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December on the Frances

rdupilgrim

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Hi! I'm looking to start in Leon on December 3rd and walk to Santiago. I know there are not too many on the way in December, but I thought I would see if anyone is planning on being in that area around that time.
 
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Gumba

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Hi rdupilgrim, welcome to the forum. I am not walking this year, just wanted to say it is a magical time to walk though. I walked with my family from sjpdp-sdc Dec '19/January '20. I was in Leon for Three Kings Day - 6 Jan. We had great weather - by that I mean sun and minimal wind! We would wake up to temps of -4C and generally reach highs of 10C. There were about 15-20 pilgrims a day with several starting from Leon, probably less this year due to covid.

Buen Camino
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
rdupilgrim,

During happy, easier past years late autumn and winter were the best times to walk the CF for me.

Accommodation started to close mid October but some place was always open. Hospitaleros usually could give advice on who/what was available on the next stage. There were no crowds and beds/bunks were available. I usually slept in an albergue, often the sole pilgrim, but also in back rooms of an open bar/restaurant.

Walking off-season during those past years I rarely saw more than 20 pilgrims at one time. There usually was a strong sense of camaraderie amongst those on the route especially during storms or difficult stretches.

Helpful passing strangers also gave advice. Little was hectic; without the hordes of summer all had time to share info.

Enjoy your planning and whenever/wherever you do go Buen camino.
 
Last edited:

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
rdupilgrim,

During happy, easier past years late autumn and winter were the best times to walk the CF for me.

Accommodation started to close mid October but some place was always open. Hospitaleros usually could give advice on who/what was available on the next stage. There were no crowds and beds/bunks were available. I usually slept in an albergue, often the sole pilgrim, but also in back rooms of an open bar/restaurant.

Walking off-season during those past years I rarely saw more than 20 pilgrims at one time. There usually was a strong sense of camaraderie amongst those on the route especially during storms or difficult stretches.

Helpful passing strangers also gave advice. Little was hectic; without the hordes of summer all had time to share info.

Enjoy your planning and whenever/wherever you do go Buen camino.
Very good description of what it is like in winter. It is a different feeling and I think a more independent type of pilgrim who is just as friendly, warm and giving but values a more solitude and quiet pilgrimage.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Hi! I'm looking to start in Leon on December 3rd and walk to Santiago. I know there are not too many on the way in December, but I thought I would see if anyone is planning on being in that area around that time.
Great time to walk - although accommodation will be limited; very much so around Los Reyes / Navidad (Christmas, not locations!).

There is a (probably outdated - and with Covid, isn’t everything) list of winter albergues available and the pilgrim office in St Jean will have their list. Phone ahead if you can.
 
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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!
Not-only are many albergues closed, but so are some small stores and bars, or their hours are limited. You could very well travel from Sarria to Ponferrada, or from Najera to Santa Domingo del Calzada e.g., and not see a but a few pilgrims with no supportive infrastructure inbetween such stretches. As long as you are prepared in advance it can be a peaceful, serene journey.
 

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