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Active Member
I will be walking with some friends in September from Ocebriero. A bad choice for crowds, I know and have thought of switching to the Portuguese but as it is their first am still leaning to the Frances. Any suggestions for coping with the crowds, timing of departures, detours etc will be appreciated. Thanks!


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2015), Frances (2016)
Stay off the Brierly stages as suggested. It will be quieter than you are expecting.


Staff member
Yes, it’s crowded, and yes the bed race is a real and very unpleasant phenomenon, but it could be worse:

Instead of waiting for hours at 29,000 feet to take a selfie on a piece of mountain the size of two ping pong tables while risking death by fall or altitude sickness, the pilgrim wait for the compostela seems tame by comparison!


Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September 2018 (Sarria to Santiago)
What do your friends want from their Camino? There are plus's and minus's for doing Frances in Sept. Yes there were a lot of people but it did not stop me enjoying my Camino. And numbers thinned out as day went on. I am doing Sarria to SdC again this Sept and looking forward to it.


New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('98, '15, '16 , '17, '18)
Portugués ('18)
Primitivo + Fisterra ('19)
Stick with your plan of beginning in O Cebreiro. The route is far more appealing than the Portugués (assuming you would begin in Tuy). The stages from Tuy to Santiago involve a lot of walking on pavement and on the shoulders of fairly trafficky roads. And neither the scenery nor the albergues are as nice as those found on the Galician stages of the Francés.
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Veteran Member
I loved the walk through Galicia - some of the best scenery around. It is very rural, lots of small farms, very green, lots of mysterious and misty places. You can feel the magic in the air.

Once we hit Sarria, things did get more crowded, but it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be. We had a lot of solitude too. If we ended up walking by a big group, it was easy to take a break and let them move ahead or just keep walking when they took a break.

The advice not to stay at the end of the Bierley stages is a good one. Before Sarria, we sort of took it as it came, stopping when we wanted to, but after Sarria, we made a point to always stop mid-stage.

I did notice a change in energy and vibe on the Camino after we passed Sarria though - things did feel different. People didn't seem quite as friendly and open as before - both pilgrims and locals. I think it is just because there are so many more people after Sarria. It wasn't bad, per se, and no one was rude or anything, but I did notice a subtle change.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017
Your approach and experience with that stretch of the Camino from Sarria to Santiago mirrors my own, November Moon. Despite what we were all cautioned to expect, it was not difficult (for me) to achieve the solitude I appreciated elsewhere on the Camino Frances. I was probably too self-absorbed to discern any subtle change in vibe as I luxuriated in—as you elegantly describe—the mist and mystery of Galicia.

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