The 23 September is officially the autumn equinox, the date which signals the change of season. The summer finishes, the period when there is the highest concentration of pilgrims along the Camino de Santiago, but did you know that the Camino in autumn can actually bring together better conditions for your pilgrimage?
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN: THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN WINTER
In this article, we will speak about the pros and cons of doing your pilgrimage along the Jacobean routes at this time of year. You are sure to be surprised, given that this season brings together a combination of favourable conditions…
PROS AND CON OF DOING THE CAMINO IN AUTUMN
- Less crowded: One of the biggest problems that we have found during the Camino de Santiago in summer is that certain Jacobean routes are completely overcrowded. In autumn we generally find a much lower number of pilgrims , meaning we have more freedom of movement.
- Favourable Temperatures: Autumn, being a bridging season between summer and winter, provides us with some very pleasant temperatures so that our Camino doesn’t become tiresome. Moreover, due to climate change, the last few years have brought summer-like autumns.
- More peaceful: As we have already mentioned, there will be fewer pilgrims which means that our resting time, especially if sharing a room, will be much more pleasant. Full accommodations, caminos with large groups, queues at the Cathedral of Santiago … All of this will be reduced to
- More accessible regions: In summer many regional festivals can be found along the Camino, which can be a great boon if you wish to join in with our festivities. However, if you prefer to simply walk and enjoy the environment, they can become a bother. In autumn, these parties are few and far between, meaning you won’t have this problem.
- There are fewer hours of daylight: If at other times of the year we have hours and hours of sun, in autumn the days start to get shorter, with night falling earlier and the dawn taking longer to appear. This means we have Less time for walking or to visit some different regions.
- Heavier backpack: The risk of encountering rain becomes more relevant and we start to weigh down our backpacks with clothes and objects to avoid getting wet during out Camino.
- Risky weather: Although it is true, like we said earlier, that autumn often feels closer to summer temperatures, the weather can play a bad trick on us and when we least expect it, it begins to lash rain, above all in northern areas and Galicia.
- Time: Possibly the biggest hindrance we might encounter, is finding the time to do it all. Summer, apart from the beneficial weather conditions, is often crowded due to the pilgrims having their holidays in order to jump into their adventure. In the months of October, November.. the number of people with holidays is significantly lower.
THE BEST ROUTE TO DO THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN AUTUMN
At this time of year, it’s difficult to find a route that doesn’t combine all the ideal conditions for doing the Camino. However, we can consider some better than others due to their beautiful autumnal landscapes.
Everyone knows that in autumn, deciduous trees begin to shed their leaves and this creates incredibly beautiful landscapes for everyone to see. This is why our recommendations are, unsurprisingly, focused on the areas where forest landscapes are the order of the day.
Those routes with the most autumnal landscapes are generally found in the north, so the Camino Francés, the Camino del Norte and the Camino Primitivo would be our main recommendations.
Nevertheless, choosing the ideal route of the Camino de Santiago is quite a complicated task and therefore we must bear in mind several factors: accessibility, the age of the pilgrims, physical preparation, and so on.
Among the three previously mentioned routes, the one with the best combination of conditions is the Camino Francés, which, given that it has been a main route for many years, has managed to bring together the best accommodations and conditions aimed at pilgrims along the whole route.
WHAT TO PACK
The burning question at this time of year is always what to pack. Summer clothes? And if it rains? These are the same questions we hear year in year out.
Preempting these questions, we have written an entry in this blog, talking about what to pack for the Camino where we focus on the different seasons, and there you will find everything you need to know.
The chance of running into rain and that the paths are a little muddy can mean a bigger effort is needed when it comes to walking. Due to this possibility, we should make sure our physical preparation is good enough to be able to solve any issue we might encounter.
As a rule of thumb, good preparation consists of, beginning to walk three months beforehand, gradually increasing the kilometres and starting to try out all the equipment we will be taking with us on the Camino, as it’s not at all recommendable to use equipment for the first time on the Camino, above all with footwear, as this can lead to unbearable blisters at the beginning of the stages.
HOW TO ORGANISE THE CAMINO
There are several factors you should bear in mind before organising your own Camino. Firstly, what route you should choose, how to do it (by bike, on horseback, on foot), how many days to assign per stage etc…
We deal with all of this in another previous article in our blog, talking about tips to get organised, as we want pilgrims to be prepared for their Camino. The adventure is just as exciting if you know where you are going to sleep each night!
WE’LL SEE YOU ON THE CAMINO…
We hope that with all this information we have shared with you, doing the Camino de Santiago in autumn will have a special appeal for you.
Adventure awaits you along the Jacobean routes. Remember that in Pilgrim we are keen to provide you with all the support necessary when it comes to planning your Camino, be it with information, planning, or whatever you need. You only have to worry about taking the leap!
Plan your adventure!We can fill you in, no strings attached!