Hi! I'm embarking on el Camino del Norte next week - I'm starting in Bilbao. Is it possible to buy a guide (in English, French or Spanish) in Bilbao with description of the various places I'll see/visit along the Northern Way? Thanks
In the Santander albergue and most likely in others+ book stores there was a guide for Camino del Norte. The guy who had put the book together was keeping albergue in San Vicente de la Barquera with his family.
It was in Spanish, English, French if I remember and German. German language was very weird, most likely translated by PC programm or by somebody with very bad knowledge of the language. English was better and Spanish of course should be very good. Good point about the guide was that it showed the pictures of albergues (so you know, what you are looking for) , some sightseeing objects and a route also to the Liebana monastery (they were so fascinated with the Liebana holy year in April there). It also showed different ways from Oviedo - the Original route + coastal route. It costs 15-18 EUR. Better that nothing anyway.
I also got some materials from tourist info, in Spanish only + had search the mundicamino.com for route.
Near Cobreces and Comillas there were quite a lot of road building going on, so in some cases I had to use only logic to turn to the right way as there was no marking. The weirdest sign was a taped arrow on trash bin. I took it as a sign and bingo!
I would say that when in comes to nature then I liked Camino del Norte more that Camino Frances, although got terrible, terrible rain for several days.
I just completed the camino norte, and didn't find a problem with construction in corbeces or comillas. The trail is VERY WELL MARKED.
the north is certainly VERY DIFFERENT than the camino frances. Fewer people, more asphalt walking, not as historical, beautiful by the seaside. i am compiling a list of albergues that are no longer or times that they are open.
Speaking spanish helps, it certainly has been life changing for me.(i walked camino frances last year)
Wanting a coffee at 6 or 7 am!!! NOT likely on the north. In the albergues between 3-10 people, sometimes i was alone. There is no race to GET A BED. BOTH ARE BEAUTIFUL in their own way!!!
Next year........... ideas?????