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Best Time to walk the Via de La Plata

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
#1
Dear Forum members,

I have already walked three different Camino routes in the past 3 years. (Portugues, Frances and Finisterre)

This year I am planning to walk the VDLP starting some time late September. I am trying to avoid the heat of summer and that is why I think about late September. Has anyone walked this route during this time? I would appreciate some feedback.

I am also thinking of walking from Cadiz to Astorga and then return early next year to walk the Sanabres. Is the part from Cadiz to Seville worth doing?

Meanwhile I read ythe book by Gerald Kelly ...are there any other recommended books available?

Thanks for your tips!!!!

Kind regards,

Raymond Aquilina,
Malta
 

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Davey Boyd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Seven Compostelas in Three years and counting......
#2
Hi Raymond!

Cadiz to Seville is the Via Augusta. Have a look for the thread on it on this forum and read the reports of people who have walked it. It does not sound good. I met a few who walked it when I did the VDLP last year and none of them wished they had. Up to you though mate.

Best wishes
Davey
 
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Raggy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Almeria Mozarabic (2017)
#3
Here is what I experienced, starting from Almeria in late September 2017, but every year is different:
End September (Almeria) - I struggled with daily temperatures in the mid-30s. Too hot for me.
End October (Merida) - Comfortable. I started wearing long trousers somewhere on the VDLP to Salamanca.
10/November (Salamanca) - Frost in the mornings. I started wearing socks with my sandals in the evenings.
15/November (Zamora) - Getting chilly. Many albergues after Zamora are unheated. I'm glad I have a sleeping bag
23/November (Enter Galicia) - Rain and cold. Unheated / Many under-heated albergues
28/November (Ourense).- Hot springs! Television news shows other camino routes with snow. I feel lucky.
Early Dec (Santiago / Finisterre) - Cold albergues but mostly dry, so I consider myself lucky.

I don't regret any part of this Camino, But in retrospect, I think it might be better in Spring with the countryside coming to life and temperatures starting to rise. I met people who were walking from north to south on the VDLP. I remember thinking how clever they were...
 

Saint Mike II

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean 2017.
#4
My experience on the Via de la Plata is limited (6 days from Merida), however I would not be recommending starting in Sept, especially if you intend actually starting from Cadiz. Whilst you "may" escape the severe heat of July & August it can still be very warm to hot in Southern Spain in September. But I see your other problems will that it will be very dry, so you will need to carry all your water needs for each day. You can also expect to regularly walk 30 km each day. If Fall (Autumn) breaks early you could also get bad weather from Zamora through to Astorga. So come prepared.
The other "problem" is that you may often find that you are the only prilgrim on the Camino each day. So bring your music!! Buen Camion
 

Levi

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
#5
I walked from Seville starting 18th September 2016. The weather was very hot for the first two weeks (you need to carry a lot of water) or so then became cooler, but was good all the way. I was often walking alone during the day but almost always met other pilgrims in the evenings. This is a fabulous walk - challenging but so good. There are some good blogs on the forum.
I used the Gerald Kelly book.
Buen Camino.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
#6
I walked from Seville starting 18th September 2016. The weather was very hot for the first two weeks (you need to carry a lot of water) or so then became cooler, but was good all the way. I was often walking alone during the day but almost always met other pilgrims in the evenings. This is a fabulous walk - challenging but so good. There are some good blogs on the forum.
I used the Gerald Kelly book.
Buen Camino.

Dear Friends,

Thanks a lot for your helpful feedback.. due to the heath I am thinking of starting last week of september in that way I will be able to arrive at Astorga towards the end of October. This will be in time when the albergues start closing around Novemeber. Moreoever that will save me some of the September heat.

It would have been wonderful if I did it around spring but have other commitments at home.. however I hope to walk the Sanabres in spring next year!
Kind regards,
ray
 
#7
Dear Forum members,

I have already walked three different Camino routes in the past 3 years. (Portugues, Frances and Finisterre)

This year I am planning to walk the VDLP starting some time late September. I am trying to avoid the heat of summer and that is why I think about late September. Has anyone walked this route during this time? I would appreciate some feedback.

I am also thinking of walking from Cadiz to Astorga and then return early next year to walk the Sanabres. Is the part from Cadiz to Seville worth doing?

Meanwhile I read ythe book by Gerald Kelly ...are there any other recommended books available?

Thanks for your tips!!!!

Kind regards,

Raymond Aquilina,
Malta
I started about 21st sept in 2016. It was over 40 degrees Walking the long few days! It was really hot!! The first part is a bit like a meseta. Don’t expect cafes and water fountains either. In the length of time it takes to walk the VDLP, you get all types of weather. (We also had to sometimes carry food as supermarkets are not in every town.)
 

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naturmenneske

naturmenneske
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Madrid mars 2017
Via de la Plata februar 2016
Camino France januar 2015
Camino Portoguese 2012
#8
I walked from Sevilla - Santiago in January/February 2016, 6 weeks on the Camino. The weather was fine, around 10 degrees celsius and only tree days with rain. I had no problem to find open alberge and I walked about 20 - 25 km pr day. There were nearly no other pilegrims on the camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances/Finest September 2013
VDLP September 2016
Salamanca to Santiago/Finesterra/Muxia 2017
#10
Hi Ray;
I walked from Sevilla starting Sept 14 2016. Was hot but managable with lots of water. Weather was perfect up to Zamora and onto Santiago. Not hot not cold. Walked with an irishman who had started in Cadiz. After 3 days of being mostly lost, he gave up on it and took a bus to Seville. Have a look at my blog if you like.
Finished on the sanabres to Santiago. The whole walk was fantastic!

Cheers

www.terryonthevdlp.weebly.com
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
#11
I will be hiking the VdlP this Spring and am using Gerald Kelly's book also and these two other sources.
  1. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1gWY-bEMztAxba0POUFyWvMHaVlAjnb-XYBo5OPJsHN4/edit?usp=sharing
  2. https://www.gronze.com/via-plata (you may have to paste this into google translate to get the English version)
Thanks a lot for the information
Hi Ray;
I walked from Sevilla starting Sept 14 2016. Was hot but managable with lots of water. Weather was perfect up to Zamora and onto Santiago. Not hot not cold. Walked with an irishman who had started in Cadiz. After 3 days of being mostly lost, he gave up on it and took a bus to Seville. Have a look at my blog if you like.
Finished on the sanabres to Santiago. The whole walk was fantastic!

Cheers

www.terryonthevdlp.weebly.com
Hi Terry,

Thanks for your note..very evouraging and your experience looks very positive. Most prob I will skip Cadiz as I have not had good impressions from many.
Thanks a lot
Cheers.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#12
I walked with a guy who had cycled the VdlP in autumn and his comment was that it was very brown, and although he hated to say it of his country, boring.
I walked in spring and apart from a solid week of rain and other days temperatures reaching into the 30s, I could hardly contain my enthusiasm - oh the wildflowers!
If I were you I might be tempted to do some of the VdlP and the Sanabres now (however much you can fit in to your time - from Salamanca or Zamora or wherever) and then go back and do the beginning in spring (when you are currently planning the Sanabres). Just an idea.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
#13
You give me an idea.... I might do the Sanabres in autumn and return in spring to do the longer route Seville to Astorga in Spring.

Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

Regards,
Ray
 

MikeJS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis (2011), Norte (2012), VdlP (Apr 2016). Sureste/Invierno (Apr/May 2017).
#14
I thin you will find the Wise Pilgrim app for the VdlP extremely useful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sep/Oct 2015
Planning Camino Primitivo for Oct 2016
#16
Hi Raymond
Thank you for starting this conversation. I am presently considering the VdlP for mid/late September also. Thanks also to everyone who has contributed to this informative discussion. My general plan is to start from Saville and walk to Santiago. Maybe 6 weeks. I too completed the Frances (2015), Primativo (2016), Portugese (2017) and Finisterre (2016&17). Time is moving on (my age) and my decision on VdlP is being interrupted by a feeling or call back to walk Frances once again.
Good luck with your decision Raymond and Buen Camino .............
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
#17
Hi James...Thank you for yourcontribution. I am very happy with the feedback I am receiving and thank eberyone for this. It has beem very helpful and I am sure this will help me to plan better this exciting Camino.
Kind regards,
Ray
 

lunna

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
frances; portugues, lisboa-muxia; norte + to bayonne; vdlp; chemin du puy to jaca via col de somport
#18
I started at the beginning of October in Sevilla in 2016. The weather the first week or two was hot, starting around 35 degrees Celsius, but then the weather was quite pleasant, all the way to Santiago via the Sanabres route, except for a couple of rainy (and muddy) days. It's a great time of year to walk.
 

Rosemary314

New Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014
VDLP 2017
Camino de Levante (2018)
#19
Dear Forum members,

I have already walked three different Camino routes in the past 3 years. (Portugues, Frances and Finisterre)

This year I am planning to walk the VDLP starting some time late September. I am trying to avoid the heat of summer and that is why I think about late September. Has anyone walked this route during this time? I would appreciate some feedback.

I am also thinking of walking from Cadiz to Astorga and then return early next year to walk the Sanabres. Is the part from Cadiz to Seville worth doing?

Meanwhile I read ythe book by Gerald Kelly ...are there any other recommended books available?

Thanks for your tips!!!!

Kind regards,

Raymond Aquilina,
Malta

We walked in February from sevilla to santiago, via ourense, arriving in early april. The weather was perfect for not being too hot. I cannot comment on the fall temperatures. However there is an app we used, after leaving our guidebook in a bar! Its in the app store and called ViadelaPlata Its in multiple languages and was updated in 2017
 

handzondeck2

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (x2); VdLP (x3); Portuguese (x2); Madrid (x2); S/Salvador, Primitivo, Ingles ('17), VldP('18)
#20
Hi Ray I'm walking this way again for the 4th time in April. The weather is great with some hot stages. I'm using stages notes and made up my own guide from eroski and bronze plus additional notes. I have th jelly book to on my phone.Have fun planning.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#21
You give me an idea.... I might do the Sanabres in autumn and return in spring to do the longer route Seville to Astorga in Spring.

Thanks a lot for your suggestion.

Regards,
Ray
I don't think you will regret that for one moment!
If you have time in autumn you might start in Zamora and turn off at Granja de Moruela to do the Sanabres - Zamora is the closest big town to get to and well worth a visit - it only adds a couple of days. Then when you return in spring you could start in Seville and continue due north when you get to Granja de Moruela and finish off the "official Via de la Plata route - it ends in Astorga. It would mean visiting Zamora twice, but that is a treat! If you did not want to repeat Zamora to Granja de Moruela you could take a detour to Valdeperdices where they let you stay in the village hall for free:
1517704293755.png
We slept on the stage and it was not so bad.
On the way is a lovely church at La Hiniesta (clsed when we went by but imporessive even frm the outside). The next morning we left our packs here and walked 7km out to a delightful Visigothic church, San Pedro de La Nave:
1517704594395.png
1517704609608.png
It is a real treasure.
This is all directly on the camino route to Portugal and there are frequent markers to follow. Then we went back, picked up our packs, refilled bottles with the wonderful water from the pump in the middle of town and headed for Montamarta.
We were surprised to meet two different (ie not together) pilgrims heading towards Portugal, so it's not entirely unpopulated - and at least a dozen locals stopped us to try to head us in what they thought was the right direction!
You have some fabulous decisions to make! 1517704293755.png 1517704594395.png 1517704609608.png
 

long trails

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances June 2016
Portugues April 2017
Norte Spring 2018
#22
Last April was very wet in the southern section. Indeed, I have never walked in so much mud! Was like being back in New Zealand.
 

laineylainey

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 - 2015 CF
2015 SdC-Fisterra-Muxia
2016 Porto-SdC
2017 Salvador&Primitivo
2017 Mozarabe
#23
Planning to walk Merida to Zamora late Sept. Then hopefully next spring Seville to Merida and later in the year Zamora to Santiago via the Sanabres. I met 2 women a couple of years ago on the Frances who were doing bits of the Frances but certainly not in a "straight line". They would simply decide what bit to do and sometimes that involved going "backwards" I remember thinking - how strange!. Now having walked a bit more and experienced Spanish weather a lot more, it makes perfect sense to me!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (October 2013)
Via de La Plata (2016)
Portuguese, Camino Ingles, Fisterra and Muxia (return)
#24
Hello Ray,
By now you have received a considerable number of comments and suggestions regarding the Via de La Plata route. I too walked from Seville, with my husband, starting toward the end of September 2016. In fact I walked for a few days with Maggie who shared some information with you in this thread. Yes, it was very hot for the first couple of weeks which necessitated the need to carry plenty of water. Not being a huge fan of hot weather, I found it generally manageable so long as one started early in the day and finished before say about 14h. It got notably cooler after the first two weeks. However, this is still my favourite time of year to walk in order to enjoy the harvest, the spectacular chestnut forests, fewer people, to avoid heavy spring rain (sections of the VDLP can become quite flooded in the spring), and so much more. Certainly, you will enjoy this route should you decide to walk it this fall. We used the Gerald Kelly guide, without any electronic devices, and at times found it difficult to navigate our way out of towns. Planning for this year's Camino (Del Norte), I have just purchased the Wise Pilgrims guide and it looks excellent (time will tell) so perhaps you want to check that out as a possibility for use on the VDLP.
Happy trails!
Linda
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - (2015)
Camino Frances - (2016)
Camino Finisterre Muxia (2017)
#25
Hi Linda,
Thank you for ypur encouraging post. Having read about your experience in late September I am now more convinced that it is the roght time for me.
I also prefer dry weather and having ecperienced the Meseta in September 2016 I have a similar experience in hot weather although I have the impression that the VDLP is more hot.
Most probably I will walk from Vadiz to Astorga and conthinue the Sanabres spring 2019.
Enjoy your next camino del Norte.
Buen Camino,
Ray
 

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