The Camino del Norte is the most pleasant, fresh and natural route of all the Ways of Santiago.
During the last years it has become an excellent alternative in the summer, taking into account that during this time it is the Camino Francés or French Way that is preferred by the pilgrims.
From Irún to Compostela, passing through San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo and Lugo, the adventure of pilgrimage along the Cantabrian region offers pilgrims all the burden of mystery and beauty that lived the medieval walkers.
Beautiful mountains, thick forests, bridleways, blue beaches, and small towns adorn this route that has become in the second bussiest route in the Peninsula.
Do you already know how you should prepare for the Camino del Norte?
We tell you here!
SECTIONS OF THE CAMINO DEL NORTE
From San Sebastián to Bilbao
The Camino de Santiago from San Sebastián is the first section of the Camino del Norte. It begins in the cosmopolitan city of San Sebastian, one of the European gastronomic cribs, and ends in Bilbao. We recommend you to visit the majestic building that is home to the Guggenheim Museum.
For this route, you will need 8 days. You will travel approximately 116 kilometers. From San Sebastian, the Camino del Norte continues along the coast. You can also enjoy the surrounding green hills.
From Bilbao to Santander
The Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander is part of the second section of the Camino del Norte. It can be done in 7 days, completing the 100 kilometers until reaching to Santander.
In this section we will pass by picturesque coastal towns, beautiful sandy beaches and rocky coves. It is an area of great natural beauty and contrast between modernity and tradition.
From Santander to Ribadesella
The third section of Camino del Norte starts in the city of Santander and ends in the coastal town of Ribadesella. It comprises about 116 kilometers and you Will walk during 8 days.
Keep in mind that this route is one of the most demanding at a physical level, but it is worth it due to its great landscape and natural wealth.
From Ribadesella to Vilalba
The fourth stage of the Camino del Norte is one of the longest. To complete this route you must walk 285 kilometers in 14 days. It starts in the beautiful coastal town of Ribadesella, at the foot of the Picos de Europa, by the Cantabrian Sea.
The trail takes pilgrims to quiet villages in the rural area of Asturias, where you can taste the delicious local food, before arriving at the medieval city of Oviedo, the region’s capital.
From Vilalba to Santiago
The last stage of the Camino del Norte begins in Vilalba and comprises about 125 kilometers divided into 6 stages. Its starting point is the city of Vilalba, capital of A Terra Cha, and famous for its high quality cheeses. We recommend you to visit the Torre de los Andrade, and enjoy its delicious cuisine.
You will pass through small towns and villages, such as Baamonde, with its famous Church of Calvary, Sobrado dos Monxes and its Monastery of Santa María; Arzúa and the Chapel of Santa Irene; and finally you will arrive to Santiago de Compostela.
THE SEASON OF THE YEAR
You should keep in mind that during the Winter the Camino del Norte can be more difficult. If you can choose the time to do it, the months of April, May, June, September and October are the most recommended because pilgrims have access to more services, and the weather is usually more favorable.
In the months of July and August temperatures may rise, and you will find more pilgrims on the road. If you are looking for calm and tranquility, autumn and winter are an ideal season.
El Camino del Norte is completely signposted with yellow arrows, wooden poles and stone cairns. Even so, you should keep in mind that in some areas the signaling is scarce.
PREPARE FOR THE ROAD
Those who are not used to hiking should train during the previous months. Try walking through some mountain area that you know well, using the shoes that will take in your trip.
Take with you your backpack with the approximate weight that you plan to carry, remember to pack it in an orderly manner, placing the heaviest items down and stuck to your back.
DO NOT FORGET YOUR PILGRIM’S CREDENTIAL
The pilgrim’s credential is the card that accredits you as such, and becomes a kind of guide for you to register your trip.
If you make your trip on foot or on horseback, you must seal your credential at least twice a day in the last 100 kilometers, and if you do it by bicycle in the last 200.
The importance of sealing your credential is that it will be the only guarantee to obtain the Compostela – the document that certifies that you made the journey – at the end of your pilgrimage.
If you make the Camino de Santiago with us, you do not have to worry about going to look for your credential, we will deliver it to you in the accommodation where you start your journey.
If you need extra help, or do not have enough time to plan your trip,
We will advise you!
If you have any questions, you can write us through Facebook, our contact page or in the comments of this post.