How many days are needed to do the Camino de Santiago?
Many people contact us to ask how long it takes to do the Camino de Santiago. We always answer that the number of days on the Camino de Santiago depends upon many factors.
What does it depend on? It depends on how it is organized. Do you want to know what elements influence the time it takes to make the Camino de Santiago? Keep reading! We’ll explain it to you now.
How long does the Camino de Santiago take? It depends!
The pilgrim route you choose, the way you decide to go on pilgrimage and your physical condition are some of the elements that determine how long it takes to make the Camino de Santiago. Next, we’ll tell you how each of them influences how you organize your trip to Santiago depending on your free days.
The route that you choose
The itinerary of the Camino de Santiago you choose determines the duration of the route. Not all pilgrim routes have the same distance, nor are as easy as others.
The pilgrim itineraries with a greater presence of unevenness or that run at higher altitude will force you to move slower and, therefore, you will need more time to complete the Camino de Santiago.
In this article we tell you the characteristics of different itineraries on the Camino de Santiago.
Likewise, it is not the same to want to complete one of the complete routes or to incorporate at some intermediate point on the route. In the next section of this article we talk about the most popular points.
How you decide to do your pilgrimage
To the above is added, how you want to do the route. It is not the same to do the Camino on foot than by bike. If you do it on foot you will take twice as much time as cycling.
Your physical condition
The choice of one route or another must be made depending on the physical condition of each person. But apart from that, it will also determine how many kilometres you can do per day, regardless of the difficulty of the route.
For those people who are not considered professional athletes, an acceptable average rate is between 4 or 5 kilometres per hour. The usual thing is to do an average of 25 km a day, that implies 5 days to complete 100 kilometres.
If your physical condition is not so good and you haven’t trained to do the Camino de Santiago, the distance you can walk a day will be significantly lower. Therefore, you will need more time to complete the route.
Services for pilgrims
On the Camino de Santiago there are services that help you to go along more rapidly and spend less time on an adventure. Some of them are baggage transport services and the assistance cars. In the link, we talk about how they can help you to do the Camino de Santiago in less time.
Routes on the Camino de Santiago depends on free time
Next, and to facilitate the calculation of how long the Camino de Santiago takes, we want to talk about the most popular starting points and the time you will need to do each stretch on foot.
We have arranged the itineraries of the Camino depending on your holiday. This will make it easier for you to find the route that best suits your free days. Remember that if you make your pilgrimage by bicycle, the time it takes to make the Camino de Santiago is about half.
More than 30 days on the Camino de Santiago
The lucky few who can spend a month or more on the Camino may consider doing the Camino del Norte or the Camino Frances. Starting from Pamplona, The Camino Frances is another option. Below we explain how many days you need to do each of these pilgrim routes.
The complete Camino del Norte
The Camino del Norte is the second longest route of the Camino de Santiago network in Spain. The distance to Santiago is 833.1 kilometres. It is also the second most complicated, after the Camino Primitivo. Therefore, it is one of the itineraries of the Camino de Santiago that takes longer.
If you leave from Irún, the time it takes to do the Camino de Santiago is 34 days. However, many people choose San Sebastián to start this route. In that case, the length of the Camino del Norte would be 33 days.
If you analyze the route of this route of Santiago in stages, you will see that there are 5 days of 15 kilometres or less of distance. If you are in good physical shape, you could finish it in 30 days if you leave from San Sebastián.
People in worse physical condition may need even more than 34 days to complete this pilgrim route. The frequent unevenness does not let you rest your legs.
The complete Camino Frances
The time it takes to do the Camino Frances is 33 days. The beginning of the Camino Frances can be done from Saint Jean Pied de Port or from Roncesvalles. The difference is one day between starting from one point or another because it is a very complicated stage, which will require you to devote a whole day to it.
This road route is 763.5 kilometres to Santiago. On the route, there are 4 stages that are nearly 30 kilometres long. The seventh (Los Arcos-Logroño), with 27 km; The eighth (Logroño-Nájera), with 28 km; The 26th stage (Villafranca del Bierzo – or Cebreiro), with 27.8 km; and penultimate (Palas de Rei – Arzúa), with 28.5 km.
The above means that if you are not in shape, you may need to leave them and therefore you will need to spend more time on the Camino de Santiago. Especially the stage of Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro that, besides being a long distance, faces strong climbs. It is one of the most feared stages of the Camino Frances.
On the contrary, on the Camino Frances, there are 6 stages of less than 20 kilometres. Three of them with less than 19 km. That means that if you are in good physical form or hire some of the services offered on the Camino de Santiago, you may need 2 or 3 days less.
From Pamplona on the Camino Frances
The Camino de Santiago on foot, from Pamplona to Santiago de Compostela, requires 30 days (exactly one month). In this route apply all the observations that we made in the previous section on the distance of some stages.
Less than 30 days and more than 15
All those who can enjoy a long holiday will have time to do on foot the Camino Portugues (Central) fully. Starting from some intermediate stages they could also consider doing the Camino Frances or the Camino del Norte. We explain where to start the Camino de Santiago so that you have enough days!
The complete Camino Portugues
The time it takes to do the Camino de Santiago in Portugal is 28 days. The central route is 618.9 kilometres long and is one of the easiest roads.
However, stage planning contemplates many days that do not face more than 15 km per day. Therefore, if you are in good physical shape, you could do this Camino de Santiago in 4 or 6 days less.
From Bilbao on the Camino del Norte
The time on the Camino del Norte from Bilbao is 27 days. It is possible to reduce one day by doing the route from Muros de Nalón to Luarca in two stages, instead of in 3.
From Logroño on the Camino Frances
If you leave from Logroño, the Camino de Santiago has a duration of 26 days. The good thing about this starting point is that you miss the long stage from Arcos to Logroño.
From Santarém on the Camino Portugues
If you shorten the Camino Portugues and start from Santarém, you can do the Camino Portugues in 24 days. As it happens, from the beginning (Lisbon), and in good physical shape, you can lengthen some stages and get to Santiago de Compostela in just 20 days.
From Santander on the Camino del Norte
If you start the Camino del Norte from Santander it will take you 22 days to reach Santiago de Compostela on foot. As with the departure from Bilbao, you can reduce it by one day on the stretch that goes from Muros de Nalón to Luarca.
From Burgos on the Camino Frances
If you start the Camino de Santiago on foot from Burgos, it will only take 21 days. It is the best route for people who have time and are not in very good physical condition.
On the one hand, it avoids two of the long distance stages (the seventh and eighth) on the Camino Frances. On the other hand, this section of the Camino de Santiago begins with the Castillas, on basically level ground, making it easy to get in shape during the route.
From Coímbra on the Camino Portugues
The time it takes to do the Camino Portugues from Coimbra is 18 days. As happens along this path, some stages are quite short, so if you plan 3 stages of 30 kilometres long, in 15 days you could get to Compostela.
From Ribadesella on the Camino del Norte
17 days is the duration of the Camino del Norte from Ribadesella. As happens by leaving from other points of this road, between Muros de Nalón and Luarca you can gain a day.
Between 15 days and 1 week on the Camino de Santiago
Most mortals enjoy holiday periods of 15 days or less. This is enough time to do the Camino de Santiago.
In fact, if you have 15 days you can do completely the Camino Primitivo or the Camino Portugues coastal route. The Camino Frances also has some options. Now, we talk about each one of them.
The complete Camino Primitivo
People who have 15 days of holiday and are in good shape, can do the Camino Primitivo. This itinerary to Santiago has a duration of 14 days. The average stage distance is 22 kilometres. In total it runs a distance of 316.2 kilometres to Santiago.
Reducing the number of days on the Camino Primitivo is also possible. On the last 4 stages, the difficulty of the route decreases considerably, so these could be done in two days. You would have arrived in Santiago de Compostela in 13 days.
From León on the Camino Frances
The time it takes to do the Camino de Santiago on foot from León is 13 days. However, since the third and sixth day of the route is faced with two of the most feared climbs: that of Foncebadon and that of O Cebreiro, respectively, it is probable that, if you are in bad shape, you’ll have to split them.
Do you want to know how to do the Camino de Santiago from León in less time? If you are in very good physical shape you could consider completing the tour in 11 days, merging some stages of the Camino Frances. That would mean at least two days of almost 40 kilometres. It’s not very advisable, but it’s not impossible.
The complete Camino Portugues coastal route
To do the Camino Portugues coastal route complete it takes 12 days. This is one of the easiest routes, because it lacks, almost completely, any climbs.
However, to complete the Camino de Santiago in this time you will have to cope with two stages of more than 30 kilometres of travel. The first is the one from Oporto to Póvoa de Varzim (30.6 km), on which you must take the train to avoid the cumbersome exit from the city. The other stage is on the sixth day (Baiona-Guarda), with 30.7 km.
On the contrary, there are 5 stages of less than 20 kilometres, so people in good physical shape could reduce the duration by 2 or 3 days. Of course, this also means you would have to do stages of approximately 30 kilometres a day, but the ease of the track allows it.
From Oporto on the Camino Portugues
Following the Camino Portugues (Central) route from Oporto will also require you to take 12 days. You can easily reduce the tour by 1 or 2 days.
From Ponferrada on the Camino Frances
The time it takes to get to Santiago de Compostela from Ponferrada is 9 days. Just like before, if you’re in low physical shape, you’ll need an extra day. If you are accustomed to exercising, you could complete, on foot, this section of the Camino de Santiago in just 7 days.
Less than 1 week on the Camino de Santiago
Having just a few days on holiday is not an excuse not to do the Camino de Santiago. There are several pilgrim itineraries that allow you to organise a few days’ getaway. Take note!
From Tui on the Camino Portugues
The time it takes to make the Camino de Santiago, on foot, from Tui is 6 days. To reduce the number of days it would be necessary to do in the first stage, which is something more than 30 kilometres long. In that way, in just 5 days you could be in Santiago de Compostela.
From Ourense on La Vía de la Plata
This route can be completed by people in any physical condition in 6 days. Its stages are quite short, so it can easily reduce its duration to 5 days.
From Baiona on the Camino Portugues coastal route
If you do the Camino de Santiago from Baiona, you need 6 days to get to Santiago de Compostela. The route does not face long distance stages. In fact, 3 of them are less than 20 kilometres, so if you are in good physical condition you could complete the route in 4 or 5 days.
From Sarria on the Camino Frances
This section is the last 100 km on the Camino Frances to Santiago. It’s the most popular. The time it takes to do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria is 4 or 5 days, depending on the exercise you do in your daily life.
The complete Camino Ingles
The Camino Ingles can be made by spending 5 days on the Camino de Santiago. A distance of 122.3 kilometres separates Ferrol from Santiago. If you are in low physical shape, you may need more time (7 days). There are two stages of approximately 30 kilometres.
From Vilalba on the Camino del Norte
You will take 5 days for you to finish the Camino del Norte, on foot, if you leave from Vilalba. However, you should consider that on the second stage of this section you will have to face a distance of 41.2 kilometres. Therefore, if your physical condition is not very good, it would be best to reserve 6 days for this route.
From Lugo on the Camino Primitivo
The time it takes to do the Camino Primitivo from Lugo is 5 days. However, you could easily finish it in just 4 stages.
The above are routes that end in Santiago de Compostela. However, in this article on 5-day itineraries on the Camino de Santiago we explain many more options.
Now you know how much time it takes to complete each of the itineraries on the Camino de Santiago. The next time you have a few days off do not hesitate and escape to a pilgrim path. Here you have 10 reasons why you should have and live the experience and here a practical guide to the Camino de Santiago, so you start to prepare it.