Many people opt for doing their pilgrimage along the Camino de Santiago in summer, perhaps because of the climate, or maybe simply because for many people it coincides with their holidays and they know that the best way to enjoy them, is by walking to the Compostela capital.
FURTHER INFORMATION: ADVICE FOR ORGANISING THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO
It is true that it’s one of the most crowded seasons, although that’s not to say that its the best period to make the pilgrimage. There are several others that might offer better conditions for pilgrims.
PROS AND CONS OF DOING THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN SUMMER
- The Camino brings us great friendships: You will meet all kinds of pilgrims along the Camino who will be with you all the way, creating bonds that are difficult to break.
- More Daylight to Walk: The days are longer and there is more daylight to take advantage of and do more kilometres. If you are brave and decide to do two stages in one day, you’ll have practically all day long.
- Fiestas: The summer offers a multitude of festivities throughout the various regions of Spain, so it’s not surprising that you can attend different some important festivities and appreciate the local culture.
- More time for visits: You can finish the stage and still have hours of daylight to make the most of the day. If you have enough strength left, you visit the areas around your Camino and appreciate the incredible cultural and historical heritage of the villages and towns along the Camino de Santiago
- Less wight to carry: In summer there’s no need to carry so many things, so your backpack will be much lighter, and your feet too!
- Very crowded: Due to being the most popular season for doing the pilgrimage, a rather large number of walkers can be found depending on the route chosen.
- Very hot: It’s true that it depends both on the route and the point along it. Summer in Andalucia is not the same as summer in Asturias. However, in general, temperatures tend to be higher , even causing dehydration or heatstroke among pilgrims.
- Very little peace and quiet: Due to the crowds, and coinciding with the multiple festivities along the Camino, you might encounter some locations where you cannot relax peacefully or even rest up appropriately.
- Wake up early to ensure your spot: In the public accommodation, beds are assigned according to arrival times, and being so crowded, they often run out very early. This is why there is such a rush when it comes to getting to the accommodation and booking. For this reason, it is best to plan your Camino and have your accommodation booked in advance.
THE BEST ROUTE OF THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN SUMMER
There is a wide range of routes along the Camino de Santiago that will take us to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. However, if you want to do the Camino in the summer you should avoid some routes that may prove very hard.
You should avoid inland Caminos in Spanish territory, along with those that begin in the south.
It’s a time of year when, in these places, temperatures can rise very high and bring about heatstroke or fainting in some pilgrims.
Because of this, we can put aside some routes when it comes to choosing your Camino, such as the Vía de la Plata, seeing as it begins in Andalucia with high temperatures, or some secondary routes that cross inland Spain (Madrid, Castilla la Mancha, and so on) that, apart from the heat, won’t offer any shade for protection in general.
This is why the best routes to travel are those that run close to the sea, or in the northern part of Spain, due to its lower temperatures.
Doing the Camino, accompanied by a fresh sea breeze or pleasant temperatures can provide us with a sense of calm and that added extra that we are really looking for.
This is offered by routes such as the Camino del Norte, which runs along the Cantabrian Sea for the majority of its route, or the Camino Portugués Along the Coast , which despite being more southern, is refreshed by a sea breeze, that helps us continue on our way.
You should take the expected temperatures into account, along with the route followed by the Camino. According to these conditions, a more or less rigorous physical preparation will be necessary.
As a rule of thumb, in order to be physically prepared, we should train for the previous 3 months, starting the first month with short walks, until completing walks of similar length to those of the stages we plan to do, just before setting off on our adventure.
So that the training is more realistic, it’s a good idea to carry the equipment and wear the shoes we are planning to take with us, in order to get used to its weight and comfort.
In high summer we don’t have the luxury of forgetting to take into account the water needed for our pilgrimage.
You should always carry a full water bottle or any other type of recipient, taking advantage of every opportunity to fill it up, as you never know when the next stop might be.
Every half an hour, it’s recommendable to take a sip and thus stay hydrated. This is a key point to avoid passing out during the Camino.
DOING THE CAMINO BY KAYAK
Grab a kayak and navigate the Galician “Rías Baixas” , appreciating the Camino from another, more refreshing, perspective, that also offers some amazing gastronomy.
Sounds good, doesn’t it? This is what you would experience if you decide to do the Camino de Santiago by kayak, seeing as it is a new way of doing the pilgrimage along the last route that the remains of the Apostle St. James travelled by sea.
WHAT TO PACK TO DO THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO IN SUMMER
- Footwear: The best footwear to do the Camino is trekking boots or, failing that,closed sandals.
- Backpack: Due to the good temperatures and climate conditions, it’s not necessary to carry much weight, meaning, a 35 or 40 litre backpack should be plenty.
- Clothes: Packing various items of clothing “just in case” is never a bad idea. However, keep in mind that you can do your washing along the way, to avoid weighing your bag down even more. Moreover, upon your arrival in Santiago, we at Pilgrim offer you the chance to do your washing and return home with everything sparkling again.
We hope this information about doing the Camino de Santiago in Summer has helped! Remember that with Pilgrim your Camino will always be planned in the best way for you, so you only have to worry about walking!
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