As winter quietly retreats, March reveals itself as a transitional month on the Camino, offering an experience that combines the calm of the departing winter and the renewing energy of the approaching spring. During this month of change, nature slowly awakens from its winter slumber.
Why do the Camino de Santiago in March?
March offers pilgrims a unique experience between the fading winter and the awakening spring. It is the last month of calm on the Camino before the influx of pilgrims begins to rise, so March offers a unique opportunity to enjoy the route in relative solitude, giving you moments of reflection and connection with the Camino.
The fields and forests begin to awaken from their winter lethargy, transforming the landscapes into a symphony of soft colours. The first buds and blossoming flowers offer a visual spectacle that can only be enjoyed at this time of year, turning every step into a celebration of the renewal of life.
March’s moderate temperature adds a comfortable touch to the journey. Although mornings can be cool, the day tends to warm up as it progresses, providing ideal walking weather without the rigours of winter cold or summer heat.
Advantages of walking the Camino de Santiago in March
Marking the transition between winter and spring, March offers milder weather. Temperatures are generally moderate, making it easier to walk without the extreme cold of winter or the scorching heat of summer.
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March brings with it the first signs of spring. The landscapes along the Camino are filled with blossoming flowers and greening trees, offering pilgrims a unique glimpse of nature’s renewal.
Availability of accommodation
In March, the influx of pilgrims and occupancy increases compared to the rest of the winter months. During this month finding accommodation should not be a problem, but it is advisable to book in advance.
Disadvantages of doing the Camino de Santiago in March
Although temperatures are milder, March can be unpredictable in terms of weather. Unexpected rain can occur, so it is essential to be prepared for a variety of conditions.
Some services may be limited
Although the season is not as low as in winter, some services and facilities may have limited opening hours or be closed, as March does not yet mark the full start of the high season.
Preparing for the cold at night
Despite the milder daytime temperatures, nights can still be chilly in March. You should be prepared with suitable clothing for this.
Which Camino route to do in March?
Given the unstable weather conditions, it is advisable that you consider shorter routes that can be completed in about a week. In addition, it would be wise to choose stages that pass through populated areas, where you can take shelter in case of rain or storm.
With this in mind, we suggest exploring either of the two variants of the English Way, either the one that starts in Ferrol or the one that begins in A Coruña, as they can be completed in just 5 or 6 days and take place mainly within Galicia.
The Portuguese Way is also one of the most recommended routes to do in March. Either of its two variants (both the Interior and the Coast) are of great natural beauty and have a great cultural heritage. In addition, they run at low altitude and do not cross any mountains, so the weather on this route is mild.
On the other hand, if you are considering a slightly longer pilgrimage, the most obvious choice is the French Way. It is important to bear in mind that it is not necessary to complete it all at once, but you can divide the total route into parts and do them at different times, even in different years. In addition, the quality of services on this route is usually higher and more regulated, which becomes a real relief during the cold nights on the Camino.
What to take on the Camino de Santiago in March?
March is a transitional month between winter and spring. As you venture on this journey, it is essential to be well equipped to ensure a comfortable and safe experience.
- Layered and versatile clothing: March can bring with it a mix of weather. From cool mornings to warmer evenings, it’s crucial to pack layers. Include a waterproof jacket and thermals for the cooler mornings, but also make sure you have lighter clothing for the midday heat.
- Comfortable, sturdy footwear: a good pair of waterproof hiking boots is essential. You’ll also need woollen or thermal socks to keep your feet warm and dry. Consider carrying a second pair of socks to change during the day if necessary. Also remember to bring comfortable slippers or flip-flops to rest your feet in after the hike.
- Lightweight backpack: A comfortable and sturdy backpack will help you carry your belongings efficiently. We recommend a backpack with a capacity of 30 or 40 litres. To walk without back pain, remember that the total weight of your backpack should not exceed 10% of your own weight. And if you don’t want to carry the whole rucksack, but you need to take all your daily utensils with you, you can hire the services of luggage transfer between stages.
- Rain jacket and backpack cover: March’s unpredictable weather can bring rain, so a rain jacket and a waterproof cover for your backpack is essential to keep your gear dry.
- Water bottle: It’s important to stay hydrated. Carry a sturdy water bottle and refill it whenever you can.
- External battery and adapters: make sure you have an external battery to charge your devices and adapters for plugs if you are travelling from outside Europe.
- First aid kit: include bandages, disinfectant, painkillers and any personal medication you may need.
- Pilgrim documents and credentials: don’t forget your ID card (or passport if you are travelling from outside Spain), your pilgrim credentials and any important identification documents.
Celebrations and festivals in March in Galicia
In March, Galicia celebrates several festivities and events that reflect the rich cultural and religious tradition of the region. It is important to bear in mind that celebrations may vary according to the region and the specific circumstances of each year. In addition, religious festivities may change according to the liturgical calendar.
Entroido (Carnival – Varies according to the year)
Although it usually begins in February, Entroido (Carnival in Galician) can extend into early March depending on the liturgical year. It is a colourful and lively festival, with parades, costumes, music and dances that vary from town to town.