When is Best Time to Walk the Camino de Santiago?

The best times to walk the Camino de Santiago are April, May, June, September, and October. The weather is warm and mild during these months, and the Camino de Santiago routes are relatively quiet.

July and August are the most popular months, though they can be very hot, most routes are very busy. There are also several alternatives to Camino de Santiago that you can visit in different months or during hot months like July or August.

This is one of the questions I get asked most frequently. Usually, people are asking about the most popular route, the Camino Frances, to Santiago, which is the route this post refers to.

Quick Weather Guide

  • January – cold, snow on hills & mountains
  • February – cold, snow on mountains
  • March – warm days, cold nights
  • April – a great time to walk
  • May – one of the best times
  • June – hot, but still okay
  • July – very hot
  • August – very hot
  • September – warm and mild
  • October – warm days, cold nights
  • November – cold & wet
  • December – cold, wet, snow

It is still possible to have snow on the mountains between St Jean and Roncesvalles until mid-April. Because of that, you’re best to bear in mind that your backpack will be heavier in the winter; see the packing list.

Weather Chart for the Camino de Santiago

The weather chart below shows Leon, one of the major cities along the Camino. Because the Camino routes cover so many areas, giving one chart for all routes is impossible.

weather chart for the camino de santiago

January and December

Unless you are located on the other side of the equator, January and December are winter.

Winter in Spain can sometimes be fairly cold. In 2008, there were snow blizzards in what was the worst winter for 15 years. In 2015, there was again lots of snow on the hills after Leon. However, 2011/2012 was a warmer winter all over Europe.

You can plan in advance, but in the winter, be prepared and check the forecast before heading up any of the hills, especially from St Jean Pied de Port.

Apart from the weather, the other main problem between the end of Oct and the start of Easter is that some places are closed, especially between 15th December and 15th of January.  If you are walking at this time of the year, ensure your guidebook has updated information on what hostels and albergues are open.

I would not choose to walk at this time of year, but many don’t have a choice due to time constraints.

This post on Sil’s blog has loads of good advice from someone who has actually walked the Camino during the winter. I also recommend checking out my guide to winter hiking.

October, November, February, and March

These months are much wetter than the rest of the year, so be prepared with rain gear.  It can be fairly cold in the mornings, however, if you are lucky often the sun will burn off any frost and you will have mild days.

That said, the last 100km into Santiago can be wet at any time of the year. I was caught in two days of rain while walking in September.

April, May, June, September, and October Are the Best Times to Walk the Camino

These are likely considered the best months to walk any Caminos to Santiago. The weather is generally warm or hot during these months, everything is open, and the routes are not as busy as during the main summer months.

July and August

These are the most popular months on the Camino. I would try to avoid starting on July 25th from Roncesvalles, the feast day of St James, as it can be a very busy day.

The same is true if you plan to arrive in Santiago during the week before and after the 25th of July.  If you are arriving in Santiago at this time, be prepared for the hotels to be harder to book and more expensive. Additionally, the albergues will be very busy.

There is a Spanish public holiday on the 15th of August (the Assumption of Mary); again, I would avoid starting from St. Jean or Roncesvalles on this date.

I once stayed overnight in Roncesvalles at this time, and it was very crowded. The hostel needed overflow tents to accommodate everyone. But the worst for me was walking the next day.

I generally find the Spanish extremely helpful along all the Caminos. However, I am not used to the noise when there are many Spanish walking nearby talking on their phones. Sorry, Spain.

This is a local problem in every country due to the availability and cost of mobile data. While at the top of Ben Nevis in Scotland, I overheard many Brits calling friends, with the start of the call being—guess where I am.

Below are the weather charts for Bilbao, Leon, and Santiago.  Notice how wet Santiago can be; it is generally colder in Leon.

Above photo courtesy of Amawalker


4 thoughts on “When is Best Time to Walk the Camino de Santiago?”

  1. Camino Frances in Spring is so beautiful with the vistas of green. Spring rain however brings some slippery paths. Cool morning starts, warm days and comfortable nights was my experience. I’d return in Spring in a heartbeat! Camino 2015.

  2. Thinking about hitting the Camino Frances in late March. Would appreciate any advice you can share. I have oodles of experience hiking the Appalachian Trail in the U.S. So, I feel I can do this. Sounds like I’m in for a lot of rain. Question: What kind of rain showers should I expect for that time of year? Are they all day experiences or passing showers? Thanks!

  3. I’m thinking about starting the Camino (Frances?) in early September 2022. Is the landscape more beautiful in Spring? Since that will be my constant companion, and this will likely be my only Camino, I’d like to pick optimum season.

    • I haven’t walked in spring, only summer and autumn. Summer can be bleak at some points due to the very hot weather, autumn is beautiful.


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