Have you ever considered walking the Camino de Santiago in winter? If the answer is yes, don’t worry, you are not the only one. Although it may seem crazy to you, many pilgrims decide to take their backpack and start walking the coldest months of the year looking for a difference experience than the one offered by the Camino the rest of the year.
If you are looking to live a different Jacobean experience, walking the Camino de Santiago in winter can be a great option. Next, we are going to see the advantages and disadvantages of doing the Camino in winter so that you can prepare your adventure. Let’s go there!
- At this time of the year you can live a more original experience and similar to how it was lived originally, apart from the current crowds. You will be able to have a more personal and introspective experience.
- One of the greatest advantages of traveling the Camino de Santiago in winter is that you can do it without haste. It is not necessary to get up early as much as in summer, since you will not be exposed to the high temperatures of noon to walk and you also don’t run the risk of running out of a place in the hostels because they are full.
- You’ ll find a landscape a totally different landscape than in other seasons. Some areas may be covered in snow. As for the cold, it won’t take long to warm up after starting to walk if you are well equipped.
- During the winter it’ s recommended not to do the path alone, especially if you do a route that goes through mountain stages. Bad weather or the instability of the ground could cause you to suffer an accident and, in that case, you may not find a pilgrim nearby to turn to.
- You should keep the weather in mind before choosing the route you are going to travel. Routes through high mountain areas may be covered in snow, and a single section can become complicated and dangerous. If you are going to do the Camino in winter, we recommend that you choose a section that is not very high, unless you are used to the mountains in winter.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of making the trek in winter is that your backpack will have to be larger (50l recommended) due to the warm clothes you will need. To prepare your backpack in winter, we recommend that you read our article on how to prepare your backpack for the Camino de Santiago. However, be sure to wear waterproof footwear, thermal clothing, and a raincoat.
- In winter many shelters close their doors to reopen in spring. For this reason, before start your journey you should make sure that there’ re open shelters in the places you plan to spend the night. If the hostels are closed, you will surely find a hotel in the area, but don’t leave without making sure.
- The physical preparation must be somewhat greater, since it isn’t the same to climb a muddy and icy mountain than a dry mountain and in good conditions.
In summary, if you want to enjoy the tranquillity of walking the Camino de Santiago in winter, prepare yourself physically well, choose the route you are going to travel well and make sure that there’re open shelters and wear suitable clothing so as not to end up in water.
We hope that if you are going to do the Camino de Santiago in winter, these tips will be useful to you. Remember that in our social networks we’ll keep you up to date with all the news that arise, follow us on Facebook or on Instagram!
In addition, we encourage you to share with us your experience traveling the Camino de Santiago on these social networks by tagging us or including the hashtag #alberguesdelcamino in your post. We look forward to your photos!