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Anyone walked the Frances in May?

min200

New Member
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
 
Camino(s) past & future
April / May (2016) CF
I walked at the end of April through May 2016. It was not warm. Layering was essential. It was a good tome to walk as it was never too hot, but comfortable for walking. There were a lot of people, but it didn't feel crowded. We did have a problem 1 night finding a place to stay, so had to take a taxi another 30 km. After that we booked ahead every night. I'm not sure it was necessary, but the person I was waling with was no longer comfortable with just showing up. We had just a couple of days of heavy rain, and a few days of intermittent rain. I recommend a good rain poncho that covers you and your pack. We did meet a lot of wonderful people and I'm sure you will too.
 

min200

New Member
That's great info thank you. We have booked all but one night now as we want to give ourselves a steady pace and destination daily.
Great tip on the temperature! We tend to layer when walking but will really consider those layers for warmth whilst keeping them to a minimum now :)
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the whole Frances in mid April thru May, 2015 and 2017. I loved that time of year and did not have much rain. It was glorious! You have picked a nice time of year to walk, and hopefully will not have last spring's weather in 2018. I hear the rain and mud was brutal at times!
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
Hola @min200
No problems starting from Burgos in late April. Its a bit weildy getting out of town, but once you see the road to Villalbilla & Rabe its plain sailing. One small issue is that May 1st (May Day) is a national holiday in Spain and you look like being around either Fromista or Carrion de los Condes so be prepared. Some shops & most banks will be closed, accommodation in the Alberque should not be overly affected but it might be worth investigating booking in advance. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
When i walked the CF last April i had alot of rain. I layered shirt, fleece and rain jacket with hood. Poncho to cover me & pack, gloves and beanie and i was a happy walker. When i got to the Alburgue in Navarette soaked the owner said” you should have walked last year not one day of rain” gee thanks😊 she did however wash and dry all my clothes for 7 €.
 

WaterLili

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Santiago-Fisterra (2008)
Burgos-Santiago (2017)
Roncesvalles-Burgos (2019)
I started in Burgos on Apr 17th in 2017. The weather was brilliant, almost no rain, very warm in the beginning and in the end, but the temperature dropped a lot for a few days inbetween and there was even a snow storm after Astorga. I wore everything I had for a couple of days and even put socks on my hands so that I wasn't cold. But for the most part it was warm and dry. And I loved every minute of it.
I did a May/June camino in 2008 from SJPdP to Santiago and then to Finisterre and it was raining for 30 out of 40 days. My pants were wet from the moment I started walking until I got to the albergue in the afternoon and I have my poncho on on every single photo. :) I still loved every minute of it. It was my best camino so far.
I'm doing it again this year, starting on Apr 16 in Roncesvalles and going to Burgos. I am not worried about what the weather will be. I know I will love every minute of it regardless. So will you.

Buen Camino!
 
Last edited:

min200

New Member
Thank you all for taking the time to reply!
We have booked almost all of our accommodation in advance so as not to push ourselves too hard or worry about somewhere to sleep.
Great tip on Mayday, we will make sure we have all of our provisions ahead of then and eat in any open bars we can find :)
 

Chris Gi

Member
Camino(s) past & future
This upcoming May 31st through July 1st approximately.
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
We started walking our last year’s Camino out of Burgos towards the end of May. It rained pretty much nonstop for the first 4 days as we crossed the Meseta. We all agreed that it was the most amazing part of our journey. Very few people around, just frogs and cuckoos for company and the fields were so very green and awash with brilliant red Poppies.
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I started in the beginning of May in Burgos and made it to SdC in 21 days, had good weather on the Meseta, up to 24 dgr Centigrade and did not encounter rain until entering Galicia...
Keep some layering for this section as the the clouds will be lifted when entering the Spaninsh coast and thus you might get some rain, and it will almost certain...
The Meseta in my mind, is a good beginning for straight walking and plenty time for some good reflection..
A good choice, rejoice...
 

marylynn

Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2011-12-14-15-16-17-18-(19) CF
2013 Arles/Aragones
2015 & 2017 HærvejenDK
In 2012, I left St.Jean Pied de Port on April 15 in the rain, which continued for two full weeks - every day it rained, sometimes hard. But no one complained - sometimes someone looked out the window in the morning and announced that it was raining...it was just a fact, and no one complained.
The morning of May 1 dawned bright and sunny, with blue skies and warm temperatures, and the good weather continued for the rest of the month - like someone up above flipped had a switch and everything changed.
 

Rj7797

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
When i walked the CF last April i had alot of rain. I layered shirt, fleece and rain jacket with hood. Poncho to cover me & pack, gloves and beanie and i was a happy walker. When i got to the Alburgue in Navarette soaked the owner said” you should have walked last year not one day of rain” gee thanks😊 she did however wash and dry all my clothes for 7 €.
Can confirm the owners words! Was there 2017 mid april into may and it only rained one day the entire 35 days. Well, on me at least. I'm sure people in front and behind got hit somewhere along the path as there was mud in a few places. The weather is all luck. Bring some rain gear and enjoy the ride!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2012 SJPP-Burgos, 2014 Burgos-Leon, 2018 Leon-Santiago
In 2012 ...
The morning of May 1 dawned bright and sunny, with blue skies and warm temperatures, and the good weather continued for the rest of the month - like someone up above flipped had a switch and everything changed.
I can attest to this. I walked that year in early May: shirtsleeves on the Route Napoleon, cool evenings, and no rain except a stray shower until Los Arcos.
I was wearing shorts most days, and peeled top layers off as the days warmed up, finally finishing most afternoons in short sleeves. After a shower it was back to long pants, a long sleeved merino base layer and a long sleeved button up shirt, and maybe a fleece or down pullover carried to dinner against the cool of the evening.
I’m not sure why, but I rarely felt that I was getting burned by the sun on my legs and arms. I generally wore a hat so my head and face did not get too burned or tanned. I also used a collar and brought a buff for the neck, which will get burned if uncovered, due to the fact that your back is to the sun most of the day.
What a great stretch that May!
Best wishes for a buen Camino,
Paul
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Route - 2016
Santiago to Finestiere and Muxia - 2017
Frances Route - May 2018
Camino Ingles
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
Walked Frances last year at the same time. Lots of layers. Cold in the morning higher up. I found a lightweight fleece hat and gloves invaluable.
 

Tmac08

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2019
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
Hi there! My dad and I are walking Frances we are starting around the same time! He has walked many different ways and just keeps telling me to be prepared for any weather. Buen Camino and I hope we meet you along the way!
 

Spammy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future - this May (2016)
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
I walked the Frances in May over 3 years. Pretty much perfect weather and not crowded at all (apart from stage from Sarria). Buen Camino.
 

Mazzy

Insufferable pedant
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) May 12 Camino Frances
Hola @min200
No problems starting from Burgos in late April. Its a bit weildy getting out of town, but once you see the road to Villalbilla & Rabe its plain sailing. One small issue is that May 1st (May Day) is a national holiday in Spain and you look like being around either Fromista or Carrion de los Condes so be prepared. Some shops & most banks will be closed, accommodation in the Alberque should not be overly affected but it might be worth investigating booking in advance. Buen Camino.
I'm also starting my camino in Burgos on 11 May and travelling alone. Having watched BK Lee's video of leaving Burgos early in the morning gave me a mini anxiety attack. Up this street, down that street, across there, over there. I vowed I'd have to lurk outside my hotel until I see someone wander past with a backpack on and stealthily follow them! Also a q for you - from Burgos to Hontanas is 31.5km which would quite possibly kill me on the first day walking! Since you seem to know your stuff - if you had to break that first day where would you stay please?
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
This can happen.
I have walked out of Burgos 4 times and it was never been the same route. Don't try to walk as far as Hontanas, that is too far. Hornillos is much more doable but this 70+ yo pilgrim only goes as far as Tardajos or Rabe, there are some great place to stay in both towns and it gives you time to laze around Burgos for breakfast.
 

Dodger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April 2018 intended
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
Hi,
I walked April-May last year, had some rain early in April, and a little close to the end. Had no trouble finding a bed, no bed rush. About 100 walking a day, I finished mid May, enjoy
 

Mazzy

Insufferable pedant
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) May 12 Camino Frances
This can happen.
I have walked out of Burgos 4 times and it was never been the same route. Don't try to walk as far as Hontanas, that is too far. Hornillos is much more doable but this 70+ yo pilgrim only goes as far as Tardajos or Rabe, there are some great place to stay in both towns and it gives you time to laze around Burgos for breakfast.
That seems like some very good advice to me! Also like the sound of staying in places in between the popular stops for other pilgrims, especially as I won't have a camino 'family' at that stage of my journey!
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Camino(s) past & future
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
I'm also starting my camino in Burgos on 11 May and travelling alone. Having watched BK Lee's video of leaving Burgos early in the morning gave me a mini anxiety attack. Up this street, down that street, across there, over there. I vowed I'd have to lurk outside my hotel until I see someone wander past with a backpack on and stealthily follow them! Also a q for you - from Burgos to Hontanas is 31.5km which would quite possibly kill me on the first day walking! Since you seem to know your stuff - if you had to break that first day where would you stay please?
- or you could stay in Rabé de la Calzadas, shorter first day stage....
 

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min200

New Member
@everyoneelse thank you so much for all of your advice and comments! Gloves and a hat now added to teh kit list :)
 

Gilmore Girl

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
Hello everyone,

Well the time has finally arrived and my good lady wife and I will be walking the Camino from Burgos starting on April 28th! We are really quite excited but wondered what we would be up against weather wise and people numbers then? Do you folks have any top tips that is newbies should really take on board?

Lastly we are looking forward to meeting lots of new people as we plod along :) Thanks in advance for any answers and help.
It is a lovely time of year to walk the Camino Frances. I did need my gloves and all layers in the Pyrenees - it was snowing the last week in April 2017. In May it went up to 35 degrees Centigrade for a couple of days. Otherwise, great weather. Not too much rain or storms. The flowers and colours of the landscape were lovely. It was busy, more people than expected and I was glad I booked. Some people were having to go on another 10k at the end of the day. I did have about four days where I walked without seeing hardly anyone until I reached cafes or albergues. It was a nice balance of meeting people from loads of different places and having time for meditative walking on my own. Happy trails🐾
 

Dorpie

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago to Finisterre to Muxia 2013
Camino Frances May 2015
Camino Frances July 2017
Seems like I was super lucky when I walked from SJPdP on April 28th 2015, I didn't experience a drop of rain all the way to Santiago and weather was perfect except for a little cold at altitude. With this possibility in mind I'd urge a little optimism in your packing. Kit is probably not much more expensive in Spain than anywhere else and shops along the way are plentiful so rather than dragging along kilos of "maybe" clothing that you might never use pack sensible basics and be prepared to add to this as conditions dictate.

As for other tips...make washing your number one priority when you finish walking. It's the last thing you'll want to do but it's far better than discovering the clothes you want to wear the next day still aren't dry because all the decent drying spots were taken.
 
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
I'm also starting my camino in Burgos on 11 May and travelling alone. Having watched BK Lee's video of leaving Burgos early in the morning gave me a mini anxiety attack. Up this street, down that street, across there, over there. I vowed I'd have to lurk outside my hotel until I see someone wander past with a backpack on and stealthily follow them! Also a q for you - from Burgos to Hontanas is 31.5km which would quite possibly kill me on the first day walking! Since you seem to know your stuff - if you had to break that first day where would you stay please?
Hola @Mazzy. getting out of Burgos is not difficult - just a little time consuming. The Camino Frances runs through the centre of the city. There is a line of shells from the Eastern entry gate leading west. Just find Santander Ave and the Camino will cross it. Alternatively in your hotel or albergue there should be a map of the city with the Camino marked. As for walking the 31.5 Km to Hontanas. Well my recommendation for day one is walk to Rabe de las Calzadas - yes this is only a short day (12-13 km) but it means you can leave Burgos around 9.00 am. If you were feeling really energetic then you could walk on to Hornillos for a total of 21 km. Cheers
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino francés, Camino portugués (Tui), Pilgrims Welcome Office, hospitalero 7 times
Oh for heaver's sake. Here is that conversation again - weather vs climate. People, we can't talk about *weather* any further out than maybe a week. Climate, yes, we can. The fact that your cousin walked on the Camino last May and the weather was great has no bearing at all on *your* weather this coming May. Please go to https://www.americanpilgrims.org/internet-resources#weather and find the *climate* tables. Bom Caminho! And I do hope you have great weather!
 

Rootie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sep 2018
Starting my camino in Burgos on 4 May and travelling alone also.
Thanks to the poster who gave info on Santander Ave & 'shells' to exit Burgos.
 

Adrienne Marrone

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to walk 2017
Starting my camino in Burgos on 4 May and travelling alone also.
Thanks to the poster who gave info on Santander Ave & 'shells' to exit Burgos.
I'm starting out of Burgos on 6 May solo as well, we may cross paths! Good luck.
 

Mazzy

Insufferable pedant
Camino(s) past & future
(2019) May 12 Camino Frances
I'm starting out of Burgos on 6 May solo as well, we may cross paths! Good luck.
Oh great Adrienne - don't walk too fast then! We may well meet up as I hear it might be worth bussing a couple of days before Leon 😉
 

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