Camino de Santiago Daily Mileage

Before I started walking across Spain from Irún to Fisterra along the Camino de Santiago, I figured I would have to walk a marathon (26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers) each day to finish in just under three weeks.

As it turned out, I ended up averaging more: about 30 miles, or 48 kilometers, a day. The extra mileage is mostly from getting off-course due to directional discombobulation, taking detours (e.g., in search of hotels or even because of official signage), and exploring towns.

My daily mileage was definitely farther than what most peregrinos typically do, but it honestly did not feel very difficult. It was certainly easier than, say, putting in 18-21 hours days on a bike as in the Trans Am Bike Race. The aerobic intensity was very low as I was usually walking casually and no faster than anyone else on the trails. My pace typically was 22 minutes/mile, or 2.7 miles/hour, or 4.4 km/hour.

Regarding problems or injuries, I have nothing major to speak of. The main adverse effects included extreme tanning of my neck despite using SPF 50 sunscreen (after Day 5 or so, I got wise and wore a collared shirt to cover it), a loss of 6-8 pounds of body weight, and a significant loss of running fitness.

I wore minimalist, lightweight shoes (Lems Primal 2) and for the first 19 days my pack weighed 13 lbs. (6 kg) excluding food and water (so usually about 15-17 lbs. total). You really do not need to carry any more than this; if I were to do it again, I would have brought about 4 lbs. less by leaving my Surface Pro computer and down sleeping bag at home. In fact, during the last two days, I stored a bunch of stuff at the post office near the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela to hike to Fisterra carrying less than 4-5 lbs. (2 kg).

Below are sections summarizing my daily mileage. The first section is in miles; the second is in kilometers.

You can see more data, including Strava maps and hours walked, for each day by clicking on the links in the first column of either table.

Route

My hike consisted of the following segments:

  1. Camino del Norte, from Irun to Oviedo
  2. Camino Primitivo, from Oviedo to Palas de Rei
  3. Camino Frances, from Palas de Rei to Santiago de Compostela
  4. Camino Fisterra, from Santiago de Compostela to Fisterra

The route is depicted by the yellow line in the map below.

Miles

Negative miles = took shortcut; diverged from official route

CaminoDayFromToOn-Course MilesOff-course MilesDaily Mileage
Del Norte1IrúnZarautz29.86.236
Del Norte2ZarautzEtxebarria28.80.229
Del Norte3EtxebarriaLarrabetzu27.16.934
Del Norte4LarrabetzuPobeña28.95.134
Del Norte5PobeñaLaredo27.41.629
Del Norte6LaredoSantander31.1-2.129
Del Norte7SantanderCóbreces30.4-3.427
Del Norte8CóbrecesColombres24.41.626
Del Norte9ColombresNueva25.3-0.325
Del Norte10NuevaSebrayo28.41.630
Del Norte11SebrayoOviedo29.95.135
Primitivo12OviedoSalas29.41.631
Primitivo13SalasPola de Alande29.22.832
Primitivo14Pola de AlandeGrandas de Salime23.63.427
Primitivo15Grandas de SalimeO Cadavo32.01.033
Primitivo16O CadavoLugo19.02.021
Primitivo17LugoMelide29.50.530
Frances18MelideO Pedrouzo20.71.322
Frances19O PedrouzoSantiago de Compostela12.42.615
Fisterra20Santiago de CompostelaOlveira33.81.235
Fisterra20.4OlveiraFinisterre (Fisterra)21.85.227
TOTAL56344607

Average: 29.8 miles/day

Kilometers

Negative kilometers = took shortcut; diverged from official route

CaminoDayFromToOn-Course kmOff-course kmDaily km
Del Norte1IrúnZarautz47.79.957.6
Del Norte2ZarautzEtxebarria46.10.346.4
Del Norte3EtxebarriaLarrabetzu43.311.154.4
Del Norte4LarrabetzuPobeña46.38.154.4
Del Norte5PobeñaLaredo43.92.546.4
Del Norte6LaredoSantander49.8-3.446.4
Del Norte7SantanderCóbreces48.7-5.543.2
Del Norte8CóbrecesColombres39.12.541.6
Del Norte9ColombresNueva40.4-0.440.0
Del Norte10NuevaSebrayo45.42.648.0
Del Norte11SebrayoOviedo47.88.256.0
Primitivo12OviedoSalas47.12.549.6
Primitivo13SalasPola de Alande46.74.551.2
Primitivo14Pola de AlandeGrandas de Salime37.75.543.2
Primitivo15Grandas de SalimeO Cadavo51.31.552.8
Primitivo16O CadavoLugo30.43.233.6
Primitivo17LugoMelide47.20.848.0
Frances18MelideO Pedrouzo33.12.135.2
Frances19O PedrouzoSantiago de Compostela19.94.124.0
Fisterra20Santiago de CompostelaOlveira54.11.956.0
Fisterra20.4OlveiraFinisterre (Fisterra) 34.88.443.2
TOTAL900.670.6971.2

Average: 47.7 km/day

Felix Wong starting the Camino de Santiago outside an albergue in Irún, Spain.

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2 comments
  • Jay says:

    The mileage seems very high. How much climbing does that typically entail? Reading accounts of 19th century army marches, I do seem to recall that many would cover similar mileage with lousy food and worn out shoes. Now most Americans don’t want to walk even a mile.

    • Felix Wong says:

      Hi Jay, thanks for leaving your comment. Looking at the Strava data that I embedded within the blog posts about the specific days, it seems like I was doing 4-6000 feet of climbing per day many days, particularly on the Del Norte and Primitivo. It honestly felt easier than I expected. Would love to do another Camino again.


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