The Camino de Santiago routes in January
Are you planning to do the Camino de Santiago in January? Congratulations! There are not many pilgrims who decide to do the Camino de Santiago during the winter months.
However, as we told you in our articles on the Camino de Santiago in winter, the pilgrim routes are surrounded by tranquillity and wonderful landscapes in January. Only a few are able to enjoy them.
In this article, we explain what climatic conditions you will find in each of the sections on the Camino de Santiago in January. We will also tell you about the different events that take place during January in the towns that the Camino de Santiago crosses.
Doing the Camino Frances to Santiago in January
The Camino Frances to Santiago in January is a very different route from the one you will find in the high season. You will find few pilgrims walking the Camino de Santiago in winter, specially in this route in January.
If you feel like venturing into this challenge, we recommend doing the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. Tell us when you’d like to complete it and other details about the trip you want to take. We’ll be happy to arrange it for you!
If you want to know more about the different sections of the Camino Frances you should consult the section dedicated to this route in our blog on the Camino de Santiago, in which we tell you what the route is like.
In this post, we will focus on explaining what sort of temperature you will find in January on the Camino Frances to Santiago and what events are held in the different localities that this popular route crosses.
The temperature on the Camino Frances in January
In January you will find an average temperature of 5 degrees centigrade. However, it is likely that in the stretch that crosses Castile there are days when the temperature is below zero.
If you plan to start the Camino Frances from Sant Jean Pied de Port you should find out clearly as to what the temperature may be on those days and if there is snow. In January it is quite common that one of the variants between Saint Jean Pied de Port and Roncesvalles is impassable.
Another point where you could find snow in winter is on the ascent to Foncebadón and O Cebreiro. You should know that to avoid this mountain pass the pilgrims of the Middle Ages took the route known as the Camino de Invierno.
Festivals and events on the French route in January
As in most places, January is not a month that is characterized by the great presence of festivals and celebrations. Still, if you dare to do the Camino de Santiago in January you can enjoy some local holidays during your trip.
Kings’ Day (Epiphany)
If you are not Spanish you may not know that during the first days of January, Spain prepares to receive the Magi (January 6th). The previous night, January 5th, you will find King’s processions in almost all Spanish towns and cities.
January 25 in Belorado
On stage 10 on the Camino Frances, specifically in the town of Belorado, on 25th January the festivities are celebrated in honour of the patron saint of the town, the Virgin of Bethlehem. In addition to masses, on that day you will find various performances by local dance groups in the town.
La Borrachona in Mansilla de Mulas
On stage 19 of the tour, in Mansilla de Mulas, you will find the festival of Santa Eugenia. This curious celebration is also known by the name “La Borrachona”. It is a popular festival held between 30 and 31 January, hence the popular saying:
Those who go to Santa Eugenia and sleep there,
in one month they go, and one month later they come back.
Astorga in January
If you do the Camino de Santiago with your dog you don’t want to miss the curious celebration that takes place in Astorga in mid-January. In this town, located on stage 22 of the Camino de Santiago, San Antón blesses every year the owners and their animals: dogs, cats, donkeys, cows, etc.
Another celebration you may find in Astorga if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago in January is the International Chocolate Salon. This event takes place either at the end of the year or early in the year, so find out the exact dates if you plan to stop by Astorga in January.
28th January on the Camino Frances to Santiago
On stage 25, Villafranca del Bierzo celebrates its main festivities. On the days around January 28th, you will find various events in this town in honour of San Tirso (St. Thyrsus).
Doing the Camino Portugues in January
The Camino Portugues is one of the most recommended routes to do in January, as it does not cross any mountain passes. You should know that there are two itineraries on the Camino de Santiago through Portugal.
One is known as the Central Camino Portugues and the other as the Camino Portugues Coastal Route. If you want to know more about their attractions and stages, don’t forget to check the article we have dedicated to the Portuguese routes.
The temperature in Portugal during January
The Temperatures on the Camino de Santiago Portugues in January are much higher than in Northern Spain. During the first days of the year you will find an average temperature which ranges from 5 to 15 degrees centigrade. However, keep in mind that if you decide to follow the coastal route from Porto, the proximity to the sea can create a greater sensation of cold.
Another aspect that you should keep in mind is that although on the Camino Portugues, the temperatures are higher than on other routes, you will inevitably end up entering Galicia, if you plan to finish your tour in Santiago de Compostela. So be sure to bring rainwear with you.
Festivals and events in Portugal during January
On the Camino Portugues to Santiago you can enjoy various events during the month of January. If you start the Camino Portugues from Lisbon you should know that on stage 2, in the town of Alhandra, on January 16th and 17th the festival of Sao Sebasticao takes place.
On stage 15, in Grijó, an event known as the Cantares de Janeiras is held on January 26th. An encounter that brings together various traditional music groups.
If you decide to do only the last few kilometres of the Camino Portugues, starting from Tui, keep in mind that this town celebrates during the month of January the Romería de San Xoán. You can take advantage of your day of arrival to enjoy the festivities!
Doing the Camino de Santiago del Norte in January
The Camino del Norte, along with the Camino Primitivo, are the least advisable routes for the winter season. The high Asturian mountains, with the temperatures and precipitation recorded in this region of Spain make some of the sections quite impassable.
The weather on the Camino del Norte in January
The proximity to the sea of this route makes the temperatures that occur in the places that it crosses are much higher than those you could find on the Castilian plateau. However, the high presence of rainfall on this route makes the atmospheric conditions much more adverse.
To the above we must add the Camino del Norte runs at quite an altitude. Therefore, during January you will find stretches of the road covered with ice. If you want to know more about the route along the Camino del Norte, don’t forget to read our article related to this topic.
What to do on the Camino del Norte in January
If you decide to start the Camino del Norte in San Sebastian, on your second stage you will arrive in Zarautz. This town hosts two events at the end of January: The Festivals of San Sebastian and Dia de la Sidra, in which almost 600 bottles of cider are uncorked in a single morning.
In stage 3, in Deba, there are also two celebrations during the month of January. One happens during the first weeks of January. This is an oxen test, a competition that has been taking place for more than 40 years.
The other celebration takes place in the area of Deba, but in the town of Elorriaga. We refer to the Feast of San Sebastian that takes place on January 19th and 20th.
Finally, on stage 17 of the Camino del Norte you can enjoy the Feast of San Antón in Ribadesella. The celebration takes place on 17th January.
La Via de la Plata in January
As we told you in our post about the Camino de la Plata, this immense route has several sections. The southern sections, both the route known as the Camino Mozarabe and the section that goes from Seville to Merida, are ideal to do in January, since the temperatures are not very low.
The weather on the Via de la Plata in January
On the southern stages of the Via de la Plata you will find a much more pleasant temperature than in the other sections of the Camino de Santiago. During the month of January, the southern part of Spain registers an average temperature of 10 or 15 degrees.
If you plan to reach Santiago de Compostela, you will have to face much lower temperatures. In the area of Zamora and Salamanca the temperature drops about 5 or 10 degrees. The same as in the stretch that runs along Galician terrain.
The January festivals on the Via de la Plata to Santiago
If you leave from Seville, on the fifth stage you will arrive in Fuentes de Cantos. In this village around 15th January the didactic slaughter is celebrated, in which in addition to enjoying pork, other traditional dishes of the region such as the classic breadcrumbs are served.
If you pass through Cáceres on the first Sunday that falls close to January 20th you will also be able to witness the Romería de los Santo Mártires San Fabián and San Sebastian. A festival that has been taking place since 1980.
Stage 12 arrives in Casar de Cáceres. This town celebrates during the first week of January las Rondas de Ánimas. If these dates do not fit into your trip, do not worry, because on that same stage you will find the Alcántara Reservoir that also celebrates festivals in January.
Montemarta, located on stage 22, celebrates, from 1st to 6th January, el Zangarrón. These festivals date back to Roman times. In these, a devil walks through all the houses of the village asking for a recompense.
Finally, on stage 26 on the Via de la Plata you will find the Festival of San Blas, which is celebrated on January 16th in La Bañeza. However, the dates may vary from year to year, so we recommend that if you stop by in January you should find out more about them.
The Camino Primitivo to Santiago in January
The Camino Primitivo is the least advisable route for winter. Between December and March, this route on the Camino de Santiago is practically desolate. However, as we always say with good equipment and knowing the Camino de Santiago weather in January forecast, nothing is impossible.
The climate on the Camino Primitivo in January
The Camino Primitivo to Santiago crosses numerous mountain passes, so in January the chances of your finding snow, fog or ice are very high. Rain will also be present. Therefore, if you decide to do the Camino Primitivo in January you must be well prepared to deal with adverse weather conditions and be prepared to walk the Camino de Santiago in January.
Which events you will find on the Camino Primitivo in January
This route does not have many festivities this month. On the Camino Primitivo to Santiago, the only festival that takes place in January is that of Fonsagrada, a town that is located on stage 7 of the route, if you start from Oviedo. The celebration that takes place is the Feria del Botillo and takes place on 30 and 31 January.
However, the Camino Primitivo joins the Camino Frances in Melide. Following the French route, you can enjoy some festivals that take place in January. Such as La Feria del Cocido Celta held in Sarria, on January 30th, or the Feast of St. Vincent in O Pedrouzo, on January 22nd.
Doing the Camino Inglés in January
The Camino de Santiago Inglés is not an unadvised route to do in January. However, on this route it is very important to have waterproof clothing, since it runs entirely through Galicia, it is the route that registers the greatest probability of rain.
The Camino de Santiago Inglés is an ideal route to do in January, as it does not take many days to complete it. If you want to know more about this pilgrim section, you can check out our articles about the stages on the Camino Inglés.
Regarding the holidays, this is one of the Camino de Santiago routes that registers the lowest number of events in the month of January. The only celebration you will find on the Camino de Santiago Inglés in January are the festivities of San Xiao in Ferrol, which take place in the first week of January.
The Camino de Finisterre in January
The Camino de Finisterre is a route that many pilgrims follow after paying homage to the remains of Santiago the Apostle. If you decide to do the Camino de Santiago in January and continue along the Finisterre route, you must also be very well prepared for the rain.
In the month of January, you will not find any great event taking place on the Camino de Finisterre. However, the magic that surrounds this route is reason enough to travel it. You can find more information about this section in our article on the Route to the End of the World.
With the information we have provided in this article and with the related publications that we have been recommending throughout the text, you have all the information necessary to prepare the Camino de Santiago in January. If you make your trip between December and January or between January and February, do not miss the posts we have for each of those months.
Before saying goodbye, we want to remind you that if you want to have the help of a specialized agency to organize your trip to the Camino de Santiago at any time of the year, do not hesitate to contact us. You can call us or leave us a comment at the end of this article or on our Facebook.