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Winter Camino

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Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
Considering a first time winter Camino, almost certainly on the Frances. Just interested to know when those that have previously walked in the winter would chose to start.
I’d rather walk in cold and snow than the wet etc - so I’m sort of assuming Jan/Feb is (on average) colder and drier than say March.
Thanks for any hints, Richard
PS living in the Lake District in England, I am well prepared for any season on any day!!
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
I have started in Pamplona and Toulouse. Most albergues are closed, but there always is one open in the major stops. In between you may need to find an hostal. Be flexible by leaving your ambition at home. If you have to take a bus around weather (or just stay put), be ready mentally to do so!
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
You are aware that the Route Napoleon is officially closed from November to the end of March? So if you decide on starting from SJPDP then the Valcarlos route is your only practical option. If you would like to know average temperatures, rainfall and so on for towns along the route then Weatherspark is a great tool. But they are only averages: on any given day you could find almost every sort of weather imaginable :cool:
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
Thanks Bradypus - yes, I know about the Napoleon Route, and yes I will expect all weathers ;)
Incidentally, does closure of the Napoleon Route mean that it blockaded, totally impassable etc or purely heavily advisory. Presumably they can’t physically stop people eg local walkers etc choosing to walk up there
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Thanks Bradypus - yes, I know about the Napoleon Route, and yes I will expect all weathers ;)
Incidentally, does closure of the Napoleon Route mean that it blockaded, totally impassable etc or purely heavily advisory. Presumably they can’t physically stop people eg local walkers etc choosing to walk up there
Not physically blockaded but illegal to use - at least on the Spanish side of the border where it is covered by a Navarra provincial law introduced a few years ago. One which applies very specifically to the Camino path.
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
Not physically blockaded but illegal to use - at least on the Spanish side of the border where it is covered by a Navarra provincial law introduced a few years ago. One which applies very specifically to the Camino path.
That’s interesting - so it’s actually illegal then? That seems like a very sensible way to prevent those who know better than others putting themselves and others in danger
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
PS before anyone goes to the trouble of listing them all, I have already searched and read several really helpful previous winter Camino threads on here. Was just after some meteorological info ;)
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!

nycwalking

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF: (2001, 2002, 2004, 2014). Hospitalera: 2002, Ponferrada. 2004, Rabanal del Camino.
Hello,

You’ll find an open albergue every 25kms or so. There are enough open bars and a few infrastructure goodies: pilgrims, museum tours, et cetera to give you the pilgrim feel.

February to March raindrops didn’t fall on my head everyday.

Yet, there was certainly enough moisture to keep my feet trudging through mud and more mud on a regular basis.

Buen camino whatever winter months you decide to walk.
 

jozero

Been there, going again...
Camino(s) past & future
CF x 3
I've started in January from both SJPDP and Roncesvalles. If there is heavy snowfall I'd start in Roncesvalles. Going up the Valcarlos route with a lot of snow wasn't enjoyable and doesn't really add anything special (IMO) to the walk, just an exhausting day with dangerous road traffic. Perhaps even consider Pamplona as a good starting place because the walk between Roncesvalles and Zubiri was almost all roadways as well as the pathways had too much snow and the last bit down into Zubiri on the trail is quite steep and slippery in the best of conditions. Lots of accommodation in Pamplona, easy to get to and nice walk up Alto del Perdon to kick off your walk. Good luck!
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
I’d rather walk in cold and snow than the wet etc - so I’m sort of assuming Jan/Feb is (on average) colder and drier than say March.
Hi, I walked backwards from Santiago, starting 11 Feb this year, and had one and a half days of rain in 4 weeks. There was a tiny bit of mud above Foncebadon, but very little. Fortunately it was dry between Villafranca Montes de Oca and San Juan de Ortega, as I’ve slithered across there in the mud before. However, I was very lucky – no idea what next February will be like!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, Madrid (2019) Portuges (2020)
I must live close to you - LA11 postcode - i’ve walked the CF in February. Cold(ish), occasional snow on high ground (bear in mind you go higher than Ben Nevis), but little rain. Obviously that’s a report, not a forecast.

If you’re used to Cumbrian or Scottish winter, it’s a doddle.
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
I must live close to you - LA11 postcode - i’ve walked the CF in February. Cold(ish), occasional snow on high ground (bear in mind you go higher than Ben Nevis), but little rain. Obviously that’s a report, not a forecast.

If you’re used to Cumbrian or Scottish winter, it’s a doddle.
CA10...our little piece of heaven :)
 

wildrover

thewildrover
Camino(s) past & future
2015 april c/f. vdlp feb 2016. Norte / primitivo Sep 2016. C/f 12/16. Vdlp 12/17. 12/18. Lana 02/19.
CA10...our little piece of heaven :)
Silloth, a great wee gateway! Golf, quite cycling lanes, magical coastal path, British history and great fish n chips. Even in winter, it's heavenly!
 

Rich1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May 2015)
Camino Frances (2016-2018)
A complicated Camino from Madrid (Aug/Sep 18)
Silloth, a great wee gateway! Golf, quite cycling lanes, magical coastal path, British history and great fish n chips. Even in winter, it's heavenly!
Just west of Shap, right on the fells :)
 

J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
24 May- 14 July (2016)CF
Hospitalera, Zamora Dec 15-31, (2017), Hospitalera Grañón Dec 15-31 (2018)
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When is the best time to walk?

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