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best section of camino norte for abbreviated walk (10-14 day

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dustylee

Member
I am hoping to return to do another part of one of the Caminos this spring. I walked from Astorga to Santiago in September & am looking for another section (of a less traveled camino) to walk with a friend in the spring. I have been looking at the Camino portugues, but it appears to have a lot of traffic issues (and I am already scared of being smushed on the road) so I am looking for any recommendations for a scenic (photography is a big part of the walk for me) section of about 250-270 kms where most etapas will not be longer than 25 kms (without any place to stay--doesn't have to be an albergue peregrino). The photos I see from the camino norte make it look very appealing, but my understanding is that there are a lot of long stages of 30+ kms that I would need to be ready to walk & that is likely too much (especially day after day). I am also considering part of the via de la plata, so any recommendations would be appreciated.
Dusty from Austin
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Hello Dusty,

The Portugues from Porto to Santiago is a great, shortish camino, 240 km. We did it in 2007 and it took about 12 days, nothing more than 25 km. The worst busy road walking is before Porto, between Lisbon and Porto I believe, tho after Porto there are lots of uneven paved surfaces to walk on, it's a beautiful camino. Busier than the Vdlp, tho nothing like the amount of pilgs as on CF, more urban than the Vdlp.
Thoroughly recommend it.

Haven't done the Norte, but our favourite is the Vdlp. First camino in 2006 was from Salamanca, took us a long time cos we had many rest days. Doing the whole Vdlp next year and not taking so many rest days ... too hard to get going again. Recommend from Zamora to Santiago. May take anywhere between 14 and 17 days. Distances OK. Great albergues. :D

Buen camino.
carole
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Hi Dusty,
If you are seriously looking at the Norte, what about Santander to Oviedo? No need for 'long stages'. I did Nueva de Llanes to La Isla at one go = 32 kilometres. But there is the town of Ribadasella at the halfway mark which means you could break it up. This stretch has the advantage of being easy to get to, with a definite beginning and end. If you are making it a genuine pilgrimage, visit the Camara Santa at Oviedo Cathedral. Many mediaeval pilgrims did so as a necessary part of their pilgrimage. Look up "Sudarium" in a search engine.
My blog is here:-
http://walktocompostela.blogspot.com/se ... results=50
The only thing different that I would do, is to take the 'FEVE' out to Mogro or even Torrelavega and start from there.

Blessings on your planning
Tio Tel
 
Camino(s) past & future
Nearly every year since 2006, often walking more than one route. 2018 was Camino #14
I did Bilbao to Santander last year, and thoroughly enjoyed it. There was walking in the hills as well as along the coast. Alburgues were easy to find, and I'm hoping to do the entire route next trip.
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Hi Dusty
I did the camino del norte from Santander this year, if i was to do a shorter section again for two weeks i would consider walking from luarca(about 250km from santiago)its a really beautiful fishing village on the Austurias coast , the next 4 stages could be broken up into 13-18km partly coastal sections 1)Pinera 2) castropol 3)Tapia 4)Ribadeo. Then you would be walking into inland Galicia which is very special in itself. The sections after that start stretching to about 25km, no more, and the least is Baamonde to Miraz(about 15km).There are peregrino/a hostels on regular basis on this section, and for people who walked the camino frances before this would have more of a camino feel to it.
mike
 
A

AJ

Guest
mikevasey said:
Hi Dusty
if i was to do a shorter section again for two weeks i would consider walking from luarca(about 250km from santiago)its a really beautiful fishing village on the Austurias coast , the next 4 stages could be broken up into 13-18km partly coastal sections 1)Pinera 2) castropol 3)Tapia 4)Ribadeo. Then you would be walking into inland Galicia which is very special in itself. The sections after that start stretching to about 25km, no more, and the least is Baamonde to Miraz(about 15km).There are peregrino/a hostels on regular basis on this section, and for people who walked the camino frances before this would have more of a camino feel to it.
mike
I agree with this. I walked the whole Norte last year. Parts of the section from Ribadeo to Arzua feel medieval with sylvan tunnels and sunken paths.
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Norte sounds wonderful. Lots to choose from Dusty . . . . good luck.

Has whetted my interest, so think the Norte must be next on our list . .. maybe 2012. I wonder how much harder physically it is than the Frances or Vdlp, more ups and downs? :?

Buen camino. Carole
 
A

AJ

Guest
CaroleH said:
I wonder how much harder physically it is than the Frances or Vdlp, more ups and downs? :?
Parts of it are very much more strenuous.
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
CaroleH said:
I wonder how much harder physically it is than the Frances or Vdlp, more ups and downs?
I finished the frances on the 27th november after starting out from sjpdp on the 27th october. Personally(and thats all it can be) i think the frances is harder but i did miss out what could the hardest section of the norte, hendaye to santander.

The norte is hard, buts it like any piece of walking which is continous over several days or weeks, it takes it toll , but not extremely. I think if the frances had been my first camino, then i had walked the norte i would have had more issues with it ie. the lack of markings in some places, asphalt walking, hostal accomodation, this is to me what makes it harder to many people. I think the sense visually of always being on a camino on the frances makes the physical side of it a lot more bearable, this is what is missing sometimes on the norte, so it seems more difficult. Sorry to go on about this but this very issue crossed my mind a lot on the frances, so its a hot topic to me.
mike
 

CaroleH

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
VdlP 2006, Portugues 2007;Madrid 2009, Finisterre 2009; Sur and VdlP 2011,2013; Manchego and Madrid 2014; VdlP (parts) 2016; Hospitalero plan 2017.
Thanks Mike, I found what you said really helpful and interesting, and encouraging for the Norte. We like the challenge of the 'less travelled ' routes, Vdlp, Madrid, del Sur.... so the Norte definitely appeals, though as we age, we find climbing hills much harder.!!

Well done for completing the Frances. I guess the . . "sense visually of always being on camino on the Frances" . ...... you mentioned refers to the bigger amount of pilgrims, signage, infrastructure, etc and would make one feel more secure. Anyway, hope that you have time to contemplate and remember and digest the journey, and may the experience enrich your life. Take your time.
Buen camino
Carole
 

jprogers

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (half of) 2005
Camino Portuguese 2007
Camino Norte 2009
Camino Ingles 2011
Camino Vasco del Interior Tunnel route 2013
Hi there
I agree with all Mike has said especially about the best part of the Norte being Luarca onwards, I especially loved Mondoneo half way into the hills. Going back up into the hills/mountains is very special and that bit is NOT as tough as I expected it to be. Lots of gentle gradients. I also agree that the hard element of the Norte is sometimes in the markings and detours...you have to keep alert. Lots of excellent alburgues in this later part too and smaller groups of pilgrims.
Cheers Jill
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
CaroleH said:
Anyway, hope that you have time to contemplate and remember and digest the journey, and may the experience enrich your life. Take your time.
I thought the camino i walked in june/july was special, i knew little or nothing about what the camino was, i cant remember how i even came to walk it, but by the end i knew it was special to me.
The frances was totally different for me i was walking to a schedule(which hopefully i wont ever repeat) and felt very tired and weary by sahagun, i think it was with the time i had off there there that i came back healed and stronger in myself, i know several other people who had the same experience there. By the end there was a little flame in my heart for the camino and the people on it. I could go on and on but i think we all know why the camino is amazing.
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
We walked from Guernica to San Vicente de la Barquera this April - not long days and several rrest days in about two weeks. Interesting places like Guernica, Bilbao, Santillana del Mar with the famous prehistoric caves at Altamira - but better than those were the wild flowers, the sea views, the birds - and a wide variety of landscapes and countryside. Some photos and details in our blog - http://buchaneers7.wordpress.com - looking at it I am ashamed that I have not got round to adding more photos yet. I will!

happy planning!
 

Folly

New Member
Would you advise Camino Norte for someone walking alone? the sense of community with the people you meet along the way on Camino Frances sounds appealing, but the views and ancient sites (tunnels and caves) some posters have mentioned in this thread make Camino Norte sound really interesting, especially if it's not so tricky to find alburgues. I'd just like some company now and then. And how is the route marked if it's sometimes difficult to spot?
 

VeganCamino

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Frances from Saint Jean Pied du Port to Burgos, starting in June.
Would you advise Camino Norte for someone walking alone? the sense of community with the people you meet along the way on Camino Frances sounds appealing, but the views and ancient sites (tunnels and caves) some posters have mentioned in this thread make Camino Norte sound really interesting, especially if it's not so tricky to find alburgues. I'd just like some company now and then. And how is the route marked if it's sometimes difficult to spot?
I have the same question.
 

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