Search 60,048 Camino Questions

A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it


Compare routes?

Book your train ticket here


New Member
How does the Camino del Norte compare to the Frances route? I haven't officially chosen a route yet as I am still investigating. This route seems scenically very beautiful and because I live by the sea, I will enjoy the ocean. Am sure my dog Dakota would prefer this route... perhaps the Camino de la Costa... Any advice on this route appreciated!

2022 Camino Guides
The 2022 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
Camino Cups
Browse our selection of Camino Cups on the forum store


Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances (May 2005), Norte (May 2006), Vezelay (2007).

I just finished my Camino Norte which I walked from Hendaya to Colunga.
As I did the Frances last year I can compare the two and the aspects that I can compare:

1) Norte is much,much more beautiful than the Frances: some parts you walk along the cliffs with on your right the sea and on the left the mountains.
2) Norte is more challenging: it is a lot heavier and tougher to walk because of the continious up and downs. Most little villages you cross are at sea-level so after your coffe-break you know one thing for have to climb again.
3) Norte has much fewer refugios and as I experienced... alot of them were not open in May. You have to think/find out about this before starting an etappe otherwise you have to make a lot of kilometers.
4) You do not meet a lot of other pelgrims (in May) as on the Frances. That will give another spirit along your route: if you did not do the Frances I would advise to do that first.
5) Some parts of the Norte are not nice: esp. the great cities as Santander and Bilbao are no fun to walk. At some stretches you walk along the N-632 for some km adn sometimes this is boring and not nice.

See the picture-index with some pictures of mine of the Camino Norte.
Buen Camino!

Original artwork based on your pilgrimage or other travel photos.
Learn how to Get "Camino Ready " 2nd Edition. In English, Spanish, German and Korean

Did not find what you were looking for? Search here

Popular Resources

“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf ivar
  • Featured
“All” Albergues on the Camino Frances in one pdf
4.95 star(s) 105 ratings
A selection of favorite albergues on the Camino Francés Ton van Tilburg
Favorite Albergues along the Camino Frances
4.83 star(s) 35 ratings
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances ivar
Profile maps of all 34 stages of the Camino Frances
4.88 star(s) 24 ratings