Climate on the Camino de Santiago
The weather and climate on the Camino de Santiago varies considerably between one month and another; and temperatures can be very different between routes.
Each season has its own climatic conditions and its particular charm on the pilgrim routes, but you must be prepared to face the challenges posed by the climate on each of them.
That is why in Santiago Ways we have decided to dedicate this post to talk to you about the temperature and the climatology on the Camino de Santiago so that you know the weather that you will encounter on the various pilgrimage routes throughout the year. Take note and prepare your luggage properly!
The climate on the Camino Frances
Most of the regions that cross the Camino Frances have a continental Mediterranean climate. That means that on this route, you will find long and cold winters, especially on the Castile plateau, where there are strong contrasts between day and night. Short but pleasant summers, ideal for walking.
If you are interested in doing the French route, we recommend the Camino de Santiago from Sarria. If you need help with planning, tell us the details you want to incorporate into your trip and let us organize a tailor-made adventure for you.
The coldest months on this route are January and February, when the temperature usually fluctuates around 5 degrees Celsius. Except on the Castile plateau, where temperatures below 0 degrees are usually recorded.
In these two months of the year special caution should be exercised in the mountain passes of Foncebadon and O Cebreiro, since the climate of the Camino Frances at these stages is very more severe during the winter and it is usual that the trails are blocked by snow. During those months of the year it is best to take the alternative route known as the Camino de Invierno.
From March, the weather begins to be more pleasant on the Camino Frances. At the end of the month, average temperatures between 13 and 14 degrees are typically recorded in most regions.
In the following months, the temperature will continue to rise to peak in August at 25 or 30 degrees. From September the thermometers slowly decrease again.
In September and October there are still pleasant temperatures ranging from 15 to 20 degrees centigrade. The last months of the year (November and December), on the Camino Frances you will find temperatures ranging between 5 and 15 degrees.
The weather on the Camino Portugues
Two routes run along the Camino de Santiago de Portugal: the central section and the coastal path. Both have a continental Atlantic climate.
Temperatures in the regions that the Camino Portugues crosses are mild most of the year and the chances of rain are low, although these increase as you approach Galicia.
During the first months of the year the climate on the Camino Portugues is relatively warmer than in Spain, around temperatures 10 or 15 degrees centigrade. The Camino Portugues Coastal Route also enjoys these warm temperatures in winter, but the proximity to the sea can generate a greater sensation of cold.
In March and April, the weather is even more pleasant on the Camino Portugues and the thermometers reach 20 degrees. During these months the Camino de la Costa is an excellent option, as it allows you to enjoy sunny days and the sea breeze.
Between May and August, the most pleasant temperatures are recorded on this route. Thermometers hover around 25 degrees, without reaching 30 degrees or more that are recorded in other regions of Spain. This pleasant and warm weather is recorded on the Camino Portugues until November, when temperatures drop again, to be between 15 and 18 degrees centigrade.
Weather forecast on the Camino de Santiago
The two oldest routes on the Camino de Santiago run through the north of Spain: The Camino del Norte and the Camino Primitivo. In the regions that cross these two paths of the Camino de Santiago you can enjoy an oceanic climate, characterized by mild temperatures.
However, the high proportion of regions with a mountain climate means that both routes have a rather adverse climate during the winter. It is also important to note that on both paths there is abundant rainfall during much of the year.
The climate in winter
Both the Camino Primitivo and the Camino del Norte cross numerous mountain passes, so in the winter months finding ice or snow on the path is quite common. Between the two paths, the easiest to cross is the Camino del Norte, leaving the Camino Primitivo completely isolated.
The route in the Camino del Norte, which runs along the Cantabrian mountain range, enjoys higher temperatures during the winter than other sections of the Camino de Santiago, since the proximity to the sea acts as a temperature regulator. Thus, despite the snow in the mountain passes and the high rainfall in winter, this route on the Camino de Santiago has higher temperatures than those recorded in the Castile plateau, for example.
From the end of March, the temperature begins to rise and the Camino Primitivo becomes passable again. On the Camino del Norte the climate also gets warmer, reaching temperatures of 15 degrees centigrade, during sunnier days.
With the arrival of April, both routes are once again travelled by pilgrims. In the warmer years, snow and ice has disappeared from most mountain passes. The only drawback of this time of year is that it is the most likely time when rain is recorded on both routes.
Spring, summer and autumn
Doing the Camino de Santiago in May or September is ideal for pilgrimage as the temperatures are more pleasant. During these months the climate is more benevolent, with warm days, but not as hot as in other parts of Spain.
In October, the weather varies substantially between the Camino del Norte and the Camino Primitivo. On the Ruta de La Costa you can still enjoy pleasant temperatures, while on the Camino Primitivo, thermometers drop to 12 degrees.
Between November and December, the Camino Primitivo becomes empty again, and only the most adventurous dare to travel it. The season on the Camino del Norte is a little longer, but during the last months of the year the rainfall in this area of Spain increases again.
La Via de la Plata: weather and climate
La Via de la Plata is the route that has the best climate during the winter. While temperatures of 10 degrees or less are recorded in the north of the peninsular, thermometers still show temperatures of around 15 or 18 degrees in the southern regions.
The best weather to do this route of the Camino de Santiago will be found between the months of March and May. From the end of June, this route is not so recommended since in the south of Spain there are very high temperatures that can even exceed 40 degrees.
The greenery on the Camino Ingles and its atmospheric conditions
The stages on the Camino Ingles are popular for the spectacular greenery of its landscapes. This beautiful landscape can only be explained by the characteristics of the humid climate that are recorded in the regions that cross this route of the Camino de Santiago.
If there is a route with a chance of rain, that would be the Camino Ingles. During the first months of the year, the Camino Ingles records minimum temperatures of 5 or 8 degrees and maximums of 15.
It is not until well into June when thermometers often start to reach 20 degrees. However, given the scenic beauty of this route, doing it in spring, with the fields in bloom, is an excellent option. You only need to have some warm clothes and a good waterproof jacket.
We hope that knowing the weather and climate that is recorded on the different routes of the Camino de Santiago will help you choose the best time of year for you. We do not want to say goodbye without first reminding you that if you are looking for an agency specialized in pilgrim routes that will help you organize your trip; in Santiago Ways we will be happy to assist you.
You can contact us at any time of the year, through the form on our website or by calling us directly. Another option is to leave us a comment on any article on our blog or write to our Facebook page. Our team will help you resolve all your doubts.