In the month of February winter mixes with the essence of the Camino de Santiago, creating a unique experience in which peace and tranquility will accompany you on each stage of the journey.
Why do the Camino de Santiago in February?
Doing the Camino de Santiago in February is a brave choice that rewards those seeking a unique and enriching experience. While winter may seem challenging with cold temperatures and shorter days, this season brings with it magical winter landscapes that create an intimate and peaceful atmosphere for walking.
Advantages of walking the Camino de Santiago in February
This is the most notable feature of doing the Camino de Santiago in February. As winter arrives, the number of pilgrims begins to drop, so the Camino becomes quieter. February is a perfect month if you are looking to enjoy the beauty and silence of winter landscapes..
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Enchanting winter landscapes
In February, the Camino de Santiago is transformed into a magical and peaceful setting, where snow covers the fields and paths with a white mantle in some high areas of Castilla y León such as the ascent to Foncebadón or in O Cebreiro, in Galicia, creating a beautiful winter scene. This new landscape creates a special atmosphere during the pilgrimage, offering a unique visual experience.
Disadvantages of doing the Camino de Santiago in February
Variable weather conditions
This is one of the main drawbacks of the Camino at this time of year. In February, frost at night and in the early hours of the morning is frequent and throughout the day, temperatures oscillate around 5ºC. Snow can be seen in inland and higher altitude areas such as O Cebreiro or Cruz de Ferro.
In addition, there is a higher probability of precipitation, especially in regions such as Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria.
Therefore, our recommendation is that you go very well equipped, with thermal and waterproof clothing to combat these challenging weather conditions. In addition, walking the Camino de Santiago in February will require a greater physical preparation, as it is different to walk on tracks and paths covered with mud or snow.
Fewer daylight hours for walking
In February, the days are shorter, which means fewer hours of sunlight to complete the daily stages. Our recommendation is that you start the Camino early to make the most of the daylight hours and be able to do activities in your free time.
More weight in your backpack
In this month, temperatures are lower, so you will have to carry warm clothes in your backpack. These types of clothes are thicker than those used in summer to protect you from the cold, and therefore, they take up more space and weigh more. For this reason, we recommend that you carry a backpack of no less than 50 L so that you can carry your belongings without any problem.
If you want to live this experience without worries and enjoy it to the full, remember that we offer a luggage transfer service between stages.
Which route of the Camino de Santiago to do in February?
Given that in February the weather conditions are challenging, we recommend choosing short itineraries. In addition, it would be wise to choose stages that pass through populated areas, where you can take shelter in case of rain, storm or any other unforeseen event. This will make your experience more enjoyable and safer.
The Portuguese Way is the second most popular route after the French Way. It starts in Lisbon but many choose to start in Porto, Portugal’s largest city, which is 250 km from Santiago de Compostela. The approximate walking time would be 12 days.
This is the most popular route among pilgrims, but at this time of year, there will be fewer pilgrims, which will allow you to have a quieter experience. In addition, finding services along the Camino will not be a problem, since it has a large number of infrastructures available throughout the year.
What to take on the Camino de Santiago in February?
- Thermal clothing and layers: February is a cool month, so maintaining body heat is crucial.
- Comfortable and resistant footwear: We recommend waterproof trekking boots with good cushioning and don’t wear new ones to avoid chafing. You will also need thermal or wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry.
- Lightweight backpack: You should pack no more than 10% of your body weight and organise the inside of your backpack properly to prevent your joints from suffering. If, on the other hand, you have neck problems, or if you feel overwhelmed at the prospect of carrying so much weight while walking, we have a luggage transport service that will take your backpack or luggage from accommodation to accommodation. This way, you can fit everything you want in your backpack without worrying about carrying that weight during your Camino.
- First aid kit: Health and safety are important in your pilgrimage, so in your backpack you should not miss bandages and disinfectants; and medicines as painkillers, anti-inflammatory or other you may need.
- External batteries and adapters: It is important to have an external battery to charge your devices along the way. You will also need an adapter if you are travelling from a country outside Europe.
- Documents and pilgrim credentials: Do not forget your ID (or passport if you are travelling from outside Spain), your pilgrim credentials and any important identification documents.
Celebrations and festivities in February in Galicia
In February, you’ll find plenty of activities to enjoy and relax after a long walk. If you’re planning to do the Camino this month, here are some of the most popular celebrations in Galicia.
Also known as Entroido in Galicia, it has been recognised as a Festival of Tourist Interest and is especially popular in the province of Ourense. It also has its own splendid cuisine thanks to the many typical desserts of this festivity such as filloas, bica or coffee liqueur.
Lalín Cocido Fair
Although Lalín is not directly on the Way of St. James, its Cocido Fair is an important gastronomic event that takes place on the Sunday before the Entroido.
During the day of the festival, various activities take place, such as parades of brass bands and floats, performances by bands, parades and the tasting of this traditional dish.
Other local festivities
February is also a month of celebrations and festivities in various towns and cities in Galicia. One of the most popular is the Festa do Cocido do Porco Celta in Sarria, which you can attend if you are on the French Way. This festivity exalts the quality of Celtic pork, where attendees can enjoy a delicious Galician stew and tapas and portions of the product.