2014 is the year of the bike in Spain! There are now 3 cycling events that all affect the Camino in some way in September. As well as the UCI road race, September 21-28, the classic Spanish road race, the Vuelta, will have time trials and the finishing line in Santiago de Compostela on the 14th September and the Haute de Pyrenees has a stage in St Jean Pied de Port on the weekend of 6/7th September. So if you are planning to walk the Camino in September you need to be aware that pressure on accommodation during these times will be very high. If you are planning to cycle the Camino you should check the routes of these races to see if they will conflict with your plans. The potential problem dates will be:
4- 8th September – St Jean Pied de Port
12 – 15th September – Santiago de Compostela, with possible pressure on the last stages of the Camino in Galicia during the preceding week
12-30 September – the area from Leon to Vega de Valcarce. This is an update on black out dates as accommodation in these areas is now in very short supply from the week preceding the race to the weekend after the race finishes.
What does this mean if you are planning to walk the Camino is September? You can expect to pay double or triple the price for accommodation in cities around these races. Outside of the cities accommodation may only be available quite some way off the Camino. This applies to accommodation that is pre-booked. If you are using accommodation that is not pre-booked plan to get there early to secure a place. If you are planning on walking the full length of the Camino you should try and avoid starting between the 11th of August and the 7th of September to avoid the areas affected by the UCI road race. For the Vuelta and the Haute Pyrenees try to avoid being in those places affected on the relevant dates.