The Route and Logistics

My pilgrimage will start in Le-Puy-en-Valey, France.

My hike will be broken up into three main parts:

Part 1: France (30-35 days) I’ll be in southern rural France where many do not speak English. There are many rolling hills so some days the walking will be quite challenging. By all accounts, this portion of the hike features beautiful scenery and lovely villages. This section is lightly traveled by Camino standards. I’ll probably see a couple of dozen different pilgrims each day. My last stop in France will be Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port at the base of the Pyrenees mountains.

Part 2: Spain (30-35 days). This portion starts with a challenging hike over the Pyrenees into Spain. This route is quite varied with mountains, hills, plains and even some large cities (Burgos, Pamplona and Leon). This is by far the most popular Camino route so I’ll see hundreds of other pilgrims each day, It finishes in Santiago de Compostela.

Part 3: To the Atlantic (4-5 days). While most pilgrims finish their trip in Santiago, many travel a few more days to finish at the Atlantic Ocean. I’m planning on doing this as well.


I will arrive in France on August 15 and will start the hike on August 17.

Roughly, I expect to average about 15 miles of walking each day. I’ll take a rest day every week or two. That means I should finish in about 2.5 months in early November. My return flight is scheduled for November 5.

And, yes, I’m doing this hike alone, but there will be many people I meet along the way. Pilgrims universally report that they build many deep and lasting friendships along the Camino. Part of the fun will be getting to know others from all around the world.


This is not a camping trip. I’ll be staying mostly in gites and albergues. These are reasonably priced B&Bs and hostels that cater to pilgrims.

Traveling light is critical. My goal is to have my backpack weigh about 17 pounds (plus food and water), so that doesn’t leave room for extras.