Doing the Camino de Santiago in four days
4 days are enough to do the Camino de Santiago. Contrary to what many people believe, to do the Camino de Santiago it is not necessary to have too many days off. Doing the Camino de Santiago in 4 days is possible!
So don’t wait any longer and escape to the Camino de Santiago if you have a couple of days of holidays to take.
One of the advantages of trips on the Camino de Santiago is that the routes adapt to the needs of all kinds of pilgrims. If you are lucky enough to have many days off, you won’t be short of kilometres to travel. But if you have only four days to complete the Camino de Santiago, you will also find many possibilities.
The only thing you should be clear about before you set out to do the Camino de Santiago in 4 days is whether you want to come home with the Compostela (also incorrectly called the Compostelana) or not. If your answer is yes, you should know that it is necessary to do 100 km, if you walk, or 200, if you do it by bike, to get your certificate.
If your intention is precisely to obtain the Compostela, we recommend you to make the last 100 km along the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Tell us how you would like to live this adventure and leave the rest in our hands.
This means that if you’re going to have to do a minimum of 100 kilometres walking, in four days, you’ll have to do an average of 25 kilometres a day. Those who go cycling will have to do an average of 50 km/day. This article will be dedicated to the routes that can be done on foot in four days.
We would also remind you that in this other post you can find detailed information about doing the Camino de Santiago in 5 days.
Routes on the Camino de Santiago to do on foot in 4 days
Even if you go to the Camino de Santiago only for four days, you should think very carefully which route to choose. The decision should be made based on your personal tastes and physical endurance, although you can also consider topics such as the historical origin of the route.
In this section of the post, we will focus on talking about the possible routes on the Camino de Santiago that you can do in 4 days, ending the tour in the Cathedral of Compostela. Below we talk about the characteristics of each of the sections.
Getting the Compostela in 4 days on the Camino Frances
The Camino Frances is one of the most well-known sections and the one with the best service infrastructure. Here’s where to start from and what stage distribution you should follow if you want to get the Compostela.
The most popular section, among the pilgrims who have little time to do the Camino de Santiago is the one that runs from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. This section is 115 kilometres long.
If you want to get the Compostela, you will have to do the whole tour. So, if you only have 4 days, you will have to walk an average of 29 kilometres per day.
On the Camino de Santiago you usually walk an average of 20 or 25 kilometres per day, so it is also not a great increase in distance. The problem is the stage structure, since not in all the localities you will find somewhere to sleep.
If you dare to complete the 115 kilometres that separate Sarria from Santiago de Compostela, you can consider a route that will progressively increase the number of kilometres per day. That would mean a stage plan like the one below:
- Sarria – Portomarín (22,2 km)
- Portomarín – Palas de Rei (24,8 km)
- Palas de Rei – Arzúa (28,5 km)
- Arzúa – Santiago de Compostela (38,7 km)
No doubt the last day will be the hardest, as it involves walking almost 10 hours. If you prefer you can also try to lengthen the previous stages sleeping in intermediate locations.
Four quiet days on the Camino Frances to Santiago
If getting the Compostela is not your goal, you can start this section from Portomarín. So you will have much more time to enjoy the route and you will have more time to visit the beautiful town of Portomarín. If you choose this option, the stage distribution would be:
- Portomarín – Palas de Rei (24,8 km)
- 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 4 days on the Camino Frances
These last kilometres are the busiest on the Camino Frances. The volume of pilgrims in this section is quite high, especially in summer.
If you’re looking to make new friends, it’s the best option. But if you’re looking for solitude and being with yourself, it’s best to continue reading and choose another route.
In this final stretch of the Camino Frances, you will have the opportunity to walk through a beautiful landscape and enjoy villages with strong pilgrim tradition. Two of them are Portomarín and Arzúa.
Doing the Camino Portugues in 4 days
If you are looking for a quieter route, the Camino Portugues is for you. In Portugal there are two pilgrim routes: The Camino Central Portugues and the Camino Portugues Coastal Route.
Both have few climbs and have good services. In fact, the Portuguese routes have a reputation for being the easiest.
Get the Compostela in 4 days on the Camino Portugues
If you choose the Camino Central Portugues for the two routes, you can start the Camino de Santiago from O Porriño. From there it is 101.2 km to Compostela.
Another option is to follow the Camino Portugues Coastal Route and start walking from Vigo. The route is 102 kilometres long.
On both routes, if you want to complete the minimum kilometres on the Camino de Santiago in four days, you will have to walk an average of 25 or 26 kilometres per day. In fact, there aren’t many differences between choosing one route or the other.
The only differences are the first few kilometres on the way to Redondela. The two routes then come together and continue together to the tomb of Santiago the Apostle.
Four quiet days on the Camino Portugues to Santiago
If you prefer a quieter trip, you can consider starting from Redondela. This will avoid having to choose between the Central Route and the Coastal Route. In that case, the route would look like this:
- Redondela – Pontevedra (19,2 km)
- Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis (23 km)
- Caldas de Reis – Padrón (18,6 km)
- Padrón – Santiago de Compostela (25,2 km)
What to see in 4 days on the Camino Portugues
This stretch of the Portuguese Route offers beautiful natural environments, such as the Vigo estuary. It also traverses places full of history, such as Redondela and Caldas de Reis.
You will also have the opportunity to visit Padrón. This town is world-renowned for its peppers. It also stands out for being the town where the famous writer Rosalía de Castro lived in recent years.
The Camino Portugues is an excellent option to complete the Camino de Santiago in 4 days if you are looking to enjoy the pilgrimage, without making an intense effort. You won’t find another route any easier!
Doing the Camino Ingles in four days
The Camino Ingles is the preferred route among pilgrims who have little time to do the Camino de Santiago. This route has only 5 stages, so it is ideal for all those who want to live the experience of completing an entire pilgrim route in a few days.
Doing the Camino Ingles and get the Compostela
The Camino Ingles begins in Ferrol. From this town to Santiago de Compostela there are 122 kilometres en route. This implies that to do the whole tour in 4 days you will need to do an average of 40 kilometres a day.
If you want, without this means giving up the Compostela, you can reduce the route starting from Xubia (108.5 km) or from Fene (102.2 km). Both villages are located on the first stage of the Camino Ingles.
The final four classic stages on the Camino Ingles
If you don’t mind not getting the Compostela, you can miss out the first stage, starting from Pontedeume. That means the route would stay at almost 93 kilometres. In that case, the stage schedule would be:
- 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)
The attractions of the Camino Ingles
The first two stages of the Camino Ingles are carried out following the coast. The other three venture into rural Galicia.
If you want to know more about this route and the characteristics of its stages, you can consult the blog post, where we talk about the charms of the Camino Ingles. This way, you can decide if it’s worth it or not to complete the full route in 4 days or just do the final four stages.
Doing the Camino del Norte in 4 days
The Camino del Norte is another alternative you will find to do the Camino de Santiago in four days. This route joins the Camino Frances in the final stages, therefore, you will complete two paths in one.
The last 100 kilometres on the Northern Route
If you want to get the Compostela in four days, the Camino del Norte is not one of the best options. Since it is considered the second most difficult route, because of its steep slopes. The more uneven the route, the fewer kilometres you can complete in a day.
If you think you’re fit enough and want to take the challenge, to do the minimum 100 kilometres, you’ll need to start from Baamonde. So you’d have time to follow the last four classic stages:
- Baamonde – Sobrado (41,2 km)
- Sobrado – Arzúa (21,4 km)
- Arzúa – Pedrouzo (19,3 km)
- Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela (19,4 km)
If you decide to give up the Compostela and want to take the tour more calmly, you can start from some intermediate location between Baamonde and Sobrado. Another option is to do only the last three stages and enjoy a day to visit Arzúa.
Advantages of doing the Camino del Norte
If you decide to do the Camino del Norte, in 4 days you can enjoy a little of everything. Of the calm provided by this route and enjoy the hustle and bustle and the coming and going from pilgrims from the Camino Frances.
The Camino Primitivo in four days
The Primitive Way is the most difficult route. Therefore, unless you want to give yourself a physical challenge, it is not the most advisable route to do in 4 days.
To do the last 100 kilometres on the Camino de Santiago Primitivo in four days, you will have to leave from Lugo. If your goal is not the Compostela, but enjoying the experience, you could start from Ferreira. That involves doing a stage on the Camino Primitivo, and then joining the Camino Frances in Melide.
Four days on La Via de la Plata
La Via de la Plata is another option. To do the minimum kilometres to obtain the Compostela, you will have to leave from Ourense.
If you are not worried about getting the Compostela, you can shorten the route, starting from Cee or Casarellos. This way you’ll do between 20 and 30 kilometres less.
Other routes to do the Camino de Santiago in 4 days
In the previous section we have told you about routes that you can do in four days, if you want to finish your pilgrimage in Compostela. However, the options are endless. There are so many possible routes that it would be absurd to try to reflect them all in this post.
So, following one of the lessons learned on the Camino de Santiago, that magic is found on the Camino, and not at your destination, we want to tell you about the early stages of the different pilgrim paths. You will not finish your tour in Santiago, but you can always return to the Camino another time and continue the route from where you left off.
About the routes that we will comment on below you will not get the Compostela. At least, not on this first trip to the Camino de Santiago.
But no-one says you’re not going to become an addict to pilgrim routes and take advantage of any public holidays to keep moving forward. Sooner or later, be sure that you will arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago and get the coveted Compostela.
The Camino Frances from Saint Pied de Port or Roncesvalles
If you start from Saint Jean Pied de Port, following the French route, in four days, you can reach Puente la Reina, walking an average of 20 kilometres a day. The distribution of classic stages is:
- St Jean – Roncesvalles (24 km)
- Roncesvalles – Zubiri (21 km)
- Zubiri – Pamplona (20 km)
- Pamplona – Puente la Reina (24 km)
Considering that the stage between Saint Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles is quite hard, you might want to consider starting from Roncesvalles. There are many pilgrims who do so, even having many free days.
In that case, you could get to the pretty Estella, a medieval town. Check out our article on the first stage on the Camino Frances to decide where to begin your pilgrimage.
Whether you start from Saint Jean Pied de Port or from Roncesvalles, in four days on the Camino Frances to Santiago, you will have the opportunity to visit the lively city of Pamplona. In addition, if you like wine, you can visit various vineyards and wineries on the tour. The Camino Frances is also famous for being a famous wine route.
The Camino Portugues from Lisbon
Another option is the Camino Central Portugues. In four days, you can go from Lisbon to the impressive Santarém, the cradle of Portuguese Gothic architecture. The classic stage scheme would be:
- 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)
- Azambuja – Santarém (33 km)
We would warn you that the early stages on the Camino Central Portugues are not very pretty. But the truth is that walking to the magnificent Santarém has its charm.
The Camino Portugués Coastal route
Another option is to start the tour from Porto following theCamino Portugués Coastal route. In 4 days walking you can reach Ancora:
- 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)
Four days from Irún on the Camino del Norte
From Irun, following the Camino del Norte, you will reach Markina in four days. The stage plan is:
- Irún – San Sebastián (26,8 km)
- San Sebastián – Zarautz (20,3 km)
- Zarautz – Deba (22 km)
- Deba – Markina (24,3 km)
From Oviedo on the Camino Primitivo
If you are in good physical shape and looking to test your endurance, you can opt for the Camino Primitivo. In four days you can go from Oviedo to Pola de Allende. A route of 97.4 kilometres:
- Oviedo – Grado (25,8 km)
- Grado – Salas (23,2 km)
- Salas – Tineo (20,2 km)
- Tineo – Pola de Allande (28,2 km)
We hope that all the information that we have provided you in this article, will encourage you to do the Camino de Santiago, even if you only have 4 days off. If you still have doubts whether the Camino de Santiago is an experience for you or not, we leave you this post here, where you will find 10 reasons to do the Camino.
If you’re going to arrange your trip on your own, check out our article on how to prepare yourself to do the Camino. Anyway, don’t forget that if you don’t have time to organize it or want to live the experience in more comfort, you can count on an agency specialized in the Camino, that will help you organize everything.
We work all year round and organize tailor-made trips. Call us, leave us a comment or write on our Facebook. The Santiago Ways team will take care of adapting the route to the four days you have to escape on the Camino. So you just have to worry about enjoying the experience!