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Camino Frances in May or June - which would you prefer?

JustJack

Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2023
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
 
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Rick M

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
April ('16,'18, '19, 22)
Sept 21
Vancouver guy eh? Think long and hard about leaving SJPP in June. Its a long walk, and you will hit significant heat in July. If you were from Texas, it would be child's play, but recall you are walking outside all day, and there are patches of the Frances with minimal shade. There's a reason Spaniards take an afternoon siesta.....it can be plenty warm in the summer. That said, you could be fine. The weather will be what the weather will be, and it could be pleasant and comfortable. Or it could be 40 C on the meseta. I had two days of 35 C in Galicia in mid May of 2019, where in previous years it was more like 20. On the other hand, I'm heat sensitive, which is why I like departing in April. You can put on a jacket, but you can't take off your skin.

Buen Camino
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022 CF
For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
I walked in June this year. It was very hot in Pamplona (higher 30s) but turned very cold (for me!) the rest of the way! (Around 8 deg). I didn’t expect it and hadn’t even brought gloves. I used socks one day as my fingers were frozen. They even put the heating on in the rooms!
So really, there is no way of telling what the weather (and temperatures) will be like 😉
There weren’t any crowds, btw, it was a very solitary Camino. But apparently it all changed in July!
 

JustJack

Member
Past OR future Camino
May 2023
I walked in June this year. It was very hot in Pamplona (higher 30s) but turned very cold (for me!) the rest of the way! (Around 8 deg). I didn’t expect it and hadn’t even brought gloves. I used socks one day as my fingers were frozen. They even put the heating on in the rooms!
So really, there is no way of telling what the weather (and temperatures) will be like 😉
There weren’t any crowds, btw, it was a very solitary Camino. But apparently it all changed in July!
Yeah I’m quickly learning how variable and unpredictable the weather in northern Spain is. 8 degrees in June - yikes!
 

FourSeasons

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Costa/Senda Litoral
Porto/SdC Sept 2022
@JustJack, having departed SJPdP myself in mid April 2016 I was expecting (hoping) for warmer temps. However, I got the same weather as I would have had back home (Idaho), cold and wet but really beautiful. If you like warmth I’d go early June.
1545AC9D-6D8D-4800-8A7A-8070305EA691.jpeg
I was also on the Frances starting in Fromista (the Meseta) to Santiago mid July into August of 2019 and yes it was HOT!! 🥵 I started my days in the early morning 5:30a, stopped walking by noon or 1:00p and seeked out alburgues with swimming pools. (There are a few along the way) I also enjoyed spectacular sunrises.

Either way you decide, no doubt it will be a unique experience. Buen Camino 😁

E516D45D-91E8-45CC-884D-DD41557A77CF.jpeg 7076AEE5-AB8A-442F-9B99-E79DFDF6F19D.jpeg
 
Last edited:
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nathanael

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Plata,
Vancouver guy eh? Think long and hard about leaving SJPP in June. Its a long walk, and you will hit significant heat in July. If you were from Texas, it would be child's play, but recall you are walking outside all day, and there are patches of the Frances with minimal shade. There's a reason Spaniards take an afternoon siesta.....it can be plenty warm in the summer. That said, you could be fine. The weather will be what the weather will be, and it could be pleasant and comfortable. Or it could be 40 C on the meseta. I had two days of 35 C in Galicia in mid May of 2019, where in previous years it was more like 20. On the other hand, I'm heat sensitive, which is why I like departing in April. You can put on a jacket, but you can't take off your skin.

Buen Camino
I have always walked in June and July yes its hot but you stop by 2:00.2:30 shower and wash your clothes which will dry fast in the sun and get something to eat. I have done eleven Caminos I have had no problem with the heat.
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino's Frances, Fisterre, Portuges. Over 180 day
Definitely June. Warmer, less chance of rain.
I do not care for cold, rainy, gloomy days when I walk the Camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances/SJPP '15,'16,'18,'19,('20)
Way of St. Francis, Italy 2017
Portuguese/Finisterre 2018, 2019
I have walked April/May, June/July, Sept/Oct. and I would say May. You may have some cool/cold weather but there is nothing gloomy about that time of year. It is absolutely beautiful. Are you stuck with starting at the beginning of a month? If not, maybe the end of first week or second week of May. Keep in mind that May 1st is a holiday and I have found accommodations difficult as many Spanish walk around a holiday. June is nice but it can get very hot later in the month and into July. I was in Logrono around the 3rd week of June and there was a heat way.....107...It was very hot. If you are ok with rising between 4:30-5:00 to get on the trail so you are finished early then its not a problem. Do remember that the hottest part of the day is later in Spain due to them not having there clocks set to their correct time zone. Also, remember the albergues are not air conditioned so you won't probably be napping and sometimes the nights can be hot depending on the number of windows in the albergues.
Just remember weather is part of "THE ART" of camino and part of what makes each Camino unique. My favorite Camino was the one where I had to wear my rain gear 75% of the time.....not because of the rain, but because of all the other experiences.
 

Bama Hiker

Certified Peregrino
Past OR future Camino
Oct 5-Nov 5 2013 Frances
Apr 5-May 12 2022 Frances
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
JustJack: In addition to the consideration about weather (I start April 5), I suggest it be May because of the swelling numbers of people who flock to the Camino. There is a sharp increase as it gets warmer and people start summer breaks from school or going on vacation. Not everyone walks the full Camino, but many walk portions or sections. My daughter and I are happy to carry heavier packs with cold and wet weather clothing to walk with fewer people, than to be in the daily crush of the hordes competing for albergue bunks. As you get closer to SdC, the numbers really swell as the other Camino merge with the Frances and more people flock to walk the last 100km for their compostela. Something to think about. Cheers and Buen Camino!
 
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Brant Lee

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
Personally I prefer May (vs June) because of the cooler weather and temperatures. The Camino Frances is spectacular in April/May. The cooler temperatures are welcome especially when carrying a backpack. IMO easier to layer up vs stay cool. Either way, you’ll undoubted have an amazing Camino! Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2017
Jack: I'm just down the road from you in Anacortes, so we share the same climate. I started from SJPdP in late April, 2017. This turned out to be a "Goldilocks" time frame for me. I appreciate the sun if I don't have to carry a pack. Though I was comfortable overall with the weather, there were some days when the temperature (again, for me) was almost unbearable (mid to upper 30s). Adjustments can always be made as to daily starting time, but for feeling comfortable for more days than not, I'm going to suggest a May start to your Camino. We are accustomed to rain, but there were fewer rainy days than I anticipated, but many cloudy days which made for agreeable walking conditions. So, go May, young man, go May.
 

annangulo

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
I walked this past July-August. I'm from Phoenix/Las Vegas. I need the heat. Even then, at times, it was a little too cool for me. So depends on what you want/need.
 

Scott54

New Member
Past OR future Camino
May/June 2018
In 2018 I left StJdP on 25 May and arrived in SDC on 25 June. It was just a tad cool to start but never got unbearably warm in late June. (A few hot days, but not everyday.) I’m also told I beat the big surge of hikers who start in June.
 
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SteveSherry

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2014,Camino Frances, 2016 Frances, 2018 Francés, 2016/18 Finisterre and Muxia
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
I’ve always walked in late September/ October but in relation to weather variability, in 2018 I experienced 36 °c on the first day over the Pyrenees. It’s the Camino - hot, cold, wet , dry, it’s always better than being at home. I even bought new socks , packed them in my backpack, checked my gear, and I can’t even go anywhere yet. Have a great experience, I envy you, but in a nice way.
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
The chance of snow when leaving SJPdP in May is always a possibility, several years ago there was 3 to 4 week of it in the Pyrenees. The weather in northern Spain is generally about the same in May and June. Yes, if you are finishing up in Santiago in July it might be warmer, but if you follow the advice of Nathanael's post #6 and call it quits shortly after mid-day, no worries. I walk from 6ish to 1ish and have never had an issue with any weather other than rain which I totally detest. You being from Vancouver, I suspect can survive that issue.
 

SueTomkinson

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances by bike 2003; Frances on foot 2009; Finesterre 2009; Madrid 2011; Portuguese 2011; via de la plata 2013; Mozarabic May/June 2016
Having walked many caminos at varying times of the year (I generally leave Australia for the warmth of the northern hemisphere during our winter.) What I have learned is that the camino angels and demons appear no matter what the time of year. It is how you deal with them at the time that matters. The Frances has so much infrastructure for things such as having your pack transported, to very readily available water, buses and trains if you absolutely can't walk. Be prepared to rapidly change your schedule and any plans and build in free days along the way so anything that does happen will not ruin your journey. One memory that comes to mind on the VdlP in 2011, is of a predicted 35 degree day of 25km with no water or shade. This was all organised in the albergue the night before with a couple of pilgrims opting to take a taxi. The torch came in handy at 4.30am and the pack was transported so I could carry enough water. I also remember arriving with a smile on my face, albeit tired and hot. Enjoy May or June or July, whichever you chose.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
I have walked April/May, June/July, Sept/Oct. and I would say May. You may have some cool/cold weather but there is nothing gloomy about that time of year. It is absolutely beautiful. Are you stuck with starting at the beginning of a month? If not, maybe the end of first week or second week of May. Keep in mind that May 1st is a holiday and I have found accommodations difficult as many Spanish walk around a holiday. June is nice but it can get very hot later in the month and into July. I was in Logrono around the 3rd week of June and there was a heat way.....107...It was very hot. If you are ok with rising between 4:30-5:00 to get on the trail so you are finished early then its not a problem. Do remember that the hottest part of the day is later in Spain due to them not having there clocks set to their correct time zone. Also, remember the albergues are not air conditioned so you won't probably be napping and sometimes the nights can be hot depending on the number of windows in the albergues.
Just remember weather is part of "THE ART" of camino and part of what makes each Camino unique. My favorite Camino was the one where I had to wear my rain gear 75% of the time.....not because of the rain, but because of all the other experiences.
My first Camino was mostly in rain and snow (earlier in the year) and it was wonderful. The weather is just one tiny, tiny part of the experience hey?
 
Past OR future Camino
2018
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
I walked beginning May 1 (which, by the way is a holiday in much of Europe). Chilly to begin with, warming as i went along. I, too, prefer warmth and would be inclined to start later another time.
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
Having walked many caminos at varying times of the year (I generally leave Australia for the warmth of the northern hemisphere during our winter.) What I have learned is that the camino angels and demons appear no matter what the time of year. It is how you deal with them at the time that matters. The Frances has so much infrastructure for things such as having your pack transported, to very readily available water, buses and trains if you absolutely can't walk. Be prepared to rapidly change your schedule and any plans and build in free days along the way so anything that does happen will not ruin your journey. One memory that comes to mind on the VdlP in 2011, is of a predicted 35 degree day of 25km with no water or shade. This was all organised in the albergue the night before with a couple of pilgrims opting to take a taxi. The torch came in handy at 4.30am and the pack was transported so I could carry enough water. I also remember arriving with a smile on my face, albeit tired and hot. Enjoy May or June or July, whichever you chose.
I also walked in February 2020 (snuck in before covid slammed borders shut) hoping for more snow. It was bizarre! I rocked into Santiago sunburnt! There was NO snow on the mountain ranges you can see on the right as you're heading to Acebo. Very disheartening - the effects of climate change were super apparent. I saw no snow, had almost no rain and it was still winter!
 

Dan Amin

New Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (Leon - SdC; 2013)
CF (SJPdP - SdC; 2018)
Hi @JustJack I walked CdF in May 2018. Weather was great. Sunshine and blue skies for pretty much the entirety (until the walk to Fisterra, when the heavens opened for 4 days non stop!).

Probably 25/26 degrees mid afternoon was as hot as it got which was fine after several hours walking. A hotter June might've meant an earlier start each day. I quite enjoyed a leisurely 9am departure though - I found them less busy than the odd few times I set off at 6am.
Anyway the weather in Northern Spain can be pretty unpredictable, so whichever you choose - Buen Camino!
 
Past OR future Camino
CF 2019. SJPdP 14 April 2022 to Finisterre
I chose a mid-April start next year after aggregating 4 years of weather data for each day along the Camino stages. I am not at all concerned about the cold but I don't much like walking in the rain for days on end, or in midday heat above 25C, so I excluded the worst of these types of days from my chart. What became immediately evident is that there is no single year which fitted this profile and as it varies from year to year so it was a pointless exercise!

For me, mid-April to mid-May is probably the best combination of these considerations mixed with my daughter's school holidays. I chose pre-summer rather than post-summer because the land is greener before summer. I hope to walk some of the equivalent to the Camino in Japan in the Fall, where the weather is very predictable (Like everything else in Japan, the weather is reliable).

I am entirely accepting that my weather planning is probably a waste of time and that the weather will be what it is. I am fairly certain though that its unlikely to be burningly hot at this time, which is my most important consideration. This might not matter to you at all. As anyone from a cold climate will tell you, there isn't such a thing as bad weather, there is only bad clothing choices!

Buen Camino, whatever you decide is best for you.
 

Jarrad

Member
Past OR future Camino
2014
I did encounter some wind and rain from time to time in May, especially earlier in May, but it was generally tolerable. During wind/rain events, I was comfortable with a fleece over my shirt and a light rain jacket for an outer shell. That said, I do like June for the greenery, flowers, etc. and the weather can be hard to beat.
 
Past OR future Camino
Latest: Rota Vicentina '19; Portuguese '19.
I walked the Frances mid-April until late May and by the end it was getting quite warm. I would choose starting in May over beginning in June...but I dislike heat immensely.🥵
 
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verutum

Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
Simple question that I'm looking for your feedback on - departing from SJPdP in early May or early June? Which would you prefer and why?

It's likely there's not a lot of difference in terms of weather and crowds between early May and early June, but I don't know what I don't know, so I thought I'd ask. I have flexibility so I may as well aim for the optimal departure time, knowing of course that weather and crowds are both unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I tend to prefer heat to cold. I'm ok up to the low 30's (30 celcius = 86 F for the Americans). Mid-to-high 30's is a bit much however, even for me...

All anecdotal past experiences welcome!
I started my Camino the last week in April and I could not have picked a better time. Still some cool mornings and all the wildflowers were all in bloom. You will be at least a month on the Camino, so one month from early June puts you into July for the last 1/3 of your pilgrimage. It might get HOT. But If you Like hot start in Mid-July!!!
 

Rick Davidson

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Francis, April/May (2019)
We started April 18 and it was perfect. Cool in the mornings. Probably averaged 5C most mornings and then warmed up. You are carrying your layers so you might as well wear them and peel them off as the day progresses.
 

Ron Cesvalles

New Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2012,2013,2015,2015,2016,2016,2017,2018,2018,2019,
Portuguese 2019
D’Assisi 2014,2019
The best kept secret of the Camino is how great it is to walk in June.
Many believe it will be too hot so it is not busy but it is rarely very hot and often cool but none of the snow I have encountered up to the end of May.
 

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