Easter plans: pilgrimage to Santiago
Doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter is a perfect plan. Escaping to the pilgrim’s route during the Easter holidays allows you to bring nature, tradition, religion and lots of fun together.
The exquisite combination of activities involved in doing any of the routes on the Camino de Santiago at Easter is why every year more pilgrims are going on the pilgrimage adventure to Compostela in these dates. According to statistics from the Pilgrim’s Office, of the total number of pilgrims arriving in Compostela during the year, approximately 10% do so during Easter.
If you are looking for a plan for this Holy Week, in this article on our blog about the Camino de Santiago, we would like to tell you why making a pilgrimage to Santiago is an excellent option and what you will find on the Camino on those dates. Before delving into the peculiarities of Holy Week on the Camino de Santiago, we recommend that you read our article on reasons why you should make a pilgrimage to Compostela.
Why do the Camino de Santiago at Easter?
As with every route, each time of the year has its charm on the Camino de Santiago. This time we want to focus on telling you some of the wonders of doing the Camino at Easter.
If you want to do the Camino de Santiago from Sarria at Easter, we are here to help you organize your route perfectly. Tell us more details and we will contact you.
The first holidays of the year
After the summer holidays, a long period passes by without holidays. Many people have days off at Christmas, but family engagements and business dinners hardly leave room to find time for yourself.
That’s why, when Easter comes, many people are looking forward to disconnecting from the frenetic pace of previous months. Doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter allows you to break completely with the routine and will provide you with the energy necessary to face the rest of the year, with a refreshed attitude.
The right number of days for your first contact
The truth is that there are few pilgrims who set out to travel completely along of the routes on the Camino de Santiago. Firstly, because it’s not easy to have a month or more of holidays to finish itineraries like the Camino Frances o el Camino del Norte. As a result, most pilgrims perform only the final stages or choose much shorter routes such as the Camino Ingles.
The days during Easter are just enough to complete between 4 and 6 stages on the Camino de Santiago. If you want to know what routes you could do at Easter, you can consult our article on routes of the Camino de Santiago that last 5 days. In it, we give you information about the routes and each one’s characteristics.
The temperatures are nice
On many occasions we have told you that the Camino de Santiago can be done at any time of the year, however, the months of April, May, June, September and October are the most recommended. Easter falls in April, so it is an ideal holiday to enjoy one of the best months on the Camino de Santiago.
During this period, temperatures are more pleasant than in the summer or autumn months. There is usually is good weather during the day, but without having to endure very high temperatures, and at night, it is fresher.
The Camino de Santiago is especially beautiful at Easter
Easter usually coincides with the beginning of spring. At that time of year, nature begins to bloom and the fields are full of colours. After the rains, the reservoirs and rivers are calm again and look especially crystal clear.
The fauna also seems to awaken from the lethargy of winter. It is more common to hear birds singing and butterflies begin to hatch, animating the landscape that pilgrims cross.
There are pilgrims, but not so many
The popularity of the Camino de Santiago has made some routes somewhat crowded during summer months, a time in which most pilgrims enjoy their longer holidays. This phenomenon is particularly noticed on the Camino Frances and on the last 100 kilometres of other pilgrim routes.
If you do the Camino de Santiago you will find pilgrims on the route, but not too many. There are many who are encouraged to do the Camino de Santiago at Easter, but there are not as many as in summer.
The Camino de Santiago opens its doors at Easter
Some people seek to enjoy the calm on the Camino de Santiago, avoiding having to go through very busy stages. One strategy is to do the Camino de Santiago in winter, the downside of this time of year is that many of the services on the Camino de Santiago, as well as its churches and attractions, close during the winter season.
Doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter will allow you to enjoy the calm, but also to be able to travel the route with the comfort that comes from easily finding services along your route. In addition, many of the sights of the Camino de Santiago have extended schedules during Holy Week, so you can enjoy much more of the heritage of the pilgrim route.
You’ll have the opportunity to find out more about popular culture
In almost all the towns of Spain during Holy Week, processions and popular events are celebrated. Going along the Camino de Santiago at that time will allow you to get even closer to the popular culture of the regions you pass through. In addition, in many of the temples that will come your way, liturgical events will be held.
What to do on the Camino de Santiago at Easter
Boredom on the Camino de Santiago is not usually a problem for any of the pilgrims. During your pilgrimage, you will find many things to do, just as we were talking about in that article on our blog.
In Easter, the Camino de Santiago is transformed into a place if it can be, even more entertaining. In many of the towns you pass through you will find events related to Easter, and not enjoying them would be a real shame. Below we tell you about the events that you can find on some of the best routes of the Camino de Santiago to do at Easter.
The Camino Frances: from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela
If you decide to do the last 100 kilometres of the Camino Frances at Easter you can enjoy the processions that take place in Sarria, Melide or Arzúa. On Holy Thursday, the representation of the Lord’s Supper is held in various parishes throughout Sarria.
In Melide, the Brotherhoods of the Holy Burial and Loneliness work all year round to prepare the processions that take place on Good Friday. In Arzúa you will also find processions, but you can also enjoy the Flea Market, which is organized every month and that in April usually coincides with Easter.
The Camino Portugues at Easter
If you prefer a quieter and simpler route than the Camino Frances, the Camino from Tui to Santiago de Compostela is a good choice. The Portuguese route, which in its last kilometres, runs entirely through Galicia, will also allow you to enjoy Holy Week.
Specifically, in the province of Pontevedra, two of the most important Holy Week events in Galicia are celebrated: that of Cangas and Santa María de Paradela. Although the Camino de Santiago does not exactly pass through these parishes, you can always take transport to enjoy them.
The Camino Ingles: More of Easter in Galicia
Another good option to complete the Camino de Santiago at Easter is the English path. This departs from Ferrol, another of the best Holy Week events in Galicia. In this town, their processions have more than 400 years of history and their carvings have been declared of International Tourist Interest.
On this route, you can also enjoy another of the most important Holy Weeks in the Galician community, which takes place in Betanzos, a town that is located at the end of the second stage of the Camino Frances. Betanzos has a prestigious cycle of church music that is held during these dates.
The Camino Primitivo from Lugo
Those who want to take a greater physical challenge will be able to complete the Camino Primitivo from Lugo. This Galician city also has a unique Holy Week. The advantage of this route is that it meets up with the Camino Frances, so you can also enjoy celebrations that take place in Melide and Arzúa.
The Camino de Finisterre
Another excellent option is to do the Camino de Finisterre. In Finisterre, the processions, followed by thousands of locals, go up to the lighthouse. The celebration takes place around the Church of Arenas and as the closure of festivities, the Danza da Nosa Señora das Arenas is performed, a dance that is more than four centuries old.
Holy Week in Santiago de Compostela
Whichever route you choose; you will end up passing through Santiago de Compostela. In the Galician capital, one of the most important Holy Weeks in the community is celebrated. You can read more about it in our article about festivities in Compostela.
Gastronomy at Easter
Obviously, we can’t say goodbye without first talking about the traditional gastronomy in Galicia during Easter. During the holy days, there are three traditional dishes that are consumed throughout the Galician community:
- Chickpea stew: these stews are made with cod, which is the king on holy days.
- Filloas: a sweet very similar to French crepes.
- Aniseed toast: another sweet that is usually consumed at breakfast during Easter.
Now you know all about Holy Week on the Camino de Santiago. All you have to do is start arranging your trip.
To say goodbye we leave you a guide to preparing your pilgrimage to Compostela. If you want, you can also contact us and we will take care of organizing everything for you (accommodation, transfers, etc.). Call us and come at Easter on the Camino de Santiago!