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

Advertisement

Camino Forum Donation

Camino Francis and Portugues

SusanH

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walked 2014
I could use some input here!

I walked the Francés in the fall of 2014. It’s been in my thoughts every darn day since I returned home.

I’m unable to take another leave of absence from work which leaves me only July and August - the 2 busiest and the 2 hottest months of the year in terms of walking.

Knowing that I only had July and August to work with, I turned my attention to the Portugués Way as it isn’t as busy durning the summer months. I believe that it will still be pretty warm - maybe not quite as hot as the Francés???50852D82-D31A-4128-B541-79F9F494DF61.jpeg

Truth be told, it is the Francés that is still in my heart and I want to walk it again. What troubles me about the Francés is this: I’m a larger woman therefore, I would have to make a reservation for each night as I would not be able to do the top bunk (I’m too heavy, and I pee 3 times a night.) I was able to avoid the top bunk in September 2014, but I was always anxious about it. My second concern is the heat: I am a cautious person when it comes to overheating. I dink water with electrolytes, wear sunscreen and keep an eye out for my tolerance level. But, I just don’t know HOW HOT it really is and whether or not there is any escape from it (at times if needed).

So, do I do more research on the Portugués Way and choose it or try and make the Francés work for me?

Thank you for your thoughts - they are greatly appreciated!
 
Last edited:

Mugatu

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, Finisterre, Muxia (2018)
Camino Frances or Norte (2019 , June 27-Aug 8)
First off, if the Frances is what is still tugging at you for the past 4 years, I would say do it. I don’t see you having an issue with getting the bunk you require, calling that same morning to reserve should be doable.

Secondly, when I was walking this past summer with another pilgrim (CF in the Meseta) who has walked over a handful Caminos, we began to talk about the Portuguese Way and he remarked how much asphalt walking was involved and recalled how hot the ground would get that he could feel it through his boots.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo
So, do I do more research on the Portugués Way and choose it or try and make the Francés work for me?
Hi, the Portuguese Camino can be very hot in mid-summer.

On 3 Aug last year it was forecast 49C near Tomar.

I walked from Lisbon in October and it was over 30C for a few days, just before Storm Leslie hit the coast at Figueira da Foz on 13 October and caused huge damage across the countryside.

Rather stay with the Camino Francés, where you want to go anyway, and plan to walk in the mornings only. You’ll then beat the heat and be able to get a bottom bunk as one of the first to check in.
 

robproct

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Lisbon
Like Jill I walked the CP from Lisbon in October, although I didn't came across her, and found it quite gruelling in the south with the heat and some of the long sections that were over 30km such as Santarem to Golega 35km which was quite tiring in the heat. Endless walking on cobblestones, highways and bitumen was also quite tiring but there were few pelegrinos, I saw none for the first week so it was wonderfully contemplative and I had the albergues to myself.
The storm damage was substantial around Coimbra although it had gone through the day before me. Lots of trees blown down and houses with roof damage.

I suspect that the CF may be cooler at that time of the year as its much quite a bit further north north.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
I walked the Portuguese in Late Aug/Sept last year and it was hot. So hot (110 feels like) that I had to bail out a couple of days. As previously said, a lot of it is on highways with little shade. It was nice to have no rain but the heat can be dangerous.
 

t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 to 2018
During the time you have available, advance reservations are essential as the Camino Frances is very busy during the summer months (June - August). I have used www.booking.com and booked several days out at a time. This has worked for many.

Make your initial reservations before you travel from home to Spain, so you have a place to stay for your arrival night or two. Also, make advance reservations for the first couple of walking days.

Once you are on the ground, and maybe after the first day walking, assess the situation and make another 3 - 4 days reservations. Repeat as necessary until Santiago.

Also, have a hard reservation for Santiago. This time of year (summer) is especially busy and some weekends find the city sold out of reasonably priced lodgings. Arriving on Sunday night or Monday night is usually the best plan. It is what I try to do.

As regards the heat, anywhere in Spain or Portugal can be very hot during the summer. Nearer the coast, humidity is higher, depending on ocean winds. You seem to be doing all the right things to counter and prevent heatstroke.

The single best thing you can do, beyond what you are already doing, is to get out each morning at first light, not sunrise. First light is the point at which you can see the yellow arrows and your footing before you put a foot down.

Generally, this is about 30 - 45 minutes before actual sunrise. I use the eltiempo.es+ app to tell me exactly when official sunrise is for the location I am in. Then I back up my start walking and wake up times accordingly.

When walking during any time of the year that I know will be hot, for me, I plan to get up about one-hour before posted sunrise, and to get walking ASAP.

The only way to beat the heat of midday is to avoid it. Get as much distance in before noon. The hottest time of the day is usually from noon until about 6:00 pm.

I suggest that you want to plan to be done walking by noon or soon thereafter. You may have to wait for an albergue to open, but sitting under an umbrella with a cold drink is preferable to struggling with heat exhaustion.

Hope this helps.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I could use some input here!

I walked the Francés in the fall of 2014. It’s been in my thoughts every darn day since I returned home.

I’m unable to take another leave of absence from work which leaves me only July and August - the 2 busiest and the 2 hottest months of the year in terms of walking.

Knowing that I only had July and August to work with, I turned my attention to the Portugués Way as it isn’t as busy durning the summer months. I believe that it will still be pretty warm - maybe not quite as hot as the Francés???View attachment 50498

Truth be told, it is the Francés that is still in my heart and I want to walk it again. What troubles me about the Francés is this: I’m a larger woman therefore, I would have to make a reservation for each night as I would not be able to do the top bunk (I’m too heavy, and I pee 3 times a night.) I was able to avoid the top bunk in September 2014, but I was always anxious about it. My second concern is the heat: I am a cautious person when it comes to overheating. I dink water with electrolytes, wear sunscreen and keep an eye out for my tolerance level. But, I just don’t know HOW HOT it really is and whether or not there is any escape from it (at times if needed).

So, do I do more research on the Portugués Way and choose it or try and make the Francés work for me?

Thank you for your thoughts - they are greatly appreciated!
I walked with my son in July and August, who also really doesn't like the heat. I would say, especially if the Frances is still tugging at your heart, stick with the Frances. I don't know about how much cooler the Portugues would be and you are likely to find more private albergues and other accommodations that you can book on the Frances. Also, I've heard that May and September are getting as busy as July/August or more so on the Frances so, except after Sarria, booking accommodations isn't hard. All that said, a couple of other pieces of advice, based on our July/Aug experience:
  • Start as early as you can each morning, not to be part of a "bed race" (you'll likely be booking ahead to avoid the top bunk), but to avoid walking in the hottest part of the day. We tended to start at about 5:30 am for that purpose.
  • Consider buying one of those umbrellas that can attach to your backpack and provide shade, especially one of the reflective ones. We didn't do this and I think it would have made a real difference.
  • Depending on when you start in July and how much of the Frances you will be walking, remember that Pamplona might be in the middle of one of Spain's biggest fiestas. We took shorter days and didn't stop in Pamplona itself, but rather Trinidad de Arre before Pamplona and Zariquiegui after Pamplona (shorter days at the beginning also being handy because we hadn't trained).
 

OLDER threads on this topic


Book your lodging here

Booking.com


Advertisement

Booking.com

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: 12 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 37 4.3%
  • April

    Votes: 133 15.6%
  • May

    Votes: 205 24.0%
  • June

    Votes: 61 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 17 2.0%
  • August

    Votes: 13 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 254 29.7%
  • October

    Votes: 101 11.8%
  • November

    Votes: 12 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top