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Camino del Norte in April?

eowyn_alva

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés in 2018.
Hi everyone. This is my first time posting here and I need some advice. I walked the Francés last august and it was wonderful (maybe a bit hot). I would like to walk the del Norte but I have to start in the beginning of April. I know that it rains A LOT that time of year so I'm a little bit nervous to be honest. Also, I really like people and loved the social aspect of the Francés, will it be different on the del Norte? Especially in April? I'm a bit afraid to be by myself most of the time. I did walk alone a lot on the Francés but I loved that I could always walk with someone if I wanted too. Also I'm in my mid twenties and fairly athletic so I'm not scared of how hard the trail is rather that I will be the only one my age? Thanks everyone.
 
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CanuckPaul

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances(2014),Camino Portugues Lisbon,Porto,Santiago(2016),Camino Jacobean(2016)Camino de la Costa(2017)
We walked the Norte last year April ,May, very quiet no problem with accommodation you do not need to book ahead,remote in places no cafes or bars not like the Frances, be prepared for mud and rain along the coast.quite a bit of road walking but stunningly beautiful along the coast, in my opinion far more scenic than other caminos,we have walked from Lisboa,santiago to Muxia, Fisterra, Porto along coast and the interior route enjoy a great experience, ps am over 70 and terrain and distances no problem.
 

eowyn_alva

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés in 2018.
We walked the Norte last year April ,May, very quiet no problem with accommodation you do not need to book ahead,remote in places no cafes or bars not like the Frances, be prepared for mud and rain along the coast.quite a bit of road walking but stunningly beautiful along the coast, in my opinion far more scenic than other caminos,we have walked from Lisboa,santiago to Muxia, Fisterra, Porto along coast and the interior route enjoy a great experience, ps am over 70 and terrain and distances no problem.

Thanks for the reply. I'm not worried about acommodation tho but I'm worried about the way being to solitary that time of year. I'm very social and would love to meet lots of people. Was it really quiet when you walked and did you meet any young people on the way?
 

CanuckPaul

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances(2014),Camino Portugues Lisbon,Porto,Santiago(2016),Camino Jacobean(2016)Camino de la Costa(2017)
We met very few perigrinos on the Norte sometimes two or three and some young people mostly from Germany, but every year is different, I think this camino is one for those liking solitude though the big cities you pass through, Gijon,Santander etc are always busy.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
I walked some of it in May 2 years ago. I was with my cousin and we did meet people each night in the albergues. I think you will meet people as April coincides with Easter and this will draw more pilgrims to el Norte. It is very beautiful. Enjoy
 
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Jan_D

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
April will be fairly quiet, except maybe around Easter time (although I walked around Easter time last year, and there were only ever maximum 10 people in the albergues). Almost everyone I met last year was German, and a mix of ages (from 25 upwards). It's a very different experience to the Frances; if you're walking alone you might not see a single other pilgrim during the day. However because there are fewer pilgrims, you tend to bond more intensely, if that makes sense.

I spend a lot of time off-season on the Norte, and I find that it can sometimes feel more sociable than the Frances, which sounds contradictory.... but what happens is that because there are only a few of you, you tend to stick together, and you're less "anonymous" than you would be on the Frances. It's an incredibly beautiful camino, and I'm sure you'll meet some lovely pilgrims along the way.
 

phil evans

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (SJDP) 2014
Portugues (Lisbon) 2015
Norte (Hendaye) 2017
I did the Norte in April, and yes it is a much more solitary path than the Frances at the same time of year. As said above - it is possible not to see another pilgrim for a full day, indeed, I barely saw any for the first two weeks, but those I did encounter were great fun. (i.e. to have a few cidras with) I found it was mostly Germans doing the path. Bring waterproofs! As it can rain all day as well, and worse get cold. That makes it quite tricky over higher land if you get a bit sweaty on a climb: For the first few days as there are long stretches in the hills where it can be difficult to find respite and warm up/get dry. Definitely one for the nature lovers and of course the sea is there for stolid company.

Not always easy to get stamps I found as well. This could be important if you do quick caminos and don't get enough stamps (so the office in Santiago did not believe that I had done it in 20 days as I did not have enough stamps, I had to show them my app to prove it- I found the Buen Camino app to be brilliant btw). For example in cafes etc if you ask for the stamp they probably won't have one in the early parts.

There are some awful stretches, through the back of Bilbao up to Portugalete and the factories near Gijon uurrgh! And a few stretches on/besides main roads. Head down and carry on at those points - however, the vast majority is lovely walking. Overall it's an amazing camino - and if you're fit and young as you it's a great camino to do in April. Best of luck!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
Seeing as this thread has come alive again I would disagree about the back of Bilbao to Portugalete. I skipped this first time round as with friends who took a metro to far end of Bilbao. Went back alone prior to flight home and walked along the river to the very impressive bridge. Sorry now forgotten the name. I think it was interesting walking by the river through Bilbao's industrial past. Don't just skip it.
 

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