What are the most recommended routes to do in winter?

Winter is not an impediment to enjoy a good adventure on the Camino de Santiago. In fact it can be the best time to do it. This post will show you the best route and the aspects to take into account for an unforgettable experience.
Best route of the Camino de Santiago in winter

Due to the low season, it is common that many accommodations close their doors to rest or due to the absence of tenants. For this reason what becomes more complicated at this time is to find a place to sleep.

Many routes offer practically no services in winter. However, you can get an option that always offers everything you need to enjoy the adventure to the fullest and that is the French Way.

It is the most recommended route of the Camino and the one with the largest number of services. Therefore, even if it is winter, you will not lack sufficient resources to make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Although it may seem that in winter it is more complicated to do the Camino than in spring or summer, all the routes are better prepared than in the past in terms of services at this time of the year.

No matter in what condition you do it, the Camino de Santiago will always be available for a unique experience.
Camino de Santiago in winter, pros and cons

PROS

  • You will be able to enjoy a more personal and intimate pilgrimage, as there is not much of an influx of pilgrims on the Camino during this time of year.
  • It is a good time to enjoy the solitude, peace, silence, tranquility and authenticity of the villages.
  • You will have plenty of time to reconnect with yourself without anything disturbing your steps.
  • You will have the opportunity to get out of the schedules, since you will not have to get up early to get a place in a hostel, nor will you have problems to find a place to eat, etc.
  • You will be able to start the journey in the middle of the morning, so you will not be hit so much by the cold.
  • The influx of pilgrims is lower, as they tend to concentrate in the months of greater agglomeration, which are located from April to late September.

CONS

  • The hardness will be relative to the harshness of the weather.
  • You will have to organize yourself better, since many establishments will not open their doors.
  • You will have to take the weather into account, since a normal stretch with snow can become dangerous.
  • There will be more dead hours, as the cold/rain will prevent you from seeing so many trails and you will have to take refuge in taverns or look for information about the Camino in a book.
  • Winter is the season with the highest percentage of accidents, especially at the beginning of the French Way given the adverse weather conditions, so from November 1 to March 31 the first stage varies by Luzaide-Valcarzos.
  • You will have to be very cautious, as there are fewer daylight hours and you risk getting lost.
  • You will need more physical preparation, as it is not the same to climb a mountain covered with mud and ice than a dry mountain in optimal conditions.
  • You will need a bigger backpack (preferably 50l) because of the warm clothes you will have to carry.

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