When to go? The likelihood is that you are reading this in Santiago, so good luck and don’t delay. If you still have choice then you might consider the following pointers. If you like peace and quiet then the spring months of April and May will provide few other pilgrims and fewer tourists. Hostals will be open and flights and ferries should be operating, at least on some limited basis. Toilets will be clean and hotels freshly painted! You will be accompanied by spring flowers and cool conditions for walking: nights are likely to be cold and rain plentiful!
Santiago de Compostela Trip Photo Gallery
The summer months of July and August are bedlam. If this coincides with a Holy Year, any year when St. James Praza do Fonseca with Pilgrims day (25th July) falls on a Sunday, it becomes a nightmare! Unless you want to experience what it is like to ‘find no room at the Inn’ and you enjoy crowds, then avoid this time. It is a hot, dusty and vexatious season and even on the Ruta de la Plata from Seville, which carries only 1% of total pilgrims, some hotels and restaurants actually close down because of the hassle factor. You can imagine what it is like on the Camino Frances which carries 95% of all pilgrims arriving at Santiago! Even allowing for the tiny proportion of pilgrims going on to Finisterre. this is still a very busy time.
The summer travel schedules mostly operate through the autumn months of September and October and yet the bulk of pilgrims and tourists have left, so this is another quiet time to travel. However, services might be somewhat run down and accommodation jaded. Weather is likely to be kinder than early spring with less rainfall.
Some of the most mystical and transformative trips can be in the depths of winter.
There may be less flights and ferries and many hotels will be closed, but 1 have never wanted for a bed to sleep on at this time of year. Bring warm waterproof clothes and remember that daylight hours are restricted so the daily distance that you can cover is reduced, as is availability of accommodation.
The charts on the following page might help your decision. They have been compiled from statistics kept at the pilgrim’s office in Santiago and the Council offices in Finisterre. You can access the latest figures on: www. archicompo ste la. org/peregri nos Whilst clearly not everyone arriving at Santiago will report to the pilgrim’s office or collect a compostela. the following figures give a good indication of general trends. Essentially 92% of all pilgrims arrive in Santiago via the C amino Frances and 56% arrive in the two months of July and August. The average number of pilgrims arriving in Santiago has increased tenfold over the past decade to an average of 44,000 per annum.