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del Norte in winter?

bradleyllew

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2017
I'm thinking of hitting the Norte in February - is this doable? IE will there be any albergues open? I really NEED to walk!
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF SJPP - SDC (2013)
CP Porto - Finisterre (Coastal & Spiritual Variant) 2016
Norte Irun-Muxia 2018
I walked the Norte last Sept/Oct including many of the off road alternate routes. I've also walked the CF and Portuguese. The norte is a quatum leap more difficult in terms of more challenging terrain and rapid weather changes. There is much less or no pilgrim oriented infrastructure even in high season in some areas. In winter you can expect it to be very desolate at times and would likely see no one else for lengthy periods of time. Having said that, it is an amazing Camino that traverses some spectacular regions of the north coast. Hiking the camino norte safely in winter will require a good degree of trekking experience and the ability to be self sufficient in adverse conditions. I live in a coastal mountain region and enjoy the outdoors but I've got a lot of respect for what winter can throw at a person during this time of year. Best wishes for whatever decision you make.
Frank
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Just go for it. I'm sure a few of the albergues will be closed, but you'll be able to find a hotel/pension/hostal for €20-25. (You can check the accommodation section of the Gronze website to see the "disponibilidad" i.e. availability of each albergue). The weather on the Norte tends to be milder than it is inland at this time of year (less chance of snow, and temps usually above zero overnight) but it can be VERY wet. Make sure you pack rain pants and gaiters.
 

MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
Did you decide to walk the Norte in feb? If yes, how is your experience? Are there other pilgrims etc ?

Edit: question to other pilgrims, if you had time to walk right now, which camino would you choose (not the CF), the Norte or the portugese? Where are there other pilgrims this time of the year.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Did you decide to walk the Norte in feb? If yes, how is your experience? Are there other pilgrims etc ?

Edit: question to other pilgrims, if you had time to walk right now, which camino would you choose (not the CF), the Norte or the portugese? Where are there other pilgrims this time of the year.
In February 2018 only 66 pilgrims arrived in Santiago from the Norte, while 688 completed the CP in the same period. The numbers go up in March (2649 on the CP, but only 350 on the Norte). Stats here.
 

MhaelK

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances: SJPdP -> Fisterra, (sep 26- oct 18, 2017)
In February 2018 only 66 pilgrims arrived in Santiago from the Norte, while 688 completed the CP in the same period. The numbers go up in March (2649 on the CP, but only 350 on the Norte). Stats here.
Thanks, 350 entering Santiago in march in not much, but at least it is some people. CF is of course the major attraction, I just didn’t find the CF that attractive first time around.

Looks like you have done the Portugues - how did you find that (from Porto to Santiago), flat but still plenty of walking by the sea (costal route) and good food? Maybe CP is a better match for the season. (Made a thread on the CP forum as well, so not to divert this thread.
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
I walked the Norte in Late September through early November last year. There were enough accommodations, iealbergues and cheap pensions but the further I got into the Camino, after the Camino turned Southwesterly there were more and more albergues that read open in Gronze or Wise Pilgrim but were actually closed. Right before I left my daughter got me the Buen Camino app also. It was a little overkill to have both the Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino app except when it came to the albergues. There were a few occasions that I found an albergue that was only listed on one of the sites (including Gronze) that really helped me. Wise Pilgrim and Buen Camino both have good GPS maps that you can download so you don't get lost or want to look for a variant to take. If you want complete solitude almost every day and be alone every night the Norte could be a great bet. If you want a lot of solitude and have a few pilgrims to speak with during the day or in the evening you may be better off on the Camino Frances. As Jan said it will be colder and have more snow, but there are more services.
P.S. I really know the feeling when you said that you really need to walk. I have been walking around with that for about 8 years now. I have done 4 camino and I am thinking about my next one. The Via de la Plata. You may want to consider the CF as you obviously have stuff going on and it might be nice in the evening to have a pilgrim to talk to about whatever is percolating inside. Pilgrims are the best people to talk to because there aren't any judgements and we learn to be really good listeners and just somehow have an inherent understanding of our brothers and sisters who we walk with. Buen Camino.
 
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Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
it might be nice in the evening to have a pilgrim to talk to about whatever is percolating inside. Pilgrims are the best people to talk to because there aren't any judgements and we learn to be really good listeners and just somehow have an inherent understanding of our brothers and sisters who we walk with. Buen Camino.
Very beautifully put! The sharing that takes place on the camino is truly extraordinary.
 

steve cole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting the french way today
I'm thinking of hitting the Norte in February - is this doable? IE will there be any albergues open? I really NEED to walk!
Most are closed till Easter, Easter is late this year, I am walking Camino Mozarabe instead from Almeria at the moment. All albergues are open from Almeria 😎
 

lt56ny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013-Frances SJP-Finisterre, 2015 Camino Le Puy-Santiago, 2017 Portugues Lisbon-Santiago 2018 Norte
Very beautifully put! The sharing that takes place on the camino is truly extraordinary.
Muchas Gracias Jan. It would be so great to meet you and some of our other forum friends for a wonderful pilgrim meal one night on one of our future walks to understand who we all are.
 

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