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Early September, too crowded?

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Joseito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
You’ve picked a season when many walk, though the peak crowds of July will have claimed their compostelas and gone home many have your aspirations - cooler temperatures and fewer pilgrims. Everybody flocks there for the peace and solitude.

Seasonal average temperatures are here: http://www.aemet.es/en/serviciosclimaticos/datosclimatologicos/valoresclimatologicos?l=9263D&k=nav

I'd book your first two or three days accommodation, plan to go slowly, and maybe spend an extra night in StJdpP and start on Monday with the bun-fight of the week-end departures well ahead of you. It'll all settle down by Pamplona.

Buen Camino
 

Joseito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Thanks for the reply Tin, very helpful. Do you think that there might be less pilgrims if I left a week earlier? Say started walking on August 26th instead?
 

Tincatinker

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
I think the difference would be at least marginal. Starting on a Monday or Tuesday will make a difference to the number of pilgrims starting that day compared to the " finish work Friday, fly on Saturday, start on Sunday" pulse but if you are determined to walk the camino Frances in September or at any time other than deep winter you will encounter many fellow travellers but also an infrastructure that has grown to cope. Temperatures in August will, likely, be high but the impact of latent temperature depends on your life experience. Anything above 20c is to warm for serious hiking for me but i'm old and I grew up in an arctic maritime climate where 25c is considered an excuse for newspaper headlines featuring photos of girls in bikinis on the beach. Your mileage may vary.

If you want to make Pilgrimage to Santiago, or just hike some Camino, and you have opportunity: do it.

All the other stuff: best time, best Albergue, best Bocadillo, best route, best Orujo, best Backpack, best underpants, best grumpy old mans opinion.... Well thats all just "stuff" and has no real significance. ;)

Buen camino
 

Joseito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
I think the difference would be at least marginal. Starting on a Monday or Tuesday will make a difference to the number of pilgrims starting that day compared to the " finish work Friday, fly on Saturday, start on Sunday" pulse but if you are determined to walk the camino Frances in September or at any time other than deep winter you will encounter many fellow travellers but also an infrastructure that has grown to cope. Temperatures in August will, likely, be high but the impact of latent temperature depends on your life experience. Anything above 20c is to warm for serious hiking for me but i'm old and I grew up in an arctic maritime climate where 25c is considered an excuse for newspaper headlines featuring photos of girls in bikinis on the beach. Your mileage may vary.

If you want to make Pilgrimage to Santiago, or just hike some Camino, and you have opportunity: do it.

All the other stuff: best time, best Albergue, best Bocadillo, best route, best Orujo, best Backpack, best underpants, best grumpy old mans opinion.... Well thats all just "stuff" and has no real significance. ;)

Buen camino
I really appreciate the advice, I could potentially start a week earlier, on the 26th of August instead, just need to work out some logistics.

Thanks!
 

LesR

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Sadly, the best Orujo isn't available anywhere on the Camino Frances: you have to go to.... Oh no, I'm not giving that one away ;)
Much as I would like to walk every Camino and taste every orujo looking for the best, sadly that isn't possible...
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. Next: Gd St Bernard to Rome
Much as I would like to walk every Camino and taste every orujo looking for the best, sadly that isn't possible...
I had the best Orujo on the Sanabrès (can’t remember off-hand the village).... Home-made, served in a large brandy glass 😳
Everything was very hazy after that 😁
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances
I walked three years ago from 1st September . There were a lot of people walking to Roncesvalles on the same day, and Zubiri filled up. But it didn't feel as though it was crowded. The biggest problem for me was the heat.
.
 

Davidmm

Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
We walked last year starting the last week of August and booked at Orisson, and the following night, which wasn't necessary and none thereafter, and had no problem finding Albergue bed's for the night.
 

ShaLaw

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, fall of 2015
Hi there!! I started September 6th in 2015 and if it’s lower temperatures you’re looking for, you may not get them. It was a solid 28° almost every day for two weeks and then it cooled off. By the time we reached Santiago on Oct. 7, we were wearing our merino wool hats and gloves every morning!!

Buen Camino!!
 

Michael-FL

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Portugues (2017)
Frances/Salvador/Primitivo (2021)
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Joseito, just a thought; unless you’re hard set on starting at SJPP, you might consider the Primitivo, starting at Oviedo and walking all the way to SDC in 12-13 days. Far less crowded, beautiful scenery, a bit more rugged.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
September is busy on the CF for sure. If you are hoping for cooler temperatures start later not earlier.
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
I'm starting on September 7 and I have booked albergues through Pamplona. I've read that after Pamplona things start to thin out.
 

MileHighPair

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012, '14: Frances
2015: Chimayo, USA.
2016, '17: VdlP
2018: Madrid, Ourense, Salvador, Primitivo
I wish you the best of Camino experiences! But if you want to avoid the crowds leaving SJPdP, the first two weeks of September are not going to work well. Here is a link to an earlier thread, which has a graph of the numbers of pilgrims walking the first stage of the Camino Frances. You will notice that May and September are the two highest months of the entire year, and I've seen weekly numbers that show the first two weeks of September are the absolute highest two week period of the year. (The graph is from 2015, but this has not changed in the last few years). It always disturbs me to see experienced members of this forum saying that September is a lighter month on the Camino. It is true the number of pilgrims entering Santiago begins to drop in September, but that is because so many folks start in Sarria (or some other 100km point along one of the other routes). Here is the link:
Buen Camino!
 

Caligal

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 4- May 12, 2018
CP April 2019
You’ve picked a season when many walk, though the peak crowds of July will have claimed their compostelas and gone home many have your aspirations - cooler temperatures and fewer pilgrims. Everybody flocks there for the peace and solitude.

Seasonal average temperatures are here: http://www.aemet.es/en/serviciosclimaticos/datosclimatologicos/valoresclimatologicos?l=9263D&k=nav

I'd book your first two or three days accommodation, plan to go slowly, and maybe spend an extra night in StJdpP and start on Monday with the bun-fight of the week-end departures well ahead of you. It'll all settle down by Pamplona.

Buen Camino
Thank you for the link i was trying to find average temp and rainfall for my Sept./ Oct. camino all my ?s answered😊
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Here's the graph that @MileHighPair mentioned. The highest peak is the first week of September. Those are pilgrims starting from SJPDP.
It might be less busy closer to Santiago, or on another Camino.
If you do go the first week of September I recommend reserving up to Pamplona. Screenshot_20190315-232013_Firefox.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
I started September 1st three years ago and found no problems with crowds however the temperatures hit 38degrees on day one walking the Pyrenees .
Be prepared for all eventualities , but most of all enjoy the journey.
Don’t be put off by what people say, it is your Camino and how you do it is so very personal.
Buen Camino
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Buen Camino Joseito, I'm very excited for you.😁

Sept 4, 2013 I set out from SLPdP. (Wednesday)

Upon my arrival the night before on the last train from Bayonne (which was delayed by an hour) I stood in line at the pilgrims office nearing 8:00PM with MANY other pilgrims who later would become part of my Camino family. The volunteers helped many of us get a bed where I literally slept in an attic of an albergue that was competo. There were two beds in the attic one for me and one for an Irishman and a hole in the roof. Oh the magic and wonder of the Camino.💖

The first morning I set out later then most (pil-a-gringa) a name that would stick LOL. I arrived Roncesvalles as the bells tolled 7:00PM. I stood in line for a while with other pilgrims to receive our stamp and bed when I was blessed to get one of the last beds in the overflow, the old, really old building (the one in the movie The Way). 200 beds or something like that. What a real treat.

Day 2, walking to Zubiri. I hobbled in and got the last bed in the first Alburgue on your right after you cross the bridge. Another blessing as they were laying down mats at a near by overflow and a lot of pilgrims were transported or walked to Larrassoana. Counting my blessings.

Day 3, I walked quickly through Pamplona, it was so crowded I would have frustrated myself to no end trying to find the alburgue or any other accommodation, I walked on to Cizur Manor they still had beds but like most places became completo.

There were several other villages I stopped in where I got the last bed. Septemeber is crowded and even more so nearly 6 years later, (it has exploded) and expect hot weather at least until you get further down into Galicia. Thirty-Four days later, I loved every minute of my Camino so much so I did it again. Just let go and let the Camino provide, open yourself up and you will receive and witness many a magical moment along with a few mini miracles.

God Bless,
:cool:👣
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
I wish you the best of Camino experiences! But if you want to avoid the crowds leaving SJPdP, the first two weeks of September are not going to work well. Here is a link to an earlier thread, which has a graph of the numbers of pilgrims walking the first stage of the Camino Frances. You will notice that May and September are the two highest months of the entire year, and I've seen weekly numbers that show the first two weeks of September are the absolute highest two week period of the year. (The graph is from 2015, but this has not changed in the last few years). It always disturbs me to see experienced members of this forum saying that September is a lighter month on the Camino. It is true the number of pilgrims entering Santiago begins to drop in September, but that is because so many folks start in Sarria (or some other 100km point along one of the other routes). Here is the link:
Buen Camino!
Perhaps it gets lighter as September moves forward?
 

Joseito

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances
Thanks for all the feedback peregrin@s! you are seriously making me re-think my plans.


Basically due to other constraints, if I don't start on Sept 1st, I'd either have to start a week earlier or postpone until the 28th of September.

I know that the temperature in that region is quite nice in October, so perhaps it's a better choice? Hmm...
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014; 2019)
Camino Primitivo (2016)
Camino del Norte (2016-2018)
San Salvador (2018)
Hi everyone.

I'm planning to do a couple of weeks of the Camino in September, starting at SJPDP on Sept 1st and seeing how far I can get in two weeks, my guess is Burgos.

I chose September because I wanted lower temperatures and to not have to struggle every day when trying to find a bed at the end of the day. However, after doing some research now I'm a bit worried about how crowded it might be on those dates, it seems like a lot of people like to start at SJPDP in September! (also, sept 1st is a Sunday, which probably wont help)

I'd love to hear what people who have started at SJPDP in early Sept have to say, will it be too crowded or is it manageable? I speak spanish and could easily book a bed ahead of time, but I'd like to avoid that since I want to experience the freedom of deciding what I'm doing as the day goes by. But I also don't want to rush my walk just to get a bed.

Thoughts?

Thanks!
Hi there,

I started in Sept. 5 years ago, and walked the CF a second time this year in the spring, as well as a part of it last year in August. I would say that this April was the busiest I've ever seen it. Everyone's read Brierley's book and consequently people are arriving in April and the numbers in high summer may even be falling. But don't quote me, that's just my impression.

The three I walked with from Larrasoaña were already wary of walking without a reservation after two episodes of 'completo'. The bed race seems to have begun right from SJPdP now, at least in the minds of some walkers. The fact that those two irksome evenings of walking-on had furnished my companions with their most cherished anecdotes, that they dined out on the story of those two days, didn't cut any ice with them, they wanted to book ahead and that was that. And yet the camino (alert: cliché approaching!) had indeed provided for them. I say walk on with hope in your heart and some shelter will be forthcoming.

As for temperatures, September's late summer but it's also mountain country, so be prepared for all sorts, hot, cold, rain, mist, snow, dry, the lot.

P.
 

Evvie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
September 2019
Thanks for all the feedback peregrin@s! you are seriously making me re-think my plans.


Basically due to other constraints, if I don't start on Sept 1st, I'd either have to start a week earlier or postpone until the 28th of September.

I know that the temperature in that region is quite nice in October, so perhaps it's a better choice? Hmm...
I don't know how long you plan to take, but if you start on 9/28 it will be pretty cold when you arrive in Santiago.
 

truthseeker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés, (fall, 2018)
The temperatures can still get hot in September. :)
I started in SJPP September 13. After getting through Roncesvalles the midday temps were pretty high-- upper 30's Celsius, day after day. We started walking every morning before dawn.
 

spreadsheetdirtbags

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2018)
I'm starting on September 7 and I have booked albergues through Pamplona. I've read that after Pamplona things start to thin out.
This was my experience in 2018. I booked only my first 2 nights ahead, then everything was full on my 3rd night so I had to keep walking (I think a bonus ~12km) to find a place with space. Once I was through Pamplona it thinned out. Makes sense...everyone starts in the same place, there's a denser crowd for a few days.

Edit: I started in the first week of September (realized I didn't say that)
 
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Westlake

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances September to October (2019)
I'm starting on September first. Booked SJPdP, Orrison, Roncesvalles and Zubiri then hoping to wing it. My understanding is if you book the first few nights you'll be alright. We'll see :) Hoping someone joins my Express Bouricott on August 29th!
 

AlexanderAZ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017 (Sept/Oct): CF: SJPdP-->Fisterra-->Muxia (solo)
2019 (late Sept): CF: SJPdP-->Leon (honeymoon!)
Basically due to other constraints, if I don't start on Sept 1st, I'd either have to start a week earlier or postpone until the 28th of September.

I know that the temperature in that region is quite nice in October, so perhaps it's a better choice? Hmm...
My (then) wife and I will be starting 9/28. I started on 9/13 in 2017. I believe 2 weeks will make a difference with reduced crowds and temperatures. That said, I have booked ahead, far ahead actually, as I know the places I want to stop (and not stop) and can cancel if need be.
 

Alsacia

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Camino Frances (2019)
I think the difference would be at least marginal. Starting on a Monday or Tuesday will make a difference to the number of pilgrims starting that day compared to the " finish work Friday, fly on Saturday, start on Sunday" pulse but if you are determined to walk the camino Frances in September or at any time other than deep winter you will encounter many fellow travellers but also an infrastructure that has grown to cope. Temperatures in August will, likely, be high but the impact of latent temperature depends on your life experience. Anything above 20c is to warm for serious hiking for me but i'm old and I grew up in an arctic maritime climate where 25c is considered an excuse for newspaper headlines featuring photos of girls in bikinis on the beach. Your mileage may vary.

If you want to make Pilgrimage to Santiago, or just hike some Camino, and you have opportunity: do it.

All the other stuff: best time, best Albergue, best Bocadillo, best route, best Orujo, best Backpack, best underpants, best grumpy old mans opinion.... Well thats all just "stuff" and has no real significance. ;)

Buen camino
Thanks for all the info. I will starting in a couple of weeks.
 

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