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Plata vs Frances in Oct/Nov

stayathomegypsy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2003, Oct 2007, Oct 2018 (?)
Hello! This fall I will be walking the Camino for the 3rd time (2003, 2007) - in 2003 I walked the Frances in May and in 2007 in Aug/Sept. This year, I will be arriving in Spain in early to mid October. I am worried I will be starting too late as I have read albergues close in Nov?

Also. . .I am having a really hard time decided between walking the Frances route again or changing to La Plata this time. I have read about La Plata but still cannot get a good feel for it. Is it as beautiful? As charged with energy? As well marked?

I would love others' opinions on both walking in Oct/Nov and also Plata vs Frances. . .or if there is another route entirely I should consider during this time of year?

Thank you so much and buen camino :)
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

domigee

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(x4), Fisterra/Muxía(x2), VdlP, Jerusalem, VF, Walsingham,
C inglés. 2019? Via Tolosana
Also. . .I am having a really hard time decided between walking the Frances route again or changing to La Plata this time. I have read about La Plata but still cannot get a good feel for it. Is it as beautiful? As charged with energy? As well marked?

I would love others' opinions on both walking in Oct/Nov and also Plata vs Frances. . .or if there is another route entirely I should consider during this time of year?

Thank you so much and buen camino :)
Hi and welcome!
I have walked both and they are completely different so it's very hard for me to compare... Besides, it's all subjective, you will find people on here with so many different opinions....
You won't know until you try it for yourself. ;) I wanted to discover a different Camino so went for the VdlP, I didn't enjoy it as much but it was in the Summer and VERY hot... I also walked it with my husband which makes for a totally different experience. :D
Sorry it is not more helpful. I'd go with your gut instinct. Whichever you choose with be a unique experience and certainly not wasted time. It's a win win really! Buen camino :)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
@stayathomegypsy I know how you feel. I walked the CF 3 times before branching out. I then did a bunch of other caminos, but have been back and have walked it twice more. It did not disappoint - I still love it. It also changes completely with the seasons.

I started walking the Vdlp this year, but pulled out due to plantar fasciitis. It is very different to the CF and I can't say that I really enjoyed it, but that may have been the circumstances. I do feel that it is something I need to do - possibly out of perversity - but in spring, following the sun as it moves north.
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016). Seville-Astorga (Mar 2017). Mozarabe (Apr-May 2018)
October-November is great on the Camino Frances, and you will have no trouble finding accommodation. Just don't assume that the only albergue in a tiny village will always be open.

The VdlP is captivating but in a very different way but I'm not sure that October-November would be as good as March-April. You could try starting in Merida and see if you like it. If not, get a bus to the Frances.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I loved VDLP this April, absolutely beautiful dehesa landscape. But not "charged with energy", just good old long distance walking, with little opportunity for rest or fresh water between albergues.
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
I have walked Francais 4 times, Norte 0nce and then again from SS to Bilbao. VDLP this year. I enjoyed the Norte most of all but love the Francais for its social aspect. Have to admit I did not enjoy VDLP as much as the others, maybe because it is so long and the diversions due to the railway line. October is a great month to walk. Buen Camino!
 

lordhowe

Member
Hello! This fall I will be walking the Camino for the 3rd time (2003, 2007) - in 2003 I walked the Frances in May and in 2007 in Aug/Sept. This year, I will be arriving in Spain in early to mid October. I am worried I will be starting too late as I have read albergues close in Nov?

Also. . .I am having a really hard time decided between walking the Frances route again or changing to La Plata this time. I have read about La Plata but still cannot get a good feel for it. Is it as beautiful? As charged with energy? As well marked?

I would love others' opinions on both walking in Oct/Nov and also Plata vs Frances. . .or if there is another route entirely I should consider during this time of year?

Thank you so much and buen camino :)
Hi.
Have walked the Frances 3 times. Last year we started from Pamplona on 7 Oct. My wife was worrying it was too late to start but it turned out ti be the most perfect time weatherwise and lower pilgrim numbers. For me late September to early October would always be my prefered start time. After a total of 7 Caminos that would be my choice

I walked Via de La Plata this year starting mid April. Had read some not so positive things which did have me wondering if I was choosing the right Camino but I thought I could always jump up to the Frances if like others wrote I didn't like it.
I loved it and will go back again. A different Camino and landscape... fewer pilgrims . It was very special. If you have done the Frances... maybe try something different? You can always jump onto the Frances later if you dont like it.
Buen Camino
 

sharon w

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2007
Camino Portugues 2009
Via Podiensis, Camino Frances, Camino Finisterre 2012
Cammino di Assisi 2014
Via Podiensis, Camino del Norte, Camino Frances(Astorga to Santiago) 2015
Aussie Camino 2016
Love walking in October/November. Have walked the Norte and Frances at this time. There are less people than in May through to September. We walked the VdlP in spring this year and it was beautiful.
 

jhamsuy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2017
We will be walking the Arogones /Frances starting early October. May follow the Camino Invierno for the final stretch. I like solitude, but The VPlata seemed a little too lonely. We decided against it in favor of the other.
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
I walked the Via last year starting in late September through October and the start of November. (Slow walker ;)). I loved the Via - so beautiful - so challenging. A really great experience. A little after Zamora you can choose to turn left on the Camino Sanabres or walk to Astorga and complete your pilgrimage on the Frances. (So the best of both worlds in a way.) I chose the Astorga option but I'm heading back in September to walk the beautiful Sanabres. Buen Camino whatever you choose.
 

Laura844

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (2017)
I walked the Via last year starting in late September through October and the start of November. (Slow walker ;)). I loved the Via - so beautiful - so challenging. A really great experience. A little after Zamora you can choose to turn left on the Camino Sanabres or walk to Astorga and complete your pilgrimage on the Frances. (So the best of both worlds in a way.) I chose the Astorga option but I'm heading back in September to walk the beautiful Sanabres. Buen Camino whatever you choose.
Hello Levi!
Your post has made me feel so much better about the Via de la Plata. I will be starting on the 1st of October from Merida.
Can you tell me what was something that really stood out for you about this way?
My fears have not been so much the solitude of walking but maybe not finding many people even in the evenings. I am planning on spending 6 weeks doing the walk. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

Kind regards,
Laura
 

Levi

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015
VDLP 2016
Portuguese March 2017
Sanabres September 2017
Madrid September 2018
Hi Laura. Actually I find it quite hard to define what really stood out for me about the Via. I think it was a mix of things - the gorgeous countryside, the feeling of really being immersed in rural Spain, the cities of Merida and Caceres, the great pilgrims met along the way, a sense of personal challenge....
It's not easy, though - and there were days and a few nights alone.
There are some great blogs in the Via section here. Check out LesBrass and some of others of you haven't done so already.
Buen Camino!
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Hello Levi!
Your post has made me feel so much better about the Via de la Plata. I will be starting on the 1st of October from Merida.
Laura it gets under your skin... it seeps in when you're not looking... and you carry it around with you forever :rolleyes: It is a stunning walk... so much history... a landscape that is forever changing... one day the flatlands then forest then hills. The Sanabres is stunning too... I would walk both again in a heartbeat if I could (actually pencilled in spring 2020 :D:D:D )

It is a difficult walk, there is way less infrasctructure and certainly fewer people... but still, there is something about it. When I walked the CF I felt as though nothing could top that experience... I was wrong!

Buen Camino!
 

stayathomegypsy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2003, Oct 2007, Oct 2018 (?)
Thank you everyone - great insights! Still have not decided - much to think about. Cannot wait to be on the road again.
 

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