A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


See the full Camino Forum Store here with many more camino products.

Best time to Walk


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Looking forward to CF in 2021.
When people say the Camino is 'crowded' in September, what exactly does that mean? Is there is a lack of accommodation, restaurants are full, or too many people on the way to be able to feel like It's a solitary pilgrimage rather than a holiday, or there are too many vehicles on the roads? I haven't done it so I'd like a picture of what crowded means and why a month with fewer participants is better.


Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
May and September are the most popular months to start from SJPDP. Because of that there can be some "bottlenecks" until around Pamplona, with most pilgrims ending up in the same towns. It has been reported during these months that pilgrims have had to take taxis to alternate accommodations. I would consider prebooking up through Pamplona.


Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Vehicles are rarely an issue as relatively little of the Frances is on roads these days. Accommodation shortages can and do happen at times in September - particularly in the section between SJPDP and Pamplona. Restaurants can also be busy. The Camino Frances these days is not a route for those seeking solitude for much of the year in my opinion. On a busy September day there may be over 400 people each day walking each of the earlier stages though that does tend to thin out after Pamplona. A sizeable proportion appear to drop out in the first few days. If you are planning to start walking closer to Santiago - and about a quarter of all Compostelas go to people who begin their walk in Sarria - then you must be prepared for sharing the Camino every day with several hundred others.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (future - 2018) from Porto
I am planning to start from SJPdP during the 3rd week of September 2020. Will the crowds have thinned out somewhat by then?

C clearly

Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
I am planning to start from SJPdP during the 3rd week of September 2020. Will the crowds have thinned out somewhat by then?
May and September are the busiest months for departures from SJPP, so no, crowds won't start thinning out until October. If that's the best timing for you, don't be deterred! Just consider making reservations for your first several days, or be prepared with Plan B. Another suggestion is to leave SJPP on a Tuesday or Wednesday since many people travel and start on the weekend.

Get on our Mailing list for new products on the Camino Store and news from the Camino Forum



Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.2%
  • February

    Votes: 10 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 55 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 196 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 323 24.8%
  • June

    Votes: 94 7.2%
  • July

    Votes: 24 1.8%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.1%
  • September

    Votes: 373 28.7%
  • October

    Votes: 158 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.3%
  • December

    Votes: 7 0.5%
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock