In short, starting the Camino in Astorga will take 10 to 12 days by foot, and about 5 days by bike. That makes Astorga an ideal starting point if you have two weeks to walk the Camino or about a week to cycle it. Astorga is a small city in the province of León, and it is the point where the endless plains actually end and the long, beautiful climn to the Cruz de Ferro starts.
One of the first questions you will have to answer before taking your first step on the Camino is where to start. A good starting point needs to be X days far from Santiago or Fisterra, and good communications and services. Astorga is easy to reach from Madrid and from Barcelona, the municipal albergue is open all year round and so are the city’s services (supermarkets, shops, restaurants, spas, hotels). The public library offers a decent public wifi connection and free-access computers… Astorga offers pretty much everything a pilgrim might need and a couple of pluses: the amazing Episcopal Palace by Gaudi and the impressive Cathedral.
The Camino is much more than a historic hiking trail. It is an opportunity to meet people from all over the world (Spain, Italy, Germany, United States, Portugal, France, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, South Korea, Brazil, Australia…), it is an adventure through northwestern Spain, its natura and villages, its gastronomy and wines…
More information on starting the Camino in Astorga, albergues or the ideal packing list for the Camino on mycaminoin2weeks.com. If you need further information about how to reach Astorga from Madrid, from Barcelona or from León by bus, visit alsa.es (link to the English site); if you will get here from Madrid or from Barcelona by train, you should check renfe.com (link to the English site).