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Current need to book ahead

Joanneendres

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning ( April/May 2020)
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
Hi, Joanne,

No recipe for that. You can get into bubble and your plans goes south. Anyway you will be walking in the highest season so your winging it or planning ahead depends a lot on the time you start and end your stages. And how long they would be. Will you walk alone or in company of two/three four sharing a private room etc. No definite answer possible.
Also you didn't specify the start (end) of your Camino.

Happy planning!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
@Joanneendres welcome to the forum. You asking a tricky question to answer. Traffic on the Frances in April is largely dependent on the fall of Holy Week when many Spaniards walk so what happened, is happening this year is not a sound predictor of what will happen next. Nonetheless you are unlikely to find yourself without a bed on the way, it just may not be the one you were anticipating. Your plan seems as good as any. Buen Camino
 

kelleymac

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2015, Late April 2016, Sept/Oct 2017, April 2019.
Don't worry about booking ahead. If you get in a wave of people, out walk it, or lag behind a day. Holy Week is April 5th-11th, 2020. So...it can get crowded in the cities with processions (Burgos, Leon, etc.) We got a bed in Leon on Holy Thursday, and got to see the processions the next morning. But the beds were filled by 3 pm. There are Spanish families walking, and teachers on Easter Break for that week. I've walked from Ponferrada during Holy Week, and had no problem at all finding a bed. -- Some of the albergues open after Easter.

Buen Camino--

Kate
 

Rhysmike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
We started from Saint Jean on 28th April. Crazy busy with May Day holidays. 500 a day starting and big albergues in Zubiri and Larasoana closed. Yesterday in Triacastela one of the albergues was near empty. So it’s hard to predict. I booked ahead from Australia before we left and glad we did.
 

yesshesaid

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2019)
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
Hi Joanne,
That’s exactly when I did it this year—in fact I’m four days from Santiago! I also wanted to wing it and recommend you do just that. I’ve had no problem getting a bed if I arrive before 3 and it makes everything more spontaneous and Camino like!
Be a pilgrim!! Not a tourist...
Best of luck!
 

Rhysmike

Member
Camino(s) past & future
St. Jean to Santiago (Apr to June 2014); St. Jean to Finisterre (Apr to May 2016); Via Francigena - Lausanne to Rome (Sep to October 2016)
Hi Joanne,
That’s exactly when I did it this year—in fact I’m four days from Santiago! I also wanted to wing it and recommend you do just that. I’ve had no problem getting a bed if I arrive before 3 and it makes everything more spontaneous and Camino like!
Be a pilgrim!! Not a tourist...
Best of luck!
I support your sentiment but saw many pilgrims become taxi passengers around May 1st. Not about being a tourist ... more people than beds unfortunately.
 

Joanneendres

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning ( April/May 2020)
@Joanneendres welcome to the forum. You asking a tricky question to answer. Traffic on the Frances in April is largely dependent on the fall of Holy Week when many Spaniards walk so what happened, is happening this year is not a sound predictor of what will happen next. Nonetheless you are unlikely to find yourself without a bed on the way, it just may not be the one you were anticipating. Your plan seems as good as any. Buen Camino
Thank you for the advice. I will be walking with my sister in law and starting very end of April so we area well past holy week next year. We both are very flexible as to accommodations...would like to focus on albergues for the experience and meeting people but we will be occasionally staying at private spots. To be honest one of my biggest appeals to all is this is the spontaneity of the experience. I'm usually a huge planner when it comes to travel and this trip I hope to discover and trust after the first two nights....I've read over and over that the Camino will provide....
 

tpmchugh

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013)
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Frances (2018}
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
Thinking of going same time myself and plan to, as you put it, wing it as I always do. Bear in mind that Semana Santa holiday starts Friday night April 3rd to Sunday 12th. Lots of Spanish will be walking various parts from Saturday to Saturday so it may be busy. From then on until the May Day weekend it should be OK but then, I am judging this on previous experience so who knows. This year with Easter and May Day being so close, there was little or no gap in the crowds
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!

Hi Joanne, I walked the camino Frances last Sept. - Oct.12 and am planning on doing it again this year from late August until October.
Suggestion # 1 - first day, stop /stay at Orisson. It's only about a 2 hour walk (all uphill), but it does let you get acclimated, lets you take your time leaving St. Jean in the morning. Great communal dinner at Orisson- it's an experience I'll never forget. It sells out fast, so reserve a bed here for sure. Sometimes they are slow in responding, and might not even be open yet in March (snow), but do it early for April start. I just reserved for this August 28th.
Because you will be ahead of the crowd leaving for Roncesvalles from St. Jean on the second day, if you start from Orisson, you will probably not need a reservation for your 2nd night on camino at Roncesvalles. I'm with you on liking the adventure of winging it.
Having said all that, a look at the statistics might be informative. The last Holy Year- 2010 had 19,587 pilgrims arrive in Santiago in April, 2010. Last year, 2018, there were 22,068 pilgrims arriving in Santiago in April, and this year, 2019, there were 31,721 pilgrims arriving in Santiago in April!. The stats for May, this year, are not out yet, but May 2010, had 28,851 pilgrims arrive in May, and last year, 2018, there were 40,665 that arrived.
As you can see, the trend is definitely increasing numbers of us. Last year, 2018, when I was walking in September, there were 47,006 who finished in Santiago in September and 35,602 in October.
For all of these numbers, on average, only about 5% started in St. Jean Pied du Port. So for example, of the 35,602 who finished in October, it is reasonable to assume they started in September. I take the 35,602 and divide be 30 days to get a daily count of 1,187. About 5 % of these started every day in St. Jean, or about 60.
Sounds good right? but here is the problem- the stats don't show how many started but quit after a week or two. This happens a lot. Especially for Spaniards and Europeans with limited time but easy/cheap access to the camino. I walked with people who stopped in Pamplona (They are coming back and joining me this year to continue for another 10 days from there). And again with a couple from Burgos to Leon. They too, are coming back this year, and we hope to meet up in Leon and continue to Santiago. So this tells me to use the stats as a "guide of relative expectations" but keep your eyes open. For me, if the stats for May, June and July continue to climb, then I feel confident the numbers for late August and September will be considerably higher than they were last year. Last year I always was able to find a bed. This year I might end up reserving a day or two in advance, (I hope not, it limits your options). But Next year- 2020, A HOLY YEAR, I would not be surprised at all to see even higher numbers. By the way, about 34% of the pilgrims who make it to Santiago, started in Sarria (it's just over the 100 kilometers & makes them eligible for a compostella). So in August 2010 (last Holy Year) there were 61,542 pilgrims making it to Santiago. 34% of them, or about 21,000 started in Sarria, or about 700 per day joined in with the approx. 1,350 pilgrims already on the camino (I'm assuming if they are this close, they finish), so you have roughly 2,000 pilgrims looking for beds/night! In a Holy Year, close to Easter, not sure what to advise.
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
 

Mike Blackard

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -Sept.-Oct 2018 , CF Aug- Oct 2019
(CF or VdlP summer/fall 2020)
Make a reservation and stay at Orisson first night out! Great communal dinner, great experience, friends for rest of camino.
 

Bala

Veteran member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP-Burgos, (2015); Burgos-Sarria (2018); Sarria-Santiago (2018).
Frances (2020)
It looks like the next holy year is in 2021, although if trends continue next year will also be plenty busy,
Yes, 2021. But all indications are next year will be very busy, as well.
 

arild hauge

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2012, 2015, Portugues 2013, Ingles 2014, Norte 2016/2017/2018
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
arrving in SjPP 2 May this year we found that 1 May was seasonal kick-off for tourism establishments; with surge in pilgrim arrivals and many who over next few days complained about availability of accommodations; by Pamplona the jams had subsided. the roncesvalles hotel needs booking far ahead in case that standard is within your budget/plan
 

1946caminoman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 1999, 2008, 2012, 2018
Hi group. My first question. I am planning my first Camino a year from now to start last week of April and run thru first week of June. Wondering for this same time frame this current year on the French route have people been finding it hard to find places to stay? I'm expecting to have to reserve first two nights but hoping to stop between the usual Brierly stops to avoid crowded places. Anyone on it now I'd sure appreciate advice as I was hoping to be able to wing it. Thanks!
I have had no problems this May, despite all the panicky rumours. The trick is to stay away from Brierly stage towns
 

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