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Camino Francés in Oct/Nov

Camino T-shirt
Camino(s) past & future
None
Hi,
I’m doing my first Camino on Oct 21 from Pamplona. Someone in a FB group commented that “most alburgues will close Oct 30”. This scares the heck out of me! Is it true...? I’m already nervous as hell!
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2017)
Camino Frances (2018)
Camino Ingles (2019)
Hi,
I’m doing my first Camino on Oct 21 from Pamplona. Someone in a FB group commented that “most alburgues will close Oct 30”. This scares the heck out of me! Is it true...? I’m already nervous as hell!
Hi, Barobins, and Welcome to the Forum.

As mspath wrote, there are albergues that do close after October 31. But there are many open year around. A bit of research while you are doing your planning will make sure you can have a bed at the end of the day.

This is information from the Forum's Resource Section, that list various albergues on the Frances and what months they operate. You click the orange button at the upper right of the page to download it.

Gronze will also provide albergue information. Chrome will translate the Spanish to English.

Also, because of the time of year, there is not nearly as much competition for albergue bed space, so even though albergues may close after October, you will find what you need.

Lastly, albergues are only one type of lodging. There are all sorts of hotels, casa rurals, hostals, and hostels along the Frances as well. Booking,com and Hotels.com, AirBnB, etc can help you find private lodgings if needed.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
This is the go-to website to see which Albergues are open after November 1St www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno.
Unfortunately not all albergues respond to Lourdes request for information so you may find that an albergue is open but not on the list. Always call in advance! By the way she is considered the "original" or rather first volunteer hospitalera to offer donativo accommodations in her home after the revival of the Camino. She and her partner now live in Fromista and open up their home in the winter.

I walked from SJPDP to Santiago last October and November and had no problem finding a place to sleep.

Ultreia!
 

Richard Ward

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2016, 2017, 2018)
Madrid to Salvador to Primitivo (planned 2019)
I walked Frances from Pamplona November/December last year. Weather was great for long walks -- not too hot, not too cold) -- but there are a number of sections where you definitely have to shorten/lengthen walks based on accommodation availability. I didn't use a rain poncho the whole time (though I should have on the last day sprint to Santiago). On the positive side, if you like the social aspect of the Camino, you will see a lot of the same people every night, or if you like solitude, you can find that by hiking ahead or behind hiker bubbles (I had a 36 hour period after Logrono where I saw no other pilgrim).

The invierno site above is very useful, but can have errors. I also used booking.com -- usually with other pilgrim(s) -- a number of times so I could walk longer distances when needed.

Don't worry too much, I liked it enough that I might see you out there this year! Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Buen Camino!
 

Sam - AU

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Apr/May 2018, Feb/Mar 2019 .... upcoming Nov/Dec 2019
This is the go-to website to see which Albergues are open after November 1St www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno.
Unfortunately not all albergues respond to Lourdes request for information so you may find that an albergue is open but not on the list. Always call in advance! By the way she is considered the "original" or rather first volunteer hospitalera to offer donativo accommodations in her home after the revival of the Camino. She and her partner now live in Fromista and open up their home in the winter.

I walked from SJPDP to Santiago last October and November and had no problem finding a place to sleep.

Ultreia!

I second this!! Use this website as a bible when you’re on the trail. Sure you might catch some albergues open that aren’t on the list but I always had piece of mind setting out for the day knowing what towns definitely had something open within my min/max daily distance, was better than being caught out at the point of no return.
Don’t worry too much, you will easily have a bed each day and just remember if you have to do a shorter day, due to distances between open albergues, ... it’s likely all in the camino’s ‘plan’ for you and lining up some camino magic for you.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
And forgot to mention, be prepared for all types of weather! Last October I had sun going over the Pyrenees, snow in Atapuerca on October 31st but cleared Foncebadón and O Cebreiro with clear skies and no snow. The rain only appeared during the last few days and then almost torrential. One just never know.

My first several years on various Caminos were always in the summer but now I have walked in all four seasons, including 4 times in the winter and I've really enjoyed it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
I second this!! Use this website as a bible when you’re on the trail. Sure you might catch some albergues open that aren’t on the list but I always had piece of mind setting out for the day knowing what towns definitely had something open within my min/max daily distance, was better than being caught out at the point of no return.
Don’t worry too much, you will easily have a bed each day and just remember if you have to do a shorter day, due to distances between open albergues, ... it’s likely all in the camino’s ‘plan’ for you and lining up some camino magic for you.
Is this website only in Spanish?
 
Camino(s) past & future
None
I walked Frances from Pamplona November/December last year. Weather was great for long walks -- not too hot, not too cold) -- but there are a number of sections where you definitely have to shorten/lengthen walks based on accommodation availability. I didn't use a rain poncho the whole time (though I should have on the last day sprint to Santiago). On the positive side, if you like the social aspect of the Camino, you will see a lot of the same people every night, or if you like solitude, you can find that by hiking ahead or behind hiker bubbles (I had a 36 hour period after Logrono where I saw no other pilgrim).

The invierno site above is very useful, but can have errors. I also used booking.com -- usually with other pilgrim(s) -- a number of times so I could walk longer distances when needed.

Don't worry too much, I liked it enough that I might see you out there this year! Feel free to contact me with any questions.

Buen Camino!
I’d love to contact you...I’m wondering about bringing rain gear
 

Sam - AU

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances - Apr/May 2018, Feb/Mar 2019 .... upcoming Nov/Dec 2019
Is this website only in Spanish?
Hi,
Technically Yes and No 😂
At the moment the same message is repeated in multiple languages including English.

During the winter season it is technically in spanish. Listings will usually be in the following format:
Town Name: Albergue Name - Closure Dates, Special Instructions

Technically speaking the town name and Albergue name in Spanish are going to be the same as you will see on route. Closure dates you will also be able to read. It’s likely just the special instructions you will be trying to determine. There is an easy fix for this though, if you go to the Google Translate website (Not app) where you normally put in the text copy paste the URL website address of the page, set to translate to English, click the link on the other side and it will translate the page to English for you. Only thing to watch with this is to make sure you still refer to the spanish page, I found a few times that as the whole page is translated if an Albergue in spanish is Albergue Blanco on your English translated page it will now say Hostel White, yet if you get to town looking for ‘Hostel White’ you will never find it.

Also saw you asked about rain gear, having walked 4 months out of the year I would never go without it, particularly outside of summer. When it rains in Spain it pours. My perfected system now is a pack cover (for light rain), a light packable into its pocket rain jacket (not overly expensive - for light rain and also another layer with the cold), a hiking poncho (this one changed my life the last camino as your entire pack including straps remained dry and it packed up small not weighing much - Decathalon has a great hiking poncho that is the middle price range, some of them are quite pricey) and obviously gore-tex shoes are a necessity to keep the water out and with the prospect of snow.

Buen Camino Pilgrim! Winter Caminos are magical!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Just stick to the popular towns/stages from the guidebooks. You will be ok. No worries. Always an open albergue in them. Great thing is that time of year no need to rush to get to the albergue. Much relaxed walking. Always a bed available.
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
A bigger issue than the number of open albergues, imho, is that the days start to get shorter and shorter and by later November your daylight hours become a factor. Choose your target destination based on what you can walk so you don't end in the dark, if that's a concern. A headlamp becomes a much more needed item.

Because the bed race is long over, people walk well into the late afternoon and perhaps take longer breaks. It's not as hot so you aren't sweating as much and laundry doesn't get done as often ... it may not dry as fast either on a line.

Because there's no bed race and you don't need to do laundry, I've seen people having dinner at 7 pm who still haven't checked in to an albergue, and aren't the slightest bit worried.

Carry snacks, fruit and water on those longer stretches between towns. Many of the mobile and temporary fruit/coffee stands are closed.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
I have walked several times in October-November, and highly recommend it. There is no problem finding accommodation in all the popular stopping points as well as many in-between places. Just don't expect to walk into a small village and find a bed without checking in advance. Be aware of where the next opportunity will be.

Yes. Bring. Rain. Gear.
 

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