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LIVE from the Camino Albergues on the norte

simoneva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
frances (2016)
norte/primitivo (2017)
aragon/frances/salvador/norte (2018)
frances (2019)
My experience of current albergue situation on the norte....

It is close to capacity with all the municipal albergues still closed. There are beds but you need to reserve a bed in the morning as distance between albergues is quite long. Also prices are generally going up.

These are where I stayed.

Irun pilgrim hostel...can't reserve but they have space.
San Sebastian room in the city. 23e in room of 12. Booking.com 50e in August! Lots of beds but apparently full at weekends.
Agote aundi. Full.
Izarbide...2 beds free
Zenarruza..full
Pozueta...full by 11am plus 3 tents. Guernika has a large municipal hostel that is closed so big scramble for beds. As it is a few km to the top of the hill if you don't book then you may be disappointed to find all the albergues full!
Quarter Bilbao. Lots of rooms in Bilbao tho may be busy at weekend.
Tu Camino....3 beds free as of 1630.
 
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jeruas

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Hello, we are on the Norte currently in Nueva. Accommodation situation is much better after Santander. We haven't done many albergues as for two people, we can get our private room for a small extra cost. However we stayed in an albergue in Pendueles and there were two pilgrims and a dog in the dormitory
 
Time of past OR future Camino
camino Frances Aug 21 doing norte June 22
My experience of current albergue situation on the norte....

It is close to capacity with all the municipal albergues still closed. There are beds but you need to reserve a bed in the morning as distance between albergues is quite long. Also prices are generally going up.

These are where I stayed.

Irun pilgrim hostel...can't reserve but they have space.
San Sebastian room in the city. 23e in room of 12. Booking.com 50e in August! Lots of beds but apparently full at weekends.
Agote aundi. Full.
Izarbide...2 beds free
Zenarruza..full
Pozueta...full by 11am plus 3 tents. Guernika has a large municipal hostel that is closed so big scramble for beds. As it is a few km to the top of the hill if you don't book then you may be disappointed to find all the albergues full!
Quarter Bilbao. Lots of rooms in Bilbao tho may be busy at weekend.
Tu Camino....3 beds free as of 1630.
Hi
Thanks for this, starting the norte on 4th June, from irun, so will bear in mind....any other tips?
Graham
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Hello, we are on the Norte currently in Nueva. Accommodation situation is much better after Santander. We haven't done many albergues as for two people, we can get our private room for a small extra cost. However we stayed in an albergue in Pendueles and there were two pilgrims and a dog in the dormitory
Of course this is not a blanket statement as I only walked the Norte once in October/November 2018. On the Frances you find many pilgrims walking short stretches year to year. When you get to the bigger cities like Logrono/Burgos/Leon especially, people leave but there seems to be as many new pilgrims starting. When I walked the Norte it seemed like when we got to Bilbao and especially Santander people dropped off but there didn't seem to be new Pilgrims starting. When we took the boat to Santander a young German man who has walked the Norte a few times said it is a real drop off after Santander. Of course the split for the Primitivo left me almost alone on the Norte until Baamonde. It is about 100K to Santiago from there.
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Thanks! Ugh - still can't decide - Norte or Frances?!!
Pretty easy choices depending on what you want. Norte is harder as there are alot more up and downs. I think the scenery is more spectacular especially if you love ocean views. There are alot of variants to avoid road walking. Maybe a little more independent pilgrims as you will meet lots of friendly people but many more seem to walk alone during the day (my observation only). The food is different as there is loads of really good seafood. Two options when you go inland. Staying on the Norte or splitting off to the Primitivo. I have been told by many that it is the hardest but the most beautiful Spanish Camino.
The Frances has its own unique beauty with more variation of terrain. Far more people. If you want a "family" you will have your choice of families to join. The best infrastructure by far. Of course wonderful people and many more choices as to how far you want to walk each day because of the far greater number of accommodations. In the summer it will be cooler on the Norte because of the ocean but I am sure very warm. That I wouldn't know as I don't like walking in hot weather.
 

simoneva

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
frances (2016)
norte/primitivo (2017)
aragon/frances/salvador/norte (2018)
frances (2019)
sure hot tips....
1. take gr121 along coast at elorriaga/auzoa instead of camino. see camino wise app for map. gr121 is often a good choice tho sometimes longer.
2. take bus from bilbao to la arena as all the walking routes from bilbao are uninspiring. though worth walking to the Guggenheim on either bank of river.
3. bridge at deba is closed so walk extra few km....or wait until the workmen are at lunch....or find a pretty spanish girl to chat up the workmen (worked for us)
 

jeanineonthecamino

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2021, 2022
Pretty easy choices depending on what you want.
Thanks! Yes, did Frances last year and was all set to do it again - but leaning towards Norte now! Just worried about keeping budget - want to stick mostly to inexpensive albergues.
 

jeruas

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
We did the Frances in 2019, and we are doing the Norte now. It is more expensive than the Frances. Bunk bed in albergue are about 3€ more expensive than the Frances in private ones. Municipal are mostly closed.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
Thanks! Yes, did Frances last year and was all set to do it again - but leaning towards Norte now! Just worried about keeping budget - want to stick mostly to inexpensive albergues.
I am on a budget too. When I walked the VDLP last fall/winter almost all the kitchens were closed. It seems a lot of the municipal albergues are closed but it also seems that kitchens are opening up. I doubt that private albergues on the Norte would be much different cost wise from those on the Frances but Maybe there are people out there that can shed better light on that.
 
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J Willhaus

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2016, 2022
We are going to the north coast for some vacation days (San Sebastian and Bilbao) this summer after our Camino Aragones and before our hospitalero service. I booked our tourist accomodations several months ago and I notice now that things are quite a bit more expensive. Could be because it is the summer tourism season? I don't know if the pilgrim traffic competes with the tourist traffic.
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
I am on a budget too. When I walked the VDLP last fall/winter almost all the kitchens were closed. It seems a lot of the municipal albergues are closed but it also seems that kitchens are opening up. I doubt that private albergues on the Norte would be much different cost wise from those on the Frances but Maybe there are people out there that can shed better light on that.
In my years walking the Norte, (2015-2017, 2019 different time of year and portions) and the Frances (many times since 2010, last in 2019) I have found the Norte to be always more expensive than the Francés. Post-Covid prices of private albergues may now be more similar but the big difference is that many of the municipal albergues on the Norte are closed which is not the case on the Francés.

Looking at accommodations on the Norte (if Gronze is up to date) I have found that several donativo albergues I stayed in between Bilbao and Gijón in 2019 are now closed "temporarily". And between Irún and Bilbao it appears that the situation is even worse.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
In my years walking the Norte, (2015-2017, 2019 different time of year and portions) and the Frances (many times since 2010, last in 2019) I have found the Norte to be always more expensive than the Francés. Post-Covid prices of private albergues may now be more similar but the big difference is that many of the municipal albergues on the Norte are closed which is not the case on the Francés.

Looking at accommodations on the Norte (if Gronze is up to date) I have found that several donativo albergues I stayed in between Bilbao and Gijón in 2019 are now closed "temporarily". And between Irún and Bilbao it appears that the situation is even worse.
Accuracy fades with time for me haha. It may have been more money but correct me if I am wrong it wasn't more than a couple of euros. Thanks
 

LTfit

Veteran Member
Accuracy fades with time for me haha. It may have been more money but correct me if I am wrong it wasn't more than a couple of euros. Thanks
In the past I always stayed in municipals which are always cheaper than private albergues (whether on the Francés or Norte) hence the greater difference 😉. Unfortunately they appear to be a dieing breed on the Norte.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
In the past I always stayed in municipals which are always cheaper than private albergues (whether on the Francés or Norte) hence the greater difference 😉. Unfortunately they appear to be a dieing breed on the Norte.
Yes they are and maybe that is why I didn't remember it being more expensive as I too try to stay in municipal and donativos whenever possible. Buen vida y buen camino peregrino.
 
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