Walking the Camino in Autumn

When to do the Camino de Santiago

Autumn is one of the best times of the year to do the Camino de Santiago. The agglomerations of pilgrims are far away and the temperatures are generally pleasant in the northern half of the Peninsula. 

Walking the Camino in Autumn
Camino de Santiago en Otoño

Camino de Santiago en Otoño

Perks of doing the Camino de Santiago in autumn

More and more pilgrims decide to do the Camino de Santiago during the autumn months and there are many reasons for it. Although the influx of pilgrims is much greater in summer, in autumn you can enjoy the pilgrimage to Santiago in a unique way that helps us enjoy the experience to the fullest.

Among the benefits of doing the Camino de Santiago in autumn, the few people you're going to encounter is the most important. There are many people who prefer to disconnect as much as possible and enjoy the less busy route, so they choose the autumn months to achieve it. This also makes hostels less crowded and makes it easier for us to find a place to sleep.

The landscape is another of the most striking points of doing the Camino de Santiago in autumn. At any time of the year you can enjoy the nature of Galicia, however only from September to November can we see landscapes dyed brown and yellow. To this we must add that the temperatures are lower than in summer and that we will be able to go through each stage more comfortably.

Cons of doing the Camino de Santiago in autumn

Although it depends on the tastes of each person, one of the main problems of doing the Camino de Santiago in autumn is the rain. The drop in temperatures comes on many occasions with showers typical of these months, especially in the north of the peninsula, something that can make walking difficult.

When the influx of pilgrims decreases, the high season of the Camino de Santiago ends, so many hostels close their doors. This is another of the great problems that pilgrims can find, something that can be fixed by making sure which hostels are open before starting each stage.

Hacer el Camino de Santiago en otoño

Hacer el Camino de Santiago en otoño

What do you need to do the Camino de Santiago in autumn? How to plan it?

Taking into account the drop in temperatures, one of the objects that cannot be missing is the raincoat. A light and easy-to-store raincoat will become your ally against the rain and won't bother you in your backpack. It is also important to choose your shoes well because of the rain. Waterproof boots are the best option for these cases as they will protect us from the rain and possible muddy roads.

Another factor to keep in mind is that we should not overfill the backpack. Although we need more warm clothing, we must not break the 10% rule that helps us prepare the backpack without harming our health.

In relation to physical preparation, you have to follow the guidelines that are followed to do the Camino de Santiago any month of the year. Preparing yourself physically a few weeks before is essential, as is spending a little on the footwear so that it adapts to our feet.

El mejor mes para hacer el Camino de Santiago en otoño

Although autumn includes several months of the year, depending on what you are looking for, it is more optimal to do the Camino in one month or another. September, October and November are the months in question and depending on which one you choose you can enjoy this pilgrimage route in a totally different way.

If you are still not sure about choosing autumn to do the Camino de Santiago, you should know that any time is perfect for it. There are pilgrims every month, however depending on what you are looking for you can choose a specific season of the year.

If you are one of those looking to meet new people, the best option is to do the Camino de Santiago in summer, while if you want to connect with nature, the ideal is to do the Camino in winter. Another good option is to do the Camino in spring, for many the best season since we can enjoy nature and the good weather of those months.

Camino de Santiago en Otoño

Camino de Santiago en Otoño

The best route to do the Camino de Santiago in autumn

In autumn you have to look at the route you are going to take in advance, and you have to take into account several factors. On some routes of the Camino, the hostels close because there is not enough influx of pilgrims. In addition, the autumn weather means the return of the rains and muddy roads. On the other hand, the landscapes will be spectacular. Knowing all this, it is time to choose the route.

The paths that pass further north of the peninsula have the most idyllic autumn landscapes: the Camino Primitivo, the Camino Francés and the Camino del Norte. At the same time, being further north, the weather will be harsher: rain and wind, low temperatures and muddy roads, which can make it more complicated.

Precisely due to bad weather, there are those who recommend taking shorter routes, such as the English Way or the Portuguese Way. While in the first the weather may be a little worse, the second will have a much milder climate. Of course, with these routes you give up the mountain landscapes that you find in the northern ones.

At the level of services, within Galicia you will not find a problem. The Camino de Santiago is an important tourist attraction all year round, so even if you start the Camino in less crowded months, you will find the necessary services. If you decide to start outside Galicia, it is more difficult for them to be available all year round, but it is a matter of preparing the Camino in advance and having alternative plans.

To avoid unnecessary risks, it is better to decide on the routes most chosen by other pilgrims. You won't run into many people, but if something happens there are people close enough to help. You will have time for yourself just the same, only with increased security.

The option chosen by the majority of pilgrims to travel in autumn is the French Way. Between the good services and the spectacular landscapes, it is a good option to do between September and November. So that it does not take too long and have access to guaranteed services, it is a good idea to start from O Cebreiro. There are 175 kilometres, a figure that is not bad at all, although we risk bad weather. In reality, it would be naïve not to expect any rain in Galicia, especially in those months, so go for it just like doing the Camino de Santiago, but with boots that the water will not get into.

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