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Walking the Camino at Easter: pros and cons

AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
We're planning to walk the Camino Portugues during the first two weeks of April 2023 and noticed that Easter falls on April 9. Am wondering if there is any downside to walking during Holy Week / Easter (too crowded; restaurants and businesses closed etc). Or maybe it's a good time to go due to all the processions and other events surrounding the holiday. Does anyone have any experience with this?
 
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NYSE

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances & Camino Finisterre/Muxia April 2019
We're planning to walk the Camino Portugues during the first two weeks of April 2023 and noticed that Easter falls on April 9. Am wondering if there is any downside to walking during Holy Week / Easter (too crowded; restaurants and businesses closed etc). Or maybe it's a good time to go due to all the processions and other events surrounding the holiday. Does anyone have any experience with this?
It's an amazing time to be on the Camino. Town after town are preparing for the celebration. I spent Easter weekend in Leon and it was an amazing experience.
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
I've read that Easter week in Portugal is not as intense as in Spain. Those who live in Portugal like @jungleboy can give you a better idea of what to expect.
 

AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
It's an amazing time to be on the Camino. Town after town are preparing for the celebration. I spent Easter weekend in Leon and it was an amazing experience.
That's awesome! Thanks. Am excited to do my first Camino!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I've read that Easter week in Portugal is not as intense as in Spain. Those who live in Portugal like @jungleboy can give you a better idea of what to expect.
Yes, that's true, although depending on the exact day Anne begins, she might be in Spain by the second half of holy week.
 
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AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
Yes, that's true, although depending on the exact day Anne begins, she might be in Spain by the second half of holy week.
Good point...we probably will have crossed into Spain by Easter
 

Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
We have walked the Inglés and the Portugués during Easter week. Just a couple observations. It’s not a crazy time on the Caminos, but we found most of the walkers were from Spain and/or Portugal (particularly on the Inglés). But, in early spring, it’s wasn’t crowded based on what you can experience in certain later months. However, we did find the municipal albergues pretty full during Semana Santa. The only processions we saw were in Santiago as we arrived there the Saturday before Easter. If you’re going to be around Santiago on or near Easter, I’d certainly recommend making reservations now. The city fills up and is a great place to experience this religious day. So, we’ve never experienced any “downside” to walking during Semana Santa. It may be a bit busier, but still most manageable.
 

StevenT

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
CF April 2022
CP (October 2022)
I walked the CF this year staring 31st March. What a fantastic experience. I don't know if CF experience applies to CP, however booking private rooms in the week prior to Easter became quite a challenge since there was a higher number of Spanish people walking the Camino. We walked into Leon on Easter Sunday.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
I started my VDLP walk during Easter Week in Sevilla (left Sevilla on Easter). It was one of the best experiences of my life. I was in Sevilla starting on Easter Tuesday. So, I got to experience all the festivities (including the marching and bands until 3:00 AM outside my hotel). It's one of those sights that you must see in person. The videos and documentaries just don't do it justice.
 
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Grousedoctor

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2021
We're planning to walk the Camino Portugues during the first two weeks of April 2023 and noticed that Easter falls on April 9. Am wondering if there is any downside to walking during Holy Week / Easter (too crowded; restaurants and businesses closed etc). Or maybe it's a good time to go due to all the processions and other events surrounding the holiday. Does anyone have any experience with this?
If I could make any single recommendation to you, it would be to modify your Camino dates by a few days so that you could spend Easter weekend in Santiago. I think you would find it well worthwhile.
 

maruska89

Mary C.
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto to SdC-Sept 2017
Camino Frances-Apr/May 2019
I've walked my last 2 camino during the Easter holidays and loved it. The first was the Frances in 2019 and we left SJPDP just before Samana Santa week and yes there was a bit of a bottle neck at the beginning so make sure to book your accommodations during for this time. We were in Logrono for the big processions and it's definitely something to see at least once in your life. This year I left Seville on the VDLP a week and a half prior to Easter and enjoyed many processions during Semana Santa. Amazingly beautiful and spiritual!
 

AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
I've walked my last 2 camino during the Easter holidays and loved it. The first was the Frances in 2019 and we left SJPDP just before Samana Santa week and yes there was a bit of a bottle neck at the beginning so make sure to book your accommodations during for this time. We were in Logrono for the big processions and it's definitely something to see at least once in your life. This year I left Seville on the VDLP a week and a half prior to Easter and enjoyed many processions during Semana Santa. Amazingly beautiful and spiritual!
Thank you! Looking forward to experiencing it!
 

AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
We have walked the Inglés and the Portugués during Easter week. Just a couple observations. It’s not a crazy time on the Caminos, but we found most of the walkers were from Spain and/or Portugal (particularly on the Inglés). But, in early spring, it’s wasn’t crowded based on what you can experience in certain later months. However, we did find the municipal albergues pretty full during Semana Santa. The only processions we saw were in Santiago as we arrived there the Saturday before Easter. If you’re going to be around Santiago on or near Easter, I’d certainly recommend making reservations now. The city fills up and is a great place to experience this religious day. So, we’ve never experienced any “downside” to walking during Semana Santa. It may be a bit busier, but still most manageable.
Thanks for the tip about booking rooms. Sounds like the timing will work for us
 

AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
If I could make any single recommendation to you, it would be to modify your Camino dates by a few days so that you could spend Easter weekend in Santiago. I think you would find it well worthwhile.
Sounds worthwhile if we can juggle it! Thanks
 
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Nick Barlow

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances: April 2022
I walked the Frances during Easter this year and it didn't feel too busy or crowded, though was between big cities (got to Burgos on Easter Monday). Lots of parades and other events going on in most of the towns, and bars and restaurants were mostly open, but watch out for shops and supermarkets being closed (especially on Good Friday) and plan accordingly.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Time of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
If you can spend the Triduum in SdC it would be an outstanding experience. However, if you do, make reservations, as the townwill be very full. The processions are rich liturgically speaking, moving and spectacular. We rented an apartment from where we were able to see the processions coming by each day or night! So we watched from one floor above ground level.
 
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C.C.

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
May 2017
I spent Easter in Santiago this year and it was marvellous…but make reservations early … the town is packed !
 

KFH

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
^
If you can spend the Triduum in SdC it would be an outstanding experience. However, if you do, make reservations, as the townwill be very full. The processions are rich liturgically speaking, moving and spectacular. We rented an apartment from where we were able to see the processions coming by each day or night! So we watched from one floor above ground level.
Thanks for this. We had to change our CF departure (formerly Sep 22) and one of the schedules we are considering is March and/or April and within that is the decision on Holy Week.

I thought I had read somewhere that there were a lot of Spanish walking into SdC that week but couldn't find it again. We were also considering doing the Triduum along the CF somewhere on the way, perhaps in one of the bigger cities, then continuing on to SdC.

Reading your words, though, has me thinking trying to finish on or before Holy Thursday and then enjoying the rest of the week there.

Of course, as we move the dates around we have to consider other things as we move earlier into March for the start.
 

AnneWW

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Planning my first for next spring: Portugues
If you can spend the Triduum in SdC it would be an outstanding experience. However, if you do, make reservations, as the townwill be very full. The processions are rich liturgically speaking, moving and spectacular. We rented an apartment from where we were able to see the processions coming by each day or night! So we watched from one floor above ground level.
It sounds amazing- thanks!
 
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