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January 2020 Start Date

peregrino_bobby

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
January/February (2020)
Hello everyone! Longtime lurker first time poster.

I’m here with a pretty basic question, but I wanted to run it by everyone here before I did anything irreversible, e.g., buy plane tickets. I’m looking to hike the Camino Frances from St. Jean this January. I have a fairly firm end date on February 4th because I need to be back in the States by February 6th. I’m in good shape so I’m pretty confident that I can do this, but I’m also willing to take buses and whatnot to make up time if things like weather don’t break my way.

With this in mind, I want to start as early as possible. Right now, my plan is to get to St. Jean January 6th, spend the night there, and start walking January 7th. I’m doing this because I’ve read here and elsewhere that albergues won’t be open until January 7th in Spain because of holidays. So, the questions: does this start date seem reasonable? Could I start earlier? Should I start later? Would I be the only pilgrim on the trail if I do this? Is there anything I’m not taking into account here? Banal questions, I know, but I’m kinda getting skittish staring at flight dates and I want to double-check.

Also, a shoutout to all my other winter walkers. I'm looking forward to meeting you all on the trail. Thanks for the help everyone!
 
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NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
I would double check the info on whether albergues and hostals are closed until the 7th, as that seems odd. You will have less options for accommodation, but should still be able to find places - especially if you are open to using some occasional transport.

SJPDP will have something open -and be sure to visit the pilgrim office there. @Monasp and her crew will have updated weather info for the walk through the mountains and a list of albergues across the Frances.

There is also a website with a list of albergues winter openings ... http://www.aprinca.com/alberguesinvierno/

Buen camino.
 

peregrino_bobby

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
January/February (2020)
I met only about 12 pilgrims in two weeks in January, so it will be somewhat solitary. Only major stops had open albergues.

Yeah, I imagined as much. Thanks for the info!

I would double check the info on whether albergues and hostals are closed until the 7th, as that seems odd.

Thanks for letting me know. I did some digging and it seems like there are some albergues open prior to 1/7. And, yeah, I've come across that website before. Very useful!
 
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Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Hi peregrino_bobby, we are starting from SJPDP in mid December so will most definately be walking between Christmas and Three Kings day (6th January). Our choices for accommodation will definately be limited but we will use the link above and call/reserve places a couple of days in advance - I might even book during that time before we leave. Forget spontinaity! We will make sure people know we are coming!!! Good luck with your plans but I think you will be fine leaving a bit earlier to give yourself more time. Like you, we are on a pretty tight schedule are are more than open to taking buses etc if need be. My advice is just to be mindful and plan.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
With your time frame, I would skip starting in SJPdP, and start in Pamplona instead.
St Jean to Roncesvalles is great when you have nice weather and lovely views, but it's not necessary to start there. Besides, the Napoleon route is closed for the winter.
 

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