I don’t have 4 weeks off, can I skip the middle?

Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela
Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela

The question was:

My wife and I have only 15 walking days to work with for our planned camino starting in April. Since we do not have time for the whole thing, we thought we might walk the beginning and the end, and just take a train through the middle. So, perhaps SJPdP to Pamplona, and then Astorga to Santiago. For those of you who have been before, is there any reason why this might be a bad idea?

Read the whole conversation on skipping the middle part of the Camino Frances here in our Camino forum.

7 Replies to “I don’t have 4 weeks off, can I skip the middle?”

  1. Good to see the “albergues” on the Camino Francés. Remenber that was
    just the second one. The first St. James Way is the Primitive or North
    Way. By the time the grave was discovered Galicia as well as the whole
    northwest part of the Iberian Peninsula (Northern Portugal, León,
    Zamora, Northern Palencia, Northern Burgos, Cantabria, Basque Country
    and of course Asturias) belongued to the Asturian Kingdom. Asturian King
    Alfonso II the Chaste wanted to see what was discovered in HIS kingdom
    and went there. He was very religious. People started to imitate the
    king going along the Cantabrian Coast. Only centuries later did pilgrims
    start to go along the French Way, just when that area was also free
    from muslims. We would like to see information about the Primitive Way.

  2. You will need to allow 11 days to get to SdC from Astorga so work out what you can afford to add to that for another part of the Camino, plus don’t forget to add on travelling time.

  3. I would say technically there is no reason why you would regret skipping the middle, especially in order to fit in your trip with time restraints. One idea why it might be better to hike as many days as you have in a sequential path, like the last 15 days out of Santiago, is that you meet so many people on your way and it is that much more meaningful if you can keep those connections the whole time and wind up in Santiago together. I personally have felt a little “disconnect” when I jumped between trails and lost the people I had spent a week with. Also, once you add a travel day in between sections, it can sometimes interrupt your rhythm (or be a nice break!!) So totally what you prefer, every area of Spain is equally gorgeous and as long as you get your stamps for the last 100 KMs out of Santiago, you will be able to get your Compostela. Buen camino!

  4. As I say before my suggestion is walk maybe from Leon to o Santiago or from Sjpdp to Burgos more or less.
    Then come back on future coming years, and you would like it so much no doubt.
    Buen Camino and is only my opinion !
    Now is your turn to decide what is more on your style.

    1. I am planning of the Leon to Santiago the middle of Sept. for 2 weeks, as I only have that time off. Hope to go back and walk what I have missed!

      1. Enjoy your time on the Camino! is not that important how many days you spend , I started my first Camino by car from France to Santiago in five days around 18 years ago .
        Two years ago I made Sarria to Santiago and last October Leon to Sarria, next year SJpdP to Burgos with my family.
        All of them has been a beautiful experience , I simply don’t have enough days to make it all the way through right now, but in my mind is room for that on the future.
        Do your part and enjoy.
        Buen Camino

  5. You can spread your time over years if necessary. I read an article where a man from Japan did the Camino on his vacation time over several years. I am currently planning a trip for the Spring where I will walk from SJPdP to Burgos and then pick up from there next year.

    For the Compostellano all you need is 100km from Santiago if walking and 200km if by bike or horse.

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