What is the best time of year to do the Camino de Santiago?
You can walk Camino de Santiago all year-round, every month has its charm. However, let’s see every Camino in detail.
Best Months: May, June, September, and October
The Camino Francés is the most popular Camino de Santiago route that attracts the most pilgrims in the months of July and August.
Covering 800 km (500 miles) through various terrain and landscapes, this route demands preparation and stamina. The month-long adventure travels through the French Pyrenees, the Meseta, the mountains of León and into Galicia’s countryside. Each region has its own climate. The technicality of the high altitude climbs is only amplified in the winter months, when everything is covered in snow. The French Way is best ventured in May, June, September, and early October. These months will guarantee lesser pilgrim traffic and more ideal weather conditions – not too hot, not too cold, and not too rainy. Mountain regions such as the Pyrenees can have snow fall still in early Spring and the Route Napoleón on the first section of the Camino Frances is closed generally until April. Mountainous regions such as the Pyrenees, the Mountains of Leon, El Bierzo and the Cantabrian Mountains will have cooler temperatures than lower ground, even during the summer months. Summer can be very hot in the La Meseta Region. Also it is worth keeping in mind the hours of daylight will be widely reduced from the end of October until January/February. We always recommend checking the forecast for the different stages before you travel so you can pack accordingly.
Best Months: April, May, June, September, and October
The Camino Portugués has amazing and breathtaking scenic landscapes. You can choose to walk along the coast or inland from Portugal to Galicia. Walking along the coast means mild and rainy winter conditions and cooler summer treks. If you choose the inland trek, you can expect hot summer days – but more manageable than summer conditions of other inland routes. For the ideal pilgrimage climate, we suggest venturing the Portugal Way in April, May, June, September, or early October. Winter months are not good as it is cold and rainy (some albuergues are closed) and summer months are really busy and hot.
Best Months: June, July, and August
Camino Primitivo: the oldest route of all. The busiest season is July and August, when the weather is best. As it walks through the North of Spain mountainous region, in winter one can encounter snowfall and rain. For this reason, we recommend avoiding this camino in winter due to the challenging terrain, difficult climate conditions, closed albuergues, and unmaintained paths during the winter season. As you walk through Asturias and Galicia, there is a rainy and chilly climate even in summer months.
Best Months: September, and October
This camino can be walked all year round (I know, the name is misleading). This route is a great option for those trying to avoid French Camino’s last 100 km to Santiago and also to avoid walking the mountains of O Cebreiro. However, in winter months, finding accommodation may be challenging. For these reasons, we recommend September and October when you can enjoy the vineyards view or in late spring before the Camino high season crowd.
Best Months: June, July, August, and September
The Camino Finisterre – “the end of the world” – is the extension of the traditional Camino de Santiago which travels from Santiago de Compostela to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. It has oceanic weather conditions, that means it can be a bit unpredictable. Autumn and Spring can also be rainy. We recommend doing this route from late spring to early autumn, when the weather is warm and the skies are clear. This route should be avoided in winter, because of the weather conditions, but also because many businesses will be closed.
Camino del Norte
Best Months: June, July, August, and September
This route warrants mild winter months and cooler summer days. Like other routes, the Northern Camino is best enjoyed in June, July, August, and September when the conditions are less rainy and warm. Walking along the coast through popular tourist beach towns, expect to see crowds in the Camino high season of summer months.
Vía de la Plata
Best Months: April, May, and early June, October
Vía de la Plata, starting from Sevilla, is the longest route to Santiago de Compostela with over 1,000km through the regions of Andalusia, Extremadura, Casilla y Leon, and Galicia. This route sees fewer pilgrims than other routes, that means that there are less accommodations and facilities. Summer is the worst time to walk the Via de la Plata, as it gets incredibly hot here. July and August are the worst months. The temperature can be between 40°C and 45°C, with no shade to hide, arid terrain, no rain, clear skies, nowhere to get water along the route (sometimes you walk 20-25 km through nothing), and burning sun. There have been cases of accidents along this route due to heat strokes or exhaustion in summer months.
Best months for us are April to May, when it’s warm (not hot) and the view is filled with fields covered in flowers. We don’t recommend November to March as it may rain quite a bit and you may feel a bit lonely.