Search 57,387 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Advertisement
Camino Masks
12 different designs, shipped world wide from Santiago.
Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.

San Froilan festival in Leon - any experience?

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I'm refining my itinerary for a (hopeful) completion of the Camino de Madrid and a short section of the Frances in October 2021.(let's leave the 'should I?' or 'Will you be able to?' out of this please. We're not at home to Mr. Negative at the moment, and all I've got at risk is a £80 flight ticket, so in my mind - I'm going).

Anyway. I've just noticed that I am scheduled to pass through Leon, and have an extra day there, slap bang in the middle of the festival of San Froilan. Regrettably this is another 'traditional' bull-bothering event; but my bigger concern is exactly how packed the city gets in a 'normal' year. When I overlay possible easing of lockdown, arriving on a weekend, Holy Year and the opportunity for the locals to resume their 'traditional' practices after several months off and I'm expecting to land in the middle of the crowd scene from 'Ghandi'.

Experience based thoughts welcome.
 
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.
John Brierley Camino Frances Guide
This guide is one of the ones that has been around for over 15 years. Updated yearly. Please read the reviews.

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Year of past OR future Camino
yes...
By chance we stayed in Leon for 2 nights in the middle of the festival in 2014. We read in the Brierley Guide that if we skipped the walk into Leon we could spend longer in the city. We had already planned a rest day in Leon so this meant we would have 2 nights and that felt like a good idea. We didn't know there was a festival until we arrived.

We stayed 2 nights in the parador and enjoyed street markets, artisans, music and parades. There were a lot of people, and pilgrims and the streets were full but it was wonderful! If I was walking through again at that time I would def. stay and enjoy the fun.
 
Last edited:

SeattleJen

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances from SJPDP, April 5 - May 15, 2018
I happened to walk into Leon (+one planned rest day) the last weekend of April in 2018 and found myself in the middle of an intense festival. I loved the atmosphere and the celebrations, but it was wall-to-wall celebrants... almost all local Spaniards, very few pilgrims. Even though I'm a city girl, I found day two to be too much for me. When I say "packed" I mean the city was "packed." Many of the pilgrims I met before and after Leon complained that they couldn't find any accommodations and so they had to walk through. I had reserved rooms for my planned city rest days, so I was in luck. I'm still not sure what the festival was exactly (I was told it was a specific Castile y Leon celebration). I was in Leon again with my family July 2019 for a non-Camino holiday and the city felt normal, perhaps a bit empty. I know you are asking about October so this might not be as much help, except that I was in Pamplona for San Fermin July 2019 as well and it was insanely packed -- some streets were impassable on foot. If Leon's bull-bothering festival is similar, expect heavy crowds. If it is still going, that is. Buen camino!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I'm refining my itinerary for a (hopeful) completion of the Camino de Madrid and a short section of the Frances in October 2021.(let's leave the 'should I?' or 'Will you be able to?' out of this please. We're not at home to Mr. Negative at the moment, and all I've got at risk is a £80 flight ticket, so in my mind - I'm going).

Anyway. I've just noticed that I am scheduled to pass through Leon, and have an extra day there, slap bang in the middle of the festival of San Froilan. Regrettably this is another 'traditional' bull-bothering event; but my bigger concern is exactly how packed the city gets in a 'normal' year. When I overlay possible easing of lockdown, arriving on a weekend, Holy Year and the opportunity for the locals to resume their 'traditional' practices after several months off and I'm expecting to land in the middle of the crowd scene from 'Ghandi'.

Experience based thoughts welcome.
Hopefully we will all be able to go. In 2015 I walked into Pamplona and there was one of what seems like another endless festival there. It was packed with people, food and drink everywhere and risers set up for bands in many squares. I do not know the name of the festival but I can tell you we were packed in and it was loads and loads of fun. If they have the festival in Leon this year that will be great because it may mean the worst is behind us. Let us hope you can go. I know I didn't answer your question but I am sure it will be really fun. We found an albergue to stay in that was pretty far from the action in Pamplona. It was close to the university. We were lucky I think but also wanted to get some sleep for the next day. That would have been impossible near the festival. IMG_2397.JPG IMG_2401.JPG
 

Sherpa47

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2008 and 2017
I'm refining my itinerary for a (hopeful) completion of the Camino de Madrid and a short section of the Frances in October 2021.(let's leave the 'should I?' or 'Will you be able to?' out of this please. We're not at home to Mr. Negative at the moment, and all I've got at risk is a £80 flight ticket, so in my mind - I'm going).

Anyway. I've just noticed that I am scheduled to pass through Leon, and have an extra day there, slap bang in the middle of the festival of San Froilan. Regrettably this is another 'traditional' bull-bothering event; but my bigger concern is exactly how packed the city gets in a 'normal' year. When I overlay possible easing of lockdown, arriving on a weekend, Holy Year and the opportunity for the locals to resume their 'traditional' practices after several months off and I'm expecting to land in the middle of the crowd scene from 'Ghandi'.

Experience based thoughts welcome.
Hi,
In 2017 myself and my brother in law arrived in Leon during the festivities of San Froilan. It was the most amazing day! Yes lots of people, lots of marching bands, lots of beer and lots of black pudding!
It was a truly joyous occasion and one not to be missed!
Yes it was busy but only in certain areas of the city but over crowded.
If you can get there you won’t regret it!
Sherpakev
 
Donation to the Forum
A donation to this forum helps it continue to exists and also removes all ads for you.
2021 Camino Guides
Most all Camino authors have decided to use 2020 guides for 2021, with free PDF files with updates coming in the spring. Get yours today.

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
My memory of the San Froilan festival in Oviedo is that (a) the busiest times were long after the usual pilgrim bedtime 😊 and (b) the crowds were mostly concentrated in specific streets and plazas. I imagine that it's broadly similar in León.

It could be a very happy end to your Camino de Madrid, especially if you choose accommodation that isn't right in the middle of the festivities. It's a big enough city to for you choose how much you want to be involved in it all. If it's anything like Oviedo, it's worth the experience (IMO).

Happy planning and I hope this works out for you.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF (2014)
VDLP / C.Sanabres (2017)
I, too, on my 2014 Camino, was unaware that I was arriving in León the Friday before the final (big) weekend of the Fiesta de San Froilán. I had trouble booking a room in advance of my stay (I always plan 2 days in the big cities) but got one at the last minute; and then I realized why the difficulty when I saw all the stages and tents set up in town. I went to Tourist Information and received a program of the festival's events and then was fortunately able to extend my hotel reservation for two more nights. I figured the Camino will wait for me and I really didn't want to walk away from cultural celebrations & events.

The TI program outlined the schedule of the week's events for processions of parade banners, bovine-pulled decorated carts, beautifully costumed men women and children, medieval vicarious Christian soldiers from the Battle of Clavijo; staged singing and dancing; food tents with morcilla and other regional food delights; organ concerts in the Cathedral and so much more.

Crowded - yes, but...

Here are a few pics from my experience :
 

Attachments

  • P1030616.JPG
    P1030616.JPG
    2 MB · Views: 8
  • P1030771.JPG
    P1030771.JPG
    2.4 MB · Views: 6
  • P1030780.JPG
    P1030780.JPG
    1.4 MB · Views: 8
  • P1030916.JPG
    P1030916.JPG
    4.1 MB · Views: 8

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 100 ratings
Downloads
15,118
Updated
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Downloads
7,779
Updated
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings
Downloads
7,602
Updated
Top