It is in the summer months when most pilgrims decide to do the Camino de Santiago, although it is not the most recommended season of the year due to the high temperatures.
This season, despite the heat and the high influx of people, has its charm. That is why in this article we want to tell you the advantages and disadvantages of doing the Camino de Santiago in summer.
Advantages of doing the Camino de Santiago in summer.
- 1. In summer there are more hours of daylight: At this time the days are longer, so you have more hours to complete the stages and stop to contemplate the places you are passing through.
- 2. You can swim: All the routes have places where you can refresh yourself. The roads that pass along the coast have beautiful beaches that you can enjoy, while on the other roads you can find many rivers, municipal pools and swimming holes.
- 3. Patron saint festivals of the towns: Most of the towns along the Camino de Santiago celebrate their patron saint festivals in summer, so you will pass through many towns celebrating their festivals.
- 4. Half weight in the backpack: In summer, due to the high temperatures, it is not necessary to carry bulky warm clothes. This allows you to carry a smaller backpack (20 / 30 liters) and, therefore, carry less weight.
- 5. Meet lots of people: In summer, being a very popular month among pilgrims, you will have the opportunity to meet many new people.
- 6. Less chance of rain: At this time of year the chance of rain decreases. Even on routes like the Camino Norte and Primitivo, where it normally rains, the amount of rainfall decreases a lot. Although, as we know, Galicia is Galicia, and rain can also surprise you in these months. Our recommendation is that you make sure to carry a raincoat in your backpack.
- 7. Good time to do the Camino de Santiago by bike: At this time cyclists can travel more safely along the route, since with the rain there is more chance of skidding and falls.
Disadvantages of doing the Camino de Santiago in summer.
- Increase of pilgrims: All the routes register a very notable increase of pilgrims during this time of the year. The French Way is the most popular, especially the last 100 kilometers from Sarria to Santiago de Compostela. The rest also have an increase in pilgrims, but they are not as popular.
- The heat: In these summer months, Spain and Portugal register very high temperatures. Walking on roads where there is no shade can make you feel more tired. That is why most pilgrims choose to get up early to complete the stages before the hottest hours arrive.
- Collapsed services: As there is an increase of pilgrims in summer, many of the services are saturated. It can be very difficult to find lodging, lunch or dinner.
- Lack of tranquility: Tranquility, silence and moments of peace are difficult to find in these summer months. If you want to find a place to be with yourself, you will have to make a special effort to achieve it.
- The towns are on vacation: There are many towns that are much busier than they normally are. This is due both to the high density of pilgrims and to the citizens themselves, since being on vacation many return to their villages to enjoy the summer.
Tips for doing the Camino de Santiago in summer.
We have already seen some advantages and disadvantages of doing the Camino de Santiago in summer. If you are already sure that this is the time of the year to enjoy your Camino, here are some of our tips to make the most of this beautiful and enriching experience.
Choose a less popular route:
If you want to avoid crowds study which itineraries have less influx of pilgrims. The problem is that many of the routes of the Camino de Santiago end up coinciding with the route of the French Way in its last stages. Therefore, even if you choose the Primitive Way and the North, which are not so popular, you will find a high influx of pilgrims at the end of the route. Both the Central Portuguese Way and the Coastal Way are good options if you want to avoid crowds, as they do not share stages with the French Way.
Other alternatives are the English Way and the Sanabrés Way.
Avoid very hot routes:
If you decide, for example, to walk the Vía de la Plata at this time you will flee the crowds, but you will have to deal with very high temperatures. In fact, this route is one of the least recommended in summer.
Enjoy the sea at the same time as you go on pilgrimage:
The best way to combat the summer heat is to walk by the sea. Coastal routes, such as the Portuguese Way along the coast and the Northern Way, are especially advisable.
Design other strategies:
To cope with the crowds that register many of the services of the Camino de Santiago, a good option is to avoid eating where everyone eats and sleep in the classic stage endings.
At Marly Camino we take care of organizing all the logistical details for you, so you won’t have any problem finding a place to eat or getting reservations for your accommodation.
Always have water on hand:
Staying hydrated is essential to successfully complete the route. If you want to do the Camino de Santiago in summer, we recommend that you buy a water bag (camelback). They are very practical and it is the most comfortable way to carry water throughout the day.
Remember that if you want to count on an agency specialized in the Camino de Santiago to help you organize your pilgrimage this summer, you can count on Marly Camino.