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A short (7-10 day) Camino over Christmas - which route/section?

WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
Hi! I'm not sure where to post this but would really appreciate any ideas from experienced Camino walkers. I am a Canadian living in Spain and, due to Covid, will probably not be flying home for Christmas this year but staying in Spain instead. I've already walked the Norte, Primitivo, Finisterre/Muxia and San Salvador and miss the walking! So, if I am here over the holidays, I figure why not try a winter Camino :)

As I've been to Santiago a few times, I don't need to go again. I'd like to be able to pre-book accommodation so am thinking that the Frances might be the best option but not sure which section would be best for a week of walking? I live in Bilbao so have easy access to Pamplona, Lorgrono, Burgos and Leon so figure choosing from those places to start and end might work well.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which section of the Frances would be good for a week of winter walking? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
Hi! I'm not sure where to post this but would really appreciate any ideas from experienced Camino walkers. I am a Canadian living in Spain and, due to Covid, will probably not be flying home for Christmas this year but staying in Spain instead. I've already walked the Norte, Primitivo, Finisterre/Muxia and San Salvador and miss the walking! So, if I am here over the holidays, I figure why not try a winter Camino :)

As I've been to Santiago a few times, I don't need to go again. I'd like to be able to pre-book accommodation so am thinking that the Frances might be the best option but not sure which section would be best for a week of walking? I live in Bilbao so have easy access to Pamplona, Lorgrono, Burgos and Leon so figure choosing from those places to start and end might work well.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which section of the Frances would be good for a week of winter walking? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)


Thiking of possible snow? And lots of places that will be closed, especially on the Meseta where it seems to be difficult to find a bed even in non Covid times in winter.

I 'm suggesting a leisurely walk on the Camino Ingles ? Five or six days.
Or starting in Pamplona on the Frances to Logroño or Belorado?

Whatever you decide ; happy planning.
 

malingerer

samarkand
Camino(s) past & future
cf (2), de la plata, cp. (2003 -2018)
Thiking of possible snow? And lots of places that will be closed, especially on the Meseta where it seems to be difficult to find a bed even in non Covid times in winter.

I 'm suggesting a leisurely walk on the Camino Ingles ? Five or six days.
Or starting in Pamplona on the Frances to Logroño or Belorado?

Whatever you decide ; happy planning.

Was wondering if a good tent etc. might make the Meseta magical? Taking all appropriate considerations of course :), especially weather.

Buen Camino

Samarkand.
 

WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
Thiking of possible snow? And lots of places that will be closed, especially on the Meseta where it seems to be difficult to find a bed even in non Covid times in winter.

I 'm suggesting a leisurely walk on the Camino Ingles ? Five or six days.
Or starting in Pamplona on the Frances to Logroño or Belorado?

Whatever you decide ; happy planning.

Thanks for the ideas! I hadn't thought of doing the Ingles. I'll definitely look into that :)
 

C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I have tagged your thread with "winter". If you click on that tag, you will find many threads that might help you make your decision.

I have walked the Camino Frances, arriving in Santiago at the start of December, and would happily consider a winter Camino!
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
For winter walking I'd suggest starting no further east than Pamplona. The snow between SJPDP and Pamplona gets to be a limiting factor and keeps you on the roads more often than not. I am very partial to the stretch from Pamplona to Logroño and you may make it to Santo Domingo del Calzada (or better yet, Granon) with the time you have. This is as long as the snow on Alto del Perdon isn't too bad. If so, take a bus to Puenta la Reina and start there. I'd personally skip the Meseta that time of the year if I only had limited time to walk. The mud I've encountered there has been very unpleasant and when you get driving snow storms across the plains, you might as well be back in Saskatchewan :) Have fun, wish I could be there too but I guess the snow is always whiter on the other side of the Atlantic...!
 

WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
I have tagged your thread with "winter". If you click on that tag, you will find many threads that might help you make your decision.

I have walked the Camino Frances, arriving in Santiago at the start of December, and would happily consider a winter Camino!

Thanks very much!
 

WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
For winter walking I'd suggest starting no further east than Pamplona. The snow between SJPDP and Pamplona gets to be a limiting factor and keeps you on the roads more often than not. I am very partial to the stretch from Pamplona to Logroño and you may make it to Santo Domingo del Calzada (or better yet, Granon) with the time you have. This is as long as the snow on Alto del Perdon isn't too bad. If so, take a bus to Puenta la Reina and start there. I'd personally skip the Meseta that time of the year if I only had limited time to walk. The mud I've encountered there has been very unpleasant and when you get driving snow storms across the plains, you might as well be back in Saskatchewan :) Have fun, wish I could be there too but I guess the snow is always whiter on the other side of the Atlantic...!

Thanks very much! Based on all the comments here I am leaning towards Pamplona to Santo Domingo del Calzada and then maybe a days walk north on the Vasco del Interior to Haro (has been on my list of places to go for ages). Of course, all weather dependent and yes, I'll look up bus options along the route in case things turn. I grew up on the prairies so feel I don't need to experience more winter weather than necessary :D
 
Camino(s) past & future
Future
Thanks very much! Based on all the comments here I am leaning towards Pamplona to Santo Domingo del Calzada and then maybe a days walk north on the Vasco del Interior to Haro (has been on my list of places to go for ages). Of course, all weather dependent and yes, I'll look up bus options along the route in case things turn. I grew up on the prairies so feel I don't need to experience more winter weather than necessary :D
Good bet and terrifically envious of you WestKirsty. :)
I assume you know that from Haro to Santo Domingo runs the vasco interior to meet up with the frances.
Buen and joyful camino.
 

VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
@mspath has walked a bunch of winter caminos, each time on the Frances. She would be the one to ask - perhaps send her a PM. I walked the Frances in early March one year - which is that strange time of winterspring. It was absolutely fantastic, so I would say go for the Frances. You will be able to walk without the crowds, and really feel into the experience.
If it were me looking for a week, I would say start in Pamplona and walk as far as Logroño.

The other option, of course, is the Invierno, but you would need to be fleet of foot to walk it in 9-10 days. That said...if you are fit...this one is really hard to beat. It is a glorious walk.
 

MarkyD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés 31/08/2018 - 20/10/2018
Hi! I'm not sure where to post this but would really appreciate any ideas from experienced Camino walkers. I am a Canadian living in Spain and, due to Covid, will probably not be flying home for Christmas this year but staying in Spain instead. I've already walked the Norte, Primitivo, Finisterre/Muxia and San Salvador and miss the walking! So, if I am here over the holidays, I figure why not try a winter Camino :)

As I've been to Santiago a few times, I don't need to go again. I'd like to be able to pre-book accommodation so am thinking that the Frances might be the best option but not sure which section would be best for a week of walking? I live in Bilbao so have easy access to Pamplona, Lorgrono, Burgos and Leon so figure choosing from those places to start and end might work well.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which section of the Frances would be good for a week of winter walking? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)
Hi Kirsty, have you considered doing a section on one of the more southern routes? The Camino Mozarabe or Camino Levante might be worth looking into, for example.
Camino Inglés is a short distance, but you're already familiar with Galicia and the North of Spain. But if you love Galicia, then how about the SdC-Muxia-Fisterra-SdC loop? Could be interesting to do over Christmas. Likely to encounter some wild weather though.
A short section of Camino Francés might be doable also. Depending on where you live in Spain, you could get train to start point (Lorgroño say) and return from Burgos - as an example. There are some nice towns and villages on that section, plus you have two interesting cities to start and finish.

I live in Madrid and I'm thinking of doing a bit of Camino Mozarabe with my wife, perhaps starting at Málaga and going to Córdoba, which would be 16 days. However, you can just do a part of it; Málaga to Antequera say (5 days). Have a day in Málaga and another in Antequera to make up the week.

Just a few ideas to add to the others you have received. Sounds like a good idea, as most of the Christmas celebrations are likely to be severely restricted, so some gentle scenic walking might be a better option to pass the time over Christmas
 
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WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
Thanks everyone for all the ideas! Now I want to do them all :D The southern Caminos might be a good option. I actually lived in Granada when I first moved to Spain so am familiar with the south and it would be nice to go back one day for some walking. So many options!

I might have a few rough plans outlined and then see which has the best accommodation options given the time of year and Covid situation closer to the time. At any rate, it's always fun to plan a Camino :)
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
It being winter, I would suggest a Camino in Southern Spain, where weather should be more benigne and the landscape should be fairly green. And where chances of snow are remarkably smaller.

Given that premise, I can think of Via Serrana, that goes from Gibraltar to Seville, where it joins Via de la Plata after crossing the Ronda area and a couple of Natural Parks (Alcornocales and Grazalema).

Also the Malaga branch of Mozarabe, to Cordoba via Antequera and the valley of might Guadalquivir river springs to mind.

This said, mobility is more and more restricted by the week, I am not sure you will find open places to stay over the Christmas season in any of the caminos, beware!
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
From Almería to Granada. It was beautiful ! Just 1 week and hilly 👍
It is a beautiful walk, but you are coming to some serious altitude at some stages, there could be a few fairly cold stages North of Granada (I live in Granada myself).

The Malaga/Cadiz climate is more temperate.
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
I did Pamplona to Santo Domingo in winter and it was lovely. But, the Via de la Plata, or Mozarabic from Malaga or Almeria would be my first choices as the weather in the south is so pleasant, and they're beautiful caminos. If you chose to walk from Almeria, the association there is incredibly helpful and welcoming which makes that one even more enjoyable.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I did Pamplona to Santo Domingo in winter and it was lovely. But, the Via de la Plata, or Mozarabic from Malaga or Almeria would be my first choices as the weather in the south is so pleasant, and they're beautiful caminos. If you chose to walk from Almeria, the association there is incredibly helpful and welcoming which makes that one even more enjoyable.
A given the weather will be much warmer but curious if you think accommodation would be readily available over the Christmas period? How about bars/restaurants/tiendas? My Spanish is very limited so find myself hesitant to go on the lesser travelled routes with less established support for fear of not being able to communicate with locals...
 

Pierre Julian

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Ingles, VdP, San Salvador, Aragonese & Northern. Sections of Portuguese & Mozarabic.
A given the weather will be much warmer but curious if you think accommodation would be readily available over the Christmas period? How about bars/restaurants/tiendas? My Spanish is very limited so find myself hesitant to go on the lesser travelled routes with less established support for fear of not being able to communicate with locals...

Hi Jozero,

Covid makes things very different, however at normal times on the routes I mentioned I couldn't see many problems. It may be advisable to double check albergue opening in advance, especially for Christmas eve / day and public holidays, but I wouldn't think shops and bars would close for very long at that time of the year. To be fair though, I've only walked after Christmas day on the CdF, and early January on the VdP, but had no difficulties at all. Airbnb is also very good to use for looking for accommodation. I've used it a lot on Camino's when I needed a break from albergues, or there weren't many options

My Spanish wasn't much good when I did those journeys, but never had any difficulty. Spanish people are very understanding, and there's usually someone around who can help out.

The Almeria association also keep an eye on you whilst in their Province and they have all kinds of resources.

I love the less travelled routes, and they'd always be my first option where possible.
 
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WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
It being winter, I would suggest a Camino in Southern Spain, where weather should be more benigne and the landscape should be fairly green. And where chances of snow are remarkably smaller.

Given that premise, I can think of Via Serrana, that goes from Gibraltar to Seville, where it joins Via de la Plata after crossing the Ronda area and a couple of Natural Parks (Alcornocales and Grazalema).

Also the Malaga branch of Mozarabe, to Cordoba via Antequera and the valley of might Guadalquivir river springs to mind.

This said, mobility is more and more restricted by the week, I am not sure you will find open places to stay over the Christmas season in any of the caminos, beware!

I'll have a look at those options, thank you! And yes, I agree about accommodations. I will be sure to contact places in advance and make reservations where possible. Likely a mix of Albergues and pensiones/hotels where needed. Thanks very much for the ideas!
 

WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
I did Pamplona to Santo Domingo in winter and it was lovely. But, the Via de la Plata, or Mozarabic from Malaga or Almeria would be my first choices as the weather in the south is so pleasant, and they're beautiful caminos. If you chose to walk from Almeria, the association there is incredibly helpful and welcoming which makes that one even more enjoyable.


That's helpful to know about the association in Almeria, thanks!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
Hi! I'm not sure where to post this but would really appreciate any ideas from experienced Camino walkers. I am a Canadian living in Spain and, due to Covid, will probably not be flying home for Christmas this year but staying in Spain instead. I've already walked the Norte, Primitivo, Finisterre/Muxia and San Salvador and miss the walking! So, if I am here over the holidays, I figure why not try a winter Camino :)

As I've been to Santiago a few times, I don't need to go again. I'd like to be able to pre-book accommodation so am thinking that the Frances might be the best option but not sure which section would be best for a week of walking? I live in Bilbao so have easy access to Pamplona, Lorgrono, Burgos and Leon so figure choosing from those places to start and end might work well.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which section of the Frances would be good for a week of winter walking? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)
Pamplona to Burgos would be my suggestion - Puente La Reina, Estella, Sansol, Logroño, Najera, Santo Domingo de la Calzada, Belorado, Ages and Burgos.. It was my first ever Camino walk and I have a huge desire to do it again - with my village neighbours or even better with my wife´s grandchildren although the small detail that all 3 live in Australia complicates matters. If you don't mind getting to Santiago again then Tuy to Santiago is a great 5/6 day walk.
 

barryob

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
canino frances
Hi! I'm not sure where to post this but would really appreciate any ideas from experienced Camino walkers. I am a Canadian living in Spain and, due to Covid, will probably not be flying home for Christmas this year but staying in Spain instead. I've already walked the Norte, Primitivo, Finisterre/Muxia and San Salvador and miss the walking! So, if I am here over the holidays, I figure why not try a winter Camino :)

As I've been to Santiago a few times, I don't need to go again. I'd like to be able to pre-book accommodation so am thinking that the Frances might be the best option but not sure which section would be best for a week of walking? I live in Bilbao so have easy access to Pamplona, Lorgrono, Burgos and Leon so figure choosing from those places to start and end might work well.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to which section of the Frances would be good for a week of winter walking? Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks :)

Hi Westkirsty
Best of luck on ithe walk.
I would be interested to see what you learn as I am looking at doing this also probably in November and trying to assess the possibility of it with Covid.
If you could share any insights that would be great. I can share also.
 

WestKirsty

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Del Norte (July 2016)
De San Salvador (August 2017)
Hi Westkirsty
Best of luck on ithe walk.
I would be interested to see what you learn as I am looking at doing this also probably in November and trying to assess the possibility of it with Covid.
If you could share any insights that would be great. I can share also.

Hi @barryrob! I have been looking to see which Albergues are open using the Gronze website and it looks like the Frances between Pamplona and Logrona is the most likely possible option. I have contacted them directly yet as I'd like to wait and see how the Covid situation is closer to the date. Things are changing so rapidly here in Spain. I'd be happy to share anything I do find out if it would be in time for your journey!

K
 

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