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First Time Pilgrim planing 2011


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I'm Planning to walk the Camino between August-September or September-October. My concern are these considered off seasons? or will there still be a lot of traffic on the Camino? There is only a small group of us going so my concern is that we won't meet many other pilgrims and we'll have a harder time if its an off season :/
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Albergues begin closing at the end of October, so you will still be "in season." In 2009, the following number of pilgrims arrived in Santiago and received a Compostela:

August - 35,098
September - 20,465
October - 11,727
November - 2,354

Even in November, that is over 70 pilgrims per day; not every pilgrim registers for a Compostela; and the count does not include those who walk an intermediate week or two.
Hi...and Welcome to the Forum!

While on my Camino in April 2008 on the C F, I had the opportunity to speak with many pilgrims that had walked the Way in different seasons and along other routes. The one consistency was that early in the season (Mar-May) and later (Oct-Nov) could (depending on which route you choose) be bitterly cold and wet. The Summer ( June-August, when most folks are on vacation) was HOTTTT!

Add to the mix a Holy Year...2010 and the crowds increase in number.

Now, all that said...things can change!

May I suggest that you consider the following:

There is a raft of info on the Forum. May I suggest you check the following:

1. The Pilgrim FAQ at the top right of the page.
2. The Class of 2011 (when established) to see whom else may be walking the Way at the same time
3. The Camino Calendar at the bottom of the page will also show whom is walking, from where and it also lists key events along the Way.
4. There's also a "search" capability at the top right. You can enter a keyword, such as: "food", "refuge Leon" and it will search the Forum and return links.
5. Another great resource is:

Hope that helps,

Buen Camino,

Deleted member 3000

If weather is your concern, August and September can be quite hot, but it will be cooling by October, which will bring more rain.


Active Member
Past OR future Camino
I think you will find plenty of pilgrims walking at that time. I walked two years ago, starting at the beginning of March. People suggested that some albergues would be closed then but nearly all of them were open. I would think through October you should not encounter any problems. I'd go later rather than earlier in order to avoid hot weather and crowds.
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I am also planning to travel with a small group of friends in late sept I would be grateful for any tips on preparation for our first trip


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Past OR future Camino
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Being in a group has pros and cons. You may find you have different needs/paces/times at which you get up etc and it is hard to find your rhythm. It is a good idea to set some ground rules before you leave. Will you give each other the freedom to follow their own pace or will you be paced by the slowest member in the group and stay together. I set off on my first walk with a friend who was faster and fitter than me, I tried to keep up with her and ended up exhausted, resentful and with lots of foot problems. I wanted to stay in little refuges in the country and she wanted to stay in hotels in the busier towns. I liked to leave really early as I have most of my energy then and she would spend ages getting ready. It was really hard. After 3 days we parted company. We are still friends and have walked together since, but made some agreements before setting off. I have learnt a lot from this first experience. Recently I walked with a friend from New Zealand and we discussed all the possible areas where we might have differences and we walked together very well. The only issue was that I like crusty french bread, and she liked the wholemeal chewy variety, so we alternated bread choice. Sound silly, but when you are in this daily walking thing, the small things become really important.
On my first Camino there was a group of 20 south american pilgrims, part of a theatre group and they walked together every day. Their leader organised that they would never walk more than 20 km per day and the slowest person dictated the pace. They had debriefs every night to resolve various group issues. Personally I prefer walking alone. It is a lot less stressful.
Other than than, there are lots of posts on what to pack etc. Keep it minimal and stick to no more than 10 percent of your bodyweight in terms of the weight you carry. Regards, Gitti


Hi NelleG
I started my Camino on 05Sep09 from SJPdP. I left Canada alone and met someone on the train ride up the hill from Bayonne to St Jean and we decided to walk together the next day. It didn't take very long to meet loads of fellow pilgrims. We sort of gathered a group as we went along and about mid way, our merry band of pilgrims started to thin out quite a bit because some had to quit early or jump ahead or decided to stay in one spot for a day or 2. There were always loads of other pilgrims on the Camino too. The closer we got to Sarria, the fewer pilgrims there seemed to be. I remember the day we left Sarria though, it was like starting all over again because there were so many more pilgrims who started their Camino. I took a picture because I couldn't believe just how many people there were that day. They kinda stood out...nice clean "camino tan" (just the left side of the body)...all chipper (early in the day as they tried to juggle their new backpacks). Don't get me wrong, I am by no means making fun of the pilgrims starting in was just so amazing to see so many "fresh" pilgrims after 3ish weeks at that point of the same bedraggled gang.
One small group from Canada that I met after Sarria had brought a cell phone that would work in Spain so they could keep in touch with each other and meet up at the end of the day. It worked very well for them.
Enjoy your Camino!


Past OR future Camino
Sept-October (2009), Sept-Oct (2013)
I walked the Camino from St Jean to Santiago and on to Finisterre in Sept/Oct 2009. I left SJDPP on Sept 11, it was hot and stayed hot for the next week. A few days of rain but generally sunny and warm weather right into the second week of October. Nearer the coast, the weather changed, cloudy days became more frequent and the third week of October saw a lot of rain on the walk to Finisterre. I finished in Finisterre on Oct 21. There were a lot of people on the Camino the first three weeks but by October it had thinned out a lot. The walk to Finisterre was as if I was the only pilgrim was eerie.

I walked in a t shirt and shorts most days until third week in October when a light sweater and handy rain coat became the norm.

The strangest thing is the way the time works over there, they stay on daylight saving time til the end third week of October, but since they are at about 36 latitude, by that time the sun does not actually come up until around 9, so if you are an early starter like me, the first hour or so of walking was in the dark! Saw some great sunrises though.

If I did the camino frances again I would do it in the same time frame, weather is generally good, peak crowds are gone, and the fall scenery is beautiful.

Have a great trip..



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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2011) Via Podensis (2013) Camino Ingles (2013) Northern Route (Gijon to Ribadeo) 2015
My son & I are walking in September & October from SJPP to Finisterre. I am looking for quiet first, and "cooled off" from summer heat, second. May I get my wish! I know that this is not really off-season. I am so excited.
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Part frances jun 07/rest frances may- jun 2008/Frances sept-oct 2009/ Sanabres Oct 2010/Frances sept-oct 2011/Aragones Sept-Oct 2012. Hospitalero Sept 2010, Amiga in Pilgrim's Office Oct 2013. Part Primitivo Oct 2013. Portugues from Porto June 2015.
NelleG said:
IThere is only a small group of us going so my concern is that we won't meet many other pilgrims and we'll have a harder time if its an off season :/
How many is your small group? I think that Gitti summed up very well what walking in a group means. You just have to be flexible to all sorts of circumstances.
That said, there are still many of us walking. We will start again in September, because things sort of thin out as you move along (especially after Burgos), so I find it more relaxing ( I have also walked twice in late spring), but then as Bill mentioned "traffic" picked up again after leaving Sarria. We only found one small albergue closed where we had hoped to stay as we walked into October. Also, if you are walking in a group, you will most likely remain "in your group" so I wonder how much interaction you will all make with other Pilgrims? Anne


Staff member
Past OR future Camino
The original post on this thread was in early 2010 so while it is still very interesting...the OP surely has finished by now...I hope. :wink:

Nice to resurrect these old threads that have a lot of still current information for those who are planning.

Deleted member 3000

NellG posted once, but has not visited the Forum since Feb. 24, 2010. All her questions must have been answered!!


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I for one am glad this post got resurrected I needed some good info about the weather that time of year. I leave Le Puy on August 20th and have given myself 11 weeks to get to Santiago De Compostella
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