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Sevilla during Semana Santa - To Avoid or Not?

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
I'm playing with dates, and flights and all that good stuff.

My preferred VdlP dates at this stage have me starting right in the middle of Semana Santa.

So my thoughts at this stage are:

  • Great, what an experience!
  • You must be mad, the place will be crazy.
  • It will be hard to find accommodation.
  • Maybe the early stages of the VdlP will be quieter?

Having never experienced Semana Santa anywhere in Spain, ......... I'm a bit torn.

If you have been in Sevilla during Semana Santa, what would you say?

Go for it, or
Avoid it?
 
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C clearly

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Most years since 2012
Go for it
I haven't been there for Easter, but I understand it is fabulous. (I have been in Spain for Semana Santa, but in smaller towns). If you can get accommodation, grab it immediately! Stay in Sevilla for a few days.

(You will probably have to pay in advance, and maybe for a few days minimum.)
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
If Semana Santa is your thing, then Malaga is the place to be IMHO.

I’ve been to SS in Sevilla and found it very difficult to get close to the actual processions. The city centre is dominated by pre-sold seating - much of it empty most of the time.

The Sevillian floats (tronos in Malaga - I’m not sure it’s a universal term) are carried by perhaps 20 costilleros from underneath; giving them the appearance of hovercraft. In Malaga the tronos are much larger and carried by 70-80 people.

Best option is to look for the route (pamphlets easily available - and they’re the same every year) and go to see the processions starting from or returning to their origin.

It’ll be busier than you could believe possible.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
If Semana Santa is your thing, then Malaga is the place to be IMHO.

I’ve been to SS in Sevilla and found it very difficult to get close to the actual processions. The city centre is dominated by pre-sold seating - much of it empty most of the time.

The Sevillian floats (tronos in Malaga - I’m not sure it’s a universal term) are carried by perhaps 20 costilleros from underneath; giving them the appearance of hovercraft. In Malaga the tronos are much larger and carried by 70-80 people.

Best option is to look for the route (pamphlets easily available - and they’re the same every year) and go to see the processions starting from or returning to their origin.

It’ll be busier than you could believe possible.

It's not really 'my thing'.
It was more a case of "Am I mad to be there during it"?
I might avoid it then.
Maybe plan to be out of town before it starts!
I'm not a great one for big crowds.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012 Lemovicensis + Francés;
2016 Podiensis + CdN + Fisterra;
2018 VdlP + Sanabrés + Muxia/Fisterra
Visiting Semana Santa or not. Be aware that the camino will much busier around Easter because many Spanish have holidays at that time.
 
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JennyH94

Pilgrim in progress
Time of past OR future Camino
CF whole & part 12-19, VF 17, VDLP+ptSbres22
Hi Robo -

I stayed in Seville over Easter this year prior to walking the VDLP. It was packed - so many people. I thoroughly enjoyed the colour and the spectacle of the street processions but had to go quite a distance from the Cathedral to see anything. You’ll get it when I say the crowds at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show pale into insignificance compared with Seville at Easter! Here’s an example of a neighbourhood street procession on Easter Sunday -


6227676F-B299-4DDF-A98E-C9E91A6E26F3.jpeg

If you do decide to stay in Seville over Easter, and it sounds that you’re leaning towards not staying, my suggestion is to book into one of the larger hotels - one that has a restaurant open in the evenings. I stayed at a small hotel in one of the quieter residential areas near the University and I found it difficult to get a meal at night in the area I stayed in and during the lunchtime hours the restaurants in a lot of streets near the Cathedral were packed. I didn’t starve but ended up eating more picnic kind of food from the supermarket than I had intended.

To answer your question - go for it and have the experience but maybe plan to start walking on Easter Saturday. Note: I understand that the week leading up to Easter is hugely busy too so it’s good to factor that into your planning.

You’re going to love the VDLP - at least I hope you do! - it’s so beautiful and the tranquility of those paths is something unique - it’s a wonderful and different vibe to the Frances - I loved it and would return in a heartbeat.

Happy planning and Buen Camino!

Cheers - Jenny
 
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Robi Diaz De Vivar

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016), Norte (2017), Portuges (2018), Mozarabe (2019), Primitivo (2019), Via de La Plata (2
I'm playing with dates, and flights and all that good stuff.

My preferred VdlP dates at this stage have me starting right in the middle of Semana Santa.

So my thoughts at this stage are:

  • Great, what an experience!
  • You must be mad, the place will be crazy.
  • It will be hard to find accommodation.
  • Maybe the early stages of the VdlP will be quieter?

Having never experienced Semana Santa anywhere in Spain, ......... I'm a bit torn.

If you have been in Sevilla during Semana Santa, what would you say?

Go for it, or
Avoid it?
Your reactions 1, 2 and 3 are completely correct added to this is the fact that accommodation prices double for this period and so ipso facto reaction 4 is spot-on too. I live in a small village 100km northwest of Seville. My suggestion would be to start a week earlier if possible, it means that the weather will be more comfortable too. You will then experience Semana Santa in small small to medium sized towns in Extramadura where the local are as fervid as Sevillanos and the experience will be much more personal. Seville in Semana Santa is like nothing-else in the whole world though. Sorry this is probably of no help whatsoever.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
VdlP(2012) Madrid(2014)Frances(2015) VdlP(2016)
VdlP(2017)Madrid/Sanabres/Frances reverse(2018)
I was there for the feast of Corpus Christi at the beginning of June. The procession was huge and spectacular. The following morning the streets had to be cleaned of the slick of candle wax from the metre long candles carried by the throng of devotees. An experience not to be forgotten.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
Spent Easter week in Seville when I walked the VDLP to Salamanca a few years ago. Yes, it's crowded, the prices go up, and you have to book way ahead. But, it is DEFINITELY worth it. The pageantry, history, and atmosphere are worth every minute. If you book a hotel close to one of the routes, be prepared to be awakened to the sound of drums and bugles at 1:00 AM. It would be a mistake to not take advantage of the chance to see Seville during Easter week.
 
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Tom Conklin

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances (2016)
Porto (Fall 2017)
I walked the VdlP in March and April this year. I flew into and out of Seville. I stayed at Triana Backpackers which is a popular pre-Via stay and I stayed there on my way home during Semana Santa (Thursday and Friday). There is no comparison. Seville during Easter is a riot of people, processions and partying. I don't mind any of that but I also would have liked to chat more with pilgrims. If they were there they were hard to find. The hostel also cost three times as much on the way home. I had a few chores to deal with, like finding a sim card and buying trekking poles amongst other things and that would have been really difficult.

When I do a Camino I am excited to do a Camino. I loved Porto the second time round and I can't imagine the Camino pre-rituals of meeting people etc. in St. Jean overshadowed by Semana Santa. I would have been disappointed with the Easter festivities prior to setting off, but that's me.

I don't know this for a fact, but I think setting off during Semana Santa would mean the first days would be a quiet affair. Most people are leaving from Sarria and Ourense during that week so the start of a Camino, especially one as long as the Via, is probably not a big priority. In fact, if this is the case, you are setting up a very small cohort. If that's your cup of tea, great, but if you enjoy the meeting and camaraderie, you may be out of luck. I loved the Via for its quiet but I also met the right amount of great people.
 

Kev&Kath

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - Oct/Dec 2021
VdlP - Apr/Jun 2023
Hey Robo,

Will be heading out at the same time, but will start out of Cadiz. Getting hotel digs in Cadiz has been easy, but the smaller towns, on the way to Seville, a little more problematic. Will spent Easter Sunday & Monday in Jerez de la Frontera. A big enough town to experience Easter festivities, but obviously not on the Seville scale. Once we hit Seville…three days of being a pilgrim tourist before heading off on the 18th.

Irrespective of when you leave…damn sure you’ll have a fantastic time!! Go for it 👍

Buen Camino!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
It's not really 'my thing'.
It was more a case of "Am I mad to be there during it"?
I might avoid it then.
Maybe plan to be out of town before it starts!
I'm not a great one for big crowds.
Last year before I started the Via de la Plata I decided to spend at least 3 days in Sevilla. I arrived the day before the National day of Spain and the city was just packed completely. Everywhere I went I was surrounded by many, many and I men alot of tourists enjoying their holiday! If you are not into big crowds then I say get there before or after Semana Santa and enjoy the city for a couple of days and start your camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Have completed through Agosta
I'm playing with dates, and flights and all that good stuff.

My preferred VdlP dates at this stage have me starting right in the middle of Semana Santa.

So my thoughts at this stage are:

  • Great, what an experience!
  • You must be mad, the place will be crazy.
  • It will be hard to find accommodation.
  • Maybe the early stages of the VdlP will be quieter?

Having never experienced Semana Santa anywhere in Spain, ......... I'm a bit torn.

If you have been in Sevilla during Semana Santa, what would you say?

Go for it, or
Avoid it?
It is a scene not to be believed..but it is incredibly crowded and rooms and dining out is complicated and crowded...
 
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henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Robo; man - surely you don’t think that simply making a decision will draw the thread to a close do you? Someone’s allegedly down about £30 just round the corner and that thread, the OP having long departed, is now dissecting international banking security measures seven days after the event.

Ignore it if you wish; but advice is likely to continue pouring in for a few months; then resurrect circa 2029.

(Good decision by the way. If you’re a sevillano it probably means something . As a casual tourist it’s actually a bit rubbish. As someone who doesn’t like crowds, it’s your worst nightmare)
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
Well, I mean, would you advise starting your Camino in Pamplona during Feria?
(Just testing the hypothesis, @henrythedog 😉)
A splendid elaboration of the question, Paul.

For Rule 2 reasons I wouldn’t personally be seen dead in Pamplona during San Fermin but it’s a very comparable question.

Robo; being a sound chap of the type one can rely on, has already moved on.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Robo in Seville I highly recommend Hotel Simon - very near the cathedral, Camino friendly (logo for the Amigos de Camino on the front door), and a beautiful small family run place. We had one of the rooms in the antique vestibule. Not cheap but I know you will be staying at some albergues along the way....



IMG_0261.jpeg IMG_0264.jpeg IMG_0265.jpeg
 
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Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
There are two places one should experience Semana Santa - Antigua, Guatemala and Sevilla. Both are very special weeks in these locations. I cycled the VDLP in 2019. I arrived in Sevilla during Semana Santa and spent two nights there before heading out on my Camino. The processions are phenomenal. So glad to have experienced all of the excitement this week brings to this city. I stayed at Triana Backpackers and interestingly, it wasn’t nearly full. I don’t think you’ll need to worry about large numbers of pilgrims leaving Sevilla. Although it was Semana Santa and then Easter on the Camino for me, the Camino crowd was very sparse. Nowhere did I have trouble finding an albergue with beds. Enjoy your Camino.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015,
2016, 2018
VdlP 2023
@Robo in Seville I highly recommend Hotel Simon - very near the cathedral, Camino friendly (logo for the Amigos de Camino on the front door), and a beautiful small family run place. We had one of the rooms in the antique vestibule. Not cheap but I know you will be staying at some albergues along the way....



View attachment 131069 View attachment 131070 View attachment 131071

Already booked yesterday @Kanga :)
I've built up copious VdlP notes over the last two years and Hotel Simon was recommended by many Forum members.
 

henrythedog

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
X
@Robo in Seville I highly recommend Hotel Simon - very near the cathedral, Camino friendly (logo for the Amigos de Camino on the front door), and a beautiful small family run place. We had one of the rooms in the antique vestibule. Not cheap but I know you will be staying at some albergues along the way....



View attachment 131069 View attachment 131070 View attachment 131071
Whilst in Seville I am usually to be found in the Bodega Santa Cruz (Las Tres Columnas). Easy staggering distance from the Cathedral should you feel the need to repent afterwards. Try the pringa.
 

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