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early March Camino

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
It wouldn't be my first choice to start our Camino during the fist week of March however it looks like this time is the best for us to take leave.. I know a lot of albergues don't open til April, but will there be enough motels along the way for us? We are traveling as a family of 4 with two children. What will the condition of the tracks/paths be like based on experiences (I know it is a bit of a crystal ball question just looking for past experiences).

Also, still undecided about taking sleeping bags (just liners) because we do plan to stay in hotels for a fair amint of our Camino. Will albergues be warm enough? I know many have blankets but I have heard some places are not big on heating. Is this true for the cooler seasons too?

thanks
 
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Camino de Santiago pendant that has a shell on the front, and "Camino de Santiago" engraved on the back. Comes with a black cord. Pendent is slightly larger than a 50 euro cent coin, about 25mm.

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Ourense to Santiago (2019), CF: (2014, 2004, 2002, 2001). On to Fisterra, (2002, 4, 14).
Take sleeping bags. In March many albergues are open, but cold, very cold. Some will not turn on heat. Yes, some have blankets, but that isn't enough. Between casa rurales, hostels, hotels, and refugios, you will find plenty of lodging. Buen camino. Oh, and in March the bed race will not be on, so all four of you will find beds in albergues.
 
N

NoQ

Guest
It wouldn't be my first choice to start our Camino during the fist week of March however it looks like this time is the best for us to take leave.. I know a lot of albergues don't open til April, but will there be enough motels along the way for us? We are traveling as a family of 4 with two children. What will the condition of the tracks/paths be like based on experiences (I know it is a bit of a crystal ball question just looking for past experiences).

Also, still undecided about taking sleeping bags (just liners) because we do plan to stay in hotels for a fair amint of our Camino. Will albergues be warm enough? I know many have blankets but I have heard some places are not big on heating. Is this true for the cooler seasons too?

thanks

I've only done one short Camino in the cooler months, the Ingles, and that was in April. It was freezing cold on 3 of the days and wet with strong winds and sleet.
Based on my very short experience, I'd say you should definitely take a good sleeping bag, even if you only plan on staying in a couple of albergues. Even in the summer months on the Frances, there may still be cold days.

As for hotels / hostales, there are lots and you can see them on booking.com, with some available for booking already.
 

onwayhome

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
Hi, I don't think you said which route you are thinking of. If it's the Camino Frances there will probably be enough places open, there are pilgrims walking this throughout the year. It can still be cold and snowy in the mountain sections ( the high route from St Jean will likely be closed) so you might want to plan accordingly.
If you are aiming for hotels etc you'll be fine without a sleeping bag, for any Albergue s I'd definitely take a lightweight one.
Have a great Camino!
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
I walked end of March on the Meseta.Snow and hail and bitter cold.
Most albergues were open.But please bring a sleepingbag and layer well with your clothing.
 
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Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you for your replies. onewayhome, yes, we will be walking the Camino Frances. SabineP, you paint a very bleak picture. mspath, thank you for the link - I will check it out now. I guess we will be taking sleeping bags :)
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Thank you for your replies. onewayhome, yes, we will be walking the Camino Frances. SabineP, you paint a very bleak picture. mspath, thank you for the link - I will check it out now. I guess we will be taking sleeping bags :)


Oh no Gumba don't let my opinion make you think it is bleak or hard. The quietness and the relative solitude on the Frances make it so worthwile.
Just be prepared for all kind of weather. Arriving in a warm and welcoming albergue will make everything ok again :).
 

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Apologies Sabine, I meant to write more re your comment. My children would love the snow, not sure about the sleet but it would be selfish of my husband and me to drag our kids through the bitter cold. I am really torn - as I said, early March is a good time for us to take leave and I don't want to walk in the heat of June/July. Selfishly it will mean a very long winter for me too lol as I will return to Oz at the beginning of our winter too!!! April/May or May/June would be my preference.

I am a little off tract to my own post!!!! I need to weigh it the pros and cons a bit more of starting so early. I like that we will not have to rush to find accommodation though.

Thanks again.
 

SabineP

Camino = Gratitude + Compassion.
Year of past OR future Camino
some and then more. see my signature.
Apologies Sabine, I meant to write more re your comment. My children would love the snow, not sure about the sleet but it would be selfish of my husband and me to drag our kids through the bitter cold. I am really torn - as I said, early March is a good time for us to take leave and I don't want to walk in the heat of June/July. Selfishly it will mean a very long winter for me too lol as I will return to Oz at the beginning of our winter too!!! April/May or May/June would be my preference.

I am a little off tract to my own post!!!! I need to weigh it the pros and cons a bit more of starting so early. I like that we will not have to rush to find accommodation though.

Thanks again.

Gumba: regarding weather in Spain in recent years : it really can go all ways.
In 2016 I walked end of March from Santiago to Finisterre and had only two hours of rain. Sun all around and a nice 24 Celsius.
This year from Carrion de los Condes to Astorga in the same period : 3 days out of 7 rain and melting snow.

Don't worry too much.;)
 
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Anemone del Camino

Guest
Yo see what might be open at that time of the year, take a look at the Geonze and Erorski sites, you can then plan accordingly.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Apologies Sabine, I meant to write more re your comment. My children would love the snow, not sure about the sleet but it would be selfish of my husband and me to drag our kids through the bitter cold. I am really torn - as I said, early March is a good time for us to take leave and I don't want to walk in the heat of June/July. Selfishly it will mean a very long winter for me too lol as I will return to Oz at the beginning of our winter too!!! April/May or May/June would be my preference.

I am a little off tract to my own post!!!! I need to weigh it the pros and cons a bit more of starting so early. I like that we will not have to rush to find accommodation though.

Thanks again.

Hi Gumba,
As a mom myself I feel your dilemma :). You may have already considered other options, but here would be three more:

1. Still taking your leave in March but starting in a different part of Spain for a beach/ toursim vacation and then walking the Camino for the second half of your trip. Andalucía has great weather in winter, and you could even check out Gibraltar.

2. Walking the Camino Portugues from Porto. Since it's farther south, the weather is "generally" nicer in Portugal in March.

3. Walking the Camino Inglés from Ferrol. It would be a 5 - 7 day walk (or longer, depending on how you want to break up the stages) and there are hotels and pensions along the way that could take your family if the albergues aren't yet open. The Camino Inglés is a nice option because it's a complete Camino in and of itself.

A few years ago we only had 13 days of sun during the winter and tons and tons of rain. This year we've had very little rain, but it was only April before it warmed up considerably. Who knows what next March will bring? :) Enjoy all the planning, though, and keep us posted.

Take care,
Faith
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
It wouldn't be my first choice to start our Camino during the fist week of March however it looks like this time is the best for us to take leave.. I know a lot of albergues don't open til April, but will there be enough motels along the way for us? We are traveling as a family of 4 with two children. What will the condition of the tracks/paths be like based on experiences (I know it is a bit of a crystal ball question just looking for past experiences).

Also, still undecided about taking sleeping bags (just liners) because we do plan to stay in hotels for a fair amint of our Camino. Will albergues be warm enough? I know many have blankets but I have heard some places are not big on heating. Is this true for the cooler seasons too?

thanks

March is an excellent choice! And yes, most of the albergues will be open ;-) And yes, do take sleeping bags. And - How old are the children? BC SY
 

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thank you everyone.

SYates, the boys will be 9 and 11.

Thanks again Sabine, I am trying not to ask about the weather because you just cant tell from year to year. Perhaps we just need to jump in and do it and keep our fingers crossed.

Faith, I hadn't really considered taking other routes, wanting to do the CF first.. We don't plant on this being our only camino, as we would also like to do the Camino Portugues. I understand it will be quieter, will there be enough accommodation options for us during March? Perhaps we need to consider starting at say Pampelona rather than SJPdP so we can start a few days later. I'll get there - both with the planning and to the Camino!!!

thanks again
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Gumba, you're doing great - planning way ahead and considering the needs of your kids. They'll have a great time no matter what you do. And yes, I do believe that there will be enough options for accommodations on the CF, especially if you're not tied to albergues as you mentioned.
Take care,
Faith
 
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