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What Camino in mid-March?

Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#1
My best friends and I are planning another Camino, this time we are limited to walking only 8-10 days and have contemplated going either on the CP from Tui to Santiago, Camino del Norte from Avilés to Santiago or Camiño Dos Faros. I am looking for advice regarding the weather during this time of year, as well as terrain; knowing the temperature is between 10˚C and 13˚C is not an issue for us who live in the frozen tundra in MN:), because dressing appropriately will keep us warm (though the winds and rain could be a problem, right?).

What I am asking is if anyone has done any of these sections during that time of year and what your experience was, how much asphalt walking there is, and the ruggedness of the Camino Portugués and the Camiño Dos Faros. Is it even a good idea to do this in mid-March? Or, should we consider another route? I am looking forward to hearing from you, and I will appreciate greatly any guidance you can give me.

Ultreîa,

Mary
 

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Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés (2014, 2018), Finisterre (2014, 2018) Primitivo (2015), Portuguese var routes (2017, 2018)
#2
Manoll, I did the Portugues in mid-April leaving from Lisbon. By the time I got to Porto it was early May and quite hot. Since there are palm trees in Portugal, and even in the more northern areas, I am sure you will be just fine if you are from MN! The weather is quite temperate. However, the farther north you go, the chillier it will be. Take layers, as you know, and maybe a lightweight sleeping bag. The route out of Tui is well-established, but I don't know if all the albergues have blankets. I have been to some in Portugal and Spain that do not, and I like to be warm at night! If you would like to see my blog, which will give you a clear idea of the route, start on my Day Nineteen on the Camino Portugues. I included the prior day before Tui, because Valenca, just south of Tui, on the other side of the river in Portugal is very much worth a visit with its lovely fortress there, high on the hill! Buen Camino!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#3
Elle, thanks so much for your information. I have been reading your blog and looking at your beautiful photos! Valenca looks so beautiful, it reminds me of Lugo - in Galicia as well with its Roman wall and the charming medieval architecture:)
As I read your descriptions it seems there are many asphalt walking sections, and, ugh, those are tough on your feet! So, I am still in a quandary of where to go. I love the mountains, the ocean, the woods, definitely the solitude and the numinous experience I have had on Camino del Norte both times I've been on it!
It just occurred to me now that, really we could choose any section of any of the Caminos because we really don't have to make it to Santiago on this short visit. Did you have any particular section on the CP that you absolutely loved and would like to go back and do again?
Yes, I always have a 12 oz. down quilt (30˚F/-1˚C) I take with me to keep me warm:) Wouldn't leave home without it!

Thank you!!
 
Last edited:

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés (2014, 2018), Finisterre (2014, 2018) Primitivo (2015), Portuguese var routes (2017, 2018)
#4
@manoll that's a great question and rather a tough one to answer. Perhaps the Coastal route with its many boardwalks has less pavement, I don't really know for sure. The Primitivo comes to my mind when I think of predominately trails, but I have never been on the Norte. Sounds wonderful and is on my bucket list.

I can tell you my favorite town on the Portugues was Tomar, by far. There is just something for me about the mystique of the Templar Knights. Next would be Santarem and Coimbra. Fantastic towns all out of the route from Lisbon. So any sections that include these three towns are my favorite. Not so overrun with peregrinos either! I adore Porto, though, so I would end up there.

There are so many wonderful boardwalks along the Coastal, and beaches if you pick up the Senda Litoral. If you chose the Coastal, Baiona is lovely, and I didn't mind walking the high shelf path from Vigo onward.

The Central Route has more history, and more rough hill walks, especially out of Ponte de Lima. That is a very hard day. The Coastal is easier because it is flatter but also longer, and has a fair amount of pavement walking.

So there are my opinions! I'd love to know what you end up deciding. My web pages should give you enough info to make your decision. :p
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#5
Hola,

In this period I would definitely go on one of the southern Caminos (Serrana, Augusta, del Sur, Plata, Levante, Sureste, Lana, Mozarabe, Ebro) especially if your goal isn't Santiago this time:
http://www.rayyrosa.com/loscaminos (scroll down a bit for the map)
And then you can continue it some other time. On many cold winter days I check the weather for let's say Valencia in January and they have 18C. OK I'm envious but at the same time it gets me some warmth :D

Buen Camino!
 

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#6
I totally agree with my pal Kinky. March in Northern Spain is much more likely to be rain rain rain than southern Spain. That said, though, there is no guarantee of course. This year, it rained the entire spring non-stop through mid April in most of the south. A bunch of us arrived in Almería around April 11 and learned the rain clouds had left pretty much the day we arrived and I saw about 20 minutes of rain in 30-plus days. So you never know.

But if you head south, Almería to Granada is a great 8-10 day segment. The amigos in Almería will take care of you, there are some good ups and downs, and some tough river bed walking on stones, but all in all it is IMO a perfect camino. Granada will be quite the shock after a week of solitude, but it is a beautiful city and if you are super organized and buy ahead of time, you can get Alhambra tickets. Without advance reservation, you can be sure you won´t be able to get in, unless a tour has a last minute cancellation or you can find someone selling them at a huge markup. But I digress... Another good option might be Sevilla to Mérida. Or the Levante from Valencia, the Ebro from the Delta, or the Lana or Sureste from Alicante.

Buen camino, Laurie
 
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
#7
I am hoping to walk the first part of Via de la Plata in March which I believe, from others on the forum who have walked the VdlP, is a lovely time to walk from Seville. I will walk from Seville to Merida, I think 10 days? According to those who have walked this , Spring can be a beautiful time to walk from Seville.
Good luck with your plans.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#8
Hi KinkyOne, thanks so much for the link, it's chock-full with great information. Yes, definitely going south and I truly appreciate your insight!
Ultreïa,
Mary
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#9
Hola,

In this period I would definitely go on one of the southern Caminos (Serrana, Augusta, del Sur, Plata, Levante, Sureste, Lana, Mozarabe, Ebro) especially if your goal isn't Santiago this time:
http://www.rayyrosa.com/loscaminos (scroll down a bit for the map)
And then you can continue it some other time. On many cold winter days I check the weather for let's say Valencia in January and they have 18C. OK I'm envious but at the same time it gets me some warmth :D

Buen Camino!
@manoll that's a great question and rather a tough one to answer. Perhaps the Coastal route with its many boardwalks has less pavement, I don't really know for sure. The Primitivo comes to my mind when I think of predominately trails, but I have never been on the Norte. Sounds wonderful and is on my bucket list.

I can tell you my favorite town on the Portugues was Tomar, by far. There is just something for me about the mystique of the Templar Knights. Next would be Santarem and Coimbra. Fantastic towns all out of the route from Lisbon. So any sections that include these three towns are my favorite. Not so overrun with peregrinos either! I adore Porto, though, so I would end up there.

There are so many wonderful boardwalks along the Coastal, and beaches if you pick up the Senda Litoral. If you chose the Coastal, Baiona is lovely, and I didn't mind walking the high shelf path from Vigo onward.

The Central Route has more history, and more rough hill walks, especially out of Ponte de Lima. That is a very hard day. The Coastal is easier because it is flatter but also longer, and has a fair amount of pavement walking.

So there are my opinions! I'd love to know what you end up deciding. My web pages should give you enough info to make your decision. :p
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#10
Good morning, Elle, once again thank you for giving me your thoughts. It seems like the Camino Portugués is a must for me in the future; because of the time of year we're going I think it would be better to plan for a different month and definitely spend more time on it.

I will keep your tips and information for planning my next Camino. My sincere thanks and may you have many happy Caminos in your life!
Ultreïa!
Mary
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#11
Hi KinkyOne, thanks so much for the link, it's chock-full with great information. Yes, definitely going south and I truly appreciate your insight!
Ultreïa,
Mary
I sent you that link more or less because of the map which is one of the best although it doesn't includes all the Caminos.
If you want some more links it's easy for me to send them too. When you would choose the route it would be even easier ;)

Happy planning!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#12
I totally agree with my pal Kinky. March in Northern Spain is much more likely to be rain rain rain than southern Spain. That said, though, there is no guarantee of course. This year, it rained the entire spring non-stop through mid April in most of the south. A bunch of us arrived in Almería around April 11 and learned the rain clouds had left pretty much the day we arrived and I saw about 20 minutes of rain in 30-plus days. So you never know.

But if you head south, Almería to Granada is a great 8-10 day segment. The amigos in Almería will take care of you, there are some good ups and downs, and some tough river bed walking on stones, but all in all it is IMO a perfect camino. Granada will be quite the shock after a week of solitude, but it is a beautiful city and if you are super organized and buy ahead of time, you can get Alhambra tickets. Without advance reservation, you can be sure you won´t be able to get in, unless a tour has a last minute cancellation or you can find someone selling them at a huge markup. But I digress... Another good option might be Sevilla to Mérida. Or the Levante from Valencia, the Ebro from the Delta, or the Lana or Sureste from Alicante.

Buen camino, Laurie
I totally agree with my pal Kinky. March in Northern Spain is much more likely to be rain rain rain than southern Spain. That said, though, there is no guarantee of course. This year, it rained the entire spring non-stop through mid April in most of the south. A bunch of us arrived in Almería around April 11 and learned the rain clouds had left pretty much the day we arrived and I saw about 20 minutes of rain in 30-plus days. So you never know.

But if you head south, Almería to Granada is a great 8-10 day segment. The amigos in Almería will take care of you, there are some good ups and downs, and some tough river bed walking on stones, but all in all it is IMO a perfect camino. Granada will be quite the shock after a week of solitude, but it is a beautiful city and if you are super organized and buy ahead of time, you can get Alhambra tickets. Without advance reservation, you can be sure you won´t be able to get in, unless a tour has a last minute cancellation or you can find someone selling them at a huge markup. But I digress... Another good option might be Sevilla to Mérida. Or the Levante from Valencia, the Ebro from the Delta, or the Lana or Sureste from Alicante

Buen camino, Laurie
Hi again, Laurie, your insight is always right on! Thanks for all the options you've given me:) As I read, the one that calls me the most is the one you suggest from Almería to Granada. It looks lovely, with very little, if any asphalt walking, and most of all the solitude I enjoy the most. A concern I have as I read is lodging, is it readily available? What if I have to stop earlier than the recommended mileage for the day? That's my only question, because when I walked the Sanabrés I was surprised to find many small villages without a bar, café, or even a small ultramarinos store.

The Alhambra is a magical place and I've been there many times and have never gotten tired of it! My friends would love it, and since they haven't been to Andalucía, this would be a wonderful introduction:) along with a hammam in Granada (would be a proper reward for hard work at the end of a Camino!

Laurie, my sincere thanks and I look forward to hearing more about the route:)


Ultreîa,

Mary
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#13
I am hoping to walk the first part of Via de la Plata in March which I believe, from others on the forum who have walked the VdlP, is a lovely time to walk from Seville. I will walk from Seville to Merida, I think 10 days? According to those who have walked this , Spring can be a beautiful time to walk from Seville.
Good luck with your plans.
Thank you laineylainey for your recommendation! I will discuss this with my friends. This section of VdLP also seems like an alluring Camino for our 8-10 days. Walking through Andalucía is a great way to discover the most beautiful and magical secrets it holds, and the weather during this time will be ideal:)
Buen Camino to you!


Ultreïa!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte 2013
Camino Primitivo 2013
Camino Sanabrés from Zamora 2016
Camino del Norte 2018
#14
I sent you that link more or less because of the map which is one of the best although it doesn't includes all the Caminos.
If you want some more links it's easy for me to send them too. When you would choose the route it would be even easier ;)

Happy planning!
Hi KinkyOne, as I read the different options everyone has sent my inclination is to go from Almería to Granada. If you have any information on that section that might include geographical terrain, albergues, etc. that would be fantastic!
 
#16
Hi again, Laurie, your insight is always right on! Thanks for all the options you've given me:) As I read, the one that calls me the most is the one you suggest from Almería to Granada. It looks lovely, with very little, if any asphalt walking, and most of all the solitude I enjoy the most. A concern I have as I read is lodging, is it readily available? What if I have to stop earlier than the recommended mileage for the day? That's my only question, because when I walked the Sanabrés I was surprised to find many small villages without a bar, café, or even a small ultramarinos store.

The Alhambra is a magical place and I've been there many times and have never gotten tired of it! My friends would love it, and since they haven't been to Andalucía, this would be a wonderful introduction:) along with a hammam in Granada (would be a proper reward for hard work at the end of a Camino!

Laurie, my sincere thanks and I look forward to hearing more about the route:)

Ultreîa,

Mary
Hi, Mary,
The best source for starters is the online guide put out by the Association. Over on the right side of their web page is the most up to date version of the guide. They update it very regularly, at least once every month or so, more frequently in "high season." They've even put some English language comments in there! http://www.almeriajacobea.es/

In April, when there were about 15 forum members on the Mozarabe, Verónica, Mercedes and others were fabulous, even going so far as to transport inflatable mattresses up and down the camino to meet the bulge in certain albergues. The sub-forum on the Mozárabe has a lot of good info -- including stages from a bunch of us and links to Maggie's blog -- as always loaded with detail, pictures, etc.

You are absolutely right about there being gaps between towns, but scrolling through the guide the only place that jumps out as really long is the one stage the day before going into Granada. La Peza to Quéntar is 27 kms, but almost all off road and lots of beautiful mountain views (in March I assume you will have views of snow capped mountains like we did in April).

This is harder than your average camino, but I loved it. EXCEPT for those rocky river beds, but I will tell you that trail runners and their cushioning made a huge difference. I would not have wanted to walk those many kms on so many rocks in hiking shoes or boots.

There are lots of us here with varying perspectives, so you should feel free to ask lots of Mozárabe questions. But the other options are great too! Buen camino, Laurie
 

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