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Del Norte-Ruta del Mar double?

david marquez

Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Norte-Primitivo April-May 2018
I walked the Camino del Norte partially in 2017. From the French border to Lluarca. I had a very bad ankle sprain and had to take a break. For personal reasons I had to travel to Oviedo, so when my ankle was better I walked the primitivo rather than finish the Del Norte. I would very much like to combine the seaside portion of the Del Norte with the Ruta del Mar. I am considering starting in the same spot (Irun) and walking to Ribadeo, then continuing on the Ruta del Mar route. I hugely enjoyed walking along the bay of Biscay and the prospect of seeing more of the beautiful Northern Spainish coastline is really appealing.
Any comments or suggestions? Has anyone here done that extended combo, or is anyone planning on that walk? My ideal timeframe would be to start in Irun the first week of April 2023.
 
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I walked the Norte from Irun in April 2016 and continued from Ribadeo on the Ruta do Mar. The Norte was a little disappointing at times because of the amount of hard walking surfaces and also because the official route is quite often away from the coast. On the Ruta do Mar I followed the coast more closely, often following La Ruta Cantábrico. I particularly loved this section, and I continued to Santiago on the Ingles. I posted to my blog each day including lots of info and photos. You are welcome to take a look here.

This year I walked on the Norte again from Bilbao and continued on the Primitivo. I took every coastal option I could find and really enjoyed the beautiful rugged paths. Again, I posted to my blog here.
 
I walked the Camino del Norte partially in 2017. From the French border to Lluarca. I had a very bad ankle sprain and had to take a break. For personal reasons I had to travel to Oviedo, so when my ankle was better I walked the primitivo rather than finish the Del Norte. I would very much like to combine the seaside portion of the Del Norte with the Ruta del Mar. I am considering starting in the same spot (Irun) and walking to Ribadeo, then continuing on the Ruta del Mar route. I hugely enjoyed walking along the bay of Biscay and the prospect of seeing more of the beautiful Northern Spainish coastline is really appealing.
Any comments or suggestions? Has anyone here done that extended combo, or is anyone planning on that walk? My ideal timeframe would be to start in Irun the first week of April 2023.
Friends of mine walked from Ribadeo to Ferrol last month's. Finding accomodation was not easy but in the end they found a place to stay every day
 
I walked the Camino del Norte partially in 2017. From the French border to Lluarca. I had a very bad ankle sprain and had to take a break. For personal reasons I had to travel to Oviedo, so when my ankle was better I walked the primitivo rather than finish the Del Norte. I would very much like to combine the seaside portion of the Del Norte with the Ruta del Mar. I am considering starting in the same spot (Irun) and walking to Ribadeo, then continuing on the Ruta del Mar route. I hugely enjoyed walking along the bay of Biscay and the prospect of seeing more of the beautiful Northern Spainish coastline is really appealing.
Any comments or suggestions? Has anyone here done that extended combo, or is anyone planning on that walk? My ideal timeframe would be to start in Irun the first week of April 2023.
I can’t speak to the walk from Irun to Ribadeo, but did the Del Mar (combined with the Cantabrico) last month. I have the routes identified on Wikiloc. As one local noted, the Del Mar is “official” but not really “functional”. Because of the lack of much infrastructure, it felt like we were on the frontier of a developing route rather than walking the deeply established, and much more certain, CF. We met only one other couple until we joined the Ingles. I know they are part of this forum and perhaps will respond. You definitely need to use some GPS system since the path is still not well defined or marked. Finally, I’d encourage you to join the Camino Del Mar FB group. Lots of good information, especially from the admin, Oliva, who hosts the only Albergue between Ribadeo and Teixido. It was challenging in many ways and beyond awesome at the same time. Would do it again!
 
Inspired by Magwood (see her post above), my husband and I walked the Ruta del Mar in the Spring of 2019. On that trip we walked the Camino del Norte from Aviles to Ribadeo and then left the Norte to continue along the coast on the Ruta. We had such a good time and are considering returning there in the spring of 2023. Our blog is here: https://crowley.pw/cdn2019/ The blog is in reverse chronological order. The part about the Ruta is pages 2 through 8. You can scroll to the bottom to advance the pages. After we got to the end of the official Ruta Cantabrica, we took the little Feve train back to Gijon and spent over a week there. So the first page or two of the blog is about that.
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
I can’t speak to the walk from Irun to Ribadeo, but did the Del Mar (combined with the Cantabrico) last month. I have the routes identified on Wikiloc. As one local noted, the Del Mar is “official” but not really “functional”. Because of the lack of much infrastructure, it felt like we were on the frontier of a developing route rather than walking the deeply established, and much more certain, CF. We met only one other couple until we joined the Ingles. I know they are part of this forum and perhaps will respond. You definitely need to use some GPS system since the path is still not well defined or marked. Finally, I’d encourage you to join the Camino Del Mar FB group. Lots of good information, especially from the admin, Oliva, who hosts the only Albergue between Ribadeo and Teixido. It was challenging in many ways and beyond awesome at the same time. Would do it again!
That sounds lovely. However I don’t use FB so that group is out for me. Tell me, do you think there are places on the Ruta del Mar that would be good candidates for sleeping out on the trail, provided the weather is cooperative? I dont even know if there are laws against sleeping on the trail. When I did the del Norte in 2018 I met a couple of peregrinos who were doing occasional nights on the trail when the circumstances were conducive, good weather, no local albergue or long stages.
I am thinking that on the Ruta del Mar I would need to carry a few things not needed on the del Norte or Primitivo. My pack weight would almost certainly be more than the 11kg limit I had on the Primitivo including snacks and water. Heavier pack plus 73 year old knees = shorter stages. I think 25-35km would be the range I wóuld be aiming for on the section from Ribadeo onwards.
would that be a practical expectation based on your experience?
 
That sounds lovely. However I don’t use FB so that group is out for me. Tell me, do you think there are places on the Ruta del Mar that would be good candidates for sleeping out on the trail, provided the weather is cooperative? I dont even know if there are laws against sleeping on the trail. When I did the del Norte in 2018 I met a couple of peregrinos who were doing occasional nights on the trail when the circumstances were conducive, good weather, no local albergue or long stages.
I am thinking that on the Ruta del Mar I would need to carry a few things not needed on the del Norte or Primitivo. My pack weight would almost certainly be more than the 11kg limit I had on the Primitivo including snacks and water. Heavier pack plus 73 year old knees = shorter stages. I think 25-35km would be the range I wóuld be aiming for on the section from Ribadeo onwards.
would that be a practical expectation based on your experience?
It's a long time since I walked that coast. I was still young and cheeky; but ¿Dónde puedo encontrar una cama para pasar la noche? asked with a smile in Bars, Town Halls, Churches and even Guardia Civil barracks worked like a charm
 
It's a long time since I walked that coast. I was still young and cheeky; but ¿Dónde puedo encontrar una cama para pasar la noche? asked with a smile in Bars, Town Halls, Churches and even Guardia Civil barracks worked like a charm
When I walked the Norte/Primitivo in 2018 I spoke almost no Spanish. Living in Medellin that has definitely changed, and I am hoping to be much more adept at getting around and communicating with the local folks.
thanks for your advice. I also plan to carry my waterproof bivy and a merino wool mummy bag liner for emergencies
 
It's a long time since I walked that coast. I was still young and cheeky; but ¿Dónde puedo encontrar una cama para pasar la noche? asked with a smile in Bars, Town Halls, Churches and even Guardia Civil barracks worked like a charm
It's a long time since I walked that coast. I was still young and cheeky; but ¿Dónde puedo encontrar una cama para pasar la noche? asked with a smile in Bars, Town Halls, Churches and even Guardia Civil barracks worked like a charm
For this walk, we made reservations at pensions. My understanding that
It's a long time since I walked that coast. I was still young and cheeky; but ¿Dónde puedo encontrar una cama para pasar la noche? asked with a smile in Bars, Town Halls, Churches and even Guardia Civil barracks worked like a charm
Because of all sorts of circumstances, including the nature of the walk, this time we decided to reserve accommodations at pensions in advance. My understanding is that you are not allowed to sleep on the trail unless you’ve cleared it with land owners. This trail, as beautiful as it is, contains very little possibility to identify who the landowner is, including government owned.
Cafes and other eating establishments are sporadic until it joins with the Ingles, but our walk was early October. I too, am 73 and carried a pack of about 15 lbs (including water). We found that in rural northern Spain, the practice of siesta is universally observed which means that most places don’t serve breakfast until 9:30 or 10:00 and don’t serve the evening meal until 8:30. It’s an important factor to remember as you plan.
 
David, one more thing. We found that it was easy to get accommodations on the Norte and Ruta in spring of 2019 EXCEPT for holy week (Semana Santa). We made reservations ahead of time for that week and were glad we did. But except for that week, we stayed in many hotels, pensions, etc. that were almost or completely empty except for us.
 
A selection of Camino Jewellery
Oh yes, and prices were quite a bit higher during Holy Week. And if you happen to be at Catedrales beach (just past Ribadeo) that week, you'll need to make reservations to walk there. Something not to miss. But you have to watch the tide schedule.
 
I prefer to walk the Camino del Norte, yes a bit tough but pleasurable. Three times walked from Irun to Santiago. A few years ago started in Bilbao to the end but prefer to walk from Llanes to Santiago. I did last year and hopefully again next year. The only problem with starting from Llanes is taking the bus from Madrid to Llanes an eight-hour trip. As yet have not found a better way to get to Llanes from Madrid other than by bus.
 

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I’m looking for some help re the Ruta do Mar. Last year, 2022, I completed the Camino del Norte from Irun to Gijon. Next year, 2024, I hope to complete the second phase to SdC. Probably mid April...

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