Mmm, well.. that depends. If your goal is to walk the complete camino Francés you’ll need to have a bit more time available than your usual summer holiday.
You should be calculating based on how far YOU can walk. One other thing to take into account is resting days. They are quite important to avoid injuries and blisters.
On average, pilgrims complete the CF in 30 to 35 days. If you think you will have problems in doing an average of 20 km daily (EVERY day) you would be wise to reserve more time.
Most of us don’t have the luxury of having a 1 month summer holiday, so let’s focus on all of you that have less days.
Say you have 20 days vacation. You’ll need at least 1 to get to your starting point and 1 more to get back home. You might want to put an extra 2 days in to account for relevant logistics, initial jet lag preventing you from walking the first stretch normally, and assuming you want to do some sightseeing at your destination. Reserving a day for emergency situations (extra rest, other problems) is wise to take into your calculations.
With 15 days of actual walking time you can start doing the math according to your needs. What is the primary goal? Arriving in Santiago? Seeing as many monuments on the camino as you can? Relaxing? Having fun? Meeting people? It’s your call, but take every need into account. You can’t see all monuments in a relaxed way and walk 30 km every day (most people can’t anyway).
Say you want to do it in a relaxed way, you want to be sure you arrive at a decent time in the albergue, and you don’t want to walk after 2 pm (to avoid the sun and to relax in the afternoons). You’ll probably walk between 15 and 20 km per day. That leaves you with a total distance of 225-300 km.
If you’re new to the camino, the Camino Francés (more pilgrims) and the Camino Portugues (less difficult) are probably your first two options.
Visit our ‘The Way’ pages to pick your itinerary.
You can also simply start walking…. and see where you end up. Return home, and for your next holiday simply start where you left off.
This post is also available in: Dutch