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Camping along the Camino Del Norte

mprat

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
(2013)
Hey all -

I am planning on hiking the Camino del Norte (primitivo at the end) this August and want to camp the whole way. I read from posts years ago that albergues not in large cities let pilgrims pitch tents for free on the albergue property - is that true? Is there a camping guide to the Camino del Norte that exists somewhere?

Thanks!
Michele
 
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mspath

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
mprat said:
Hey all -

I am planning on hiking the Camino del Norte (primitivo at the end) this August and want to camp the whole way. I read from posts years ago that albergues not in large cities let pilgrims pitch tents for free on the albergue property - is that true? Is there a camping guide to the Camino del Norte that exists somewhere?

Thanks!
Michele

Michele,

Welcome to the Forum!

Be sure to search the terms "camping" and "Camino del Norte" within the Forum search box to see other relevant threads.

You might make your own list of camping sites along the CN by using Google maps. First search for any place along the CN, ie Donostia-San Sebastián. After it is located on a map hit the "search nearby" tab and enter "camping". Bingo! The map will then display camp grounds and their addresses in that area.

Happy plotting and Buen Camino,

Margaret Meredith
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Reviving an old thread, hope that's ok...
Wondering if there are any of you who have recently camped on the CdN and whether you found it a good option....
Thanks.
PS @Kanga I think I read somewhere you didn't use your tent much, could you please tell me if it was because of the weather or the lack of campsites...or? Gracias!
 

jesben1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Norte 2015
I did not camp, we went back and forth on bringing a tent and decided not to. We really just wanted to bring it 'in case'... unnecessary and glad we didn't bring it. We noticed a few people pitching tents at hostels in the backyard, I think it would be a good idea to do if you planned on primarily camping and you would also save a bit of money. I talked to one girl who was exclusively tenting along the camino, and met her at a hostel about halfway through as we washed our clothes together. Seeing her clothes literally wring out dark brown and her describe how good it was to wash for the first time in 2.5 weeks... well I take it she didn't have much access to facilities choosing to camp the whole time, the language barrier prevented further information. Alot of the hostels honestly would have a hospitalero show up, sign people in, and leave, so if you showed up after I really don't see why you couldn't use the shower etc. and most others I would imagine would accept a small fee in exchange for showers.

basically if you wanted to tent instead of hostels, then bring it! I'm sure you'll always find a place to pitch it, in hostel backyards, beaches etc.

if you want to bring it just as a back up, not necessary.
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Thank you so much for that information, Jesben. So it is do-able, yeah! No I wasn't considering it as a back-up but as my main option, I love camping and the freedom it gives, also my tent is very light.
I guess now it all depends if I do that camino on my own or not. If walking with my husband, no tent as he doesn't ' do' camping :rolleyes::D
If on my own, the tent comes with me :cool:
Thanks again.

Ps: did you enjoy Camino del Norte?
 
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Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Reviving an old thread, hope that's ok...
Wondering if there are any of you who have recently camped on the CdN and whether you found it a good option....
Thanks.
PS @Kanga I think I read somewhere you didn't use your tent much, could you please tell me if it was because of the weather or the lack of campsites...or? Gracias!

It was the lack of campsites mainly. We only found four or five that were open, it was too early in the season for most (we walked in May and June - many do not open until mid July). We also found it not so easy to camp in the grounds of albergues - many do not have gardens and a couple with gardens were unwilling or not allowed to have campers. We would have paid the same as for a bed.
 

jesben1

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Del Norte 2015
Thank you so much for that information, Jesben. So it is do-able, yeah! No I wasn't considering it as a back-up but as my main option, I love camping and the freedom it gives, also my tent is very light.
I guess now it all depends if I do that camino on my own or not. If walking with my husband, no tent as he doesn't ' do' camping :rolleyes::D
If on my own, the tent comes with me :cool:
Thanks again.

Ps: did you enjoy Camino del Norte?

Oh yes, I enjoyed every minute of it, even the through the pain haha. We've been back for a month now and I miss it everyday, we are already entertaining a repeat visit. So wonderful, the beaches, the cider, spanish culture.... You will have a great time. We've even talked about the next time we go we would probably bring a tent - less stress of getting to a hostel before it closes, all by yourself, so no snoring :), and saving a little money. pros and cons...
 

debbijstevenson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy (2021) del norte (2021)
Thank you so much for that information, Jesben. So it is do-able, yeah! No I wasn't considering it as a back-up but as my main option, I love camping and the freedom it gives, also my tent is very light.
I guess now it all depends if I do that camino on my own or not. If walking with my husband, no tent as he doesn't ' do' camping :rolleyes::D
If on my own, the tent comes with me :cool:
Thanks again.

Ps: did you enjoy Camino del Norte?
Hi, I know this is an old post but I have a couple of questions if I may. Did you camp the del Norte in the end? I love camping and would simply prefer to do the Camino (from Le Puy in France) in a tent (with the occasional sleep in a proper bed) and what did you do with your husband in the end? I love the walking every day and the camping, my husband doesn't so its tricky working it out, do I set off for 3 months on my own? does he join me for the occasional week, do we do hotels (which I don't fancy) etc any advice gratefully accepted. Thank you
 

domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Hi, I know this is an old post but I have a couple of questions if I may. Did you camp the del Norte in the end? I love camping and would simply prefer to do the Camino (from Le Puy in France) in a tent (with the occasional sleep in a proper bed) and what did you do with your husband in the end? I love the walking every day and the camping, my husband doesn't so its tricky working it out, do I set off for 3 months on my own? does he join me for the occasional week, do we do hotels (which I don't fancy) etc any advice gratefully accepted. Thank you
Yes it is an old thread 😂
I never did the Norte in the end, my husband did 2 weeks of it but on his own. (And he only stays in hotels ). And 2 weeks is his maximum whereas I like longer pilgrimages (it takes me a week to 10 days to get in walking mode! 😁).
We walked the Via de la Plata together and mostly stayed in Casas rurales when we could - which is what he likes....
Setting off 3 months on your own? If you can, I would! (Don’t get me wrong, we live happily together, we‘re just not natural long-distance walking partners 😁)

Camping in France is easier than in Spain (imo) but I haven’t walked the Le Puy route. Only problem in France is finding food - again, only my experience. You’ll have to carry supplies, as well as the tent. (Again, may be different on the Le Puy route, which has a lot of pilgrims and probably more infrastructure). I only know the French part of the Via Francigena (Calais to Besançon) and the Via Tolosana... (Toulouse to Puente la Reina).
i have no idea what it’ll be like now after the Corona virus scare, of course.
My advice ? Walk on your own. 😳

Let me know what you decide. Against my better judgement, I’m thinking - only thinking -
of setting off this Summer, too, with my tent 😳😉
 
Last edited:

debbijstevenson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy (2021) del norte (2021)
Thank you so much for replying😊 it’s really kind of you. Most people are horrified that I am thinking of doing it on my own but honestly we walk at different speeds and he really doesn’t enjoy it. He has said he will come and camp but I am not sure that is a good idea, 3 months (he wouldn’t complain but would hate it).

We have been caught out on the French food situation, we did Le Chemin de Stevenson in 2017 and ate all our emergency food in the first 3 days. I did a 5 day solo hike a week ago (we live in France) and although the campsites were open there was no one around so no restaurants or bars open so I ate a lot of noodles 😂😂 we are going walking next week so will see how that goes.... watch this space.

Thanks for replying
 
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domigee

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2022 CF
Thank you so much for replying😊 it’s really kind of you. Most people are horrified that I am thinking of doing it on my own but honestly we walk at different speeds and he really doesn’t enjoy it. He has said he will come and camp but I am not sure that is a good idea, 3 months (he wouldn’t complain but would hate it).

We have been caught out on the French food situation, we did Le Chemin de Stevenson in 2017 and ate all our emergency food in the first 3 days. I did a 5 day solo hike a week ago (we live in France) and although the campsites were open there was no one around so no restaurants or bars open so I ate a lot of noodles 😂😂 we are going walking next week so will see how that goes.... watch this space.

Thanks for replying
Oh those campsites with no restaurant or bar open 😂 And no shops around of course... I hadn’t expected it, at the time (and I’m French !). I go better prepared now 😉
Enjoy your walking this week, I’d love to hear about it 🙂
 

debbijstevenson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy (2021) del norte (2021)
Yes it is an old thread 😂
I never did the Norte in the end, my husband did 2 weeks of it but on his own. (And he only stays in hotels ). And 2 weeks is his maximum whereas I like longer pilgrimages (it takes me a week to 10 days to get in walking mode! 😁).
We walked the Via de la Plata together and mostly stayed in Casas rurales when we could - which is what he likes....
Setting off 3 months on your own? If you can, I would! (Don’t get me wrong, we live happily together, we‘re just not natural long-distance walking partners 😁)

Camping in France is easier than in Spain (imo) but I haven’t walked the Le Puy route. Only problem in France is finding food - again, only my experience. You’ll have to carry supplies, as well as the tent. (Again, may be different on the Le Puy route, which has a lot of pilgrims and probably more infrastructure). I only know the French part of the Via Francigena (Calais to Besançon) and the Via Tolosana... (Toulouse to Puente la Reina).
i have no idea what it’ll be like now after the Corona virus scare, of course.
My advice ? Walk on your own. 😳

Let me know what you decide. Against my better judgement, I’m thinking - only thinking -
of setting off this Summer, too, with my tent 😳😉
 

debbijstevenson

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Le Puy (2021) del norte (2021)
No decision yet on whether to do the full camino (together or apart). We did manage a 100kms walk along the Célé and Lot rivers in July, once again food was a bit of a struggle, i had a go at hydrating some food to take which made life a bit easier. We won't do the Camino until next year if we do it.....
 

Johan van der Hoven

Johan - South Africa
Time of past OR future Camino
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Good day
I am starting the del Norte beginning of May 2022. As I am worried about accommodation availability (I cannot stay in expensive places if that is the only places available), I was wondering if I should bring my tent along? On the other hand I do not want to carry the extra weight if I will not need a tent. My tent is lightweight - about 1.1kg.
Your input will be appreciated!
 
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Time of past OR future Camino
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Hi Johan
That's quite a difficult one. Just looking at the stages on Gronze again and it does look like the majority of the municipals are still closed. And who knows when they'll open again. The norte isn't a great camino for camping, but if you are on a tight budget sleeping out now again might be your only option. I tend to carry a shelter with me anyway so I am biaised. But I'd say it's probably a good idea in your situation to bring that tent - and a mat too. If everything turns out well for you, and the magic of the camino serendipitously grants you a roof over you head every night, you can always post your tent on to Ivar in Santiago...
 

good_old_shoes

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Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
@Johan van der Hoven I haven't walked the Norte, but I can imagine that you might find quite a few official campsites if you're okay going a bit off route, especially near the coast.

In my experience it helps a lot to have a look at google maps typing in "camping" and it will show you the official campsites for the area you're looking at on the map. You can then plan detours to the campsite without adding too many kms. At least that's what I do for my walks on more expensive routes. Camino guide books often don't include campsites, especially if they're not exactly on route. So you'll need to do some research.

Wild camping is illegal in many parts of spain, so stick to official campsites or albergue gardens if possible.

I do try to avoid expensive accommodation, too. The tent definitely helps. If you already own a lightweight tent, then it sounds like a good idea to bring it.

With a quick google search I found this german website https://fernerleben.de/uebersicht-jakobsweg-herbergen-camping/ that lists campsites and albergues that allow camping. It's probably outdated since covid but maybe still helpful.

Also this blog that lists Camping options. https://www.intothewideopen.com/?p=3351 So apparently it is possible to camp at least part of the way.

Happy planning and buen camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
2012
I would take a decent sleeping bag, a poncho or a waterproof sheet and a little faith in the kindness of the universe. Church porches, overhanging roofs, sheds, barns and the like will give you shelter. Commercial campsites will charge at least as much as most Albergues and wild camping is illegal and persecuted in Asturias except in the Picos.
I’ve walked most of that coast over the last four decades. I’ve never carried a tent but I’ve always carried a sleeping bag and enough food for a night in nowhere
 

good_old_shoes

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Francés ('15, '19)
Via Coloniensis ('16)
Trier-Nancy + Le Puy-Fisterra ('17)
Aragonés ('18)
Commercial campsites will charge at least as much as most Albergues

That's often true, but if albergues are closed or completo, then campsites are an option to stay somewhere for a similar or only slightly higher price as an albergue instead of sleeping rough or paying for a hotel / private room.

If my options are hotel vs sleeping on a park bench vs sleeping on a campsite (with hot showers!), then the campsite is a good compromise in my opinion.
 

Johan van der Hoven

Johan - South Africa
Time of past OR future Camino
See signature
Hi Johan
That's quite a difficult one. Just looking at the stages on Gronze again and it does look like the majority of the municipals are still closed. And who knows when they'll open again. The norte isn't a great camino for camping, but if you are on a tight budget sleeping out now again might be your only option. I tend to carry a shelter with me anyway so I am biaised. But I'd say it's probably a good idea in your situation to bring that tent - and a mat too. If everything turns out well for you, and the magic of the camino serendipitously grants you a roof over you head every night, you can always post your tent on to Ivar in Santiago...
Thank you for the reply! It add up to what I will decide!
 
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vleadbe

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Time of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugese (2016)
Im also hijacking this old thread, I am doing the Le Puy route and will have my lightweight tent and mate. My tent is about 1kg as well, my mat about 400g and sleeping bag 800g. I think for the extra few kilos I am going to bring it. I want to cross over to camino norte when at the end of le puy route. I would be interested in camping in spain (official sites of course). Do albergues allow it in the gardens also? This will help with the accommodation squeeze I hope.
 

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