Thanks for the site, the trail looks awesome. Trying to convince a couple of mates of mine to do it.
Just a question though… when did you do the trail or at least when would the best time be in the year to do the trail (our seasons down here is South Africa are quite different to those in Spain).
The best time to do El Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) is from Spring to Autumn, in Spain that would be from April to mid-October. July and August are very hot (40 degrees Celsius are usual in the daytime) but nice in overall if you like the hot weather. May, June and September are also very nice but not as hot, and also not as crowded as July and august.
Great website. Lots of useful info.
I’m thinking of running from Pamplona to Santiago (in September), doing about 40-50km per day. I will need to travel very light, perhaps with a camelback type backpack. My concern is that I would have no space for a sleeping bag. Any ideas/advice? Would a sheet sleeping bag work? Do the hostels have blankets?
Well, considering that September is still warm you may use a sheet sleeping bag, or a very light and small sleeping bag, I have a sleeping bag of 500gr. just for indoors use that is very small. The albergues not only have blankets and even if they have it is better to have something yours to put over the mattress because many times they don’t wash the sheets or blankets daily. Take into account that sometimes a one or two volunteers are running an albergue of 200 beds…
So you are better off taking something with you, even small, or even a normal bed sheet.
Then of course there is private accommodation all along the way that offers you what you might be expecting from a normal hostel or small hotel but they are far more expensive than the albergues and meeting the rest of the pilgrims in the albergues is always one of the best parts.
I hope this helps…
I have visited your nice and informative web-page about el Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James), and I was wondering if I could ask you a couple of questions.
I am playing with the idea of doing el Camino de Santiago this summer. But I am a keen biker, and I was wondering if one can do el Camino by bike…Do many people do that? Is it “accepted”? Or is it better to go by foot? The idea of going by foot scares my slightly injured back a bit….
Also I wanted to know if it is very crowded in July/august? I prefer fewer people, and I don’t want to end up arriving at a full hostel with no room for me…
Doing el Camino de Santiago by bicycle is very popular and it is, of course, accepted so don’t worry at all about that and feel free to cycle to Santiago.
Regarding the crowds the worst months are July and August, you may consider to do it in June or September which are less crowded months… Having said that, even in July and august I have never seen a pilgrim (on foot or by cycle) without bed (or mattress in the floor) to sleep.
My name is Daniel I have come across your website and have been reading it thoroughly. I am thinking about doing el Camino to Santiago from Leipzig, Germany. I noticed that you have a map of el Caminos de Europa but unfortunately it is not very detailed. Do you have a more detailed map of el Caminos de Europa? Or do you know where I could find such a map?
I thank you so much for any help you could give me and I would be so grateful.
Unfortunately I cannot give you much help. I don’t have a more detailed map.
The only information I can tell you is that currently the most developed and popular way from Europe is La via de Le Puy in France, from there to Spain the way is also very well signalized and there is pilgrim accommodation (although more expensive than in Spain). Beyond Le Puy I don’t know too much, I know that some people come walking from Switzerland or Germany or Holland but I cannot provide you details of that, maybe firstly try Google “via de le puy” that could be a way that you may join on your way from Leipzig.
Hope this helps a bit,
thank you for your great website on the Way of Saint James! We are planning to go this summer, most likely via the Northern Route, possibly the classical French Route.
We do intend to bring a tent, but still we do wonder – is there any chance that our DOG would be welcome at the hostels? He is not very big (cca 12 kg/ Cocker Spaniel type) and this is a piece of information which I find hard to retrieve from anywhere. Do you as a frequent pilgrim recall people bringing their four-footed friend and staying at the hostels?
Indeed, I remember pilgrims bringing their dogs to el Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James). You will find a bit of everything, in some places they will have a courtyard or some space for your dog to sleep, in others there will be a separate room for people carrying dogs and their dogs, and in others simply dogs will not be welcome 🙁 but I cannot now tell you exactly which ones, so I think bringing a tent is the wisest option so that you will always the choice of sleeping outside the albergue with the dog. I don’t think it should cause you much trouble since I’ve already seen many other pilgrims dogs in both el Camino frances and el Camino del norte.
and many many thanks for your incredibly quick reply!
We will bring our little four-footed friend along then and hope for the best.
Which of the routes did you like most?
Maybe we will see you along the way.
Not at all, thanks to you for your interest!
All routes are great, although I prefer el Camino frances, maybe because the Castilla flat and dry landscape is more appealing to me. But the nature in el Camino del norte is simply amazing.
Maybe I’ll see you along the way, you never know. I like to walk it once every two years.