With the end of summer we welcome autumn, a very interesting season of the year to do the Camino de Santiago. After the autumnal equinox on September 23, the months of this season will surprise you with beautiful scenery and a quieter, more intimate pilgrimage experience. In this article we will tell you everything you need to know if you are going to embark on the adventure of walking the Camino de Santiago in the autumn of the Holy Year.
Advantages of doing the Camino in Autumn
Autumn will bring milder temperatures than summer, and the sweltering heat will not be a big problem on your Camino. The days will be shorter and you will have more hours of freshness, especially in the mornings and in the evening.
The lower influx of pilgrims is one of the main advantages of this time of year, as the end of the holidays and the return to the daily routine lightens the traffic of walkers. A quieter and more intimate path awaits you in Autumn.
You will be able to find accommodation easily, as there are fewer pilgrims, it will be easier to get a place in a hostel or somewhere special and quiet. This way you will have more time to enjoy the places you pass through.
The deciduous landscapes are the protagonists of this time of the year, with a range of colours that will fill your senses. However, depending on the month, the route and the sections you choose, you may even find the first snowy landscapes. In addition, you will be able to see how some agricultural activities typical of the time are carried out in the places where the Camino passes through.
In autumn you have to take into account to do the Camino
In relation to the above, the backpack may be heavier, since you will have to carry a raincoat or a raincoat, a coat and perhaps waterproof clothes and changes of clothes. Consider, in addition, that you can travel on snowy stretches.
As there are fewer pilgrims, there will be fewer new people to meet, although in reality you can always say the pilgrim’s greeting, as you are guaranteed to meet other walkers like yourself.
Some services may decrease in availability, such as the transport of backpacks, as well as the number of accommodations. As it is low season it is likely that you will find yourself in this situation, but we can help you in this task.
Which path to choose?
In reality, any of the paths is worth walking, because the experience of pilgrimage alone is very special. However, you can decide depending on the landscapes you want to find, or decide for a path with more services.
The The French Way of Santiago is one of the best equipped, and in its last 100 kilometres you will find all the necessary services, enjoying the beautiful forests of inland Galicia and its corn meadows about to be harvested. The same happens with the Portuguese Way. The Portuguese Route, although this one runs closer to the coast, and for example will allow you to get to know the work of the grape harvest in Galicia’s Rías Baixas.
You can find the high mountain landscapes in autumn in the Primitive Way and the high peaks of the Alto del Acebo, as well as in the French Way with the mythical Alto do Cebreiro. Despite its name, the Winter Road is also very special in autumn, with the bucolic landscapes of the Ribeira Sacra.
As mentioned above, we must take into account that in autumn it can rain and that temperatures are somewhat cooler outside the central hours of the day, especially at the beginning of each stage. Bringing some warm clothes and protection from the rain is the main thing to consider when packing your backpack.
What to do in a pilgrim autumn
Walking some of the routes to Compostela you can discover the local peasant work that corresponds to the autumn months, such as the grape harvest and other harvests. In addition to walking, at the end of each stage you can discover the local culture of the village at the end of the stage, visit its monuments and taste its gastronomy. In Galicia they celebrate the magostos, festivities in which roasted chestnuts are collected and eaten. As well as chestnuts, it is a time for wines and mushrooms, and you might like to visit a winery or taste the local gastronomy.