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Camino Lebaniego

pilgrim 313

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Just wonder if anyone has done the Camino Lebaniego in recent times. I finished the Camino Frances last year and had no major plans to walk again this year. However just heard about this way recently. It sounds great. From the sea to the mountains in a few days. 2017 is a special year also as it is a Jubilee Year at the monastery of Santo Toribo de Liébana. Thinking of doing it maybe this Sept.
Would really love to hear from anyone who has done it recently. Also wondering if anyone planning on doing it. My main concern is that it may be very quiet/ lonely camino! Would love to hear if there is much life on the way.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
313: depends what you mean by recent. You'll see there are lots of posts/info from people walking the Lebaniego in 2016 and I reckon most of this is good for this year as well.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
313 Welcome to the forum !
 

psheehan

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2005,2006,2008,2009,2012,2013) Portuguese (2007) Del Norte (2009,2010) Primitivo (2009) Finisterre (2012) Salvador (2013) Liebaniego & Vadiniense (2014) Ingles (2014) Via de la Plata (2015) Sanabres (2016)
Hello,

I walked the Camino Lebaniego in May 2014 starting in San Vicente de la Barquera to Potes and then I continued on the Ruta Vadiniense from Potes to Mansilla de las Mulas. It is a gorgeous Camino but most of the time I was the only pilgrim, I had most of the albergues to myself and only saw 2 or 3 other pilgrims in the 9 days. The scenery is beautiful and there are great albergues and pensions along the way.

I would definitely recommend this route.

Paul.
 

pilgrim 313

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Hi Tom. I have had a look at the info on the forum. Lots of good info. I gather it is a very quiet camino. I am just curious about this year if there are more pilgrims due to Jubilee at monastery in Santo Toribo. I guess there maybe a few more Spanish pilgrims. Thank you for yor reply.

313: depends what you mean by recent. You'll see there are lots of posts/info from people walking the Lebaniego in 2016 and I reckon most of this is good for this year as well.
 

pilgrim 313

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Hello,

I walked the Camino Lebaniego in May 2014 starting in San Vicente de la Barquera to Potes and then I continued on the Ruta Vadiniense from Potes to Mansilla de las Mulas. It is a gorgeous Camino but most of the time I was the only pilgrim, I had most of the albergues to myself and only saw 2 or 3 other pilgrims in the 9 days. The scenery is beautiful and there are great albergues and pensions along the way.

I would definitely recommend this route.

Paul.
Hi Paul,
Only read about this route in the past week and it really grabbed me. It looks fab. The accounts of those who completed it all recommend it. I am a bit of a lightweight and due to time constraints I won't be walking on from Potes! I will probably walk from Comillas to Santo Toribo/Potes. The Vadiniense sounds fab too.
Thanks for your reply.
 

MinaKamina

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Jacobspad 2017

cherrys

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct (2013), Finisterre/Muxia Oct (2013), Camino Frances and on to Finisterre Sept/Oct (2016)
Hi - We talked to someone in May who was going to do it, and to another friend on the Norte who bused part of it, then back up to the Norte. We saw him a few days later and he loved it. We're thinking about it too for another time.
 

pilgrim 313

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Hi - We talked to someone in May who was going to do it, and to another friend on the Norte who bused part of it, then back up to the Norte. We saw him a few days later and he loved it. We're thinking about it too for another time.
Cherrys, yes I haven't seen any negative reviews from anyone who has completed it!
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
Just wonder if anyone has done the Camino Lebaniego in recent times. I finished the Camino Frances last year and had no major plans to walk again this year. However just heard about this way recently. It sounds great. From the sea to the mountains in a few days. 2017 is a special year also as it is a Jubilee Year at the monastery of Santo Toribo de Liébana. Thinking of doing it maybe this Sept.
Would really love to hear from anyone who has done it recently. Also wondering if anyone planning on doing it. My main concern is that it may be very quiet/ lonely camino! Would love to hear if there is much life on the way.
Hello Pilgrim 313 (Love the name)
I walked this route, from San Vicente de la Barquera to Santo Toribio, in May of this year and absolutely loved it. I count it as one of my best Camino experiences, and I've walked several now. I walked with 3 other pilgrims who I met on the Norte (at various places before and we coincidentally ended up in San Vicente at the same time) and this certainly contributed to the good experience...being able to share it with others.
But the route itself is stunning, and very different from day-to-day (coastal starting-point, river-side, forests, mountains, ancient pueblos and churches) culminating in the beautiful monastery and valley at the end. We were also very lucky with the weather; sunshine and high temperatures every day.
We met some some other pilgrims while walking (a large group from Argentina, a small group of young Spanish students and a few Spanish peregrino couples), which meant sleeping on the floor at the albergue in Cades (because all the beds were taken when we got there) but we had the albergues in Cicera and Santo Toribio to ourselves. So, as with all Caminos, I think it's just the luck of the draw.
The monastery itself was busy with coach groups but if you stay in the albergue there (within sight & walking distance - fabulous location) you can go back to the monastery after the groups have left, as we did and when it was beautifully peaceful.

Because my original plan was to walk the Norte (and the Lebaniego was an unplanned detour) I caught the bus back to San Vicente after reaching Santo Toribio, but the experience and the walk left such an impression on me that in future I would like to go back to Potes and continue the Camino Vadiniense down to the Camino Francés.

Hope this helps you to decide and Buen Camino whatever you choose to do.
:)
 

pilgrim 313

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
Hello Pilgrim 313 (Love the name)
I walked this route, from San Vicente de la Barquera to Santo Toribio, in May of this year and absolutely loved it. I count it as one of my best Camino experiences, and I've walked several now. I walked with 3 other pilgrims who I met on the Norte (at various places before and we coincidentally ended up in San Vicente at the same time) and this certainly contributed to the good experience...being able to share it with others.
But the route itself is stunning, and very different from day-to-day (coastal starting-point, river-side, forests, mountains, ancient pueblos and churches) culminating in the beautiful monastery and valley at the end. We were also very lucky with the weather; sunshine and high temperatures every day.
We met some some other pilgrims while walking (a large group from Argentina, a small group of young Spanish students and a few Spanish peregrino couples), which meant sleeping on the floor at the albergue in Cades (because all the beds were taken when we got there) but we had the albergues in Cicera and Santo Toribio to ourselves. So, as with all Caminos, I think it's just the luck of the draw.
The monastery itself was busy with coach groups but if you stay in the albergue there (within sight & walking distance - fabulous location) you can go back to the monastery after the groups have left, as we did and when it was beautifully peaceful.

Because my original plan was to walk the Norte (and the Lebaniego was an unplanned detour) I caught the bus back to San Vicente after reaching Santo Toribio, but the experience and the walk left such an impression on me that in future I would like to go back to Potes and continue the Camino Vadiniense down to the Camino Francés.

Hope this helps you to decide and Buen Camino whatever you choose to do.
:)
Hi SafariGirl
You paint a really wonderful picture! It's giving me more encouragement to 'just do it'. I guess May is a similar month to Sept so I imagine there will be a few pilgrims on the way. In any case it's only for a few days so it not like walking entire Camino Frances on my own!!
Thank you for taking time to reply
Pilgrim313!
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
Hi SafariGirl
You paint a really wonderful picture! It's giving me more encouragement to 'just do it'. I guess May is a similar month to Sept so I imagine there will be a few pilgrims on the way. In any case it's only for a few days so it not like walking entire Camino Frances on my own!!
Thank you for taking time to reply
Pilgrim313!
You're very welcome Pilgrim 313. If you also do the route from Potes to León (or vice versa) we may even meet each other! That probably sounds like an incredible and unlikely coincidence, but part of my memorable Camino Lebaniego was the incredible coincidences I experienced along the way...but that's another story...
Buen Camino. I'm sure it will be a memorable experience for you, whatever it involves :)
 

pilgrim 313

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016
You're very welcome Pilgrim 313. If you also do the route from Potes to León (or vice versa) we may even meet each other! That probably sounds like an incredible and unlikely coincidence, but part of my memorable Camino Lebaniego was the incredible coincidences I experienced along the way...but that's another story...
Buen Camino. I'm sure it will be a memorable experience for you, whatever it involves :)
Hi SafariGirl
The draft plan at the moment is to walk from Comillas to Potes - to get a little of the coast and the mountains. So maybe if you are in Potes mid Sept we might bump into each other!! This trip I won't get any further than Potes but again from what I've read it sounds fabulous. Re coincidences the Camino is like that! We can't really plan the Camino, it just happens! 'The Camino is a gift' -a quote I read somewhere. So true. Lebamiego sounds like a great one!!
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
Please tell it, if it doesn't break confidence! Buen Camino, SY
Ha! It's a long story ..but it amazed me :).
I had no plans to walk the Lebaniego (didn't even know about it) but on the first day of my Norte in Paisajes I met a German woman who told me about it and asked if I was interested. My answer was "Sounds interesting but no, I'm here to walk the Norte". We met on and off for about 10 days, exchanged mobile numbers, then she walked ahead of me.
In Santillana del Mar a Spanish 'bicigrino' asked if he could sit with me in a café and we had a similar conversation, then he cycled off.
Just before Requejada I remembered how a peregrino I met on the Camino Francés in 2015 had asked me to make a detour with him to visit a an 'apparition' site (Garabandal), and how I regretted not going because I now understood that it had been important to him...
At the albergue in Requejada that night I met a Spanish peregrino (who I'd first met on the Francés in 2015, complete coincidence) and I learned this time that he was a writer who had written a book about 'the magic' and history of the Camino, something I didn't know before. We met again at Comillas...and he told me about the Lebaniego, the history of it, and asked if I was interested in making the detour with him...
Now I'm a great believer in 'Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is "a call to action"' so I said "Yes" and, remembering my German friend, I messaged her to ask what the Lebaniego had been like (because I knew she was well ahead of me) she replied saying that injury had forced her to rest and she was in San Vicente, planning to start the Lebaniego the following day :). We agreed to meet up and all go together.
It was a truly beautiful walk and, when we arrived at the monastery, we attended a very moving mass. The Spanish writer/peregrino became quite emotional and thanked me and my German friend for walking with him, because it had been important to him not to make the Camino alone. At that moment a woman approached me and asked if I was a peregrina, when I said 'Yes' she gave me a prayer card for an apparition site...Garabandal...and said it might interest me.
Amazed, I left the church and was approached my a Spanish bicigrino who asked if the mass was over...the same bicigrino who drank coffee with me in Santillana. He'd decided to make a detour from his detour, which brought him to Santo Toribio on the same day as us...
The Camino is magic...and no-one will ever convince me otherwise...which is why I keep going back to it. For me, it's home :).
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
Hi SafariGirl
The draft plan at the moment is to walk from Comillas to Potes - to get a little of the coast and the mountains. So maybe if you are in Potes mid Sept we might bump into each other!! This trip I won't get any further than Potes but again from what I've read it sounds fabulous. Re coincidences the Camino is like that! We can't really plan the Camino, it just happens! 'The Camino is a gift' -a quote I read somewhere. So true. Lebamiego sounds like a great one!!
It truly is...'los regalos del Camino' :)
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
In 2014 I saw a fresco-style painting in a bar in Redecilla stating "Olvidate del pasado y haz del Camino tu vida" = "Forget the past and make the camino your life ... I did ...

Buen Camino, SY
...then I'm following in good footsteps :)
Buen Camino a ti también S Yates
 

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
In 2014 I saw a fresco-style painting in a bar in Redecilla stating "Olvidate del pasado y haz del Camino tu vida" = "Forget the past and make the camino your life ... I did ...

Buen Camino, SY
Exactly same feelings here!!!

Have a nice day!
You too KinkyOne :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de santiago (2013)
Camino Portugues (2016
Hi we are walking the CF in October and my husband and I would like to take a detour to Santo toribio but not sure about the best way to get there from the CF, any advise?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

SafariGirl

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, Vía de la Plata, Primitivo, Norte, Lebaniego & Vadiniense,
Aragonés
Thanks for your reply will look into it
The link below could also help alba.
The route from close to Leon (on the Camino Frances) to Santo Toribio (and vice versa) is called the Camino Vadeniese.
I walked from San Vicente de la Barquera (on the Norte) to Santo Toribio in May and it was beautiful (the Camino Lebaniego).
I'll also be looking at doing the Vadeniese later this year.
Happy planning & Buen Camino :)

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/forums/camino-vadiniense.100/
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de santiago (2013)
Camino Portugues (2016
For lack of time we would like to take public transportation and then come back to CF, we are not sure if possible though
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
For lack of time we would like to take public transportation and then come back to CF, we are not sure if possible though
Try www.Rome2Rio.com for possible transport combos/costs. For example from Leon to the monastery Santo Toribio you might travel by train + taxi.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
FWIW - there's also a pretty obscure camino called the Ruta del Besaya which runs from Santander to Carrion de los Condes on the Camino Frances (it must be obscure as it didn't come up in a search of this site!). The Ray y Rosa website has details of possible stages here . One day some adventurous soul (Laurie? Caminka?) will chart it for us. Then it might be feasible to go backwards from Carrion to Reinosa or Barcena and then cross over to Potes and Santo Toribio - and then return to the CF via the Vadiniense. Hills will be involved....
RyR says that the Cantabrian authorities have taken an interest in this camino, so expect to hear more about it in the future.
PS It first saw it on the Feve tiled map that is outside most of its stations. Photo attached.
Cheers, tom
P1060339.jpg
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
FWIW - there's also a pretty obscure camino called the Ruta del Besaya which runs from Santander to Carrion de los Condes on the Camino Frances (it must be obscure as it didn't come up in a search of this site!). The Ray y Rosa website has details of possible stages here . One day some adventurous soul (Laurie? Caminka?) will chart it for us. Then it might be feasible to go backwards from Carrion to Reinosa or Barcena and then cross over to Potes and Santo Toribio - and then return to the CF via the Vadiniense. Hills will be involved....
RyR says that the Cantabrian authorities have taken an interest in this camino, so expect to hear more about it in the future.
PS It first saw it on the Feve tiled map that is outside most of its stations. Photo attached.
Cheers, tom
View attachment 35518
A click on Ray and Rosa's website came up with the alternative name, Ruta del Romanico, so that hooked me immediately. :) I have been in Aguilar de Campoo, which is a stop on the Camino Olvidado, but the rest is new territory. Looks like a very do-able one week walk, which is always good to have on the list! Thanks, Tom, but I am pretty close to camino-wish-list-overload I think. I need to figure out a way to extend my shelf life.
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
First time I saw info on Ruta del Besaya was a large reprint of an old map in Avila albergue in 2015. After return I bookmarked few links:
http://www.xacobeo.fr/ZE3.03.Besaya.htm
http://www.wikiwand.com/es/Camino_de_Santiago_del_Norte:_Ruta_del_Besaya
http://miscaminos.net/2016/09/01/camino-del-besaya-00/
http://caminosperegrinacion-mp.blogspot.es/tags/mapas/
http://www.elalberguedeherrera.com/portfolio-item/camino-de-santiago/

Two more routes that connect Norte with Frances:
1.) Camino del Valle de Mena (Bilbao - Burgos)
http://centrodedescargas.cnig.es/CentroDescargas/loadCamSan.do;jsessionid=876C578306462BEAAB3125BD4C8BC8EA
2.) Camino Lebaniego Castellano (Palencia - Santo Toribio de Liebana, but I guess it can be also walked North to South)
https://www.diputaciondepalencia.es/sitio/turismo/camino-lebaniego-castellano

So, Laurie, you should definitely extend your life :D
 

Bob from L.A. !

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
Approximate Distance?
 

PadreQ

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Sept Oct 2011, de Astorga 2015
Primitivo Oct 2013
Lebaniego & Ingles Sept (2017)
Just wonder if anyone has done the Camino Lebaniego in recent times. I finished the Camino Frances last year and had no major plans to walk again this year. However just heard about this way recently. It sounds great. From the sea to the mountains in a few days. 2017 is a special year also as it is a Jubilee Year at the monastery of Santo Toribo de Liébana. Thinking of doing it maybe this Sept.
Would really love to hear from anyone who has done it recently. Also wondering if anyone planning on doing it. My main concern is that it may be very quiet/ lonely camino! Would love to hear if there is much life on the way.
I am going to be walking from San Vicente to the monastery starting on September 11th. Have you decided to do it?
 

Megan Waller

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2014
Hello Pilgrim 313 (Love the name)
I walked this route, from San Vicente de la Barquera to Santo Toribio, in May of this year and absolutely loved it. I count it as one of my best Camino experiences, and I've walked several now. I walked with 3 other pilgrims who I met on the Norte (at various places before and we coincidentally ended up in San Vicente at the same time) and this certainly contributed to the good experience...being able to share it with others.
But the route itself is stunning, and very different from day-to-day (coastal starting-point, river-side, forests, mountains, ancient pueblos and churches) culminating in the beautiful monastery and valley at the end. We were also very lucky with the weather; sunshine and high temperatures every day.
We met some some other pilgrims while walking (a large group from Argentina, a small group of young Spanish students and a few Spanish peregrino couples), which meant sleeping on the floor at the albergue in Cades (because all the beds were taken when we got there) but we had the albergues in Cicera and Santo Toribio to ourselves. So, as with all Caminos, I think it's just the luck of the draw.
The monastery itself was busy with coach groups but if you stay in the albergue there (within sight & walking distance - fabulous location) you can go back to the monastery after the groups have left, as we did and when it was beautifully peaceful.

Because my original plan was to walk the Norte (and the Lebaniego was an unplanned detour) I caught the bus back to San Vicente after reaching Santo Toribio, but the experience and the walk left such an impression on me that in future I would like to go back to Potes and continue the Camino Vadiniense down to the Camino Francés.

Hope this helps you to decide and Buen Camino whatever you choose to do.
:)
Are the markings clear from San Vicente de la Barquera? I have read that there is an erroneous marking from an old route in Hortigal but now the route is from Serdio?
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi Megan
It depends what you mean by erroneous. The old route turns left up a little road by the bus shelter in Hortigal and in 2016 you could still see the deep red paint mark indicating that way. The 'new' route is the much longer scenic route using an existing river path. I think the Cantabrian authorities are keen for people to adopt the scenic route and so all of their publications show it as their 'official' route. However, Gronze, which many of us find to be an excellent resource, still shows the shorter road route as their main route, with the river one as an option
https://www.gronze.com/etapa/san-vicente-barquera/lafuente
If you plan to take the scenic route and you are concerned that the old marking at Hortigal will lead you astray - it won't. Just don't turn off the larger road and keep on walking to Serdio. Unless the Cantabrians have been around removing the old deep red paint markers recently you'll find a lot of them still there. There is generally quite a lot of the fancy new wooden signage, but whether it always marks a 'better' route is very much open for debate. The Cantabrian authorities seem to have more trouble than others in understanding the camino and supporting it in a sympathetic manner. I suggest you have a look at some of the other Vadiniense discussions as these might help you evaluate the best route options to Potes.
Cheers, tom
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
Can anyone tell me if the arrows work in both directions for the whole route? Or are they towards the monastery from each direction?
 

caminka

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
FWIW - there's also a pretty obscure camino called the Ruta del Besaya which runs from Santander to Carrion de los Condes on the Camino Frances (it must be obscure as it didn't come up in a search of this site!). The Ray y Rosa website has details of possible stages here . One day some adventurous soul (Laurie? Caminka?) will chart it for us. Then it might be feasible to go backwards from Carrion to Reinosa or Barcena and then cross over to Potes and Santo Toribio - and then return to the CF via the Vadiniense. Hills will be involved....
RyR says that the Cantabrian authorities have taken an interest in this camino, so expect to hear more about it in the future.
PS It first saw it on the Feve tiled map that is outside most of its stations. Photo attached.
Cheers, tom
View attachment 35518
A click on Ray and Rosa's website came up with the alternative name, Ruta del Romanico, so that hooked me immediately. :) I have been in Aguilar de Campoo, which is a stop on the Camino Olvidado, but the rest is new territory. Looks like a very do-able one week walk, which is always good to have on the list! Thanks, Tom, but I am pretty close to camino-wish-list-overload I think. I need to figure out a way to extend my shelf life.
looks like a beautiful route, one of the many crossing of the various cordilleras of the northern spain (not to mention other routes elsewhere in spain, or in portugal, or.. you get the idea) I would one day like to walk. so far I only got a closer peek of these mountains from either north or south, but they keep calling to me. it was in the mountains I experienced some of my most memorable and rewarding days of my caminos.
perhaps I will come up with an option compiled of all (most) routes criscrossing the cordilleras. :rolleyes: that would be a challenge.
and I completely understand laurie's dilemma. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Can anyone tell me if the arrows work in both directions for the whole route? Or are they towards the monastery from each direction?
When I walked, the arrows were only pointing to Potes and the monastery. But that was before the river alternative.
The wooden signs from San Vicente point towards Santo Toribio and often give the amount of Km left to travel, for both the whole way and the next village - although some of the distances given are obviously incorrect. For the river option you get some Cantabrian river path signage, but actually you just need confirmation that you've found the river and to ID the place to leave it.
There are some wooden signs beyond Santo Toribio. At Fuente De about 30km of walking above Santo Toribio in the Picos you have some of the same signage pointing down hill towards the monastery. But that's as far as it goes.
I wonder what it'd be like walking towards San Vicente from Potes - probably not much harder than walking the other way.
Some photos - showing the typical signage:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/27485286704/in/album-72157669985688762/
the river signage
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/28022131211/in/album-72157669985688762/
a cairn on the steep mountain path called Canal de Franco
https://www.flickr.com/photos/peregrino_tom/28022801041/in/album-72157669985688762/
cheers, tom
 

notion900

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
>
@peregrino_tom Thanks so much. I am walking with Spanish friends in October and they told me they are starting in St Vicente but only walking 4 days. So I am guessing we may end up at Potes or thereabouts. I will then carry on one more day on my own. So I am then left with the second half of the walk undone. That's why I am wondering about walking from Mansilla some time in the future.

Also - can you or anyone else recommend an albergue in or near St Vicente which makes a good place to start off from? I am looking on Gronze and Eroski and there seem to be wildly diverging reviews of the albergues in the area, some good, some very bad! e.g. the tourist albergue at La Revilla gets great reviews on Gronze and Google, but bad ones on Eroski. I would love to hear some recent personal experience as the alternative accommodation on the coast is so much more expensive than the albergues.
 

caminka

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
what about the municipal albergue in serdio? this is the closest to the start of the river route as I can remember. and from the hill above it there are fine peeks towards the picos, including naranjo de bulnes.
 

The Kolbist

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
Hello Pilgrim 313 (Love the name)
I walked this route, from San Vicente de la Barquera to Santo Toribio, in May of this year and absolutely loved it. I count it as one of my best Camino experiences, and I've walked several now. I walked with 3 other pilgrims who I met on the Norte (at various places before and we coincidentally ended up in San Vicente at the same time) and this certainly contributed to the good experience...being able to share it with others.
But the route itself is stunning, and very different from day-to-day (coastal starting-point, river-side, forests, mountains, ancient pueblos and churches) culminating in the beautiful monastery and valley at the end. We were also very lucky with the weather; sunshine and high temperatures every day.
We met some some other pilgrims while walking (a large group from Argentina, a small group of young Spanish students and a few Spanish peregrino couples), which meant sleeping on the floor at the albergue in Cades (because all the beds were taken when we got there) but we had the albergues in Cicera and Santo Toribio to ourselves. So, as with all Caminos, I think it's just the luck of the draw.
The monastery itself was busy with coach groups but if you stay in the albergue there (within sight & walking distance - fabulous location) you can go back to the monastery after the groups have left, as we did and when it was beautifully peaceful.

Because my original plan was to walk the Norte (and the Lebaniego was an unplanned detour) I caught the bus back to San Vicente after reaching Santo Toribio, but the experience and the walk left such an impression on me that in future I would like to go back to Potes and continue the Camino Vadiniense down to the Camino Francés.

Hope this helps you to decide and Buen Camino whatever you choose to do.
:)
Hi Megan
It depends what you mean by erroneous. The old route turns left up a little road by the bus shelter in Hortigal and in 2016 you could still see the deep red paint mark indicating that way. The 'new' route is the much longer scenic route using an existing river path. I think the Cantabrian authorities are keen for people to adopt the scenic route and so all of their publications show it as their 'official' route. However, Gronze, which many of us find to be an excellent resource, still shows the shorter road route as their main route, with the river one as an option
https://www.gronze.com/etapa/san-vicente-barquera/lafuente
If you plan to take the scenic route and you are concerned that the old marking at Hortigal will lead you astray - it won't. Just don't turn off the larger road and keep on walking to Serdio. Unless the Cantabrians have been around removing the old deep red paint markers recently you'll find a lot of them still there. There is generally quite a lot of the fancy new wooden signage, but whether it always marks a 'better' route is very much open for debate. The Cantabrian authorities seem to have more trouble than others in understanding the camino and supporting it in a sympathetic manner. I suggest you have a look at some of the other Vadiniense discussions as these might help you evaluate the best route options to Potes.
Cheers, tom

Hi Tom,

We plan to do the Camino Lebaniego next year but we're debating whether to take the new route along the river which is not great based on the videos except for the waterfall or the older route which might have some better scenic views overlooking the mountains and perhaps the coast after Hortigal and it's a lot shorter. Do you know of any post or anybody who did the old route? And you are right, Gronze is still showing the older route as the main route and the river route as the alternate route. The only references I have for the old route is from the movie Footprints: El Camino de tu Vida. Any more references? Thanks.

The Kolbist
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Here's my two cents after being there in 2018. I knew nothing about this route until last year. I have added it to my bucket list, starting in Fromista.
Last year I made an attempt to walk the Canal de Castilla from Fromista heading south. I only made it one stage to the only albergue in Amayuelas de Abajo. I met another pilgrim and member of this forum, Canuck, who was staying there that night. I think I remember he had come from the south after attended an award ceremony at a monastery somewhere near Seville? He was headed to the monastery in Potes. He told me there were absolutely no facilities going south until Valladodid. So I changed course and went to Duero to join the Madrid
I had traveled to Fromista from Santander by train after bailing out of the Norte. I saw the towns north of Fromista from the train and would suggest that is the smart way to go, it is all along the Canal.
As far as the comment about walking along a river with water falls, I would suggest that is the locks along the Canal de Castilla.
FYI, I have never encountered misquotes on the Camino, except for some giant African ones that fell out of the sky at night after a dust storm from Africa dumped them on us for several night at San Anton, but the mosquitoes along the Canal are thick enough to carry your backpack for you.
IMG_1803.JPG
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Ha! This thread was confusing enough when it was active 18 months ago. It's taken me about ten minutes now to work out the two main conversations that are going on in parallel here - and other bits and bobs besides.
May I make a gentle recommendation to an energetic moderator? That we create a new heading in 'other caminos' for the Ruta de Besaya (/Ruta del Romanico) and stick some of the chat here in that please? It's interesting that in the 18 months since this thread was active I don't recall any further info or vanguard pilgrims reporting back on their experiences... but maybe if we create a visible area on the forum some pilgrim explorer will be inspired to make the first report back.

Hi The Kolbist. Laurie (and maybe some others) walked the old route going back a few years - but I'd take her views with a little pinch of salt as she is so set against walking on any asphalt (insert cheeky jokey emoji here)..
FWIW I think the most important factor in deciding which route to take is where you intend to spend the night. If you are planning on Cades then the river route makes more sense - a nice sensible 26km stage. If you are more ambitious pushing on to Lafuente or even Cicera then the shorter old route makes sense, making those destinations 27 and 32 respectively. Whereas if you take the river route these become 36 and 41.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Ha! This thread was confusing enough when it was active 18 months ago. It's taken me about ten minutes now to work out the two main conversations that are going on in parallel here - and other bits and bobs besides.
May I make a gentle recommendation to an energetic moderator? That we create a new heading in 'other caminos' for the Ruta de Besaya (/Ruta del Romanico) and stick some of the chat here in that please? It's interesting that in the 18 months since this thread was active I don't recall any further info or vanguard pilgrims reporting back on their experiences... but maybe if we create a visible area on the forum some pilgrim explorer will be inspired to make the first report back.

Hi The Kolbist. Laurie (and maybe some others) walked the old route going back a few years - but I'd take her views with a little pinch of salt as she is so set against walking on any asphalt (insert cheeky jokey emoji here)..
FWIW I think the most important factor in deciding which route to take is where you intend to spend the night. If you are planning on Cades then the river route makes more sense - a nice sensible 26km stage. If you are more ambitious pushing on to Lafuente or even Cicera then the shorter old route makes sense, making those destinations 27 and 32 respectively. Whereas if you take the river route these become 36 and 41.
I will see about a new subforum, and will split the thread but it will be a few days.

I confess, I am willing to work hard to find alternatives to asphalt, especially when they take you through mountains or on the coast. It was all asphalt on the first day out of San Vicente to LaFuente, but nothing dangerous. Townspeople told me how lovely paths were just a stone’s throw away, but I undertand that it would take tons of time and maintnance, and who wants to do that for such a small number of people per year.

But it was not the asphalt into Potes that nearly did me in, it was the narrow road and the huge amount of cars. That stretch ranks up there with the scariest of the scary stretches on any camino, it was really terrifying in places. Virtually no shoulder, very narrow roads, trucks barreling by. I don’t know if that can be avoided by walking this new route.

And since I am revealing my asphalt-phobia, :) I will also comment that after the Senda da Remoña the Vadiniense becomes about 80% asphalt.
 

RumAndChupacabras

Do unto other's as you would have them do unto you
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019 ~Apr. 2018 Oviedo, Santo Toribio, Covadonga~May/June 2016 Portuguese
...But it was not the asphalt into Potes that nearly did me in, it was the narrow road and the huge amount of cars. That stretch ranks up there with the scariest of the scary stretches on any camino, it was really terrifying in places. Virtually no shoulder, very narrow roads, trucks barreling by...
One year ago, I was with a group that hired a Motorcoach to Santo Toribio. That road is SCARY narrow, with rock overhangs that force buses and trucks to make frightening maneuvers. Not knowing anything at that time about this Camino, I wondered if Peregrinos walked a different route or had to walk this road. I am stunned reading this, Laurie!
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Not knowing anything at that time about this Camino, I wondered if Peregrinos walked a different route or had to walk this road. I am stunned reading this, Laurie!
just in case anyone gets alarmed at reading this it's worth pointing out that in other threads we describe how the official way now avoids that main road into Potes.
 

The Kolbist

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
Ha! This thread was confusing enough when it was active 18 months ago. It's taken me about ten minutes now to work out the two main conversations that are going on in parallel here - and other bits and bobs besides.
May I make a gentle recommendation to an energetic moderator? That we create a new heading in 'other caminos' for the Ruta de Besaya (/Ruta del Romanico) and stick some of the chat here in that please? It's interesting that in the 18 months since this thread was active I don't recall any further info or vanguard pilgrims reporting back on their experiences... but maybe if we create a visible area on the forum some pilgrim explorer will be inspired to make the first report back.

Hi The Kolbist. Laurie (and maybe some others) walked the old route going back a few years - but I'd take her views with a little pinch of salt as she is so set against walking on any asphalt (insert cheeky jokey emoji here)..
FWIW I think the most important factor in deciding which route to take is where you intend to spend the night. If you are planning on Cades then the river route makes more sense - a nice sensible 26km stage. If you are more ambitious pushing on to Lafuente or even Cicera then the shorter old route makes sense, making those destinations 27 and 32 respectively. Whereas if you take the river route these become 36 and 41.
Hi Tom,

Thanks for the advise. It will be our 4th Camino and in all of those caminos, I learned to accept whatever the camino gives. That being said, my wife and I would rather walk in asphalt than muddy trails which slows you down. We’ve seen quite a few videos that shows plenty of mud in the river route. Plus the few videos that i’ve seen that took the old route shows spectacular views. One more thing, we plan to stop at Cicera so the river route will be much longer. We’ll see. We plan to make it to Santo Toribio on the second night from San Vicente. Some say, its almost impossible.
 

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