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List of coastal alternatives

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I am in the process of deciding between the Norte and the Chemin d'Arles for next year. One of the main sticking points for me is that the Norte has so much asphalt. When I first walked it in the mid 2000s, I had severe heel pain and subsequent problems. SO.... I'm trying to get a sense of all of the possible coastal alternatives that exist, to see about cutting down on the asphalt.

Here are two I have so far:

From Santander, coastal route to Boo.

From Getaria, GR 121 to Deba

Can any of the veterans add more? I will update as I search the forum, but I thought many of you would know the answers (yes, I'm being lazy today). Buen camino and thanks. Laurie
 

SYates

Camino Fossil AD 1999
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 1999
...
Last: Camino Inglés 2018

Now: http://egeria.house/
My experiences on the Arles route are from many years back, so take the following with a big grain of salt:

I don't remember any major road/tarmac walking, the annoying bit was for me that occasionally the sign posting send you around 3 sides of a square (ownership of the meadow issue?) but that was it. History and landscapes were simply superb. So perhaps worth another look? I am pretty sure you would enjoy it.

Buen Camino/Bon Chemin, SY
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
My experiences on the Arles route are from many years back, so take the following with a big grain of salt:

I don't remember any major road/tarmac walking, the annoying bit was for me that occasionally the sign posting send you around 3 sides of a square (ownership of the meadow issue?) but that was it. History and landscapes were simply superb. So perhaps worth another look? I am pretty sure you would enjoy it.

Buen Camino/Bon Chemin, SY
Thanks, SYates, I know that one of the main advantages (for me anyway) of the Arles route is the lack of asphalt. But my gut pulls me to Spain. So I´m trying to see if I can find a way to reduce the asphalt on the Norte by using as many coastal path alternatives as are available. But I may be back to pick your brain for more Arles info! Thanks and buen camino, Laurie
 

Donovan

Active Member
Laurie,
We arrived in Bilbao this morning, having started from Irun. Asphalt walking has been minimal. The way is excellently marked and we get the impression that some of the paths through the forests are quite new. We took the inland route from Getaria to Deba - mainly rural paths with some beautiful sea views.
We are not sure what's to come, but so far are well pleased with how little asphalt we've seen
Donovan
 

Donovan

Active Member
I'm trying to get a sense of all of the possible coastal alternatives that exist, to see about cutting down on the asphalt.

Laurie, a few findings from our recent camino - you have probably got all these on your list by now.

Zarautz to Getaria: a paved 4-5 km pedestrian walkway along the water’s edge. Nice.

Galizano to Somo: lovely walking on a pathway along the clifftop, and the final few kms along the beach to the Somo ferry are a great place for a barefoot walk in the sea. Longer than the road route but well worth it.

La Franca to Pendueles; another beautiful, well-marked clifftop walk. We stayed at the outstanding albergue Renacer in La Franca and the hospitallera gave us instructions on how to find the path. The arrows to get you onto the clifftop path have been tampered with, but it’s fairly obvious when you are there.

Poo to Celorio; more clifftop. Short but attractive.

Soto de Luiña to Llanes; The new Ruta de la Costa is enthusiastically promoted by the hospitallero at Soto. Not much sight of the coast, but a glorious forest walk with plenty of ups and downs and stream crossings. Off bitumen almost all the way to Llanes. A detour to the Playa de Silencio is worthwhile.

La Caridad to Ribadeo: can follow the Gr-9. We just followed the arrows but saw many signs for the GR-9 which I believe follows the water’s edge.

We felt the worst stretch for paved walking was the 200 km from Bilbao to Colombres.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Laurie, a few findings from our recent camino - you have probably got all these on your list by now.

Zarautz to Getaria: a paved 4-5 km pedestrian walkway along the water’s edge. Nice.

Galizano to Somo: lovely walking on a pathway along the clifftop, and the final few kms along the beach to the Somo ferry are a great place for a barefoot walk in the sea. Longer than the road route but well worth it.

La Franca to Pendueles; another beautiful, well-marked clifftop walk. We stayed at the outstanding albergue Renacer in La Franca and the hospitallera gave us instructions on how to find the path. The arrows to get you onto the clifftop path have been tampered with, but it’s fairly obvious when you are there.

Poo to Celorio; more clifftop. Short but attractive.

Soto de Luiña to Llanes; The new Ruta de la Costa is enthusiastically promoted by the hospitallero at Soto. Not much sight of the coast, but a glorious forest walk with plenty of ups and downs and stream crossings. Off bitumen almost all the way to Llanes. A detour to the Playa de Silencio is worthwhile.

La Caridad to Ribadeo: can follow the Gr-9. We just followed the arrows but saw many signs for the GR-9 which I believe follows the water’s edge.

We felt the worst stretch for paved walking was the 200 km from Bilbao to Colombres.
Donavan, this is extremely helpful, thank you so much. I am going to walk the Norte this year and I look forward to all these coastal alternatives. I know that I have some serious asphalt in my future, but I hope muy feet will tolerate it. Thanks again, Buen camino, Laurie
 

angulero

Active Member
Aunque sólo son cinco kilómetros, puedes hacer la senda costera que va de San Estebán de Pravia a la playa de Aguilar.

Además de la alternativa de la que te han hablado entre Soto de Luiña y Cadavedo, también puedes intentar hacer el antiguo camino que iba por Vegadeo. Ya se habló alguna vez que el Puente de los Santos que separa Asturias y Galicia tiene unos treinta años, por lo que antes el camino se metía hacia el interior a la altura de Tol, y cruzaba el río Eo por el puente de Santiago de Abres. Tendrías que preguntar por la señalización, aunque creo que está señalizado.

Although only five kilometers away, you can do the coastal path that runs from San Esteban de Pravia to Aguilar beach.

Besides the alternative of which you have spoken between Soto de Luiña and Cadavedo, you can also try to make the old road that was going through Vegadeo. It has already been said that the Puente de los Santos, which separates Asturias and Galicia, is about thirty years old, so that the road was once inland at Tol, and crossed the river Eo by the bridge of Santiago de Abres. You should ask for the signage, although I think it is signposted.


http://asturgalaicadelcamino.com.es/colaboraciones/item/60-camino-de-santiago-el-camino-historico-por-la-costa-i.html
http://asturgalaicadelcamino.com.es/colaboraciones/item/56-camino-de-santiago-el-camino-historico-por-la-costa-y-ii.html
http://asturgalaicadelcamino.com.es/colaboraciones/item/55-camino-de-santiago-explorando-tol-vegadeo.html


http://xurdemoran.blogspot.com.es/2016/08/camino-antiguo-hacia-veigavegadeo-y.html
http://xurdemoran.blogspot.com.es/2016/08/el-camino-antiguo-hacia-vegadeoa-veiga.html
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Soto de Luiña to Llanes; The new Ruta de la Costa is enthusiastically promoted by the hospitallero at Soto. Not much sight of the coast, but a glorious forest walk with plenty of ups and downs and stream crossings. Off bitumen almost all the way to Llanes. A detour to the Playa de Silencio is worthwhile.
Hi, Donovan,
I'm starting to look at all of these great suggestions more carefully. Do you mean Soto de Luina to Luarca? Llanes is abouyt 140 km to the east of Soto. Thanks, Laurie
 

Donovan

Active Member
Hi, Donovan,
I'm starting to look at all of these great suggestions more carefully. Do you mean Soto de Luina to Luarca? Llanes is abouyt 140 km to the east of Soto. Thanks, Laurie
Hi Laurie,
Whoops, sorry. It's the stretch from Soto de Luiña to Cadavedo. The hospitallero at Soto has been active in marking the route and has done a great job - Magwood commented accurately that he has marked just about anything that didn't move.

Wanting to stay near the ocean for as long as possible we went from La Caridad to Tapia which has a very picturesque little harbour. We followed yellow arrows so I think we were not on the GR-9, though we saw all those signs. Stayed at the new albergue in Figueras just before Ribadeo, which I recommend highly.
Donovan
 

angulero

Active Member
Por lo que he podido leer por otros foros, la ruta entre Soto de Luiña y Cadavedo por la sierra de Las Palancas, ha sido desbrozado y señalizado durante este año. Eso sí, recomiendan aprovisionarse bien de agua porque no encontrarás una fuente en toda la etapa. Pasa algo parecido a la etapa de Hospitales, en el Primitivo.

Puedes leerlo en los comentarios.

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/etapa-de-soto-de-luina-a-cadavedo

Y aquí,en la parte final habla de la limpieza hecha en el camino.

http://www.buscoenlaces.es/cosas_correos/Sotull_Palancas.html

From what I have read in other forums, the route between Soto de Luiña and Cadavedo through the Sierra de Las Palancas has been cleared and signposted this year. Of course, they recommend water supply because you will not find a source throughout the stage. Something similar happens to the stage of Hospitales, in the Primitivo.

You can read it in the comments.


Http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/etapa-de-soto-de-luina-a-cadavedo

And here, in the final part of the cleaning done on the way.


Http://www.buscoenlaces.es/cosas_correos/Sotull_Palancas.html
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
Laurie, a general reply with no specifics, but Ian and I did not find the asphalt on the Norte a problem.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo
Laurie, a general reply with no specifics, but Ian and I did not find the asphalt on the Norte a problem.
Nor did I. Also, I thought there was quite a lot of off-road walking. Jill
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Por lo que he podido leer por otros foros, la ruta entre Soto de Luiña y Cadavedo por la sierra de Las Palancas, ha sido desbrozado y señalizado durante este año. Eso sí, recomiendan aprovisionarse bien de agua porque no encontrarás una fuente en toda la etapa. Pasa algo parecido a la etapa de Hospitales, en el Primitivo.

Puedes leerlo en los comentarios.

http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/etapa-de-soto-de-luina-a-cadavedo

Y aquí,en la parte final habla de la limpieza hecha en el camino.

http://www.buscoenlaces.es/cosas_correos/Sotull_Palancas.html

From what I have read in other forums, the route between Soto de Luiña and Cadavedo through the Sierra de Las Palancas has been cleared and signposted this year. Of course, they recommend water supply because you will not find a source throughout the stage. Something similar happens to the stage of Hospitales, in the Primitivo.

You can read it in the comments.


Http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/etapa-de-soto-de-luina-a-cadavedo

And here, in the final part of the cleaning done on the way.


Http://www.buscoenlaces.es/cosas_correos/Sotull_Palancas.html
Angulero, I am confused. Are there three routes between Soto and Cadavedo?

In the Eroski site, one of the comments describes two routes, both of which seem to be an alternative to the "official" route -- (for those who don't speak Spanish, here's a translation:

1. The route we could call "coastal," thanks to Pepe the hospitalero in Soto, is very pleasant and goes through various towns. That means you will always have food available and possibilities to strike up a conversation. You will have company on this route.

2. The "Palancas" route has been improved with signage, and the overgrowth has been removed. It's a solitary walk.

Here's the original comment I saw on the Eroski site for the Soto to Cadavedo stage http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/etapa-de-soto-de-luina-a-cadavedo
  • -La que podríamos decir "costera", gracias a Pepe el hospitalero de Sotu, es muy agradable y pasa por varias poblaciones, por lo que tendréis siempre avituallamiento y posiblilidades de hablar con gente de la zona. Es un camino más de compañía. -La de Las Palancas ha mejorado mucho en señalización y eliminación de maleza en los tramos que impedían el paso. Es un camino solitario. ¡Elegid!
 

angulero

Active Member
No, hay dos. La que llama "costera" en ese comentario, es la que hace la mayoría de la gente. Es la que ahora se considera oficial.

La que llama "Palancas", es la que va por la Sierra de las Palancas. Esa era la ruta oficial en la antigüedad, ya que era más corta al ser un terreno menos accidentado (aunque parezca contradictorio). Esta ruta se dejó de hacer porque ahora es más cómodo ir por la rasa costera, por carretera, y porque los caminos por la Sierra de las Palancas estaban sin limpiar y mal marcados. Parece que poco a poco lo quieren recuperar.

Dicho esto, si no se hace un mantenimiento, los caminos se pueden cerrar por la maleza de nuevo en uno o dos años, por lo que es bueno preguntar como está antes de ir por ahí.
 

angulero

Active Member
También acabo de ver un comentario de Pepe, el hospitalero de Soto de Luiña, en el que dice que está destinando dinero para limpiar antiguas sendas de la costa y sacar a los peregrinos de la carretera. Esto es en la alternativa de la costa.

"Buenas noches soy Pepe el Hospitalero de Soto de Luiña, informo que las sendas que ustedes dicen que no están transitables, desde Abril del 2015 destine 3.500 € de los donativos, para acondicionar los caminos Reales de los pueblos, desde Albuerne hasta Ballota, están para ir por los caminos perfectamente, sin necesidad de ir por la carretera y marcados por mi y señalizado con la flecha amarilla, y son 20 Km. hasta Cadavedo. Para cualquier información 985 59 62 83."
 

Donovan

Active Member
Angulero, I am confused. Are there three routes between Soto and Cadavedo?

Laurie, I think Angulero is right, only two routes. There were about a dozen of us in Soto in October and, with Pepe, only two routes were ever discussed. If someone has access to the German red book that’s usually a good source to see if there is a third, official, route. Recent posts on this thread support Eroski’s view that the mountain route is doable.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/soto-de-luina-to-cadevedo-disused-alternative.28630/

The Coastal Route goes through Novellana, Castañeras, Playa de Silencio (500m off camino) Santa Marina, Ballota and possibly other villages, my records aren’t good. It’s very undulating – see the profile in Magwood’s blog. A really lovely walk.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Laurie, I think Angulero is right, only two routes. There were about a dozen of us in Soto in October and, with Pepe, only two routes were ever discussed. If someone has access to the German red book that’s usually a good source to see if there is a third, official, route. Recent posts on this thread support Eroski’s view that the mountain route is doable.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/soto-de-luina-to-cadevedo-disused-alternative.28630/

The Coastal Route goes through Novellana, Castañeras, Playa de Silencio (500m off camino) Santa Marina, Ballota and possibly other villages, my records aren’t good. It’s very undulating – see the profile in Magwood’s blog. A really lovely walk.
Thanks, Donovan,
You guys are right, I thought there might be three because it didn't look to me like the official route was very "coastal." I am drawn to the mountain alternative, but the chance to go to the Playa de Silencio will make this a really hard choice. Good to know there are options. Buen camino, Laurie
 

angulero

Active Member
Lo que está haciendo Pepe es sacar a los peregrinos de la carretera y llevarlos más cerca de la costa, remarcando y limpiando viejos senderos. La playa del Silencio (su nombre real es Gaviero), tiene unas vistas muy bonitas. Lo malo es que apenas tiene arena, es de canto rodado. Y un poco más allá, está la Playa de Gueirúa,también con unas vistas muy bonitas.



http://seraporfotos.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/una-playa-imprescindible-la-gueirua.html

Y ya en Cadavedo, yo no dejaría de ir a lugar donde hacen la fiesta de La Regalina. Para mi, un sitio precioso.


La verdad es que el camino, al ir un poco apartado de la costa, no pasa por sitios muy bonitos, por ejemplo, Cabo Vidío en Oviñana, Cabo Busto en Busto (donde hay una senda) o playas como Frejulfe, Barayo...... Lo malo es que se necesitaría muchos más días porque se rodearía bastante a ser una costa muy accidentada.

What Pepe is doing is taking the pilgrims off the road and taking them closer to the coast, remarking and clearing old paths. The beach of Silencio (its real name is Gaviero), has very nice views. The bad thing is that it hardly has sand, it is of boulder. And a little further, there is Playa de Gueirúa, also with very nice views.


Http://seraporfotos.blogspot.com.es/2013/03/una-playa-imprescindible-la-gueirua.html

And in Cadavedo, I would not stop going to the place where they do the feast of La Regalina. For me, a beautiful place.


The truth is that the road, going a little way from the coast, does not pass through very beautiful places, for example, Cabo Vidío in Oviñana, Cabo Busto in Busto (where there is a path) or beaches like Frejulfe, Barayo ... ... The bad thing is that it would take many more days because it would be surrounded enough to be a very rugged coast.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Dave, author of the Northern Caminos book and forum member, described an off-camino option out of Llanes on his facebook page. Just thought I'd add it to the collection.

Leaving Llanes (Norte, stage 16), the official route follows the AS-263 out of town. However, it's instead possible to walk along the cliff's edge--a beautiful walk that is worth a little more distance and elevation gain. Make your way to the central beach, Playa del Sablón, which is located near the town's main church, the Iglesia de Santa María. Climb the steps on the northside of the beach and you'll be immediately rewarded with some great views of Llanes beneath you.

The first stretch of the walk follows a well-maintained, wide grassy track that is very popular with the town's residents. A little over a km later, though, you pass through a crumbled stone wall, leaving the city proper--and its manicured lawns--behind. From here on, the trail leads you through sticker bushes and tall grasses (plenty of clearance, at least in the summer), periodically returning to the cliff's edge to admire the generous sea views. Finally, an inlet breaks the coastline near Playa de Poo, forcing you to descend to the Hotel Farola del Mar, and then follow the road into Playa de Poo.

Waymarks for the GR-E9 (red/white stripes and red signs) pick up soon after, as you pass by the Albergue Llanes and then wrap behind the town. It rejoins the Camino at the very end of Poo, as the route leaves payment and descends a dirt track towards Celorio. As such, note that the route bypasses most facilities and you'll need to backtrack for food. All told, this route spans 4km, or 1.3km more than the "official" route. Totally worth it!
 

caminka

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
hey laurie!

I did some of these this, er, last year.

01, por Jaizkibel: the first climb from where the official route goes left onto the forest road can be a bit dodgy in rainy weather. it is very steep and grassy, so slippery. it was wet and doable when I walked it. after the high point with the fortress, there is a section just above the cliffs on the left that can be unpleasant and the scramble down the rocks to the path needs a bit guesswork, but you can see when to continue. the rocks can also be a problem if wet.

01a, climb from Pasai san Pedro: it is possible to climb out of the town by the church then a series of paths starting at the far end of the cemetery to the road that circles the estuary to the lighthouse. If you are interested I can provide a more detailed description.

02, before Zarautz: if you round the camping site on the left, there is a fine local path (mostly paved, unfortunately) with beautiful views of Zarautz that descends to the beach, then you follow the wooden beach walkway into town.

03, Zarautz - Zumaia: after the climb from Zarautz you can opt for GR-121 directly to Getaria. it should be mostly on tracks and paths and is shorter.

03, Zumaia - Deba: again, GR-121 leaves Getaria by the flisch cliffs on paths and lanes before joining the Norte to the picnic stop. GR then takes a path from the picnic spot (not the road, as the Norte) to Elorriaga. the descent to the sea on GR has two unmarked intersections but it should be easy enough to guess its course. maybe that have been corrected already (I alerted the Deba TO). this is spectacular but often very steep and super slippery in the rain. there is a water pipe at ermita santa Catalina.

06, Lezama - camino after crossing the motorway: there is a path called PR-BI 250 Senda Uxinas that can be taken to avoid the slog into Zamudio. it was not (yet) waymarked with yellow arrows in August. it can be reached by turning left at the second roundabout after Lezama (the one after ermita san Cristo), under the railway and it starts at the following roundabout.

07a, Portugalete - Pobena: a spectacular route is to follow a combination of paths via but below the top of Monte Serantes. I can provide description if you are interested.

08, Pobena - Castro Urdiales: I had in plan an unmarked path alterntive from Onton to Saltacaballos but it was too rainy to try it. I did find mentiones of Senda Costera de la Minas that should start where the Norte crosses the river under the motorway before Onton then follows an old railway line (with tunnels) all along the coast to Miono. the start around the factory looked really faint.

10: is all on roads as far as I could determine, unfortunately. the yellow german guide has a recommended alternative from Laredo to the boat that passes a bit like this.

12, Santander - Boo: there is a doable variant from ermita Virgen del Monte to Mar, about half of which is on gravel tracks/roads. one unauthorised railway crossing (former road, now blocked).

15, La Franca - Llanes: the start of the alternative along the coast was well waymarked but the arrows soon petered out and then it was a bit of searching and wire-hopping to Playa Cobijeru. from there it was ok, the route farily obvious but the waymarks placed quite uselessly. from Pendueles some yellow arrows, too. spectacular coast.

16, playa san Antolin - Ribadesella: E-9 along the coast is almost all on paths and, well, fairly okay waymarked. we lost it in Picones then had to road-walk to pick it up again. we left it in Llames de Pria to sleep in Cuerres. but it continues all the way to Ribadesella.

17, Ribadesella - Villaviciosa: I would be interested in the first part from Ribadesella. that was too much road walking for my likeng. perhaps a bit shorter version could be to follow the norte to Abeo then connect with the suggested route.

18, Villaviciosa - Valdedios: it is possible to avoid the start of the Primitivo on the road by following the Norte further along the river Valdedios (a dirt track) then connect via tracks and minor roads to La Rivera and Valdedios. if you take a look at the satellite map, it is quite obvious. lovely route, much shade.

19, into Oviedo: to me it looks the official route. but if anyone has an idea for a less asphalt and less industrial route, I am all ears. that was one of the hardest parts of my entire camino.
 

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