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My Stages on the Norte -- 2017, one year late!

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks to @trecile's request for some Norte stages, I decided to get mine down on paper. I had a FindPenguins blog, https://findpenguins.com/7wlooua0y7gmt/trip/camino-2017 so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. As always, there are some peculiarities that came up that changed my original ideas about stages (like getting a visit in Mondoñedo from a Camino friend, or being involved in the peregrina assault near Baamonde, etc), so I don't expect anyone to follow these stages, but as @trecile notes, it's good to see what others did. I also did a lot of the coastal alternatives, for which you can find more information on another thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/coastal-alternatives-to-the-nortes-asphalt.49578/
I know I have gone at great length about how beautiful these alternatives are, so close and yet so far to the asphalt on the national highway where the arrows lead you. My distances reflect (probably not totally accurately) the alternatives when I walked them.

Yet another preliminary observation -- I started my Camino in Irún with four forum peregrinas. We walked to St. Jean de Luz (north of Irún along the coast), got a bus to Bayonne, and then walked the wonderful, totally beautiful, Baztán. Our stages were pretty standard -- Bayonne - Espelette - Amaiur - Beorreta - Lantz - Iza - Pamplona (lots of info on the Baztán subforum). From Pamplona, I got a bus back to Irún and started the Norte proper. Here are my stages for the norte:

1. Irún to San Sebastián -- first, take the Alpine Route (which is a pretty hyperbolic way of describing one short steep ascent ), and second, take the GR when you see the red and white blazes, that keeps you on the coast much longer rather than going up on asphalt with the arrows. 25 km

2. San Sebastián to Getaria -- private albergue, 30 km

3. Getaria to Izarbide (about 4-5 km beyond Deba). The coastal alternative, the Ruta del Flysch, is one of the most beautiful among a LOT of beautiful coastal alternatives. 25 km.

4. Izarbide to Munitbar (that means going through Markina and Zernautza monastery to private albergue) -- 29

5. Munitbar to Larrebetzu (with long stop in Gernika for the museum and a drink) -- 31

6. Larrebetzu to Poretugalete through Bilbao and on the right side of the Ría -- 27

7. Portugalete to Castro Urdiales -- here is one stage when the camino itself goes coastal! -- 27 km

8. Castro Urdiales to Laredo -- I took the loop south through Magdalena to avoid national highway, and then turnoff to take the coastal route. This is one where my coastal thread shows several alternatives of how to get on the coast, I did the one from Liendo directly. 27 km

9. Laredo to Meruelo -- 20 km. This is before Guemes, I stayed here because I had a friend who was hospitalera-ing, and because I had what appeared to be bedbugs, so she did the treatment on me.

10. Meruelo to Santander -- 19 km. The official camino has a nice coastal alternative well marked on the way to the boat that takes you to Santander.

11. Santander to Boo de Piélagos -- 36.5. This coastal alternative goes nowhere near the official camino, loops around the bay of Santander and then hugs the coast. Long day, but others have broken it up more or less halfway with a casa rural. Highly recommended, and @Dave talks about it as well

12. Boo to Caborredondo -- 32 km (but deduct a few for the train ride, about 6 or 7???)

13. Caborredondo to Serdío -- 32 km (through Comillas and San Vicente)

14. Serdío to Llanes -- 36.5 on the coastal alternative. This is an AMAZING coastal walk, and the camino just totally misses it.

15. Llanes to Ribadesella -- 35 km, again with a coastal alternative that the camino ignores.

16. Ridbadesella to Villaviciosa -- 39 km, camino on this stage does take the coast. You can get even more coast if you take a turnoff at La Isla, but since we had a long day, we stayed on the camino here.

17. Villaviciosa to Vega de Sariego -- 17 or 18 km, good albergue, but it would be worth it to forge ahead to Pola de Siero, IMO. I took the detour to visit Valdediós, another preromanesque jewel, which doesn´t open till 11 but is so worth the wait! Nuns now run the albergue there and it is spotless, unlike when the monks were in charge (just sayin...)

18. Vega de Sariego to Oviedo -- 27

19. Oviedo to Avilés -- 29 km. This is a good way to avoid the Gijón to Avilés industrial slog, and a detour to visit Oviedo is well worth it.

20. Avilés to Muros de Nalón -- 25 km. Casa Carmina, great private albergue. Afternoon bus to visit Cudillero, HIGHLY recommended detour to a little tourist town that is gorgeous.

21. Muros to Soto de Luiña -- 16 km, but since we wanted to do the mountain route the next day, this was the only choice. It gave us plenty of time for a 8 km walk out and back to the beach in the afternoon. Great family spot, pretty place.

22. Soto to Cadavedo -- 22 km. On a clear day, highly recommend the coastal alternative, this one is marked as official camino, I think, but many take the low route.

23. Cadavedo to Otur -- 21. We had planned to go beyond Otur, but we had a very nice, but way too filling meal in Luarca, and I just couldn't go further. Note to self--do not eat a menú del día in the middle of your walk. Again, though, there was a nice beach we walked to about 2-3 km from the little hotel.

24. Otur to La Caridad -- 25 km. Nice private albergue

25. La Caridad to Ribadeo -- 30-plus. Here most people take the "coastal alternative" through Tapia. But we found that the camino "coastal alternative" did not take in all the fabulous ocean-side walking that my GPS coastal alternative did. Well worth it. Afternoon group taxi (about 4 euros each way per person) out to Playa de los Catedrales. Go at low tide, just GREAT!!


26. Ribadeo to Lourenza -- 28 km.

27. Lourenzá to Mondoñedo -- 9 km. I decided to stay here when I got a text from a camino friend that he would hop on his moto and meet me here for lunch. Nice little town.

28. Mondoñedo to O Xistral -- BEST albergue on the Norte, 24 km.

29. O Xistgral to Baamonda -- 35 km.

30. Baamonde to Roxica and private albergue -- 21 km. Plans to go further changed when a woman came running towards me hysterically screaming that she had been threatened with a gun a few hundred meters up the camino in an isolated spot. We had to spend time with guardia, etc. It was quite a day.

31. Roxica to Sobrado -- 14 km. Short day to meet up with people for final walk into Santiago. These last three stages are easily broken into two, but it was fun to walk in with the group.

32. Sobrado to Arzua -- 21

33. Arzua to Pedrouzo -- 20

34. Pedrouzo to Santiago -- 19.

This was not my first time on the Norte, and I had also visited the major cities as a tourist in the past, so I was happy to walk through places like Bilbao. If it's your first time, though, I would recommend a stop.

So, there you have it, hope it helps you @trecile! Buen camino, Laurie
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
Coast, coast, coast! I did not take half as many coast detours as you did, but they are definitely worth it, unique landscapes and the sea breeze! Love it!
 

FSP

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(13)
Portuguese & Finisterre(16)
Norte & Muxia(18)
Olvidado&Salvador&Primitivo(20??)
Thank you for taking the time to put this together as well as the previous posting on coastal alternatives. Three very looooong months to my start date.
 

Maxy

Maxy
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 2018 cycle
Dear Peregrina2000, thanks for the above - grateful for some further advice. I have very poor knees and had decided to support the Camino by volunteering to work at the CSJ albergue de peregrinos at Miraz for 2 weeks. Over the past 18 months I have become fitter and have decided to cycle the Norte from Santander to Santiago then do my volunteering before returning to Santander for the ferry home. I have given myself a couple of weeks to get to Santiago so that I can undertake some of the excursions you recommend (probably on foot) and still get to Miraz in time - however, my cycle is a touring one with 'thin' wheels - my assumption is that much of the formal walking Norte will be unsuitable for this type of bike? With all of your experience if we were to meet for a coffee what would your best advice be? I arrive in Santander on 11 June. Many thanks Max.

PS I have purchased the maps, guide books etc but your personal views would be greatly appreciated.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Hi, Maxy, I am not a cyclist, and I would not be able to even hazard a guess on this. I am just not sensitive to that issue when I walk. But I can tell you there is a lot of road walking on the Norte, which would be perfectly fine for a touring bike. But on those relatively infrequent instances when the Norte goes off to the coastal route, I think a touring bike would have problems. On the coastal alternatives I walked, I think a touring bike would be a big problem. I am sure there are cycling guides to the Norte that can give you better advice, or maybe you should start a new thread with "cycling the norte" in the title, so you will catch the attention of cyclists. Sorry to be of no help! buen camino, Laurie
 

Maxy

Maxy
Camino(s) past & future
Norte 2018 cycle
Laurie, many thanks - as a 69 year old with many life experiences I am finding the pilgrimage to be an exciting and challenging idea. I was all for plotting out a route, booking accommodation and running to a schedule - however, my inner self and so much of the advice freely given on this site has led me to decide that I will go and be. So if anyone sees a bewildered, bewhiskered, white haired Englishman sitting quietly beside the road say hello! Max
 

Trish K

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF Nov/Dec (2017)
Camino Norte (2019)
Camino Primitivo (2019)
Camino Portuguese (2020)
Thanks to @trecile's request for some Norte stages, I decided to get mine down on paper. I had a FindPenguins blog, https://findpenguins.com/7wlooua0y7gmt/trip/camino-2017 so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. As always, there are some peculiarities that came up that changed my original ideas about stages (like getting a visit in Mondoñedo from a Camino friend, or being involved in the peregrina assault near Baamonde, etc), so I don't expect anyone to follow these stages, but as @trecile notes, it's good to see what others did. I also did a lot of the coastal alternatives, for which you can find more information on another thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/coastal-alternatives-to-the-nortes-asphalt.49578/
I know I have gone at great length about how beautiful these alternatives are, so close and yet so far to the asphalt on the national highway where the arrows lead you. My distances reflect (probably not totally accurately) the alternatives when I walked them.

Yet another preliminary observation -- I started my Camino in Irún with four forum peregrinas. We walked to St. Jean de Luz (north of Irún along the coast), got a bus to Bayonne, and then walked the wonderful, totally beautiful, Baztán. Our stages were pretty standard -- Bayonne - Espelette - Amaiur - Beorreta - Lantz - Iza - Pamplona (lots of info on the Baztán subforum). From Pamplona, I got a bus back to Irún and started the Norte proper. Here are my stages for the norte:

1. Irún to San Sebastián -- first, take the Alpine Route (which is a pretty hyperbolic way of describing one short steep ascent ), and second, take the GR when you see the red and white blazes, that keeps you on the coast much longer rather than going up on asphalt with the arrows. 25 km

2. San Sebastián to Getaria -- private albergue, 30 km

3. Getaria to Izarbide (about 4-5 km beyond Deba). The coastal alternative, the Ruta del Flysch, is one of the most beautiful among a LOT of beautiful coastal alternatives. 25 km.

4. Izarbide to Munitbar (that means going through Markina and Zernautza monastery to private albergue) -- 29

5. Munitbar to Larrebetzu (with long stop in Gernika for the museum and a drink) -- 31

6. Larrebetzu to Poretugalete through Bilbao and on the right side of the Ría -- 27

7. Portugalete to Castro Urdiales -- here is one stage when the camino itself goes coastal! -- 27 km

8. Castro Urdiales to Laredo -- I took the loop south through Magdalena to avoid national highway, and then turnoff to take the coastal route. This is one where my coastal thread shows several alternatives of how to get on the coast, I did the one from Liendo directly. 27 km

9. Laredo to Meruelo -- 20 km. This is before Guemes, I stayed here because I had a friend who was hospitalera-ing, and because I had what appeared to be bedbugs, so she did the treatment on me.

10. Meruelo to Santander -- 19 km. The official camino has a nice coastal alternative well marked on the way to the boat that takes you to Santander.

11. Santander to Boo de Piélagos -- 36.5. This coastal alternative goes nowhere near the official camino, loops around the bay of Santander and then hugs the coast. Long day, but others have broken it up more or less halfway with a casa rural. Highly recommended, and @Dave talks about it as well

12. Boo to Caborredondo -- 32 km (but deduct a few for the train ride, about 6 or 7???)

13. Caborredondo to Serdío -- 32 km (through Comillas and San Vicente)

14. Serdío to Llanes -- 36.5 on the coastal alternative. This is an AMAZING coastal walk, and the camino just totally misses it.

15. Llanes to Ribadesella -- 35 km, again with a coastal alternative that the camino ignores.

16. Ridbadesella to Villaviciosa -- 39 km, camino on this stage does take the coast. You can get even more coast if you take a turnoff at La Isla, but since we had a long day, we stayed on the camino here.

17. Villaviciosa to Vega de Sariego -- 17 or 18 km, good albergue, but it would be worth it to forge ahead to Pola de Siero, IMO. I took the detour to visit Valdediós, another preromanesque jewel, which doesn´t open till 11 but is so worth the wait! Nuns now run the albergue there and it is spotless, unlike when the monks were in charge (just sayin...)

18. Vega de Sariego to Oviedo -- 27

19. Oviedo to Avilés -- 29 km. This is a good way to avoid the Gijón to Avilés industrial slog, and a detour to visit Oviedo is well worth it.

20. Avilés to Muros de Nalón -- 25 km. Casa Carmina, great private albergue. Afternoon bus to visit Cudillero, HIGHLY recommended detour to a little tourist town that is gorgeous.

21. Muros to Soto de Luiña -- 16 km, but since we wanted to do the mountain route the next day, this was the only choice. It gave us plenty of time for a 8 km walk out and back to the beach in the afternoon. Great family spot, pretty place.

22. Soto to Cadavedo -- 22 km. On a clear day, highly recommend the coastal alternative, this one is marked as official camino, I think, but many take the low route.

23. Cadavedo to Otur -- 21. We had planned to go beyond Otur, but we had a very nice, but way too filling meal in Luarca, and I just couldn't go further. Note to self--do not eat a menú del día in the middle of your walk. Again, though, there was a nice beach we walked to about 2-3 km from the little hotel.

24. Otur to La Caridad -- 25 km. Nice private albergue

25. La Caridad to Ribadeo -- 30-plus. Here most people take the "coastal alternative" through Tapia. But we found that the camino "coastal alternative" did not take in all the fabulous ocean-side walking that my GPS coastal alternative did. Well worth it. Afternoon group taxi (about 4 euros each way per person) out to Playa de los Catedrales. Go at low tide, just GREAT!!


26. Ribadeo to Lourenza -- 28 km.

27. Lourenzá to Mondoñedo -- 9 km. I decided to stay here when I got a text from a camino friend that he would hop on his moto and meet me here for lunch. Nice little town.

28. Mondoñedo to O Xistral -- BEST albergue on the Norte, 24 km.

29. O Xistgral to Baamonda -- 35 km.

30. Baamonde to Roxica and private albergue -- 21 km. Plans to go further changed when a woman came running towards me hysterically screaming that she had been threatened with a gun a few hundred meters up the camino in an isolated spot. We had to spend time with guardia, etc. It was quite a day.

31. Roxica to Sobrado -- 14 km. Short day to meet up with people for final walk into Santiago. These last three stages are easily broken into two, but it was fun to walk in with the group.

32. Sobrado to Arzua -- 21

33. Arzua to Pedrouzo -- 20

34. Pedrouzo to Santiago -- 19.

This was not my first time on the Norte, and I had also visited the major cities as a tourist in the past, so I was happy to walk through places like Bilbao. If it's your first time, though, I would recommend a stop.

So, there you have it, hope it helps you @trecile! Buen camino, Laurie

I'm planning to walk the Norte next year, so this is so helpful! Thank you. I had initially intended going in Spring, but may now have to push that back to autumn. I walked the Camino Frances last year in Nov/Dec and loved the quietness of it, but I'm wondering if doing the Norte in winter is such a good idea? I've heard it can be more difficult in the real winter months. How late in autumn would you suggest for the Norte, to experience the same lack of crowds but have a better chance of finding allbergues still open?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
Thanks to @trecile's request for some Norte stages, I decided to get mine down on paper. I had a FindPenguins blog, https://findpenguins.com/7wlooua0y7gmt/trip/camino-2017 so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. As always, there are some peculiarities that came up that changed my original ideas about stages (like getting a visit in Mondoñedo from a Camino friend, or being involved in the peregrina assault near Baamonde, etc), so I don't expect anyone to follow these stages, but as @trecile notes, it's good to see what others did. I also did a lot of the coastal alternatives, for which you can find more information on another thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/coastal-alternatives-to-the-nortes-asphalt.49578/
I know I have gone at great length about how beautiful these alternatives are, so close and yet so far to the asphalt on the national highway where the arrows lead you. My distances reflect (probably not totally accurately) the alternatives when I walked them.

Yet another preliminary observation -- I started my Camino in Irún with four forum peregrinas. We walked to St. Jean de Luz (north of Irún along the coast), got a bus to Bayonne, and then walked the wonderful, totally beautiful, Baztán. Our stages were pretty standard -- Bayonne - Espelette - Amaiur - Beorreta - Lantz - Iza - Pamplona (lots of info on the Baztán subforum). From Pamplona, I got a bus back to Irún and started the Norte proper. Here are my stages for the norte:

1. Irún to San Sebastián -- first, take the Alpine Route (which is a pretty hyperbolic way of describing one short steep ascent ), and second, take the GR when you see the red and white blazes, that keeps you on the coast much longer rather than going up on asphalt with the arrows. 25 km

2. San Sebastián to Getaria -- private albergue, 30 km

3. Getaria to Izarbide (about 4-5 km beyond Deba). The coastal alternative, the Ruta del Flysch, is one of the most beautiful among a LOT of beautiful coastal alternatives. 25 km.

4. Izarbide to Munitbar (that means going through Markina and Zernautza monastery to private albergue) -- 29

5. Munitbar to Larrebetzu (with long stop in Gernika for the museum and a drink) -- 31

6. Larrebetzu to Poretugalete through Bilbao and on the right side of the Ría -- 27

7. Portugalete to Castro Urdiales -- here is one stage when the camino itself goes coastal! -- 27 km

8. Castro Urdiales to Laredo -- I took the loop south through Magdalena to avoid national highway, and then turnoff to take the coastal route. This is one where my coastal thread shows several alternatives of how to get on the coast, I did the one from Liendo directly. 27 km

9. Laredo to Meruelo -- 20 km. This is before Guemes, I stayed here because I had a friend who was hospitalera-ing, and because I had what appeared to be bedbugs, so she did the treatment on me.

10. Meruelo to Santander -- 19 km. The official camino has a nice coastal alternative well marked on the way to the boat that takes you to Santander.

11. Santander to Boo de Piélagos -- 36.5. This coastal alternative goes nowhere near the official camino, loops around the bay of Santander and then hugs the coast. Long day, but others have broken it up more or less halfway with a casa rural. Highly recommended, and @Dave talks about it as well

12. Boo to Caborredondo -- 32 km (but deduct a few for the train ride, about 6 or 7???)

13. Caborredondo to Serdío -- 32 km (through Comillas and San Vicente)

14. Serdío to Llanes -- 36.5 on the coastal alternative. This is an AMAZING coastal walk, and the camino just totally misses it.

15. Llanes to Ribadesella -- 35 km, again with a coastal alternative that the camino ignores.

16. Ridbadesella to Villaviciosa -- 39 km, camino on this stage does take the coast. You can get even more coast if you take a turnoff at La Isla, but since we had a long day, we stayed on the camino here.

17. Villaviciosa to Vega de Sariego -- 17 or 18 km, good albergue, but it would be worth it to forge ahead to Pola de Siero, IMO. I took the detour to visit Valdediós, another preromanesque jewel, which doesn´t open till 11 but is so worth the wait! Nuns now run the albergue there and it is spotless, unlike when the monks were in charge (just sayin...)

18. Vega de Sariego to Oviedo -- 27

19. Oviedo to Avilés -- 29 km. This is a good way to avoid the Gijón to Avilés industrial slog, and a detour to visit Oviedo is well worth it.

20. Avilés to Muros de Nalón -- 25 km. Casa Carmina, great private albergue. Afternoon bus to visit Cudillero, HIGHLY recommended detour to a little tourist town that is gorgeous.

21. Muros to Soto de Luiña -- 16 km, but since we wanted to do the mountain route the next day, this was the only choice. It gave us plenty of time for a 8 km walk out and back to the beach in the afternoon. Great family spot, pretty place.

22. Soto to Cadavedo -- 22 km. On a clear day, highly recommend the coastal alternative, this one is marked as official camino, I think, but many take the low route.

23. Cadavedo to Otur -- 21. We had planned to go beyond Otur, but we had a very nice, but way too filling meal in Luarca, and I just couldn't go further. Note to self--do not eat a menú del día in the middle of your walk. Again, though, there was a nice beach we walked to about 2-3 km from the little hotel.

24. Otur to La Caridad -- 25 km. Nice private albergue

25. La Caridad to Ribadeo -- 30-plus. Here most people take the "coastal alternative" through Tapia. But we found that the camino "coastal alternative" did not take in all the fabulous ocean-side walking that my GPS coastal alternative did. Well worth it. Afternoon group taxi (about 4 euros each way per person) out to Playa de los Catedrales. Go at low tide, just GREAT!!


26. Ribadeo to Lourenza -- 28 km.

27. Lourenzá to Mondoñedo -- 9 km. I decided to stay here when I got a text from a camino friend that he would hop on his moto and meet me here for lunch. Nice little town.

28. Mondoñedo to O Xistral -- BEST albergue on the Norte, 24 km.

29. O Xistgral to Baamonda -- 35 km.

30. Baamonde to Roxica and private albergue -- 21 km. Plans to go further changed when a woman came running towards me hysterically screaming that she had been threatened with a gun a few hundred meters up the camino in an isolated spot. We had to spend time with guardia, etc. It was quite a day.

31. Roxica to Sobrado -- 14 km. Short day to meet up with people for final walk into Santiago. These last three stages are easily broken into two, but it was fun to walk in with the group.

32. Sobrado to Arzua -- 21

33. Arzua to Pedrouzo -- 20

34. Pedrouzo to Santiago -- 19.

This was not my first time on the Norte, and I had also visited the major cities as a tourist in the past, so I was happy to walk through places like Bilbao. If it's your first time, though, I would recommend a stop.

So, there you have it, hope it helps you @trecile! Buen camino, Laurie
Thanks for sharing your stages. Very interestin
Thanks to @trecile's request for some Norte stages, I decided to get mine down on paper. I had a FindPenguins blog, https://findpenguins.com/7wlooua0y7gmt/trip/camino-2017 so I don't have to reinvent the wheel. As always, there are some peculiarities that came up that changed my original ideas about stages (like getting a visit in Mondoñedo from a Camino friend, or being involved in the peregrina assault near Baamonde, etc), so I don't expect anyone to follow these stages, but as @trecile notes, it's good to see what others did. I also did a lot of the coastal alternatives, for which you can find more information on another thread: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/coastal-alternatives-to-the-nortes-asphalt.49578/
I know I have gone at great length about how beautiful these alternatives are, so close and yet so far to the asphalt on the national highway where the arrows lead you. My distances reflect (probably not totally accurately) the alternatives when I walked them.

Yet another preliminary observation -- I started my Camino in Irún with four forum peregrinas. We walked to St. Jean de Luz (north of Irún along the coast), got a bus to Bayonne, and then walked the wonderful, totally beautiful, Baztán. Our stages were pretty standard -- Bayonne - Espelette - Amaiur - Beorreta - Lantz - Iza - Pamplona (lots of info on the Baztán subforum). From Pamplona, I got a bus back to Irún and started the Norte proper. Here are my stages for the norte:

1. Irún to San Sebastián -- first, take the Alpine Route (which is a pretty hyperbolic way of describing one short steep ascent ), and second, take the GR when you see the red and white blazes, that keeps you on the coast much longer rather than going up on asphalt with the arrows. 25 km

2. San Sebastián to Getaria -- private albergue, 30 km

3. Getaria to Izarbide (about 4-5 km beyond Deba). The coastal alternative, the Ruta del Flysch, is one of the most beautiful among a LOT of beautiful coastal alternatives. 25 km.

4. Izarbide to Munitbar (that means going through Markina and Zernautza monastery to private albergue) -- 29

5. Munitbar to Larrebetzu (with long stop in Gernika for the museum and a drink) -- 31

6. Larrebetzu to Poretugalete through Bilbao and on the right side of the Ría -- 27

7. Portugalete to Castro Urdiales -- here is one stage when the camino itself goes coastal! -- 27 km

8. Castro Urdiales to Laredo -- I took the loop south through Magdalena to avoid national highway, and then turnoff to take the coastal route. This is one where my coastal thread shows several alternatives of how to get on the coast, I did the one from Liendo directly. 27 km

9. Laredo to Meruelo -- 20 km. This is before Guemes, I stayed here because I had a friend who was hospitalera-ing, and because I had what appeared to be bedbugs, so she did the treatment on me.

10. Meruelo to Santander -- 19 km. The official camino has a nice coastal alternative well marked on the way to the boat that takes you to Santander.

11. Santander to Boo de Piélagos -- 36.5. This coastal alternative goes nowhere near the official camino, loops around the bay of Santander and then hugs the coast. Long day, but others have broken it up more or less halfway with a casa rural. Highly recommended, and @Dave talks about it as well

12. Boo to Caborredondo -- 32 km (but deduct a few for the train ride, about 6 or 7???)

13. Caborredondo to Serdío -- 32 km (through Comillas and San Vicente)

14. Serdío to Llanes -- 36.5 on the coastal alternative. This is an AMAZING coastal walk, and the camino just totally misses it.

15. Llanes to Ribadesella -- 35 km, again with a coastal alternative that the camino ignores.

16. Ridbadesella to Villaviciosa -- 39 km, camino on this stage does take the coast. You can get even more coast if you take a turnoff at La Isla, but since we had a long day, we stayed on the camino here.

17. Villaviciosa to Vega de Sariego -- 17 or 18 km, good albergue, but it would be worth it to forge ahead to Pola de Siero, IMO. I took the detour to visit Valdediós, another preromanesque jewel, which doesn´t open till 11 but is so worth the wait! Nuns now run the albergue there and it is spotless, unlike when the monks were in charge (just sayin...)

18. Vega de Sariego to Oviedo -- 27

19. Oviedo to Avilés -- 29 km. This is a good way to avoid the Gijón to Avilés industrial slog, and a detour to visit Oviedo is well worth it.

20. Avilés to Muros de Nalón -- 25 km. Casa Carmina, great private albergue. Afternoon bus to visit Cudillero, HIGHLY recommended detour to a little tourist town that is gorgeous.

21. Muros to Soto de Luiña -- 16 km, but since we wanted to do the mountain route the next day, this was the only choice. It gave us plenty of time for a 8 km walk out and back to the beach in the afternoon. Great family spot, pretty place.

22. Soto to Cadavedo -- 22 km. On a clear day, highly recommend the coastal alternative, this one is marked as official camino, I think, but many take the low route.

23. Cadavedo to Otur -- 21. We had planned to go beyond Otur, but we had a very nice, but way too filling meal in Luarca, and I just couldn't go further. Note to self--do not eat a menú del día in the middle of your walk. Again, though, there was a nice beach we walked to about 2-3 km from the little hotel.

24. Otur to La Caridad -- 25 km. Nice private albergue

25. La Caridad to Ribadeo -- 30-plus. Here most people take the "coastal alternative" through Tapia. But we found that the camino "coastal alternative" did not take in all the fabulous ocean-side walking that my GPS coastal alternative did. Well worth it. Afternoon group taxi (about 4 euros each way per person) out to Playa de los Catedrales. Go at low tide, just GREAT!!


26. Ribadeo to Lourenza -- 28 km.

27. Lourenzá to Mondoñedo -- 9 km. I decided to stay here when I got a text from a camino friend that he would hop on his moto and meet me here for lunch. Nice little town.

28. Mondoñedo to O Xistral -- BEST albergue on the Norte, 24 km.

29. O Xistgral to Baamonda -- 35 km.

30. Baamonde to Roxica and private albergue -- 21 km. Plans to go further changed when a woman came running towards me hysterically screaming that she had been threatened with a gun a few hundred meters up the camino in an isolated spot. We had to spend time with guardia, etc. It was quite a day.

31. Roxica to Sobrado -- 14 km. Short day to meet up with people for final walk into Santiago. These last three stages are easily broken into two, but it was fun to walk in with the group.

32. Sobrado to Arzua -- 21

33. Arzua to Pedrouzo -- 20

34. Pedrouzo to Santiago -- 19.

This was not my first time on the Norte, and I had also visited the major cities as a tourist in the past, so I was happy to walk through places like Bilbao. If it's your first time, though, I would recommend a stop.

So, there you have it, hope it helps you @trecile! Buen camino, Laurie
Hi there. Thanks for sharing. Where is O- Xistral? Sure I can look it up but haven't come across it as yet Thanks
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Where is O- Xistral? Sure I can look it up but haven't come across it as yet Thanks

O Xistral is 6 kms after Abadín. Map here shows it clearly: https://www.gronze.com/etapa/gontan/vilalba

This is one of those “out in the middle of nowhere” places. They serve dinner and breakfast. Large yard with plenty of places to sit and relax. All in all, a labor of love, done over the years by a couple with full time jobs (one a vet, I think, and I can’t remember what the other does, but it explains why it took them 6 years to get the renovations done). They have some amazing before and after pictures, and were really putting their heart and soul into it last year. Would love to hear updates on how the albergue is doing, now that they have finished one year of operations. Fingers crossed that it is thriving.
 

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