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Has anyone walked Somo to Santander?

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi all,

A number of years ago, the inland approach between Somo and Santander still showed up on some maps of the Norte. At one point, I intended to scout it out. At that point, there was still a scallop shell pointing out a left turn off of the highway leading into Somo. I followed it for a bit before the waymarks evaporated entirely. There is--or at least was--an albergue in Astillero, on the southern point of that loop. It's still listed in Wise Pilgrim, though it has dropped off of a number of other albergue lists.

Just wondering if anyone has done it! (And if so, what's it like?) It has always struck me as a curious choice, unless one were absolutely opposed to employing anything other than foot-power in their pilgrimage. It seems like maybe it draws some cyclists?

Dave
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
when I was on the norte in 2016 and stayed in guemes, one pilgrim wanted to do the inland route. we asked the hospitalero and he said that the albergue in astillero was closed permanently. perhaps things have changed since then, but with the popularity of the coastal path I rather doubt it.

maybe when the norte was established years ago, there was not yet the boat across to santander and rounding the ria was the only option?
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
maybe when the norte was established years ago, there was not yet the boat across to santander and rounding the ria was the only option?
Yeah, that's my guess as well. Unlike the inland route from Laredo, which remains necessary given the seasonal nature of the ferry to Santoña, the Somo boat is year-round and the coastal walk leading to it is a pleasure.

Google Streetview is available outside the Astillero albergue in 2009 and 2013. It exists in both frames. There's a map of the Norte outside of it. If I travel a bit further down the road, I can see a large yellow arrow on the wall. However, there's a 2018 streetview available for that intersection, and by that point the yellow arrow has been all but obliterated.

That said, what prompted this post today is that I just got an email from a hotel in Maliaño, noting that it was on the pilgrimage route, asking for inclusion in the guide. So, some people still seem to be following it. Or maybe they're just hoping to rekindle some traffic!
 

lovingkindness

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
.
Hello @Dave
I followed an alternative route from Güemes via the albergue in Astillero to Puente Arce, Polanco, Cobreces, San Vincente de la Barquera before turning inland to Los Picos, back in 2011...

I wrote about it here: (scroll down to Days 343 to 348)

Is this the route you're talking about? I Don't recall Somo. I had a lovely time, though at the albergue Astillero. So sorry to hear that it is closed.

Albergue Astillero with it's carving of Santiago sailing across the seas; _DSC6210.JPG_DSC6212.JPG
 
Last edited:

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Wow, that was quite the thread, LK! I had always thought the route would double back into Santander, so it's interesting to read your expectation that it would bypass the city and go onto Arce. Having poked around a bit more, it looks like the "official" alternative splits from the highway between Galizano and Somo and then passes through Solares, Villaverde de Pontones, Solares, Astillero, Alto de la Venta de la Morcilla, and eventually Arce. Lots of minor highways. Seemingly pavement throughout, though maybe there's a short bit of dirt road in there. There's also, though, a Senda Litoral that runs all the way around the river mouth from Somo to Santander which seems like it could be pretty nice! I think I'd still go with the ferry, though...
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
what a beautiful albergue it was. shame that it had to close.

That said, what prompted this post today is that I just got an email from a hotel in Maliaño, noting that it was on the pilgrimage route, asking for inclusion in the guide. So, some people still seem to be following it. Or maybe they're just hoping to rekindle some traffic!
perhaps the route is more popular with cyclists who wish to avoid the boat and santander?
 

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