The Camino de Santiago in eight days
If you have 8 days off, don’t think any more about it and come to do the Camino de Santiago. Eight days on the Camino de Santiago go a long way. You will be able to enjoy nature, visit an impressive architectural heritage and, all of this, while discovering the regional gastronomy and getting your body in shape. What more can you ask of a holiday?
One of the many good things about the Camino de Santiago is that the routes are easily adapted to the needs of each pilgrim. It doesn’t matter if you’re in good physical shape or not, nor does your age, and, much less, the time you have to make a pilgrimage. Everyone finds their ideal route!
Camino de Santiago routes to do in 8 days
The first thing to consider if you want to do the Camino de Santiago in 8 days is which section you will follow. Pay attention to the details that we tell you in this article to know what is the best route for you.
In the next section, we will talk about routes on the Camino de Santiago that you can do in 8 days, finishing your tour in Santiago de Compostela. In all the options we give you, you will do more than the minimum 100 kilometres required to obtain the Compostela (also misnamed, Compostelana). Therefore, if you are excited to come home with the certificate, you will have no problem in asking for it.
If you want to walk the 100 km calmly and without any hurry, we recommend the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Leave us your details and we will contact you to organize your experience.
Doing the Camino Frances in 8 days
The Camino Frances is the route that has the most services (hostels, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, etc.), as it is also the most popular. If you have 8 free days, and respecting the distribution of classic stages, you could leave from Villafranca del Bierzo.
From Villafranca del Bierzo there are 180.6 kilometres, divided into 8 stages to Santiago de Compostela. However, if you start from this town, you should know that in your first stage you will have to face one of the most feared climbs on the Camino Frances: the ascent to O Cebreiro.
If you don’t think you’re in the right physical shape to face this challenge, you can get there by transport and start from Triacastela. This reduces the route to 152.8 km.
If you leave from Triacastela, of the 8 days you have to complete the Camino de Santiago, you will have a day left over. That extra day you could dedicate to visit Santiago de Compostela. The city has many attractions, check out our guide to Compostela to know what to do and what to see.
Once the first stages have been completed, you will enter the busiest section on the Camino Frances, the stages that separate Sarria from the Cathedral of Santiago. If you want to know more about these last kilometres, you can consult the article that we dedicate to the last section on the Camino Frances to Santiago.
What to do in eight days on the Camino Frances
As mentioned above, the Camino Frances is the most popular pilgrim itinerary. The advantage of having 8 days to do the Camino de Santiago Frances is that you can enjoy one or two quiet stages, before going onto the final section.
However, you should know that the last kilometres on the Camino Frances are not always overcrowded. July and August are the busiest months. But if you make pilgrimages at another time of year, you will find a very different route. If you want to know more about this topic, you can check out our blog post where we talk about the best time to make your pilgrimage.
If you finally decide to do the Camino Frances to Santiago in 8 days, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful natural environment, to travel the only pilgrim route declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and to visit villages as picturesque as Portomarín, a town that rose from the ashes, and Arzúa.
Doing the Camino Portugues in 8 days
The Camino Portugues is the alternative to the Camino Frances and the one chosen by pilgrims who feel that they are not in very good physical condition. In Portugal you will find two pilgrim routes: The Central and Coastal.
Both routes have few slopes and have the necessary services to make a pilgrimage quite comfortably. Both routes are very simple!
The Camino Portugues to Santiago on the Central Route in 8 days
Following the classic stages of the Central Portuguese Way, if you have 8 days you can start the route from Ponte da Lima. From this town to the Cathedral of Santiago there are 153.9 kilometres.
On the second stage, you will arrive in Tui, where you will find the famous international bridge that links Portugal with Galicia. From Tui, the most popular stretch of the Camino Central Portugues begins.
These last kilometres on the Camino Central Portugues are the most popular, although not as popular as the route from Sarria. If you want more information about this section of the tour, you can consult the article that we dedicate to the Camino Portugues from Tui.
If you want to have a day off to visit Santiago de Compostela, you can shorten the tour starting from Rubianes. In this way, the distance you will travel a total of 136.5 kilometres.
Eight days on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route
If you have your 8 days off at a time of year when the weather is good, such as spring, summer or the beginning of autumn, The Camino Portugues Coastal Route can be an excellent option. You can start walking from the town of Ancora.
That means completing a 170.8-kilometre route, divided into eight stages. If you want to have a day off to visit Santiago de Compostela, you can start from A Guarda, reducing the route to 7 stages.
Actually, this route is so simple that you could even join some stages together, doing an average of 30 kilometres a day. An easy distance for most people, on this particular route. This way, you could even take a day off to enjoy the beach.
What to do in eight days on the Camino Portugues to Santiago
The Central and Coastal routes come together in Redondela. If you choose the central route during the stages you will cross inland landscapes, while if you follow the coastal one, you can enjoy the beaches of northern Portugal.
Either way, both routes allow you to enjoy one of the most beautiful natural environments in the Galician community, the Vigo estuary. On both routes you can visit charming villages such as Redondela, Caldas de Reis and Padrón.
Doing the Camino Ingles in 8 days
The Camino de Santiago Ingles is so short that you will have three days left. Check out our guide to the Camino Ingles to learn more about the 5 stages that make up this route.
Right now you should be thinking that this route is too short for your 8-day holiday. Don’t believe it, on the Camino de Santiago there is never enough time!
If you like this route and want to complete the Camino de Santiago in 8 days, you have several options. One of them is to keep those three days to visit Ferrol and Santiago de Compostela.
Another option is to add Finisterre to your holiday. In that case, you can do two things. The first is to lengthen the stages of the Camino Ingles to complete the route in 4 stages.
This way, you will have 4 days left over and you will have enough time to continue walking to Finisterre. Check the post where we talk about the characteristics of the stages of the route to Cape Finisterre to find out more.
The second option is to do the Camino Ingles respecting the 5 classic stages and take transport to Finisterre when you arrive in Santiago de Compostela. You can always go on the Camino to The End of the World another time.
Doing the Camino del Norte in 8 days
Eight days is enough time to enjoy the wonders of the Camino del Norte to Santiago. This route allows you to enjoy the intense green landscapes in northern Spain and the yellow sandy beaches on the Cantabrian coast.
If you have 8 full days to pilgrimage, you can start from the town of Ribadeo. In this way you will complete 5 stages of the Camino del Norte, and then join the Camino Frances, in Arzúa.
Doing the Camino Primitivo in eight days
The Camino Primitivo faces frequent and steep slopes. Therefore, it is considered the most difficult pilgrim route. However, if you are looking to test your physical endurance, this route is for you.
If you have eight days to do the Camino Primitivo, you can respect the classic stages of this route and start walking from Grandas de Salime. 179.4 kilometres separate this town from Santiago de Compostela.
In those eight days, you can enjoy one of the most natural landscapes along the Camino de Santiago. In fact, this route has the smallest surface area of asphalt on the route. You can also visit places such as Lugo, Melide and Arzúa.
Eight days on La Via de la Plata
Doing La Via de la Plata in eight days is also a great alternative. You can leave from Puebla de Sanabria or Lubián, depending on how long you want the stages to be.
This stretch of the Via de la Plata is known as Camino Sanabres. In this section you can visit Ourense and various hot springs, which are said to have healing properties.
Other pilgrim routes to make an eight-day getaway
In the previous sections, we have told you about routes that you can do in 8 days, if your wish is to finish in Santiago de Compostela. But there are many more options.
In fact, in 8 days you could choose any stretch on the Camino de Santiago. But we know that most pilgrims prefer to do the final or the initial stages. So, then, we tell you which initial stretches of each Camino de Santiago you can complete in eight days.
On the paths that we will comment about below, you will not be able to request the Compostela, as you will not finish the tour in Santiago. However, perhaps on your next visit to the Camino de Santiago you will, and then you can apply for the Compostela.
In fact, the routes are quite addictive and most pilgrims visit the Camino de Santiago on more than one occasion throughout their lives. Remember to save your pilgrim’s credential to always use the same one. It will be a nice memory of your experience!
Doing the initial stages of the Camino Frances in 8 days
If you start from St Jean Pied de Port, following this route, in 8 days, you can reach Nájera. The stage plan on this section would be:
- St Jean – Roncesvalles (24 km)
- Roncesvalles – Zubiri (21 km)
- Zubiri – Pamplona (20 km)
- Pamplona – Puente la Reina (24 km)
- Puente la Reina – Estella (22 km)
- Estella – Los Arcos (21 km)
- Los Arcos – Logroño (27 km)
- Logroño – Nájera (28 km)
Many people decide to start the Camino Frances from Roncesvalles, to avoid the first stage, which is quite complicated. Check out our post about the first stage of the Camino Frances to decide whether to start walking from Saint Jean Pied de Port or Roncesvalles.
In this section of the Camino Frances, you will have the opportunity to visit Pamplona, Estella and Logroño. You will also have the opportunity to make a toast at the well-known wine fountain of the Irache Wineries.
Las initial stages del Camino Central Portugues in eight days
If you prefer to do your tour of Portugal, one option is the Camino central Portugues. In 8 days you can go from Lisbon to Ansiao, passing through the beautiful city of Santarém. The stage distribution on this section would be as follows:
- Lisboa – 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)
- Santarém – Golega (32,3 km)
- Golega – Tomar (30,5 km)
- Tomar – Alvaiázere (31 km)
- Alvaiázere – Ansiao (12,7 km)
The first kilometres on the Camino Portugues Coastal Route in 8 days
Another alternative is to start your tour from Porto. Following the Camino Portugues Coastal Route, in 8 days, you can reach Redondela, where the Coastal Route joins the Central one.
On this route you will have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful yellow sandy beaches. You can also live the experience of crossing to A Guarda by boat. The stage distribution is:
- Oporto – 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)
Doing the initial stages of the Camino del Norte in 8 days
In eight days, departing from Irun, you can walk to Portugalete, following the Camino del Norte. In total, 164.3 kilometres. The classic stages along this section are:
- Irún – San Sebastián (26,8 km)
- San Sebastián – Zarautz (20,3 km)
- Zarautz – Deba (22 km)
- Deba – Markina (24,3 km)
- Markina – Gernika (25 km)
- Gernika – Lezama (15 km)
- Lezama – Bilbao (11,2 km)
- Bilbao – Portugalete (19,7 km)
Doing the Camino Primitivo in eight days: initial stages
The Camino Primitivo is the alternative for pilgrims looking for a physical challenge. Doing the Camino Primitivo to Santiago in 8 days, from Oviedo, will allow you to reach Cádavo Baleira:
- Oviedo – Grado (25,8 km)
- Grado – Salas (23,2 km)
- Salas – Tineo (20,2 km)
- Tineo – Pola de Allande (28,2 km)
- Pola de Allande – Berducedo (18,2 km)
- Berducedo – Grandas de Salime (21,2 km)
- Grandas de Salime – Fonsagrada (26,3 km)
- Fonsagrada – Cádavo Baleira (23,4 km)
The Camino de los Faros in eight days
If you are looking simply for a tour that allows you to walk and enjoy nature, an alternative to the Camino de Santiago routes is the Camino de los Faros. This route can be completed in 8 days.
This route runs along the Costa da Morte. In total, it is approximately 200 kilometres long. You can read more about the Camino de Los Faros in this blog post.
If you are one of those who does not want to return home without the Compostela, you should know that you can also do the route in reverse.
We hope that the details that we have provided you in this blog post will help you decide which route on the Camino de Santiago to do in 8 days. If you’re going to arrange your trip on your own, check out our post on how to prepare for pilgrimage.
Anyway, don’t forget that you can also count on an agency specialized in the Camino that will help you organize everything. That way, you don’t risk something going wrong!
We will be happy to help you prepare your trip to do the Camino de Santiago in 8 days. You can call us, leave us a comment or write to us on our page in Facebook. Our team will take care of everything!