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New Member
Past OR future Camino
May-June 2006; Aug-Sept 2014
I am planning to walk the camino in May-June. I have just read the post of Peter Robins on SJPdP stats for last year. I quick review seems to indicate that more people start (about a thousand/ week) in mid May than cound find beds along the way in Rouncevalles or many other places along the route. I assume the problem is even worse in Galcia.

I have considered the vdp (but the stages seem too long for me) and after reading about the camino frances, I am commited to this route.

Does anyone have information about how refugio's deal with overflows? What is the experience of recent pilgrims, with overcrowding? I decided not to take a tent and mat as excess baggage; should I reconsider?

FYI, I am a 50+ male, traveling alone. I can deal with sleeping on the floor (esp. if I bring a mat), but if I am going to be sleeping in doorways, I would like to know in advance.
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Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
May Pilgrim

Hello dear pilgrim,
I have walked two Caminos in May/June. In 2002 we were never turned away from an albergue and only slept on the floor twice. In 2004 - a Holy Year - we found a bed in St Jean, Roncesvalles and also every night in Galicia. It was busy but surprisingly not overcrowded. A camp mat is a good idea. If things are really bad, you could go to a Posada/Inn/Hostal/Hotel/Pension etc - they can be found in most towns along the route.
Buen Camino,


Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (May 2005), Norte (May 2006), Vezelay (2007).

if you make your daily trips NOT the standard etappes which are mentioned in the several guides, you will not have a problem!

Yes, I have to agree - where all the people go is a bit of a mystery. In the busiest month last year (August), some 800 people a day claimed a compostela; even in May it was some 300 a day. Even allowing for the fact that people walk/cycle different km every day and so need accommodation in different places, the available accommodation is nothing like that much. I do not hear large nos of complaints from people forced to sleep outside, so can only assume the figures are distorted by the large groups, who may well make other arrangements for accommodation, for example, a large group of Galicians in Galicia may well go home every night.


Active Member
Past OR future Camino

I walked by myself in September 2006 and didn't expect to have problems finding a bed but missed out on a few occasions. Not a problem - once I was forced to find a pension (thought I would enjoy this but unbelievably I missed the snoring!) and once I slept outside but under cover in the grounds of the refugio but usually no beds meant that mattresses were spread around the floor. Just as comfortable as a bed but not so good if you are in the area where the 5.00am walkers are getting ready!

Unfortunately the times you are more likely to have problems are the days where you feel so fantastic that you keep walking, and walking, and walking so turn up later than everyone else but you very quickly learn to trust that everything will be fine and you stop worrying about whether there'll be a bed when you arrive.

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