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Cycling Camino Del Norte

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sherif

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France's 2018 from Reconcevelles to Santiago
Me and a friend of mine are planning to do cycle the Camino Del Norte. I was wondering if anyone with experience in riding the Camino Del Norte could give us a heads up and recommendations. We have already done the Camino France’s last year from Bilbao to Santiago with a self guided tour so we fairly have an idea of how it works. However we have read that the Camino Del Norte is more demanding and challenging. Can you please share your itinerary town by town and your thoughts on where to stay and what to see. In terms of bikes we both have 29er mountain bikes we used in our previous Camino trip. Any recommendation for tire size and grip? Which tire width did you use? On the other hand did you go through a tour operator for hotel reservation and guided GPS map? Or was it all self managed? Any recommendations? In our previous trip we went through a tour operator who managed hotels and Taxi transfers as well as an emergency contact phone. Hope to get some tips where to eat and visit. THANKS A MILLION FOR YOUR HELP.
 

hecate105

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 Portuguese Estellas 2014 Aurelia 2016 St Davids 2017 Via Augusta/V dl P. 2018 Michael Mary Way
I cycled much of the route backwards ! when returning home to uk after cycling the Portuguese. It was hard to always fond the route as obviously the markers/signs point the other way! But it was very beautiful and very challenging. Lots of hills, places where we had to stay on the road instead of the walkers tracks, but that may of been more because of being slightly lost rather than the tracks being hard to cycle! It would be worth searching this site - because lots of people have cycled the route - the right way! We met quite a few cyclists - even some on a tandem... There are plenty of albergues and lots of small hotels etc. We used both and wild camped too. If you get a guidebook and use the 1:200 Spanish maps you would not have a problem. We thought the scenery was stunning - as was the food/wine!
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hi sherif
just a couple of general pointers from me, as you haven't had many replies yet! As hecate105 says above, try using the search function on this site as this is a subject that has come up quite often before. Secondly, just checking you know about Gronze? It's really useful for planning stages, elevation profiles, viewing others' comments. For the accommodation it often has bike storage facilities that are available too.
 

Jean T

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) on foot (incomplete)
Camino del Norte on bicycle with children April 2018
Me and a friend of mine are planning to do cycle the Camino Del Norte. I was wondering if anyone with experience in riding the Camino Del Norte could give us a heads up and recommendations. We have already done the Camino France’s last year from Bilbao to Santiago with a self guided tour so we fairly have an idea of how it works. However we have read that the Camino Del Norte is more demanding and challenging. Can you please share your itinerary town by town and your thoughts on where to stay and what to see. In terms of bikes we both have 29er mountain bikes we used in our previous Camino trip. Any recommendation for tire size and grip? Which tire width did you use? On the other hand did you go through a tour operator for hotel reservation and guided GPS map? Or was it all self managed? Any recommendations? In our previous trip we went through a tour operator who managed hotels and Taxi transfers as well as an emergency contact phone. Hope to get some tips where to eat and visit. THANKS A MILLION FOR YOUR HELP.
Hi!

I used this to get an idea of stages... We were crawling, you might do two or more of those stages per day!


I also used the Wisely Norte app to see the route. As my Camino was done over 3 different trips eventually system improved to minimise time spent looking at maps, avoid certain parts involving mud/gates/steps but ensuring route was easier/safer/still scenic! For the last 370km I was using a route I had plotted on the ViewRanger app that followed the directions for cyclists on the CSJ booklets. Handy when kids wanted to know which direction we were going ASAP and if we were nearly there yet...

So decide what distance you can do comfortably, bearing in mind the surface type and that there might be more daily ascent than on Francés, and then look up accommodation in the area you think you’ll reach. As I needed a family room I booked in advance, mostly through booking.com or directly with albergues. Re route finding the best advice i can offer is to look at the map and if the Camino leaves the road for a while and it rejoins further on... stay on the road! In Bilbao we took the left bank route and stayed in Getxo so we got to use the Vizcaya Bridge. In Gijon we took the Senda del Peña Francia from the Camp site at Deva - with exception of Santander the cycle routes in the cities were very good.

Good luck!

Jean
 
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Jean T

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) on foot (incomplete)
Camino del Norte on bicycle with children April 2018
Places where cyclist route differs from walking route include;
Between Hondarribia and Santuario de Guadeloupe - uphill - stay on road to avoid sandy track,
Between Pasaia and San Sebastián -for shortcut stay on road that goes past Arzak’s restaurant,
Leaving San Sebastián - take road to Igueldo and on to Orio to avoid rocky path,
From Deba either take road to Mutriku or Astigarribia, rejoin Camino in Olatz then at Gorostolamendi take road to Larraskain, rejoin Camino to Markina-Xemein,
From M-X to Gernika stay on road,
At Lezama take road up Alto del Vivero (used in this years Vuelta) then BI-3732 down to Bilbao,
After Playa de Arena (Pobeña) even though there are steps they are worth carrying the bike up to follow coastal path to Onton, otherwise stay on road to Kobaron then turn right to rejoin coastal path, after Onton we stayed on road over Saltocaballo....
After El Pontarron we took road from Rioseco up to Lugarejos and tbh staying on N634 would have been easier but scenery and quiet road vs expediency!
Likewise I’m wondering why we didn’t just stay on CA131 between Santillana and Comillas...
weather plays a big part in whether following the Camino is a success - from Buelna to Llanes it was a nice day so we enjoyed the coastal path... ditto from Berbes to Arenal de Moris, and La Isla, although there were locked gates to be negotiated,
After El Peregrin Cansau turn right to get N632 into Villaviciosa,
From Villaviciosa continue on VV9 past Palacio de la Torre de Niévares to the VV8 (Tresvilla) for easier uphill avoiding rough path. Stay on VV8 past Casa Pepito, becomes AS331 which you take to La Olla.
After Soto del Barco stay on N632 to Muros de Nalón, after that if you want to take coastal route stay on AS317 instead of following Camino over railway... otherwise remain on N632,
We detoured to stay in Cudillero (La Casona de Pio)... accommodation was expensive but it is a tourist hotspot,
After that stay on N632 to avoid descents and ascents on muddy rocky paths unless that’s your thing!
A few kms before Luarca, after the Muslim cemetery if you turn right off N634 ignore Camino marker through field and take next road to left instead. It will rejoin Camino at end of the field but avoids you arriving into Luarca covered in mud.
I was feeling adventurous and took an overgrown path uphill from beach at Luarca... don’t... just follow Camino/road instead
From Villanova Lourenza take N634a to Mondoñedo,
Between Abadín and Villalba only take road if it’s been very wet or is currently pouring rain,
Between Villalba and Baamonde some very mucky sections so stay on road unless weather has been dry,
To Miraz was a joy, we stayed in Witericus - loved it, called into CSJ albergue n Miraz the next day and they were very friendly too. After Miraz was spectacular (the next day 6cm of snow fell),
Stay on road between Castro (after Sobrado dos Monxes) and As Corredoiras.
We took the variant from Boimorto to O Pino avoiding Arzua which meant it was Lavacolla before we encountered other pilgrims. There’s a track at side of the N634 which is very busy at that point.
Enjoy!
J
 
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Jean T

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2012) on foot (incomplete)
Camino del Norte on bicycle with children April 2018
These are what stand out in my memory!
Hondarribia -old town walls, then eat upstairs in the fish packing plant
San Sebastián - Aquarium and pintxos
Zumaia - detour to see the beach used as Dragonstone in GoT
Markina-Xemein - Church with huge rock
Gernika - the Oak, the painting, the story...
Bilbao - Guggenheim, bridges, Casco Vieja, San Mamés, Portugalete and Getxo
Castro Urdiales - the castle and the bull ring
Santander - maritime museum
Santillana Del Mar - museum of the Inquisition, the zoo, Museum at Altamira
Comillas - walks to the beach, little harbour, El Capricho de Gaudi
La Franca - if budget allows stay in El Mirador hotel
On way to Llanes see Los bufones de Arenillas in action
Try to swim at every beach between Llanes and Hontaria including Playa del Gulpiyuri (a beach in the middle of a field)
Ribadesella - check out the view from Ermita de la Virgin de Guía, detour en route to Playa Vega to go through the Desfiladero de Entrepeñas
Colunga - detour to see MUJA (Jurassic museum)
Gijon - Aquarium, Botanical Garden
Cudillero - walk the tunnel that goes to the port
Luarca - Gardens de la Fonte Baixa, El Parque de la Vida (if you have kids)
The rest of the route we must have been under pressure as I can’t remember anything other than cycling and eating...
 

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