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Doing the Camino de Santiago in March

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.

Peregrinos en el Camino de Santiago

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

Moderate weather

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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    Nature awakening

    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

    Weather instability

    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.

    English Way

    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.

    Portuguese Way

    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.

    French Route

    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.
    Peregrinos en el Camino de Santiago en Marzo

    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.

    Entroido en Galicia

    St. Patrick’s Day (17 March)

    Although originating in Ireland, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day has also gained popularity in some parts of Galicia. Festive events and activities are organised, especially in areas with an Irish cultural connection. St. Joseph’s Day (19 March) St. Joseph’s Day, or “Día o Pai” in Galician, is a holiday honouring St. Joseph, the husband of the Virgin Mary. It is a day dedicated to fathers and some towns have special events or religious celebrations in honour of St. Joseph.

    Holy Week (Varies by year)

    Semana Santa (Holy Week) is an important religious celebration throughout Spain, and Galicia is no exception. Processions, liturgical events and re-enactments of the Passion of Christ are common in many Galician towns during this time. In short, whether you are planning your own winter pilgrimage or have simply enjoyed exploring this journey through this post, remember that the Camino de Santiago always awaits you. Whether in March or at any time of the year, this trail offers a journey of self-discovery, beauty and connection that will linger with you long after you arrive in Santiago de Compostela. ¡Buen Camino!
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