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Poll: Best time to walk

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michael rogers

New Member
Re: Best time to walk

My son and I just finished the Camino and it was hot, hot, hot! It was crowded, crowded, crowded! It was a race from place to place. It wasn't pleasant. I felt so sorry for the less agile and slower who found refuges full or more accurately closed because the season was too long to maintain them. Obviously demand is outstripping supply. Would not recommend September. Would not recommend any month in the present context. MICHAEL ROGERS
 

Trudy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
(2006) Roncesvalles to Leon (2007) Leon to Compostela
In both 2006 and 2007 I walked in May, with totally different weather each time. But in general the weather is mild to warm and quite pleasant (apart from the rain this year!!) It was fairly crowded but, judging from other pilgrims accounts, much better than later in the year. I never had problems getting a bed as I made a point of stopping in the smaller towns and villages, while everyone else was powering on to a main town. So perhaps that made a difference.
 

Dale

Active Member
I have not yet walked the Camino but I voted for April because I plan to start in France some where a few days walk prior to SJPDP, on April first . I plan to take about six weeks to do my Camino. I know from some research that I've done that there can still be snow storms in the Pyrenees at that time of year but what I'm not sure of is should I expect to encounter snow on the ground at altitude at that time of year? :shock:
 
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Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Possibly the yours is a very good choice because you will arrive in Santiago in may, when the Camino is not already crowded, there's not races for bed and is not too hot. And a lot of sunlight hours.

¡¡Buen Camino!!

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

rafferty

Member
Depends on which Camino you mean.There is a great tendency to refer to the Camino Frances as THE Camino.I therefore find this poll to be of very limited value.
 
I walked this year in May & September. I really enjoyed walking in September. Yes, there were crowds, but the weather was nice & the camino was dry. I know the weather can change from year to year, but slogging through the mud up to your ankles can really color your impressions of the Camino. It's much more enjoyable to walk when it's dry.

Kelly
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
As someone who has always (now four times) walked the Camino Frances in May, I appreciate hearing from those who have walked in other months. Next year I plan to walk in September, even though I have read accounts from many who say it's way too crowded. If I could choose, I would walk in May 2000, or 2005, those were spectacular months. Other Mays have been less cooperative. And I know that there are some people who walked in the same year and the same month as I did but seemed to get under the dark cloud and get lots of rain. This past May I walked the Norte and many people who walked only a few days ahead or behind us had terrible weather. We had beautiful weather almost the entire way. Which just goes to show that you can't ever count on the weather. Buen camino a todos.
 

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
It's true, in the north of Spain the weather can change quite quickly, just in a few hours, or a few kilometres, specially near the coast.

The exception may be on summer, when the camino is more sunny. And more crowded.

I use to see the local newspapers on bars, when taking a coffee, to see the daily weather. As there's a drawing of the area with suns, clouds, etc, it's easy to understand it, even if you don't speak spanish.

Buen Camino.

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 
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jacobo

New Member
The Camino Primitivo (from Oviedo to Lugo) is wonderful. But, do not walk alone in Winter because you will be on your own. Often the path is very far from housing so if you stumble ... No antennas so the phone does not work. Some refuges EXCELLENT (Penaseite, Cadavo Baleira, Polas de Allande, Lugo) some very bad indeed (Borres, San Juan de Villapanada). Near the last refuge the hospitalero has an interesting collection of bottles ij his garden. Do not touch anything because he rings the police. It least that is how you will be welcomed. :D
 

marktqm

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2006)
In my opinion, it's MAY, or just after Semana Santa. Never mind the occasional rain. The fields are all green, including along the meseta, and the flowers blooming. Only downside is there are no grapes to pick yet ;-)
 

bpondugula

Active Member
Hallo

We walked from Ocebreiro in Oct 2006 and it was great, except for one of the heaviest downpours we ever encountered at Ocebreiro.

And agin in March 2007 from leon to santiago , one of the best walking weathers, less people on the camino, but a bit cold at leon.

Regards
Bharat
 

vinotinto

Active Member
I walked during July-Aug of 07, so I voted for July. I don't mind the heat - indeed, I prefer it to cold, rain, or darkness (snow might be interesting, though). Plus, I liked the long sunny days for a number of reasons: plenty of time for the laundry to dry, ability to dress light, agreeable weather for city exploration, no problems lounging around outside of cafes, less likely to slip & fall on the hills, better visibility on the roads (more so for cars to avoid me), got to work on my tan, etc.

But I did experience some scuzzy weather during those months - it rained the day I walked into Logrono, and one of my hardest walking days was when I climbed up to/headed down from O'Cebreiro - windy, foggy, and rainy. The hard weather did give the area some atmosphere, though - it made me feel like I was in an old Hammer vampire movie. I kept expecting to see Peter Cushing chasing Christopher Lee around with a stake in his hand... :wink: And it was kind of a good personal challenge walking in it as well. It sure made the cafe con cognac and hot food taste better during my break periods. :arrow:
 
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Dale

Active Member
That's a great attitude to have, all the best with your Camino. You might want to do some research as to which Albergues are open at that time of year, a lot of them close at the end of October for the season. :mrgreen:
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
>
I started on 9 September and took 5 and a half weeks from SJPDP to Santiago. It was gorgeous, the weather was still warm, the meseta was all beige with spiky dried plants by the side of the paths, the grape harvest was on, it was busy enough to be sociable and keep you on your toes, but not so busy you needed to race or sleep on the floor. I appreciate that many people would enjoy the sheer numbers taking part in the summer, it must be quite a different experience. I would really like to go again in April or May in the future.
 

Dale

Active Member
I just finished walking the Camino in April and May .Started April 4th at Sauveterre de Bearn on the Vezelay route and finished in Santiago on May 22nd. It was a wonderful time to walk never crowded but lots of interesting people to meet. Just by luck I started at the right time I have a friend who started three weeks later from Rancesvalles and the Camino was a mob scene with people having to sleep outside because there was no room, in the Inn so to speak.

Your walk in the Autumn sounds wonderful. I'm thinking of walking again in September and October of 2010 which I think is a Holy Year. Anyone care to make a guess about crowds in the fall of a Holy Year. :roll:
 

Dale

Active Member
Thanks, I don't have a Brierley's, I used the English Confraternity Guide and was very disappointed with it. An Australian friend that I met on the Camino used Brierley's and I fell in love with it. I think I will do a search in ABE Books for a used copy. I won't buy a new copy until the 2010 issue is available.
 
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Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
May is definitely warm (enough) to walk the CF, but numbers are increasing at this point.
This time around, I am trying the VdlP in April just after Easter and see how this fits my mood for a more perfect match ratio between availabity of room to enough people to meet.
September and October sounds lovely if I ever bring my wife...
I will definitely at some point try a winter Camino ! - but solo ...
 
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Lirsy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
My vote:
For the CF November / December & March/May
For Primitivo & Norte March/November
 

Brisbane

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portugues (2018)
Hi We are planning to walk the Camino Portugues central in mid Oct. What type of weather can we expect and how busy is it that time of the year.?
 
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HedaP

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances starting SJPdP Sept/Oct 2015, April/May 2017
Hi We are planning to walk the Camino Portugues central in mid Oct. What type of weather can we expect and how busy is it that time of the year.?
Cool days with cold nights but hopefully sunny (fingers crossed) and not busy. Oops have just realised you are doing the Portuguese and I have never walked that route. However, did travel through Portugal in mid to late October by bus and that is the sort of weather we had.
Bom caminho
 

Teet

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2017, 2018
Hi everybody... We are planning to walk the Camino del Norte from Irun starting in 14. March. I heard that it is only availble from the end of March. Is it true, or why is it closed before...
What type of weather can we expect and hopefully it is not very busy and albergs a open at that time.
Who know... Thanks for reply...
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
I was told by the albergues, that the Spanish favour July/August. I have never done a Camino then, it would be too hot for me.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I just finished walking the Camino in April and May .Started April 4th at Sauveterre de Bearn on the Vezelay route and finished in Santiago on May 22nd. It was a wonderful time to walk never crowded but lots of interesting people to meet. Just by luck I started at the right time I have a friend who started three weeks later from Rancesvalles and the Camino was a mob scene with people having to sleep outside because there was no room, in the Inn so to speak.

Your walk in the Autumn sounds wonderful. I'm thinking of walking again in September and October of 2010 which I think is a Holy Year. Anyone care to make a guess about crowds in the fall of a Holy Year. :roll:
We walked in a holy year, it was super busy. At Roncesvalles people were spilling out everywhere and being taxied to other places.
 
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Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
Thanks, I don't have a Brierley's, I used the English Confraternity Guide and was very disappointed with it. An Australian friend that I met on the Camino used Brierley's and I fell in love with it. I think I will do a search in ABE Books for a used copy. I won't buy a new copy until the 2010 issue is available.
We bought a Brierleys the second time, and found that it is popular, so if you follow its recommendations you will tend to stay in crowded places. If you pick villages or towns either side of his recommendations, you tend to get easier accommodation, and support some of the smaller places.
The first guide book, which was forgotten, hence the purchase of the Brierley book on the second trip, gave more varied Camino legs, but was translated from the Spanish, and slightly unusual English.
 

alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
April/late September
 
D

Deleted member 77020

Guest
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
for when the weather gets hot, I love the heat and sunshine...makes drying of clothes fast..
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2009), Camino Frances (2012), Via de la Plata (2013) and Camino del Norte planned for May, 2015
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
The joys of the broad question...'which route' does make a difference! Walking from early Spring to early Summer as you walk south to north...or late Summer (really late because it can be WARM in late August) into Autumn...it depends on what the pilgrim likes. I am OK with gleaning from the post-harvest fields and trees (I walked Madrid/Salvador/Primitivo from late August, arriving in SCQ early in October) but, storks, flowers and frogs are my 'thing'...Spring it is...
 

ranthr

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C Frances 2005, 2007
Le Puy en Velay -SdC 2009
Via de la Plata 2011
gr 653 from Oloron to Puente la Reina 2012
Gr65 from le Puy to Figeac 2013
Irun to Santander 2013
Porto to SdC 2014
Astorga to SdC 2015
I voted for May because I was reading some posts in the Via de la Plata
section. For VdlP May is the best month, except for the arroyos that can be a bit of trouble.
My first walk on GR 65 started mid August and ended up in SdC end of October. My best camino ever with dry paths, no mud and not much rain until the last week in Galicia. Blackberries along the road, but some streches a bit boring with dead corn acres and dead sunflowers.
October on the Frances was abit muddy as well.
 
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Jefft

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
I walked the CF route from Pamplona, starting in January 2018 and finishing late February. I encountered sunshine, heavy snow and torrential rain ( towards the end). I was well equipped, and not too cold as I am from western Canada, but the heavy snow did make for an interesting several days. There were days when I saw several people, and others where I saw none as I did put in some longer days to find a bed. If you are looking for tranquility on the Camino, then I suggest the winter.
 

Glamgrrl

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Travel318
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
With all the reports of crowds, why is September so popular?
 
D

Deleted member 77020

Guest
Re: Best time to walk

My son and I just finished the Camino and it was hot, hot, hot! It was crowded, crowded, crowded! It was a race from place to place. It wasn't pleasant. I felt so sorry for the less agile and slower who found refuges full or more accurately closed because the season was too long to maintain them. Obviously demand is outstripping supply. Would not recommend September. Would not recommend any month in the present context. MICHAEL ROGERS
Yes, it was crowded especially after switching over from Camino de la Plata to Frances. I walked as far as Zamora then took a bus to Astorga. walked from there very crowded but took my time and always found a place and also took advantage of pensions. I arrived in Santiago without a place reserved. Although Seminario Minor was booked they found me a place closer to the old city. La Salla pensions/hotel/Albergue is a great friendly place highly recommended it; it's like being at home. I had a small room with bathroom place was fabulous.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
My first priority in choosing the time is to avoid heat!

We started the CF in the middle of Sept. from St. Jean....too hot and too crowded!
2015

Started from Leon to SdC 2017 last week of March. Good weather! Really lovely.
Avoid Sarria to SdC during Semana Santa.

Started from Pamplona end of Feb. 2018 and arrived SdC middle of April...
AVOID Sarria to SdC during Semana Santa
Weather- rained almost every day! Very high winds, snow, hail and a real challenge across mountains.

Prefer the cooler months...can always put clothes on! This year we are starting in Oct in SJPdP Nd ending in SdC. Hopefully the crowds will thin. There always seem to be more bedbugs at the end of the season so take this into account.
 
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nordmark

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Del norte
Camino del Norte from the first week of april. Not crowdy in a beautiful spring experience. Arriving in S.D.C. half mai
 

CaminoRay

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
September (2015)
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
September
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
December has been my favorite so far! Would do it again in a heartbeat!

Highest nationality walking at that time was Koreans. They outnumbered us all (not that there are many of us around then). Would love to know why it is popular for Koreans at that time. (Not complaining though, the Koreans are wonderful) :)
 

Stivandrer

Perambulating & Curious. Rep stravaiging offender
Past OR future Camino
I´ve got Camino plans until 2042,
- or till I fall flat on my face, whichever comes first !!
Re December; how was the precipitation index, ie did it rain or snow much when you did it... and did you pass Xmas there ?

I can see the benefits of a quiter time...
 
D

Deleted member 397

Guest
Depends on which Camino you mean.There is a great tendency to refer to the Camino Frances as THE Camino.I therefore find this poll to be of very limited value.
Heartily agree..I did the Frances from Le Puy in 2007 and I hated it...The CF is NOT THE Camino it is one of many and to me is overrated and over crowded. My first camino was the VDLP in 2006 because the Confraternity of St James said the CF was too crowded
 
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Past OR future Camino
To Santiago and back (roads & paths; Tours; Francés; sea; roads & paths)
December has been my favorite so far! Would do it again in a heartbeat! Highest nationality walking at that time was Koreans. They outnumbered us all (not that there are many of us around then). Would love to know why it is popular for Koreans at that time. (Not complaining though, the Koreans are wonderful) :)
@Davey Boyd, you didn't ask them 😉 ? Most of them are young and still in education or have just finished it. There are two vacation times in South Korea, in summer from July to August and in winter from December to February.
 

Davey Boyd

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Again, soon as possible!
@Davey Boyd, you didn't ask them 😉 ? Most of them are young and still in education or have just finished it. There are two vacation times in South Korea, in summer from July to August and in winter from December to February.

Didn't get much chance to ask as I was walking the other way and camping a lot! (Finisterre to SJpDP). But thank you for the info!

Davey
 

Krista Rogman

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?

When to go depends upon what experience you are looking for and any time constraints.
I have walked the Camino in March, July and September.
- In March there are few people and you have time to walk alone (that can be a big bonus.)
It is also a time when it is cold and rains/snows/sleets/hales most days. You will have to carry a larger backpack inorder to carry the warmer clothes/sleeping bag you will need.
- July is hot and dry. There are fewer people on the way. That can be an advantage.
_ September the weather is beautiful and there are a lot of people. If being in a community on the way is what you are looking for that is a great time to go. It can be a challange to find a plce to stay at the end of the day.

My advice is to go when ever you have the opportunity. When ever you go, be open to the experience and it may end up being different than you expected. Know that the is no right way to walk the Camino, also there is no worng way to walk the Camino. Martin's Sheen's movie is only one way to experience the Camino. Looking for his experience can set up many people for dissappointment. Do it your way.
 

Bunny H

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances and Aragon (2016); Frances (2020)
There has been a lot of talk about "what is the best time to walk", so I thought I would set up a poll on this.

Taking into account crowds and weather, what would be the best month to walk?
One of the great things about late May early June is the almost overwhelming fragrance of blossoms on bushes and trees. Unforgettable jasmine.
 

JabbaPapa

"True Pilgrim"
Past OR future Camino
100 characters or fewer : see signature details
Should also be options : Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter -- and All of the Above.
 
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EL LECHERO

Friends no Strangers
Past OR future Camino
2008
We walked from Astorga to SDC in late April to early May. It started out pretty hot and arid then torrential rains started on the 5th day. Lots of mud, it was cold but because of the frequent change in weather I developed an appreciation of the elements. When it was raining I loved it when the sun peaked out. When it was hot, the occasional blotting of the sun by clouds was welcomed. As you might guess you can extrapelate that philosophy into your every day life. ATTACHED is the up hill climb to O'cebrerieo. We would have loved some clouds that day!
 
D

Deleted member 61803

Guest
At the moment the best time to walk is a two way thing, Both should coincide. 1. When permitted by both home and host countries 2. When it is safe enough for us not to worry about spreading this dreadful pandemic to others.
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
In the happy, easier past years late autumn and winter were the best times to walk the CF for me.

Accommodation started to close mid October but some place was always open. Hospitaleros usually could give advice on who/what was available on the next stage. There were no summer crowds and beds/bunks were available. I usually slept in an albergue, often the sole pilgrim, but also in back rooms of an open bar/restaurant.

Walking off-season during those past years I rarely saw more than 20 pilgrims at one time. There usually was a strong sense of camaraderie amongst those on the route especially during storms or difficult stretches.

Helpful passing strangers also gave advice. Little was hectic; without the hordes of summer all had time to share info.
 
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JillGat

la tierra encantada
Past OR future Camino
2018
In the happy, easier past years late autumn and winter were the best times to walk the CF for me.

Accommodation started to close mid October but some place was always open. Hospitaleros usually could give advice on who/what was available on the next stage. There were no summer crowds and beds/bunks were available. I usually slept in an albergue, often the sole pilgrim, but also in back rooms of an open bar/restaurant.

Walking off-season during those past years I rarely saw more than 20 pilgrims at one time. There usually was a strong sense of camaraderie amongst those on the route especially during storms or difficult stretches.

Helpful passing strangers also gave advice. Little was hectic; without the hordes of summer all had time to share info.
mspath, have you ever walked in the Spring?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
mspath, have you ever walked in the Spring?
No Jill I have not. In the years I walked my husband and I ran a b&b/pilgrim house in our farmhouse along the Marne. Spring, summer and early autumn for the vendage were THE season.
Thus I walked happily in late autumn/ winter.
 
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Lirsy

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Primitivo, Norte, Francés, Volunteer Hospitalero.
How was the Primitivo in March for you?

It was pretty good ... You just have to find out how the Hospital section is before deciding whether to take it or go through Pola de Allande.
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
No Jill I have not. In the years I walked my husband and I ran a b&b/pilgrim house in our farmhouse along the Marne. Spring, summer and early autumn for the vendage were THE season.
Thus I walked happily in late autumn/ winter.
Jill,

In March 2007 I finished my camino in Spring. The early blossoms were enchanting, such as these enroute to Ponferrada .

towards Ponferrada 13.03.2007.JPG
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I have walked the CF in both May and Sept. Spring is so much better, there is no comparison to me. Storks. Flowers. Green fields. Even less people. STORKS ON THEIR NESTS. Ok, don't tell anybody else.
And cherries..
 
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