When To Walk The Camino Irish Bank Holiday 2024

So you’ve decided to walk the Camino de Santiago and follow a tradition stretching back over 1,000 years. Once the Camino excitement bug has bitten you, things quickly begin to build.

Embarking on a section – or all of the Camino de Santiago- is a transformative experience that annually attracts thousands of adventurers, spiritual seekers, and cultural enthusiasts. The journey offers a physical challenge but also a path to personal reflection and discovery. People walk the Camino for many reasons, but you’d be hard-pressed to find somebody who didn’t experience a profound change along the Way of St James.

With the picturesque landscapes of Spain as its backdrop, succulent food and hearty quantities of the local vino along the way, the Camino promises an unforgettable adventure.

Yet one stumbling block many reach quickly is deciding when to travel to Spain. For those in Ireland considering the Camino, coordinating the walk with Irish bank holidays in 2024 can provide an excellent opportunity to make the most of this experience. Let’s look at the year ahead and how best to align your Camino journey with the 2024 Irish bank holidays.

Walking through the seasons

The Camino de Santiago is not just one path but a network of trails, the most famous being the Camino Francés. Each season on the Camino brings its unique charm and challenges, making the walk very different depending on what time of the year you begin.

Spring (March to May)

Spring is a popular time to embark on the Camino, as the landscape comes alive with blooming flowers and mild temperatures. However, it can also be unpredictable, with the potential for rain showers and slightly cooler weather, especially in the early months. You might assume that Spain gets lovely temperate weather all year round, but you’d be wrong. Parts of Spain get rain that’s not too dissimilar to what we’re used to in Ireland.

Summer (June to August)

Summer sees the highest number of pilgrims – which can either be a very good or bad factor for you. The weather is predominantly warm and sunny, ideal for those who enjoy basking in the sun. And by basking, we mean sometimes baking. Temperatures can reach well over 30C during the summer months, which people will either absolutely love or absolutely hate. This peak season also means crowded paths, bustling accommodations and restaurants, and longer queues. If you love being around large crowds, this could be perfect. If you don’t, this period might not be for you.

Autumn (September to November)

Autumn is favoured by many for its cooler temperatures and the landscape’s changing colours. It’s a lovely shoulder season that manages to reduce many negatives while retaining many positives. The number of pilgrims decreases, offering a more solitary and contemplative experience. Yet, you should be prepared for shorter days and the possibility of rain. Sadly, you can’t have it all.

Winter (December to February)

Winter is the least crowded season, and it’s not hard to see why. Many accommodations close during this period, and some parts of the path may be challenging due to weather conditions, making it essential for walkers to plan accordingly. This is by far the most challenging time to walk the Camino de Santiago, but if you’re looking for a quiet, introspective journey with low temperatures and a truly unique experience, this could be for you.

When To Walk The Camino Irish Bank Holiday 2024

Irish Bank Holidays

The Irish bank holidays in 2024 provide several windows of opportunity for those looking to walk the Camino. Here is a list of the bank holidays and how they might align with the Camino Walk:

St. Patrick’s Day (18th March)

With St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Sunday, March 17th this year, the bank holiday has been shifted to Monday, March 18th, creating a nice long weekend. March marks the onset of spring, making it an appealing time for those looking to experience the awakening of the Camino landscape, albeit with the potential for variable weather.

Easter Monday (1st April)

Spain remains a very religious country, and Easter is a spiritually significant time to walk the Camino, with many pilgrims choosing this period for its deeper religious connections. The weather is improving but be prepared for rain.

May Day (6th May)

May is an ideal month with pleasant temperatures and the countryside in full bloom, offering a beautiful backdrop for the pilgrimage. It’s just before the hectic season begins, making this one of the best times to be on the Camino de Santiago.

June Bank Holiday (3rd June)

Early June is a fantastic time to start the Camino, with warm weather and before the peak summer crowds. You’ll likely get great weather before the summer furnace kicks into gear and the Irish skin reddens.

August Bank Holiday (5th August)

The height of summer can be hot, and the trail may be at its busiest, but the vibrant atmosphere and long daylight hours can enhance the experience. If you’re looking for a genuinely social Camino and love the heat, August is the perfect time to walk.

October Bank Holiday (28th October)

Autumn on the Camino is a feast for the senses, with cooler temperatures and fewer pilgrims. This holiday offers a chance to experience the tranquil beauty of the trail.

Christmas Day (25th December)

Walking the Camino during Christmas may be a unique experience, with a quiet path and a chance for plenty of thinking time, but the winter conditions and closed facilities mean you’d almost certainly be doing it entirely alone.

What to remember when walking at different periods

Weather

The weather greatly influences the Camino experience. Spring and autumn offer moderate temperatures and natural beauty but have a higher chance of rain. Summer provides reliable warmth, perfect for sun-lovers, but can lead to dehydration and heat exhaustion. Winter presents a starkly beautiful landscape but demands preparation for cold and potentially snowy conditions.

Accommodation

When walking the Camino with UWalk, all your accommodation is handled in advance, so there’s no need to worry about a lack of beds – a problem many staying in the public albergues face. However, it does mean that wherever you’re staying will almost certainly be busy.

Numbers on the Trail

The number of fellow walkers impacts the social aspect of the Camino. Summer and Easter see the highest numbers, meaning you’re more likely to meet a diverse array of people worldwide. Spring and autumn offer a balance, allowing for both solitude and companionship. Winter provides a solo walk – there’s no other way to put it.

Experience

The Camino experience changes with the seasons. Summer’s vibrancy, spring’s renewal, autumn’s introspection, and winter’s solitude each offer a unique perspective on the pilgrimage. Your preference for solitude or companionship, challenge or ease, will influence your ideal walking time.

Find the time that suits you

Choosing when to walk the Camino de Santiago is a personal decision influenced by many factors, including weather preferences, desired level of solitude or companionship, and, for those in Ireland, aligning the journey with bank holidays in 2024.

Each season on the Camino offers a distinct experience, from the lively buzz of summer to the reflective quiet of winter. So choose what you’re looking for, combine it with one of the Bank holidays in 2024, and you’re nearly there. Look at our guided walk program for the walk ahead, and set a walk that will change your life in motion.

When To Walk The Camino Irish Bank Holiday 2024