Every year there are more pilgrims who decide to make the Camino de Santiago at Easter. Either because they want to get to Santiago just before, to live this celebration in the city, or simply because it is the first holiday of the year. Either way, it is a good time to do the Camino and here we explain why.
The best things to do at Easter
There are several reasons why doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter is a very good idea. First of all, spring begins, so temperatures are milder. Also, the days are longer, which will allow us to enjoy more hours of sunshine to make the kilometres more quietly without fear of nightfall - and to enjoy the heritage and landscapes of the places through which we will pass. It is also the perfect season to enjoy nature in full bloom, with wildflowers blooming along the roadsides.
On the other hand, Easter does not coincide with the central months of the year, when the volume of pilgrims increases considerably, so the Camino is quieter. That is, we will not find an excessive influx of walkers during this time, something that can happen occasionally during the summer months (depending on the route we choose). In this way, we will have more options to choose from among the different types of accommodation, and it will also be easier to enjoy open spaces such as gardens, terraces, etc. in the places where we stop to spend the night or simply recharge our batteries.
On the other hand, if you arrive in Santiago in time for the Holy Week festivities, you will also be able to enjoy the many activities that take place. Although these festivities are not as important in Santiago as they are in other cities along the Pilgrim's Way, the truth is that the public holidays always have an interesting cultural programme. And, again, the city does not receive as many visitors at this time of year as in summer, so it will be quieter.
The worst thing about travelling at Easter
Now let's look at some of the disadvantages of doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter, since not everything can be advantages. If they were, the months of July to September would cease to be the months with the largest influx of pilgrims on the Camino.
The biggest drawback for this date if you do the last 100 kilometres of any of the Caminos de Santiago is that, in Galicia, rain is usually present during the spring. This situation will undoubtedly make the Camino more uncomfortable - although the rains in Galicia are usually mild. In addition, it will increase the size of your luggage, as you will have to carry between-season clothes, some summer and some winter clothes to be covered no matter what happens.
We recommend that you don't leave behind a mackintosh, windbreaker or waterproof trousers and several spare socks in case your feet get wet.
Handbook of Pilgrims
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Camino de Santiago at Easter: which one to choose?
As we know well, there are a great number of options to get to the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, each one with its charms, its advantages and its difficulties. Here you can see more information about the different routes. However, we understand that, when we talk about doing the Camino de Santiago at Easter, we must adjust, in principle, to a week. The distance will be different if we do the Camino on foot or if we do it by bicycle.
Some pilgrims take this week to start the Camino as a first contact and prefer to make the last 100 km on foot or 200 by bicycle and thus obtain the Compostela. Others, however, take advantage of this week to make a section and leave it where they can resume it later during the summer. In this way, they can do two consecutive sections, and complete longer routes. Thinking about this temporal premise, in Proguías we have designed different programmes that fit into a week so you can decide which is your Camino.
The truth is that all the Routes are operational at Easter, but, even so, it is best to bear in mind the following. We should avoid the Caminos whose stages pass through high mountain areas or sections very exposed to winds, because the weather during this time of the year is unpredictable. This is the case of some sections of the Northern Way, and especially the Pyrenean section of the French Way: remember that the Napoleon bypass is compulsorily closed from 1 November to 31 March for safety reasons, and that those wishing to enter from Saint Jean Pied-de-Port towards Roncesvalles must do so via the Valcarlos bypass.
If you are not used to wet weather, it is also best to avoid areas where the rain is heaviest, such as the Basque Country or Asturias. The best route is one that crosses inland areas and is a little further away from the north of the peninsula. That is: sections of the Vía de la Plata, the Camino de Madrid, or the central Portuguese Way.
Now you have enough information to decide if Easter is the right time for you to do the Camino. If you wish, you can contact us and we will take care of organizing the Camino for you (accommodation, luggage transfer, transfers, etc.) Contact us and come at Easter to do the Camino de Santiago!