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Del Norte this July... Third camino

Deepforest

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015 Camino Frances 2016 Camino Portuguese 2017 del Norte and Primitivo 2017 Via Francegina 2018.
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.
 
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Zoula

Danielle
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept. 2014, CP Sept. 2016, maybe VdlP April 2018
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.
thanks for your questions, as I am in the "dream" stages of planning walking the El Norte, but probably at the end of April, early May... So I am also concerned with the weather, accommodations, business, so I will look forward to reading the comments that come in.
 

Peregrina1

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012) and Camino Portuguese (2015) Camino del Norte (next!)
Hi,
I'm in the same boat, having done the Frances and the Portuguese routes within the last few years. My mom, sister, and I are looking to do the Northern Route at the end of May. On the Camino Frances, my mom carried her backpack but there were a couple days when she was not feeling well and she was so grateful for the mochila transportation service. The service allowed us to keep going without having to take a rest day. Is there any such service along the Camino del Norte?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Walking the Norte and then merge on the Primitivo is probably many people's dream Camino, including me. I doubt I will ever walk the Norte past the merging point. Now, July and especially August will be HOT and full of people on the Norte as it is a prime summer vacation destination, where albergues are not just for people with a Credencial you will most likely have to book ahead of time.

You will certainly meet people, at least upon arrival in the albergue, or in a few cafes located right on the route. Most will be Europeans, and people used to long distance walking, like you.

Correos does offer backpack service on both the Norte and Primitivo:
http://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/

As for the number of days it can take, visit the Eroski website, I find it helps me plan my own etapas easily. I like walking 23 km a day, so my etapas won't help you much.

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/mobile/los-caminos-de-santiago/
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.


I walked the Norte in April. It took me 29 days and I walk in the 30-35 km range. I stayed the Northern route all the way and found it to be great with the exception of the Aviles area, very industrial. The Primitivo is similar in terrain but not coastal, hilly and rural with beautiful mountains to the South.

I would recommend you walk the entire Norte and save the Primitivo for when you have less time (ie:When you only have three weeks you could walk the Salvador/Primitivo).

The traffic at that time should be at it's peak with most of Europe on holiday.

Whatever you decide it will be a great walk.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I agree with the opinion that the Primitivo is absolutely beautiful. But if it were me, I would do what Joe suggests. Save the Primitivo for another time, when you can start in Leon and add on the Camino Del Salvador from Leon to Oviedo. That is one of the most spectacular Caminos of all. A short 4 to 6 days, but just gorgeous. The Camino Del Norte after Avilés is also quite beautiful, so I wouldn't miss it.
 

Zoula

Danielle
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept. 2014, CP Sept. 2016, maybe VdlP April 2018
I walked the Norte in April. It took me 29 days and I walk in the 30-35 km range. I stayed the Northern route all the way and found it to be great with the exception of the Aviles area, very industrial. The Primitivo is similar in terrain but not coastal, hilly and rural with beautiful mountains to the South.

I would recommend you walk the entire Norte and save the Primitivo for when you have less time (ie:When you only have three weeks you could walk the Salvador/Primitivo).

The traffic at that time should be at it's peak with most of Europe on holiday.

Whatever you decide it will be a great walk.

Ultreya,
Joe
Thanks Joe, I also am in the dream / planning stages and would like to start mid / end of April and was wondering what kind of weather should I expect, since it is coastal, is it colder?? I also heard there are a lot of rain in Galicia, did you have some?? Thanks in advance!
Danielle
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Thanks Joe, I also am in the dream / planning stages and would like to start mid / end of April and was wondering what kind of weather should I expect, since it is coastal, is it colder?? I also heard there are a lot of rain in Galicia, did you have some?? Thanks in advance!
Danielle


Danielle:

I wish I could predict the weather but I can not. The year I walked 2014, the weather was beautiful. The first 21 days I walked there was no rain at all and it was at least 70 F or approximately 20 C. I was warned it would probably rain quite a bit but I was lucky. That said, it rained almost everyday when I reached Galacia.

I would not worry about the weather since it is unpredictable. This is a great walk. A little tougher than the Frances and there is more hard surface walking but there is good seafood, some nice Albergues and beautiful seascapes. There were also many other Pilgrims.

Please feel free to contact me through the forum or PM me with any questions. I have also walked the Madrid if you have questions regarding that route.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Last edited:
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I agree with the opinion that the Primitivo is absolutely beautiful. But if it were me, I would do what Joe suggests. Save the Primitivo for another time, when you can start in Leon and add on the Camino Del Salvador from Leon to Oviedo. That is one of the most spectacular Caminos of all. A short 4 to 6 days, but just gorgeous. The Camino Del Norte after Avilés is also quite beautiful, so I wouldn't miss it.
Laurie, I think that while in terms of connection from one Camino to the other, and logistics, Salvador plus Primitivo makes a lot of sense, bit isn't the Salvador in a leaugue of its own when it comes to difficulties (terrain, snow later and earlier in the year, limited accomodations etc., and therefor maybe not for everyone where as the Primitivo is much more accessible?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Laurie, I think that while in terms of connection from one Camino to the other, and logistics, Salvador plus Primitivo makes a lot of sense, bit isn't the Salvador in a leaugue of its own when it comes to difficulties (terrain, snow later and earlier in the year, limited accomodations etc., and therefor maybe not for everyone where as the Primitivo is much more accessible?
Hi, anemone, you are right that the Salvador is more challenging than your average Camino. But I think that Ender's guide now has ways to break it up into as many as nine or 10 stages. And I think that if you compare the elevation profiles with the Primitivo, you will see that the Salvador is not a total outlier. I think that the most challenging part, from Buiza to Pajares, can be done without suffering by most people who are in good shape. And it can easily be broken up with a stop in Poladura. You would have to keep an eye on the weather in fall, winter, and spring,because there will be snow at the higher elevations.

I just think that people are unlikely to come back to walk the second half of the Norte, while many people come to walk the Salvador and Primitivo. So it sort of gives you an extra bonus Camino to walk!
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I agree Laurie, if fit, prepared and in season, it makes sense to combine these two.

I am thinking Salvador and them make my way to Ponferrada for the Invierno, although this may be very lonely.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I agree Laurie, if fit, prepared and in season, it makes sense to combine these two.

I am thinking Salvador and them make my way to Ponferrada for the Invierno, although this may be very lonely.

Don't get me started on the lack of pilgrim traffic on the Invierno! It has got to be one of the greatest unsolved Camino mysteries. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful scenery -- throw in a World Heritage site (As Medulas), add the great wines, the Sil and Minho Rivers, the Romanesque church in Diamondi, and a castle or two for good measure, and that all adds up to -- no pilgrims?! Ahhh, sorry I'm getting way way off topic!

Back to the Norte -- I think the main criterion most people use when they hit the decision point is the collective will of their camino band of friends. And I do think a majority of people who walk the Norte from Irun turn south to Oviedo and continue on the Primitivo. Which also accounts for why I think the numbers of reported pilgrims on the Primitivo is way under the reality. If you start in Irun and walk to Santiago, you will be listed as a "norte" pilgrim, even if you walked the Primitivo!
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2012, 2014, Norte June 2017, Primitivo July 2017, Portuguese May 2018, Salvador (2019)
I stayed the Northern route all the way and found it to be great with the exception of the Aviles area, very industrial.
I am walking the Norte in June/July. Only have 34 days, want to walk mostly 20K stages and have some rest days to play, so will probably need to skip about 250 km. Any suggestion for the best (worst?) parts to skip? My friend who is walking with me has never been to Santiago, so we will have to do the last 100 km on the Frances for her to get her certificate.
Buen Camino,
Judy
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
I am walking the Norte in June/July. Only have 34 days, want to walk mostly 20K stages and have some rest days to play, so will probably need to skip about 250 km. Any suggestion for the best (worst?) parts to skip? My friend who is walking with me has never been to Santiago, so we will have to do the last 100 km on the Frances for her to get her certificate.
Buen Camino,
Judy

Judy:

My suggestion is that you start in Bilbao. It is a nice city with lots to see as you recover from jet lag. It will also be easier to get to than some smaller Pueblo's. Starting here will also allow you to walk continuously, without skipping places, and still reach Santiago easily with your pace and play plan.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am walking the Norte in June/July. Only have 34 days, want to walk mostly 20K stages and have some rest days to play, so will probably need to skip about 250 km. Any suggestion for the best (worst?) parts to skip? My friend who is walking with me has never been to Santiago, so we will have to do the last 100 km on the Frances for her to get her certificate.
Buen Camino,
Judy

Just a quick note, Judy -- not sure I understand you right, but if your post suggests that you think you can only get the Compostela if you walk the last 100 km on the Francés, that's not accurate. You can walk those last 100 km on any camino into Santiago. For the Norte, I think the 100 km point is somewhere around Baamonde.

And I second Joe's suggestion about walking from Bilbao to Santiago rather than chopping up your walk and skipping bits and pieces here and there. Fpr me, the hopping around and skipping over parts makes it more like any other vacation/hike. Just my opinion, though. Buen camino, Laurie
 
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Zoula

Danielle
Past OR future Camino
CF Sept. 2014, CP Sept. 2016, maybe VdlP April 2018
Danielle:

I wish I could predict the weather but I can not. The year I walked 2014, the weather was beautiful. The first 21 days I walked there was no rain at all and it was at least 70 F or approximately 20 C. I was warned it would probably rain quite a bit but I was lucky. That said, it rained almost everyday when I reached Galacia.

I would not worry about the weather since it is unpredictable. This is a great walk. A little tougher than the Frances and there is more hard surface walking but there is good seafood, some nice Albergues and beautiful seascapes. There were also many other Pilgrims.

Please feel free to contact me through the forum or PM me with any questions. I have also walked the Madrid if you have questions regarding that route.

Ultreya,
Joe
Thanks for your quick answer Joe, it is helpful.
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2012, 2014, Norte June 2017, Primitivo July 2017, Portuguese May 2018, Salvador (2019)
And I second Joe's suggestion about walking from Bilbao to Santiago rather than chopping up your walk and skipping bits and pieces here and there.
Thanks Laurie and Joe. Based on other posts, my understanding was that we would be missing the best part of Norte if we didn't start in Irun. I prefer the idea of picking a starting point and not "planning" a lot of skipping around.
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Thanks Laurie and Joe. Based on other posts, my understanding was that we would be missing the best part of Norte if we didn't start in Irun. I prefer the idea of picking a starting point and not "planning" a lot of skipping around.

Walsh Camino:

This entire Camino, imo, is beautiful with the one exception in Aviles. You will be missing the most challenging part of this Camino:). That said, there are several challenging days after Bilbao.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks Laurie and Joe. Based on other posts, my understanding was that we would be missing the best part of Norte if we didn't start in Irun. I prefer the idea of picking a starting point and not "planning" a lot of skipping around.
Well yes I would agree that some of the most spectacular scenery is from Irun to Bilbao. But I also agree with joe that there's a lot of beauty spread out along the entire way. Hard choices!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Thanks Laurie and Joe. Based on other posts, my understanding was that we would be missing the best part of Norte if we didn't start in Irun. I prefer the idea of picking a starting point and not "planning" a lot of skipping around.
That is very true. Certainly to Guernika I would not miss. Then bus into Bilbao if you want to visit it, or bus to Bilbao and hop on metro to Portugalete if you just want to walk. This would shve off two days. Or see how you can make it to Pobena on that day, skipping a short and failry ordinary etaps.

Then walk to Santander, some 5 days to then bis to Santillana del mar. That shaves off some two more days.

So there are 5 days saved.

Since I have only walked the Norte to Llanes that is all I can advise.
 
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Redvespablur

Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
We walked Norte/primitivo in May 2016. Loved the Basque Country and walk from Irun to Bilbao was among our favorite stretches. There are bits along the whole route that could be missed: entrance and exit to Bilbao, exit from Santander, Colunga to Oviedo, Oviedo to Grado. I'm sure there are other opinions but editing is permitted at your discretiion. Bus service is pretty good along the Norte so skipping ahead is easy. Primitivo is difficult to edit.

We plan to walk again in 2018 and will end before joining the French highway and will skip Santiago. We did not love the last 3 days into Santiago. Galicia made us miss Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Oviedo to Grado is easy to skip as there's a city/suburban bus making the route. This being said, it is far from being an ugly walk, and if you include the Naranco sites then ot is not to be missed.
 

boski

Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/primitivo (15)
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.

I did it in that time frame last year. It was very busy we most days the albergues were completely full and ppl had to hike to the next town. Honestly I would not go during that time frame again. The infrastructure is not set up for so many ppl. Its too beautiful to have to race for a bed.
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.

Hi,

I've walked the both the Norte (full) and the Primitivo option in about the same time of year as you, both times. You'll meet other pilgrims either way. Last summer (2016) on the Primitivo, there were always people along the route: in the bars where I stopped during the day and in the albergues at night.

Temperatures on the Norte were bearable even in July. There could be hot summer days, of course, but never as hot as on the Francés or, worse, Vía de la plata. I would say 35C, never over 40, while I was there. This is certainy true for the Northern route (full). There were constantly some breeze that cooled down the air a bit. The problem is that weather can change rapidly. I had a few days of full storm and rain so bring your rain gear.

I make 30-40 kms a day and the Primitivo option took me 10 days (I think it's 13 stages according to Eroski). How many days on the Norte option, I don't remember.

I thought that the Primitivo option had a lot of asphalt during the first stages. I remember saying to myself: "Is this really the Camino "primitivo" when they seem to have paved it all??" But this eventaully changed.

I think few other pilgrims agree with me, but I remember the Norte option as more beautiful than the Primitivo. Both have their hihglights though.

/Bad Pilgrim
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I am walking the Norte in June/July. Only have 34 days, want to walk mostly 20K stages and have some rest days to play, so will probably need to skip about 250 km. Any suggestion for the best (worst?) parts to skip? My friend who is walking with me has never been to Santiago, so we will have to do the last 100 km on the Frances for her to get her certificate.
Buen Camino,
Judy

Hi,

Worst memory for me of any Camino would be leaving Gijón, entering Avilés (on the same stage) on the Norte: industrial suburbs of the worst kind... I had difficulties leaving Gijón because of heavy traffic.

I hear other say the same of the area with Portugalete and Bilbao. I could certainly smell the pollution in the air when I got closer...

Still the cities in themselves are beautiful: who would like to skip Gijón or Bilbao? So it's difficult to give advice.

Taking a bus between Gijón and Avilés would save one day for you, at least.

/BP
 
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Duncan Idaho

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014, Portuguese 2015, Finisterre 2015, Norte 2017, Aragones 2018, V d Plata 2019
I'll be walking again from Llanes to Luarca at the start of April. I'm going to get a bus between Gijon to Aviles, it will be a first but from reading the descriptions of that stage I don't mind.

Thanks all the continued input on this site and Happy New Year.

Roll on April
 

Bad Pilgrim

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I'll be walking again from Llanes to Luarca at the start of April. I'm going to get a bus between Gijon to Aviles, it will be a first but from reading the descriptions of that stage I don't mind.

Thanks all the continued input on this site and Happy New Year.

Roll on April

Ok, but that's my personal experience. I would do the same it if I was to return! Would like to know what others think of that stage??

/BP
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Madrid/San Salvador/Primitivo-2021
Ok, but that's my personal experience. I would do the same it if I was to return! Would like to know what others think of that stage??

/BP


BP:

I would agree that the section from Gijon to Aviles is very industrial. That said, I would not skip as it is part of the Norte.

The walk from Bilbao to Portugalete is a mixture of interesting architecture and commercial properties along the canal if you stay on the option to the North. It culminates with an air taxi or boat ride across the canal.

Ultreya,
Joe
 

Gearóid

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2014)
Camino Portuguese (2015)
Via de la Plata (2016)
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.

I begin the Norte on May 26th.....planning on a 28 day walk....Norte only....I've done the Frances, Portuguese and Via de la Plata....I can't wait.....I will then continue to Fisterra/Muxia after fun and indulgence in Santiago......Primitivo next year....I'm from Galway in Ireland and our skin is waterproof!! Buen Camino, everyone!!!
 

Addicted

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015,
Camino Primitivo (5 days in 2015)
Camino Portugal 2015,
Camino Muxia,Finiserra 2015,
Camino Primitivo complete 2016
Camino Norte Sept 2017
I walked the Primitivo for Five days in Mid October in 2015. We started in Oviedo , My wife and I were the only pilgrims I think . We walked the entire Primitivo in Sept of 2016 and found it to be spectacular. It was however busy , met lots of great people , albergues were often full by the end of the day .
Walked Porto to Sdc in early November of 2015 and had the trail and albergues to our selves most of the time. The solitude was good but my wife and I relish the social aspect of the travels . We are starting the Norte in Sept of 2017. I will be very interested in how it compares to the Primitivo
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I'll be walking again from Llanes to Luarca at the start of April. I'm going to get a bus between Gijon to Aviles, it will be a first but from reading the descriptions of that stage I don't mind.

Thanks all the continued input on this site and Happy New Year.

Roll on April
Ok, but that's my personal experience. I would do the same it if I was to return! Would like to know what others think of that stage??

/BP

One way to avoid the industrial part into Aviles and not add much on to your Camino would be to turn south towards Oviedo after Villaviciosa. You then have an easy two day walk into Oviedo (or if you can get to the albergue at Valdedios, you would then only have about 34 km to Oviedo for the next day). That gives you the marvelous bonus of seeing that most beautiful city with its pre-romanesque gems, and then walk one day from Oviedo to Aviles. The entrance to Aviles from the south, which I have walked, is not at all industrial. That means missing out on Gijon, but it also means missing out on all the industrial outskirts.

When I walked from Oviedo to Aviles (2007), the marking was terrible, and in fact we wound up on the side of a very busy road. But I have been assured that it is now perfectly well marked, and I may in fact be back there this summer! Buen camino, Laurie
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
Walking the Norte and then merge on the Primitivo is probably many people's dream Camino, including me. I doubt I will ever walk the Norte past the merging point. Now, July and especially August will be HOT and full of people on the Norte as it is a prime summer vacation destination, where albergues are not just for people with a Credencial you will most likely have to book ahead of time.

You will certainly meet people, at least upon arrival in the albergue, or in a few cafes located right on the route. Most will be Europeans, and people used to long distance walking, like you.

Correos does offer backpack service on both the Norte and Primitivo:
http://www.elcaminoconcorreos.com/

As for the number of days it can take, visit the Eroski website, I find it helps me plan my own etapas easily. I like walking 23 km a day, so my etapas won't help you much.

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/mobile/los-caminos-de-santiago/[/QUOTasl
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.
Hi
I walked the Norte last summer in August and September. I walked alone most days. You would always find people in the albergues. I never once did not have a bed for the night, but I usually got to my destination by early afternoon. It is lovely because it isn't crowded (till you get to Arzua). It is hot, but I like the heat. Make sure you put on sunscreen in the morning, keep your shoulders covered and make sure you have enough water. It was my first camino anfd I walked about 25k a day. I had 2 days off.
Burn camino. You'll love it
Lucy
Lucy
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
I'll be walking again from Llanes to Luarca at the start of April. I'm going to get a bus between Gijon to Aviles, it will be a first but from reading the descriptions of that stage I don't mind.

Thanks all the continued input on this site and Happy New Year.

Roll on April
There is quick and cheaper train from gijon to aviles.
 

NolaVulling

Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances-2011&2012, Portuguese- 2013,from the Netherlands -2014, Del Norte-2017
Hi
I walked the Norte last summer in August and September. I walked alone most days. You would always find people in the albergues. I never once did not have a bed for the night, but I usually got to my destination by early afternoon. It is lovely because it isn't crowded (till you get to Arzua). It is hot, but I like the heat. Make sure you put on sunscreen in the morning, keep your shoulders covered and make sure you have enough water. It was my first camino anfd I walked about 25k a day. I had 2 days off.
Burn camino. You'll love it
Lucy
Lucy
Hi Lucy
Did you get your credenciale before you arrived in Spain or is it available in Irun or Hendaye? I am also hoping to walk in July 2017.
 
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Lucy Keenan

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Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Hi
I got my credential before I left from the csj http://www.csj.org.uk/how-to-get-a-pilgrim-record-pilgrim-passport-credencial/ who were great (I am for London)
I think you can get it in Irun though. Another thing I found that was amazing (if you are using technology) was the "Buen Camino" app.
Best wishes
Lucy

The albergue in Irun does indeed issue the credential ie. expide la credencial.
See more here--
http://www.gronze.com/pais-vasco/guipuzcoa/irun/albergue-peregrinos-irun
 
Last edited:

freespirit

Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances - Lourdes v SJPDP - Santiago (June/July 2010) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (July/August 2015) Camino Frances - SJPDP - Santiago (June/July/August 2017)
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.

Hi fellow pilgrims out there, am having second thoughts about doing the Frances again for the third time this year in June, and would like
to try the Norte can any one tell me please how to get to the start in Irun from the airport in Biarriz ,also is there any good map books I can purchase,
Thanks to all
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Hi fellow pilgrims out there, am having second thoughts about doing the Frances again for the third time this year in June, and would like
to try the Norte can any one tell me please how to get to the start in Irun from the airport in Biarriz ,also is there any good map books I can purchase,
Thanks to all
Editorial Buen Camino in Spanish, Ciceron in English and Roher in German, all good guidebooks.
 
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Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I will start walking from Irun on the 5th of July. Any experience about the crowds last summer? The things I have read here range from 'very crowdy, hard to get a bed' to 'I walked alone and always found a bed'. And what about people other than pilgrims booking the albergues in the summer months? Is that common? By the way: I decided to start on a Wednesday. I hope that helps avoiding the crowds a bit.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I will start walking from Irun on the 5th of July. Any experience about the crowds last summer? The things I have read here range from 'very crowdy, hard to get a bed' to 'I walked alone and always found a bed'. And what about people other than pilgrims booking the albergues in the summer months? Is that common? By the way: I decided to start on a Wednesday. I hope that helps avoiding the crowds a bit.
The thing is that a number of the albergues along the Norte are not for pilgrims only, but juveniles. La sirena in San Sebastian, the albegue in Guernika and the one by the train station in Llanes come to mind. But you can make reservations in those.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
I will start walking from Irun on the 5th of July. Any experience about the crowds last summer? The things I have read here range from 'very crowdy, hard to get a bed' to 'I walked alone and always found a bed'. And what about people other than pilgrims booking the albergues in the summer months? Is that common? By the way: I decided to start on a Wednesday. I hope that helps avoiding the crowds a bit.

I would suggest that you check on gronze, which lists the albergues and other accommodation. The albergues links then show if they are for peregrinos, for others but take peregrinos etc. They do not specify which other groups but it is a guide and sometimes you might want to walk to the next village rather then the 'stages' given.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Thanks ladies! The gronze site is useful. I assume albergues without a booking link are for pilgrims only. I hope I don't need reservations, but will find out rather quickly when I start walking.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Thanks ladies! The gronze site is useful. I assume albergues without a booking link are for pilgrims only. I hope I don't need reservations, but will find out rather quickly when I start walking.
Note that in La Isla (stage 18 on Gronze) that the albergue next to the Hotel Bahia is not the pilgrim albergue, that is a private youth hostel. The pilgrim albergue is signed further on past the beach. We saw a number of pilgrims waiting for the 'wrong' albergue to open over our 3 days at La Isla in the hotel.
Buen Camino @Luka.
 
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Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
hi guys, anyone nice enough to answer a few queries as I troll through the many posts to find out more.

I did the de France route in 2015, and walked from Lisbon to finesterre this July .

We actually loved the Portuguese way, whilst we met only a few pilgrims between Lisbon and Porto, we became great friends with those we met. After Porto it became very busy like the de France.

I'm wondering if we walk out from Irun this July 1st....we have all July and most of August off work....

How long would it take assuming 20-25km days to do the deal Norte and cut down through the primitive to Santiago? We are in good shape and hike a lot. On the de France I would walk 30 -35 a day. I like walking. Does anyone think it's a bad idea to cut onto the primitivo? Would I be missing much of the remaining del Norte?

I'm wondering if we'll meet other pilgrims, we love making friends and my walking friend frequently walks slower than me, so I'm wondering if I'll be alone all the time, or if we'll meet other pilgrims? Making pilgrim friends is important for me so I'd not like the idea of meeting no other pilgrims. Can anyone give me an idea of pilgrim traffic at that time of year please?

In July and August am I still okay carrying a liner or is it noticeably cooler up north?
I'm from Ireland so I'm hoping for good weather still, we get enough rain clouds and damp to do us a lifetime. Whilst I know it's not going to be like the meseta, will it still be warm and sunny mostly in July and August?

Thanks to anyone for answering my queries.
I will start walking from Irun on the 5th of July. Any experience about the crowds last summer? The things I have read here range from 'very crowdy, hard to get a bed' to 'I walked alone and always found a bed'. And what about people other than pilgrims booking the albergues in the summer months? Is that common? By the way: I decided to start on a Wednesday. I hope that helps avoiding the crowds a bit.


I walked alone last August. I was on my own most days until joining the Frances route. I got a bed every night. I made sure I got to the albergues early afternoon. It was great. Really recommend it.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
One way to avoid the industrial part into Aviles and not add much on to your Camino would be to turn south towards Oviedo after Villaviciosa. You then have an easy two day walk into Oviedo (or if you can get to the albergue at Valdedios, you would then only have about 34 km to Oviedo for the next day). That gives you the marvelous bonus of seeing that most beautiful city with its pre-romanesque gems, and then walk one day from Oviedo to Aviles. The entrance to Aviles from the south, which I have walked, is not at all industrial. That means missing out on Gijon, but it also means missing out on all the industrial outskirts.

When I walked from Oviedo to Aviles (2007), the marking was terrible, and in fact we wound up on the side of a very busy road. But I have been assured that it is now perfectly well marked, and I may in fact be back there this summer! Buen camino, Laurie

I did this and it was amazing. Really recommend staying in Valededios as well.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I did this and it was amazing. Really recommend staying in Valededios as well.

Hi, Lucy,
I think I'll probably stay in Valdediós this year -- were you in the albergue or the private accommodation the monastery runs?

And one other question -- did you walk back to the Norte from Valdediós or did you continue down to Primitivo in Oviedo? I am having trouble finding information on how to re-connect with the Norte from Valdediós, but I suppose it is do-able. Thanks much, buen camino, Laurie
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
I walked alone last August. I was on my own most days until joining the Frances route. I got a bed every night. I made sure I got to the albergues early afternoon. It was great. Really recommend it.
Really? On the Camino del Norte? That sounds incredible. I thought August was the month with the biggest crowds. That would be good news! Yesterday I checked some of the accomodations that take reservations and was a bit worried about the high level of bookings already on Booking.com (in July).
 
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Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
Hi, Lucy,
I think I'll probably stay in Valdediós this year -- were you in the albergue or the private accommodation the monastery runs?

And one other question -- did you walk back to the Norte from Valdediós or did you continue down to Primitivo in Oviedo? I am having trouble finding information on how to re-connect with the Norte from Valdediós, but I suppose it is do-able. Thanks much, buen camino, Laurie

I stayed in monastery accommodation. I was the only pilgrim there. I then walked to Oviedo as I preference this rather than Gijon.
 

Lucy Keenan

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2016 Northern Route, 2017 Santiago to Muxia and Fisterra. 2018 Frances, 2018 Ingles, 2019 Portugues
Really? On the Camino del Norte? That sounds incredible. I thought August was the month with the biggest crowds. That would be good news! Yesterday I checked some of the accomodations that take reservations and was a bit worried about the high level of bookings already on Booking.com (in July).

I did book accommodation in Arzua as everyone said how busy it was when you joined the Frances route but I need not have bothered. Not sure what guide book you are using but there are lots of hostels between the "usual" stops. If you book then you are less free to make your mind up as you go along.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
@Luka don't be mislead by book.com. The various accommodation providers only release some of their rooms to the booking chains. It is much better to telephone direct - apart from getting accurate information you often get a better rate - they get around the "guaranteed cheapest rate" on the booking sites by giving you a "different" (often better) grade of room. Also it saves the accommodation provider from paying the booking site fees, for which they will be grateful.

And another tip - if you do use a booking site (sometimes it is easier) then don't elect to have breakfast included - many of the hotels chose to pilgrims a special by including breakfast free, but they can't do that if you have already booked it.
 

Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
@Lucy Keenan and @Kanga thanks again! I would prefer not to book ahead at all, so this would be great news!
Another question: do you know if I can get a credencial at the albergue in Irun?
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
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Luka

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
Thanks for all the quick answers, wonderful Camino friends!
 

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