Seasonal Changes On The Camino What To Expect Each Month

The Camino de Santiago offers a unique experience with each changing season – but before you start thinking about a walk through the Galician mountains, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Here’s a month-by-month guide highlighting what pilgrims can expect, including the pros and cons of walking during these times and the sights and experiences along the way.

When are the busiest periods on the Camino?

Before we dive into the individual months, it’s important to stress that very few people walk the Camino during winter, and a huge amount of people walk the Camino during the summer. If you choose to walk the Camino during a Holy Year, you can expect numbers to be even higher than usual, with a lot of accommodation booked up along the way. Though if you’re walking with Uwalk, we’ll have all of your accommodation set from the moment you arrive in Spain.

Winter is a difficult time to walk the Camino for many reasons. The weather can be atrocious in many parts, with Galicia seeing rain levels that rival those in Ireland while temperatures can plummet below zero and stay there for weeks. The other major problem is flight availability and where to stay. Many accommodations close down during the winter because it doesn’t make a lot of sense to remain open and flights from Dublin finish in October.

May and September often offer the best of both worlds; the heaving summer crowds have died away, and the temperatures are usually pleasant.

When is the best time?

This is a tricky one because not everybody is looking for the same thing. The summer offers the best chance of good weather – although it can go the other way with temperatures over 30C, not uncommon – while also offering the b,est chance to socialise and meet new people.

Spring and autumn are great times to be on the Camino, but the closer you push it to winter either way, the more likely you’re going to have days sheltered under a poncho. The colours during this period are fabulous, and with more than enough people on the trail, this is usually a period we recommend.

Winter isn’t necessarily a no-no, but you’ll need the will, courage, and dedication of a titan to brave the Spanish winter in the north on a daily basis. On the plus side, you’ll probably have it all to yourself, so if you’re looking for solitude, this is the time to do it.

Seasonal Changes On The Camino What To Expect Each Month

Month by Month on the Camino

January

  • Pros: Fewer pilgrims, serene landscapes, a sense of solitude and reflection.
  • Cons: Cold weather, shorter days, some accommodations and services may be closed.
  • What to Expect: Snow in mountainous regions, stark but beautiful winter scenes. A difficult time to walk Camino.

February

  • Pros: Increasing daylight, peaceful trails, and an authentic local experience.
  • Cons: Still cold, particularly in the mornings and evenings; potential for rain and snow.
  • What to Expect: Early signs of spring, with almond trees blossoming in some areas, but still plenty of rain.

March

  • Pros: The onset of spring, mild temperatures, and fewer crowds.
  • Cons: Unpredictable weather, with a mix of rain, wind, and occasional warm days.
  • What to Expect: Wildflowers beginning to bloom, and greener landscapes. A beautiful time to walk, but still susceptible to cold days.

April

  • Pros: Pleasant temperatures, vibrant spring energy, Easter celebrations.
  • Cons: Rain is common (April showers), and popular routes start to get busier and Easter typically sees very high numbers.
  • What to Expect: Easter festivities, especially in larger towns, with processions and events. The Camino starts to open up and shakes off the wintery cobwebs. A lovely time to be in Northern Spain.

May

  • Pros: Ideal walking conditions, moderate temperatures, and abundant natural beauty.
  • Cons: Increasing numbers of pilgrims leading up to the peak season.
  • What to Expect: Full spring bloom, lively towns as local festivals begin. Perhaps one of the best times to walk the Camino.

June

  • Pros: Long daylight hours, vibrant social atmosphere, the start of the summer.
  • Cons: Hotter temperatures, particularly in the afternoons; busy paths and accommodations that are busy.
  • What to Expect: Festivals like the Fiesta de San Juan, buzzing cafes and albergues.

 

Seasonal Changes On The Camino What To Expect Each Month

July

  • Pros: Warm weather, festive atmosphere, Santiago’s St. James Day celebrations.
  • Cons: Higher afternoon temperatures, busier routes, higher prices.
  • What to Expect: The Fiesta del Apostol in Santiago, lively nightlife. Depending on the region, temperatures can be uncomfortable, but this is still a rocking time on the Camino.

August

  • Pros: Warm and sunny weather, a festive and social atmosphere.
  • Cons: Peak heat (but cool mornings), busy paths, and accommodation availability is limited. (Remember with Uwalk.ie we book your accommodation in advance.)
  • What to Expect: Sun-drenched vineyards & bustling beach towns near the coastal routes.

September

  • Pros: Cooler temperatures, grape harvest in the wine regions, less crowded.
  • Cons: Cooler evenings, occasional rain showers.
  • What to Expect: Harvest festivals, changing leaves, a more tranquil walking experience. Definitely one of the best times to walk the Camino.

October

  • Pros: Autumn colours, mild weather, fewer pilgrims.
  • Cons: Shorter days, unpredictable weather, some services begin to close for winter.
  • What to Expect: Stunning autumnal landscapes, quieter towns, and villages. You’ll definitely notice a chill in the air at this point.

November

  • Pros: Solitude on the trail, a deeply reflective experience.
  • Cons: Cold weather, more rain, less flight availability, many accommodations closed.
  • What to Expect: Bare trees, frosty mornings, a sense of peaceful isolation. Don’t expect to see many people.

December

  • Pros: Few pilgrims, a unique Christmas experience in Spain.
  • Cons: Short days, cold and potentially wet weather, limited services.
  • What to Expect: Christmas lights and decorations in towns, special masses in cathedrals.

Each month on the Camino de Santiago brings its own set of challenges and rewards. From the solitary peace of winter to the bustling warmth of summer and the colourful transitions of spring and autumn, the Camino offers a diverse range of experiences.

When you choose to walk the Camino will have a huge bearing on your experience and what you’ll see and do along the way. Take your time with this one, it’s an important decision to get right. When you know when you want to walk, check out our guided walks during these periods and get set for the Camino.

Seasonal Changes On The Camino What To Expect Each Month