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Camino Norte

Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Portuguese, Finisterre, Muxia
Having walked several of the more popular Camino routes over the years, I’m curious about the increasing popularity of the Camino Norte. Specifically, the number of pilgrims walking this route as well as the availability of accommodations - is it necessary to book beds/rooms/pensions in advance? Thank you for any info.
 
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Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Past OR future Camino
2019
Like all routes, it is becoming more popular but it’s nowhere near as busy as the CF or CP. accommodation availability depends on the season you walk as it passes through some heavily touristed areas as well as prime surfing spots, so there are times when the towns and coastline can feel over-run, but not with pilgrims. Also, its hard to know about availability since the pandemic is still affecting the early sections of the Norte as Basque Country remains in a semi-lockdown in regards to albergues. We walked Biarritz to Bayonne in October 2021 and generally had no problem finding accommodations, but much of it was in low-cost hotels due to closed albergues. This should change moving forward, but it’s still not a given.
 

keith duke scott

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Last camino Norte 2017
Next camino 2022?
HI ivar greetings from California. I'm really enjoying your "shorts so well produced and its a beautiful reminderder of the amazing world live in and the many wonders to behold. Working on a family camino for next may 2023 le puye to st jean. Many thanks buen camino
 

fulhamsam

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2017)
Planning Camino Del Norte
Having walked several of the more popular Camino routes over the years, I’m curious about the increasing popularity of the Camino Norte. Specifically, the number of pilgrims walking this route as well as the availability of accommodations - is it necessary to book beds/rooms/pensions in advance? Thank you for any info.
Hi, I just came back from walking from Irun to Loredo. It is a lot quieter than Frances but with less accommodation. I did a mix of albergues and pensions and generally didn't book ahead. But a lot of pilgrims did and there was often a bit of worry about finding a bed. I experienced this directly when I walked to guernika to find no accommodation available, then another 7k to another full albergue before finding a bed a further 2k on. I suspect there may be difficulties over the summer.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
10/22 Aragones/Frances
I suspect there may be difficulties over the summer.
As so many towns on the Norte are full of summer vacationers and surfers, and many of the albergues are not exclusive for pilgrims, I would bet that it will get more difficult. I walked in 2018, pre covid and started in October I never had a problem. But that was different times and different seasons.
 
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parttime pilgrim

New Member
Past OR future Camino
c.France 2006-2012/Fsterre 2013.France2014/.C.Norte15-16 c.France 2017. Primtvo.18,C portugl 2019
Having walked several of the more popular Camino routes over the years, I’m curious about the increasing popularity of the Camino Norte. Specifically, the number of pilgrims walking this route as well as the availability of accommodations - is it necessary to book beds/rooms/pensions in advance? Thank you for any info.
I am back a week after walking from Santander as far as Miraz and had no difficulty in getting accommodation and the numbers walking were relatively low. I did book ahead in the beginning but did not bother after a few days.This may change now that June is upon us ,but I did remark that there were not many from the U.S. compared to previous years.
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I am currently in Ribadesella and since San Sebastián there have been "numerous " pilgrims along the route each day.
The weather has been great and the trails well maintained.
A couple items of note; the trail between Unquera and Llanes is not well marked so check Google maps frequently. The other thing is I was expecting price hikes on everything, but since my last Norte walk in 2018 until now EVERYTHING has gotten significantly higher in price.
 

Little Flower

Member, Donated Member
Past OR future Camino
2022
I arrived in Santiago yesterday. From Irun to Santiago, I haven’t had any problems to arrange accommodation. I usually reserved a bed via booking.com, but sometimes, booking.com didn’t work properly. I sent e-mail to albergues, they always responded right a way. Sometimes, booking.com showed “sold out”, but when you call albergue, you can have a bed. Due to send my backpack via Correos, I usually booked a bed ahead of time.
The price for municipals are: 7 to 10 euros. I like one municipal in La Caridad, they charged 7 euros, it’s clean and quiet. Private albergues are generally 12 to 16 euros. Some of them charged 20 to 32 euros, and Gernika is the most expensive one 52 euros. Most of Station hostels are good.
There’re not many pilgrims on the Norte compare to FC. Many times I walked alone until Sobrado dos Monxes. But, when I merged to Arzua, there’s so~ many people; it looked like people marching on the street.
From there, you’d better reserve an accommodation. At Santiago, a friend of mine told me the Seminario Menor was full house last weekend. I saw many tour groups and pilgrims; here have rain all day today, but people keep coming. There’s long line under the rain waiting for entering into the Cathedral.
Before I started Camino, I was concerned COVID, but I do not see and feel not much different: Just need to wear mask when you use public transportations, and go to church; otherwise, it feels normal.
Most of albergues, municipal and private, are clean; no need to worry about bugs. Except 3-4 albergues, they provided blanket, so Most of time, I didn’t pull out my sleeping bag.

Note: About 200 Kms before Gernika, there’s a church, and we need to go down to stairs which is wooden stairs by the church. Especially, under the rain, be careful when you go down the stairs. Walk with caution! The stairs very very slippery; some people slipped and injured.

Buen Camino!🙏🏼
 
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Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances, Portuguese, Finisterre, Muxia
I arrived in Santiago yesterday. From Irun to Santiago, I haven’t had any problems to arrange accommodation. I usually reserved a bed via booking.com, but sometimes, booking.com didn’t work properly. I sent e-mail to albergues, they always responded right a way. Sometimes, booking.com showed “sold out”, but when you call albergue, you can have a bed. Due to send my backpack via Correos, I usually booked a bed ahead of time.
The price for municipals are: 7 to 10 euros. I like one municipal in La Caridad, they charged 7 euros, it’s clean and quiet. Private albergues are generally 12 to 16 euros. Some of them charged 20 to 32 euros, and Gernika is the most expensive one 52 euros. Most of Station hostels are good.
There’re not many pilgrims on the Norte compare to FC. Many times I walked alone until Sobrado dos Monxes. But, when I merged to Arzua, there’s so~ many people; it looked like people marching on the street.
From there, you’d better reserve an accommodation. At Santiago, a friend of mine told me the Seminario Menor was full house last weekend. I saw many tour groups and pilgrims; here have rain all day today, but people keep coming. There’s long line under the rain waiting for entering into the Cathedral.
Before I started Camino, I was concerned COVID, but I do not see and feel not much different: Just need to wear mask when you use public transportations, and go to church; otherwise, it feels normal.
Most of albergues, municipal and private, are clean; no need to worry about bugs. Except 3-4 albergues, they provided blanket, so Most of time, I didn’t pull out my sleeping bag.

Note: About 200 Kms before Gernika, there’s a church, and we need to go down to stairs which is wooden stairs by the church. Especially, under the rain, be careful when you go down the stairs. Walk with caution! The stairs very very slippery; some people slipped and injured.

Buen Camino!🙏🏼
Little Flower. I thank you for taking the time to send such a detailed response to my questions. I also appreciate your mention of Covid as that is still a concern for me especially in crowded areas. Stay safe out there. Buen Camino to you.😊
 
Past OR future Camino
May 2013, Oct 2017, May 2022
I arrived in Santiago yesterday. From Irun to Santiago, I haven’t had any problems to arrange accommodation. I usually reserved a bed via booking.com, but sometimes, booking.com didn’t work properly. I sent e-mail to albergues, they always responded right a way. Sometimes, booking.com showed “sold out”, but when you call albergue, you can have a bed. Due to send my backpack via Correos, I usually booked a bed ahead of time.
The price for municipals are: 7 to 10 euros. I like one municipal in La Caridad, they charged 7 euros, it’s clean and quiet. Private albergues are generally 12 to 16 euros. Some of them charged 20 to 32 euros, and Gernika is the most expensive one 52 euros. Most of Station hostels are good.
There’re not many pilgrims on the Norte compare to FC. Many times I walked alone until Sobrado dos Monxes. But, when I merged to Arzua, there’s so~ many people; it looked like people marching on the street.
From there, you’d better reserve an accommodation. At Santiago, a friend of mine told me the Seminario Menor was full house last weekend. I saw many tour groups and pilgrims; here have rain all day today, but people keep coming. There’s long line under the rain waiting for entering into the Cathedral.
Before I started Camino, I was concerned COVID, but I do not see and feel not much different: Just need to wear mask when you use public transportations, and go to church; otherwise, it feels normal.
Most of albergues, municipal and private, are clean; no need to worry about bugs. Except 3-4 albergues, they provided blanket, so Most of time, I didn’t pull out my sleeping bag.

Note: About 200 Kms before Gernika, there’s a church, and we need to go down to stairs which is wooden stairs by the church. Especially, under the rain, be careful when you go down the stairs. Walk with caution! The stairs very very slippery; some people slipped and injured.

Buen Camino!🙏🏼
Thanks for this very good, informative post.
 

CaminoMonica

These boots are made for walking
Past OR future Camino
CF 2016 CP 2018 CDN 2022
We’re in Ribadesella right now. I second what people said about lots of people in the popular destinations not being pilgrims. There have certainly been more pilgrims the last few days compared to what we experienced in the first ten days out of Irun. Very few Americans: we’ve met maybe 8 in three weeks. Lots of Germans and off and on people from the UK. I would say it feels uncrowded compared to the CF but I’m glad we booked ahead. It’s absolutely beautiful.
 

Chris Aston

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2019
I am back a week after walking from Santander as far as Miraz and had no difficulty in getting accommodation and the numbers walking were relatively low. I did book ahead in the beginning but did not bother after a few days.This may change now that June is upon us ,but I did remark that there were not many from the U.S. compared to previous years.
Apologies if this appears twice. I'm an IT luddite and don't think my first attempt went. Basically, walked Irun to Gijon 3 weeks ago. Accommodation issues in Deba, Gurnika and Ribadisella. Hopefully these might have been resolved by now. Just check before you walk to these places.
Top tip, take the coastal route between Zarautz and Deba plus plenty of water. You won't be disappointed. Stunning scenery. Enjoy.
 

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