When Is the Best Time to Walk the Camino de Santiago
While every season on the Camino has its own beauty, most pilgrims choose spring or late summer as most people prefer mild temperatures. Temperatures gently rise from 10-ish to 20-ish °C from March 21st until June 21st. It gets drier as the weeks go by. If you like a bit of sunshine without getting too hot, this may be the perfect season for you to walk the Camino de Santiago.
May (along with September) is perhaps the most popular month to walk the Camino as nature is blooming along the way. If you prefer to spend more time in the sunlight, you may want to go on the pilgrimage around June 21st (Summer Solstice) when the days reach their longest. It’s a great time to relax under the sun in the evenings.
Recommended Spring Routes
The French Way; Sarria to Santiago (last 100km): If you are a first-time Camino pilgrim, this is a good route to pick. The Countryside is immersed in flowers during spring. Your pilgrimage will be accompanied by birdsong and the sound of babbling brooks.
The Portuguese Way; Tui To Santiago (last 100km): Another true delight for the senses. The route will take you through the Portuguese-Spanish border. This is one of the traditional inland routes. This time of year, the Tui to Santiago route is filled with a mixture of beautiful vineyards and crops beginning to grow.
The period between June 21st and September 23rd is also a very popular time to walk the way of Saint James—especially among Spaniards. To ensure you’ll have a place to rest, it’s best to book accommodation in advance.
Through the end of August, you can expect drier weather and higher temperatures the further south and inland you go. The Northern Way, the Portuguese Way, and the Finisterre Way can be great routes to walk this time of the year. The temperatures range from 20-ish to 28-ish °C. To get a head start on the heat of the day, pilgrims often wake up before sunrise but also go to bed earlier at night.
Recommended Summer Routes
The English Way; Ferrol to Santiago: If you start walking the English Way on the coastline in summer, you can begin the adventure with a nice dip in the sea. As you enter Pontedeume, you’ll come across a beautiful beach.
The “traffic” on the Way of Saint James is quite busy in September. You’ll get a fair bit of shade and a milder temperature if you start walking the Camino in mid-September. From mid-October onward, things will get wetter (especially in Galicia).
In November, temperatures will go down to low 10s. Plenty of hostels close down this time of the year, so make sure to keep that in mind when planning your trip.
Recommended Autumn Routes
Some routes are closed in winter (Napoleon Route) since winter is low season for the Camino. But, some like it this way as the experience can be more serene. You can expect snow at altitudes above 800m, so do know that some routes are difficult to access in winter.
Accommodation is very quiet in winter as there are fewer people. If you want to walk the Camino in winter, you need to be well-prepared for the season. Make sure to bring a sleeping bag for cold weather and to wrap yourself with thick clothes.
Winter in Spain can be quite cold, especially in the North. Always check the forecasts. You don’t want to get stuck in a blizzard while you’re hiking.
Recommended Winter Routes
Compared to Northern Spain, winter is always milder in the west part of the peninsula.
Most pilgrims prefer to walk the Camino in May and September. However, there are still a lot of people who walk the Camino in mid-summer and mid-winter due to time constraints or personal preferences. Again, it’s possible to have a lovely Camino adventure in every season, but you must prepare yourself well.