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Camino del norte questions

nilhguolo

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
September 2024
Hi My name is Deborah, I'm new to the forum, I'm planning on hiking the Camino del norte in September starting on the 1st in Irun, how busy is the norte at that time of year, It it gard to find a bed in an aldergue at night, roughly how much are the albergue per night, I'm hoping to complete in 35 days, I'm travelling alone, I'd be very grateful for any advice or help from those who have walked the route recently, I'm planning to carry no more that 6kg. I understand there can be up to 5 days of rain in september in the North, I've done some of the French and Portuguese route previously, Would you recommend walking poles, And are they easily bought in Irun, as Ryan Air maje you check them.

Thanks in advance
Deborah
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Hi, welcome!

It will be busy in early September, nothing like as busy as the Frances, but with far fewer beds available, so it would be advisable to book the first few nights at least. Accomodation is generally a bit more expensive on the Norte too, as you are competing with surfers/tourists.. so budget around €20 for a dorm bed.
The first week, from Irun to Bilbao is the toughest (and most spectacularly scenic!), but it gets much easier after that.. poles might be a good idea, lots of places to buy them in Irun (you could always chance getting cheap collapsable ones in Decathlon in Dublin, and be prepared to have them confiscated). Weather in September is usually fairly stable and you should have a lot of dry days, but do bring a poncho or rain jacket! As you've walked before, you'll know what you can expect to cover, but 35 days sounds about right. There are some spectacular beaches on the Norte, lots of opportunities to swim, if it's your thing.. Enjoy!
 
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The first time I used poles was on del Norte and I was grateful for them. I purchased them in Irun. One thing I hadn’t expected was the humidity. I walked in July so perhaps due to the heat the humidity was off the charts. 😅 I walked in 2019 so I’m unable to comment on how busy it is post pandemic. You’re going to see some amazing country.
😎👣🌻
Buen Camino!
 
Hi My name is Deborah, I'm new to the forum, I'm planning on hiking the Camino del norte in September starting on the 1st in Irun, how busy is the norte at that time of year, It it gard to find a bed in an aldergue at night, roughly how much are the albergue per night, I'm hoping to complete in 35 days, I'm travelling alone, I'd be very grateful for any advice or help from those who have walked the route recently, I'm planning to carry no more that 6kg. I understand there can be up to 5 days of rain in september in the North, I've done some of the French and Portuguese route previously, Would you recommend walking poles, And are they easily bought in Irun, as Ryan Air maje you check them.

Thanks in advance
Deborah
Hello Deborah, I did the same walk starting 1st September last year with a couple of friends and it took us 35 days including 3 or 4 rest days and a couple of shortish bus rides. It obviously depends on how fit and fast you are but 35 days is doable. It wasn’t terribly crowded all of the time, but at that time of year, it’s still holiday season and so you’ll see plenty of people in the coastal towns for the first two weeks. Equally, some of the hostels ( Albergues) were full to overflowing and to be pretty sure of a place, you needed to reach them by about 14:00. It became easier however as the walk went on. We stayed in a mixture of Albergues, rented rooms, B&Bs and the occasional small hotel and that flexibility was helpful but I’m pretty sure we could have stayed in Albergues/ Donativos the whole way if we had chosen to and planned accordingly. You can book ahead in quite a few Albergues which gives some peace of mind but takes away flexibility if you decide you can walk further or want to stop earlier.
Weather wise as with anywhere these days, you’ll “get what you’re given” and we were “given” some very warm weather indeed to start with, up in the early 30s c which was unseasonably hot according to the locals. Your 6kg pack is commendable but I assume that doesn’t take into consideration water? You’ll want to carry 1.5 litres ( 1.5kg) minimum in my opinion - we carried 2 litres mostly and stopped as frequently as possible for drinks and top ups. There are some early sections where it’s not always easy to top up but your guide book or research will help you with that. In August we were told that there had been heavy rain for much of the month (again quite unusual) and there was evidence of that in the slippery mud we encountered on some of the early descents, so whilst I’m not really a fan, I’m glad I was persuaded to take a pair of lightweight walking poles with me as they helped a lot on those. The ones I took were Leki and they folded down small enough to fit in my small cabin bag, but do check. Not sure how easy it is to get them in Irun but you should be able to Google outdoor stores there and check with them. Hope that this helps, enjoy that walk.
 
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