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France Camino winter

2020 Camino Guides

marko_zilkovski

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
France Camino December 2019
Hey guys! Need your tips! I am planning my Camino this January with bicycles from León to Finisterre. What do you think about? Is this possible? Some peoples says it’s not, has anyone done it before?thanx
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Hey guys! Need your tips! I am planning my Camino this January with bicycles from León to Finisterre. What do you think about? Is this possible? Some peoples says it’s not, has anyone done it before?thanx
Hi Marko and welcome to the forum! Bicycling in winter would certainly not be my cup of "iced" tea!
If you are determined though, I'm sure you will get a few positive replies from others who will cheer you on.
Good luck and...Buen bicycle Camino!
 

Albert_Hadacek

You get what you give
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues - 2015
Camino Norte - 2016
Camino Frances - 2018
A friend of mine started the Camino Frances in January (walking) last year and based on her photos and comments some parts of the route were covered in light snow. She always found some accommodation but her options were more limited. If you have a bike you have more mobility and extra 10km is not that problematic.

What I could see as a problem is those two high points (Foncebaton and o Cebreiro) which are at 1200+ meters. So its gonna be cold there.

Yet, if you are an experienced MTB biker who has done a few of winter trails it will be doable.

It always depends on the weather. For instance, some parts of the Camino Primitivo are covered in snow these days.

If you hit a wormer winter around 5-10 degrees the roads should be OK
 

roving_rufus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
I walked chunks of the camino in winter and you will be up against snow at times but more widespread is ice and frost. Also you can have heavy rain and winds. Accommodation needs a bit more planning but is workable. But it is the state of roads with slippy conditions that cause issues not even thinking about the mountains crossed with snow. So it depends how comfortable you are with wintery cold or wet conditions. There are a few questions in the biking the camino subforum like https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/cycling-el-camino-frances-december-january.43504/#post-449599
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
Would mud be a problem?
Unfortunately yes, most likely. Winter in Northern Spain tends to come with a lot of rain, not only snow. I remember walking the stretch between Villamayor and Los Arcos one winter with mud 15cm or deeper ...

BC SY
 

jl

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
When I walked the Camino Frances in winter (Dec / Jan) I found the bonus was that the mud was frozen! It was not until I reached Galicia that I struck waterlogged soil.
 

wildrover

thewildrover
Camino(s) past & future
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17. 12/18. Lana 02/19.
There is always the paved road...
Hi mate, I've cycled down the coast from girona to alicante. I've been been blessed with perfect weather.... until I decided to cycle the lana /sureste. I'll go as far north as toledo and head back down south towards granada and then along the coast to cadiz and up to seville. Aye, I'm wimping out regards the weather! The camino Frances, on a bike during the winter is very doable. Don't listen to the sceptics, like the T¬shirt say..... Just do it. And enjoy. J
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Doable [assuming you ride on the road if it gets super muddy/snowy], but definitely not my idea of enjoyable! Is there a reason why it has to be the CF in Jan? I reckon we're in for a cold winter this year. I'm with wildrover, I would wimp out and head somewhere warmer!
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/
The Via de la Plata, at least until shortly before the mountains at the end, might be indeed a better option.
BC SY
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999, now living in Santiago de C
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Santiago - Muxia 2019

Now: http://egeria.house/

wildrover

thewildrover
Camino(s) past & future
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17. 12/18. Lana 02/19.
Hey guys! Need your tips! I am planning my Camino this January with bicycles from León to Finisterre. What do you think about? Is this possible? Some peoples says it’s not, has anyone done it before?thanx
Hi mate, my initial reply to your post may have been a bit flippant as opposed to informative! Yes, you can cycle the France's in January. Everyone on this forum differs, regarding age,fitness etc. I'm also cycling in Dec/Jan from Seville to Santiago, which will be part of my current trip. People cycle in every type of terrain in every season. If you're relatively fit, it's more about your expectations. it's possible, it could rain for a week...are you ok with this? or will you go home? So, regarding the actual requirements of a winter cycle trip, ask away. I'm talking about cycling gear, tools, clothing etc. Today, I'd planned to cycle 80k. I awoke to gale force winds. The wind was so severe, at times, I got off and pushed. This, was actually physically tougher..... but safer ! The last 10k took me two hrs. I'm no masochist, but I enjoyed every second. If, I didn't know, what to expect, I'd have gone home. By the way I only cycled 35k today. Not because, I couldn't do the 80k. I'd nothing to prove, I'm here to have an enjoyable time! That means as much beer as I can consume during the course of this evening. Aw the best. Wild
 

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