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Walking during Semana Santa 2024

Isanne

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
March/April 2024
I am currently preparing to walk the Camino Frances, starting in SJPdP, from late March 2024, only just realising it will be Semana Santa. I've read up on the forum posts, and have decided that I can start on Tuesday 26 March, possibly even Wednesday, to be a bit behind of the crowds, and that I will book beds for the first week, until Easter Monday, to make sure I have somewhere to sleep. Should I make any other preparations?
 
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I would probably book my travel to SJPDP as soon as possible. Flights and long distance trains may fill up close to Easter.
 
I am currently preparing to walk the Camino Frances, starting in SJPdP, from late March 2024, only just realising it will be Semana Santa. I've read up on the forum posts, and have decided that I can start on Tuesday 26 March, possibly even Wednesday, to be a bit behind of the crowds, and that I will book beds for the first week, until Easter Monday, to make sure I have somewhere to sleep. Should I make any other preparations?
No, that’ll be fine.

I’d suggest taking a day-off in Pamplona if you can get two nights accommodation. Semana Santa in Spain is worth enjoying.
 
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Walked from SJPdP on Good Friday in 2019 - it felt like just a regular day as there were no special ceremonies going on in any of the small villages before Pamplona. Arrived the day after Easter in Pamplona and it was just another day. Other parts of the CF can get very busy during that time, but our section was not.

One other thing to note is that you will be walking before the Route Napoleon is open, so there will be even fewer people on that section since most wait until the more popular pass opens.
 
I would probably book my travel to SJPDP as soon as possible. Flights and long distance trains may fill up close to Easter.
I'm actually already keeping an eye on travel. I'll travel from the Netherlands, but I'm not able to book anything yet as it is still too far away

Walked from SJPdP on Good Friday in 2019 - it felt like just a regular day as there were no special ceremonies going on in any of the small villages before Pamplona. Arrived the day after Easter in Pamplona and it was just another day. Other parts of the CF can get very busy during that time, but our section was not.

One other thing to note is that you will be walking before the Route Napoleon is open, so there will be even fewer people on that section since most wait until the more popular pass opens.
Reading about the crowds on/from April 1st, I thought it might actually be good to be a couple of days ahead. Especially as there is no guarantee that the Napoleon Route will definitely be open
 
No, that’ll be fine.

I’d suggest taking a day-off in Pamplona if you can get two nights accommodation. Semana Santa in Spain is worth enjoying.
He could stay at Jesus y Maria albergue one night, then elsewhere another night if money is tight or if he wants to experience this albergue (I love Jesus y Maria).
 
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He could stay at Jesus y Maria albergue one night, then elsewhere another night if money is tight or if he wants to experience this albergue (I love Jesus y Maria).


Jesus y Maria Albergue was closed for April 1st, 2023 - So might be good idea to check ahead and see if that's the same this year.

There was no sign on door, just locked. A local woman said it had been open for homeless and needed a few days to prepare for Pilgrims. That's the only info i could find.

Nearby albergues (both full) called around for me but said there was no space anywhere. Ran over to the Tourist Office, who were also surprised by the closure - said Pamplona was fullly booked and they'd been very busy arranging accomodation for Pilgrims outside the city. (super nice staff - a few phone calls later they found a place and 15 mins later on a local bus - i checked in).
 
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Semana Santa in Spain is worth enjoying.
I have heard the Semana Santa processions in Leon are some of the best in Spain, right up there with Sevilla and Cuenca. Any other places along the Camino with good Semana Santa celebrations?
 
Depends which Camino. IMHO Sevilla is forgettable. The centre of town is dominated with corporate or other private grandstands. It’s hard to access the routes.

If you want Semana Santa up close and personal, go to Malaga.
 
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Burgos - especially Easter morning. Zamora (on the Vía de la Plata) is also great.

But really, some of our best Easter experiences in Spain have been in tiny villages where we just happened to stumble across a procession.
 
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Zaragoza (not the CF but on the Ignation and the Ebro) has a drum procession that lasts for hours. Really amazing and moving.
 
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This year I happened to arrive in Logrono on Palm Sunday and it was an absolute treat to witness the processions. There's a busy cafe right in the plaza mayor, so I pulled up a chair, ordered a cortado and took it all in.
 

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