Question regarding a Christmas/winter Camino

Some like to use the vacation days over Christmas to walk… so this question came up on the forum the other day. 

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Since walking the CF in March of this year, we have been planning our next camino and thinking of starting 15th December 2019. That will put us in Najera of Christmas Eve/Day.

We had a few days of snow, including 25cm in Zubiri but we are Aussies so are pretty clueless when it comes to snow/really cold weather. We (me, husband and two boys who will be 11 and 13 in 2019) were usually among the last to leave so the paths were clear of snow, so we never really walked in anything more than a couple of cm’s.

so a few questions:

1. We loved our Merrill Moab trainers – will we be able to wear these again? I cannot wear hiking boots. Would we need snow boots.

2. I am afraid of being caught in a blizzard, especially as we are walking with our children. Of course we will monitor the weather daily, but is it likely to change unexpectedly in your experience? Generally speaking, how many days will we be walking in the snow? I know it varies, I just want to get a bit of an idea as to how far the snow will extend over the Camino during Dec/Jan.

3. Did you find that you needed to walk more along the highway rather than the Camino paths? Can you let me now of your experiences here.

4. We wont be planning on taking sleeping bags, what is the availability of hotels or accom other than albergues? Is there a list of winter accomodation?

5. Clothing – apart from gloves were were more than happy to with our clothes – layering and merino. Any tips? Should we have balaclavas or similar?

6. What was it like walking down Alto de Perdon – would the road be better in winter time?

7. Are supermarkets open on Christmas Eve? Am guessing there will be not restaurants/bars open, we are thinking of staying in the same accom as this year which had a kitchen so buying enough food for a couple of days

8. I know there will be no bag transport but will it be doable to get a taxi to transport our bags on the odd day where we ill want a break?

9. Can we get water along the way or will it be frozen?

Read all the answers to the Question regarding a Christmas/winter Camino here.