Doing the Camino de Santiago in 20 days
There are not many people who can afford to do the Camino de Santiago in 20 days. For most people, having twenty days to make a pilgrimage means using almost all of their annual leave to it.
Others take advantage of a layoff or a job change to enjoy some free time and live an experience they had always dreamed of. Regardless of your case, if you have 20 days to do the Camino de Santiago, congratulations, you are one of the lucky few!
During this time you will have the opportunity to enjoy nature and see how the landscape changes as you move from one region to another. You will also discover many charming villages and regional dishes.
You will also return home with many new friends, some of them, for life. And to all this, it should be added that you will get into shape and that you will take one of the most beautiful memories that a trip can provide: different life lessons.
It is true that to do the longest routes on the Camino de Santiago it takes more than twenty days, but there are many pilgrim routes that you can complete in that time. 20 days give you plenty of time to travel a long distance!
One route we recommend is the Camino de Santiago from Burgos, hometown of “El Cid Campeador” and considered the Gothic capital of Spain. If you are interested in this journey, tell us details about the adventure you want to carry out and leave it in our hands.
Camino de Santiago routes that you can complete in 20 days
In the next section we want to talk about itineraries on the Camino de Santiago that you can complete in 20 days. On all the routes that we propose below you will have a few days to spare.
You have different ways to make use of those days. One of them is to shorten the stages, that is to say walk less kilometres per day, having more time to stop in the places you cross.
The other alternative is to take a few days off during the route. In this way, you will have time to visit the big cities that will come your way.
Another option is to combine several pilgrim routes. If you are seduced by this idea, continue reading, because in each of the following sections, we propose various routes that can be combined in 20 days.
The Camino Sanabrés
The Camino Sanabres begins in Granja de Moreruela. Actually this route is the final section of the Via de la Plata, but it is a road route. The route is 366 kilometres long. Our proposal is to divide it into 15 stages, as shown below:
- Granja de Moreruela – Tábara (25,3 km)
- Tábara – Santa Marta de Tera (22,7 km)
- Santa Marta de Tera – Mombuey (36,9 km)
- Mombuey – Puebla de Sanabria (31 km)
- Puebla de Sanabria – Lubián (29,5 km)
- Lubián – A Gudiña (23,8 km)
- A Gudiña – Laza (35 km)
- Laza – Xunqueira de Ambía (33,2 km)
- Xunqueira de Ambía – Ourense (22 km)
- Ourense – Cea (22,1 km)
- Cea – Casarellos (8,1 km)
- Casarellos – Lalín (27,1 km)
- Lalín – Silleda (9,5 km)
- Silleda – Ponte Ulla (19,2 km)
- Ponte Ulla – Santiago de Compostela (20,9 km)
As you can see with the stage distribution, there are some that are quite short and others that have a fairly long distance. This is because it is not one of the routes that have the best infrastructure and therefore, sometimes it is inevitable to propose either very long or very short stages.
If you are in good shape, you can complete the Camino Sanabres in 13 stages. And if, on the other hand, the long stages seem excessive to you because of your physical condition, you can try to split all those that are almost 30 kilometres or more. In this way completing the Camino Sanabres will take you just 20 days.
The Camino Primitivo
The Camino Primitivo to Santiago is a 316.2-kilometre route that departs from Oviedo. The route can be divided into 14 stages, of which the last 3 are made following the Camino Frances.
The difficulty of this route, characterized by the frequent presence of slopes, makes the stages not very long. The average of these is 22 kilometres. The distribution of stages that we propose for this itinerary is as follows:
- Oviedo – Grado (25,8 km)
- Grado – Salas (23,2 km)
- Salas – Tineo (20,2 km)
- Tineo – Pola de Allende (28,2 km)
- Pola de Allende – Berducedo (18,2 km)
- Berducedo – Grandas de Salime (21,2 km)
- Grandas de Salime – Fonsagrada (26,3 km)
- Fonsagrada – Cádavo Baleira (23,4 km)
- Cádavo Baleira – Lugo (30,5 km)
- Lugo – Ferreira (26,5 km)
- Ferreira – Melide (20,3 km)
- Melide – Arzúa (13,7 km)
- Arzúa – O Pedrouzo (19,3 km)
- Amenal – Santiago de Compostela (19,4 km)
How to do the Camino Primitivo in 20 days
If you decide to do this route, of the 20 days you have to do the Camino de Santiago you will have 6 days left over. If you are not in very good physical shape we recommend that you consider shorter stages, since the path is quite demanding.
Dividing in two all of those stages that exceed 25 kilometres, you will have a single day left. You can dedicate it to visiting Santiago de Compostela.
In case you don’t want to break the distribution of classic stages, another option is to dedicate the days you have left to visit towns and cities of interest. Specifically, on this route some places that deserve a full day’s visit are: Oviedo, Lugo, Melide, Arzúa and Santiago de Compostela.
From Oviedo to Muxía in 20 days
If you are one of those who have decided to complete the Camino Primitivo to Santiago as a physical challenge and you want to consider a trip of 20 intense days, you can also combine this route with another one. A good option is the Camino de Finisterre and Muxía, which lasts 6 days.
The Camino Portugues Coastal Route
Another route on the Camino de Santiago that you can complete in 20 days is the Camino Portugues Coastal Route. This route has a distance of 265 kilometres, which are usually divided into 12 stages, as shown in the following list:
- Porto – Póvoa de Varzim (30,6 km)
- Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende (20,2 km)
- Esposende – Viana do Castelo (25,1)
- Viana do Castelo – Ancora (18,3 km)
- Ancora – Guarda (12,8 km)
- Guarda – Baiona (30,7 km)
- Baiona – Vigo (25,3 km)
- Vigo – Redondela (16 km)
- Redondela – Pontevedra (19 km)
- Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis (23 km)
- Caldas de Reis -Padrón (18,6 km)
- Padrón – Santiago de Compostela (25,2 km)
The Camino Portugues Coastal Route is the opposite of the Camino Primitivo. It is an accessible route for everyone, because it lacks, almost entirely, any climbs. In fact, it is listed as the easiest pilgrim route.
This route joins in Redondela, the Central Camino Portugues, the other route of the Camino de Santiago that runs through Portugal. You can read on our blog post we dedicate to the Portuguese routes if you want to know more about them.
The average mileage of this tour is 22 kilometres per day. If you have 20 days to do the Camino de Santiago and you opt for this route, you will have 8 days left over. Those extra days can be used in several ways.
What to do in 20 days on the Camino Portugues Coastal route
One of them is to take a few days off during the route to enjoy the beaches of northern Portugal and to visit cities such as Porto, Vigo, Pontevedra and Santiago de Compostela. This option is especially recommended if you make your pilgrimage in good weather, such as spring, summer or the beginning of autumn.
From Porto to Muxía
Another option is to continue your pilgrimage to the Cape Finisterre and Muxía, as we proposed for the Camino Primitivo. In that case you will do all of your pilgrimage along the coast. First following the Portuguese coast and then the Costa da Morte.
Completing the Camino Portugues Coastal Route and the Camino de Finisterre will take you 18 days. That means you will also have 2 days to visit Santiago de Compostela or another city. A complete plan!
From Coimbra to Santiago de Compostela
If you prefer to enjoy changing landscapes, an alternative to doing all your pilgrimage along the coast, is to start walking from the student city of Coimbra. You can do the first six stages of your route by following the Camino Central Portugues. The distribution of the stages from Coimbra to Porto would be as follows:
- Coímbra – Mealhada (25 km)
- Águeda – Albergaria a Velha (15,8 km)
- Albergaria a Velha – Sao Joao da Madeira (28,8 km)
- Sao Joao da Madeira – Grijó (19 km)
- Grijó – Porto (15,1 km)
So, you can enjoy both inland and coastal landscapes. And, in addition, you will have 2 days to visit, in greater depth, some of the beautiful cities that you will find on this route.
The Camino de los Faros to Santiago
Another route you can do in 20 days is the Camino de los Faros combined with the Camino de Finisterre. If you leave from Santiago de Compostela it is not considered a Camino de Santiago, but if you make the route in reverse, departing from Malpica, yes. So you can request the Compostela when you arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago.
This route has 286.6 km and can be divided into 12 stages. During the first kilometres, to Cape Finisterre, el Camino de los Faros is followed. If you want you can see the entrance that we dedicate to the Camino de los Faros to see the characteristics of those early stages.
From Finisterre, we continue along the Camino de Finisterre, in the opposite direction. Therefore, the stage distribution for this option would be:
- Malpica – Niñons (21,9 km)
- Niñons – Ponteceso (26,1 km)
- Ponteceso – Laxe (25,2 km)
- Laxe – Arou (17,7 km)
- Arou – Camariñas (22,7 km)
- Camariñas – Muxía (32 km)
- Muxía – Nemiña (24,3 km)
- Nemiña – Finisterre (26,2 km)
- Finisterre – Cee (12,2 km)
- Cee – Olveiroa (20 km)
- Olveiroa – Negreira (33,4 km)
- Negreira – Santiago de Compostela (21 km)
If you can do the Camino de Santiago in 20 days and you opt for this route, you will have 8 days left over. Those extra days can be used in a variety of ways.
What to do in 20 days on the Costa da Morte
The Costa da Morte is famous for its beaches and for the intense colour of its landscapes and the Camino de los Faros is a very demanding route. So, one option is to take a few days off during the route to enjoy the small fishing villages on the Costa da Morte and its beaches.
From Malpica to Vigo
If after arriving in Santiago de Compostela, you want to continue walking along the coast, you can do the Camino Portugues Coastal Route in reverse. With 20 days to complete the Camino de Santiago, you will have enough time to go to Vigo and you will still have 2 days to visit Compostela and Vigo. These latter stages would be:
- Santiago de Compostela – Padrón (25,2 km)
- Padrón – Caldas de Reis (18,6 km)
- Caldas de Reis – Pontevedra (23 km)
- Pontevedra – Redondela (19,2 km)
- Redondela – Vigo (16 km)
- Vigo – Baiona (25,3 km)
From Malpica to Sarria
Another option, very similar to the previous one, is to continue along the Camino Frances in the opposite direction until reaching Sarria. The section from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela is the most popular on the Camino Frances, but few are encouraged to do so in reverse. If you want to know more about this section of the Camino Frances, you can consult the article we dedicate to these final kilometres.
The Camino de Invierno
An alternative, little known among pilgrims, is the Camino de Invierno (The Winter Way). This route begins in Ponferrada and has a distance of 263 kilometres, which can be divided into 10 stages. If you want to know more about this forgotten route, you can check the article where we talk about the origin and the stages on the Camino de Invierno.
This route will take up half of the twenty days you have to do the Camino de Santiago. Our proposal is that after resting two days in Santiago, visiting the city and obtaining your Compostela, you continue along the Camino de los Faros. In total, 20 days en route!
The Camino Ingles to Santiago: 20 days discovering Galicia
The English Way is the shortest Jacobean path. It is only 122.3 kilometres long and can be completed in 5 days. If you want, you can read more about its stages in the article we dedicate to the charms of the Camino Ingles.
Since it is a very short route, if you have twenty days to make the Camino de Santiago you will have to complement this route with others. Our proposal is that you organize a 20-day trip in which you can discover Galicia on foot. So the route would be as follows:
1. Camino Ingles: 5 days
- Ferrol – Pontedeume (29,7 km)
- Pontedeume – Betanzos (21 km)
- Betanzos – Bruma Mesón do Vento (30,3 km)
- Bruma Mesón do Vento – Sigüeiro (24,8 km)
- Sigüeiro – Santiago de Compostela (16,5 km)
2. Camino de Finisterre: 6 days
- Santiago de Compostela – Negreira (21 km)
- Negreira – Olveiroa (33,4 km)
- Olveiroa – Cee (20 km)
- Cee – Finisterre (12,2 km)
- Finisterre – Lires (13,6 km)
- Lires – Muxía (14,4 km)
3. The end of the Camino de los Faros: 6 days
- Muxía – Camariñas (32 km)
- Camariñas – Arou (22,7 km)
- Arou – Laxe (17,7 km)
- Laxe – Ponteceso (25,2 km)
- Ponteceso – Niñons (26,1 km)
- Niñons – Malpica (21,9 km)
And yet, you will have 3 days still left to visit Santiago and stop in some fishing villages on the Costa da Morte. Without a doubt, if you want to discover Galicia, this plan is ideal.
The long routes on the Camino de Santiago
Of all the routes of the Camino de Santiago, there are only 3 long routes that you will not be able to complete in 20 days. One of them is the Via de la Plata, which is the longest route.
The other is the Camino del Norte, which is the second longest. The third is the Camino Frances, the most popular itinerary, but very few pilgrims wholly complete it in a single trip.
However, that does not mean that if you have twenty days to make the Camino de Santiago you cannot consider following any of the three sections above. In all of them you have three options.
Complete the early stages
This means that you will not finish your journey at the Cathedral of Santiago and therefore you will not be able to request the Compostela. At least not on this trip, because you could always come back another time to complete the route. Here’s how far you could go on each of these three Caminos de Santiago in 20 days:
- La Via de la Plata (from Seville): El Cubo de la Tierra del Vino or Salamanca
- Camino del Norte: Aviles
- Camino Frances: Leon
Complete some intermediate sections
Another alternative, which also involves giving up the Compostela, is to choose any intermediate section and travel it for 20 days. This is only valid for trekking lovers because we know that most pilgrims prefer to do the initial or final stages.
The possible stage combinations are endless and we would find it impossible to mention them all here. If you want, you can consult the main sections on the Via de la Plata, Camino del Norte and the Camino Francés, clicking on the links.
Doing the last 20 stages on the Camino de Santiago
The third, and most popular, option is to do the last 20 stages of one of the three routes. In this way, you will return home with the Compostela. Here are where you should leave on each route if you have twenty days to do the Camino de Santiago:
- Via de la Plata: San Pedro de Rozados or Salamanca
- Camino del Norte: Comillas
- Camino Frances: Hornillos del Camino or Burgos
You can see that the routes on the Camino de Santiago that you can do in twenty days are almost endless. We hope that the information we have provided you about the routes will help you choose yours.
Finally, we would remind you that if you want to have the help of an agency specialized in the Camino de Santiago to help you organize your 20-day trip, do not hesitate to contact us. You can use the contact form on our web, comments from this post or our page on Facebook.
Choose your route! We’ll take care of everything else.