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Weekend crowds?

Steven Light

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (May - July 2018)
Meseta (October 2019)
Norte (Summer 2020)
Our travel plans at the moment have us starting out from SJPdP on a Friday in May and walking to Roncesvalles. I've heard that it can get pretty crowded on/near weekends. How much of a madhouse will Rocesvalles be? Should we consider starting a day earlier? Thanks.
 
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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
Steven Light,

Whenever you plan to be at Roncesvalles in season do consider reserving your accommodation ASAP either in the pilgrim albergue or one of the small hotels.

For various accommodation possibilites see this Spanish Gronze.com web.
https://www.gronze.com/etapa/saint-jean-pied-port/roncesvalles

Roncesvalles monastery itself has been welcoming pilgrims since the eleventh century. Do plan to attend the evening mass in the ancient Romanesque church and the traditional pilgrimage blessing; this is a meaningful and poignant way to begin your camino journey.

Buen Camino!
 
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D

Deleted member 3000

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Worldwide, people start their adventures on weekends, so you will have lots of company. France has a lot of holidays in May, so it is a popular month in general. I doubt that changing your date will help! Just go with it.
 

Steven Light

Member
Past OR future Camino
CF (May - July 2018)
Meseta (October 2019)
Norte (Summer 2020)
Thanks for the advice. We will indeed book in advance. I should have been clearer with my question. I was just wondering, in an attempt to "avoid the crowds", if I should consider Thursday instead of Friday in Roncesvalles or if I am overthinking the issue.
 

Waka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Some but not all, and other routes too.
I don't think it matters what day you go you will encounter the crowds.
 
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CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
I agree, whatever day you plan on arriving, be sure and book your bed. Last year, I saw many pilgrims turned away when the albergue was full.
 

CdnDreamer

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (12, 15 & 18) San Salvador (18), Portuguese (19)
Spaniards usually start in Roncesvalles not SJPdP. So they probably arrive there either on Friday night or Saturday. If you can get past there on Thursday, then you may beat that "wave" of pilgrims starting on the weekend. If it doesn't matter when you start, you might be right that leaving SJPdP on the Thursday may help out, especially in Roncesvalles and Zuburi.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I walked into Roncesvalles on a Saturday when it was really busy, it was 2 years ago in a holy year. A lot of pilgrims. We hadn't booked (didnt even know that was possible). We arrived at 3.00pm, people had been coming in since 2.00pm. The processing there was really slow, took us just over an hour to get our room. There were about 20-25 people ahead of us. We got really nice accommodation in a cubicle style set-up.There were still lots of people coming in at 8.00pm when we went to dinner, and a few still an hour later when we came back.
I think every one got a bed somehow. There was overflow accommodation out the back in the garden, and some people were taxied to other places.
 
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