is the Camino Francés getting busier and busier?

Yes... although more and more pilgrims choose other Caminos in Spain, the overall number of pilgrims is still rising.
On the other hand: we think reports on the busy Camino Francés are often distorted by pilgrims' experience over the last 100 kilometers. According to the pilgrim’s office in Santiago, in 2011 about half of pilgrims started in or after Ponferrada! (200 km before Santiago).


No... because maybe you can choose a less busy time period and / or an alternative route for the final, busy section:


period

During the season there is considerable variation in the numbers of pilgrims who start in Saint-Jean. The pattern is roughly the same every year:
  • throughout the year there are pilgrims on the road, but
  • the season really begins in mid-April and ends in late September,
  • peaks during the season are from mid-April to late May, and early August to late September,
  • there is a remarkable dip during the season during the period from early June to late July.

Our advice: try to avoid the period late April / early May. During this time there is always a wave of pilgrims invading Spain. (And many other pilgrims start in Roncesvalles or Pamplona).

Figures can be found on the websites of: