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Days of the week to avoid arriving in Santiago (or towns in the last 100 miles)

michaelporourke

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo
I’m hiking the Primitivo around mid-September.

I don’t know if there is an answer for this question, but here goes:

From a pilgrim/accommodation congestion standpoint, are there days of the week to avoid that tend to have the largest influx of arrivals in Santiago? Or towns within the last 100 miles that have influx on particular days?
 
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dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
I'd be very interested to know whether anyone actually has the information to answer that question: statistics on pilgrim behaviour are very hard to collect. My guess is that there might be a slight rise in numbers in Sarria over the weekend caused by Spanish people beginning the last 100 km, but that is a guess. There are so many other factors I would say it makes very little difference. Just go with the flow (pun intended).
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
In mid September you won't see anywhere near the number of pilgrims during the last 100 km as there are in July and August. There's no reason to alter your plans
If the virus has receded enough to travel for the Summer-Fall season expect the last 100kms to be quite tight in terms of private rooms. Everyday was pretty packed in the towns when I was there this past September. Given current circumstances, if albergues are open in high season, I would expect distancing to remain, making total bed availability less thanprior to pre pandemic. If I might suggest , be specially mindful of Friday—Sundays when additional local walkers or visitors may be in the towns.Not everyone is making a camino. Consequently, many CF towns have higher prices for private accommodations on the weekends. Also Pope Francis is currently expected to come to SCQ in Sept. 2022 and it is still a holy year! …so expect higher-prices and full accommodations!
 
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michaelporourke

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Primitivo
If the virus has receded enough to travel for the Summer-Fall season expect the last 100kms to be quite tight in terms of private rooms. Everyday was pretty packed in the towns when I was there this past September. Given current circumstances, if albergues are open in high season, I would expect distancing to remain, making total bed availability less thanprior to pre pandemic. If I might suggest , be specially mindful of Friday—Sundays when additional local walkers or visitors may be in the towns.Not everyone is making a camino. Consequently, many CF towns have higher prices for private accommodations on the weekends. Also Pope Francis is currently expected to come to SCQ in Sept. 2022 and it is still a holy year! …so expect higher-prices and full accommodations!

It looks like early August will be the Pope’s 2022 visit:

“For this visit Sunday, August 7 or Monday, August 8, 2022 are considered.The European Youth Pilgrimage will take place, although the ecclesiastical and civil authorities of Santiago de Compostela and Galicia will be present. prefer this visit to coincide with the Apostle’s Day, July 25th.. In fact, they have announced that they will insist on this possibility, that it would be a golden brooch for the great celebration of Galicia and Spain.”
 
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I am not sure if you are starting your Camino mid-September or arriving in Santiago. I finished my 5th Camino Frances on Oct. 23rd this year. In any case here would be my advice:
1)The fall is actually a very busy time on the Camino and the numbers are still high in September.
2) If you want to avoid crowds do not stay in the towns that the books recommend and do not arrive at one of them between 8:00-9:00 a.m. I stay off-stage but this year hit Portomarin at 8:30ish and walked with between 100 and 200 people AT ALL TIMES that day. I would walk faster only to find more people. The next days we planned our schedule to not only stay off stage, but not arrive in those towns at those hours and it was considerably quieter. Keep in mind that the sun rises very late in the fall when you plan your days.
3) Watch out for Spanish holidays when many Spanish walk. In the fall, I believe they are Oct.12 and Nov. 1 but there may be local holidays as well. I have found accommodations difficult on the Camino around the holidays.
4) Santiago is a tourist destination also, so not arriving on a weekend would probably be best. Also, some of the Spanish only walk the weekends, taking a few weekends to complete the last 100km.
5) Allow enough time to get your Compostela and know the process. Register ahead of time with personal information, go to Pilgrim office to get QR code when you arrive in Santiago and then you can go celebrate and take pictures at the Cathedral.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I am not sure if you are starting your Camino mid-September or arriving in Santiago. I finished my 5th Camino Frances on Oct. 23rd this year. In any case here would be my advice:
1)The fall is actually a very busy time on the Camino and the numbers are still high in September.
2) If you want to avoid crowds do not stay in the towns that the books recommend and do not arrive at one of them between 8:00-9:00 a.m. I stay off-stage but this year hit Portomarin at 8:30ish and walked with between 100 and 200 people AT ALL TIMES that day. I would walk faster only to find more people. The next days we planned our schedule to not only stay off stage, but not arrive in those towns at those hours and it was considerably quieter. Keep in mind that the sun rises very late in the fall when you plan your days.
3) Watch out for Spanish holidays when many Spanish walk. In the fall, I believe they are Oct.12 and Nov. 1 but there may be local holidays as well. I have found accommodations difficult on the Camino around the holidays.
4) Santiago is a tourist destination also, so not arriving on a weekend would probably be best. Also, some of the Spanish only walk the weekends, taking a few weekends to complete the last 100km.
5) Allow enough time to get your Compostela and know the process. Register ahead of time with personal information, go to Pilgrim office to get QR code when you arrive in Santiago and then you can go celebrate and take pictures at the Cathedral.

#2 is a great tip. I tend to leave later than most, walk slower, and arrive later.
So I'm often lucky to see much fewer pilgrims later in the day....

I think it's largely a question to trying to ensure you are 'out of sync' with the majority.
 

Thomas1962

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2010/2011/2012/2013: Madrid -Salvador -Primitivo 2014: EPW 2015: Amsterdam - SdC
As far as I know it is not especially Santiago with morenor less busy weekdays. But what happens is that most people start their camino in the weekend days AND they start in the bigger places. So many people start in Sarria in the weekend. On the primitivo it is that many people start in Oviedo in a weekend, from their it is about 7 days to Lugo (100km point), so weekend starters from Oviedo meet weekend starters in Lugo what makes the wave a little bigger. About 4-5 days later people arrive in SdC.
So in general, avoid bigger places in the weekends if possible. But please, don't you all avoid this...🤣
 

TrvlDad1

Covidyard Bob
Past OR future Camino
2017 Frances from Saria
2018 Finnisterre & Ingles
2019 Portuguese from Valenca
2020 Assisi(cancel.)
After the Camino, I think there is something appealing about arriving to the crowds, especially the Praza with pilgrims celebrating their arrival and tourists admiring the Cathedral. After miles of mountainous, pastoral, vineyard and other beautiful scenery, I love to people-watch. Might say it connects God’s beauty with His humor.
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
As a general rule, try to avoid ending up at any starting point (Sarria, Tui, etc.) on a Friday or Saturday. These are the days most Spanish pilgrims will arrive at the same place by bus or train and place an extra demand on accommodations). When I walk Camino, I try to arrange my arrival so I avoid these peak demand days.

The same holds true of Santiago. Many pilgrims plan to arrive at Santiago on a Friday or Saturday. These are typically the busiest days of the week at the Pilgrim Office. This weekly surge pattern also affects availability of some lodging - usually at the bargain end of the spectrum..

Expect longer lines or wait times on Fridays and Saturdays. Consider adding an extra day at Santiago to ensure you can everything done with minimum drama.

You said you were planing to walk in September. This year, the summer peak trailed into September. September arrivals were heavier than in previous years.

Bottom line, arrange your pace and arrivals to avoid these surges if you can.

Hope this helps.

Tom
 

walkingstu

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino SJPP to SDC 2007 Frances
Camino Aragon Pau Fr. to Pamplona 2010
Camino Burgos to SDC 2012
Camino Porto to SDC 2015
Camino VDLP Seville to SDC March 2016
After the Camino, I think there is something appealing about arriving to the crowds, especially the Praza with pilgrims celebrating their arrival and tourists admiring the Cathedral. After miles of mountainous, pastoral, vineyard and other beautiful scenery, I love to people-watch. Might say it connects God’s beauty with His humor.
" Might say it connects God's beauty with his humor " I love it! A great turn of phrase.
 

dick bird

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
After the Camino, I think there is something appealing about arriving to the crowds, especially the Praza with pilgrims celebrating their arrival and tourists admiring the Cathedral. After miles of mountainous, pastoral, vineyard and other beautiful scenery, I love to people-watch. Might say it connects God’s beauty with His humor.
I get that. The first time I joined the Francés at Melide (the Primitovo was quieter then) i thought a football match had just ended and it was very confronting to see literally crowds. But after a while, I got to like it. I enjoyed the feeling of being part of this vast flow of humanity.

As for trying to predict when there will be fewer people, I think that is futile. Experience on long caminos has taught me that the waves come and go with no rhyme or reason. Crowd behaviour is a very inexact science and trying to dodge the surge is probably not worth the effort. Just take it as it comes.
 

gollygolly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2000/13/14/15/16/17/18/19/2021
I’m hiking the Primitivo around mid-September.

I don’t know if there is an answer for this question, but here goes:

From a pilgrim/accommodation congestion standpoint, are there days of the week to avoid that tend to have the largest influx of arrivals in Santiago? Or towns within the last 100 miles that have influx on particular days?
In general, should you wish to avoid arriving in Santiago during a 'wave' of other pilgrims arriving, plan your walk so as to arrive in Santiago during the midweek days.

Avoid arriving on the weekend, as many of the pilgrims who commence their walk in Saria or Tui (or from Ferrol on the Camino Inglés) commence walking with the intention to arrive in Santiago on Friday or Saturday.

Bon Camiño
 

Roland49

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF2019, CP2022?
I personally found it mid summer 2019 (End of July) not as annoying and not as overcrowded as feared.
It was very relaxed, even that I was turned away at an Albergue in Portomarin, I had a bed for the night in 2 minutes.
I walked through Palas de Rei on Saint James Days, almost every shop closed, only a few bars open and very few Spaniards on the streets.

All in all a nice four days walk from Sarria up to SdC.
 
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Canche

Volcano Climber
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Frances 2016, San Salvador & Primitivo 2021
In mid September you won't see anywhere near the number of pilgrims during the last 100 km as there are in July and August. There's no reason to alter your plans.
Too many in September with loud music. I just did the Primitivo and had to go on the Frances which. I don’t like. There is way ro avoid the Frances from the Primitivo and come out by the airport sorry I’m not home where i have the information. Will try to remember to post it when i get home
 

T0M

Member
Past OR future Camino
France (2019)
I am not sure if you are starting your Camino mid-September or arriving in Santiago. I finished my 5th Camino Frances on Oct. 23rd this year. In any case here would be my advice:
1)The fall is actually a very busy time on the Camino and the numbers are still high in September.
2) If you want to avoid crowds do not stay in the towns that the books recommend and do not arrive at one of them between 8:00-9:00 a.m. I stay off-stage but this year hit Portomarin at 8:30ish and walked with between 100 and 200 people AT ALL TIMES that day. I would walk faster only to find more people. The next days we planned our schedule to not only stay off stage, but not arrive in those towns at those hours and it was considerably quieter. Keep in mind that the sun rises very late in the fall when you plan your days.
3) Watch out for Spanish holidays when many Spanish walk. In the fall, I believe they are Oct.12 and Nov. 1 but there may be local holidays as well. I have found accommodations difficult on the Camino around the holidays.
4) Santiago is a tourist destination also, so not arriving on a weekend would probably be best. Also, some of the Spanish only walk the weekends, taking a few weekends to complete the last 100km.
5) Allow enough time to get your Compostela and know the process. Register ahead of time with personal information, go to Pilgrim office to get QR code when you arrive in Santiago and then you can go celebrate and take pictures at the Cathedral.
Hello Susan... About item 2: I had to read and reread carefully to understand your advice. (Because... 1) I am sometimes dense. And 2) because you used the word "arrive" instead of something like "pass through".)

But I've got it now! This seems like valuable advise, if one can arrange it. Thanks.
 

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