We get asked a lot of questions about the logistics of our Camino journey. The four most common are: When is the best time to walk? What are the best accommodations? What was the toughest part? What is the ideal gear?
Each question is more loaded than one might expect and sometimes our answers differ from others who have journeyed on the Camino. But regardless of differing opinions, we will do our best to answer these questions in this four part series on Camino Logistics. Today we share our thoughts on when to walk the Camino.
Over the past several years, a lot of people have reached out asking, “When should I walk the Camino?” There are a lot of opinions out there and a multitude of reasons to choose different times of year. While we have only done the Camino once, we’ve had lots of conversations with others who have traveled it at different times of year and done so multiple times.
Before you can answer the question of when, it’s important to ask why and how. “Why are you walking the Camino?” And, “How are you going about it?”
We walked the Camino for a number of reasons, but one significant part was to connect with humanity. So we chose a time when there would be a higher number of individuals walking. If you want to experience the Camino but don’t want to be at a high volume time, you might consider embracing less desirable weather in exchange for fewer numbers of pilgrims on the trail.
Our decision was also heavily influenced by weather. As far as “how” goes, we had a wheelchair, so rain was going to be a very challenging problem if we were to encounter much of it.
Optimal months (from a weather stand point) for walking the Camino are April, May, June, and September due to low rainfall and warm temperatures. Because of this, these are the heavily traveled months. July (especially late in the month) and August tend to be the hottest months while December and January are quite cold with some winters bringing a fair amount of snow in the hills and mountains.
Rain can be problematic in February, March, and October. Trekking in the rain can’t always be avoided but hiking the Camino during these months will guarantee many wet days and miles on end when you are soaking wet aren't much fun.
In our opinion, the spring and early summer months are best because of the likelihood of good weather and the guarantee of meeting people from all walks of life and from all over the world.