The Camino del Norte: From Asturias to Galicia beside the sea
In our last blog article about the Cantabrian Sea on the Camino del Norte, we talked about the beaches you could visit from Irún to Sebrayo. In this article, we will continue to talk about the beautiful coastline that crosses the Camino del Norte from Stage 19, which runs between Sebrayo and Gijón.
We’ll finish our tour of the sea in Ribadeo. From this locality, the Camino del Norte to Santiago leaves the coast, deviating inland, in search of the tomb of Santiago the Apostle.
This information means that of the 34 stages into which the Camino del Norte can be divided, only 12 run away from the Cantabrian Sea: from Stage 4 to 9 and the last eight days. So you know, if you feel like walking by the sea, the Camino del Norte coast route is a great option.
Stage 19: Camino Primitivo or more Cantabrian Sea ?
On stage 19, you will have the option to deviate to the Camino Primitivo, which goes to Oviedo or to continue your pilgrimage by the sea, following the Camino del Norte. Without a doubt, if you are an ocean lover you’ll prefer this option and therefore you will be interested to continue reading about the wonderful beaches you will find on your journey.
After Casquita, the point at which you will find the fork to the Camino Primitivo, the Camino Primitivo returns to the sea. The stage ends in Gijón, where you will be received by Playa San Lorenzo, the most popular beach in the city. Next to it is Playa de los Mayanes, calmer but with many more rocks.
However, if you are looking for more tranquillity, Gijón offers you the possibility to visit other beaches on the Northern Camino de Santiago. Next to the City Marina, you will find Playa de Poniente, a space recovered in the ’90s.
If you are looking for more tranquillity, on the west coast of the city you will find Playa Arbeyal, surrounded by a splendid green environment. You can also visit the rocky Playa de Cervigón (or Playa del Rinconín), which is located after the Mayanes Beach.
If you prefer to get further away from the rural environment, you can delve into the rural Gijon environment to enjoy other types of beaches. If you move to the east, you can visit the rocky beaches of Peñarrubia, Serín, La Cagonera, Estaño and the wonderful Playa La Ñora, where you will find a viewpoint of which you can enjoy magnificent views of your golden sands.
The sea in the Camino del Norte on stage 20
The end of stage 20 on the Camino de Santiago also gives us moments together on the sea. The stage concludes in Avilés, where you can visit Playa Salinas, one of the most extensive in the Asturian community. Playa Sablón and Playa Bayas are also recommended visits.
If after the end of the day you want to move, eight kilometres from Avilés you will find 3 kilometres of golden sand dunes. A splendid place to enjoy an afternoon on the Camino del Norte by the sea.
Stage 21: Playa de Aguilar in Muros de Nalón
Stage 21 of the Camino del Norte to Santiago continues to advance by the sea. First thing in the morning you’ll find yourself walking by the ocean. Perhaps the environment is not the most bucolic due to the huge tourist constructions you will find in places like Salinas.
However, at this stage, you will find the beautiful Playa Aguilar, located on the outskirts of the town of Muros de Nalón, where the route ends. This beach is located in a beautiful setting, surrounded by small cliffs and forest.
More sea and sand on the Camino del Norte (stage 22)
Two hours after the beginning of stage 22 on the Camino del Norte, you will be able to refresh your feet in the sea and enjoy the pleasure that provides walking barefoot through the sand. Playa de la Concha de Artedo will give you half a kilometre of coastline to enjoy it.
At the end of this short stage, with just over 15 kilometres of travel, you will find Soto de Luiña. A little more than two kilometres from the town, or a half-hour walk, Playa de San Pedro will be waiting for you. On it, you can also enjoy another pleasant afternoon by the sea on your pilgrimage along the Camino del Norte to Santiago.
Stage 23: walking alongside the freshness of the sea
Stage 23 on the Camino del Norte offers you first thing in the morning the possibility of giving you an energizing morning dip in the sea. Less than 4 kilometres from the end of the previous day, you will find the town of Castañeras.
At 700 metres from the Pilgrim route, you will find some of the essential beaches: Playa del Silencio. This beach also known as O Gavieiro, is located under some cliffs. Access is made by stairs.
Almost an hour later, you will find next to the Pilgrim Path, a small detour leading to Playa de la Ballota, also recommended to visit.
Stage 22 of the Camino del Norte concludes in Cadavero, where the sea is waiting for you. In the last metres on the route, you will find the deviation of 500 metres that leads you to the beach of the locality, known as Playa de La Ribeiroa. This sandbank is within a protected area and consists of small stones and sand.
Another beach you can visit is Playa de Campiecho. We recommend that you do it at low tide, so you can also inspect its cave.
The Camino del Norte coast route: more beaches (stage 24)
On the first section of stage 24 of the Camino del Norte, you will find a detour that invites you to visit the town of Querúas. Since stage 24 is quite short, it is worth walking a bit to make the visit.
In Querúas you will find the small Playa de Santa Ana, located inside a protected environment and hidden under a cliff. It is accessed by a staircase that has been recently added.
Cabo Busto y Barcia
During the tour, you’ll cross Cape Busto. In this environment, although a bit off the track of the Camino del Norte, you can also visit Playa Bozo. A beautiful beach composed of quartz and slate, next to which are located archaeological sites of the Palaeolithic era.
Near the end of the stage, you will pass by the town of Barcia. In it, you will find a beautiful landscape characterized by the presence of cliffs. On its coast, you can access the sea by visiting Playa de los Molinos, in whose vicinity there are several restored mills, hence its name.
The main event of this stage will be found at the end of the route in Luarca. There we will find a collection of sandbanks that will help you to enjoy a magnificent afternoon by the sea on the Camino del Norte to Santiago.
The huge sandbank is made up of the Luarca Beach, divided in two by a pier that protects it from the sea, and the Salinas Beach. These two beaches are the most central and therefore the busiest.
In the vicinity of Luarca, you will find Playa de Portizuelo, much quieter. Also located in a protected environment. This stony beach is famous for two reasons. One for being the meeting point of the Maruyas women, a people who bathed dressed in the sea and the other, for being in it the Piedra del Óleo, a well-known place among the lovers of painting.
Other beaches that you can visit in the vicinity of Luarca are Playa Quintana and Playa Tourán. Both located in a protected environment. Specifically, Tourán Beach stands out for the islet that is formed by the mouth of the river and by its beautiful cliffs.
There is even more sea on stage 25 but a little more isolated
Stage 25 runs between Luarca and La Caridad. This is the last stage before the Camino del Norte enters Galicia at Ribadeo. The end of this stage is surrounded by beautiful beaches, the only drawback is that all are located a couple of kilometres from the city centre.
If you want to enjoy the sea and don’t feel like walking, a great option is to take public transport or a taxi. Taking inter-stage transportation is not the most desirable, but of course, using transportation to make a visit is very legitimate and even advisable. In the vicinity of La Caridad you will find the following beaches:
- Playa de Sabugo. This tranquil beach lies between the sands of Barayo and Otur, in a protected area. It is accessed by a narrow path.
- Playa de Pormenande . This small cove is sheltered from the fierceness of the Cantabrian Sea by the islet of El Castellón de Pormenande.
- Playa de Otur. This beach is located in the centre of Otur and is surrounded by an environment of great scenic value.
- Playa de Barayo. This beach is within the partial nature reserve, where you will also find dunes and marshes. The beach of Barayo is, without doubt, one of the most spectacular beaches of the whole Asturian community.
The last stage next to the sea on the Camino del Norte (stage 26)
Stage 26 of the Camino del Norte to Santiago is the last day to walk by the sea. After Ribadeo, the north route goes into the interior, to go to the Cathedral of Santiago, but before, we can enjoy the cathedral of the sea, keep reading if you want to know what we mean.
Diversion to Porcía
In the first section of this stage, at Valdepares, you will find a fork that allows you to choose between the official route of the Camino del Norte to Santiago or the route by the sea, which is directed to Porcía. Without a doubt, considering that this is the last day on which you will be able to enjoy the Cantabrian Sea, we recommend that you opt for this second option.
In Porcía, you will find a fine sandy beach, surrounded by meanders and the Boy Islets. You can also enjoy several viewpoints with spectacular views of its cliffs.
The jewel of the Camino del Norte coast route Costa: Playa de las Catedrales
The stage concludes in Ribadeo. In its vicinity, you will find numerous beaches, but there is one that you must not miss, although it is a little far away and you have to take transport to get to it. It is the jewel in the crown of the Camino del Norte coast route! We are referring to the Cathedrals Beach.
This beach is one of the most visited on the Galician coast and is not surprising, taking into account its incomparable beauty. The Cathedrals Beach is declared a Natural Monument and is part of the protected area that includes the extension between Lóngara Beach until Peneda do Corvo (point 0).
A set of imposing rock formations, some of them in Arch form, give the name to this beach. We recommend that you visit it at low tide, so you can enjoy its 1300 metres of sandbanks and caves.
In Ribadeo, you can also visit other beaches such as A Areosa, Seborello, Cegoñas, Os Castros, and Os Marbadás. The latter, Marbadás Beach, belongs to the area declared as Natural Monument. It is an isolated beach of sand, to which one accesses through erosion in an arch-shaped rock.
From the Camino del Norte to the Camino Frances
From stage 27 to stage 32, the Camino del Norte goes inland, leaving behind the wonders of the Cantabrian Sea. In Arzúa, it converges with the Camino Frances and together they run during the last two stages, before reaching Santiago de Compostela.
During these last 8 stages, although you will not walk by the sea, the Camino del Norte will allow you to enjoy Galician culture, its legends and its gastronomy. The wonders of the Camino de Santiago are many and in this article, we have spoken only about its beaches, but the Camino del Norte coast route is much more than the sea. If you want to know more do not forget to check our article on the culture and the mountains on the Camino del Norte.
In Ribadeo we say goodbye today and from there we say farewell to the Cantabrian Sea. But before we finish this special about the sea on the Camino del Norte we want to ask you something: Have you completed this coast route? If your answer is yes, do you think there is a beach that we have not mentioned and that we should include? Leave a comment!
If your answer is that you have not yet discovered on foot the impressive Cantabrian coast, the next question is: what are you waiting for? Call us and we will help you prepare your pilgrimage by the sea, by the Camino del Norte.