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From Santander to as far as we can get!

johnp

New Member
Hi
We're heading off for about 6 days of the Camino del Norte. It's our first venture on any of the Caminos.

We're starting in Santander and plan on walking as far as we can in 6 days. To be honest we don't really know where we'll end up :D
We would be getting a bus back to Santander when done. How easy is this to do? Are there regular buses (couple of times a day) that go through the small towns?
Or do we have to make it to one of the larger towns?

EDIT: Oh, and am I right in saying that the Albergue in Santander is at Ruamayor 9? Can we get our credentials from there? And they'll point us in the right direction? We have a guide book (http://www.csj.org.uk/acatalog/The_CSJ_ ... 3.html#cdn) and a Michelin map, but would they (or someone else) be able to give us more appropriate maps? Or are they needed?

Cheers
John
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Welcome John,
You don't say how fit you are or what distance you hope to cover! Oviedo is 215 k or so from Santander. An easier distance may be Ribadesella 125 k or La Isla 153 k. Until you get to Ribadesella there is the FEVE railway running along the coast with stops in most of the small towns and goes through to Oviedo; see http://www4.feve.es/horarios/. If you are going now the local buses may be on 'winter' schedules. The tourist office in Santander should have timetables.
I walked the Norte to Oviedo at the end of April this year and have some personal notes and updates for the guide. If you want to know more send me a P.M.
Buen Camino
Tio Tel
 

madrid12

member
Hi John
We have just returned from a week in Santander and there are some really nice places along the Camino del Norte, although we were not walking travelling to and from Santander is very easy, the airport bus runs every 1/2 hour to the bus station and the Feve and Renfe stations are just over the road, La Cantabrica buses and Alsa buses serve most villages regularly [ I usually get timetables at the bus station info desk] and the Feve is good if you get into Asturias. Santillana, Comillas and San Vicente are all worth staying in, and further along Llanes and Ribadesella [ both on the Feve]. The turismo are very helpful in Santander but we saw lots of waymarks, especially around the Catedral and main streets. I am not sure about the alburgue though. Oh ... and the food and wine were very good.
Enjoy, Liz
 

Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
We have just returned from Santander too! We were amazed bu the good value of the Feve trains - two of us from Bilbao to Santander for 15 euros. It did call at every tiny station and took 3 hours.

We stayed at the refuge on Sunday night. You go to the Bar (called something like Beruca) in the Ruamayor and they take take you to the refuge. They were friendly and didn't mind us turning up at 10.30 pm, but quite firm! I don't know if they have credentials, but they do have stacks of good looking guides for the Cantabrian section of the Del Norte for sale.

I would recommend you get something a bit more user friendly than the Eric Walker's guide, in whatever language you can find! And a good map, if you like to know about the contours and place yourself in the surrounding area rather than just follow instructions blindly. We were on bikes, and had the Michelin 1:150,000 which was not good enough.There is a book shop in Santander called something like Estudia opposite the cathedral. (They may still be celebrating the enormous purchase of children's books we made - why did we ever stand the tradition of buying the grandchildren books in the language of wherever we have been? ) It had plenty of 1:25,000 maps, but no 1:50,000 that we could find. It did have other maps which may be useful.

We found the Norte quite hard going for bikes with lots of embarrassing walking up hills. We are thinking about continuing on foot (it will be from Gernika which was where we had got to when my legs said No More!) because that the route goes across hills and valleys and through villages while the roads go up and down very different routes, and we missed out on lovely sounding villages because we were worried about making it to the next refuge.

Have a great time!

Bridget
 

NaKwendaSafari

Active Member
I don't know if they have credentials, but they do have stacks of good looking guides for the Cantabrian section of the Del Norte for sale

Yes, we received our credential from the wonderful hospitalero and he put the first stamp for us. We paid a Euro for one then. There are many guides available, some beautifully illustrated but most are in Spanish.

Have a good camino, Santander refugio is a good place to start. The yellow arrow markers starts from the doorstep so one should not get lost.

Joe
 

mdefrayne

Member
Howdy,

If I could make one small suggestion. Start walking from Santillana del Mar instead of Santander. You will skip a lot of miserable road walking. I say this because of the timeframe.

Suerte,
Mark
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Terry says he would second this, certainly at least as far as Mogro. This would avoid the long road walk and also crossing the river by the rail bridge (hazardous), or having to walk an extra 12km to go round literally to the other side of the river bank.
Buen Camino
Tio Tel and Tia Valeria
 

johnp

New Member
mdefrayne said:
Howdy,

If I could make one small suggestion. Start walking from Santillana del Mar instead of Santander. You will skip a lot of miserable road walking. I say this because of the timeframe.

Suerte,
Mark


Tia Valeria said:
Terry says he would second this, certainly at least as far as Mogro. This would avoid the long road walk and also crossing the river by the rail bridge (hazardous), or having to walk an extra 12km to go round literally to the other side of the river bank.
Buen Camino
Tio Tel and Tia Valeria

Yeah, Terry did mention this to me. I think we'll take the FEVE out to Mogro.

Thanks folks!
 
Probably not relevant to the OP, but for anyone else thinking about starting from Santander...

There is an alternative to the long walk around the bay to cross the river; a very pleasant ferry ride. Nice way to start your camino and it cuts out a lot of suburban walking. Embarcation from the promenade just a 5 minute walk from the very nice and helpful Ruamayor albergue (there are others).

I ended up spending 2 months in Santander due to foot injuries. Got to know the place quite well!
 

TerryB

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Surely if you go from Santander across the bay you are heading east??? :roll: As I remember, the foot ferry goes across to Somo - doing the Camino 'contramano'!

blessings
Tio Tel
 

johnp

New Member
Well, we're just back and had a fantastic time.

We started in Santander and got the Feve out to Mogro (as suggested!). We met a hosteleria (sp?) as soon as we got off the train, and he pointed us in the right direction. Actually, he told us not to follow the Camino signs, and told us to keep walking straight on. So we were on some small back roads until we got to Requejada, then it was main-ish roads to Santillana del Mar where we stayed the night.
From there to Comillas, which was my favourite part of the Camino.
From there to Colombres. We got our Pilgrim Passports along the way in San Vincente. We didn't actually stay in Colombres, but in a hostel just passed the town. If you are interested, it was about 1km passed the town on the Camino route. As you walk out of the town you walk down a hill through some fields and get to a main road. The hostel is a yellow building across the road.
From there we went to Llanes. For various reasons this was our final destination.

It was a short enough Camino for us, but definately gave us a taster, and we'll be back for more!

Thanks for all the tips and hints!
 

madrid12

member
Hi
Glad to hear you had a good camino, if you do decide to go back and carry on, Easyjet fly to Asturias from Stansted and there is an airport bus to Oviedo[40km away] and you can pick the Feve up to Llanes.
Liz
 

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