When is the best season to do the Camino de Santiago?
Many people would like to do the Camino de Santiago but haven’t decided because they do not know when is the best date for it. Actually the answer to the question is quite simple. The best time to do the Camino de Santiago are when you have some days off. It’s that simple!
The routes of the Camino de Santiago continue to be lively all year round, so no matter when your holiday is, any season is a good time to do the Camino de Santiago. Each one has its wonders and charms.
In this post on our blog about the Camino de Santiago we want to dedicate it to explain what you will find on the Camino de Santiago in each part of the year. Explaining which is the best time to do the Camino de Santiago would be complicated, because depending on what you are looking for, one date or another will be better.
The best time of the year to do the Camino de Santiago: seasons
We believe that each of the seasons has its charm and advantages. It all depends on the experiences you want to have. Below we talk about the features that characterize the Camino de Santiago in each of the seasons of the year. From there, you can decide when is the best time to do the Camino de Santiago.
Spring: the best time to do the Camino de Santiago
All the experts on the Camino de Santiago point out that spring is the best time to complete the Camino de Santiago. This is because in the spring months temperatures are more pleasant, neither too hot, nor too cold. Also that there are fewer pilgrims, since the high season is starting.
To the above, we must add that the landscape is dotted with wild flowers, colourfully painting the Camino. If you want to know more about what the routes of the Camino de Santiago are like in this season, you can consult our article about spring.
Summer: the best time on the Camino de Santiago to make friends
Summer is the date that most pilgrims choose to do the Camino de Santiago. You can’t say it’s the best date, but neither can it be the worst.
Most people take their holidays between June and September, so those months are the busiest on the Camino de Santiago. Especially in July and August. If you want to know more about these months you can consult the post we dedicate to the summer on the Camino de Santiago.
Autumn: a season that is more and more popular
In recent years, the popularity of the Camino de Santiago has only been increasing. That is why some pilgrims complain that during the busiest months, July and August, they find the routes overcrowded. Especially the Camino Frances.
This has caused many people to decide to wait until September to begin their pilgrimage. They enjoy the warm temperatures of the beginning of autumn and a smaller influx of pilgrims.
Obviously, it is not the same to do the Camino de Santiago at the beginning of the season as at the end. Not only will you find different temperatures, but also a very different landscape. At the end of the season, yellowish and ochre colours are much more present in the landscape.
Many begin to say that autumn is the best time to do the Camino de Santiago. It’s a matter of taste! Do you prefer a landscape of golden reflections or one dotted with spring colours? If you want to know more about autumn don’t forget to check the article on our blog about the Camino in autumn.
Winter: the calmest time
Few pilgrims are encouraged to do the Camino de Santiago in winter. In fact, you could say that the worst time to do the Camino de Santiago is in winter.
However, there are pilgrims who want to enjoy the special scenery that the pilgrim routes show off in winter, as well as addressing the challenges posed by this tough season. If you want to know more about what winter is like, don’t forget to check the post about the Camino de Santiago during the months of winter.
When to do the Camino de Santiago
Paying attention to your main motivation to make the Camino de Santiago can also help you decide the best time to live the experience. Not everyone is looking for the same thing on the Camino de Santiago and depending on this, one month or another may be better.
Enjoy the Landscape and return with great photos
If you are a nature lover and you like to come home with beautiful photos, the best time to do the Camino de Santiago is spring and autumn. In those two seasons is when the landscapes are most spectacular and photogenic.
Of spring, the best month is May, as that’s when you’ll find it in all its splendour. If you prefer to enjoy autumn, mid to late October is one of the best times to enjoy the autumn ochre.
If you are one of those who goes to the Camino de Santiago looking to socialize or even meet some special person with which to be able to live a love story, we recommend that you opt for the summer months. If you want to avoid the high temperatures during the summer months, you can also choose late spring, late June, or early autumn, or even late September.
However, if you want to meet new people on the Camino de Santiago, unless you do in July or August, we recommend that you choose one of the two most popular routes: the Camino Frances or the Camino Portugues. Both layouts are usually quite lively on the dates we have told you about.
Have time alone to reflect
Among the people who are looking to find themselves, make decisions, etc. there are two groups. Those who want to live the experience in complete solitude and those who only seek some calm, but also want to relate to other pilgrims.
For those who seek absolute solitude, without a doubt, winter is the best time to do the Camino de Santiago. The downside of this season is that it is not recommended to go alone, especially if you perform mountain stages. Therefore, if this is your case, we recommend the Camino Portugues to Santiago, which does not cross any mountain passes.
If you are looking for tranquillity, but do not want to live the whole route alone, early spring or late autumn are two good times to do the Camino de Santiago. If you can only do it in the summer, we recommend that you choose unpopular routes such as the Camino Ingles, the Sanabres or the Camino Primitivo, although we warn you that the latter is the most difficult.
Enjoy the beach and the sea
If you want to enjoy the beaches on the Caminos along the coast, the best time to do the Camino de Santiago is summer, that’s for certain. However, if you do the Camino de Santiago in late spring or early autumn you will also find pleasant temperatures.
Discover local culture
One of the best ways to discover the local culture is through the local festivals and holidays. Throughout the year you will find celebrations in the villages that cross the pilgrim routes, but if you want to make sure that your trip to the Camino de Santiago coincides with one of them, the best time is spring and summer.
In the months of June, July and August is when more festivities are held on the Camino de Santiago. If you want, you can check our blog and articles about the 12 months of the year (January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November and December) . In these, you will find the festivities that are held on each route.
The people who decide to do the Camino de Santiago for religious reasons, the truth is that they do not wonder too much when it’s the best time. They just set out to do it.
However, for them there are also some dates that are better than others, especially because of the religious events that take place on the pilgrim routes in those days. Some interesting dates are:
- The days around the 25th July. On 25th July, the day of Santiago the Apostle is commemorated. This celebration takes place in different towns and villages on the Camino de Santiago, but without a doubt, where it is most spectacular is in Santiago de Compostela.
- Holy Week. Doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter will allow you to enjoy the processions and masses that are held in much of the pilgrim towns and villages.
Testing your strength and endurance
There are pilgrims who also seek on the Camino de Santiago to test their strength and endurance. If this is your case, you may want to do the Camino de Santiago in winter.
Another option, if you do not have days off in winter is to do the Camino Primitivo on any other date of the year. This route is a physical challenge and is considered the most difficult.
Would you dare do it by bike? In this article we tell you the challenges that surround the Camino Primitivo by bike.
The best date on each of the routes on the Camino de Santiago
In the previous section we have already advanced what is the best date to do the Camino de Santiago and which route to choose based on your motivation. Still, if you still haven’t decided, we recommend the best time to do each of the main routes of the Camino de Santiago.
The best time to do the Camino Frances is from mid-May to mid-June and mid-September to mid-October. On these dates you will enjoy good weather and you will not find crowds.
However, it is a route that can be done throughout the year. In winter, given that it crosses some mountain passes, where there may be snow, it is necessary to take the variant known as Camino de Invierno. See the related article to learn more about this medieval route.
Camino Central Portugues
The Camino Central Portugues is a recommended route for all seasons of the year. However, the best season is said to be from May to October. Basically because you’ll enjoy better weather.
Camino Portugues Coastal Route
Like the Central Route, the Camino Portugues Coastal Route is suitable to take during any month of the year. However, since the people who choose this route, for the most part, want to enjoy the sea, we advise you to do it in July or August, so that you will be sure that you will find good weather.
The Camino del Norte
The best time to do the Camino de Santiago del Norte is from the beginning of June to the end of September. Since it is the second most difficult route, in summer you will not find large crowds.
The Camino Primitivo to Santiago
The Camino Primitivo is not a recommended route for winter. Its frequent mountain passes make it totally inadvisable during the winter months, being totally desolate.
Therefore, the best date to do the Camino Primitivo is from May to September. By the end of autumn, you may already find snow at various points along the route.
The Camino Ingles is a route that can be done at any time of the year. The biggest drawback on this route is that since its route is made over Galician lands, the chances of rain are always high.
It would be difficult to say what is the best time to do the Camino Ingles. If we attend the beauty of the route, you can say that spring is the best date. However, if you are looking to avoid the rains, June, July and August are the months that record the lowest volume of downpours.
Via de la Plata
La Ruta de la Plata, also known as Via de la Plata, is a huge route that crosses Spain from South to North. If you plan to take the full tour or any of the southern sections, such as the Camino Mozarabe, for example, the best time is spring and autumn.
It is not recommended to do the southern sections in the summer months because there are very high temperatures. There are still pilgrims who go for a walk, but a lot of caution should be exercised with the heat. If this is the case, we recommend that you check our advice on doing La Via de la Plata in summer.
Those who want to complete one of the final sections of the Via de la Plata, such as the Camino Sanabres, can do so at any time of the year. Summer is the best time because the chance of rain is lower and the Camino Sanabres is not a very popular route, so you won’t find masses of pilgrims.
Camino de Finisterre
There is no better time to do the Camino de Finisterre. Very few pilgrims travel to Santiago de Compostela expressly to make this route. Most decide to do so after arriving in Compostela, following one of the Jacobean layouts.
However, if we had what to say what is the best date for doing the Camino de Finisterre, we’d say June. The magic on this route is special. To be able to enjoy St. John’s Night along it, we believe that it is really worth doing.
If you want to do the Camino de Santiago for some reason that we have not mentioned in this article or do a route that we have not mentioned, do not hesitate to leave us a comment. We will tell you what is the best time on the Camino de Santiago to find what you are looking for.
Before we say goodbye, remind you that at Santiago Ways we work all year round and that we will be happy to help you organize your pilgrimage to Compostela. Call us or write on our Facebook. If you do not know how an agency specialized in the Camino de Santiago can help you, do not forget to read the article in which we tell you about the advantages of our services.