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Looking for Advice on Timing to Walk Camino del Norte/Primitivo

Tsongz60

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino de Portugues - Oct 2023
I'm a newcomer to the Forum, and plan to walk my first Camino (Norte/Primitivo) this year. I'm a 62-yo female, relatively fit and recently retired. I have two open windows between other family commitments to do the walk and am looking for pros/cons from those who have done it. Would you recommend 1) mid-July, or 2) mid-September, and why?
 
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July/August is peak tourist season on Spain's northern coast, so accommodation can be harder to find and more expensive. I started on July 3rd, 2018, and was always able to find a place to sleep, but some others had a harder time.

That said, I remember reading reports from last September that accommodation was still tight.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Mid-September, unless you like hot weather.
July is also the month of vacations for many people, so it will be more crowded. But it depends of what you expect and like.
Buen camino!
Thanks, Felipe! I prefer heat over rain/cold, but understand the weather may be fine from mid-September-late October?
 
July/August is peak tourist season on Spain's northern coast, so accommodation can be harder to find and more expensive. I started on July 3rd, 2018, and was always able to find a place to sleep, but some others had a harder time.

That said, I remember reading reports from last September that accommodation was still tight.
Good to know...thanks! Rushing each day to ensure I have a place to sleep doesn't sound very appealing to me.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
It may not be a priority for you, but if God wills it, I will start from Oviedo on Sept 15th. That's primarily because the Sudarium ( purportedly the "head cloth" found in the tomb after Christ's resurrection) is exposed at the Cathedral in Oviedo on Sept 14th ( and Sept 21st).

Other than that, there's a smaller chance of heatwave and wildfires in Sept. But some albergues close in Oct.
 
Good to know! Thank you for that additional insight. It’s sounding like there are pros and cons to both timeframes, which is what I suspected. Buen Camino!
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I walked the Norte/Primitivio combination in mid-April thru most of May and overall had excellent weather with very little cold or rain...would choose it again.
I'm in the pre-planning stages to walk from Oviedo to finish the 2nd half of the Norte and on to Muxia in a similar time frame.
 
I'm a newcomer to the Forum, and plan to walk my first Camino (Norte/Primitivo) this year. I'm a 62-yo female, relatively fit and recently retired. I have two open windows between other family commitments to do the walk and am looking for pros/cons from those who have done it. Would you recommend 1) mid-July, or 2) mid-September, and why?
Did the Primitivo in mid-September and walked part of the Norte another year again in mid-September. Both times the weather was lovely and we were joined by wonderful pilgrims. It's presumptuous and unfair to label what an ideal number of fellow pilgrims is, but we have always found mid-September a sweet spot for all caminos except from Sarria and Tui. They seem crowded except in winter.
 
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I'm a newcomer to the Forum, and plan to walk my first Camino (Norte/Primitivo) this year. I'm a 62-yo female, relatively fit and recently retired. I have two open windows between other family commitments to do the walk and am looking for pros/cons from those who have done it. Would you recommend 1) mid-July, or 2) mid-September, and why?
I walked it beginning of September 2022 continuing on to Fisterra and Muxia finishing mid October. It was perfect!
 
walked the Norte/Primitivio combination in mid-April thru most of May and overall had excellent weather with very little cold or rain...would choose it again.
Weather is so variable 😊. I walked the Primitivo in early mid May 2019. Nearly daily rain, mud, very cold and for the beginning of the Hospitales stage the fog was so dense at one point that I couldn’t see the Peregrino in front of me yet I could touch him. Four of us formed a small group for this stage, and eventually the fog on the mountaintop cleared though the fog persisted below us and all around. We were freezing, at one point it seemed I wore everything I brought. The poncho kept flying over my head and secured it with a string leading to my very convincing Friar Tuck impression.
Still awesome and still one of my all time favorite stages on any Camino.
If possible for you I would choose September instead of July for the same reasons described above.
 

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A selection of Camino Jewellery
I walked the Norte/Primitivio combination in mid-April thru most of May and overall had excellent weather with very little cold or rain...would choose it again.
I'm in the pre-planning stages to walk from Oviedo to finish the 2nd half of the Norte and on to Muxia in a similar time frame.
Thanks, Chrissy! Buen Camino!
 
Did the Primitivo in mid-September and walked part of the Norte another year again in mid-September. Both times the weather was lovely and we were joined by wonderful pilgrims. It's presumptuous and unfair to label what an ideal number of fellow pilgrims is, but we have always found mid-September a sweet spot for all caminos except from Sarria and Tui. They seem crowded except in winter.
Thank you, Anthony! I'm looking for a bit of "solitude", which is one of several reasons I chose this route over CF. Sounds like Sept/Oct may help with that but bring some cooler weather.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
Weather is so variable 😊. I walked the Primitivo in early mid May 2019. Nearly daily rain, mud, very cold and for the beginning of the Hospitales stage the fog was so dense at one point that I couldn’t see the Peregrino in front of me yet I could touch him. Four of us formed a small group for this stage, and eventually the fog on the mountaintop cleared though the fog persisted below us and all around. We were freezing, at one point it seemed I wore everything I brought. The poncho kept flying over my head and secured it with a string leading to my very convincing Friar Tuck impression.
Still awesome and still one of my all time favorite stages on any Camino.
If possible for you I would choose September instead of July for the same reasons described above.
That sounds like one of those experiences that is better in hindsight than in the moment...great pics!
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
That sounds like one of those experiences that is better in hindsight than in the moment...
Actually all 4 of us loved every second of it. That night in Berducedo we were singing and drinking chupitos til way past my usual Camino bedtime. We returned to our bunks with lights out and snoring Peregrinos. 😴
 
I walked it in July 2019 & struggled to find accommodation at times. I found I had a try to book in advance which isn’t my preferred option. I too like the heat but I wouldn’t try to do it in July again.
 
Thanks, Felipe! I prefer heat over rain/cold, but understand the weather may be fine from mid-September-late October?
I have found the heat in July quite suffocating, even in cities. But this may just a personal thing.
I walked Norte, from Avilés (close to Oviedo), starting mid-September, last year, and had a very pleasant weather. A light jacket for the mornings and nights was enough.
Keep in mind that drizzles in the mountain stages are always possible. Also, mid October starts to be cooler, and Galicia is so green because it rains more than in other parts or Spain
You will probably experience a weather transition. Maybe travel light initially, and buying a sweater in Oviedo (if needed)? It is a big city, conveniently located at the middle of your walk.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I walked it in July 2019 & struggled to find accommodation at times. I found I had a try to book in advance which isn’t my preferred option. I too like the heat but I wouldn’t try to do it in July again.
Great insight, Walli. I'd also rather see where each days takes me, but it sounds like the more crowded it gets, the more planning is needed.
 
I have found the heat in July quite suffocating, even in cities. But this may just a personal thing.
I walked Norte, from Avilés (close to Oviedo), starting mid-September, last year, and had a very pleasant weather. A light jacket for the mornings and nights was enough.
Keep in mind that drizzles in the mountain stages are always possible. Also, mid October starts to be cooler, and Galicia is so green because it rains more than in other parts or Spain
You will probably experience a weather transition. Maybe travel light initially, and buying a sweater in Oviedo (if needed)? It is a big city, conveniently located at the middle of your walk.
You suggest something that I had not thought of -- buying clothing as needed! That's a great suggestion. The scales are tipping in favor of September at this point...
 
WeatherSpark is a good site to find historical weather data, so you can see what the weather patterns are for each season.

Here's the page for Santander. It shows the weather as "comfortable" through October.

 
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€46,-
WeatherSpark is a good site to find historical weather data, so you can see what the weather patterns are for each season.

Here's the page for Santander. It shows the weather as "comfortable" through October.

Great resource! Thank you!!!
 
I'm doing the Norte/Primitivo in May/June this year - mostly because I couldn't wait until September. 😉
We have also done it May-June, but July and August are hotter. I would choose September.
 
I am looking at this route for April/may, starting in Santander and continuing onto the primitivo thro oviedo
Can I get a credential in Santander, does anyone know?
How busy is likely at that time?
I have done the Frances a couple of times. I am wondering how much colder this route is as it's by the coast then in the mountains?
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I am starting in San Sebastian mid-April, continuing to Primitivo and finishing in Finisterre and Muxia by end of May! First time, can't wait! It seems like one needs to be prepared for every type of weather on this path and at this time, just hoping not too much mud (ugh!)
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
I'm starting late April I'm even more impatient!
I'm starting mid May too and I'm super excited but I have a band tour in my home country to do before I leave and one in EU after I finish, so lots to get done before I go!
 
I'm also weighing up between April and September starts for my first Camino. I think spring flowers & young animals would be beautiful on the route, but when I go, I think it will end up being September.

( I hope there are not accomodation difficulties early Sep through to October. I am hoping to do del Norte to Finisterre in one trip - expensive / long flights from Australia! )
 
3rd Edition. More content, training & pack guides avoid common mistakes, bed bugs etc
I'm a newcomer to the Forum, and plan to walk my first Camino (Norte/Primitivo) this year. I'm a 62-yo female, relatively fit and recently retired. I have two open windows between other family commitments to do the walk and am looking for pros/cons from those who have done it. Would you recommend 1) mid-July, or 2) mid-September, and why?
Try this site to compare weather patterns. https://weatherspark.com/
 

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