Late September, October and November are wonderful months to hike the Camino.
If you can choose, you will certainly succeed if you decide to walk your Camino in autumn.
Fistly of all, it surely will be a quieter Camino. Specially If we are talking about French Camino, which is overcrowded in summer time and without having to worry about being the first to arrive at the hostel to not run out of space. You will also find peaceful trails and not so many groups of pilgrims everywhere.
Secondly, the weather conditions. Mild temperatures are the best to walk the Camino. Summer is usually too hot, particularly on the Meseta on French Camino. On the contrary, winter could be quite tough: snow, rain, low temperatures; which makes the Camino a hard task to develop. It usually gets cooler and wetter the closer you get to November and the deeper you get into Galicia but it is also beautiful and still very green in this part of the Camino. However, the weather is always unpredictable in this season. Many pilgrims who walk regularly during these months wear lightweight but warm thermal layers which can be easily added or removed as the temperature changes.
Thirdly, a unique colourful landscape while walking. These are the ideal months to experience the magic of the Camino de Santiago. In late September or October you can enjoy the view of splendid vineyards, both on French and Portuguese Camino . Vineyards of juicy native (tempranillo or albariño) grapes dot each little hamlet and village along the route.
Some pilgrims worry about accommodation since some “albergues” or hostels close in November. Don´t worry too much about this matter, generally hospitaleros (those who run the hostels) know which hostels are open on the next stage and, often, lists are posted on the doors.
As we know the different Caminos that reach Santiago run through much of Spain and Portugal, which are lands of varied climates and landscapes. In my view, this is one of the charms of the Camino. In Autumn you will find endless croplands and vineyards on the Meseta, evergreens and coniferous trees in the forests, enchanted canyons and valleys changing colours like a chameleon.
Let´s do the Camino in Autumn, you won´t regret!
Buen Camino, amigos!
Photo 1 http://www.claudioacebo.com/