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2019 Camino Guides

Camino Del Norte - Advice / Tips

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#1
Hey everyone,

I just want to say a big hello to everyone in the forum. My friend and I are planning on walking the Camino del Norte in July / August 2017. We will be starting in Bilbao (flying from Manchester, England) and have 22 days. We have planned walks for 19 days with the walks ranging from around 22km to the longest walk being 38km (averaging around 27km). This gives us a few days leeway in case it is needed.

We decided against taking tents and will be taking quick dry clothes, towels and lightweight sleeping bags. If anyone has got any advice or tips for us that would be greatly appreciated. We have based our walks on guides we bought from the Confraternity of Saint James and also downloaded the Locus Map App for our Android phones.

We noticed the guide towards the end - Galicia part - does get rather sketchy and we struggled making our plans at this point.

Again if anyone has any advice, tips or observations for us that would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully we will see some of you on the Camino :)
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012-2018 Frances, Norte, Salvador, Aragones, Portuguese, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakibspaad.
#3
Hello there,
My main advice would be to enjoy yourself. Should be no problem, this is a wonderful Camino. So indulge yourself in seafood and do not forget you bring your swimming gear - the sea is often near. If possible, try to stay in the albergues in Guemes (a landmark) and Pendueles (lovely small donativo albergue). And spend some time in the lovely (though touristy) village of Santillana del Mar.
Waymarking is excellent, also in Galicia, so having a sketchy guidebook should be no problem. I would suggest to be flexible in your planning and not necessarily stick to your planned stages - planning 1-2 days ahead will normally do. (well it does for me) . Buen Camino !
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
#4
Have a look at the Resources section here. If you are staying on Norte all the way, I have added one on how to avoid the French way for an extra day, if you want to do that. Sobrado monastery is also an experience. There is a British brother and he loves a chat.

I used the Confraternity guides and they are fine, they can look a bit sketchy (people with fancy German books with colour maps and whatnot often look at them with horror when you get one out in an albergue) but as you go along, you'll get used to them. Be sure to check their website in case there are any updates to write in or print. My guides usually get covered in scribblings from the forum too.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#5
Welcome to the forum @Roops and @Aaronloughrey and enjoy all the planning. My husband walked two weeks of the Norte a couple years ago from Irún to Santander. Lots of ups and downs, but the views were gorgeous and he enjoyed the few ferry rides he had to take to get to the next town. Don't know if you plan on bringing trekking poles but they might be a good idea along with the rest of your gear. You can find other packing advice on the forum in other threads; just have a look around.

Take care and have a Buen Camino.
Faith
 

Davie Blisters

Ministry of Silly Walks
Camino(s) past & future
.
#7
Welcome guys, not done the Norte yet - perhaps next year.
My advice is don't over-plan, just build-up your overall fitness levels, so you can tackle the daily up and down and ensure that you are well shod. As Notion900 said all this info (inc. socks) is included in the 'Resources Section'. Really worth spending an hour or two in this 'Alladin's Cave'.
Buen Camino
Davie
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
#8
Regarding socks, I just wear everyday sport socks. I already know they're comfortable and that I can go a long way with them. Whatever you choose to wear, do train with them so you can see if they're uncomfortable or causing any annoying friction, as that kind of thing can produce blisters. The Compeed balm (or Vaseline, VapoRub, or other anti-friction cream), applied all over your feet and between your toes every morning can also help prevent blisters.

If you guys have time to hang out in Ribadeo once you're in Galicia, try to get there at low tide (https://www.tide-forecast.com/locations/Ribadeo/forecasts/latest/six_day) and walk around on the Playa de las Catedrales (Cathedral Beach). It's gorgeous.

Buen Camino!
Faith
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
#9
If I were you, I would start in Irún and walk as far as possible, and come back next year to finish. The first part of the Norte is not to be missed, in my view. Good luck and have fun.
 
#10
Hey everyone,

I just want to say a big hello to everyone in the forum. My friend and I are planning on walking the Camino del Norte in July / August 2017. We will be starting in Bilbao (flying from Manchester, England) and have 22 days. We have planned walks for 19 days with the walks ranging from around 22km to the longest walk being 38km (averaging around 27km). This gives us a few days leeway in case it is needed.

We decided against taking tents and will be taking quick dry clothes, towels and lightweight sleeping bags. If anyone has got any advice or tips for us that would be greatly appreciated. We have based our walks on guides we bought from the Confraternity of Saint James and also downloaded the Locus Map App for our Android phones.

We noticed the guide towards the end - Galicia part - does get rather sketchy and we struggled making our plans at this point.

Again if anyone has any advice, tips or observations for us that would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully we will see some of you on the Camino :)
Take the metro out of Bilbao to Portugalete. Save few hours and payments. Consider the Primitivo via Oviedo buen camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
#12
Take it slow in the beginning. Ignore the stages in all of the various guide books and pay attention to how your body is feeling.

I am on the Norte right now and even though I was more than warned about all of the up and down. ... well, seeing is believing.
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#14
Hey everyone, really appreciate all your advice and anecdotal experiences. I look forward to having a good nosey and rummage in the resource section for practical advice.

Thank you for your kind words @notion900 , today has been a very emotional day at work in Manchester after such a horrible attack. The only thing I'll say is that out of such a horrific event, if you can take a positive, it's nice to see everyone come together in unity and support and love in response. The world can always use more love.

Now more than ever I am really looking forward to the camino. Hopefully I may get to meet one or two of you, who knows.

Good night everyone and I hope your camino is going well @intrepidtraveler :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
#15
Thanks, @Roops, so far things have been going nicely.

Today was a little dicey in Pobena trying to find a place to stay. There's only one smallish alberque (no reservations ) and some AT's above a bar in the whole town. Way more pilgrims than beds. Summertime should be really interesting.

Buen Camino to you. One of the many nice things about the Camino is that news from the outside world stays outside - unless you go looking for it.
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Frances-Norte-Levante-Sanabres-Portugues-Gudbrands
Camino(s) past & future
St Olav’s way - Åbo - Stiklestad - Nidaros
(2018)
#16
Hey everyone,

I just want to say a big hello to everyone in the forum. My friend and I are planning on walking the Camino del Norte in July / August 2017. We will be starting in Bilbao (flying from Manchester, England) and have 22 days. We have planned walks for 19 days with the walks ranging from around 22km to the longest walk being 38km (averaging around 27km). This gives us a few days leeway in case it is needed.

We decided against taking tents and will be taking quick dry clothes, towels and lightweight sleeping bags. If anyone has got any advice or tips for us that would be greatly appreciated. We have based our walks on guides we bought from the Confraternity of Saint James and also downloaded the Locus Map App for our Android phones.

We noticed the guide towards the end - Galicia part - does get rather sketchy and we struggled making our plans at this point.

Again if anyone has any advice, tips or observations for us that would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully we will see some of you on the Camino :)
Enjoy your Camino on your own tempo.....forget warnings...you will both have a blast
Regards from Norway and one that will return to El Norte ones...
https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=263101507484105&id=185691925225064
 

khiker9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
#17
Hey Guys - You will love the Norte. I walked from Bilbao last Sept/Oct. I am not able to be nearly as ambitious as you are - I probably averaged ~20K per day and walked for 26 days. I went on the Norte for the coastal views, so when I realized how much road walking there was (compared to the Frances & Portuguese) I decided to skip past some of the more inland parts & the bigger towns and when the route turned inland toward Santiago I skipped from Ribadeo to Vilalba. This gave me enough days left to walk from Santiago to Finisterre. The way marking is very good but I used the Northern Caminos Guide Book and the Buen Camino App. The bigger tourist towns on the coast will be crowded on the weekends - beware! Buen Camino
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
#18
Take it slow in the beginning. Ignore the stages in all of the various guide books and pay attention to how your body is feeling.

I am on the Norte right now and even though I was more than warned about all of the up and down. ... well, seeing is believing.

or Climbing is believing! :p :D
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
#19
When you arrive in Bilbao, you can take a city bus into the town and take the metro out to Portugalette and stay there the first night and start your Camino as suggested past the 15km of industrial walking by the river. If you would like more details DM me and I can give you the metro stations.
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#20
When you arrive in Bilbao, you can take a city bus into the town and take the metro out to Portugalette and stay there the first night and start your Camino as suggested past the 15km of industrial walking by the river. If you would like more details DM me and I can give you the metro stations.
Thanks for the advice that's what we intend on doing after spending a night in Bilbao :) Love that city as we go to the music festival each year there and have met some great friends so thought it a good place to start the camino (well from Portugalette) :p
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#21

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Started the Frances, 2017
#22
Thanks for the advice that's what we intend on doing after spending a night in Bilbao :) Love that city as we go to the music festival each year there and have met some great friends so thought it a good place to start the camino (well from Portugalette) :p

Right! People go to Bilbao for Bilbao! I always am passing through . . .

Maybe I should stick around for a couple of days next time and check it out!

Kathy
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#23
Hi everyone!

I hope you are all well. My friend and I were wondering if anyone has cycled parts of the Camino? Just mulling the idea over and wondered if anyone had hired a bike to cycle anywhere on the way and if they would recommend it?

:)
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Frances-Norte-Levante-Sanabres-Portugues-Gudbrands
Camino(s) past & future
St Olav’s way - Åbo - Stiklestad - Nidaros
(2018)
#24
Hi everyone!

I hope you are all well. My friend and I were wondering if anyone has cycled parts of the Camino? Just mulling the idea over and wondered if anyone had hired a bike to cycle anywhere on the way and if they would recommend it?

:)
Bicycle is a go .....met a total of three Frenchmen in December....with a tent for near beach wildcamping would bee sweet and my first choice....
 
Camino(s) past & future
Northern route (aug 2017)
#25
Socks ==> invest in Darn Tough socks. They are hand crafted Merino wool. They have short ankle socks and taller ones, too. You can buy directly from their website.
 

Roops

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Summer 2017)
Camino a Finisterre (Summer 2018)
Camino de la Plata (April 2019)
#26
I hope everyone is having a lovely weekend :)

Does anyone know by any chance whether at the campsite in Latas (2km from Somo) you need to bring your own tent or whether you can hire one there? My friend and I aren't planning on bringing our own tents after reading advice in the forum so we're hoping you don't need one!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo, Camino Finisterre
#27
Hey everyone,

I just want to say a big hello to everyone in the forum. My friend and I are planning on walking the Camino del Norte in July / August 2017. We will be starting in Bilbao (flying from Manchester, England) and have 22 days. We have planned walks for 19 days with the walks ranging from around 22km to the longest walk being 38km (averaging around 27km). This gives us a few days leeway in case it is needed.

We decided against taking tents and will be taking quick dry clothes, towels and lightweight sleeping bags. If anyone has got any advice or tips for us that would be greatly appreciated. We have based our walks on guides we bought from the Confraternity of Saint James and also downloaded the Locus Map App for our Android phones.

We noticed the guide towards the end - Galicia part - does get rather sketchy and we struggled making our plans at this point.

Again if anyone has any advice, tips or observations for us that would be greatly appreciated. Hopefully we will see some of you on the Camino :)
If you're looking to walk for only 19 days I would suggest you take a taxi and/or bus from Bilbao to Castro Urdiales. The route out of Bilbao is quite industrial, not a great introduction to the Camino. The Camino Primitivo is under appreciated but is a true gem once you're walking it, especially in July and August. Jumping from the Norte to the Primitivo will also cut out a few days. I have a detailed outline of my Camino Norte, Primitio and Finisterre at: traveltomastery.com.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#28
The route out of Bilbao, if you walk along the water, is industrial for about 10-15km, that's all. The beach as you come into Pobena is a nice sight, the high route from Hazas to Castro Urdiales simply stunning.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminos Madrid, Frances and Finisterre (2015)
Camino Norte-2017; Camino Ingles from A Coruna - 2017
#29
I just finished the Norte and would modify the suggestion to take a taxi from Bilbao to Portugalete. If you take it to C-U you will miss walking the coastal path from Pobena to Castro-Urdiales which is gorgeous.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
#30
Even better and cheaper than a taxi, take the Metro to Portugalete. The station is very close to the albergue there, just up a few steps and on the right.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to do the coastal route next summer 2017
#31
So many helpful comments!!! We are leaving in days and I have butterflies in my tummy (and sometimes an innate grin)!!! Starting to "worry" about what underwear to bring - loose baggy? Well fitted? What about chafing?! It's a warm drizzly gray day in manchester today - I reckon we'll have a few of these on the way!!!
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (Planning)
#33
So many helpful comments!!! We are leaving in days and I have butterflies in my tummy (and sometimes an innate grin)!!! Starting to "worry" about what underwear to bring - loose baggy? Well fitted?
My husband opted for the well-fitted microfiber boxers (for quick drying and avoid chafing) for both our French and Portuguese Caminos. Norte is probably going to be the next one, so you guys please keep us informed in the Live section of the forum, ok? :D (about the camino, not the undies :p)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Plan to do the coastal route next summer 2017
#34
Thanks - there's no point sweating the small stuff eh? :D I simply went for quick dry type with wicking. Typical worries are - what happens if there's no room at the hostel... what about bed bugs... is it safe to leave stuff at the hostel and go for a swim...

I've gone back to Ireland for a couple of days to spend time with the family before going on this journey. It has been unusually warm and sunny and as always it has been great to be with them and eat, laugh and share with them. Maybe the adventure has started already?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#35
Typical worries are - what happens if there's no room at the hostel... what about bed bugs... is it safe to leave stuff at the hostel and go for a swim...
Typical worries, typical answers: :rolleyes:

No room at the hostel? Some will provide you with a tent, or with a bit of a mat and send you to sleep under the church porch (Pobena), or you walk on to another albergue, or pension. Or taxi there. Or simply book ahead.

Bedbugs? Spray your pack and outside of bedding.

Is it safe to leave your stuff and go for a swim? Not you valuables.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (AUG 2017)
#36
Not sure when you guys set out, but I'm starting from Santander tomorrow morning so maybe we'll cross paths! Buen camino :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances May 2016
Camino Del Norte (July/Aug 2018)
#37
Hey Guys - You will love the Norte. I walked from Bilbao last Sept/Oct. I am not able to be nearly as ambitious as you are - I probably averaged ~20K per day and walked for 26 days. I went on the Norte for the coastal views, so when I realized how much road walking there was (compared to the Frances & Portuguese) I decided to skip past some of the more inland parts & the bigger towns and when the route turned inland toward Santiago I skipped from Ribadeo to Vilalba. This gave me enough days left to walk from Santiago to Finisterre. The way marking is very good but I used the Northern Caminos Guide Book and the Buen Camino App. The bigger tourist towns on the coast will be crowded on the weekends - beware! Buen Camino
Hi,
I am planning to do the Camino del Norte in July 2018. you mention the buen camino app. When I search for it on google play I see many apps but most of them pertain to Camino Frances (which I did in 2016). can you kindly provide the details of specific app and the book?
thank you
Jose
 

PlutseligPilegrim

Frances-Norte-Levante-Sanabres-Portugues-Gudbrands
Camino(s) past & future
St Olav’s way - Åbo - Stiklestad - Nidaros
(2018)
#40
“Buen Camino” “Northern Route”

Works a treat and worth it.....used ordinary guidebook also to read up and deviate from time to time...it pays off to put some question marks for route a head....just looking at the map it was quite easy to find tempting detours.....”it’s your camino..”

“GR E9” !

Ultreia!

 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2011)
Norte (2014)
Norte (2016)
Salvador (2017)
Frances (2018)
Madrid-Salvador-Primitivo 19
#41
I used it two years ago, and found it to be very useful. Quite inexpensive, I recommend it.
 

khiker9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
#42
Hi,
I am planning to do the Camino del Norte in July 2018. you mention the buen camino app. When I search for it on google play I see many apps but most of them pertain to Camino Frances (which I did in 2016). can you kindly provide the details of specific app and the book?
thank you
Jose
Hi Jose - I have the app on my iPhone and I have included the link below. Once you buy the app, you can download the maps and follow your position on the route without Wifi or data - it works through your GPS. It is the app with the big yellow arrow on a blue background. Good luck & buen Camino!
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/guide-of-the-way-of-st-james/id858222947?mt=8
 

Dabo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September to October 2017
#44

khiker9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, '12; Frances, '14; Port, '15; Frances, Norte, Fisterre, '16; Ingles, Fisterre/Muxia '17
#45
Do you have to downloaded each map individually?
I think there is just one map for the Norte - someone did it for me on my phone. If you want maps of other routes you will have to pay for those apps & then download the map for that route.
 

Dabo

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances September to October 2017
#46
I think there is just one map for the Norte - someone did it for me on my phone. If you want maps of other routes you will have to pay for those apps & then download the map for that route.
Thank you.
 

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