Deleted member 67185

Guest
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and have been thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Thank you!
The first question that comes to mind is, did you plan on obtaining a Compostela upon reaching SdC on Camino Frances? If so, then, no, you cannot skip any parts in favor of Finisterre.

Someone else may have information if one can obtain a Compostela by walking from Finesterra TO Santiago de Compostela..
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Someone else may have information if one can obtain a Compostela by walking from Finesterra TO Santiago de Compostela..
That is possible but because of the minimum distance rule you have to walk Finisterre - Muxia - Santiago or Muxia - Finisterre - Santiago to qualify. Routes recognised by the pilgrim office. Walking directly from either town to Santiago does not qualify.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and am thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Are there any parts between Sarria and Santiago that are let’s say by the road and crowded etc and worth skipping for Finisterre? Or would you say sticking to one route and taking it easy might be better? Thank you!!
You are 6 or 7 days from SdC, fewer if you're fitter, I've done it in 5. Fisterra is 3-4 days from Santiago. How long have you got?

For many the purpose of the Camino is to make pilgrimage to the shrine of Santiago. For some of us it is to make pilgrimage to the end-of-the-world and the sundering sea. (In Muxia you can gaze upon the broken boat that keeps us from the crossing.) For others its a journey to a lighthouse on a westerly promontory from which you can watch the sun go down on Europe.

If you know why you are walking camino the answer to your question should be self evident and if not then walk, without skipping an inch, to Santiago first. Then ask the question again.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Since you are asking, my own opinion would be to just keep walking on to Santiago to finish what you began...you are getting so close! There is still beauty to be had and the satisfaction of completing the full walk of the Frances. Then if time permits, plan to take a bus to Finesterre and/or Muxia, both lovely places, each in their own way.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
After my first Camino with the culture shock of hitting the crowds of pilgrims with new shoes, clean clothes, and a fresh haircut in Sarria, I resolved to do just what you are suggesting next time. In the end, I did not do it (twice!), simply because that would separate you from the cohort you have walked all those previous weeks with. There is also the matter of abandoning a goal you have had fixed in your mind since you resolved to buy your plane ticket: Walking into the Cathedral Square in SdC. So I put up with the sudden influx of people on the Sarria - SdC section which really is a LOT busier than you have seen so far. As a matter of perspective, I am a fast (but not far!) walker, who usually is the last one out of an Albergue. Before Sarria, I might pass 50 people in a day. After Sarria, it was many hundreds.

The Finisterre section is fantastic, and no where near as busy as the last 100 from Sarria. Finisterre returns you to the earlier trail vibe, but is a prettier walk, and is my favorite section of the trail, and not to be missed. The truth, however, is that from a trail/beauty/walking/weather viewpoint, its all Galicia, and the two ends of what is really the same trail are very similar. One end is crowded with both pilgrims and services, and the other is not.

Can you do both? Skipping Sarria seems like something you would consider if you really did not like a busy trail, and you were running out of time, and you did not care about getting a Compostela. Do these apply to you? Only you can decide.

Buen Camino
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
If you want to receive a compostala, either don't miss Saria to SDC or consider walking from Finisterre to Muxia, or vice versa, and then to Santiago. Neither Muxia nor Finisterre are enough distance by themselves to meet the 100km minimum distance requirement.
 

Teri S

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Doing one right now in 2019
Thanks so so much everyone. I will stop thinking about it, become present, and walk the rest of the French route as you suggest. My goal was to get to Santiago on the French route, so here we go. Thanks for the reminder to ask that question again @Tincatinker! My mind started to wander off and overthink - at the expense of not being present where I am here and now - @amancio. So true. I have 8-9 days left and already have enough km to get the Compostela but you guys were very helpful - I will just finish this one, take as long as I need to enjoy it and be present with it, and then if I have a couple of days left I will take the bus to Finisterre and enjoy seeing the ocean and walk around. And leave walking it for next time.

Thank you again!
 

dougfitz

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Spain: Mar 2010, Apr 2014, May/Jun 2016. Norway/Sweden: 2012, 2018. Other: 2011, 2019. CP (tbc)
So true. I have 10 days left and already have enough km to get the Compostela but you guys were very helpful - I will just finish this one, take as long as I need to enjoy it and be present with it, and then if I have a couple of days left I will take the bus to Finisterre and enjoy seeing the ocean and walk around. And leave walking it for next time.
You only have enough distance for the compostela if you have done the last 100km to the Cathedral. It cannot be just any 100km, but the final 100km, whatever route you are taking.
 

JAO

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2018
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and am thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Are there any parts between Sarria and Santiago that are let’s say by the road and crowded etc and worth skipping for Finisterre? Or would you say sticking to one route and taking it easy might be better? Thank you!!

I would advise against. As prior posts say, you need to walk all of it from Sarria for a compostella. I can not describe the joy you feel yes, on Mount of Joy, seeing the city for the first time knowing you did the whole route! The route to Finisterre isn’t crowded, but the towns are more scenic and holiday resort like... not all that spiritual. Also, the sections are long, and while you’re in shape now, the days are getting shorter and it’s rainy the closer to the coast. It was monsoonal the Mid Oct day I went to Finisterre last year. . Also, you can take a bus from Santiago to Finisterre, which has the best seafood Ever, I still dream of the scallops and saffron seafood soup, walk to the lighthouse and back, 16 km, stay overnight, then walk to Muxia, , then bus back. Both of these towns will be partly closed down after Oct 1, especially Muxia . Or they have bus trips to both in one day, which you can arrange in Santiago, then walk the route next time! But as they say, its your camino!
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and am thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Are there any parts between Sarria and Santiago that are let’s say by the road and crowded etc and worth skipping for Finisterre? Or would you say sticking to one route and taking it easy might be better? Thank you!!
I just walked from Santiago to Muxia and then along the ocean to Fisterra on part of the Camino dos Faros.
Don't expect the first days from Santiago to be less crowded. I was surprised to see the crowds when 5 years ago it was very quiet.
I advise you to continue to Santiago and plan to walk to Fisterra another time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Camino Frances SJPP / 2014 Camino Portugues / 2015 Camino Ingles / 2015 Hospitalero Training
2016 (fall) Camino Sanabre / Hospitalero?
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and am thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Are there any parts between Sarria and Santiago that are let’s say by the road and crowded etc and worth skipping for Finisterre? Or would you say sticking to one route and taking it easy might be better? Thank you!!
Don’t skip. There are less pilgrims now and the coastal weather is wet. Continue, enjoy, complete, bus later.
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
Teri S,

Yes, the Camino will become a bit more congested than what you’ve become used to but, it’s part of your Camino. For me, the 1st day leaving Sarria was a bit congested but the days after it seemed to unpack. For all the stages, the last 5 days were the most contemplative and prepared me for Finisterre, which I bussed to.

You’re on the right track, savor each moment. Reflect on your journey and envision your future. Remember that those beginning in Sarria are walking their first 100k while you’re walking your last 100k. Look at your boots and remember where they’ve taken you, the people, places and things you’ve experienced. You are a lucky person.
 
Camino(s) past & future
June 2018
Thanks for asking the question and for all the answers....I was thinking about dodging the crowds by doing something like this. I have done Le Puy, and I dislike crowds...I am thinking of doing Porto to Santiago to avoid the crowds.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
The Camino changes and some parts are quiet and some parts are crowded. I remember Scott was so sick of packless groups of singing pilgrims in the last 100km stretch that he contemplated smashing the guitar over the head of one. Time for a coffee and let them pass I thought, went well till another group of Tamborine shaking singers came into the cafe. Deep breaths and move on, and this was back in 2004! Some people really enjoy the hustle and bustle of the crowd, so open your heart and make the most of it.

The walk to Finisterre isn't anymore spectacular then other sections, like most of the Galician paths it goes up and down a lot and it rains. Still it's nice to see the sea. It can also be busy. On one trip there were the usual bed wars and some were complaining about having to sleep in tents and insisted that the hospitliar prioritise beds based on how far we had come since they had started in Sarria and only met us coming out of Santiago. Sure thing replied one fistey octogenarian, "I started in Geneva, and we came via the North route, while these guys walked from Seville."

Glad you have decided to walk on, part of the Camino is finishing what you start, yes you may wobble a bit, but it's your Camino, finish it.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
.I am thinking of doing Porto to Santiago to avoid the crowds.
If you want to avoid crowds you'd have to stop before Tui. The last 100 km of the Portuguese Camino had quite a number of tour groups when I was on it in September.
 

alhartman

346 joyful days in Spain and France since 2005
Camino(s) past & future
Hope so!
I have done both. I am mostly a walker. I enjoy, but am not locked into, the camino companionship and camaraderie. I am not motivated by a compostela--I have several-- But I would want for my first camino. My soul soars more from walking the last few kilometers into SdC (alone or with friends), the mass, bumping heads with Santiago, the 'Singing Nun", and the jesse tree (yes the butafumerio when operating).
IMO Sarria to SdC is one of the most beautiful parts of the camino--(along with Pamplona to Logrono). You are in the shoulder season so the crowds will be only mildly annoying (if you let it-I finally learned to vicariously enjoy the energy of the packless, clean teens).
I see you have already decided to walk into SdC, I do not think you will regret it in any way.
Buen Camino
 

madlems7

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015
Hi pilgrims! I am walking the French Camino (I’m at O Cebreiro) and am thinking of skipping some parts between Sarria and Santiago in order to go to Finisterre instead. Would you say it could be worth it? This is my first Camino so I have no idea. :) My current thinking (as I was told) is that from Sarria the route gets more crowded and Finisterre route would be more spiritual/beautiful/natural but I could be wrong? And maybe it would only add complications. Did anyone do both routes and could share any wisdom? Are there any parts between Sarria and Santiago that are let’s say by the road and crowded etc and worth skipping for Finisterre? Or would you say sticking to one route and taking it easy might be better? Thank you!!
Don’t ‘skip’ anything and certainly don’t worry about the Camino ahead. Everything is part of your pilgrimage or journey. Enjoy with a smile. From Santiago then enjoy 3 more days to Finisterre and 1 more to Muxia. I’ve done this twice.
 

Juspassinthrough

in our minds, we're vagabonds, you and I
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Inglés 2019
Leon-Sarria, June (2019)
Camino Aragonés (2023?)
Teri S,

I expect by now your past Sarria. I meant to share this earlier but technology got in the way. I wrote it shortly after I finished my CF in 2017.
 

Attachments

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
There's an important continuity on the Frances, and if you've walked far already, you will break that rhythm by skipping ahead. Also, as crowded as the Sarria - Santiago bit may be, it has a spiritual infrastructure and architecture that you don't find anywhere else on the camino. The many shrines, chapels, and cruceiros are very moving if you are tuned to them.
If you are walking this as a pilgrimage, you will walk every step into Santiago. Once you've achieved that classic finish, the Finisterre part is a bonus.
If this is a scenic tour or a fun walk, just do what you like and enjoy yourself.
 

Old Kiwi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2016
Camino Frances 2019
SdC to Muxia and Fisterra 2019
Camino Portuguese "2021"
When you come from the other side of the world as I do, you make sure you have enough time to achieve what you want to accomplish. Earlier this year I was lucky enough to walk from SJPDP to SDC in 32 days and then have a day sightseeing before heading off to Muxia and on to Fisterra in 4 days. 2 days in Fisterra, bus back to SDC and then two spare days before flying out. This gave me four spare days in case I needed them. I realise that not everyone can afford 42 days but I am retired so it is OK for me. I would be devastated if I had traveled so far and then walked such a distance and then not be able to make it. If it was me, I would go from O"Cebreiro to SDC and complete the Camino as that would have been my first goal.
 
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