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2021 Holy Year

Barney12

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2021
Hi there, Im just wondering how Holy Year affects the Camino with regards to booking and busyness. I plan to do the CF mid August 2021 but with it being a Holy Year are there any pilgrims out there who have walked during a Holy Year and what effects this had on your walk? Thanks so much
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I walked in 2004 (a Holy Year) with my daughter, from SJPDP to SDC, arriving in SDC in time for the celebrations on the Feast Day. It was fine until the final week, when the whole of Spain joined the Camino, from Sarria. From there to SDC we relied on school gymnasiums, huge army tents, and one memorable night we slept on tables in the plaza (Arzúa). When we got to SDC it was impossible to find accommodation and we had to spend one night in a very expensive super luxury hotel. The nice bit was that the very expensive hotel found us good reasonable accommodation a bit further out, and invited us to use the day facilities of the good hotel as our own, for the rest of our time in Santiago.

Here are a few threads that might help you:

Camino 2021 Holy Year
2021 Holy Year - cathedral official website, logo and poster
2021 Holy Year Reservations
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
I walked the CF during the last Holy Year, 2010, beginning just before the week of Semana Santa and Easter. From day one, the Camino was very busy since many people were on vacation and enjoyed a cheap walking holiday. The crowds thinned out after that week until Sarria and then it was very busy again until SdC. August? The entire Northern Hemisphere will be on vacation and a Holy Year Camino will suit many many people. Today's cheap flights will bring people in from all over. It will be busy but as before, especially from Sarria. Perhaps consider a less popular Camino. I would also try and plan my walking to stop before the recommended guide book stages - you will witness the afternoon albergue stampede of pilgrims seeking a place to lay their weary heads in the recommended villages, towns, and cities which will be packed so consider any alternative. Buen Camino.
 

jefferyonthecamino

http://www.barrerabooks.com/ - Guidebooks
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (1994) & (2013 - 2019)
Portugués (2015 - 2019)
de Madrid (2019)
Argentino/Inglés (2020)
Hi there, Im just wondering how Holy Year affects the Camino with regards to booking and busyness. I plan to do the CF mid August 2021 but with it being a Holy Year are there any pilgrims out there who have walked during a Holy Year and what effects this had on your walk? Thanks so much
brace yourself for a tsunami of Spanish pilgrims in the summer
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
If I was really asked an opinion about walking in 2021 I think I would advise against it. But that is just my "quirky" opinion.
How busy is it likely to be - well may I suggest you have at look at the pilgrim numbers in 2009 and compare those to 2010. From memory it went up by over 100,000 (but that was across all Camino routes). Given how much pilgrim numbers have increased between (say) 2017 and 2019 you might get a bit of an idea how big 2021 will be.
How busy it is going to be in August 2021 no one can really say, but one thing is for sure - the Meseta will be hot.. In terms of accommodation I think I would start looking for whats on offer now (yes I know its 16 months out). I have just made my bookings in Santiago for June this year and I had to take my third option.
Buen Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I have walked CF three times - 2015, 2017 and 2019. Each time, pilgrim traffic increases. So we've decided to hike again this year to avoid the heavy pilgrim traffic in the 2021 jubilee year. Bob
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hi there, Im just wondering how Holy Year affects the Camino with regards to booking and busyness. I plan to do the CF mid August 2021 but with it being a Holy Year are there any pilgrims out there who have walked during a Holy Year and what effects this had on your walk? Thanks so much
I walked in the Holy Year of 2016 but fortunately, very few knew that it had been designated a holy year or year of mercy. As to a Jacobean holy year, I can only speculate that given the year on year increase in numbers, it will be very busy at certain stages. The stage from Sarria for 100 Km will be the busiest as so many people choose to only do that section but it is the same every year. I always try to walk off stage especially after Sarria. Pass through Sarria to Barbadelo or stop in Mercadoiro instead of Portomarin. Little places like Ligonda and San Xulien. The crowds dont or cant book for little places like these so these are the places I aim for if its busy.
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Think about doing the Portuguese Route instead. I left from Lisbon where only one percent of all pilgrims start.
 

Kiernan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés febr/march (2012)
Camino Francés febr/march (2019)
Camino Francés febr/march (2020)
Do you enjoy crowds? Walk on 2021.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I have already booked all my lodging for my May 2021 Camino, and places are already filling up.
If that's any indication of how crowded it will be . . .
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
About 500,000 are expected to want compostelas in 2021, up from about 350,000 in 2019. You can expect the about half will walk only from Sarria. If you're on the Frances you might not even notice an increase in numbers until Sarria, and from there you can head south and join the Mozarabe (in effect the top bit of the via de la plata) and follow that into Santiago.

If you think there's a problem with accommodation you can always stop early and be there when the albergue opens. But this means a short day, unless you start quite early.

Although I'll be the first to agree that this is an easy option if you've paid £30 to fly in from Stansted and will simply buy a return flight when you want to: much harder if you've bought a ticket from LA or Melbourne and must make the airport for the return flight.
 
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Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
What is the advantage of walking during a holy year? Why are people more likely to do it then?
Originally the advantage was that pilgrims could receive a plenary indulgence during the holy year. Though that is often misunderstood these days and I doubt that it is a significant driving force for many now. For one thing some people mistakenly believe that walking a Camino in itself qualifies a person for the indulgence. In fact walking is not one of the requirements. There is a certain novelty value in being able to enter the cathedral through the special door which is only opened in holy years. But I think that mostly it just has the appeal of being a "special occasion" without anyone really understanding why :cool: The church and the Galician government certainly put huge effort into promoting events during the holy year and the first network of albergues was built specifically for the 1993 one.
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Others, older and wiser than I am, will know the dates but the actual holy year is not the calendar year. It might start at Easter or maybe on the saint's birthday. But it doesn't run from January 1 to December 31. So that increase in numbers won't start on January 1.
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Others, older and wiser than I am, will know the dates but the actual holy year is not the calendar year. It might start at Easter or maybe on the saint's birthday. But it doesn't run from January 1 to December 31. So that increase in numbers won't start on January 1.
It runs from December 31. Here is a description of the opening ceremony:
The opening of the Holy Door
Opening a Holy Door is not an everyday occurrence. To do so, the Archbishop of Compostela performs an ancient ritual that is witnessed by hundreds of faithful, pilgrims and church members. The ritual consists of striking a wall of slabs covering the Door, placed there the day before, three times with a silver hammer. Once the wall falls, the Archbishop cleans the perimeters of the Door with holy water and olive branches. It is he who first crosses through the Holy Door. This ritual takes place every 31 December of the year preceding the Holy Year and is performed every 31 December of the Holy Year itself to close the Door.

 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Thanks. I stand corrected.

(I must have misheard a conversion with Don Segundo the cathedral dean when I was there in October.)
 

Gene_781

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés, Camino portugués (Tui), Pilgrims Welcome Office, hospitalero 8 times
Thanks peterbells for posting the pilgrims count from the American Pilgrims website! Yes, it's likely that about half of the arrivals in Santiago in 2021 will have started in Sarria. Two more graphs attached here: Don't walk in July and August. And avoid the francés after Sarria. The number of pilgrims walking the francés *prior* to Sarria hasn't changed one whit in the last five years. Walk the francés and peel off at Ponferrada to finish on the invierno.
 

Attachments

NOLA Cajun

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Via Francigena (Lucca to Siena, 2017), Frances/San Olav/Invierno (planned 2021)
Thanks peterbells for posting the pilgrims count from the American Pilgrims website! Yes, it's likely that about half of the arrivals in Santiago in 2021 will have started in Sarria. Two more graphs attached here: Don't walk in July and August. And avoid the francés after Sarria. The number of pilgrims walking the francés *prior* to Sarria hasn't changed one whit in the last five years. Walk the francés and peel off at Ponferrada to finish on the invierno.
Gene, thanks for posting the data. I’ve been planning my second Camino since 2018, but my job kept forcing me to postpone... The only time I can go is spring or summer 2021. That’s why I’ve been tracking all posts about the holy year. I figured switching to Invierno in Ponferrada will help with the crowds and your data confirms it. I will be walking in spring, starting mid-March.
 

Barney12

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2021
If I was really asked an opinion about walking in 2021 I think I would advise against it. But that is just my "quirky" opinion.
How busy is it likely to be - well may I suggest you have at look at the pilgrim numbers in 2009 and compare those to 2010. From memory it went up by over 100,000 (but that was across all Camino routes). Given how much pilgrim numbers have increased between (say) 2017 and 2019 you might get a bit of an idea how big 2021 will be.
How busy it is going to be in August 2021 no one can really say, but one thing is for sure - the Meseta will be hot.. In terms of accommodation I think I would start looking for whats on offer now (yes I know its 16 months out). I have just made my bookings in Santiago for June this year and I had to take my third option.
Buen Camino
Thanks... but when you say the Meseta will be hot are you speaking literally or metaphorically??!
 

Barney12

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2021
I have already booked all my lodging for my May 2021 Camino, and places are already filling up.
If that's any indication of how crowded it will be . . .
I was kind of hoping that going mid August by the time I get to the half way stage and beyond ( with the exception of the last 100km )… it wont be so bad??
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Thanks... but when you say the Meseta will be hot are you speaking literally or metaphorically??!
If you walk the Meseta in July or August then literally it will be hot - day time temps up to 40C (105F) should be expected. So early starts and walking between 14.00 and 16.00 not recommended if it is over 35C. Cheers
 

mmmmartin

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santander-SdC bici '14
Plata bici '17
1/2 Plata bici '18
Frances a pie '18
(Porto a pie '19)
Agreed, on the meseta in 2018 when the forecast was 38 degrees C I started walking at 6am and by 12 noon was inside the albergue. A siesta during the first part of the day made me feel like a local Spanish person, they all do the same.

And walking in the warmth of the darkness before dawn then seeing the first rays of the sun was a fantastic experience.
 
Thread starter OLDER threads on this topic Forum Replies Date
Peter Ray Camino Frances 8
turkeyneck Camino Frances 8
SusanH Camino Frances 45
BROWNCOUNTYBOB Camino Frances 23
SusanH Camino Frances 40


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