The Camino de Santiago in three days
Contrary to what many believe to do the Camino de Santiago, it is not necessary to have many holidays; in fact, 3 days are enough. We tell you that we are experts on the Camino de Santiago. So stop looking for excuses and escape to the Camino de Santiago in 3 days on the next public holiday.
One of the wonders of the Camino de Santiago routes is that they fit any type of pilgrim. If you have a lot of time you can swim for months, but if you have a few days, you will also find a section for yourself.
The only thing you should be clear about before you set out to do the Camino de Santiago in three days is whether it is important for you to get the Compostela or not. If your answer is yes, you should know that it is necessary to do 100 kilometres on foot and 200 if you go by bike, so that the Pilgrim’s Office of Santiago de Compostela will issue you the Compostela.
If you intend to obtain the Compostela, we recommend that you to do the last 100 km along the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Tell us details about your travel plan and let us arrange it for you
This means that if you’re going to walk for three days, you’ll have to do an average of 34 kilometres a day. In case of pilgrims by bicycle the number of km/day will be 67. However, in this article we will focus on concentrating on walking the Camino de Santiago in 3 days.
Camino de Santiago routes on foot to do in 3 days
Although your trip to the Camino de Santiago is only three days, you must think very carefully which layout to choose. The choice of route must be made according to your personal characteristics (physical endurance, tastes, etc.), although you can also consider the origin and tradition of the section in order to make a decision.
In this section of the article, we will focus on talking about the possible routes on the Camino de Santiago that you can do in 3 days, ending the route at the tomb of Santiago the Apostle. Here are the characteristics of each one of them.
Doing the Camino de Santiago Frances in three days
The Camino Frances is one of the favorite paths for pilgrims, not only for being the most famous, but also for being the one with the best infrastructure. Here’s where to start from and what stage distribution you should follow if you want to get the Compostela.
The most popular stretch among pilgrims who complete the Camino de Santiago on foot and who have little time, is the one that goes from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. This route is 115 kilometres long.
Obtain your Compostela in 3 days on the Camino Frances
If you want to get the Compostela, you will have to complete the entire tour, from Sarria. Therefore, if you only have 3 days you will have to walk an average of 38 kilometres per day. It’s not impossible, but you need to be fit to do it.
If you dare to complete the whole route, your first day on the Camino Frances you would have to complete the stage that joins Sarria with Portomarín (24.8 kilometres) and continue advancing to Gonzar or Ventas de Narón, locations located on the second stage of this section.
The next day you would have to get to Palas de Rei, thus completing what is supposed to be the second stage. That same day you should continue walking to Arzúa.
On the third day you must arrive in Santiago de Compostela. In total 38.7 kilometres of travel.
Three quiet days on the Camino Frances to Santiago
If getting the Compostela is not important for you, you can start this section from Palas de Rei. This way you will have much more time to enjoy the surroundings and the villages that come your way. In that case, the stage distribution would be:
- Palas de Rei – Arzúa (28,5 km)
- Arzúa – O Pedrouzo (19,3 km)
- O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela (19,4 km)
What to do in 3 days on the Camino Frances
These last kilometres are the busiest part on the Camino Frances. The influx of pilgrims in this section is quite high, especially in summer.
If you’re looking to meet new people, it’s the best option. But if you’re looking for peace of mind, it’s best to continue reading and choose another route.
On this tour you will find beautiful landscapes and villages with a strong pilgrim tradition. Two examples are: Portomarín y Arzúa.
Doing the Camino Portugues in 3 days
If you are looking for a less crowded route, the Camino Portugues is your route. In Portugal there are two routes, the Central and the Coastal.
Both run practically, flat. The Portuguese paths are considered the easiest.
Getting the Compostela in 3 days on the Camino Portugues
If you choose the Camino Central Portugues, you can start the Camino de Santiago from O Porriño. From there it is 101.2 km to reach Compostela.
The other option is to follow the Camino Portugues Coastal route and start walking from Vigo. The route from there also meets the minimum kilometres required to get the Compostela. In total, 102 kilometres of travel.
On both routes, if you want to complete the minimum kilometres on the Camino de Santiago in three days, you will have to walk an average of 34 kilometres per day. In fact, there aren’t many differences between routes.
The only thing different is the first few kilometres. Then, both paths join in Redondela and continue together to Santiago de Compostela.
Three quiet days on the Camino Portugues
Those who prioritize enjoying the tour to get the Compostela, can shorten the route. In three days the classic stage distribution would start from Pontevedra. The route is as follows:
- Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis (23 km)
- Caldas de Reis – Padrón (18,6 km)
- Padrón – Santiago de Compostela (25,2 km)
What to see in 3 days on the Camino Portugues
This section of the Camino Portugues offers beautiful landscapes, such as the setting of the Vigo estuary. It also crosses villages full of history, such as Redondela and Caldas de Reis.
You will also have the opportunity to visit Padrón; a locality famous for its peppers and for being the town in which the writer Rosalía de Castro lived the last years of her life.
This pilgrim route is an excellent option to complete the Camino de Santiago in 3 days if you do not want to make too intense physical effort. You won’t find an easier route!
Doing the Camino Ingles in three days
The English Way is the route par excellence for those who have little time. The entire route has only 5 stages, so it is an ideal route for those who want to live the experience of completing an entire pilgrim route, but who have little time.
Do the complete route and obtain your Compostela
El Camino Ingles departs from Ferrol. From there to Santiago de Compostela there are 122 kilometres. That means that to complete the entire tour in 3 days you will need to do an average of 40 kilometres per day.
If you wish, and without giving up the Compostela, you can shorten the route starting from Xubia (108.5 km) or from Fene (102.2 km). Both towns are located on the first stage of the route.
The last three classic stages on the Camino Ingles
If you do not mind giving up the Compostela, nor the first two stages of the route, you can follow the distribution of classic stages on this route. That means you’ll travel a total of 71.6 kilometres in three days. In that case, the route plan would be:
- Betanzos – Bruma Mesón do Vento (30,3 km)
- Bruma Mesón do Vento – Sigüeiro (24,8 km)
- Sigüeiro – Santiago de Compostela (16,5 km)
The attractions on the Camino Ingles
Two of the five stages of the Camino Ingles are carried out along the coast. The other three cross rural Galicia.
If you want to know more about this route, be sure to check out this article in which we talk about the charms of the Camino Ingles and the characteristics of its stages. So you can decide if you make the effort to complete the 5 stages or enjoy only completing the last three.
Doing the Camino del Norte in 3 days
The Camino del Norte is another alternative to do the Camino de Santiago in 3 days. The only thing is that since this route joins in its final stages with the Camino Frances, you will actually only do one or two stages that are typical of the Camino del Norte.
The last 100 kilometres of the Camino del Norte
If you want to get the Compostela in three days, the Camino del Norte is not one of the best routes. As it is considered the second most difficult, with frequent slopes that will force you to move slower.
If you consider that you are fit enough to meet this challenge, to get the Compostela in three days, following this route, you must start from Baamonde. In total 101.3 kilometres.
The last three stages on the Camino del Norte
If you decide to give up the Compostela but want to enjoy a day on the Camino del Norte, before joining the busy Camino Frances, you can start your pilgrimage in Sobrado. From there you will have to complete 60 kilometres to the Cathedral of Compostela:
- Sobrado – Arzúa (21,4 km)
- Arzúa – Pedrouzo (19,3 km)
- Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela (19,4 km)
Advantages of starting on the Camino del Norte
In three days, you can enjoy a little bit of everything. Some tranquillity provided by the Camino del Norte and the pleasant hustle and bustle of the Camino Frances.
The Camino Primitivo in three days
The Camino Primitivo is the most difficult route. Therefore, unless you want to consider those three days on the Camino de Santiago as a physical challenge, we do not recommend it. If you only have three days, we advise you to choose a simpler route.
Trying to complete the last 100 kilometres of the Primitive Way in three days, involves departing from Lugo. If you want to complete three classic stages of this route in three days, it is not possible. Since this path converges with the Camino Frances in Melide and therefore you would be doing exclusively stages along the French route.
Three days on La Via de la Plata
The Via de la Plata is another option. If you leave from Ourense, following the Camino Sanabrés, you can complete the minimum 100 kilometres to get the Compostela.
Those who are not worried about getting the Compostela can shorten the route and start from Casarellos. So the stage schedule would be as follows:
- Casarellos – Lalín (27,1 km)
- Lalín – Ponte Ulla (28,7 km)
- Ponte Ulla – Santiago de Compostela (20,9 km)
Other routes to do the Camino de Santiago in 3 days
In the previous section we mentioned the pilgrim routes that you can do in three days to conclude your journey in front of the Cathedral of Santiago. However, there are endless options. So many that it would be impossible to bring them all together in this article.
Therefore, following one of the lessons learned on the Camino de Santiago which says that the magic is on the Camino, not in the destination; we want to talk to you about the early stages of the different pilgrim routes. You will not end in front of the tomb of Santiago the Apostle, but you can always return another time and continue the Camino from where you left off.
However, on the routes that we propose below you must be very clear that you will not get the Compostela. Still, we can assure you that it will be a magnificent experience. The only problem is that you won’t want to go home and become an addict to the Camino de Santiago.
The Camino Frances from Sant Pied de Port or Roncesvalles
If you depart from St Jean Pied de Port, following the French Way, in three days, you can reach Pamplona, walking an average of 20 kilometres per day. The stage distribution is as follows:
- St Jean – Roncesvalles (24 km)
- Roncesvalles – Zubiri (21 km)
- Zubiri – Pamplona (20 km)
Since the first stage of the Camino Frances is quite hard, maybe you should consider starting from Roncesvalles, especially if you’re not in very good physical shape.
In that case, you could get to the village of Puente la Reina. Check out our post about the first stage of the Camino Frances to help make a decision, if you decide on this route.
Whether you start from Saint Jean Pied de Port or from Roncesvalles, in those three days on the Camino de Santiago you will have the opportunity to visit the lively city of Pamplona. In addition to tasting good wine, it’s not in vain that the Camino Frances is also famous for being a wine-tasting route.
The Camino Portugues from Lisbon
Another option is the Camino Central Portugues. In three days you can go from Lisbon to Azambuja, following this stage distribution:
- Lisbon – Santa Iria de Azóia (17 km)
- Santa Iria de Azóia – Vila Franca de Xira (19,7 km)
- Vila Franca de Xira – Azambuja (20,6 km)
However, if you only have three days, and unless you are very excited about this route, we do not recommend it. And we do not because the first stages of the Camino Central Portugues are precisely the ugliest and run through a very urban and industrial environment. You have been warned!
The Camino Portugues Coastal Route
If you want to do any of the routes of the Camino de Santiago that cross Portugal, we recommend that, if you only have three days, choose the Coastal Route. In 3 days walking, you will travel from Porto and arrive in the beautiful Viana do Castelo:
- Porto – Póvoa de Varzim (30,6 km)
- Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende (20,2 km)
- Esposende – Viana do Castelo (25,1)
Three days from Irún on the Camino del Norte
From Irun, following the Camino del Norte, you can reach Deba in 3 days. The stage plan would be:
- Irún – San Sebastián (26,8 km)
- San Sebastián – Zarautz (20,3 km)
- Zarautz – Deba (22 km)
From Oviedo on the Camino Primitivo
If you are in good physical shape and looking to test your limits, you can choose the Camino Primitivo. In three days you can go from Oviedo to Tineo. In total, 69.2 kilometres:
- Oviedo – Grado (25,8 km)
- Grado – Salas (23,2 km)
- Salas – Tineo (20,2 km)
In Santiago Ways we hope that all the information that we have provided you will encourage you to do the Camino de Santiago in 3 days, if you don’t have more time. And in case you still have doubts, we leave you this article in which we give you 10 reasons to do the Camino de Santiago.
If you’re going to organize the Camino de Santiago on your own, follow these steps. If you do not have time to organize the Camino de Santiago, please contact us and we will take care of everything.
Call us, leave a comment or write on our Facebook, our team will take care of adapting the route to your physical conditions and the three days you have to getaway to complete the Camino de Santiago. So you just have to spend your free time enjoying the experience!