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Albergues and Weather in late October and November

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Greetings! I am grateful for this forum and the experience of other pilgrims!
I am 65 and in pretty good physical condition. I hope to do part of El Camino Frances or El Camino Portugues for the first time, but I can't start until the 23rd of October. Will I find Albergues open with beds available at that time of year? Will there be Albergues at shorter distances than the "stages"? I know I cannot walk the full distances from stage to stage, at least at first. Is there a website to check availability of abergues?
My second question is about weather. Is it likely to rain every day in late October and November? Are the rains lasting all day or short showers? Is the Frances or Portuguese Camino more rainy? Are rain shelters for pilgrims located along the way?
One final question: what is most helpful to bring along - a Camino guidebook or a map or both?
I thank you for your suggestions and information! Buen Camino to all!
Elaine
 
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jnyrup

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
First Camino will be May 2018
Others here have much more experience. But walked for 7 days in late October, early November in 2019. Most albergues closed after November 1. There were some that were open, but very few. You will still find places though. I’ve walked in February too and was able to find places. In at least 2 of the days in early November, it rained hard. I’ve walked in the spring, fall and winter. Fall is the best time to walk. Good luck and buen Camino.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
Greetings! I am grateful for this forum and the experience of other pilgrims!
I am 65 and in pretty good physical condition. I hope to do part of El Camino Frances or El Camino Portugues for the first time, but I can't start until the 23rd of October. Will I find Albergues open with beds available at that time of year? Will there be Albergues at shorter distances than the "stages"? I know I cannot walk the full distances from stage to stage, at least at first. Is there a website to check availability of abergues?
My second question is about weather. Is it likely to rain every day in late October and November? Are the rains lasting all day or short showers? Is the Frances or Portuguese Camino more rainy? Are rain shelters for pilgrims located along the way?
One final question: what is most helpful to bring along - a Camino guidebook or a map or both?
I thank you for your suggestions and information! Buen Camino to all!
Elaine

Whew, lots of questions!

With regards to accommodation, lots of things start closing about the time you are setting out. Not to worry, there is always somewhere to stay. If your budget limits you to albergues, then the distance between them may start to get tricky in some spots. If you don't mind staying at hostals or casa rurals, there will be more choices. It will depend on exactly where you are, and when. Between Sarria and Santiago, there won't be a problem. Out on the Meseta, not many choices at all in the off season. gronze.com is the Spanish website that lists all the pilgrim accommodations, and you can use it to plan your walk. By late November, the Camino is in winter mode, and choices are usually down to one per town.

As for weather, everybody wants a reliable forecast......including me. I walked September/October last year and the weather was marvelous. The rainy season starts in late October, particularly in Galicia. It comes and goes with increasing intensity and frequency as you get later in the year. In October, its likely to be mostly nice. In November, its likely to rain several times a week. I've never heard of a rain shelter, although I confess to having taken refuge in the odd bus shelter a few times waiting for it to lighten up.

Your best strategy is to acknowledge that there will be times that you will get rained on. You are going to get wet. This is not a life threatening emergency, it's an annoyance that needs to be managed with equanimity, decent rain gear, common sense, and an accepting attitude to what is really a minor discomfort. It's not going to be sunny the whole time - equally, it's not going to rain constantly either.

As for guide books, there are lots out there. Many first timers carry the Brierly guide, which has its own maps. I carry a cell phone with the wise pilgrim app. The app also provides route info and maps, and weighs nothing in my pack. You're not going to get lost, at least, not for long. The locals on the Camino have been shooing pilgrims back onto the Way for centuries.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
In late October early November on the del Norte in 2019 I was astonished by the constant strong wind and heavy rain. Yes, the occasional bus shelter was a refuge. I carry a small umbrella as I get too hot all buttoned up, even in cold rain. Gaiters keep the rain out of my boots. I like the superlight Village to Village map guide series, and even lighter various apps. Buen Camino
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Whew, lots of questions!

With regards to accommodation, lots of things start closing about the time you are setting out. Not to worry, there is always somewhere to stay. If your budget limits you to albergues, then the distance between them may start to get tricky in some spots. If you don't mind staying at hostals or casa rurals, there will be more choices. It will depend on exactly where you are, and when. Between Sarria and Santiago, there won't be a problem. Out on the Meseta, not many choices at all in the off season. gronze.com is the Spanish website that lists all the pilgrim accommodations, and you can use it to plan your walk. By late November, the Camino is in winter mode, and choices are usually down to one per town.

As for weather, everybody wants a reliable forecast......including me. I walked September/October last year and the weather was marvelous. The rainy season starts in late October, particularly in Galicia. It comes and goes with increasing intensity and frequency as you get later in the year. In October, its likely to be mostly nice. In November, its likely to rain several times a week. I've never heard of a rain shelter, although I confess to having taken refuge in the odd bus shelter a few times waiting for it to lighten up.

Your best strategy is to acknowledge that there will be times that you will get rained on. You are going to get wet. This is not a life threatening emergency, it's an annoyance that needs to be managed with equanimity, decent rain gear, common sense, and an accepting attitude to what is really a minor discomfort. It's not going to be sunny the whole time - equally, it's not going to rain constantly either.

As for guide books, there are lots out there. Many first timers carry the Brierly guide, which has its own maps. I carry a cell phone with the wise pilgrim app. The app also provides route info and maps, and weighs nothing in my pack. You're not going to get lost, at least, not for long. The locals on the Camino have been shooing pilgrims back onto the Way for centuries.
Hi, Rick! I so appreciate you taking time for my questions, of which there are many, I admit!😊 Your experience is valuable and reassuring. I'll be getting some rain gear and checking out the websites and apps you mentioned. Thank you!
Whew, lots of questions!

With regards to accommodation, lots of things start closing about the time you are setting out. Not to worry, there is always somewhere to stay. If your budget limits you to albergues, then the distance between them may start to get tricky in some spots. If you don't mind staying at hostals or casa rurals, there will be more choices. It will depend on exactly where you are, and when. Between Sarria and Santiago, there won't be a problem. Out on the Meseta, not many choices at all in the off season. gronze.com is the Spanish website that lists all the pilgrim accommodations, and you can use it to plan your walk. By late November, the Camino is in winter mode, and choices are usually down to one per town.

As for weather, everybody wants a reliable forecast......including me. I walked September/October last year and the weather was marvelous. The rainy season starts in late October, particularly in Galicia. It comes and goes with increasing intensity and frequency as you get later in the year. In October, its likely to be mostly nice. In November, its likely to rain several times a week. I've never heard of a rain shelter, although I confess to having taken refuge in the odd bus shelter a few times waiting for it to lighten up.

Your best strategy is to acknowledge that there will be times that you will get rained on. You are going to get wet. This is not a life threatening emergency, it's an annoyance that needs to be managed with equanimity, decent rain gear, common sense, and an accepting attitude to what is really a minor discomfort. It's not going to be sunny the whole time - equally, it's not going to rain constantly either.

As for guide books, there are lots out there. Many first timers carry the Brierly guide, which has its own maps. I carry a cell phone with the wise pilgrim app. The app also provides route info and maps, and weighs nothing in my pack. You're not going to get lost, at least, not for long. The locals on the Camino have been shooing pilgrims back onto the Way for centuries.
Thank you for responding to my questions, Rick, there are a lot! It's reassuring to get your perspective. I'll check out those apps and websites. And invest in rain gear. I don't mind rain as long as it doesn't affect my feet too much or last for days on end! Take care!
 
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Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
In late October early November on the del Norte in 2019 I was astonished by the constant strong wind and heavy rain. Yes, the occasional bus shelter was a refuge. I carry a small umbrella as I get too hot all buttoned up, even in cold rain. Gaiters keep the rain out of my boots. I like the superlight Village to Village map guide series, and even lighter various apps. Buen Camino
Thank you, Jerry! I'll check out the Village to Village guides and consider gators - hadn't thought of that! Take care!
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Others here have much more experience. But walked for 7 days in late October, early November in 2019. Most albergues closed after November 1. There were some that were open, but very few. You will still find places though. I’ve walked in February too and was able to find places. In at least 2 of the days in early November, it rained hard. I’ve walked in the spring, fall and winter. Fall is the best time to walk. Good luck and buen Camino.
Thank you, jnyrup! I appreciate hearing your experience!
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
I have walked the CF in November. By Then many albergues in between stages will close. It's quite possible too that snow may occur. Even if an albergue states in a Fall/Winter list or on line that it's open, sometimes they will close if they aren’t expecting anyone, or if the weather is very poor. Therefore, call ahead and verfy the night before or morning, before you leave to verify that it's open!
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
I have walked the CF in November. By Then many albergues in between stages will close. It's quite possible too that snow may occur. Even if an albergue states in a Fall/Winter list or on line that it's open, sometimes they will close if they aren’t expecting anyone, or if the weather is very poor. Therefore, call ahead and verfy the night before or morning, before you leave to verify that it's open!
Thank.you, Marbe. I really appreciate your advice!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
This year will be my sixth autumn camino, walking from mid-October through November to Santiago. Are you thinking mostly of the Frances or of the Portuguese? If the Frances, how much of it will you expect to walk? Are you going to end up in Santiago this year? Last year, I was a hospitalera (volunteer in a pilgrim hostel) in the last half of November and pilgrims were still walking through from my hostel in Najera towards Santiago. Not so many at the end of November, since it is a long way from there to Santiago. This year, I expect to arrive in Santiago from the Salvador and Primitivo towards the end of November. I expect a lot of rain and will have a light-weight waterproof rain jacket and rain trousers, breathable, so I don't wet them through with perspiration from the inside. I wear boots, with woolen socks, and find them good protection against cold and rain. The question is always accommodation, one way or another. In summer there can be too many pilgrims for the albergues. In the off-season, the albergues which are open can be too far apart. Gronze (gronze.com) is the best source of information about available albergues, as they try to keep up-to-date year round. You may be a little less concerned if you can afford to pay more for a private room when albergues are far apart: a chance to get your clothes clean and dry and sleep with no snorers near.
 
Last edited:
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Pilgrim Elaine,

October/November is a great time to walk with generally golden days and cool nights. Do be aware however that many albergues started to close mid October during earlier, easier years however there was always some place open .

For personal commentary regarding walking several years when over 70 at this time on the CF see my Camino Gazetteer. This also lists my late autumn-winter/kit.

On the CF by mid November it will be cold. On the Meseta the wind can be fierce blowing directly into your face. Hale and snow might occur. Late November 2012 at O Cebreiro the snow was a meter deep. Be prepared.

Check out this earlier forum topic for earlier posts with helpful info re
walking in October- November.

Whenever/wherever you do go
Carpe diem and Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Pilgrim Elaine,

October/November is a great time to walk with generally golden days and cool nights. Do be aware however that many albergues started to close mid October during earlier, easier years however there was always some place open .

For personal commentary regarding walking several years when over 70 at this time on the CF see my Camino Gazetteer. This also lists my late autumn-winter/kit.

On the CF by mid November it will be cold. On the Meseta the wind can be fierce blowing directly into your face. Hale and snow might occur. Late November 2012 at O Cebreiro the snow was a meter deep. Be prepared.

Check out this earlier forum topic for earlier posts with helpful info re
walking in October- November.

Whenever/wherever you do go
Carpe diem and Buen Camino!
Dear mspath. Thank you SO much for taking time to reply to my questions! Yourinfirmation is very helpful! Best regards,
Elaine
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Pilgrim Elaine,

October/November is a great time to walk with generally golden days and cool nights. Do be aware however that many albergues started to close mid October during earlier, easier years however there was always some place open .

For personal commentary regarding walking several years when over 70 at this time on the CF see my Camino Gazetteer. This also lists my late autumn-winter/kit.

On the CF by mid November it will be cold. On the Meseta the wind can be fierce blowing directly into your face. Hale and snow might occur. Late November 2012 at O Cebreiro the snow was a meter deep. Be prepared.

Check out this earlier forum topic for earlier posts with helpful info re
walking in October- November.

Whenever/wherever you do go
Carpe diem and Buen Camino!
Dear, this is greatinfirmation and leads to more information! I will read up. Thank you so much! Yes, I'm
This year will be my sixth autumn camino, walking from mid-October through November to Santiago. Are you thinking mostly of the Frances or of the Portuguese? If the Frances, how much of it will you expect to walk? Are you going to end up in Santiago this year? Last year, I was a hospitalera (volunteer in a pilgrim hostel) in the last half of November and pilgrims were still walking through from my hostel in Najera towards Santiago. Not so many at the end of November, since it is a long way from there to Santiago. This year, I expect to arrive in Santiago from the Salvador and Primitivo towards the end of November. I expect a lot of rain and will have a light-weight waterproof rain jacket and rain trousers, breathable, so I don't wet them through with perspiration from the inside. I wear boots, with woolen socks, and find them good protection against cold and rain. The question is always accommodation, one way or another. In summer there can be too many pilgrims for the albergues. In the off-season, the albergues which are open can be too far apart. Gronze (gronze.com) is the best source of information about available albergues, as they try to keep up-to-date year round. You may be a little less concerned if you can afford to pay more for a private room when albergues are far apart: a chance to get your clothes clean and dry and sleep with no snorers near.
Dear Albertagirl, this is great information and leads to more information. I will read up. Thank you for taking time to respond! Buen Camino to you, snd maybe we will meet!
Elaine
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
This year will be my sixth autumn camino, walking from mid-October through November to Santiago. Are you thinking mostly of the Frances or of the Portuguese? If the Frances, how much of it will you expect to walk? Are you going to end up in Santiago this year? Last year, I was a hospitalera (volunteer in a pilgrim hostel) in the last half of November and pilgrims were still walking through from my hostel in Najera towards Santiago. Not so many at the end of November, since it is a long way from there to Santiago. This year, I expect to arrive in Santiago from the Salvador and Primitivo towards the end of November. I expect a lot of rain and will have a light-weight waterproof rain jacket and rain trousers, breathable, so I don't wet them through with perspiration from the inside. I wear boots, with woolen socks, and find them good protection against cold and rain. The question is always accommodation, one way or another. In summer there can be too many pilgrims for the albergues. In the off-season, the albergues which are open can be too far apart. Gronze (gronze.com) is the best source of information about available albergues, as they try to keep up-to-date year round. You may be a little less concerned if you can afford to pay more for a private room when albergues are far apart: a chance to get your clothes clean and dry and sleep with no snorers near.
P.S. I think I will not attempt the whole Camino, and may be another year I will do the rest. I will aim for about 350 km. Would Leon be a good place to begin? .
But I am still considering the Camino Portuguese as well and wonder if it would be dryer.
That is interesting that you were a volunteer last year!
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
I shall be a hospitalera again this year, and shall be going from my time as a hospitalera during the first half of October to Leon, to walk the Salvador and the Primitivo to Santiago. If this were my first camino, I might do what I think you are suggesting and follow the Frances from Leon to Santiago in October/November, as a camino where all types of facilities are more available, with albergues likely to be open at reasonable intervals.
 
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Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
I shall be a hospitalera again this year, and shall be going from my time as a hospitalera during the first half of October to Leon, to walk the Salvador and the Primitivo to Santiago. If this were my first camino, I might do what I think you are suggesting and follow the Frances from Leon to Santiago in October/November, as a camino where all types of facilities are more available, with albergues likely to be open at reasonable intervals.
I had another question about temperatures in Albergues in November. Are some heated, others not? How warm a sleeping bag would you recommend?
Thanks again!
 

CillaP

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
April (2019)
Hi Elaine, I will be walking the Camino Frances starting November and finishing early December. I have walked it once before in the Summer months...I think I prefer the rain to the scorching sun. I can't answer any of your questions! but will watch your thread as I am needing the same information. Will you be carrying your luggage or transporting it?
 

Albertagirl

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances; Aragones; VdlP; Madrid-Invierno; Levante
Pilgrim Elaine
I cannot tell you what albergues will be like in terms of heat, or any other aspect of the facilities in individual albergues. There are different organizations who run them and individuals who decide to open private albergues. You might assume that the donativo albergues would have more basic facilities, and to some extent this is so. But the albergue at Najera where I volunteered last November had heating, and kept it on much of the time. However, most albergues adjusted their offerings due to covid. Some no longer provided blankets, except maybe for the hospitaleros. It just was not practical to wash a whole set of blankets after all the pilgrims, and not safe not to in a time of pandemic. What I am doing for my own time on camino this year is this: 1. stay in hostals or hotels wherever they are available, in private rooms where the bedding should be fresh; 2. carry a lightweight sleepsack to crawl into for nights in albergues; 3 take warm clothing which can be used as nightwear if the bedroom is not heated: a new pair of heavyweight 100% merino wool tights should provide needed warmth in many situations and can be worn with my merino wool jacket at night, if needed. But there are no guarantees and I may have some cold nights. I am allergic to down, or I would take my lightweight down sleeping bag for warmth. It is worth considering what you have that will keep you warm as there may be snow and cold in some places later in November.
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Pilgrim Elaine
I cannot tell you what albergues will be like in terms of heat, or any other aspect of the facilities in individual albergues. There are different organizations who run them and individuals who decide to open private albergues. You might assume that the donativo albergues would have more basic facilities, and to some extent this is so. But the albergue at Najera where I volunteered last November had heating, and kept it on much of the time. However, most albergues adjusted their offerings due to covid. Some no longer provided blankets, except maybe for the hospitaleros. It just was not practical to wash a whole set of blankets after all the pilgrims, and not safe not to in a time of pandemic. What I am doing for my own time on camino this year is this: 1. stay in hostals or hotels wherever they are available, in private rooms where the bedding should be fresh; 2. carry a lightweight sleepsack to crawl into for nights in albergues; 3 take warm clothing which can be used as nightwear if the bedroom is not heated: a new pair of heavyweight 100% merino wool tights should provide needed warmth in many situations and can be worn with my merino wool jacket at night, if needed. But there are no guarantees and I may have some cold nights. I am allergic to down, or I would take my lightweight down sleeping bag for warmth. It is worth considering what you have that will keep you warm as there may be snow and cold in some places later in November.
I understand. I was thinking I would bring a lightweight sleeping bag rated to about 50 degrees and had read about extra blankets being provided, but I can certainly understand the difficulty of that given Covid. I do need to keep my costs down when possible.
Thank you once again! Your experience is helpful!
 

Pilgrim Elaine

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
October 2022
Hi Elaine, I will be walking the Camino Frances starting November and finishing early December. I have walked it once before in the Summer months...I think I prefer the rain to the scorching sun. I can't answer any of your questions! but will watch your thread as I am needing the same information. Will you be carrying your luggage or transporting it?
Thanks for writing! I plan to carry my stuff and hope I'm not being over-confident. I heard some of the luggage transport services stop later into the season. Buen Camino, CillaP!
 
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Becky 59

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2018, 2021
Camino Ingles (Aug 2019)
Pilgrim Elaine, you sounded worried about wet feet. IMHO, it is very difficult to avoid wet feet, but what is more important is keeping your feet WARM. Good socks and keeping yourself moving during the day helps the warmth, and stuffing newspaper in your boots overnight does a great deal to dry the boots. Even if the boots are still damp the next morning, they warm up quickly when you start walking.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Thanks for writing! I plan to carry my stuff and hope I'm not being over-confident. I heard some of the luggage transport services stop later into the season. Buen Camino, CillaP!
Usually no service for sending bags ahead the month of November with the exception of the section from Sarria to SdC ( if needed check with Correos)…so it is good you plan to carry your belongings. If you needed baggage assistance, you can still get it in October to Sarria…and then from thereto SdC in November.

If you bring a sleeping bag rated to 50 degrees, you should be fine. If needed, you can always sleep in your clothes in your bag. Do not look for extra blankets…even if available….you maybe inviting tiny additional guests!
 

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