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Camino del Norte - Stages of 20-30km

Camino(s) past & future
2017 - Camino Frances
2019 - Camino Portugues
Hi everyone. I have perused the many existing threads on this forum about routes and stops and have been researching the many itineraries online for the Camino Norte.

Does anyone have an itinerary that would keep the stages less than 30km . . . ideally topping out at 25km? I am very fit, but I found the days of 30km+ from our recent walk of the Camino Portuguese just not enjoyable and I would prefer to avoid them on the Camino Norte if possible.

I plan to walk Camino Norte sometime on or around Jun 24, 2021, a reschedule of my plans for this fall for obvious reasons.

Thanks all and Buen Camino.

Michael
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
For what it is worth...30 km days are not normal on the Norte or other routes.
30 Km days are generally walked by folks who have a reason or who are at a much higher fitness level. There are stages on a couple of routes where there is no accommodation at a shorter distance. That has become much less common on most routes now as albergues and other accommodation have filled in between previous stopping points.

A few years ago we did not hear of people talking about 30km days on a regular basis. It was almost always a one-off type of thing except for fitness addicts.
I have walked 30km days many times over 13 caminos ..even 40&45k days...but not on a regular basis and am happy that it was a seldom event.

I consider 20-25km to be normal with a lot of 16km days thrown in. I am not sure why we now see so many posts about walking 30+ stages.

Others may have a different opinion or perception.
 

Anamiri

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016, 2017, 2019 Camino Frances
I understand your question as I bought a Northern Caminos guide book. and although many days were 20-25, the book did show some very long stages. So 'I'm also interested in the answers. Maybe there are accommodations that the book didn't reference.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I keep spreadsheets of the daily distances for all of my Caminos. On the Norte I did have a handful of days over 30km, but by choice, not necessity. I really can't think of any stage where I had to walk over 30 km.

This website has a stage planner that you can play around with.

 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
I've done the del Norte a few times, initially doing 25k+ stages. As I gained in maturity, I found that my body now prefers shorter stretches and that 20-25k is my new max. Gronze and guides will show you how to plan more humane stretches. The only killer will be the stages between Deba and Bilbao in the Basque country, which go through hilly territory without a lot of flexibility-- but planning will save you. And, given that you can't head out this year, you can occupy many happy hours earth-googling the trail. The del Norte is a splendid walk and a paradise for seafood-lovers; the pilgrim population tends to be more European than Spanish and North American, but it's still pretty varied.

I've just posted my 2017 stages on another thread. Here they are:
Irun - San Juan de Pasajes 20; to Igueldo 18; to Zarautz 18; Deba 22; Markina 25; to Guernica 25; skip by local train to Bilbao; to Castro Urdiales 20; to Liendo 20; to Santoña 12; to Noja 15; to Guemes 16; to Somo 18; skipping to Mogro and walking to Santillana del Mar 19; to to Comillas 20; to San Vicente de la Barquera 13 to Columbres 20 (another time stopped at Serdio); to Llanes 20; to Nueva 17; to Ribadesella 15; to Islares 20; to Villaviciosa 21; skipping to Gijon and Aviles by train, then walking to Soto del Barco 20; to Aguilar for a beach break 12; to Soto de Luiña 20; to Cadavedo16; to Luarca 16; to Navia 20; to Tapia de Casariego 23; Ribadeo 15; to Villamartin Grande 19; to Mondoñedo 18; to Abadin 12 or 17; to Vilalba 21; to Baamonde 19; to Miraz 15; to Sobrado de Monxes 25; to Arzua 22. Then you're on the Frances. I was 64 when I did this fairly leisurely trek and stayed in private accommodation in all places, although sometimes in private rooms at albergues. The first week to Bilbao is physically the toughest, but do remember that Correos can take your pack for 5 euro a stage, which can mitigate some of the pain.
 
Last edited:

AJGuillaume

Pèlerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
In 2018, as part of a much longer walk, we started in Hendaye, just over the bridge from Irun. We took quite a few alternatives, as you will find on this forum, in particular some amazing cliff walks. We also strayed from the Norte in places, for example dipping down to Oviedo.
These are our stages, with an average of just over 15km (yes, we are slow walkers ;) ):
Pasajes 21.5
San Sebastian 6.2
Orio 16
Zumaia 15.7
Ibiri 19
Markina-Xemein 19.1
Munitibar Gerrikaitz 11.5
Gernika 13.9
Lezama 21.9
Bilbao 10.5
Portugalete (via Ria del Nervion) 12.4
Pobena 13
Castro Urdiales (via Miono) 15.9
Oriñon 16.4
Laredo (via Monte Candina, coast) 11.5
Noja (via Santoña) 13.6
Guemes (via Castillo & Bareyo) 15.4
Santander (coastal trail & Somo) 14.6
Liencres 19
Polancos 22.2
Santillana del Mar 11.8
Cobreces 13.2
Comillas 10.4
Serdio 19.6
Buelna 17.8
Llanes 17.3
Nueva 18.3
Ribadesella/Ribeseya 15.9
Colunga 22.6
Villaviciosa 17.9
Valdedios 9.9
Vega de Poja 15.4
Oviedo 20
La Miranda - Llanera 16.6
Aviles 14
Muros de Nalon 22.5
Soto de Luina 18.4
Ballota 12.8
Barcia 21.6
Puerto de Vega 21.3
La Caridad 23.1
Ribadeo 23.8
Villamartin Grande 18.7
Mondonedo 17.7
Abadin 13.4
Vilalba 20.6
Baamonde 18.8
Miraz 16.6
Reguela 14
Sobrado dos Monxes 15.8
A Gandara (Boimorto) 11.8
Arzua 10.2
O Pedrouzo 19
Santiago de Compostella 19
Hope this helps!
Buen Camino!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019)
I totally agree that 30K days can be completely avoided with a little foresight and I do mean just a little foresight. I walked the Norte 2 years ago. It was difficult for me especially getting to Bilbao. I did end up walking 2 or 3 30k days but that was because I wasn't paying attention and skipped a town and found myself needing to go further than I wanted to because of my own mistake of being in the clouds and just being in my rhythm. What I do in the evening is I check out the next day's walk and check for options from about 18k-25k. I usually look for 2. In that way I have a cushion for myself knowing I can see what the next day brings and how I feel. Being retired I have the luxury of more time to walk. I know someone else suggested the Northern Caminos guidebook I had a kindle copy of it and for me, and this is just my opinion, did not like it at all. My daughters had bought me the Wise Pilgrim bundle of 7 or 8 caminos and the Buen Camino app and downloaded them on my phone. I think they are now both free apps. I used those and Gronze.com to check out distances and choices of albergues and donativos. No one app or guidebook has everything so for someone like yourself (and me) who never follows the stages it gives you more choices and Gronze has the most reviews of albergues. I basically just look for cleanliness. My only other recommendation would be if you get into November and you are still walking I would call to make sure albergues are still open. I walked the Camino Frances last November-December and found that between all the resources they were correct about when Albergues were open only about 60% of the time. Most of the time they would list an albergue open and they were closed. There were also many times that one source would say a place was open and another would say it was closed. Having said that you still should be able to walk the distances you want on the Norte. Remember who knows what will be after the virus. If places are still open or have had to close. The infrastructure is NOT like the CF or the CP. It is especially less once you leave the coast and head southwest towards Santiago. When I walked there were days I saw at most just a few pilgrims (less then 5 and sometimes no one) and the same was true in the Albergues at night. Buen Camino and stay safe.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I have an itinerary I can email you if you send me your email address via PM.

Bob
 

calmeg

Member
We have done the norte/primitivo combination twice. The stages we did can be found on the blog (https://carlosandmick.wordpress.com/). We did some ~30 Km stages because we arrived at a place and were not yet tired so carried on, but there were intermediate places we could have stopped. But I agree that 25 Km for us is a perfect distance, and if we start at 7:30, we are there by early afternoon with time to walk around and see things!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 - Camino Frances
2019 - Camino Portugues
For what it is worth...30 km days are not normal on the Norte or other routes.
30 Km days are generally walked by folks who have a reason or who are at a much higher fitness level. There are stages on a couple of routes where there is no accommodation at a shorter distance. That has become much less common on most routes now as albergues and other accommodation have filled in between previous stopping points.

A few years ago we did not hear of people talking about 30km days on a regular basis. It was almost always a one-off type of thing except for fitness addicts.
I have walked 30km days many times over 13 caminos ..even 40&45k days...but not on a regular basis and am happy that it was a seldom event.

I consider 20-25km to be normal with a lot of 16km days thrown in. I am not sure why we now see so many posts about walking 30+ stages.

Others may have a different opinion or perception.
Thank you. I am active and fit but want to take in the experience . . . it is not a race, so 30km+ is not my cup of tea
:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 - Camino Frances
2019 - Camino Portugues
I keep spreadsheets of the daily distances for all of my Caminos. On the Norte I did have a handful of days over 30km, but by choice, not necessity. I really can't think of any stage where I had to walk over 30 km.

This website has a stage planner that you can play around with.

Thank you, this will be a very helpful resource.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 - Camino Frances
2019 - Camino Portugues
In 2018, as part of a much longer walk, we started in Hendaye, just over the bridge from Irun. We took quite a few alternatives, as you will find on this forum, in particular some amazing cliff walks. We also strayed from the Norte in places, for example dipping down to Oviedo.
These are our stages, with an average of just over 15km (yes, we are slow walkers ;) ):
Pasajes 21.5
San Sebastian 6.2
Orio 16
Zumaia 15.7
Ibiri 19
Markina-Xemein 19.1
Munitibar Gerrikaitz 11.5
Gernika 13.9
Lezama 21.9
Bilbao 10.5
Portugalete (via Ria del Nervion) 12.4
Pobena 13
Castro Urdiales (via Miono) 15.9
Oriñon 16.4
Laredo (via Monte Candina, coast) 11.5
Noja (via Santoña) 13.6
Guemes (via Castillo & Bareyo) 15.4
Santander (coastal trail & Somo) 14.6
Liencres 19
Polancos 22.2
Santillana del Mar 11.8
Cobreces 13.2
Comillas 10.4
Serdio 19.6
Buelna 17.8
Llanes 17.3
Nueva 18.3
Ribadesella/Ribeseya 15.9
Colunga 22.6
Villaviciosa 17.9
Valdedios 9.9
Vega de Poja 15.4
Oviedo 20
La Miranda - Llanera 16.6
Aviles 14
Muros de Nalon 22.5
Soto de Luina 18.4
Ballota 12.8
Barcia 21.6
Puerto de Vega 21.3
La Caridad 23.1
Ribadeo 23.8
Villamartin Grande 18.7
Mondonedo 17.7
Abadin 13.4
Vilalba 20.6
Baamonde 18.8
Miraz 16.6
Reguela 14
Sobrado dos Monxes 15.8
A Gandara (Boimorto) 11.8
Arzua 10.2
O Pedrouzo 19
Santiago de Compostella 19
Hope this helps!
Buen Camino!
Huge thank you!
 

JCB

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CN(2019)
Hi everyone. I have perused the many existing threads on this forum about routes and stops and have been researching the many itineraries online for the Camino Norte.

Does anyone have an itinerary that would keep the stages less than 30km . . . ideally topping out at 25km? I am very fit, but I found the days of 30km+ from our recent walk of the Camino Portuguese just not enjoyable and I would prefer to avoid them on the Camino Norte if possible.

I plan to walk Camino Norte sometime on or around Jun 24, 2021, a reschedule of my plans for this fall for obvious reasons.

Thanks all and Buen Camino.

Michael
Gronze.com's stage suggestions should fit your plans.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
This brings back many happy memories of my Camino del Norte

I've done the del Norte a few times, initially doing 25k+ stages. As I gained in maturity, I found that my body now prefers shorter stretches and that 20-25k is my new max. Gronze and guides will show you how to plan more humane stretches. The only killer will be the stages between Deba and Bilbao in the Basque country, which go through hilly territory without a lot of flexibility-- but planning will save you. And, given that you can't head out this year, you can occupy many happy hours earth-googling the trail. The del Norte is a splendid walk and a paradise for seafood-lovers; the pilgrim population tends to be more European than Spanish and North American, but it's still pretty varied.

I've just posted my 2017 stages on another thread. Here they are:
Irun - San Juan de Pasajes 20; to Igueldo 18; to Zarautz 18; Deba 22; Markina 25; to Guernica 25; skip by local train to Bilbao; to Castro Urdiales 20; to Liendo 20; to Santoña 12; to Noja 15; to Guemes 16; to Somo 18; skipping to Mogro and walking to Santillana del Mar 19; to to Comillas 20; to San Vicente de la Barquera 13 to Columbres 20 (another time stopped at Serdio); to Llanes 20; to Nueva 17; to Ribadesella 15; to Islares 20; to Villaviciosa 21; skipping to Gijon and Aviles by train, then walking to Soto del Barco 20; to Aguilar for a beach break 12; to Soto de Luiña 20; to Cadavedo16; to Luarca 16; to Navia 20; to Tapia de Casariego 23; Ribadeo 15; to Villamartin Grande 19; to Mondoñedo 18; to Abadin 12 or 17; to Vilalba 21; to Baamonde 19; to Miraz 15; to Sobrado de Monxes 25; to Arzua 22. Then you're on the Frances. I was 64 when I did this fairly leisurely trek and stayed in private accommodation in all places, although sometimes in private rooms at albergues. The first week to Bilbao is physically the toughest, but do remember that Correos can take your pack for 5 euro a stage, which can mitigate some of the pain.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
For what it is worth...30 km days are not normal on the Norte or other routes.
30 Km days are generally walked by folks who have a reason or who are at a much higher fitness level. There are stages on a couple of routes where there is no accommodation at a shorter distance. That has become much less common on most routes now as albergues and other accommodation have filled in between previous stopping points.

A few years ago we did not hear of people talking about 30km days on a regular basis. It was almost always a one-off type of thing except for fitness addicts.
I have walked 30km days many times over 13 caminos ..even 40&45k days...but not on a regular basis and am happy that it was a seldom event.

I consider 20-25km to be normal with a lot of 16km days thrown in. I am not sure why we now see so many posts about walking 30+ stages.

Others may have a different opinion or perception.
I did the Norte and most of my days were well under 30km. You can easily do 15-20 or 25km per day.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2017 - Camino Frances
2019 - Camino Portugues
I did the Norte and most of my days were well under 30km. You can easily do 15-20 or 25km per day.
Thank you. The walking distance isn't the issue, it is about walking at a pace and progression to absorb the Camino. We walked the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon in late summer 2019, and found ourselves "rushing" on the long distance days . . . of course it was 40c for 2 weeks as well :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
You can do that no problem. I seemed to be on a mission and rarely stopped to absorb the Camino. But next time I will be more attentive...I hope. Buen Camino.
 

Vaughan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais April/May 2019
Camino Notre April/May 2020
I was intending to walk the Notre this May and was planning to take 32 days. That would have necessitated 9 days over 30kms which did not overly concern me based on my experiences on the Francais last year. I'm 58, reasonably fit and try to be very well prepared by doing a lot of training walks before I go. I enjoy walking so 30km v 25km doesn't feel like much of a stretch. Of course this all depends on being injury free which can sometimes be down to luck however much training you do!

I also like to start early in the morning so I found that sub 20km days often left me at my overnight destination before lunch. I preferred the longer days when I could arrive in the late afternoon. So bottom line for me is that you should plan on walking at a comfortable pace and distance that suits you and not be overly influenced by others. If you are able to do enough realistic training in advance then those numbers will reveal themselves to you.
 

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