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Via de la Plata in February

caminoee

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future
Hi all,

I have some time off starting February 2022 and I am trying to choose between via de la Plata and Camino de Frances.

What are your recommendations? On the one hand I don’t want to be alone for days/weeks, but on the other hand I suppose the weather will be much nicer in the south.

Thank you for sharing your experience
Katie
 
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davebugg

A Pilgrimage is time I spend praying with my feet
Past OR future Camino
2019
Hello and a Warm Welcome to the Forum. It is great to have you join us.

Not knowing what, if any, camino routes you have walked, it is hard to say what might be the most relevant information for you. Certainly, the VdLP has much less of an overall infrastructure than the Frances, meaning bars, cafes, accomodations, grocers, pharmacys, etc are not near as frequent. Being winter time, it might be that a number of alburgues would be closed for the season.

Another factor you mentioned was alone time. Given the time of year, it may be very possible, if not likely, that you will be the only pilgrim walking on some long stretches.

I will be interested in hearing on what you finally decide.
 

Sirage

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
As davebugg said, and as it is early Spring there might be discomfort with snow and mud as you cross some high country after a few hundred kms. Perhaps some road walking if the track is impassable. Depends on how wet and cold winter will be of course.

There are some good detailed posts on this forum about the vdl Plata
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I walked from Sevilla to Salamanca February 2014. Five of us started out in Sevilla on that day (2 Spanish, 1 German, 1 American and myself). We met up in the one albergue in Guillena that was open and pretty much stayed together for about 5 days. We then walked different stages and I continued on with a Spanish man. The rest of the way we were alone in the albergues.

As I speak Spanish I had no difficulty but it may be lonesome if you don't. I also don't mind walking alone.

But...this was back in 2014. The situation may of course be different per year and now due to Covid.

On the other hand I have also walked the Francés in the winter (January pre-Covid) and there were many, many more pilgrims.
 

caminoee

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future
Hi and thank you so much for you responses!

As I am not very experienced in long-distance hiking, Frances seems like a better option because it it less lonely in February. Probably it is best to decide in January/February acording to weather conditions this winter.

Best
Katie
 
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Calisteve

Member
Past OR future Camino
Future Camino - VDLP, Primitivo, Norte, Mozarabe
It's difficult to generalise about the weather - statement of the obvious I know, but I got sun burnt on the Madrid in early March 20. So I reckon your plan on waiting to assess the weather closer to the time is probably wise.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Hi all,

I have some time off starting February 2022 and I am trying to choose between via de la Plata and Camino de Frances.

What are your recommendations? On the one hand I don’t want to be alone for days/weeks, but on the other hand I suppose the weather will be much nicer in the south.

Thank you for sharing your experience
Katie

Hi, if it is your first camino, then definitely the Camino Frances.

If you don’t want to be alone, the Camino Frances has many more pilgrims, who will be glad to spend lonely wintry evenings with you . . .

If the weather is really bad, the Camino Frances has many more places to stay, so you can stop earlier, and there are more places to eat, more supermarkets . . .

If you get injured and need help, the Camino Frances has more places to stay, more pilgrims, more health care facilities . . .
 

brendano

New Member
Past OR future Camino
plan to walk camino portugues in January february 2018
Hi all,

I have some time off starting February 2022 and I am trying to choose between via de la Plata and Camino de Frances.

What are your recommendations? On the one hand I don’t want to be alone for days/weeks, but on the other hand I suppose the weather will be much nicer in the south.

Thank you for sharing your experience
Katie
In February do the Camino Frances !! On the via de laPlata , you will be lucky to meet anyone at all! ; I mean that seriously! I've done the Camino Frances four time in January and February and there are still pilgrims ; only a fraction of the pilgrims in the Summertime; that's why I do it only in the Winter. The weather isn't all that bad ; I remember some days 12c to 16c. The mountains are snowy and cold; eh! bring good gear. Some extra rain in Galicia except for February 2019; I had two weeks of sunshine and 12c to 14c every day ; it was gorgeous as I live presently in Sth. Ontario ; daytime high around -10c to -15c and even colder in February. For the Via del Plata you need good Spanish. Take the Frances route; nothing as joyful and exhilarating as meeting up with other pilgrims and spending hours in a cafe ''nattering away''.
Buen Camino, Brendano.
 

geraldkelly

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés, Vía de la Plata / Camino Sanabrés, Camino del Baztán, Camino Aragonés, Chemin du Puy
Hi and thank you so much for you responses!

As I am not very experienced in long-distance hiking, Frances seems like a better option because it it less lonely in February. Probably it is best to decide in January/February acording to weather conditions this winter.

Best
Katie

Hi Katie

If you're not an experienced hiker then your best option is the Camino Francés. There's a steep learning curve when your do this for the first time and on the Francés it'll be easier to walk shorter stages if necessary. I explain this on my Via FAQ http://www.viadelaplataguide.net/pages/frequently-asked-questions-about-walking-the-via-de-la-plata

Best wishes
Gerald
 
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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
February is winter and
winter on the Camino Frances is not a walk in the park; it can be dangerous!

Difficult stretches after storms might be from Najera to Santo Domingo de la Calzada or across the Montes de Oca from Villafranca as well as Monte Irago and, of course, O Cebreiro.

You must be prepared.

For general advice re walking in winter on any camino do scan this earlier thread
 

Sirage

Member
Past OR future Camino
Le Puy to Santiago (2005), Porto to Santiago (2007), Vezelay for 200 kms (2009), From Seville, May (2015), Le Puy to Sangüesa (2016), Norte-Primitivo (Sep-Oct 2016)
I see lots of preferences for the Frances. Life is not as black and white as that.

I suggest that Camino Norte is another good option even for a first Camino. Some say it is more difficult but I don't share that opinion.

The Norte is an excellent walk, often good food, and occasionally some days that might be a bit longer than you prefer but that can be managed. Less people but more than enough so you won't be lonely unless you want to be.
 

w gangel

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2016
Hi Katie,

I walked from Leon to Santiago Jan- Feb 2016 and the weather was great (cold mornings though)until I reached Galicia then 3days of heavy rain. I had a great time and met some amazing and kind people and am looking forward to going back in February this time setting off from SJPDP. Hope to see you on the way.

Will
 
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Hi all,

I have some time off starting February 2022 and I am trying to choose between via de la Plata and Camino de Frances.

What are your recommendations? On the one hand I don’t want to be alone for days/weeks, but on the other hand I suppose the weather will be much nicer in the south.

Thank you for sharing your experience
Katie
I’ll be in Spain and hoping to walk the VDLP starting February IF no serious poor weather long term forecast AND I can plan stages without worry about basic accommodation. Not sure about your walking experience or fitness level but the Camino Frances would certainly be a bit less lonely and easier to find accommodation. I would walk the CF in February having done it and the El Norte in early March but for a Canadian winter is very different vs for a more southern climate pilgrim. Keep in touch.
 

ErnestBoyd

New Member
Past OR future Camino
(via de la plata)
Lots of interesting responses. I am walking from salamanca in February and it will be my first Camino.

Reading all the advice above is eye opening but I’m still pretty set on it. I’m expecting weather to be better (I hope) and I have see other threads of various pilgrims who plan to do via this coming winter also.

I’m almost drawn to more of a challenge that the via will provide instead of the well travelled Frances. Nothing is in stone so maybe by my start date I will change my mind! Lots to consider…
 
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caminoee

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Future
Hi all and thank you for your responses and advice.
I guess the best idea is to wait a little longer to see how the weather is going to be. But I am tending more torwards Camino de Frances or Camino del Norte now because it will be more busy and I’d like to meet people in the evenings regularly. Actually, I have not considered Camino del Norte before but probably it is more mild close to the sea and a nice infrastructure - but not too crowded. Also I enjoy going up/and downhill more than flat scenery so thank you for the great advice.
Katie
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Hi all and thank you for your responses and advice.
I guess the best idea is to wait a little longer to see how the weather is going to be. But I am tending more torwards Camino de Frances or Camino del Norte now because it will be more busy and I’d like to meet people in the evenings regularly. Actually, I have not considered Camino del Norte before but probably it is more mild close to the sea and a nice infrastructure - but not too crowded. Also I enjoy going up/and downhill more than flat scenery so thank you for the great advice.
Katie
Not to put a damper on the Norte idea but check accommodation possibilities as most albergues close in October. Also I don't expect many walking during that time of year. In addition expect fickle weather due to coastal influence. I walked the Norte in the months of June (cloudy and rainy) and October (drier but harder to find open accommodations), both pre-Covid times.

IMHO the Francés is still the best bet for February. I experienced just enough pilgrims and sufficient open albergues (at least pre-Covid).
 
F

Former member 31048

Guest
Hi Katie

If you're not an experienced hiker then your best option is the Camino Francés. There's a steep learning curve when your do this for the first time and on the Francés it'll be easier to walk shorter stages if necessary. I explain this on my Via FAQ http://www.viadelaplataguide.net/pages/frequently-asked-questions-about-walking-the-via-de-la-plata

Best wishes
Gerald
Hi Gerald

Working through your VdelP Guidebook today … even though our walk is 6 months away. We are heading into month 4 of lockdown, so I have time on my hands. But we are confident we ‘down under’ will be travelling before too long. Thanks again for the Guide and the FAQs. Really looking forward to the Via /Sanabres.
 

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