Green fields and hills, snow-peak mountains on the background, Camino del Norte, Spain
Camino de Santiago Spain

The Camino del Norte walking stages – the detailed itinerary

The Camino del Norte is an 865 km route through Northern Spain. It crosses four regions: the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias, and Galicia. The scenery on the Camino is fantastic; unspoiled sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, emerald meadows, the Atlantic ocean, beautiful historical cities and towns, and lush green forests. This route is a great alternative to the popular French Camino. Both routes go parallel; del Norte follows the coast and the French Way goes all the way inland.

The Camino del Norte was our third Camino de Santiago that we walked in one year after the Camino Portuguese and the Camino Primitivo. In our opinion, del Norte was tougher than the other two Camino routes.

In this post, you’ll find a complete walking itinerary from Irún to Santiago de Compostela. This is a suggested itinerary that can be used for your Camino planning. You can easily adjust this itinerary to your needs.

More details on the Camino del Norte including cost, accommodation options, planning tips, etc. you can find in our post A detailed guide to the Northern Way of St.James.

Table of Contents

The Camino del Norte route overview

  • Total distance – 835 km*
  • Number of days – 30-34
  • Starting point – Irún, Spain
  • Finishing point – Santiago de Compostela, Spain
  • Average cost – 30 Euro per person per day
  • Accommodation – public and private albergues, hostels, hotels
  • Route marking – yellow shells and arrows
  • Walking surface – asphalt, footpath, cobblestones

*following our route. It might be shorter if you choose alternative routes.

If you’re wondering what to pack for the Camino del Norte check our detailed Camino packing guide where you can find the complete list of items for different seasons for men and women.

Irún, the beginning of the Camino route

Irún is a small town in the north of Spain on the border with France. If you have time you can stay here for a couple of days and do a day trip to Biarritz, a beautiful coastal city in France which is only 30 km away.

How to get to Irún?

There is transport to Irún from several Spanish cities. You can get here by plane, train, or bus depending on where you coming from and how fast you want to get here.

If you’re coming from overseas the easiest is to fly first to one of the main cities e.g. Barcelona, Madrid and from there continue using local transport to Irún. Irún officially doesn’t have an airport but the airport of San Sebastian is situated much closer to Irún than to San Sebastian, about 6 km away. If you fly to San Sebastian it’ll be very easy and quick to get from the airport to Irún.

Getting to Irún via Madrid

There are direct buses, trains and flights from Madrid to Irún.

Madrid – IrúnFlightTrainBus
Daily departures2 direct flights2 direct trains4 direct buses
StationBarajas T4ChamartínAvenida America
Time to get1h20min.6-8 hours7 hours
Ticket pricefrom 59 Eurofrom 66 Eurofrom 40 Euro
CompanyIberiaRenfeOmio
Different transport options to get from Madrid to Irún

Getting to Irún via Barcelona

Barcelona – IrúnFlightTrainBus
Daily departures4 direct flights1 direct train4 direct buses
StationEl Prat T1SantsNord
Time to get1h15min.6h40min.7-8 hours
Ticket pricefrom 40 Eurofrom 78 Eurofrom 40 Euro
CompanyVueling & IberiaRenfeOmio
Different transport options of getting from Barcelona to Irún

Where to stay in Irún?

Albergue de peregrinos de Irún

The municipal albergue in Irún opens at 4 pm if you arrive earlier you’ll have to wait. The albergue is very nice with good facilities and very welcome and helpful hosts. Open from Easter weekend till 31st October. Price – donation.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – no, washing basin
  • Drying machine – no, washing lines
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – yes

More accommodation options in Irún

The Camino del Norte – our detailed one-month itinerary

Day 1. Irún – San Sebastián, 27km/17 miles

Irún – Pasaia- San Sebastián

The start of the Camino del Norte is quite challenging; two long ascends and descends on the way to San Sebastián. The scenery on the first day is amazing – one of the most beautiful walking days on the route. Most of the time the Camino goes through the mountains and forest, no road walking. There will be only one town Pasaia on the way, in the middle between Irún and San Sebastián. There will be a couple of water fountains on the way to refill water. In Pasaia you cross the river on a small boat, it takes 1 minute, costs 1 Euro pp.

Highlights

If you an extra day I’d suggest staying for a couple of days in San Sebastián. It’s a great place and probably the most beautiful city on the Camino del Norte. There are many things to do here.

  • Beautiful scenery; green hills, cliffs, beaches, forest, towns
  • Pasaia – a cozy small town, a nice place to stop for lunch or coffee (though bars on the way were quite pricey)
  • San Sebastian – probably the beautiful city on the Camino del Norte; sandy beaches, Oldtown, nice vibe, many pincho (pintxo) bars, and cafes.  

Challenges

  • Steep uphill that starts 3km after Irún, 250m altitude gain with a subsequent descend to Pasaia
  • Steep ascend from Pasaia, 200m altitude gain with subsequent descent to San Sebastian.

Suggested tours in San Sebastian

Albergue de Ondarreta in San Sebastián

The municipal albergue of San Sebastián (donation) is at the entrance to the city, at about 25km. It is open only in July and August, out of these months you have to stay at a private hostel or hotel. We stayed at albergue Juvenil Ondaretta, it’s located on the other side of the city (right at the end), at 27 km. If you’re planning to do some sightseeing or go out rather stay in a different place, closer to the city center.

Albergue de Ondarreta – capacity 40 people, open all year, price 17-19 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, stove, microwave, plates, utensils etc.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – no, washing lines
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes

More places to stay in San Sebastián

View of San Sebastian's beach and Ulleri Hill from the Camino route
Beautiful San Sebastian – the second stop on the Camino del Norte

Day 2. San Sebastián – Getaria, 26km/16 miles

San Sebastián – Orio – Zarautz – Getaria

The first part of the walk between San Sebastian and Orio is through the forest and fields, there are two places to refill water. If you walk in summer make sure to start early most of the way you’re exposed to the sun. As an option you can stay in Zarautz there is a municipal albergue but it’s opened only in July and August. Hostels in Zarautz were quite expensive (it’s a fancy surf town) for this reason we decided to keep walking to Getaria. The walk from Zarautz to Getaria is very nice and easy along the sea with some great views over both towns.

Highlights

  • Beautiful sea scenery on the way from San Sebastian
  • Seafront in Zarautz
  • Old Town and the beach of Getaria

Challenges

  • Steep uphill right after San Sebastian,
  • Many up and downs all the way till Zarautz

Getaria is a nice little town on the sea with a small but beautiful historical center, cathedral, many restaurants and bars where you can stop for a drink with a pincho.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue Kanpaia in Getaria

Kanpaia albergue, Getaria. It is quite basic for the price, reminds more an albergue for a donation rather than a hostel. Capacity 30 people. Opened 1st March to 31st October. Price 15 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, only microwave, kettle, utensils
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – no, washing lines
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no
  • Extra – breakfast, 3 Euro pp.

More accommodation options in Getaria

Sandy beach and a town Getaria, Camino del Norte, Spain
Getaria – a small beach town on the Camino del Norte

Day 3. Getaria – Deba, 19km/12 miles

Getaria – Zumaia – Itziar – Deba

First 5km after Guetaria there is no places to stop for food – make sure to have enough water and eat breakfast in Getaria or take some snack with. After 5km you arrive in Zumaia – another town by the sea. After that, at 9km there will be a restaurant. The first half of the way ascends and descends, walking through the fields and open areas, second half a little bit of walking along the road (not very busy though) and through the forest.

Highlights

  • Beautiful mountain and sea scenery on the way
  • Old Town of Zumaia
  • Sanctuary de Santa María de Itziar

Challenges

  • Up and down hills, the whole day you basically ascend or descend, very little walking on the flat.

Deba is a biggish town on the river with many restaurants and bars, a nice square and a couple of beautiful churches.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – no
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue de Deba

The municipal albergue is on the Camino, close to bars, restaurants, and shops. It opens at 12pm. The albergue has 56 beds, open all year, price – 5 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – no
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Deba

Day 4. Deba – Markina-Xemein, 25km/15,5 miles

Deba – Ermita de Calvario de Maia – Olatz – Markina

In Deba, you walk 1km extra in order to get to the other side of the river because the Old bridge is currently closed for reconstruction. There is a bus that takes people to the other side, you can ask at the albergue how it works, we decided to walk. There are no towns or villages between Deba and Markina except three restaurants on the way, the first two were closed (it was Sunday morning), the third – Taberna Zelaieta in Olatz, at 8km, was opened. It’s situated just before a long and steep uphill we’d recommend to stop here for coffee and rest. Their coffee is good and they have great pinchos.

The municipal albergue in Markina is supposed to be for donation but a person who runs it insists on everybody “paying” 10 Euro which is annoying; the place is quite basic and doesn’t have many facilities, though you get breakfast; toasts, jam, coffee.

Another option is to keep walking from Markina, 7km more to the monastery – Monasterio de Zenarruza and stay there. It’s a donation place where you can sleep and get a meal. The monastery is located 20 min. walk from the nearest town Bolibar in a very beautiful spot. Some people walked the next day only 7km from Markina to the monastery and stayed there.

Highlights

  • Beautiful mountain scenery all the way from Deba to Markina
  • Torre Barroeta
  • Ermita de San Joaquín y Santa Ana
  • Ermita (small church) San Miguel de Arretxinaga

Challenges

  • Steep ascend from Deba to Ermita del Calvario, 200m altitude gain
  • Steep ascend from Olatz (Taberna Zelaieta, 250m altitude gain
  • Long and steep descend just before Markita with some very muddy parts, 350m down.

Markina is a typical small town in Spain where everything (shops and supermarkets) is closed on Sundays.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albegue in Markina

Albergue de peregrinos Convento del Carmen is open from 7th April to 15th October. There are 40 beds. Price – donation, thought the host insisted on everybody paying 10 Euro when checking-in.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – no, a microwave, a kettle, and some utensils
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – no
  • Extra – breakfast included

More places to stay in Markina-Xemein

A path through the forest in the Basque Country on the Camino de Santiago
Stingy Nomads on the Camino del Norte – walking through the Basque Country.

Day 5. Markina-Xemein – Guernica, 25km/15,5 miles

Markina – Iruzubieta – Bolibar – Monastery de Zenarruza – Munitibar – Berriondo – Guernica

Another day of climbing up and going down with a bit of walking on the road with little traffic. A nice walking day with beautiful scenery. There were a couple of restaurants to stop for coffee or lunch on the way and quite a few water fountains.

Albergue for donation in Guernica is opened only in August, there are many hostels, hotels and guest houses in the town. 

HIghlights

  • Monastery of Zenarruza
  • Ermita de San Pedro and San Cristóbal
  • Torre (tower) de Montalban, Berriondo
  • Church de la Ascención, Ajangiz (Guernica)

Challenges

  • Several ascents and descents on the route.
  • Steep ascend from Markina to the monastery of Zenarruza, 250m altitude gain.
  • A muddy path on the way to Berriondo.

Guernica (Gernika) is a big town with a nice historical center though not very big. It became worldwide famous after a 3-hour bombing by the Nazi aviation on a quiet Sunday of 1937. The town from Picasso’s painting Guernica that you can find in the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, its copy is hanging at the Headquarters of the United Nations in New York. 

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes (open only in August)
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue Lumo Aterpetxea in Guernica

We stayed at albergue Lumo Aterpetxea (private), capacity 50 people, opened all year. Price 18 Euro pp.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, cooking stove, microwave, pots, utensils, cutlery.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – yes, 4 Euro
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – breakfast included, lockers

More accommodation options in Guernica

Day 6. Guernica – Bilbao, 33km/20,5 miles

Guernica – Larrabetzu – Lezama – Zamudio – Bilbao

This stage is quite long and challenging if you fill strong, walk it in one go but we’d suggest to split it into two stages especially if you walk in summer. The second half of the route from Larrabetzu you walk along the road, exposed to the sun. You can walk 21km to Lezama (albergue for donation) and the next day 13km to Bilbao, this way you’ll have more time to do sightseeing in the city. Don’t forget to take food or snacks with or eat a good breakfast in Guernica, the nearest place to stop for food is at 17km.

Highlights

  • Ermita de San Esteban de Gerekiz
  • Beautiful forest walk from Guernica to Goiko Elexalde
  • Monte Aro and beautiful views from the top
  • The historical center of Bilbao

Challenges

  • No places to stop for food during the first 17km
  • Steep uphill from Guernika, 220m altitude gain
  • Some very muddy parts at about 13km mark
  • Walking along the road from Goiko Elexalde till Zamudio, for about 10km, with no shadow
  • Very steep ascend to Monte Aro with subsequent steep descend to Bilbao, 320m up and down.

Bilbao is a big city with a nice historic part, many hotels, hostels, restaurants, supermarkets, ATMs, etc. If you have time and feel like staying for two days in one place, Bilbao is a great city to do it.

Tours and activities in Bilbao

Albergue Claret Enea in Bilbao

Municipal albergue (opened 1st April – 14th October, donation) in Bilbao is located 4km outside the center, on the way out from the city. We wanted to do some sightseeing and decided to stay at albergue Claret Enea, you’ll find it if you follow yellow shells and arrows past the historical center after crossing the bridge. The albergue is opened from 1st May to 31st October, capacity 20 people, price 11 Euro pp.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, cooking stove, microwave, pots, utensils, cutlery etc.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 2 Euro
  • Drying machine – yes, 2 Euro
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – breakfast included, lockers

More places to stay in Bilbao

Guggenheim museum, Bilbao, Camino del Norte
Guggenheim museum, Bilbao – walking out of the city following the river route

Day 7. Bilbao – Pobeña, 26km/16 miles 

Bilbao – Getxo (river)/Cruces – Retuerto – Sestao (mountains) – Portugalete – La Arena – Pobeña

There are two ways of walking out of Bilbao; we followed the river all the way to Getxo where we crossed to Portugalete using the Vizcaya bridge (a transporter bridge) – quite a unique experience. You can walk the Original way over the hills but it’s longer and it doesn’t go through the modern part of Bilbao e.g. Guggenheim museum etc., plus it has some steep up and down hills.

Note! If you stay at the municipal albergue of Bilbao you’ll have to follow the longer (original) way because the albergue is 4km outside the city on the route. The walk along the river route to Portugalete is 14km, the historical (mountain) route is 20km. Both routes are marked, both join in Portugalete. We were told that most pilgrims walk out of Bilbao following the river. We chose that way mainly because we didn’t have time to see the modern part of the city the day before.

The beginning of the walk was nice; along the river, past the modern part of the city. The second half was through industrial suburbs of Bilbao. To get to the opposite side you’ll have to cross the bridge. The crossing takes 2 minutes, costs 0,40 Euro pp.

Some people skip this part and take a bus from Bilbao to Portugalete because they don’t want to walk through the industrial areas of the city. Not that we’re against it if you don’t have much time or not feeling well to cut this part is an option but it’s a part of the Camino experience and in the end, the walk wasn’t that bad.

2km after Portugalete there is another split. We followed the official (historical) route that goes on the cycling/walking route almost all the way to La Playa. The alternative route is more urbanized and passes through some populated areas and roads.

Highlights

  • Modern area of Bilbao; Guggenheim museum, Paseo de la Memoria, Parque da Ribera etc.
  • The Bizcaya bridge – a bridge between Getxo and Portugalete, if you follow the river route you’ll have to use the bridge to cross it.
  • La Arena – a nice beach town with good waves for surfing

Challenges

  • Walking on the asphalt it made our feet quite tired
  • For about 8km after the modern part of Bilbao to Getxo, you walk through the industrial area, quite boring scenery.
  • Very gradual ascend from Portugalete to Gallarta, 100m altitude gain
  • A descent to La Arena, 100m down

Pobeña is not a town, there are a couple of houses and two bars, no shops if you want to buy something, do it in La Arena – a town 1km before.

  • ATM – yes, in La Arena
  • Municipal albergue – yes (opened 24th March – 15th October)
  • Private albergue – no
  • Hotel – yes, in La Arena
  • Shop – yes, in La Arena
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue de peregrinos de Pobeña

A small albergue about 1 km away from the beach, right on the Camino, close to a couple of bars. Open from 24th March to 15th October. There are 40 beds. Price – donation.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, cooking stove, microwave, pots, utensils, cutlery, etc.
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Pobeña

Day 8. Pobeña – Castro Urdiales (Cantabria),  23km/14 miles

Pobeña – Ontón – Baltezana – Santullán – Castro Urdiales

We were told at the albergue not to follow the official route from Pobeña (up the stairs) because it’s dangerous (rocks falling or something like that) and go instead along the road. Luckily we decided to walk the route anyway and didn’t notice any danger. The Camino del Norte goes along the coast if you start early morning you can enjoy a beautiful sunrise – the best scenery of the day. After walking for about 4km you’ll leave the Basque Country and enter Cantabria where everything is a little bit cheaper.

At Ontón the route splits; one goes along the coast (the alternative route) and another goes inland (the original way). Both routes are marked. The Coastal route is about 5km shorter than the official route. You do see more coast but it involves quite a bit of walking on the road. If you’re planning to stay in Castro Urdiales rather take the longer route otherwise you’ll arrive in the city too early and will have to wait for a couple of hours for albergues to open. 

If you’re planning to keep walking we’d suggest buying food in Castro Urdiales there will be no other shops on the way. Note! Albergue in Islares is currently closed, the next albergue is at El Pontarrón. We read bad reviews about the albergue in El Pontarrón but it wasn’t that bad, it’s quite basic but good enough for a donation albergue. You must ask at El Pontarron Bar, people from there will stamp your Credential and explain how to get to the albergue.

Highlights

  • Paseo Itsaslur – the first part of the route from Pobeña along the coast with a beautiful sunrise
  • El Pico La Cruz (mountain peak) can be seen from Sámano
  • The historical part and beaches in Castro Urdiales

Challenges

  • If you take the coastal route (shorter one) you walk along the road with steep uphill through not a busy one
  • If you take the original route – a steep ascend from Ontón to La Helguera, 240m up
  • Gradual downhill to Castro Urdiales, 230m down

Castro Urdiales is a lovely town with a nice promenade, beautiful castle, several churches, many bars, and restaurants.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes (opened all year)
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue de Castro Urdiales

This albergue is currently closed for renovations. A small place with one room for 16 people. Open all year. Price – 5 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, a microwave, cutlery.
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Castro Uridales

Many colorful boats and a castle on the background in the port of Castro Urdiales, Camino del Norte, Spain
The historical center of Castro Urdiales from the Camino del Norte

Day 9. Castro Urdiales – Laredo, 30km/18,6 miles

Castro Urdiales – Islares – El Pontarrón – El Puente – Liendo – Laredo

The first half of the day you walk through the countryside mostly flat with insignificant ups and downs till El Pontarrón. At El Pontarrón you again have two options to take a shortcut and go on the road till Liendo or to follow the official route over the mountains. People say the official way is much longer, about 6km than the shortcut, we walked it and it was only 3km longer though the ascent is quite steep and long. The scenery was beautiful and peaceful. We’re not big fans of road walking every time we have a chance we skip it.

Highlights

  • Spectacular sea scenery at Cerdigo, halfway between Castro Urdiales and Islares
  • The beautiful mountain scenery on the official route between El Pontarrón and Liendo
  • Stunning sea views on the way between Liendo and Laredo
  • Beach and the Old Town of Laredo with many restaurants and bars

Challenges

  • Walking on the road for about 4km from Islares to El Pontarrón
  • The very steep uphill walk from El Pontarrón to Liendo with a subsequent descend to Liendo, 200m up and down (if you walk the official route)
  • Walking on the road for about 7km from El Pontarrón to Liendo (if you take the shortcut)
  • The quite steep uphill walk from Liendo to Laredo

Laredo is a nice town with a long beach (nice for swimming in summer), a couple of beautiful churches, many bars, and restaurants.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue Casa de La Trinidad

We stayed at Albergue Casa de La Trinidad. It’s a nice place, open all year, capacity 23 people, price 10 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, cooking stove, microwave, pots, utensils, cutlery etc.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – breakfast says to be included but in fact, often they don’t serve it. We were 20 people waiting for somebody to come in the morning but nobody showed up.

More places to stay in Laredo

Day 10. Laredo – Güemes, 30km/18,6 miles

Coastal route; Laredo – Santoña – Noja – Güemes

Inland route; Laredo – Colindres – Gama – San Miguel de Meruelo – Güemes

From Laredo, you can choose to follow the coastal route through Santoña or to go inland through Colindres. We’re big sea lovers and it was a very nice sunny day we chose the coastal way and were quite happy about it. On the way, you get to see a couple of beautiful beaches. In Laredo, you can walk on the beach for 2km to the ferry enjoying the sunrise on the way. In order to get from Laredo to Santoña, you have to take a small ferry; the first ferry leaves at 9 am after that it goes to and back all the time. The crossing takes about 2min., price 2 Euro pp. 

Highlights

  • Beach walk in Laredo to the ferry
  • Nice coastal scenery on the way; Playa de Berria, playa de Trengandin, cliffs, hills etc.
  • Historical center of Noja; Plaza de la Villa, church of San Pedro.
  • Albergue La Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto, Güemes

Challenges

  • Long day with quite a bit of road walking, few places to stop in between. If you walk in summer make sure to refill your water at every drinking fountains (there are a couple on the way)
  • Very steep uphill after Santoña, 83m up
  • Many up and down hills all the way

Güemes is a tiny village with a couple of bars and hotels.

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes, a donation (open all year) 
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – no
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue la Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto

Albergue La Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto in Güemes is outside the village, about 10min. walk. It’s a great place, one of the legends of the Camino del Norte. The albergue is for donations as well as dinner and breakfast. A very interesting place with very friendly and welcoming people, a nice garden, good facilities, an interesting story – a must stay on this Camino.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – no, but they make dinner and breakfast for donation
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – yes
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Güemes

Day 11. Güemes – Santa Cruz de Bezana, 25km/15,5 miles 

Galizano – Somo – Santander – Santa Cruz de Bezana

From Güemes you have two options; 15km and 13km routes. The longest route is the most beautiful, it goes along the coast past some hidden beaches, dramatic cliffs and unreal scenery – we’d definitely recommend to choose it. The last bit from Laredo to Somo you walk on the beach if it’s a nice day you can stop here for a swim or just to enjoy the scenery. Even in summer, there are not many people on this beach. We were very unlucky that day it was very windy and rainy we couldn’t really enjoy the walk or see much. We wouldn’t recommend walking this route on a day like this, the path gets muddy it can be dangerous to walk along the cliffs.

The 13km option is an inland route, it doesn’t follow the coast, the second half is on the road. Both routes are marked, both go to the ferry in Somo that you take to get to Santander. The ferry starts running at 9.55am and goes every 30 minutes. Price 3 Euro pp. It’s possible to walk to Santander as well but it’s about 20km more. Nowadays very few people walk it, it’s not a very beautiful route along the road, the ferry is an official part of the Camino. 

Highlights

  • Stunning sea scenery on the way from Güemes to Somo
  • Playa de Loredo – a beautiful beach where you can stop for a swim
  • The city center of Santander

Challenges

  • Walking out of Santander; the marking is not very good, follow yellow arrows or red crosses (mark Camino Lebaniego).
  • The last part from Santander to Bezana is not very picturesque past some residential and industrial areas of the city.

If you have time you can enjoy rather a short walking day and stop in Santander. It’s a very nice city with some beautiful beaches, great restaurants and bars and many interesting places things to see.

Tours and activities in Santander

Places to stay in Santander

If you decide to continue, make sure not to miss the arrows the marking from the ferry terminal is a bit confusing. You can get a map with a route and explanations at the information office, 30m from the ferry.  

Santa Cruz de Bezana is a small town with not much to see or to do.

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes, a donation (opened all year) 
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue of Santa Cruz de Bezana

A small and cozy place with 2 rooms, 14 beds in total. Open all year, price – donation.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, a microwave, a kettle, cutlery
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – communal dinner & breakfast

More places to stay near Santa Cruz de Bezana

Santander's seafront and port at the sunset
Beautiful city of Santander, one of the highlights of the Camino del Norte

Day 12. Santa Cruz de Bezana – Santillana del Mar, 28km/17 miles

Arce/Oruña – Mar – Requejada (Polanco) – Barreda – Santialland del Mar

The first half of the day wasn’t that great; a lot of walking along the road, past some industrial areas,  with few places to stop on the way – not too impressive. The second half, at about 2km from Polanco, the nice countryside scenery starts; small towns, villages, chapels on the way.

Highlights

  • Nice countryside scenery between Polanco and Santillana del Mar
  • Santillana del Mar – a charming town with many interesting sights in and around. 

Challenges

  • Walking along the road and through industrial areas till Polanco.

Santillana del Mar is one of the prettiest towns on the Camino del Norte. I highly recommend staying here. Spend some time wandering around the town, have a couple of drinks with delicious seafood pinchos, visit the Collegiata church.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes (opened all year)
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue de peregrinos Jesús Otero

A nice small albergue (16 beds) next to the Colegiata. Open all year, price 6 Euro.

More places to stay in Santillana del Mar

Day 13. Santillana del Mar – Comillas, 22km/13,6 miles

El Arroyo – Oreña – Caborredondo – Cóbreces – La Iglesia – Comillas 

An easy and pleasant walking day through the forest, fields, small towns and villages.

Highlights

  • Church of San Martín de Cigüenza, Caborredondo
  • Convento de las Carmelitas Descalzas, Pando
  • Beautiful sea scenery at the entrance to Comillas
  • Comillas – a beautiful town with some incredible sights, beaches, a nice square, many bars, and bakeries. 

Challenges

  • A little bit of up and downhill walking but nothing steep or long

Comillas

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes (open 1st April – 31st October)
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue La Huella del Camino

It’s a private albergue with good facilities, very comfortable and clean. Bunk beds have curtains you have more privacy here. It’s open from 23rd February to 31st October. Price 15 Euro. Book your bed here.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – lockers, breakfast included

More places to stay in Comillas

A view of the coast and the town of Comillas from the Camino del Norte
Approaching Comillas one of the most beautiful towns on the Camino del Norte

Day 14. Comillas – Colombres (Asturias), 29km/18 miles

San Vicente de la Barquera – Serdío – Unquera – Colombres

Quite a long walking day with several hills to conquer and few places to stop for food in between. At the end of the day, at Unquera, you’ll leave the province of Cantabria and enter Asturias. Asturias is a bit cheaper in a sense of private accommodation.

At the entrance to San Vicente de la Barquera you can go down to the beach and walk on the sand all the way across the town to the bridge Puente de la Masa. The beach way is a little bit shorter, you skip several up and down hills and it’s nice to take off your boots and walk barefoot on the sand. We’d recommend stopping for lunch or coffee here, it’s a nice town and the next place with a bar/restaurant is quite far away. After San Vicente, the Camino goes away from the sea, inland over the hills and through the forest.

Highlights

  • Stunning sea scenery; cliffs, green hills, and beaches on the way between Comillas and San Vicente de la Barquera, one of the most beautiful walking days.
  • San Vicente de la Barquera – a beautiful town with nice beaches, churches, el Puente de la Masa.
  • The Picos de Europa – mountain range, view from the distance.

Challenges

  • Several up and down hills
  • Quite a lot of road walking though not on busy roads
  • A steep and long ascent on the last 2km to Colombres

Colombres is a nice small town with a couple of restaurants/bar and a nice green park.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Places to stay in Colombres

Albergue El Cantu in Colombres opens only at 5 pm, we didn’t want to wait on the street for 3 hours. We asked around and locals told us about a guest house Hotel Villanueva 1km from the town (on the Camino). We got a double room with private bathroom for 30 Euro. The albergue charges 12 Euro pp. The only minus of the hotel it’s located 1km outside the town no supermarkets nearby but there is a good restaurant (Casa Junco) where you can get breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Day 15. Colombres – Llanes, 23km/14,2 miles

El Peral – La Franca – Buelna – Pendueles – Cúe – Llanes

First 9km from Colombres there is only one route, that goes on and off along the road. After that, at Pendueles you can choose between following the official route and continue walking along the road or taking the Sendero de la Costa.

The official route is a bit shorter and involves quite a lot of walking along the road with some forest scenery. The coastal way is longer but it follows the path and sticks to the coast which offers you great scenery. To get to the coastal route at Pendueles first follow the route to camping La Paz (Playa de Bretones), from there follow GR-E9 trail (green making) that will take you all the way to Llanes. Before taking the coastal way stop for lunch in Pendueles there will be no other place to stop for food till Llanes.

Highlights

  • Beautiful sea scenery on the way between Pendueles and Llanes (coastal route)
  • Bufones (jesters) de Arenillas – sea water geysers, if the conditions are right you might be lucky to see them in action
  • Mirador de la Boriza with stunning views over the coast and Ballota beach (coastal route)
  • Llanes – a nice town with many restaurants, bakeries, colorful harbor, narrow streets, etc.

Challenges

  • Some road walking in the beginning till Pendueles. If you take the official route you’ll continue walking along the road for a while.
  • Steep up and down hills on the coastal route from Pendueles to Llanes

Llanes is a beautiful coastal town with a charming small historical center, many restaurants, cafes and bakeries.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue La Casona del Peregrino

It’s a nice place close to the center with good facilities. Opened from 15th March to 31st October, capacity 44 people, price 15 Euro pp. They have private rooms as well that can be booked online.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – no
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, included in the accommodation price
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – no
  • Extra – breakfast included

More places to stay in Llanes

Day 16. Llanes – San Esteban de Leces, 34km/21 miles

Poo – Celorio – Barro – Naves – Piñera de Pría – Cuerres – Ribadesella – San Esteban de Leces

A nice walking day mostly on the path with a little bit of road, past lovely villages, through the forest. The route is marked quite well, there are several bars and restaurants on the way. In the last 7 km to Ribadesella, there is nothing, only fields.

Ribadesella is quite an expensive touristy place. We decided to walk on 3 km to the nearest municipal albergue (open all year) in San Esteban de Leces but if you don’t mind paying a bit more I’d recommend staying in Ribadesella. There is no shops, restaurants, or bars in Leces, only an albergue. You’ll have to bring food with you.

Highlights

  • Church of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores on the beach, near Niembro
  • San Antolín beach, past Niembro
  • A couple of cute villages on the way
  • Ribadesella – cozy surf town with a couple of restaurants in the Old Town (before the bridge), picturesque harbor, beautiful beach Playa de Santa Marina.

Challenges

  • Long walking day, 34km
  • Quite steep ascend from Ribadesella to San Esteban de Leces (albergue), 110m up

San Esteban de Leces is not a town, just an albergue, and a church. There is nothing around; no bars, no shops, bring food with you. The albergue has a kitchen. You can buy stuff in Ribadesella, there are a couple of supermarkets in the town. The albergue open all year, Price 8 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes

Places to stay in Ribadesella

Day 17. San Esteban de Leces – Villaviciosa, 33km/20 miles

Vega de Ribadesella – La Espasa – La Isla – Colunga – Sebrayo – Muslera – La Payariega – Villaviciosa

Quite a tough day due to several up and down hills with beautiful scenery. The first opened restaurant we found was after 15km in Colunga, it was Saturday all the places before were closed. It’s the only town on the way to Villaviciosa with ATMs and supermarkets. If you’re planning to stop at the municipal albergue in Sebrayo buy food in Colunga, Sebrayo is only a couple of houses and nothing else.

Note! The distance between Colunga to Sebrayo is about 10km with a steep and long ascend. We didn’t feel like carrying backpacks full of food and decided rather walk extra km all the way to Villaviciosa, after Sebrayo the walk is much easier.

Highlights

  • Beautiful walk along the coast with some unspoiled beaches on the way from San Esteban de Leces to La Isla.
  • Peaceful forest and mountain scenery between Colunga and Villaviciosa.
  • Villaviciosa – a nice town famous for its ciders.

Challenges

  • Several up and down hills all the way
  • Long and steep uphill from Colunga to Pernus
  • Descend to Villaviciosa

Villaviciosa is a small town with many cidrerias (bars where you can try local ciders).

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – no
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue El Congreso

It’s a nice place, situated in the main square. Capacity 49 people, open from 1st March to 30th November, price from 10 Euro per bed, from 25 Euro for a double room (in season prices are higher).

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, cooking plates, microwave, utensils, cutlery etc.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – yes

More places to stay in Villaviciosa

Day 18. Villaviciosa – Gijón, 29km/18 miles 

Amandi – Casquita – Peón – El Pinal – Camping Deva – Gijón

A nice walking day with some steep uphills. At Casquita, 3km from Villaviciosa, there is a split; one route goes to Oviedo where it joins with the Camino Primitivo and on the Camino del Norte to Gijón. We decided to continue on the Camino del Norte because we’d already walked the Camino Primitivo. There are a couple of restaurants and bars on the way and several drinking fountains.

Highlights

  • Beautiful scenery from the top of the hill at Alto de la Cruz.
  • Gijón; historical center, beaches, promenade

Challenges

  • Very steep and long ascend from Nievares to Alto de la Cruz, about 300m up. Make sure you have enough water. Subsequent downhill is not that steep but quite long.
  • Another ascend to Alto de Curbiello – not as steep as the first one but quite demanding, about 150m up.

The municipal albergue of Gijón (albergue/campsite Deva, opened all year) is 5km before the city, we walked on to the city and stayed there in a hotel. Gijón is a big city with good infrastructure (hotels, bars, tourist info, supermarkets, ATMs) but there are not many albergues.

We were here in October and for different reasons none of the private albergues was opened, only the municipal one 5km outside the city. We stayed at Hotel 44 a bit outside of the center but right on the Camino and close to the beach. It was very nice – a real treat after two weeks of staying in albergues. We had a really good sleep here and felt well-rested the next day.

More places to stay in Gijón

Days 18-19. The optional route to Oviedo to continue on the Camino Primitivo.

Day 18. Villaviciosa – Pola de Siero, 26km/16mi

Amandi – Casquita – Vega de Sariego – Pola de Siero

We haven’t walked these 2 days because we completed the Camino Primitivo (the Original Way) 3 months earlier as a separate walk, not as a part of any other Camino. All the information for these 2 stages we got from the people who started with us the Camino del Norte and later went to the Primitivo.

Many people asked us which route to choose; continue along the coast following the Northern Way or go to Oviedo and walk the Primitivo. If you want to combine the stunning coastal scenery of the Northern Way with the impressive mountain scenery of the Original Way then go to Oviedo. If you rather stick to one Camino and complete it all the way – stay on Camino del Norte.

We wouldn’t recommend continuing on the Primitivo if you have any knee issues – there are many steep ascents and descents all the way. Before going to Oviedo check the forecast if it’s going to be rainy and overcast rather stay on the Camino del Norte; walking through the mountains in bad weather is not fun, plus you won’t see much.

If you decide to go to Oviedo, after about 3km from Villaviciosa at Casquita follow the marking “Oviedo”, the Camino turns left. It’s marked all the way with yellow arrows and shells like any other Camino.

Pola de Siero

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – no
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue de peregrinos Casona de San Miguel, capacity – 24 people, opened all year, price 6 Euro pp.

Day 19. Pola de Siero to Oviedo, 17km/10,5 miles

El Berrón – Meres – Colloto – Oviedo

An easy and short walking day gives you more time to spend in Oviedo. It’s a beautiful town with many interesting sights including the cathedral de Oviedo, the start of the Camino Primitivo. You can find all the services in Oviedo; municipal albergue, hotels, restaurants, supermarkets, ATMs, etc.

From Oviedo, you can follow our Camino Primitivo itinerary all the way to Santiago de Compostela.

Day 19. Gijón – San Martin de Laspra, 31km/19 miles

Tabaza – Trasona – Avilés – Salinas – San Martín de Laspra

The indicated distance – 30km is from the city center of Gijón if you stay at Albergue Deva the walk is 5km longer.

In our opinion the worst walking day on the Camino del Norte; too many roads, too many industrial areas, and cities but not many places to stop for food. Even at the end after Avilés the last bit was on the road. This is the day to skip if you’re planning to skip any. We decided not to stay in Avilés and continued walking 7km more to albergue de San Martin de Laspra (opened all year), to make up some distance for the next day but if you don’t feel like walking more you can stop in Avilés, it’s a nice city. There is a municipal albergue in the center of Avilés, it looks quite nice.

Places to stay in Avilés

Note! The albergue is located in the residential neighborhood there are no restaurants or shops nearby, the nearest food places are about 2km away in the town. Make sure to bring food with, there will be a couple of supermarkets in Avilés on the way (Alimerka). We recommend to find the albergue on Google maps, there are two walking routes only one goes past the albergue through Salinas, we took the wrong route and had to walk some extra km to get here.

Highlights

  • The short part of walking through the forest at Alto Monte Areo (after the first uphill), about 5km from Gijón
  • The historical center of Avilés; cobblestone pedestrian streets, squares, monuments, a couple of churches, many bars and restaurants.

Challenges

  • Walking along the road and through industrial areas most part of the day
  • Steep uphill to Alto Monte Areo at about 5km from Gijón

Day 20. San Martín de Laspra – Soto de Luiña, 32km/20 miles

Soto de Barco – Muros de Nalón – El Pito – Rellayo – Soto de Luiña

This day we enjoyed walking through the forest and fields after the previous day of walking along the road. Note! There are few places to stop for food on the way, some shops and restaurants were closed for offseason, not even any place to refill water – make sure to pack snacks and bring enough water with and pack some snacks. We were quite happy that we walked extra 7km the day before some of our fellow pilgrims had a very long walk this day – all the way from Avilés, 40km.

Highlights

  • Beautiful forest scenery on the way from Laspra
  • Palacio Selgas – a beautiful palace and the garden in El Pito. Unfortunately, it’s currently closed for visitors you can see some of it through the gate.
  • Beautiful views over the coast and the beach at La Playa de La Concha de Artedo

Challenges

  • A long waking day with many smallish ascents and descents
  • Not many places to stop for food on the way

Soto de Luiña is a small nice town surrounded by green hills and forest.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue de Soto de Luiña

A middle-seize albergue with a couple of rooms for 40 people in total. Open all year. Price 8 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – no, only microwave
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Drying machine – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Soto de Luiña

Day 21. Soto de Luiña – Cadavedo, 20km/12,4 miles

Novellana – Santa Marina – Ballota – Cadavedo

There are two route options after Soto de Luiña; the mountain route (the original way that was abandoned for many years), it’s said to be dangerous (not sure why) with many steep ascents and descents and not well marked.

Note! On the mountain route, there are no places to stop for food for 17km. It’s advised to follow the coastal route and we did; it was a nice sunny day to walk along the coast was a real pleasure. Every time we had a choice we went for the coastal option.

There is another option to follow the route that most of the time goes on the road but it’s definitely not the best way. At the beginning (before the split) there was a little bit of walking on the road, the split is at about 2km; the coastal route – go to Ballotas, mountain route – go to Palancas. The distance is supposed to be 23km but according to our GPS, we walked only 20km on the coastal route. The municipal albergue in Cadavedo is a bit outside of the village there is a supermarket on the way where you can get food.

Highlights

  • Beautiful coastal scenery on the way to and from Ballotas
  • Beach in Cadavedo – 2km away from the albergue. It’s sort of on the way to the town you can do a detour and go to the beach first and then to Cadavedo. The beach is beautiful with some stunning views from the surrounding cliffs.

Challenges

  • All the way slight up and down hills

Cadavedo, a small rural village with a couple of restaurants/bar. The beach and the coastal scenery is beautiful if you have time definitely walk to the coast.

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue of Cadavedo

A very small place with two rooms with 16 beds in total. Open all year. Price 6 Euro.

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Cadavedo

Day 22. Cadavedo – Piñera, 31km/19,2 miles

A nice day with a little bit of walking on the road, in the beginning, moderate up and down hills, past small towns and villages where you can stop for food or coffee. The albergue in Piñera is away from the restaurants and shops, you can stop for lunch at one of them 2km before or buy food at the shop, 800m before the albergue.

Highlights

  • Torre (tower) de Villademoros (not on the Camino, have to do a detour) – a possible Roman origin tower
  • Nice forest and countryside scenery
  • Luarca – a beautiful small coastal town

Challenges

  • Several intersections with the highway
  • Up and down hills all the way
  • The steep ascent that starts from Luarca and subsequent descent to Piñera

Piñera is a small village with a couple of houses, one grocery store and a restaurant.

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – yes (open 1st March – 31st October)
  • Private albergue – no
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes, 800m from the albergue, on the way
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Restaurant, bar – no, you can get dinner and breakfast at the municipal albergue (extra cost)

Municipal albergue of Piñera

A nice small place with great hosts. There are 24 beds. Open from 1st March to 31st October. Price 5 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, but no for pilgrims. The hosts make dinner (8 Euro) and breakfast (3 Euro)
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no
  • Extra – lockers
Campbell and Alya walking through a small village in Asturias on the Camino del Norte
Stingy Nomads somewhere in Asturias on the Camino del Norte in October

Three route options from Piñera

  1. Piñera – Porcia – Tapia de Casariego – Ribadeo – 38km (coastal way)
  2. Piñera – Porcia – Tol – Ribadeo – 34km (half inland/half coastal)
  3. Piñera – Porcia – Tol – Vegadeo – 41km (inland route). This route joins the other two only in Mondoñedo. It’s the original route that was used by pilgrims before the bridge in Ribadeo was built. The river crossing by ferry was very weather dependent and unreliable. Nowadays with the bridge, more pilgrims choose the coastal route.  

Days 23-24. Option 1 – coastal route. Piñera – Tapia de Casariego – Vilela, 47km/29 miles

Day 23. Option 1. Piñera – Tapia de Casariego, 27km/16,7 miles

Navia – Jarro – La Caridad – Tapia de Casariego

Another split on the Camino – the Northern Way is full of alternative routes and optional walks. As I already mentioned we always choose the coastal option this time wasn’t an exception, we went along the coast to Tapia de Casariego. It was the last chance to walk by the sea once in Galicia the route goes inland. It’s an easy walking day past many villages with no bars or restaurants if you want to stop for breakfast, coffee or snack do it at Navia.

Highlights

  • The ex-municipal albergue in Tapia de Casariego – it is located by the sea, at the edge of the cliff with stunning scenery over the coast, there is a rocky beach downstairs.
  • Center of Tapia de Casariego; the main square, church, restaurants.

Challenges

  • A very easy walking day, the only problem there are no places to stop for food on the way after Navia.

Tapia de Casariego a nice town by the sea with a couple of beaches, a beautiful center and some great look-out points near the albergue.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – no, there used to be but now it’s private.
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue de Tapia de Casariego

The location of the place is amazing, on the edge of the cliff near a small beach. It’s a small house with 30 beds. Open all year. Price 8 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – no, a microwave, a fridge, and some utensils
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Drying machine – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Tapia

Day 24. Option 1. Tapia de Casariego – Vilela (Galicia), 20km/12,5 miles

Tapia de Casariego – Ribadeo – Vilela

Today you’ll leave Asturias and enter Galicia, two provinces are separated by the River Ria de Ribadeo. The border between two provinces is halfway over the bridge Ponte dos Santos. A nice and easy walking day with some stunning sea and mountain views. We were planning to walk further but it started raining and we decided to stop at Vilela.

As an option you can stop in Ribadeo it’s a nice town with food facilities. There is a municipal albergue in Ribadeo but according to the reviews, it’s not good. 

More places to stay in Vilela

Note! Buy food in Ribadeo, there will be Eroski supermarket on the way, after that there will be no shops. The municipal albergue in Vilela is closed (don’t know for how long), we stayed at the private albergue (ask at the bar).

Highlights

  • Beautiful scenery on the way from Tapia de Casariego to Ribadeo; beaches, cliffs, fields, etc.
  • Bridge between Asturias and Galicia – Ponte dos Santos.
  • The historical center of Ribadeo.

Challenges

  • An easy walking day except for heavy rain and strong wind that caught us in Ribadeo.

Vilela is a very small place with a couple of houses and an albergue-restaurant.

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – yes, temporarily closed in 2020
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – no
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue de Vilela (private), open all year, capacity 12 people, price 10 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – no, microwave, some utensils
  • Wi-fi – no, only at the bar
  • Washing machine – yes, 4 Euro up to 12kg
  • Drying machine – yes, 4 Euro up to 12kg
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – no
A wave breaking against the coast in Galicia
Dramatic coastal scenery in Ribadeo, the last chance to enjoy the sea on the Camino del Norte

Day 23-24. Option 2 – half inland/half coastal route. Piñera – Tol – Vilela, 48km/30 miles 

Navia – Jarro – La Caridad – Tol – Barres – Figueras – Ribadeo – Vilela

This way is a mixture of two routes and on the second day in Ribadeo, it joins the coastal route. You can stop in Tol for the night and the next day continue past Ribadeo to Vilela or further or walk the whole distance in one day. Some guidebooks say it’s an official or the original route but it’s not right the original route used to be through Vegadeo because till 1987 there was no bridge to cross the river in Ribadeo.

Day 23. Option 2. Piñera – Tol, 29km/18 miles

Tol

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – no
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes, grocery shop
  • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – no
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Day 24. Option 2. Tol – Vilela, 19km/12 miles

After 9km in Ribadeo, the route joins the coastal way.

Day 23-25. Option 3 – inland route. Piñera – Tol – Vegadeo – Abres – Mondoñedo, 80km/52 miles

Suggested itinerary;  

  • Day 23. Piñera – Tol, 29km/19mi (municipal albergue de Tol).
  • Day 24. Tol – Abres, 20km/12,4mi (private albergue Estraperlo, donation, opened all year )
  • Day 25. Abres – Mondoñedo, 31km/19mi (municipal albergue de Mondoñeda)

Day 25. Vilela – Mondoñedo, 30km/18,6 miles

Villamartín Grande – Gondán – San Xusto – Lourenzá – Mondoñedo

The walk would be very nice if it wasn’t for the rain. The trail goes mainly through the forest and fields, past small villages with not many places to stop for food. The first place to stop for coffee is Vilanova Grande we walked in October and off-season the place is closed. We could finally eat something only after 16km at San Xusto.

Highlights

  • Several churches and chapels on the way, the route waves between them all the time.
  • Mondoñedo – a lovely town with a beautiful cathedral, cobblestone streets, churches, restaurants.

Challenges

  • Quite a few ascends and descends – it felt like we walked uphill most of the day.
  • If it rains the path in some places might be muddy.

Mondoñedo is a nice town with a small and beautiful historical center. We arrived in the town on Sunday most places were closed only one or two open restaurants and a small shop at the petrol station.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

The municipal albergue of Mondoñedo looked fine but it was a cold and rainy day and we decided to stay in El Albergue del Montero not far from the cathedral. It’s a very nice and comfortable place with good facilities.

Facilities

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, electric plates, microwave, utensils, cutlery.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes
  • Drying machine – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – dining area, common area, nice garden, AC

More places to stay in Mondoñedo

Day 26. Mondoñedo – Castromaior (albergue O Xistral), 23km/14 miles

Gontán – Abadín – Castromaior 

Make sure to have breakfast in Mondoñedo – the next place to get food is about 17km away in Gontán, there is nothing in between. There are two routes from the cathedral of Mondoñedo the official one and the alternative (Complementario) route but the one that is marked Complementario is actually the original route.

The official route goes down from the cathedral and follows the path, it’s 7km shorter but has a very steep and quite long uphill and the path gets quite muddy if it rains. The alternative route goes up from the cathedral, out of the town past the municipal albergue and then turns left and follows the road (the road with almost no cars), it’s 7km longer with a more gradient ascend. Both routes go through the mountains and offer great scenery. We took the alternative route it rained a lot the previous days we didn’t want to walk through the mud. Note! There only shops on the way are in Abadín.

If you take the shorter (official) route instead of stopping at Castromaior you can continue to Vilalba, the total distance from Mondoñedo on the short route – 32km.

Highlights

  • The beautiful mountain scenery on the way from Mondoñedo to Gontán
  • Church of Santa María in Abadín
  • Beautiful forest scenery on the way from Abadín to the albergue

Challenges

  • A couple of steep ascends on the way from Mondoñedo to Gontán, on the official route about 450m altitude gain.
  • Muddy path if you follow the official (shorter) route.

Castromaior is not a town or village there is nothing except for a private albergue where you can get coffee, tea, dinner, breakfast, beer, wine, snacks but everything is more expensive. I’d recommend bringing your own stuff (drinks, snacks, etc.). Dinner – 10 Euro, breakfast – 3 Euro. Albergue O’Xistral is a great place; very cozy with good facilities and an awesome host. It’s a beautiful old 18th-century house with a nice yard. The place is not big I’d recommend in the season booking your bed in advance

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes, amazing “rain showers”
  • Kitchen – yes, cooking plates, microwave, utensils, cutlery.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Drying machine – yes, 3 Euro
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes
  • Extra – swimming pool, nice garden, dinner and breakfast (extra cost)
A small private albergue in the forest in Galicia on the Camino del Norte
Albergue O Xistral, Castromaior – one of our favorite private albergues on the Camino

Day 27. Castromaior – Baamonde, 32km/20 miles

Martiñan – Vilalba – San Xoán de Alba – Baamonde

Quite a long walking day with few places to stop for food on the way. We had breakfast at the albergue (3 Euro) next place to stop is Vilalba, 12km away. The walk was quite easy with no up and down hills. If you don’t feel like walking all the way you can stay in Vilalba there are two albergues; the municipal for 6 Euro and the private for 10 Euro. Apparently, the private one is very nice and cozy.

Highlights

  • Vilalba – a nice town with a couple of churches, the main square, the prehistory museum.

Challenges

  • The road gets a bit muddy if it rains
  • Long distances between places to stop for food or coffee; 12km to the first town and almost 20km to the next one.

Baamonde, a small town with a couple of restaurants and a shop or two. Not much to see or to do here.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – no
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Municipal albergue de Baamonde

A big place with a big common area right on the Camino, close to restaurants and shops. There are 94 beds. Open all year. Price 8 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot shower – yes
  • Kitchen – yes, but very few pots, plate, and utensils
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Heating – no

More places to stay in Baamonde

Day 28. Baamonde – Sobrado dos Monxes, 40km/25 miles or 32km/20 miles 

Carballedo – Seixón – A Lagoa – Miraz – As Laxas – A Roxica – A Cabana – O Mesón – Sobrado dos Monxes (the original route)

According to the current requirements to get the Compostela you need two stamps per day for the last 100 km to Santiago.

Sobrado dos Monxes is a must stay place on the Camino, the monastery is very impressive, and to stay overnight there is a great experience.

Another route split – 3km after Baamonde there is a split; the original route and the new route. Note! There is a split in Baamonde as well; a marker with name “Complementario” points left but it’s not the right split. The split is 3km away from Baamonde, in the forest. There are two Camino markers with distances you won’t miss it.

We chose the longer route for several reasons; first because it’s more beautiful; forest, hills, small villages. Second, there is a place (a house) at about 12km where you can get a real wax stamp (we couldn’t it was out of season and the man was on holiday). Third, we didn’t want to cut off 8km from the last 100km to Santiago.

The longer (original) route. Total distance – 40km to Sobrado dos Monxes mostly through the forest, except for the last 10km that involves quite a bit of walking on the road. As an option, you can walk 40km over two days. The first day you walk only 15km to Miraz and stay at albergue San Martin (donation) or 16km to As Laxes and stay at private albergue O Abrigo (10 Euro) a new albergue with a restaurant. And the next day you continue walking 24km to Sobrado.

There is another albergue about 25km from Baamonde in A Roxica the guidebooks say there is a bar there, in fact, the bar was closed now there is no place nearby where you can get any food. About 1km from A Roxica in A Cabana there is a brand new municipal albergue, opened all year, 6 Euro. Note! If you’re planning to stay there bring food with. 

The shorter (new) route. Total distance – 32km to Sobrado, it involves a lot of walking on the road. It says there are no food places on this route, in fact, there is a new bar right in the middle where you can get food. Not sure if they’re opened on Sundays.

Highlights

  • Capilla de San Alberte – a 16th century chapel (after crossing the bridge, in the forest)
  • Sobrado dos Monxes Abbey – one of the most impressive mastery complexes on the Camino

Challenges

  • A long-distance walk especially if you take the original route – 40km
  • On the 32km route, there is only one bar in the middle, at about 16km
  • On the 32km route a lot of walking on the road
  • On the 40km route, there are two bars at 13km and 15km and two more at 35km.
  • About 5km walking on the road on the 40km route at the end.

Sobrado dos Monxes is a small town, the monastery is certainly the main attraction here. There are a couple of bars/restaurants on the square next to the monastery.

  • ATM – no
  • Municipal albergue – yes, the monastery
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

Albergue-abbey Sobrado dos Monxes

Staying at this place was a very special experience. It’s a big place with many rooms, 120 beds in total. Open all year. Price 8 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water – yes
  • Kitchen – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying machine – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Heating – yes, electric heaters
The bell-towers of the monastery-church in Sobrado dos Monxes
The Monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes – one of the must-stops on the Camino del Norte

Day 29. Sobrado dos Monxes – Arzua, 22km/13,6 miles

Corredoiras – Boimil – A Gándara (Boimorto) – Arzúa

Today in Arzua the Northern Way joins the Camino Frances. Prepare to see significantly more people as well as more restaurants, bars, albergues, etc. all the way till Santiago de Compostela. It’s an easy walking day with many cafes and villages on the way.

Highlights

  • A little bit monotonous scenery; walking along the road, past towns and through the fields

Arzua is a biggish town with many albergues and hotels, everything here is about the Camino.

  • ATM – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes (opened all year)
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotel – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes
  • Restaurant, bar – yes

More places to stay in Arzua

Day 30. Arzua – O Pedrouzo, 20km/12,4 miles

Pregontoño – Calzada – Calle – Salceda – A Brea – Santa Irene – A Rúa – O Pedrouzo

At the exit from Arzua after a downhill on the cobblestone street, there will be a split, most people take the route on the left and follow the gravel path through the fields and the forest, this route is marked as “Complementary”. Both routes join again quite soon, after 2-3km you’ll see the distance markers again. We walked this part twice and every time we took the complimentary option (every time missed the second route). Both routes have more or less the same distance.

All restaurants on the way are quite pricey; you pay 3-4 Euro for a simple sandwich (coffee prices are normal), we’d recommend to buy snacks in Arzua in a supermarket or to have lunch at one of the restaurants in O Pedrouzo. Note! The route doesn’t go through O Pedrouzo it turns right into the forest just before the town, if you’re planning to stay there or stop for lunch just follow the road (the route through the town is marked).

As an option you can walk 35km from Arzua all the way to Monte do Gozo – a huge albergue 5km before the cathedral and the next day walk the last 5km.

O Pedrouzo is a small town with many albergues, hotels, and restaurants serving pilgrim’s menus, etc. For most people, it’s the last stop before Santiago de Compostela.

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarkets – yes
  • Shops – yes
  • Restaurants – yes
  • Municipal albergue – yes
  • Private albergue – yes
  • Hotels – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Places to stay in O Pedrouzo

Day 31. O Pedrouzo – Santiago de Compostela, 20km/12,4 miles

San Paio – Lavacolla – San Marcos – Monte do Gozo – Santiago de Compostela 

We’d recommend starting early if you want to make it in time for the Pilgrim Mass at 12 pm in the cathedral. There are not many places to stop for food and those that are on the way are quite expensive and have very limited options – rather eat breakfast in O Pedrouzo or pack snacks. The first half of the walk is through the forest with a little bit of walking on the road, past the airport and suburban areas of Santiago.

Santiago de Compostela, the end of the Camino del Norte

Arriving in Santiago is the most amazing feeling on the Camino, when you enter Plaza de Obradoiro and see all the pilgrims sitting around, hugging each other, taking photos – you feel like being a part of something big and important, take your time and enjoy this moment, you’ve been waiting for it more than a month.

If you want to know more about the cathedral and its history you can join Santiago de Compostela Cathedral and Museum Guided Tour.

After finishing the Northern Way in Santiago and celebrating it with fellow pilgrims the next day we started walking the Camino Finisterre-Muxía. It’s a 3-4 day route to Cape Finisterre. If you’ve walked enough but still would like to visit Finisterre and Muxía you can do a day bus tour from Santiago.

Tours & activities in Santiago

Places to stay in Santiago

Beautiful Gothic cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain
Stunning Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at the sunset. The end of the Camino del Norte

Books and guidebooks for the Camino del Norte

Useful apps for walking the Camino del Norte

  • Camino Assist Pilgrim Santiago. Free download, available for Android and Apple.
  • Buen Camino de Santiago. Free download, available for Android and Apple.
  • Wisely + Norte; a Wise Pilgrim guide. Cost US$6, available for Android and Apple. We haven’t used it but I saw many unhappy users complaining about the app, I’d recommend reading the reviews before buying it.

Camino del Norte route planning resources

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46 Comments

  1. Jaynie L Wall

    Do you have this itinerary available in a printable format without pictures?
    I have walked the French Route and like your itinerary for the Norte Route. It would be nice if I could print it and make some notes for my husband.
    Thanks!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hi, Jaynie! We might add downloadable PDF files for this itinerary some time later.
      Cheers!

    • Thank you for your detailed posts. They’re very helpful. I wanted to know if the Camino Del Norte is safe for a solo female. I prefer solitude and hence choose not to opt for the Camino Frances. So I am considering between Camino Portuguese and Camino Del Norte.

      • Stingy Nomads

        Hello, Rutuja! Thank you for the comment! We saw several solo female walkers on the Camino del Norte, they were fine, nobody seemed to have any safety issues. I’ve walked the French route alone, I would do del Norte on my own as well. If you’re looking for a less busy route there are definitely less people on del Norte than on the Portuguese Camino.
        Buen Camino!

  2. Thank you for putting all the info together. It’s very helpful! My dream is to do it before I turn 55 🙂 so I have until July

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Joanna! Thank you for the comment! The Camino del Norte is amazing I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! May-June is a good time to walk this route, nice weather not too hot, not too many people. I hope you’ll get to fulfil your dream!
      Buen Camino!

  3. Hello! thank you for providing such detail information, is there a way to print it or download it? My husband and I walked the Camino Frances in 2019 (and loved it!) we would like to do the Camino del Norte this year. Please let me know if there’s a way to print this fabulous information. Thanks!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Lucy! Thank you very much for the feedback! There will be downloadable PDFs with stages and accommodation along the route a bit later. We’re currently trekking in Nepal and don’t have enough time to create these files. Hopefully, by the end of March-April, they will be available here.
      Buen Camino!

  4. Hi! Your information on the Northern Route has been very helpful for my pilgrimage in May 2020. I am considering switching to the Primitivo at Oviedo and would appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank You!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Ron! It’s up to you we walked the Primitivo as a separate Camino and really enjoyed it though it was quite wet and rainy there. If you want to combine coastal scenery with mountains it’s a good idea to switch to the Primitivo, just check the forecast first if it’s rainy I’d rather stay on del Norte the trail on the Primitivo gets very muddy if it rains a lot and you won’t be able to see much of the scenery it might be totally overcast. You can make up your mind on the way and decide if it’s worth to switch or not depending on weather conditions.
      Buen Camino!

  5. Wayward Walker

    This blog is very well done. I would like to walk the Camino del Norte starting in March. What would be your advice, particularly about the trail and rainy conditions during this month? Secondly, do you have this blog post on a pdf? Thank you for a great resource. Buen Camino.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Thank you for the comment! In March some of the albergues might be still closed, some open end of March beginning of April. It might be quite chilly in March with some rainy days. The weather in the North of Spain is quite unpredictable you might be lucky and get nice days or unlucky and get a lot of rain. Currently, we don’t have PDFs for our posts.
      Buen Camino!

  6. This is super helpful in planning our trip! Thank you fro all of the details and the tips! We are super excited!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Hana! Thank you for the comment! The Camino del Norte is a beautiful route, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!
      Buen Camino!

  7. Thank you for all of this detailed information.
    I have walked the French route and plan to walk the Norte next Fall.
    This makes me so excited and I know I’ll be referring to this post again and again.
    I appreciate the time you put into this.

  8. JOSEPHINE ISCOA

    Hi there,
    Thank you so much for all the useful information regarding the Camino Del Norte, I wish you would publish an ebook Camino your way! Your blog helps us a lot deciding which Camino to take for my family (2 kids-14 and 10 yrs). For the Camino Del Norte route, it is possible to take in 3 days for each region? or skip one region? we only have 15 days time next year around June and July. Thanks in advance!
    P.S. Do you have any YT videos for Camino Del Norte on your channel?

  9. Wish we had this info when we walk the Norte

  10. Shirin Zeraaty

    Hi – thank you for the amazing website, i still have some questions ? Is it possible to start in the middle of a route ? And if so is it possible to send your extra luggage to santiago from the city you are starting at?

    • Hello, Shirin! Thank you for the comment! Yes, you can start the Camino in the middle or anywhere else, in order to get the Compostela you have to walk at least the last 100km to Santiago otherwise there are no rules where to start or to finish. Yes, you can send your extra luggage to Santiago, I can’t say how much it’ll cost to send and to store it there but I’m sure you can do it from any city or town.
      Buen Camino!

  11. Hi guys! So glad I stumbled across your blog as I’m planning to walk (part of) the Camino del Norte in 2021. Unfortunately I don’t have the time to do the whole thing, but I’ll pick and choose my stages to fill around 12 days of walking. Thank you so much, it’s like all my research in a one-stop-shop!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Karen! Thank you very much for the feedback! This route especially the parts of it that are along the coast are really beautiful, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the walk!
      Buen Camino!

  12. This is extremely helpful – thanks for putting it together! I plan on doing this route in October but have a few reservations:
    1) I like that this route is less travelled but don’t want to be on my own the entire time. How busy were Albergues while you guys were doing it last October?
    2) Will it be difficult to find open Albergues during October? Will I have to plan ahead (call to make sure they are open every day)?
    3) Increased cost due to lack of available municipal Albergues during this month. How much would you say your average nightly accommodation cost was during October?
    4) Weather. How cold/rainy did it get especially towards the end of October? Should I bring more warm clothes than just a fleece?

    Looking forward to getting your advice!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Andrew! Thank you for the comment! We have the second on this route Camino del Norte guide https://stingynomads.com/camino-del-norte-complete-guide/ where you can find the answers to all your questions there is a detailed break down on how much we spent and on what, how many sunny and rainy days we had in October, social life on the Camino del Norte in October and so on. If after reading this post you’ll still have some questions we’ll be happy to answer them.
      Buen Camino!

      • Johan van der Hoven

        Thank you so much for this detailed information. You included everything I need to know like: ATM’s, supermarkets, alternative routes, albergues, etc, etc.

        I am from South Africa and will walk the del Norte next year from mid May. If you ever visit Cape town, South Africa, contact me –
        I would like to meet you. Regards
        Johan

        • Stingy Nomads

          Hello Johan, thanks for the message and the invite! I am sure you are going to love the Camino del Norte, it is one of our favorites. Buen Camino!

  13. A lot of time and effort has gone into producing this and I just wanted to pass on my thanks. It’s an amazing resource for folks to use.
    I’m looking to follow this route next September. Thank you for your hard work!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Jay! Thank you very much for the feedback! I’m sure you’ll enjoy this Camino, some parts of the route are incredibly beautiful.
      Cheers!

  14. Planning it now – thanks for great tips!

  15. Hi, awesome blog – very informative and practical!
    We are planing on doing El Norte this September/October.
    The plan is to arrive to Gijon on train, catch the bus to Aviles and start the Way there: we want to reach Santiago on 12th day after the start – is it realistic?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Olek! Thank you for the comment! It took us about 12 days to get from Aviles to Santiago so I believe it’s possible.
      Buen Camino!

  16. Charles rogerson veteran pilgrim

    Fantastic info on del Notre route but not able downloaded yet

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Charles! Thank you for the comment! We’re having some technical problems for this reason PDFs are not currently available. We’ll fix it in a day or two, sorry about that. I’ve sent you an e-mail with the PDF file.
      Buen Camino!

  17. Hello
    Thank you for a great description..
    Question:
    Do you have any knowledge, regarding tent camping the Camino del Norte ?
    are there any camping-sites located close to the rout ?

    In advance, thank you

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Morten! Thank you for the comment! We didn’t see many campsites on the route or close to it, there was one guy that walked with us with a tent, he did some wild camping at the beginning (one or two nights) but then stayed in albergues with other pilgrims. There were a couple of caravan parks close to the beach but they looked more like parking lots for camper vans not really for camping in a tent. From our Camino experience, it’s not really worth carrying camping gear as you end up staying indoors most of the time, plus public albergues are very cheap, camping won’t save a lot of money unless you do wild camping. Note, overnight camping on the beach is not allowed in many places in Spain. I hope it helps!
      Cheers!

  18. James Andermahr

    HI
    Thank very much for this post was going to walk the route through the middle of Spain but thought that the northern route would be a bit different and less people.
    I will be traveling mid august 2019 and your itinerary looks fantastic.
    So thanks for all your help i am now certain that this is the one for me.
    Will let you know how i went when i get back to Australia.
    Many thanks
    James A

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, James! Thank you very much for the comment! We’re glad our post was helpful! The Camino del Norte is an amazing route, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it! Looking forward to hearing about your journey! Please, let us know if there are any changes on the route since the last year!
      Buen Camino!

  19. Hi. Thanks for this. Very helpful when organising my camino. One question…do you think this route is doable by bicycle? Don’t mind cycling on the road every now and then but prefer to be off road. What do you think?

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Michelle! Thank you for the comment! We did see quite a few people cycling the Camino del Norte but some parts mainly in the beginning you’ll have to go on the road. If I’m not mistaking there were special signs indicating the cycling routes.
      Buen Camino!

  20. Thanks!!!! Best write up and informational post I’ve seen on the north route.
    Its a bucket list hike. Hopefully one day.
    Is the hike on asphalt as I’ve heard? Asphalt doesn’t sound enjoyable.
    Thx

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, John! Thank you for the comment! There are part on the Camino del Norte that you walk on the asphalt mostly when you go through cities and towns but we had quite a lot of walking on the trail through the forest and along the coast. From our Camino experience the route with the least walking on asphalt is the Camino Primitivo, it’s the closest to the wild hike Camino route.
      Regards!

      • Thank a lot for all this precious information!!! I’ve just 15 days to spend on the Camino and I am choosing my route. Looking around web, I sadly understand that the last km of the North Route (from Ribadeo to Santiago) is all on asphalt. Is this information right?
        Thanks for you answer!!

        • Stingy Nomads

          Hello, Giulia! Thank you for the comment! As I remember the walk from Ribadeo to Santiago wasn’t all on asphalt, in fact, there was quite a lot of gravel road except one day from Baamonde to Sobrado dos Monxes that you walk along the road but it’s possible to take the optional longer route that has very little asphalt. The stretch from Ribadeo to Santiago is through Galician forest fewer cities and roads than on the other parts of del Norte from what I remember the earlier parts through the Basque Country and Cantabria had more asphalt and road walking.
          Buen Camino!

  21. Carol Ann Keough

    This is exactly the kind of info I am looking for — now I will leave my heavy guidebook home. Hope to finish the Norte in May. Walked from Irun to Colombres in May 2018.

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