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Next Holy Year 2021 - when does pilgrim traffic drop off ?

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
My wife and I walked Camino Frances twice (2015 and 2017). We were surprised about the increase in the number of pilgrims 2017 vs 2015. We will begin walking our third CF from St Jean on Sept 20. It will be interesting to see how the pilgrim numbers compare this year to 2017.

We would like to keep walking the camino on a two year cycle. We really like walking the camino in Sept-Oct, but have concerns about how many pilgrims will be walking in 2021, the next holy year. We are considering walking the "Tunnel Route / Vasque / Interior" which is less traveled, but this joins the CF after 9 stages in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Another option may be to begin our 4th camino a little later, such as early October. However, my wife does not tolerate "cold weather" well so will not consider a camino beginning in mid to late October.

So my question to veteran pilgrims, during the holy year, how much does the pilgrim traffic drop off during the fall months (the height of the holy year is in late July)? If the flood of pilgrims continues during the entire year, we may want to walk our 4th camino next year or wait until 2022.

Gracias ! Bob
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
It will have been 11 years between the 2010 and 2021 Holy Years. There have been big changes over that time and I doubt that you could predict a pattern reliably from the last one. In general the peak month for arrivals in Santiago is August with a slight drop off in September and more so in October. The pattern for 2018, 2017 and for the 2010 Holy Year. My own guess would be that the pattern would stay the same in 2021 but with greater numbers overall.
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
I would just go for it, 2010 had that anticipation that the numbers would be a lot more than usual and it was but in the latter stages of the CF.
I read posts on here that people were having relatively quiet Camino's in the further out stages, many people who return to Camino's again and again avoid holy years on the CF because of the expected numbers, I walked my 1st Camino in 2010 on the CDN and met a lot of people who were regulars, when I walked again on the CF later that year the only person who had a done a Camino previously was me.
 
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maggiec

Member
My wife and I walked Camino Frances twice (2015 and 2017). We were surprised about the increase in the number of pilgrims 2017 vs 2015. We will begin walking our third CF from St Jean on Sept 20. It will be interesting to see how the pilgrim numbers compare this year to 2017.

We would like to keep walking the camino on a two year cycle. We really like walking the camino in Sept-Oct, but have concerns about how many pilgrims will be walking in 2021, the next holy year. We are considering walking the "Tunnel Route / Vasque / Interior" which is less traveled, but this joins the CF after 9 stages in Santo Domingo de la Calzada. Another option may be to begin our 4th camino a little later, such as early October. However, my wife does not tolerate "cold weather" well so will not consider a camino beginning in mid to late October.

So my question to veteran pilgrims, during the holy year, how much does the pilgrim traffic drop off during the fall months (the height of the holy year is in late July)? If the flood of pilgrims continues during the entire year, we may want to walk our 4th camino next year or wait until 2022.

Gracias ! Bob
Word is that it will be busy both years each side if the Holy Year because of people wanting to avoid the crowds
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
The key for us is getting confirmed reservations at albergues. I just checked Booking.com and you can make reservations up through December 2020 or 15 months ahead. So if we want to walk the fall of 2021, we can spot check room availability next summer. Some pilgrims like the freedom of not making advance reservations. For our upcoming camino, we are allowing 37 days from St Jean to Santiago and have firm reservations every night. This will provide certainty of a private room every night and we won't have to rush to our destination.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
For our upcoming camino, we are allowing 37 days from St Jean to Santiago and have firm reservations every night. This will provide certainty of a private room every night and we won't have to rush to our destination
Something to consider, how much certainty is there in life, then there's just as much when your on the Camino for five weeks. Ultreia 🤠
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Various ones.
Just seen this post on my mobile, it doesn't really drop off in a holy year but it still has peaks wherever you are starting from. Most people follow the schedules so if you are finishing on a weekend( most finishes are on a weekend) have a look at the suggested etapas and start out of sequence with it for the weekend, and have either have a big or short day near the end to get back in sequence at the end.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Camino(s) past & future
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
It varies according to where you are on the Camino.

It does drop off somewhat in September towards SJPP and within the final 200K to Santiago -- but September actually tends to be busier nowadays than July-August inside the large "middle section" that has the "boring bits" that many people choose to skip.

This is because crowds build up in September of those avoiding the summer heat and avoiding the summer crowds (LOL), and also because those approaching the Camino in this manner will tend to be walking from their starting point all the way, else be doing this or that particular stage in their multi-year plan -- in either case, there are people all along the Way, whereas in the summer there will be more people doing perhaps just the last 100K or 200K etc.

There are however always fewer people between October and April.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
Due to COVID 19 we cancelled our 2020 camino. We received refunds for our round trip flights from the US and flight from Santiago to Madrid. We were able to cancel all room reservations without penalty except one which was non refundable when we booked the room, but we have a voucher and won’t be charged when we stay there in 2021.

The good news is that I was able to book private rooms with private bathrooms every night during our 2021 camino frances except one location, and I am confident I will find a room at that location soon. In almost all cases the cost for the rooms is the same as the price I would have paid this year. So no upcharge due to the Jubilee year or due to lack of business this year.

Bob
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
The key for us is getting confirmed reservations at albergues. I just checked Booking.com and you can make reservations up through December 2020 or 15 months ahead. So if we want to walk the fall of 2021, we can spot check room availability next summer. Some pilgrims like the freedom of not making advance reservations. For our upcoming camino, we are allowing 37 days from St Jean to Santiago and have firm reservations every night. This will provide certainty of a private room every night and we won't have to rush to our destination.

Just curious how this works for you. Booking all the accommodation up front.
What do you do in case of injury slowing you down, or deciding to just slow down and have a short day?

I tend to book a couple of days ahead (when with my wife) to get bed 'certainty' and for the last 100 kms I'll tend to book 4-5 days ahead. But even then I end up up changing /cancelling a few bookings...
Or as has happened, we might love a place and stay an extra day. (San Zoilo)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015, 2017, 2019) and plans for 2021 (Sept, Oct)
During our first Camino Frances in 2015, we did not book ahead. By the time we reached Carrion de los Condes, my wife was experiencing severe knee pain. A camino angel noticed my wife's pain and told us about Jaco Trans. From that day on, we shipped my wife's backpack ahead every day until we arrived in Santiago.

We decided to walk the CF again in 2017 with my brother and his wife. We shipped my wife's backpack ahead every day and my brother did the same with a duffle bag of their heavier items. I made advance reservations for all but four or five nights. Since we hiked CF before, we were familiar with the towns and how long we wanted to walk each day. We included two rest days. We stayed in several private albergues and lots of "quad rooms" (two bunkbeds and a private bath). No problems.

Last year was our third CF. I booked private rooms with private bath, with no rest days. Worked like a charm. For our hiking plan, we try to average 20 kms per day, but mix it up so some days are very short (10 -12 kms) and some are long (over 30 kms).

So we are now preparing for CF 4 next year and I've booked every night in a private room except one location and will confirm that soon (no rest days). If we run into an unexpected injury or problem, we will likely just take a bus or taxi to our destination town to keep on track.

Bob
 

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