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Easter on Camino

Camino(s) past & future
March/April 2018
#1
Hi, folks. I'm planning to spend two and a half months in Europe (middle of March through the end of May), and I'm toying with walking a section of Camino Frances. Does anyone have experience with being on Camino during Easter? I'm fascinated by what I've read about it, but I am also afraid the crowds might be a little overwhelming since this is my first Camino, although Easter is fairly early this year. What is your opinion? Would you avoid Easter if you had a choice, or plan around it?
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
#2
Lucky you! I’d be there in the blink of an eye if I could. Was walking the CF during Semana Santa last year and it was brilliant. I loved the parades and the rituals and the happiness. There’s lots of street life and many oportunities to go to church. I think my favourite thing was walking with all the Spaniards who walk during Semana Santa. Sometimes accommodation was a bit tight but I always got a bed. Just plan to finish walking a bit earlier than usual during that week and you should be fine.
Buen camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
#3
There have been a couple of recent threads on this topic, which should help you. Enter "Easter" in the Search box at the top right of your screen.

I think it is a great time to be on the Camino, but you need to be aware that it could be difficult to find budget accommodation in the major cities during Easter week. That's a week I'd suggest booking accommodation a week or so in advance.
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#4
Me! I've walked at Easter most years since I got the Camino bug...

The Frances will be a bit more crowded, especially with Spanish people, and particularly in the stretch from Sarria.

If you want SPANISH EASTER (Google Semana Santa and prepare to fall down the rabbit hole) rather than a Compostela, I'd plan to walk around Burgos. Most villages in that area have great celebrations.
 

Athena Atterdag

time&space traveller
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena (2017, 2018)
Via Turonensis (2018)
#5
Would you avoid Easter if you had a choice, or plan around it?
Walking the Camino during the Lent and arriving in Santiago in time for Easter seems a great idea to me (thanks for the suggestion, Ruth!). There will be crowds for sure - but then, practically every church is crowded during Easter!
I'll definitely save this idea for some time in the future when I might be able to get a vacation long enough to do it!
 

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Lirsy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo (2017), Norte (2017), Frances (2017), Portugues (2018), La Plata (2018)
#6
I think it is a GREAT time for walking the Camino. You will find a lot of Easter celebrations in many towns. I would try to avoid the section between Sarria and Santiago in the Easter days (from Monday before Easter to Monday after Easter). If you arrive to Sarria after Easter you won´t have any problem.

Buen Camino & Ultreia!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino (2016), French Camino (2015), Northern Camino (2017)
#7
Hi, folks. I'm planning to spend two and a half months in Europe (middle of March through the end of May), and I'm toying with walking a section of Camino Frances. Does anyone have experience with being on Camino during Easter? I'm fascinated by what I've read about it, but I am also afraid the crowds might be a little overwhelming since this is my first Camino, although Easter is fairly early this year. What is your opinion? Would you avoid Easter if you had a choice, or plan around it?
Hey Ruth! Easter is a wonderful time to do the Camino Frances for 2 reasons: 1.Weather is not too hot and paths are not as turistically-crowded as summer 2.Lots of pilgrims take time off to do the Camino for faith, so you'll get to meet really interesting and spiritually driven people.

There's also lots of easter celebrations and public holidays, so check the holidays calendar before you start to trip and make sure to plan ahead so you won't find everything closed - Spanish take their public holidays very seriously, meaning that NOTHING is opened, specially in small towns.

Same with the accommodation, since lots of Spanish are gonna take days off to travel around, check the hotels/hostels/albergues availability before starting the trip and maybe book in advance at the most touristic points.
 

M&M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Logrono to Burgos 2018
#8
Hi, folks. I'm planning to spend two and a half months in Europe (middle of March through the end of May), and I'm toying with walking a section of Camino Frances. Does anyone have experience with being on Camino during Easter? I'm fascinated by what I've read about it, but I am also afraid the crowds might be a little overwhelming since this is my first Camino, although Easter is fairly early this year. What is your opinion? Would you avoid Easter if you had a choice, or plan around it?
Hi Ruth , feedback so far is very positive, my friend and I are hoping to do the Logrono to Burgos section, starting Easter monday, any suggestions?
 

Marbe2

Active member
Camino(s) past & future
2015 SJPD to Burgos
2017 Leon to Santiago
Pamplona to Santiago Mar. 2018
Burgos - SCDC (Oct 18)
#9
2017 we were walking the last section Sarria to Santiago during Holy Week! It was quite crowded with many school and tour groups!I strongly urge you to make reservations for this section ahead of time. I heard a number of pilgrims calling into the various places we were staying at and heard them receiving the news that the places were completely full! One owner told us by 3pm that there was no availability in the whole town Pedrouza?
We were glad to have had reservations!
 
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés (2004-), C. Portugués, C. de Madrid, 1/2 V. Plata, 1/8 Levante, hospitalera Grado 2016.
#10
If possible, getting to Burgos by Saturday March 31st will give you a wonderful end to your walk. On Sunday morning, representatives of all the cofradias (= religious brotherhoods, but including women and kids) meet in front of the Cathedral in their colourful costumes (no, they're NOT KKK, the Spanish hooded cloaks are much older than those horrible upstarts!) and several cages of white doves are released to celebrate the risen Christ. It will be crowded, noisy and very, very different from all the sombre, dark celebrations you will have seen in the villages and towns before Burgos.

My final Easter tip: Talk to the tourist offices and get a list of where and when the next days' processions will be. The officials often tell you which ones they like best: "Oh, the one in X village is tiny, but they have a really old statue of Mary, and they decorate it with thousands of carnations!" The statues and the floats are often on display in churches on the route, even when you miss the processions, so try to open all the church doors you pass.

"?Hay proseción de Semana Santa? ?Cuando?" will get you far.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
2018 CF Spring
#11
Will start my first El Camino (CF) during the Semana Santa week. Initially I was a bit nervous about my timing - now I am looking forward starting during the Easter week!! (but will miss my family)
 

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