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Rdunn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2021)
I am hoping to hike the Camino del Norte in August of 2021. While I want a quieter/calmer trip than the CF, does the northern way have enough of a pilgrim community that new friends and the community itself is a draw? All the stuff I’ve read mostly emphasize it’s better for solitude. While that’s attractive I definitely don’t want complete solitude. Thanks!
 

Suzanne S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Camino Frances/Muxia/Fisterre (2017) Caminho Portuguese/Fisterre
(2019) Camino del Norte
Hi @Rdunn! I walked the del Norte
in September 2019 and made some great and enduring friendships. It wasn't a crowd by any stretch, and I walked alone sometimes, but there were about 15 to 20 of us in that cohort. It was nice, for me, as an introvert, not lonely and not at all overwhelming.
 

Rdunn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2021)
Hi @Rdunn! I walked the del Norte
in September 2019 and made some great and enduring friendships. It wasn't a crowd by any stretch, and I walked alone sometimes, but there were about 15 to 20 of us in that cohort. It was nice, for me, as an introvert, not lonely and not at all overwhelming.
Thank you Suzanne. That happy medium is exactly what I hope for.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I walked the Norte from Irun to Vilalba in July 2018, and from Avilés to Santiago last June. There were definitely enough pilgrims to form a community. Be aware though, that August is high season for the tourist destinations that are along Spain's northern coast. This can create more of a bed race than on the Camino Francés, because the pilgrim infrastructure is not as robust, leaving many pilgrims competing with vacationers for beds.
 

Rdunn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2021)
I walked the Norte from Irun to Vilalba in July 2018, and from Avilés to Santiago last June. There were definitely enough pilgrims to form a community. Be aware though, that August is high season for the tourist destinations that are along Spain's northern coast. This can create more of a bed race than on the Camino Francés, because the pilgrim infrastructure is not as robust, leaving many pilgrims competing with vacationers for beds.
That’s helpful insight... Do you think the bed race would be a point of major stress or just a “part of the journey” kind of thing. And would it be worth bringing a down quilt and sleeping pad? I wouldn’t have room for a tent because of other travels. All my hiking experience is in the backcountry so I don’t totally know what to make of looking for a bed.
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(13)
Portuguese & Finisterre(16)
Norte & Muxia(18)
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20??)
Congrats on your decision to walk the Norte. I did it from Irun to Muxia in Sept 3 - Oct 2018. If you want social you will still get it on the norte but will also get plenty of time to do your own trek. I'm somewhat of an introvert and enjoy the nature and historical side of things so it suited me well. The first two weeks were pretty busy and the hostals and albergues were quite full up with Camino trekkers, surfers and assorted other categories of tourists. I found a fair number were only out there for a two week stint as that's all the time they had so were doing it in yearly segments. Others dropped off due to injury or found it just more than they were ready for. After that period of time the numbers thinned out to where getting a bed wasn't too big a deal unless I was staying in a popular tourist town, so plan ahead sometimes. I did a lot of the off road alternatives that are well documented in the forum. They are just spectacular and while adding to your total km are well worth it to get off the road-walk sections. Keep in mind that I think next year is a holy year so I'm guessing that may add to the numbers on all paths considerably. It's generally a more expensive camino depending on how you travel and if you have to book hotels if albergues are full. The food choices are amazing and varied between the various regions, eat like a local. Of course all great things come to an end and you will be connecting with the Frances route to finish and after doing a whole norte it is a bit over whelming but it's only a short segment. Best of luck!
 

Bob from L.A. !

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis 2012, 2014, 2016. Camino Norte 2018. Many more to come in my future God willing !
I walked it starting in Biaritz in July 2018 and on some stretches did not see another pilgrim for days on end.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
That’s helpful insight... Do you think the bed race would be a point of major stress or just a “part of the journey” kind of thing. And would it be worth bringing a down quilt and sleeping pad? I wouldn’t have room for a tent because of other travels. All my hiking experience is in the backcountry so I don’t totally know what to make of looking for a bed.
I bring a silk sleep sack and a tiny very lightweight down blanket on all of my Caminos. I don't think that a sleeping pad is necessary, although there were a few nights that some pilgrims who were the last to arrive did have to sleep on the floor in the albergue. It shouldn't be a problem if you plan ahead enough and keep aware of the availability of beds while you are walking. If you can afford a private room now and then it helps.
 

Zordmot

First timer Spring 2019
Camino(s) past & future
April-May 2019
I walked the CF in September 2019 and feel that I had the best of all worlds in terms of the social aspects of the Camino. I walked between Bilbao and Santander on the CN in October and it was quite different. Only once while walking did I encounter another pilgrim. I was the only pilgrim in several albergues. In one albergue there were other pilgrims but there was not a sense of comeraderie or shared purpose. There were few restaurants or establishments that cater to pilgrims. Lots of walking ON the road and signage was spotty.
 

Mera

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Oh I believe you will love it. I too plan on walking from 09/03. Please do post your progresses. I stayed in so many wonderful places including one alberge in Muntibar where I was the only guest. I blocked the door with chairs😱
 

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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the CF in September 2019 and feel that I had the best of all worlds in terms of the social aspects of the Camino. I walked between Bilbao and Santander on the CN in October and it was quite different. Only once while walking did I encounter another pilgrim. I was the only pilgrim in several albergues. In one albergue there were other pilgrims but there was not a sense of comeraderie or shared purpose. There were few restaurants or establishments that cater to pilgrims. Lots of walking ON the road and signage was spotty.
I hear ya, and experiencedmuch the same. However, walking with my son I did not mind us walking alone. Once we turned onto the Primitivo things changed a lot.
My plan is to finish the Norte for my next Camino as the outbreak of covid cancelled those plans for this past spring.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Oh I believe you will love it. I too plan on walking from 09/03. Please do post your progresses. I stayed in so many wonderful places including one alberge in Muntibar where I was the only guest. I blocked the door with chairs😱
Where is the hotel from your first picture? It looks lovely.
 

Mera

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
Husband and wife owns it. The lady owner prepared the full breakfast buffet 30 minutes earlier than usual just so I didn't have to start walking in an empty stomach. I was so touched. Here is their website. https://hotelarbe.com/en/ You can also google Hotel Arbe Spain. I look forward to staying there again. I have a few special places like that on the Camino del Norte. ¡Buena suerte!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Husband and wife owns it. The lady owner prepared the full breakfast buffet 30 minutes earlier than usual just so I didn't have to start walking in an empty stomach. I was so touched. Here is their website. https://hotelarbe.com/en/ You can also google Hotel Arbe Spain. I look forward to staying there again. I have a few special places like that on the Camino del Norte. ¡Buena suerte!
It looks like it's somewhere past Deba? How far from Deba?
 

Mera

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
My note says I found this hotel after passing Deba and on my way to Markina. It is a bit out the way but if you call the hotel, someone will pick you up and drop you off at the same spot the next morning.
Hotel Arbe
Laranga Auzoa, 20830 Mutriku Spain

By the way, the night before, I stayed at a pension called Iriba in Guetaria. This pension was like my grandmother's tidy home: very clean, lovely, and had a wonderful restaurant downstairs. Here is the dish I had that night.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Planning to walk the Camino del Norte from Castro Urdiales (2019)
I walked the Norte in September last year and loved every step of the way. There were times of solitude but many shared moments with friends I made along the route. Still in touch with some of them. I am sure you will have a wonderful experience
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
I am hoping to hike the Camino del Norte in August of 2021. While I want a quieter/calmer trip than the CF, does the northern way have enough of a pilgrim community that new friends and the community itself is a draw? All the stuff I’ve read mostly emphasize it’s better for solitude. While that’s attractive I definitely don’t want complete solitude. Thanks!
Camino del Norte is not as crowded as the Frances and much prettier. However, August is the worst month for any of the Caminos especially 2021 which is a Holy Year unless the Pope postpones it to 2022 ,which I hope he will do. The Norte is also much prettier and challenging than the Frances which I found boring and too crowded and that was at the beginning of October. I think that Sept-Oct are the best months for the Camino and any other travel.
 

Rdunn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2021)
Camino del Norte is not as crowded as the Frances and much prettier. However, August is the worst month for any of the Caminos especially 2021 which is a Holy Year unless the Pope postpones it to 2022 ,which I hope he will do. The Norte is also much prettier and challenging than the Frances which I found boring and too crowded and that was at the beginning of October. I think that Sept-Oct are the best months for the Camino and any other travel.
My trip to the Camino is on the end of a pastoral sabbatical and it is between going in late July-August or not going at all. I definitely wish I could go in the fall but that can’t happen. I hope an August Camino is better than no Camino... is that the case? I didn’t know that postponing the holy year would even be a possibility. That would be fantastic.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
My trip to the Camino is on the end of a pastoral sabbatical and it is between going in late July-August or not going at all. I definitely wish I could go in the fall but that can’t happen. I hope an August Camino is better than no Camino... is that the case? I didn’t know that postponing the holy year would even be a possibility. That would be fantastic.
There's a good chance the people from the US won't be able to travel to Spain this summer. 😢

 

Mera

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
I walked CF from 08/12/2018 to 09/15/2018. It's doable but one needs a serious sun protection measure. My savior was an ultra light hiking umbrella that protected me from sun and rain both. I used a German brand, but here are some you can see.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I walked CF from 08/12/2018 to 09/15/2018. It's doable but one needs a serious sun protection measure. My savior was an ultra light hiking umbrella that protected me from sun and rain both. I used a German brand, but here are some you can see.
I've done both the Francés and the Norte during the summer. I used my umbrella a lot on the Francés, but not so much on the Norte, where it was cooler and there was a lot more shade.
 

Mera

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino France, Camino del Norte, Camino de Madrid
Camino Porto, Camino Primitivo
True, I didn't need it as much on the Norte, but on the costal Portuguese and CF, especially during the meseta section, it was great. It was like bringing my own private portable shade.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
True, I didn't need it as much on the Norte, but on the costal Portuguese and CF, especially during the meseta section, it was great. It was like bringing my own private portable shade.
Yes, invaluable on the Meseta. I could have sold dozens of them!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
That's my fear although I am in Guatemala I go through the US to get to Spain usually
I think that travel from South and Central American countries may also be banned for some time.
 


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