Is it possible to do the Camino de Santiagoin one week? This is a very common question among future pilgrims who have limited time to live this experience. If you fall into this group, we have good news for you. Yes, it is possible to do the Camino in one week, enjoy its magic and also obtain the precious Compostela. In this article we review what they are the different options and starting pointsavailable for a seven-day tour:
French Way from Sarria.
It is the route par excellence, the most demanded and acclaimed route by pilgrims. According to the data collected by the Pilgrim’s Assistance Office, every year more than 150,000 pilgrims choose this ancient route. But… what makes this road so popular?
From Sarria we will cover the last 110 kilometers of the French Way. A distance that is usually divided into 5 stages of approximately 20-25 kilometers per day where we can enjoy the splendor of rural Galicia with its lush forests and historic villages such as Portomarín, Melide or Arzúa among others.
The high existing demand makes it the route with the greatest offer and the best quality in the services offered to the pilgrim. Every few kilometres you will find bars and restaurants where you can rest and recharge your batteries to continue on your way. There is a wide range of accommodation to suit everyone from budget backpackers to those looking for top quality hotels.
If it’s your first time on the trail you won’t have to worry about signage. Every few meters you will find one of the featuresYELLOW ARROWS that will guide you to Santiago. And last but not least it is worth mentioning the pilgrim atmosphere you will find. If you are looking to meet new people and share this experience with other pilgrims this is your route.
Portuguese Way from Tui:
The second most chosen route by pilgrims. Although most of this route runs through Portuguese lands, to be able to do it in a week we would start in the border town of Tui (Pontevedra). It is a trip of 8 days and 7 nights in which you will travel the 120 kilometers of the Portuguese Way before arriving in Santiago and being able to get our Compostela. This is a low-demanding route where you will walk an average of 20 kilometers a day.
Like the French Way from Sarria, this route has good infrastructure, signposting and pilgrim atmosphere. There is still a wide range of accommodation and hotels and we can share the experience with other pilgrims that we will meet along the way.
Some of the main tourist attractions that we will be able to visit are the cathedral of Tui, the Sanctuary of the Pilgrim Virgin or the ruins of the convent of Santo Domingo. Not forgetting the towns and small villages that we will cross that will make us travel back in time. It is worth mentioning the town of Padrón, known by all for its famous peppers. In conclusion, if you have already done the French Way or you want to try an alternative route, the Portuguese Way is your best option.
If you are a cycling lover this will be another good option when it comes to doing the Camino in a week as it will allow you to cover more kilometres in fewer days. You will be able to combine the charm of the route with your favourite sport, walking an average of 50 kilometres a day through landscapes of spectacular beauty.
If you are thinking of starting your adventure by bike, we recommend two itineraries: The french way by bike from León or the Portuguese way by bike from Oporto. If we choose the French way we will enjoy a rural environment where towns like O Cebreiro or Portomarín stand out. If on the other hand we opt for the Portuguese Way we will have the option of doing the Coastal itinerary or theInland always having as starting point the beautiful city of Oporto.
Have you already travelled these routes? Not convinced and would like to try something different? If you prefer to escape from the beaten tracks and live a different experience you will probably be interested in doing one of these routes: the North Way (recommended only in dates with good weather), the Primitive Way from Lugo, which shares several stages with the French Way from Sarria or the English Way from Ferrol, the old route used by the European pilgrims who came through the Galician ports.
We hope you have found this article useful and that it has helped you to decide to do the Camino in a week, choosing your favourite route. If you have any other questions or recommendations don’t forget to leave us a comment.