As you know, El Camino is one of the most popular and oldest pilgrimage routes in the world. Thousands of people walk every year to Santiago de Compostela to experience this adventure. An incredible journey besides walking, connecting with nature and people from all over the world. You will be able to fully immerse yourself in the Spanish culture and discover its heritage.
Read on! You will find out why September is one of the favorite months to do Camino and discover everything you need to know to make the most of your experience.
Why is September one of the best months to make a pilgrimage to Santiago?
The Camino de Santiago in September is the perfect time to do this experience. It combines nice and sunny weather, breathtaking landscapes showing the last glimpse of the heat, a quiet atmosphere and the opportunity to enjoy the last local festivities of the summer.
September is a month of transition for many people. In Spain, it marks the change of season from summer to autumn. It also means a change of habits in people’s routine. The kids go back to school. Many professionals are looking for new career and job opportunities. Companies return to their usual activity. And those who have the availability to travel will take the opportunity to do so. In a quieter environment than during the summer months.
September is the ideal month to start this adventure and discover the magic of the Camino. From the gorgeous landscapes and monuments, the local communities’ hospitality, until you reach your goal: the City of the Apostle and its majestic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
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September, the favorite month for hikers and nature lovers
In September, tranquility returns to the crowded summer tourist areas. While in the big cities the hustle, bustle, noise and the usual people and vehicles traffic returns. At this time the Camino de Santiago begins to decongest summer pilgrims and returns to calm.
Hiking the Camino in September is a different fall plan for those looking to connect with nature and breathe fresh air before returning to daily responsibilities.
Advantages of doing the Camino in September
The climate is ideal for walking
Temperatures in September are milder than in summer. They are nice to walk long days and complete your pilgrimage.
In addition, the weather is still great for a refreshing swim at the beach or in the river. The perfect plan to rest and relax after or even during your Camino.
Some roads are beginning to be less traveled
In September the number of pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago decreases considerably. You can enjoy moments of tranquility to connect with yourself while sharing experiences with other pilgrims.
On the busiest routes such as the French or Portuguese Way you will still meet many pilgrims. Especially in the most popular starting and ending points: Sarria, Roncesvalles, O Cebreiro, Santiago de Compostela …. and also in the most important monuments and places of interest. Even so, it will have nothing to do with the overcrowding during the high season. Other roads such as the English Way, the Winter Way or the Way of Muros and Noia are beginning to be less traveled.
Tourist services are operating at full capacity
Accommodations, restaurants, luggage transfers and other services are still operating at full capacity at this time of the year. You will find everything you need without any problems and you will no longer have the availability problems of the summer months.
Disadvantages of doing the Camino in September
The most popular routes are still overcrowded
Although summer comes to an end, in September many people take the opportunity to do the Camino, so the most famous routes can still have a high influx of pilgrims. Even though finding accommodation shouldn’t be a problem, if you do the Camino in September to connect with your inner self, keep in mind that on these routes it can be more difficult to find moments of disconnection in solitude. But don’t worry! There are more than 13 different routes of the Camino. If you choose a different one from the Portuguese or French Camino, you will find moments for yourself.
The change of season and weather
September is the beginning of the first rainfall. It is possible that one day you may encounter light and intermittent rain. But this should not be considered an impediment to walk the Camino in September. The rains are not usually abundant at this time, so you can take cover until it passes, or better yet, you can sing in the rain!
Recommended Camino de Santiago routes in September
The Winter Camino is considered an unknown route but it passes through some of the most impressive landscapes of northern Spain. It is highly recommended if you are looking for a quieter experience, surrounded by nature and prefer to walk without encountering many pilgrims along the Camino.
The Atlantic Camino joins the English Way and the FInisterre Way in a route that begins and ends in the Atlantic Ocean. You will discover small coastal and inland Galician villages, walking through spectacular natural environments until you reach the End of the World. An ideal way to enjoy the calm of the sea and the forests of Galicia.
The Portuguese Coastal Camino is another great option to do in September. It is a route of impressive natural beauty and has an extensive cultural heritage. It is ideal for those who love coastal landscapes and want to take a last dip before the end of the summer. You will also walk through nature, rural landscapes and you will meet a good number of pilgrims along the route.
What to bring to The Camino de Santiago in September?
We recommend carrying a backpack from 20 to 40 liters capacity. Remember that to walk comfortably and without back pain, you must follow the 10% rule. That is, the total weight of your backpack should not exceed 10% of your own weight.
And if you do not want to carry your backpack, but you need to take with you all the equipment to continue enjoying the comforts of everyday life, you can hire the services of luggage transfer from stage to stage. Throughout your Camino, a transporter will move your luggage from one accommodation to another while you are walking.
This is the most comfortable option. Increasingly chosen by many pilgrims. Since it avoids having to walk with weight on your back during long stages.
Be sure to bring appropriate clothing for autumn. A good pair of hiking boots or sneakers and a hat to protect you from the sun are a must. In addition, these are some of the essentials that you should not forget in your backpack if you are going to hike the Camino in autumn:
- Breathable technical T-shirts.
- Two shorts. You can also bring a long or modular one in case of colder and rainy days.
- A fleece or sweatshirt in case temperatures drop too low, especially early in the morning and at night.
- Comfortable walking shoes. Preferably trekking shoes.
- Comfortable clothes for sleeping.
- A waterproof raincoat in case it rains.
- Flip-flops or comfortable shoes to rest your feet after the hike.
- Hat or cap for the sun.
- Water bottle.
Celebrations and festivities in September in Galicia
In September you will find many activities to enjoy and relax after a long walk. If you plan to do the Camino this month, these are some of the most popular celebrations in Galicia.
Some of the El Camino routes pass through areas known for their wine production and strong winemaking tradition. If you walk some of these routes during the months of September and October (depending on weather conditions) you will have the opportunity to enjoy the Harvest. It is the grape harvest for the wine production. At this time you can enjoy the lively agricultural activity in the fields and wineries. The perfect moment to learn about the winemaking process, visit a winery and even taste the Denomination of Origin wines in the Ribeira Sacra or Rias Baixas.
In addition, the last summer festivals are celebrated in many Galician villages in September. Several of them are resting points of some of the Camino routes. These are the most popular festivals and celebrations in Galicia during the month of September:
- The Finisterre Way: Romería de Nuestra Señora de la Barca in Muxía
- The Portuguese Way: Feira Franca in Pontevedra
- The English Way: Festas de As Peras in Pontedeume
The Camino de Santiago in September offers a unique experience, combining pleasant weather, breathtaking scenery, a calmer atmosphere and the opportunity to immerse yourself in local festivities. You will enjoy an enriching and memorable experience, full of personal discoveries and connections.
So, pack your backpack, put on your hiking boots, and step into this unique adventure. September awaits you with open arms on the Camino de Santiago, a journey that will transform you in surprising and unique ways.