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Christmas Caminino


New Member
Hi all,

I'm planning my next camino and thinking of leaving the 16-17 dec and walking to the 17 jan, am wondering has anyone walked over the xmas season.

Would love to hear about it. I m only really concerned about xmas week as i think there ll be other walkers the rest of the time.

Thanks for the help

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Rebekah Scott

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Past OR future Camino
Many, various, and continuing.
I´ve lived on the camino for four years now, and December and January are the most pilgrim-free months of the year, what with Christmas and then Spanish Three Kings´ holidays closing down the few pilgrim albergues that remain open all year round. (MANY of the places listed as "open all year" are kinda CLOSED for the last week of the old year and the first week of the new.)

Distances are very long between available stops, pilgrims are very few, and many shelters won´t fire up the furnace to warm just one or two pilgrims. Only the hardcore are out there this time of year. If you intend to go, do a lot of advance work, make advance reservations at hostels and hotels, and don´t expect low-price pilgrim albergues to be open, even if their adverts say they are.

Maybe things will be better this Holy Year, as a lot of folk will want to be in Santiago for the New Year´s Eve closing of the holy door at the cathedral. If you enjoy long days of walking in solitude and severe beauty, this may be the place for you!
You may want to contact Johnnie Walker of this board, he spent his New Year holiday this year walking the final 100 km. of the Frances. His short film "Camino Hogmanay" may be instructive.
Good luck to you.


Nunca se camina solo

"Hardcore" is it? :)

I love winter camino walking and I've been out on both the Via de la Plata in January and the Camino Frances in November/December and as Rebekah says over New Year. On the Camino Frances there were certainly few other pilgrims but always at least one or two.

It isn't just the winter season it is also holiday time when places you think might be open just close without notice. Booking ahead is the answer if you need that security or taking the advice of hoteliers and hospitaleros who will know what is open ahead - perhaps! But with mobile phone and a cash reserve to use a bus or taxi to a hotel if necessary and all should be well. Take good gear fit for purpose, plan ahead and acceot that is can be very cold in Spain in the dead of winter and prepare for that.

Winter walking can be really rewarding and spectacular - turn on the sound have a look :)

Best wishes

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Active Member
Hi Gerardnm,

My wife and I plan on departing St. Jean for Santiago on Dec. 13th. Hope to meet you along the way. I have taken special note of Rebecca's comments about distances between lodging and the possible lack of heat (buy a good sleeping bag). Having grown up in New England and now living in the Pacific NW I am accustomed to colder weather, but a cold bunk at the end of a very cold day...hmmm... cold shower too? What's not to like about that? So this is a penitential rite I gather? Devilishly clever how my wicked ways are to be salved. Is there another menu option??



New Member
Thanks for the help guys.

I did the winter camino this year already in Jan so know what to expect.

Think i m addicted now though lol


I walked the camino in November/december last year, finishing in Santiago on the 29th. Over the christmas period itself I found that many things were open, and you shouldn't have trouble finding a place to sleep and eat. However, we stayed in Santiago over New Year's and it was terrible. Nothing open on the 1st at all, and I don't think there was anything on the 31st either. One thing to do is never to try and get out of Santiago on the 21st January if it's not by foot!

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