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Walking the Camino Frances in Sep-Oct

JoEllen

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
2019
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
I think you will find the weather to be similar between May/June and Sept/Oct, but I did find it cold when I arrived in Santiago the second week of October. (It was too cold to sit outside at the cafes) I've walked both times and had weather that ranged from just above freezing in the mornings, to downright hot in the afternoons. I had less rain in the one fall camino vs the two spring caminos, but a week can make a difference in the actual weather you get. I think you will find the same number of pilgrims walking the Frances in the spring and fall. Buen camino!
 

JoEllen

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
2019
Thanks so much for the info. I was particularly wondering about outdoor cafe dining! So perhaps the addition of my packable Columbia down sweater might be in order.
 
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KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
Thanks so much for the info. I was particularly wondering about outdoor cafe dining! So perhaps the addition of my packable Columbia down sweater might be in order.
I've walked the CF x 2 and Portuguese in Sept/October and have found extremes of heat and cold. I wore sleeveless shirts/shorts in the beginning and the closer to October and Santiago, the cooler/colder it got. We had sleet/snow one year on the meseta ! I think you'd be wise to pack that down sweater for mornings, evenings, and colder days.
 
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2013.2014..SJ/SDC ....2015.PORTO/SDC..2017.18.19.20.BURGOS/P.FERRADA
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!
I walked early Sept the last 2 years,only to Leon 17 and Ponferrada 18,and only had one rainy/stormy day.Also it was 'busy' both years,so I would not be too concerned about being alone for long periods.Good luck with your planning and Buen Camino.
 
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (Sep/Oct 2018)
Camino Portugues (May 2021)
I walked Sept 5-Oct 9 2018 from SJPdP to Santiago - I assume you'll start in SJPdP? As mentioned above, we found out that September is one of the busiest months to start from France, so make sure you have your first few days planned / booked. The first day to Roncesvalles was warm enough, but got cooler as we crossed into Spain. I would plan for rain or cooler weather at least on day 1. The next 3 weeks were quite warm and we walked in shorts / t-shirts. Dinning outside was comfortable. Things did cool off the last week in Galacia in the mornings, but tended to warm up with the sun rise. Uncharacteristically, we only had one day of rain and that was only for a few hours. As far as daylight, that was only an issue the last week when leaving before 7:00/7:30 am, but a headlamp will solve that problem. If last year is any indication, the first / second week of October seems to signal the change in seasons. Areas that we had passed only a few weeks earlier were covered in snow so be prepared for cool weather near the end.
 

FourSeasons

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept/Oct 2013
CF April/May 2016
del Norte (July/August 2019)
I walked Fall Sept 4/Oct 7 2013 (loved it) as a solo woman. I then walked Spring April/May 2016 (it was okay) also solo. I much preferred the Fall. It is hotter and dryer (at least that year) and I love the fall colors, the never ending fields of giant sunflowers and vineyards. I was never alone except for times on the trail (which I loved), very busy and I imagine even more so now than in 2013. Further down the way, I recall some chilly mornings and evenings when I wore a down vest with long sleeve, wind/rain jacket and gloves. I used my headlamp several mornings.

Anytime on the Camino is a good time (except Winter for me). :eek: You're going to love it.

I'm going for del Norte Summer July/August 2019.
I'm so excited for you, Buen Camino :)👣
 
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JoEllen

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
2019
I walked Sept 5-Oct 9 2018 from SJPdP to Santiago - I assume you'll start in SJPdP? As mentioned above, we found out that September is one of the busiest months to start from France, so make sure you have your first few days planned / booked. The first day to Roncesvalles was warm enough, but got cooler as we crossed into Spain. I would plan for rain or cooler weather at least on day 1. The next 3 weeks were quite warm and we walked in shorts / t-shirts. Dinning outside was comfortable. Things did cool off the last week in Galacia in the mornings, but tended to warm up with the sun rise. Uncharacteristically, we only had one day of rain and that was only for a few hours. As far as daylight, that was only an issue the last week when leaving before 7:00/7:30 am, but a headlamp will solve that problem. If last year is any indication, the first / second week of October seems to signal the change in seasons. Areas that we had passed only a few weeks earlier were covered in snow so be prepared for cool weather near the end.
Thanks for the reply - no, this time I'm starting in Pamplona. I've done the Pyrenees once - that was enough for me. We also had like 5 different types of weather between Orisson and Roncesvalles including sleet, thunder/lightning, sideways rain, big wind and hail. I'll skip that part this time.
 
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JoEllen

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
2019
I walked Fall Sept 4/Oct 7 2013 (loved it) as a solo woman. I then walked Spring April/May 2016 (it was okay) also solo. I much preferred the Fall. It is hotter and dryer (at least that year) and I love the fall colors, the never ending fields of giant sunflowers and vineyards. I was never alone except for times on the trail (which I loved), very busy and I imagine even more so now than in 2013. Further down the way, I recall some chilly mornings and evenings when I wore a down vest with long sleeve, wind/rain jacket and gloves. I used my headlamp several mornings.

Anytime on the Camino is a good time (except Winter for me). :eek: You're going to love it.

I'm going for del Norte Summer July/August 2019.
I'm so excited for you, Buen Camino :)👣
Thanks - your reply is very welcome. I was a bit disappointed at first that I couldn't do May/June, but it adds a bit to the adventure to go in a different season than I did before. I agree - no winters for me either.
 

JoEllen

Member
Past OR future Camino
2017
2019
Thanks to everyone who responded. I'm rather now looking forward to walking in the fall. I loved my first Camino (with my daughter and a friend), but I'm really excited about going solo this time!
 

Bradypus

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Too many and too often!
I walked my last Camino Frances in September and October. For most of the way I walked in warm sunshine with just a single top layer. However there were also a few days of rain and a couple of days in hilly areas (Rabanal and O Cebreiro) where there was ground frost overnight and I used spare socks as mittens on very chilly hands! I would go prepared to add or remove light layers of clothing. As for numbers: the day I travelled from Bayonne to SJPDP the train was so overcrowded that 15 of us were removed by train staff before departure and sent by taxi at SNCF expense. The pilgrim office told me the next morning that every albergue bed and most of the hotel rooms in town were occupied that night. I would not worry about lacking company in September.
 

Pam Scott

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago compostella 2015
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!
I walked the Frances on my own 3 years ago at about the same time as you are planning it was a perfect time. Buen Camino
 
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Completed one 550 Miile and six partial caminos
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!
Two years ago aged 73. I walked the Camino by myself (but never alone),
It is a wonderful time of year to walk.
There are plenty of pilgrims around so no fears of being isolated,
Your dates are exactly the same as mine were . Just wish I was joining you!
Buen Camino
 

GaryPeacock

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2018
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!

Hi, I did my first Camino starting last year on 5th September until 15th October, including Finisterre.
The weather was glorious in September, and I only had 4 days rain into October. However towards the end of September colder mornings and nights. I took rain gear and a Down jacket that folded into itself for space. Other than that I had a couple of merino t-shirts, a pair of walking trousers and a pair of shorts. You may consider a pair of light trainers for a change of footwear in the evenings, as flip flops proved to be a bit cold on the feet into October. There were alot of solo female walkers throughout the Caminio Francesand as the saying goes...you'll never be alone. Albergues were open throughout and accessible all along the route.Good luck and Buen Camino.
I would suggest also hat and gloves after Astorga….they were good too across the Pyrennes, but not then needed until Rabanal onto Sarria.
Gary
 
Past OR future Camino
2017
Agree that you should bring a primaloft or down sweater. I walked Sept to Oct 2018 and used a primaloft jacket for the mornings and evenings in Galicia. Had drizzle one day, so my rain gear actually did get used. Also pulled out the light gloves and buff for the early morning starts. Flashlight will become more and more important as day break goes from 7 to 8:30 ish during the trip.

More importantly, 3 considerations- 1. my umbrella saved me during the hot, hot, hot days. 2. You will need to consider drying time for your clothes. 3. You will either need to use a dryer or carry wet clothes.

Definitely consider booking ahead for the first 2-3 days and anywhere where there are limited accommodations. This is a Busy time and there are tour groups and booking agencies competing for beds.
 

Karl G

Member
Past OR future Camino
August and September 2019 - Arles
Sept. is one of the busiest months on the CF...

https://oficinadelperegrino.com/en/statistics/

Check Sept. 2018.

Buen Camino!
I may be mistaken but I think these stats are for how many people finish in a given month - which for most folks would likely reflect a start in the prior month. So, I’m guessing a September start would be a little less crowded. (That may be my optimism showing through as I am planning on starting in September as well!) :)
 

Rover

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!

Sept-Oct is a perfect time to walk the CF. The weather is moderate, for the most part and the crowds will have shined out. I walked the CF from Sept 19th to Nov 4th and enjoyed 70F-80 F temperatures with occasional rain in the higher elev
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sea bed for the nightp-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!

Sep-Oct is a great time to walk the CF. Temperatures are generally moderate as the seasons transition from summer to fall to winter. The crowds will have thined out but there will still be plenty of walkers to keep you company, if you like. I walked the Camino during this time frame and had no problem finding a bed for the night.Have a get time.
 
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alexwalker

Forever Pilgrim
Past OR future Camino
(2009): Camino Frances
(2011): Sevilla-Salamanca, VdlP
(2012): Salamanca-SdC, VdlP
(2014): SJpdP-Astorga
(2015): Astorga-SdC
(2016) May Pamplona-Moratinos; Sept.:Burgos-SdC
(2016): August/Sept: Camino San Olav (Burgos-Covarubbias), Burgos-Sarria
(2017): May: Portuguese; Sept: Pamplona-SdC
I may be mistaken but I think these stats are for how many people finish in a given month - which for most folks would likely reflect a start in the prior month. So, I’m guessing a September start would be a little less crowded. (That may be my optimism showing through as I am planning on starting in September as well!) :)
You are correct formally, but last (early) Sept. was a traffic jam for sure.... I was there...
 

Rover

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis, Fall 2016
You are correct formally, but last (early) Sept. was a traffic jam for sure.... I was there...

It's pretty obvious that no two years are alike, consequently, our experiences. As noted earlier, I started Sept 19th and had no problem with crowds, which continued to thin out as time marched on, especially in October. I had no problems with closures, had plenty of companionship if I wanted it and the weather was good with some light showers here and there but nothing serious. What can be said is that the fall time period is a great time to hike the Camino, so prepare appropriately and have a wonderful adventure.
 
Past OR future Camino
2019
JoEllen - thanks for asking the weather questions. I too am walking solo, starting 25 Aug from SJDP, ending in Santiago on 6 Oct.
To all who responded - thanks for the info, I need to rethink bringing a few more layers.
 

jo webber

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Sept 9th 2017
Sept is when the black berries are ripe. Lots of bushes in the foot hills. :)
We were wet and cold for 4 days, then great weather. It did get cooler in the mornings in early Oct. I just layered and unlayered.
 

Sakami

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francés (April - May 2015), Camino Primitivo (May 2018), Finesterre (June 2018)
The well-known Spanish cyclist, Peio Ruiz Cabestany, walked the Camino from SJPP to SdC in November of 2009. His daily video logs, sponsored by Chiruca boots, are available on YouTube.

https://www.youtube.com/user/expertosenelcamino/videos?flow=grid&view=0&sort=da

It's a well-produced set of videos and great for practicing listening to his heavily accented San Sebastian accent.
Looks like typical fall weather in northern Spain. I envy Peio walking in the fall and picking ripe figs off the trees!
 
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VAtoNC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
305 miles of the Frances, 2019. Planning another Frances 4/20 and will go the distance this time!
Hey peregrinos! I was planning to do my second Camino this May - June 2019 (which was the same time I did my first Camino in 2017). I have to reschedule due to some unforeseen family issues, so I was thinking about walking in September-October (starting like Sep 4 and finishing up around Oct 15, 2019). My packing list, of course, reflected what I knew about walking in May and June. So, I'm hoping I can get some insight from you all about the differences in weather (which will perhaps change my packing list). I'm not too concerned about the lesser amount of daylight - I had planned moderate distances, starting a bit later in the days, ending late afternoons. Between Brierly, Wise Pilgrim and Gronze, it appears that many/most of the allergies are open through the end of October, so I think I'd be okay there. Last thought, I will be a woman walking solo - so I knew I would not really be alone and did take some comfort in that. Wondering if I would I still feel comfortable in Sep-Oct or would I be significantly more alone. Thanks for any assistance!
JoEllen, I'll also be a solo woman (age 63) starting the Camino Frances in early September, my first one! I plan to start in SJPP and go the distance. I'm expecting the walk to take about 45 days because I tend to walk slowly and have had a knee replacement (the other one isn't too hot either), among other health issues. I'm curious about packing, too. What about snacks along the trail? Should I bring a Power Bar or two?
I appreciate all the lists!
 
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VAtoNC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
305 miles of the Frances, 2019. Planning another Frances 4/20 and will go the distance this time!
JoEllen - thanks for asking the weather questions. I too am walking solo, starting 25 Aug from SJDP, ending in Santiago on 6 Oct.
To all who responded - thanks for the info, I need to rethink bringing a few more layers.
Dojo, how did you determine definite dates? I have no idea how long it will take me from SJPP to Santiago (starting in September 2019), perhaps 45 days but I don't want to commit to that. I'm considering booking a one-way ticket, and booking my return when I know when I will finish. Also, for anyone, how early should I book a flight?
 
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CdnDreamer

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
@Evvie Spain has lots of stores. I usually bought a banana and an apple to carry in case I was hungry. They sell yogurt and granola bars, chocolate croissants, pastries, bread and cheese everywhere. The guides show you which towns have stores or restaurants.

The first time I walked the camino I didnt allow enough time to do it all. I was so disappointed. In 2015 I asked for 7 weeks off work to make sure I had enough time. It took me 42 days from SJPdP to Santiago. I used the extra time to see Barcelona. I didnt regret having extra time in Spain.
 

VAtoNC

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
305 miles of the Frances, 2019. Planning another Frances 4/20 and will go the distance this time!
@Evvie Spain has lots of stores. I usually bought a banana and an apple to carry in case I was hungry. They sell yogurt and granola bars, chocolate croissants, pastries, bread and cheese everywhere. The guides show you which towns have stores or restaurants.

The first time I walked the camino I didnt allow enough time to do it all. I was so disappointed. In 2015 I asked for 7 weeks off work to make sure I had enough time. It took me 42 days from SJPdP to Santiago. I used the extra time to see Barcelona. I didnt regret having extra time in Spain.
Thanks! I booked my flights this morning: September 5-October 21. That should allow me enough time to putter along! A couple of extra days in SJPP before I get going and I hope to have an extra few in Paris before I go home. That's an interesting thing. I checked RT airfare from D.C. to Biarritz and it was ridiculously expensive. So I booked RT to Paris and separately booked RT Paris/Biarritz. Saved about $1,500!
 
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