Longing for an Autumn Walking Escapes? Mild temperatures and quieter tracks make Autumn months, particularly September and October, possibly the best time of the year for a walking adventure. From the Camino de Santiago to Tuscany, the CaminoWays.com travel specialists have picked three wonderful walking escapes to inspire you this Autumn, get your walking shoes ready!
September is a very busy month on the Camino Francés; particularly the last section from Sarria to Santiago. This means accommodation options can be limited. However, there are many other fantastic Camino routes to be discovered, perfect for Autumn pilgrims. Along these Camino routes you will encounter a much smaller number of pilgrims but the same sense of camaraderie that makes the Camino such a special journey.
Autumn is one of the best seasons for walking and hiking. Mild temperatures, peaceful trails and wonderful colours make September and October ideal months to experience the magic of the Camino de Santiago.
These are some great trip ideas for a colourful Autumn on the Camino:
Finisterre Way to Muxía
Why choose this Camino route? This is a unique Camino route as it is the only one starting in Santiago de Compostela. The trail takes pilgrims all the way to Cape Fisterra, by the Atlantic Ocean, and then on to the fishing village of Muxía, along the rugged and magnificent Costa da Morte coastline, home to pristine sandy beaches, picturesque lighthouses and superb seafood. Muxía’s iconic sanctuary by the ocean hosts its most important festival in early September. It is an opportunity to discover the region’s fascinating traditions, mixing religious and pagan myths and rituals; such as those associated with the rocking stones by the sanctuary, believed to have curative powers.
When to go: early September to catch the unique Virxe da Barca festival in Muxía village and go for a swim in Lires beach.
Trip details: Camino Fisterra.
Why choose this Camino route? The Original Way or Camino Primitivo is the oldest Camino route, taken by King Alfonso II in the 9th century on his pilgrimage from Asturias. The second section of this Camino route starts in the walled city of Lugo, home to a spectacular UNESCO-listed Roman wall wrapped around its historic centre. Lugo is known for its famous wall but also for its great food (including free pinchos in many of the bars in the old town) and for the San Froilán festival in October. Originally an agricultural fair, San Froilán is still one of the most unique places to try Galician-style octopus or ‘fair style octopus’ (as it is known in Galicia).
When to go: early October to experience the traditional San Froilán celebrations in the city.
Trip details: Camino Primitivo from Lugo.
Why choose this Camino route? The last section of the Via de la Plata route is probably one of the most rural, peaceful and beautiful. With Ourense city getting some of the hottest Summer temperatures in the country, the best time to discover this section starting in Ourense is Autumn or Spring. Before your trip, you can take a day to enjoy the city’s famous outdoor hot springs (termas). If you travel in November, make sure you arrive in time for the city’s ‘Magosto’ traditional chestnut roasting event taking place on St Martin’s Day, 11th November.
When to go: October for mild temperatures or arrive in Ourense on 11th November to take part in the ‘Magosto’ chestnut festival.
Trip details: Via de la Plata from Ourense.
WALKING TUSCANY – perfect for Autumn Walking Escapes
The Via Francigena is an epic pilgrim route starting in Canterbury and covering nearly 2000kms to Rome. The section across Tuscany is one of the most beautiful (as well as better marked) of the whole Francigena route and Autumn is the best time for walking this magnificent part of Italy. Picturesque medieval towns, tracks across rolling hills and lush vineyards; as well as delicious food are all part of the Francigena Tuscan experience.
If you would rather join a group, FrancigenaWays.com has a Tuscany guided tour departing 17th September, only a few spaces available.
Where: Tuscany, Italy
When: September and October. November if you’d like to catch the white truffle festival in San Miniato.
PORTUGAL’S ROTA VICENTINA
The Rota Vicentina Fishermen’s Trail coastal route takes walkers to magnificent trails along the Atlantic shores of Southern Portugal. Panoramic ocean views, majestic cliffs, peaceful tracks and quaint coastal villages on the Rota Vicentina are an absolute treat for Autumn walkers.
With average temperatures in the low 20s, this route is a fantastic option for the months of September and October, as you will still be able to go for a dip in the ocean if you are up for it. Cabo de Sao Vicente (Cape St Vincent), is also a privileged spot for bird watching so make sure you bring your binoculars.
Where: Southern Portugal
When: September and October
HOT SPRINGS ON THE VIA DE LA PLATA
CAMINO DE SANTIAGO – ALONG THE COAST
Most of you will already know there are many different Camino de Santiago routes, taking pilgrims from all corners of the world to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia, North West of Spain. One of our favourites is the route that starts in the wonderful city of Porto, Northern Portugal, and heads towards Santiago following the Atlantic coast.
This great trail is known as the Portuguese Coastal Camino and you can walk the full route, some 260kms, in just 2 weeks, stopping in beautiful coastal towns such as Viana do Castelo and Baiona.
DETAILS: PORTUGUESE COASTAL CAMINO
ROTA VICENTINA – FISHERMEN’S TRAIL IN PORTUGAL
If what you are looking for is spectacular coastal landscapes and tranquil walking tracks, the Fishermen’s Trail or Rota Vicentina, in Southern Portugal, is the one for you.
Superb cliffs, unspoiled beaches and tiny little fishing villages along the Rota Vicentina will make this walking holiday a real treat for all the senses. Nature-lovers should bring their binoculars and walk all the way to Cape St Vincent, a hotspot for bird watching in the Autumn months when birds pass the Cape on their migration routes from Europe to Africa.
The full route is 192kms and can be completed in 10 days but shorter itineraries can also be arranged.
DETAILS: ROTA VICENTINA
For more information about the best Camino routes for Autumn or to book your trip, contact our Camino specialists.