Is autumn the new summer? 10 reasons to walk the Camino in Fall
by Irina Buruiana
Have you ever thought how your perspective of reality changes with every season? And with the passing of time?
Have you ever noticed how nature enters a cycle passing from full aliveness (summer) to beautiful conservation (winter)?
We did. And we are seeing it every time we walk the Camino de Santiago, as its beautiful scenery changes with every leaf, a piece of land, smell. We want to encourage people to change their perspective. To make a switch in their desires and to get to know something new.
We want to underline the benefits of doing the St James pilgrimage in autumn. For taking this chance of integrating all the summer experiences and preparing yourself for the lovely winter.
Let’s have a look at our 10 reasons why having a Camino tour in autumn is one of the best investment in yourself.
1. It’s beautiful golden landscapes.
With a melancholic air, the path awaits for its pilgrims to enjoy the different landscape and to integrate the diversity of colors and shades. October and November are the best walking months for having diversity in your journey. Every day something new appears on the way. The trees are changing their leaves, the ground has this specific watery smell and touch of humid earth and the changes of nature with every step you take.
Walking along the road, with the fog being your companion and the dense air brushing against your face, makes you feel part of an Edgar Allan Poe novel. The mystery and curiosity of what the next scene will bring.
2. The Gathering energy for winter.
Autumn is the season of letting go, of recharging your batteries and observing the cycle of nature. It’s a time to stop and integrate all the summer experiences, emotions, happenings and reset your body for facing winter, a season of incubation, cold and gestation. Creating a space to reflect in silence and to be able to connect with nature in a different way. This is the best remedy for your well being and mental health.
Enjoying the last rays of warming sun and pleasant weather recharges your energy level and brings back the excitement of the summer. At the end of the walk, you will feel ready to face the new season equipped with a backpack of new tools and sensations.
3. The Weather.
Autumn is one of the best periods to hike El Camino de Santiago, an average temperature, fresh air in the morning and a relaxing atmosphere during the day. It is a truly magical experience. In comparison with summer, the thermometers don’t register so extreme temperatures and from time to time drops of rain might appear. Which makes the walk pleasant and diverse.
If you are not a big fan of intense sun and warm weather and want an additional challenge, then sign up for one of the tours and enjoy the journey reaching Santiago de Compostela. Backpack!!!
4. Delicious Food & tasty Wine, absolutly!
One of the attractions of Camino de Santiago is the opportunity of tasting the incredible Spanish and Portuguese cuisine. Especially in autumn, an additional element is added to the entire experience: the wine. October and November are the months in which the grapes are ripened and the taste of this aphrodisiac beverage gets its most savory, and natural flavor.
The culture of food accentuates in these months, as people prepare for winter. So conservation is blooming and the crops are being gathered. The fresh taste of the vegetables, picked from the garden makes the cuisine reach its sophisticated Galician stereotype, one of the most delicious food culture of Spain.
5. Fewer people, more space.
“You and the road. You alone enjoying nature and the contact with the ground. Hearing people in the background, just enough to remind you of reality.” This is the scenario for your autumn, Camino. One advantage of this period is that the traffic on the French way at least is moderate. There are not so many people walking, which makes the experience more enjoyable, more conscious and give you the opportunity to do a deeply rooted pilgrimage. Having the possibility to alternate in spending time with people and spending time alone is a blessing nowadays, as Camino de Santiago is becoming more and more famous globally among travelers and hikers.
That’s what makes this period so special, besides the magical environment and its beautiful weather.
6. Acknowledging impermanence.
Recognizing the impermanence of an experience, of a situation, of life in general, makes the moment special and worth living. Autumn is the best season for seeing how elements change and take another shape, how they die and revive with new power, colors, and structures. Walking the Camino de Santiago and noticing the nature helps you enter more into contact with your body, with the natural cycle of life.
In our daily life, we don’t take the time or just life gets in the way, for developing this awareness of impermanence. Walking every day in nature, meeting this process with every step you are making (leaves falling and losing color, the grass becoming dry and dying in the end, the sun hiding behind clouds etc), has a definitive impact upon your brain and your perception of life. You will become more aware of your emotions and develop new strategies for dealing with reality. Celebrating this natural flow of life is a gift that the Camino gives you.
7. A new challenge.
Doing a St James pilgrimage might be written in most of the people’s bucket lists. And if you still don’t have it, you should add it. Why? Because it is an experience that takes you out from your own rhythm, which shows you a different perspective upon on body, that makes you reflect on your habits and how you lived until now. And last but not least, because it is a challenge. A physical challenge to walk for many km every day, and a psychological challenge to train your mind in relation to pain, discomfort, change, and unpredictability.
Autumn can be an addition to the challenge of waking due to the variety of weather and unpredictability of rain. When hiking in autumn you need to be prepared for everything, as you will never know what the day will bring. This is a very good metaphor for life and it guides you into resilience, into seeing surprise as a way of discovery. Together with the help of our guides you will always be safe and cared for, but worth giving a try when you are in need of an extra challenge.
8. The Local culture.
This is a valid reason for all Camino tours, but especially for the ones happening in autumn. Why? Because during these months people are preparing their crops, the animals are in their stables and the houses are being prepared for the winter. You will feel and smell different specific food being cooked, cheese being prepared for conservation. It will be your chance to get in touch with the local culture and enjoy the variety of flavors that the culinary culture can bring. It is also very interesting to observe how the Portuguese and Spanish villages create their environments so the pilgrims design their idea of what village life is about.
One specific element of the Camino is the openness of people. The culture of gratitude and sharing is present all the way and as a pilgrim, you get connected with it. You realize how important it is for people to be there for one another.
The caring without judgment and the help without expectations.
9. Meeting new people.
“You are the average of the 5 people you surround yourself with”. This is a saying that we hear a lot and that scientifically speaking it is quite true. We tend to copy and adapt our behavior according to our closest environment, to the habits and attitudes that we see around ourselves. On the Camino de Santiago you meet people that are driven by a similar purpose, to find themselves, to experience something new, to challenge themselves, to enjoy nature. Each one of the reasons makes its way, in a form or another, in the interactions happening on the way.
The walk gives you the chance to encounter and connect with people from all over the world, so different, that may be on another occasion you will not have the chance to meet. It is such a wonderful opportunity to discover the world through people’s eyes while walking on the same path.
The cafes, the hostels, the restaurants, the resting places. All of these spaces are opportunities to get to know and see others.
10. Taking your sweet time off!
Maybe this is one of the most important reasons why we recommend walking El Camino de Santiago every time of the year. We tend to forget ourselves in the responsibilities of today’s world and our day to day life. By doing this, our mind and body start feeling the need for relaxing, of getting away from the usual environment, of rebooting. By being part of one of our tours, you can make this investment in yourself. In giving yourself the time and space to connect with nature, to connect with your group, to connect with yourself. To disconnect from stress, fatigue, technology and unhealthy rhythm. It is an opportunity to find your own pace and to change perspective. An attitude that will improve your quality of life and will make a big difference in how you approach challenges.
Were these reasons not enough to convince you to embark in your once in a lifetime Autumn Camino experience? Then have a look at some of my suggested routes and notice how your interest changes.
Let us enjoy the natural beauties that our planet offers us and let’s make the best out of it!
- Camino Norte: https://marlycamino.com/camino/way-to-the-stars/
- Camino Portugués: https://marlycamino.com/camino/portugal/
- Portugués Costa: https://marlycamino.com/camino/portuguese-coast-camino/
- Exclusive French Way: https://marlycamino.com/camino/galician-esplendor/
- Want to see all the routes? Take me there!
See you very soon in one of the Marly Camino’s tours and until then, take care and connect!