Last Updated on: 29th March 2023, 11:34 pm
Are you considering a 100 KM Camino de Santiago? If so, the most common route is the last portion of the Camino Frances which runs just a little over 100 KM from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela.
This route is long enough to earn your Compostela but short enough to complete it in under a week.
Here are the best tips I learned while walking this short Camino!
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Tips for a 100 KM Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
Here we go!
Plan How You’ll Get to Sarria Carefully
The awkward thing about starting in Sarria is that the primary way to get to Sarria is through Santiago de Compostela.
For me, this meant flying into Santiago and then taking the bus to Sarria to walk back to Santiago.
There were benefits to doing it this way, as well as major drawbacks.
The benefit was that I was able to leave my suitcase at the hotel where I stayed before and after my Camino. I didn’t have to think about these logistics or pay for luggage storage.
The drawback was that I saw the cathedral and the plaza before I even left for my journey. So instead of looking forward to seeing it for the first time on foot, I was working to get back to it. Which is a very different sensation.
I had to do this because I flew from Mallorca. You could potentially avoid this if you take a bus and change buses in Santiago without spending any time in the city.
Book Your Sarria Accommodations Ahead of Time
I made a mistake and didn’t book my Sarria accommodations. My bus got into town late and I underestimated how long it would take me to get to the Albergue. I didn’t make it in time to get a spot.
After wandering around Sarria in the dark, I decided to splurge on a full hotel room because I needed to get to sleep somewhere.
I could have avoided this headache if I had booked a room in a private albergue or at the hotel before I arrived.
Your first night is not like a night on the Camino, so it’s better to have it planned.
Prepare for the Weather You’ll Encounter
Because you have a short window to do your walk, you want to capitalize on your clothing and shoe choices by preparing for the weather that’s forecasted and not depending on what the weather is “typically” during this time of year.
I walked the first week of March, and I expected it to be rainy. I’ll admit I wasn’t prepared for just how wet and muddy the route would be, but every piece of clothing I had with me could handle a little mud.
Even though you won’t be walking as long as others, you still want a light pack. Bring just enough to get by, knowing that you’ll be able to get some of what you need along the way.
I took two outfits, two pairs of well-broken in shoes, weather-appropriate outerwear, a few bandaids, vaseline, my cell phone and charger, headphones, a backup charger, my passport, a slim version of my wallet, and my Camino passport.
I didn’t bring trekking poles, but I did regret this.
Decide If You’ll Listen to Something While You Walk
Some choose not to listen to anything while they walk, but if you want to have something, then you’ll want to come prepared.
I listened to many, many hours of podcasts. Others might choose music.
Have some of what you want to be downloaded ahead of time in case you don’t have data in patches while you walk.
Don’t Discount Your Shortest Camino Because Other Pilgrims are Walking Further
You will meet travelers who started in Leon, Barcelona, and Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. I met a pilgrim who started in Amsterdam in December.
You can be impressed. You can listen to their stories. But don’t compare their Caminos to yours.
There are many reasons to complete a short Camino. I wasn’t sure I could handle a long one, but I wanted to try it out.
Some have mobility issues that will prevent them from being able to walk longer than a week. Or they will stretch the 100 km out over more days.
Some pilgrims can only get a short time off work, or they want to be able to walk with a partner who can’t get off more time.
There are so many reasons that someone can take a 5-10 day trip and not a 5-week one. Whatever your reason is, it’s valid.
Comparison is the thief of joy. Don’t compare yourself to them. Appreciate your journey and appreciate their stories. But don’t compare the two.
Prepare to Want to Return for a Longer Camino
Be happy when you complete your 100KM Camino de Santiago, and, simultaneously, be prepared to want to come back for a longer one.
Not because your Camino wasn’t a real one – it was. You have your Compostela and your memories to prove it!
But prepare to want to do a longer one because the spiritual medicine that is walking the Camino de Santiago is quite addictive.
Once bitten by the Camino bug, you will likely want to do another one when you get the opportunity.