Useful tips and trivia to take on the Camino de Santiago walk between December, January, and February.
The Camino de Santiago in recent years is attracting more and more travelers who want to test themselves with the distances and difficulties of living a journey on foot. The late spring period is undoubtedly the most requested for the favorable climate, but there is the risk of being in many, perhaps too many, living this experience of strength and spirituality.
In addition to the half seasons and summer, there are pilgrims who venture along the path even in winter. Weather conditions are less easy to deal with backpack-in-shoulder. It is necessary to bring heavier clothing and to preserve the change of clothes in the dry. Even the shoes must be adequate to walk with cold and mud.
The itinerary of Santiago provides at least 100 kilometers of walking, the short way that starts from Sarria, but the true path would be ten times as long, at least 1,000 km.
December, January, and February are the most difficult and least frequented months, but there are also some advantages: there is no anxiety to find a place to sleep and there is no mass of pilgrims along the way, who meets on the road follows a stronger and mystical motivation than those who follow the path more for vacation than for the spirit of sacrifice. In the small villages, they offer more hospitality towards the pilgrims.
The only walkable path is the French one: so as to find the accommodation facilities suitable for the hospitality of the pilgrims. Only one hundred rooms are available at this hotel and are open only on request. Follow the weather forecast becomes essential because walking in the rain is very hard. The days are shorter and to avoid walking in the dark you have to calculate well the stages, which will be shorter than the summer ones. In case of snow or fog, the columns with the directions of the route may not be visible, better follow asphalt roads.
The Camino de Santiago in winter is characterized by opposite elements. Some rooms are equipped with a dryer that could save the way in case of bad weather, on the contrary, other hostels do not even have heating. The trip, on the whole, is often solitary, even if the meetings that are made in this period are the most significant and there is much more mutual solidarity.