The last 100 km on the Camino de Santiago

The last 100 km on the Camino de Santiago


The Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage route in Europe. Every year it attracts thousands of people from all over the world. There are many routes of different lengths and difficulties that lead to Santiago de Compostela. Not everybody has the possibility to complete the entire Camino; most of them require between two weeks and one month. That’s why many people choose to walk the last 100 km to Santiago. 

The most popular Camino routes

Out of several Camino routes that you can walk the last 100 km on these three are by far the most popular.

  • Camino Frances from Sarria – 96 124* people or 27,5% of all pilgrims who arrived in Santiago in 2019 started walking from Sarria. 
  • Camino Portuguese from Valença/Tui – 33 304 people or 9,5% of all pilgrims
  • Camino Ingles from Ferrol – 15 097 people or 4,3% of all pilgrims

*According to the Pilgrim’s Reception Office in Santiago

Our video on walking the last 100 km on the Camino Francés from Sarria

Why 100 kilometers?

There are no actual rules of walking the Camino. The last 100 km is the required walking minimum for getting the Compostela, a certificate issued by the Pilgrim’s Attention Office in Santiago that anybody can get for completing at least the last 100 km on any Camino de Santiago route. As a confirmation of the completed Camino, every pilgrim must have a Credential (a pilgrim’s passport) with stamps collected from different albergues, churches, restaurants, etc. along the route.

If you’re not interested in getting the Compostela you can walk the Camino any way it suits you. The route is marked and accessible for anybody. You can walk only one day, two weeks, starting in the middle, walk it in the opposite direction, etc. Just remember if you’re planning to stay at public albergues you’ll need a Credential with stamps to confirm that you’re a pilgrim. For staying at private albergues and hotels along the Camino you don’t really need it.

Two stamps per day for the last 100 km

For getting the Compostela it’s required to obtain two stamps per day for the last 100 km on the Camino to Santiago regardless if a pilgrim walks the entire route or only the last 100 km. On the popular Camino routes, it’s very easy to get two stamps per day; one stamp at an albergue or hotel where you stay and one stamp at a restaurant/cafes/bar. Many places on the Camino offer stamps. For example on the route from Sarria (Camino Frances) one can collect many stamps in one day stopping at every restaurant/cafe along the route. On less popular routes you can stamp your Credential at the same albergue (hotel) twice at check-in and check-out.

If you’re planning to cycle the Camino it’s important to remember that the required cycling minimum distance is the last 200 km to Santiago with 2 stamps per day.

Alya's Credential from the Camino Frances with 2 stamps per day
My Credential from the Camino Frances with 2-3 stamps for the last 100 km. One stamp per day I got at albergues and one or two at restaurants along the way

The best time for walking

Since all the routes go through the Galicia region in Northern Spain the weather is pretty much the same on all of them. Weather in Galicia is unpredictable, it’s one of the areas with the most rain in Spain. Of course, the chances of rain are much higher in autumn/winter than in summer but you must always be ready for rain. Summer months, June to August, and the first half of September weather-wise is the best time for walking the Camino. The days are long, it’s warm some days it might even get hot in the afternoon. 

Keep in mind that July, August and the beginning of September are the busiest months on the popular Camino routes with hundreds if not thousands of pilgrims walking them. In 2019 347 578 pilgrims arrived in Santiago 161 786 (about 47%) of them arrived between July and September.

If you decide to walk one of the less popular Camino routes there is nothing to worry about there won’t be many people even in the peak season.

Different Camino routes to walk the last 100 km to Santiago

There are many Camino de Santiago routes that start in different parts of Spain and Europe in general. Most of them merge with one of the major routes somewhere along the way. You can walk the last 100 km on seven different routes; Camino Francés, Camino Portuguese, Camino Inglés, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Sanabrés, and Camino de Invierno. These seven Caminos come down to four routes that enter Santiago de Compostela; Camino Francés (Camino Primitivo merges with the French route in Melide, Camino del Norte merges with it in Arzúa), Camino Portuguese, Camino Inglés, Camino Sanabrés (Camino de Invierno merges with the Sanabrés in A Laxe). 

There is one route the Camino Finisterre that starts and not finishes in Santiago. It’s a pilgrimage route but you don’t get the Compostela for walking it instead you get a different certificate (for more information read the paragraph about this route).

Out of these eight Camino routes, we’ve walked six: Camino Francés, Camino Portuguese, Camino Inglés, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, and Camino Finisterre. The Sanabrés and de Invierno are still on our to-do list.

A map of seven Camino de Santiago routes to walk the last 100 km
A map of different Camino routes to walk the last 100 km to Santiago

Camino Frances from Sarria, 116 km/72 mi

  • Total distance – 116 km/72 mi
  • Number of days – 5
  • Starting point – Sarria
  • Average cost – 25-30 Euro per person, per day
  • Popularity – 5 out of 5*

*indicates not the popularity of the entire Camino route but of the last 100 km to Santiago de Compostela.

The French route from Sarria is the most popular route to walk the last 100 km to Santiago. In fact, it is the most popular Camino route overall. About 50% of people who walk the Camino Francés start from Sarria. The popularity has its pros and cons. The great thing about the route is that it has good infrastructure; many albergues, hotels, restaurants, etc. It’s easy to find accommodation and food. The drawback of the Camino from Sarria is the number of people walking it in the peak season. Sometimes it looks like a parade with hundreds of people including big groups. 

Portomarín is the most beautiful town on the route. Pulpo a la Feira (cooked octopus in olive oil served with paprika) is a must-try dish in Melide, it’s one of the signature Galician dishes.

Camino Francés from Sarria walking itinerary

  • Stage 1. Sarria to Portomarín, 22 km/13,5 mi
  • Stage 2. Portomarín to Palas de Rei, 25 km/15,5 mi
  • Stage 3. Palas de Rei to Arzúa, 29 km/18 mi
  • Stage 4. Arzúa to O Perdouzo, 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Stage 5. O Perdouzo to Santiago de Compostela, 20 km/12,4 mi

We have a detailed post on walking the Camino Francés from Sarria where you can find a lot of information for planning the route.

Camino Francés guidebooks

Portuguese Camino from Valença/Tui, 124 km/77 mi

  • Total distance – 124 km/77 mi
  • Number of days – 5-6
  • Starting point – Valença (Portugal)/Tui (Spain). The towns are located across the river, about 1 km from each other.
  • Average cost – 25-30 Euro per person per day
  • Popularity – 4 out of 5

The second popular route to walk the last 100 km. Valença/Tui is the most popular starting point to walk the last 100 km. In fact, from there it’s 124 km to Santiago. Redondela, the next town is about 105 km away if you really want to walk only the last 100 km you can start there. Your pilgrimage will be 19 km shorter than from Tui and you’ll need 5 days to complete the route instead of 6.

The Portuguese Camino from Tui is significantly less crowded compared to the French Camino from Sarria but there are still quite a lot of people in the peak season between June to August.

Redondela, Pontevedra and Padrón are three beautiful towns and the highlights of the last 100 km on the Portuguese Camino. Pimientos de Padrón (fried green peppers) is a must-try dish. It goes well as a snack with beer or wine.

Portuguese Camino from Tui walking itinerary

  • Stage 1. Valença/Tui to Porriño, 19 km/11,8 mi
  • Stage 2. Porriño to Redondela, 17 km/10,5 mi
  • Stage 3. Redondel to Pontevedra, 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Stage 4. Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis, 23 km/14,2 mi
  • Stage 5. Caldas de Reis to Padrón, 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Stage 6. Padrón to Santiago de Compostela, 25 km/15,5 mi

For more information on the Portuguese Camino read our detailed guide and walking stages post.

Camino Portuguese guidebooks

The historical center of Padrón, one of the most beautiful town on the last 100 km of the Camino Portuguese
Padrón, a beautiful town famous for Pimientos de Padrón dish on the last 100 km of the Portuguese Camino

Camino Inglés from Ferrol, 116 km/72 mi

  • Total distance – 116 km/72 mi
  • Number of days – 5-6
  • Starting point – Ferrol. There is a route from A Coruña to Santiago but it’s less than 100 km
  • Average cost – 25-30 Euro per person per day
  • Popularity – 2 out of 5

The great thing about walking the English Way is that you get to walk the complete Camino. The English Way is the shortest Camino route that finishes in Santiago de Compostela, it’s the perfect option for those who want to walk the last 100 km and skip the crowds of the popular Camino routes.

Pontedeume and Betanzos are the most interesting places on the English Way. These small towns boast beautiful historical centers, narrow cobbled streets, charming streets cafes, etc.

Camino Inglés from Ferrol walking stages

  • Stage 1. Ferrol to Pontedeume, 28 km/17,3 mi
  • Stage 2. Pontedeume – Betanzos, 23 km/14,2 mi
  • Stage 3. Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma, 25 km/15,5 mi
  • Stage 4. Hospital de Bruma to Sigüeiro, 24 km/15 mi
  • Stage 5. Sigüeiro to Santiago de Compostela, 16 km/10 mi

All necessary information for planning the pilgrimage on the English Way you can find in our post – Camino Inglés detailed guide & walking stages.

Camino Inglés guidebooks

The beautiful Galician forest a typical scenery on the last 100 km to Santiago
The enchanted forest just before Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Ingles

Camino Primitivo from Lugo, 102 km/63 mi

  • Total distance – 102 km/63,3 mi
  • Number of days – 4-5
  • Starting point – Lugo
  • Average cost – 25-30 Euro per person per day
  • Popularity – 2 out of 5

The Original Way of St.James is officially the first Camino de Santiago route ever walked. Spanish King Alfonso II went on the journey from Oviedo to Santiago de Compostela in the IX century. Nowadays more than 15 000 pilgrims walk the Camino Primitivo every year but not many people choose it as the route to walk the last 100 km to Santiago.

Lugo is the most interesting place out of all starting points of the last 100 km on the Camino. It is the only city in the world surrounded by the intact Roman Walls. If you have time I’d definitely suggest sending a day or two in Lugo before starting the pilgrimage.

The Camino Primitivo merges with the French Camino in Melide, 53 km before Santiago. It means that your last 53 km to Santiago on the Primitivo will be the same as the last 53 km on the Camino Frances from Sarria. 

Camino Primitivo from Lugo walking stages

  • Stage 1. Lugo to San Romao da Retorta, 21 km/13 mi
  • Stage 2. San Romao da Retorta to Melide, 28 km/17,3 mi
  • Stage 3. Melide to O Pedouzo, 33 km/20,5 mi
  • Stage 4. O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela, 20 km/12,4 mi

Plan your last 100 km on the Original Way with our Camino Primitivo guide & walking itinerary post.

Camino Primitivo guidebooks

Camino del Norte from Baamonde, 102 km/63 mi

  • Total distance – 102 km/63,3 mi
  • Number of days – 5 
  • Starting point – Baamonde
  • Average cost – 25-30 Euro per person per day
  • Popularity – 2 out of 5

This Camino is one of our favorite routes of St.James. Most part of it goes along the stunningly beautiful coast of Northern Spain. Unfortunately, the route turns inland about 150 km before Santiago if you walk only the last part of del Norte you won’t see the coast. The last 100 kilometers are through the forest and fields.

Sobrado dos Monxes is the most interesting place on this part of the route. The beautiful monastery complex offers accommodation for pilgrims. Staying at this fantastic place was one of the memorable experiences of the Northern Camino.

The Northern Way merges with the Camino Francés in Arzúa, a town 40 km before Santiago de Compostela. The last 40 km on the del Norte from Baamonde is the same as the last 40 km on the French Camino from Sarria.

Camino del Norte from Baamonde walking stages

  • Stage 1. Baamonde to Miraz, 15,5 km/9,6 mi
  • Stage 2. Miraz to Sobrado dos Monxes, 24,5 km/15,2 mi
  • Stage 3. Sobrado dos Monxes to Arzua, 22 km/13,6 mi
  • Stage 4. Arzua to O Pedrouzo, 20 km/12,4 mi
  • Stage 5. O Pedrouzo to Santiago de Compostela, 20 km/12,4 mi

Find out more details about the walking stages on the Camino del Norte from Baamonde.

Camino del Norte guidebooks

The Monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes one of the highlights of the last 100 km on the Northern Camino de Santiago
The Monastery-albergue in Sobrado dos Monxes, the end of the first day of the last 100 km on the Camino del Norte

Camino Sanabrés (Via de la Plata) from Ourense, 102 km/63,3 mi

  • Total distance – 105 km/65 mi
  • Number of days – 4-5
  • Starting point – Ourense
  • Average cost – 30 Euro per person per day
  • Popularity – 1 out of 5

The Camino Sanabrés is one of the route options of the Via de la Plata, a route that starts in Seville. Out of all well-known Caminos, it’s probably the least popular. If you’re looking for a solitary Camino as opposed to the busy Frances or Portuguese routes the Sanabrés is a perfect option. 

There are not many towns or villages along the route you always have to make sure to carry enough water and snacks. This route might require more planning unlike the 100 km on the popular routes here you won’t get a restaurant or an albergue every 5-10 km. I don’t want to discourage anybody from walking it but I would recommend this route for people who have done some multi-day walking ventures before. I’d suggest having a local SIM card to be able to phone a tax, an albergue, emergency service, etc. 

Camino Sanabrés from Ourense walking stages

  • Stage 1. Ourense to Cea, 22,5 km/14 mi
  • Stage 2. Cea to A Laxe, 32,5 km/20 mi
  • Stage 3. A Laxe to Outeiro, 33 km/20,5 mi
  • Stage 4. Outeiro to Santiago de Compostela, 17 km/10,5 mi

Camino Sanabrés guidebooks

Camino de Invierno from Chantada, 103 km/64 mi

  • Total distance – 103 km/64 mi
  • Number of days – 4-5
  • Starting point – Chantada
  • Average cost – 
  • Popularity – 1 out of 5

The Camino de Invierno or the Winter Way starts in Ponferrada. It’s used as an alternative to the French Camino in winter months when walking over the pass in O Cebreiro might be difficult due to a lot of snow. Despite being an alternative route of one of the most popular Caminos very few people walk it. It’s as solitary as the Sanabrés. The recommendations for this route are the same.

The Winter Way merges with the Camino Sanabres at A Laxe, 50 km before Santiago. The second half of the route is the same as on the Camino Sanabrés.

Camino de Invierno walking stages

  • Stage 1. Chantada to Rodeiro, 25 km/15,5 mi
  • Stage 2. Rodeiro to A Laxe, 28 km/17,5 mi
  • Stage 3. A Laxe to Outeiro, 33 km/20,5 mi
  • Stage 4. Outeiro to Santiago de Compostela, 17 km/10,5 mi

Camino de Invierno guidebooks

The Cathedral from the Alameda Park in Santiago de Compostela
The view of the Cathedral de Santiago from the Alameda Park

Camino Finisterre-Muxia from Santiago de Compostela, 115 km/71,4 mi

  • Total distance – Santiago to Finisterre – 89 km/55,3 mi, Santiago to Muxia – 86 km/53,4 mi, Santiago to Muxia to Finisterre – 115 km/71,4 mi
  • Number of days – 4-5
  • Starting point – Santiago de Compostela
  • Average cost – 25-30 Euro per person per day
  • Popularity – 3 out of 5

As I already mentioned above pilgrims don’t get the Compostela for walking this route as it starts and not finishes in Santiago. We saw some people on the route walking it the opposite direction towards Santiago. As of now, I can’t confirm if you can get the Compostela for walking more than 100 km to Santiago on this route. You can get the Finisterrana in Finisterre and Muxíana in Muxía for completing this Camino. The certificates that are similar to the Compostela. 

Camino Finisterre-Muxía walking stages

  • Stage 1. Santiago to Negreira, 21 km/13 mi
  • Stage 2. Negreira to Olveiroa, 33 km/20,5 mi
  • Stage 3. Olveiroa to Muxía, 32 km/20 mi
  • Stage 4. Muxía to Finisterre, 29 km/18 mi

For more details on this route go to the Camino Finisterre-Muxía – a detailed guide & walking itinerary.

Camino Finisterre-Muxía guidebooks

The best Camino to walk the last 100 km, final thoughts

The scenery on the last 100 km to Santiago on any Camino is very similar. Whichever route you choose you’ll be walking mostly through the Galician forest and pasture fields.

In my opinion, out of all the suggested routes, the English Way of St.James is the best Camino to walk the last 100 km to Santiago. Its total distance is 116 km so you get to complete the entire Camino instead of walking the last bit of it like on other routes. The English Way is an easy route without challenging climbs or tough long walking days. It’s well-marked, has good infrastructure for pilgrims, and by far not as busy as the French Camino from Sarria or the Portuguese Camino from Tui. The English Way is a good compromise between the busy Camino Francés or Camino Portuguese and the solitary Camino Sanabrés or Camino de Invierno.

The Camino Frances from Sarria and the Portuguese Camino from Tui have the best infrastructure and the most albergues. There is a restaurant or an albergue every 5 km if you feel too tired to continue walking you can stop earlier. Both routes are easy to plan and to walk even for a very inexperienced person. 

Other routes like the Camino Sanabrés or the Camino de Invierno are less developed with fewer albergues, restaurants, and other services. You’ll need to plan your pilgrimage better. Which route to choose is totally up to you any route offers a great Camino experience.

Camino de Santiago planning resources



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