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CDN - Eat,Drink,Sleep: A personal guide from San Sebastian - Gijon

Matt Wright

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015), Finisterre-Muxia (2015), Portuguese (2016)
We've just finished Stage 1 of the Camino del Norte (CDN), walking from San Sebastian - Gijon during May/June 2017.

Sorry, but it's taken me a while to put together the list of where we ate, drank, and slept as I've rummaging through numerous crumpled receipts and trying to piece these together with pictures I'd uploaded from my phone. So, I'm afraid this is not a comprehensive guide, but merely a reflection of where we went, what we experienced, and some pretty pictures to put you in the mood should you be tempted likewise!

The full list is here:


In summary:

The Good News: I don't think we've ever eaten so well on a Camino
The Not so Good News: It's more expensive than the Camino Frances and beware the lack of breakfast stops

I'll keep it brief....

* Menu pellegrinos = very rare....menus del dia = very common (usual 3 course + wine). Expect to pay €10-€12 in smaller places, up to €14 in larger. I think our cheapest was €8 and our most expensive €18...but the old adage 'you get what you pay for' tends to hold reasonably true in most cases (sometimes you're better off going with a plato combinado than a sketchy 3- courser). Anyway, if you like seafood, you're in luck...and if you don't....well, there is plenty of meat, but you're missing a treat.
* Breakfast stops - when we walked the CF, we used to like walking 5km before a breakfast coffee stop...I wouldn't advise that on the CDN, it really is a case of 'take it while you can'. Some days (e.g. Day 3 Izarbide - Zenaruzza) you'd be walking 20km before any 'habitation' and it was the exception rather than the rule that we'd ever find anywhere open within 5km of setting off: Day 2 Getaria, Day 15 Poo de Llanes being the only two days that spring to mind where we got 'lucky'! So, pack up the night before or most allbergues offer a 'breakfast' of sorts, sometimes packed (Izarbide), more often communal or serve yourself (Guemes, Gernika, San Vicente...), but don't skimp on a few euros....or you could be walking for quite a long time without food.
* Pensions - if there are 2 of you, it often makes sense to check into a cheap pension (I'm talking May/June here so off-peak). For example, no albergues open in Zarautz off-peak (we paid €40 for a lovely room)....Gernika albergue €18 each (we'd have been better off paying €35-€40 for a room in the centre as others did).

Don't get me wrong - thoroughly, thoroughly, thoroughly enjoyed the CDN...just budget accordingly, plan the day ahead beforehand, and take plenty of water. Oh, and enjoy!

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