The Best Time to Walk the Camino de Santiago

 

arrow made of flowers on the trail

Marker arrow made of spring flowers on the Camino

Let me first just say – I’m biased – I of course think when I walked it in April/May was the best possible time to do it! Yes, I did get rained on a bit and it was muddy, but I will take those conditions any day over heat and people!  Most days were pleasant and cool with clouds and a breeze.  But best of all you saw the Spring happen in front of your eyes.  When I started walking through the Rioja wine region in April there weren’t even leaves on the vines, but by the last week I was walking through fields with an abundance of leaves!  The hills were bright green and the the wind would blow through the wheat fields making them look like an undulating ocean.

The trail wasn’t overcrowded, and I always found a bed at the albergues.  I didn’t have to get up super early and race through my walk in order to get a bed as quite frankly that would have taken the enjoyment out of the experience for me.

Trying to put bias aside, here are some things to consider:

Less people

More beds

Cool weather

and of course -you can’t pass up the colorful, fragrent Spring flowers!

Flowering trees in Pamplona

A colorful path near Pamplona

new leaves on the vines

New Leaves bursting out by week 4

lilac bush

My favorite flower and smell in the world - Lilacs!

yellow flower fields

A sea of yellow flowers against the gray sky

new tree growth

New green branches stretching out along the Camino

field of poppies

Poppies were everywhere along the trail in the spring!

purple flowers around a fence pole

The colors are so bright in the spring!

flowers in the fog

Purple flowers bring some color on this cool spring foggy morning

green fields

Fields of green as far as the eye can see along the Camino

 

Your Comments

15 Comments so far

  1. Brian Setzer says:

    Spring does look nice!

    June treated me well. Not overly hot at all and I am sure July and August must have been way busier. Plus there was a week when the cheery trees ripened and you could pick and eat them as you were walking. A definite plus there :)

    • Sherry says:

      I wondered what it was like in June. The number of people significantly increased as I neared the finish at the end of May. I wasn’t sure if that was the time of year or becuase so many people start from Sarria. So happy I did it in May though as I hate the heat!

  2. Mike says:

    Sherry,
    I have been debating whether to walk my first time, in the spring or in the fall. I too, am not a fan of lots of people and like the idea of securing an Albergue nightly, without reservations. Your beautiful pictures have made up my mind and I will walk in the spring. Thanks for sharing!

  3. jan says:

    Considering I am in love with Poppies and would have to constantly stop to photograph them, maybe Spring would not be a good time for me – Love your photos!

  4. Mark H says:

    I love the red poppies and symbols of spring. Beautiful.

  5. David says:

    Hi,

    Love your photos. I’m off next Friday to walk The Northern Way, so the heat should be interesting!

    Think I’m pretty much there in terms of route planning, but just wondered if you’d come across any interesting guides (although I know you did El Camino Frances).

    All the best,

    David

  6. I will be following your lead one day. And I agree, spring would have to be the best time. Maybe followed by fall. And I’d do winter over summer, I think…

  7. Larsd4 says:

    Wow, amazing photos. Just spectacular. I plan to walk Leon-Santiago next April. I hope I see some sights as beautiful as your photos.

  8. Spring looks lovely and had I planned differently that would have probably been my choice. I’ll actually start walking on Sept 9 and I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully I won’t hit too much rain!

  9. Diana March says:

    You may have had an “unplanned” approached to this pilgrimage, but thanks to your beautiful images and comprehensive blogs, we are so looking forward to our Camino de Santiago walk in April/May 2013. Initially I was worried it might be too cold (I can tell it’s going to be too wet!) but the beauty of spring surely makes it worthwhile. For me it’s a significant birthday celebration … turning 60 in January and it’s something I’ve longed to do for years. We are keen amateur photographers but your images are so fantastic – noted the tilt in many … but it was the sensational skies and the clean spring colours that really tell the story. Thank you very much for sharing. Diana

  10. Does anyone know of the difference in the trails – easiest, most difficult, etc.?

  11. JD Jones says:

    I walked the Camino the last week of May and well into June. I prepared for Summer in Spain and what I experienced was a record setting COLD and wet spell! Bad weather and all I wouldn’t change a thing about my Camino experience. I’m looking forward to my next walk to Santiago.

    • Sherry says:

      Congrats to you both and sorry to hear of the bad weather. It can be unpredictable and super muddy at that time – but I still love the spring flowers!


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