A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Luggage Transfer Correos

Newbie in need of advice!

2020 Camino Guides

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
Hi All,

I'm so excited I booked my flights yesterday to walk the Camino del Norte starting from Bilbao in September this year. It's been a dream for many years. I have done my research on the different routes and as this is the least walked I have chosen this one. I'll be doing the walk alone so any friendly faces doing the walk at the same time please say hi!

I'm going to be camping the route instead of the hostels, simply because I treasure my privacy. I have the route mapped out and after watching some really helpful videos on the forum I think I know what I need to take - basically as little as possible, amazing walking boots and blister treatment!

For those that have walked the route what's your advice? Did you do any training before? Who has camped the route and what do you suggest?

As I understand it very few people along the route speak English, so I'm in the process of learning Spanish too, along with some help from my Spanish boyfriend!!

I look forward to connecting and hearing your advice, thank you :)

Kym.
 

kristy one

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some
To my knowledge wild camping in Spain is illegal. If you are really good in bushes, it may work, but otherwise you need to negotiate your pitch with a land owner. If the privacy is a primary concern, you always can get an individual accommodation elsewhere.
 

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
To my knowledge wild camping in Spain is illegal. If you are really good in bushes, it may work, but otherwise you need to negotiate your pitch with a land owner. If the privacy is a primary concern, you always can get an individual accommodation elsewhere.
I read a post recently my another that camped the route that said the local farmers are pretty negotiable as are the hostels along the route that have land. Most have back gardens. Where there is no camping near by I will stay in one of the hostels. But I prefer to experience this as natural as possible.
 

Marc S.

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Since 2012: CF, CdN, CP, Salvador, Aragones, Via Regia, Elisabethpfad, Jakobsweg NRW, Jakibspaad.
Hello Kimberley. I walked the Norte in 2014 and it is a beautiful walk, I am sure you will enjoy it.
Some training will help, but I do not know how fit you are. By starting in Bilbao you will skip the sometimes very steep (but also very beuatiful
part) Irun-Bilbao stretch. Starting from Bilbao means you will start off with some reasonably flat days, which will probably make it an easier start.
I never camped, but when I walked there were several others who did. I do not remember if they did wild camping (and I have no knowledge about this)
but they often camped outside albergues - thus being able to use albergue facilities. Many albergues allowed this.
Buen camino !
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
Be prepared to use albergues when camping is not possible. Wild camping is illegal in Spain and most property is privately owned. The numbers of people wild camping is increasing and with that the resentment of the property owners. Not every camper is respectful or cleans up the site....as we all know.
Weather can be a big factor on the Norte.
That said...the Norte is a beautiful Camino with far fewer people than the Camino Frances. It is quickly becoming more crowded as folks try to avoid the crowds on the CF. September is a popular month.
Buen Camino.
 

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
Hello Kimberley. I walked the Norte in 2014 and it is a beautiful walk, I am sure you will enjoy it.
Some training will help, but I do not know how fit you are. By starting in Bilbao you will skip the sometimes very steep (but also very beuatiful
part) Irun-Bilbao stretch. Starting from Bilbao means you will start off with some reasonably flat days, which will probably make it an easier start.
I never camped, but when I walked there were several others who did. I do not remember if they did wild camping (and I have no knowledge about this)
but they often camped outside albergues - thus being able to use albergue facilities. Many albergues allowed this.
Buen camino !
Thank you, that's exactly what I wanted to hear :) What's the one piece of advice you'd give me and what one item was most precious to you during the walk?
 

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
Be prepared to use albergues when camping is not possible. Wild camping is illegal in Spain and most property is privately owned. The numbers of people wild camping is increasing and with that the resentment of the property owners. Not every camper is respectful or cleans up the site....as we all know.
Weather can be a big factor on the Norte.
That said...the Norte is a beautiful Camino with far fewer people than the Camino Frances. It is quickly becoming more crowded as folks try to avoid the crowds on the CF. September is a popular month.
Buen Camino.
Absolutely - thank you for the advice. I couldn't sleep wild camping I'd be too scared that someone will arrest me in the middle of the night! I think sound sleep is important, so where it's not possible to camp I will be sure to stay in the albergues. I need to shower at least once a week. My plan is to walk the duration in 24 days - do you think this is ample time?
 

Peter Fransiscus

Be a Rainbow in someone else's cloud.
Camino(s) past & future
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
Absolutely - thank you for the advice. I couldn't sleep wild camping I'd be too scared that someone will arrest me in the middle of the night! I think sound sleep is important, so where it's not possible to camp I will be sure to stay in the albergues. I need to shower at least once a week. My plan is to walk the duration in 24 days - do you think this is ample time?
Hi Kimberley, it's about 650km. that's a average of 25 km. a day.
Wish you a wonderful journey and a Buen Camino, Peter.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Showering once a week? I stunk when I walked in September of 2015, sweating so much. Cannot imagine not showering daily. Just remembering that smell makes me cringe. Cannot imagine I would have been invited to linger in cafes and bars smelling the way I did, and that was with a daily shower.

As for albergues with a yard, let's see... Pobena (they have their own tents set up outside), Castro Uriales has some grass, and I think its own tents in the back, Liendo may have a strip of grass on the side of the buildhing by the tennis courts if I remember well, Guemes has the only proper backyard I can remember until Llanes, Piedad in Boo has not an inch of grass, in Santillana there is grass, but since the property is perhaps also the museum's I don't know how that will work out, but there is a "proper" camping ground there, San Vicente has a bit of grass but in a steep incline, Llanes has not an inch of anything outdoors, plus it's at the train station, so so much for safety.

Those are the albergues I stayed at and remember something about the facilities. Needless to say pensiones are not likely to let you sleep outisde.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
Hi Kym, Everyone from forum wishes you well on your adventure. We recommend be sensible and be yourself, and all will be well. Last Fall I met Anna from Germany with a tent on the Norte. She was a tonic. Anna aged 29 was on her own.
 

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
Showering once a week? I stunk when I walked in September of 2015, sweating so much. Cannot imagine not showering daily. Just remembering that smell makes me cringe. Cannot imagine I would have been invited to linger in cafes and bars smelling the way I did, and that was with a daily shower.

As for albergues with a yard, let's see... Pobena (they have their own tents set up outside), Castro Uriales has some grass, and I think its own tents in the back, Liendo may have a strip of grass on the side of the buildhing by the tennis courts if I remember well, Guemes has the only proper backyard I can remember until Llanes, Piedad in Boo has not an inch of grass, in Santillana there is grass, but since the property is perhaps also the museum's I don't know how that will work out, but there is a "proper" camping ground there, San Vicente has a bit of grass but in a steep incline, Llanes has not an inch of anything outdoors, plus it's at the train station, so so much for safety.

Those are the albergues I stayed at and remember something about the facilities. Needless to say pensiones are not likely to let you sleep outisde.
Wonderful feedback, exactly what I need. Thank you for taking the time to give me all the details. What one thing was most precious to you on the trip? Something you recommend I should take that isn't the obvious?
 

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
Hi Kym, Everyone from forum wishes you well on your adventure. We recommend be sensible and be yourself, and all will be well. Last Fall I met Anna from Germany with a tent on the Norte. She was a tonic. Anna aged 29 was on her own.
Such beautiful words - thank you :)
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Wonderful feedback, exactly what I need. Thank you for taking the time to give me all the details. What one thing was most precious to you on the trip? Something you recommend I should take that isn't the obvious?
Menu del dia: beautiful lunches at midday (2 or 3 pm) rather than any sort of evening meal that will likely end up being fries, a sandwhich or other crappy snack. Menu del dia @ 8-11 € are gorgeous. Try the fabada, the fish, the pinxos when is Bilbao (any time of day), the Carbayon pastry in Llanes and Vermud Solera, agrd vermouth. Stay in the albergue in Hazas and ask for the route out of town through the chapel of San Julian, about 500 meters later to your right you will see one of the most beautiful views ever.

Albergues on this route are a notch above the rest, sometimes with your bed a,ready made with clean crispy white sheets. Piedad in Boo de Pielago, 20 meters fromthe train stop where you must take the train for 1 stop as to not cross a bridge by food illegally has a super clean house, with a real bathroom for 1 person at a time, with towels! A real luxury. There were 3 of us when I stayed there, the couple took the small room, I had the large room to myself. She lives inthe rest of the house. Albergue el Solar de los Hidalgos in Santillana is out of a historical movie, and coe to think about it has a bit of a courtyard where they may let you pitch a tent: you'll fee like Sancho Panza is about to walk in the room.

Guemes is well know, a bit of a landmark on the route. Huge facilities, but super thin foam mattress, but large coomunal meal, packed with people. The trick is to arrive mid pm and see if they offer you staff left overs: yum! Simple sopa de ajo, a beautiful tomato salad. Avoid staying in the little cabanas by the washrooms: they pile peiple in! Even in the rooms on the second floor the bunk beds are stacked 3 high. And decide of you want to go listen to the evening story.

Pick where you will sleep in Bilbao carefully. It's a party town and you may need a good night sleep tp get over jetlag and get going, so paying a little extra for that night may be a good idea. Stroll aroind the Gug and the old part of town, do walk in the touristy loking courtyard as you enter thr old town and splurge on the pinxos sold by all the reataurants around that plaza: walk around first, see what appeals to you and have 2 there, 3 there, another there... Yum!

Do not miss the Txacoli (tchakolee), the Basque sparkling wine, enjoy the grilled sardines, have your credencial stamped int the church in the old town, the one with the railings. Enjoy the cidra served from an extend arm, or even better a dwarf doll they will install on your bottle (yup, like in the Disney story).

Avoid the San Vicent e de la Barquera albegue but pay the € to visit the church behind it, with the guided tour. Visit the old university in Comillas and Gaudi's capricho, sleep in the old prison.

Avoid the Santander albegue but enjoupy the city, and go to the Magdalena, summer palace, if you have the time.
 

Kimberley Hall

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte September 2016
Menu del dia: beautiful lunches at midday (2 or 3 pm) rather than any sort of evening meal that will likely end up being fries, a sandwhich or other crappy snack. Menu del dia @ 8-11 € are gorgeous. Try the fabada, the fish, the pinxos when is Bilbao (any time of day), the Carbayon pastry in Llanes and Vermud Solera, agrd vermouth. Stay in the albergue in Hazas and ask for the route out of town through the chapel of San Julian, about 500 meters later to your right you will see one of the most beautiful views ever.

Albergues on this route are a notch above the rest, sometimes with your bed a,ready made with clean crispy white sheets. Piedad in Boo de Pielago, 20 meters fromthe train stop where you must take the train for 1 stop as to not cross a bridge by food illegally has a super clean house, with a real bathroom for 1 person at a time, with towels! A real luxury. There were 3 of us when I stayed there, the couple took the small room, I had the large room to myself. She lives inthe rest of the house. Albergue el Solar de los Hidalgos in Santillana is out of a historical movie, and coe to think about it has a bit of a courtyard where they may let you pitch a tent: you'll fee like Sancho Panza is about to walk in the room.

Guemes is well know, a bit of a landmark on the route. Huge facilities, but super thin foam mattress, but large coomunal meal, packed with people. The trick is to arrive mid pm and see if they offer you staff left overs: yum! Simple sopa de ajo, a beautiful tomato salad. Avoid staying in the little cabanas by the washrooms: they pile peiple in! Even in the rooms on the second floor the bunk beds are stacked 3 high. And decide of you want to go listen to the evening story.

Pick where you will sleep in Bilbao carefully. It's a party town and you may need a good night sleep tp get over jetlag and get going, so paying a little extra for that night may be a good idea. Stroll aroind the Gug and the old part of town, do walk in the touristy loking courtyard as you enter thr old town and splurge on the pinxos sold by all the reataurants around that plaza: walk around first, see what appeals to you and have 2 there, 3 there, another there... Yum!

Do not miss the Txacoli (tchakolee), the Basque sparkling wine, enjoy the grilled sardines, have your credencial stamped int the church in the old town, the one with the railings. Enjoy the cidra served from an extend arm, or even better a dwarf doll they will install on your bottle (yup, like in the Disney story).

Avoid the San Vicent e de la Barquera albegue but pay the € to visit the church behind it, with the guided tour. Visit the old university in Comillas and Gaudi's capricho, sleep in the old prison.

Avoid the Santander albegue but enjoupy the city, and go to the Magdalena, summer palace, if you have the time.
Amazing info - eternal thank yous for being so helpful :) I'm so excited and I have another 6 months to go!!!
 

formysons

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Roncesvalles - Santiago 2009; Portuguese, Ingles, Finesterre and Muxia - 2019.
I also hope to do the Norte in September, do not have an exact date yet, maybe start mid August, let's make the best of this lovely route and enjoy every minute of it. Keep in contact via this forum, nice to know another solo female (much younger than me though) will also be walking at the same time on the same camino. I plan to travel light, last time (Frances) I had tendonitis problem and struggled with a heavy bag, sent some of my stuff back home from Pamplona, bit late because by then I already had the micro tear in my achilis tendon. Stay safe, when you get hurt it is not fun walking on your own.
 

Paula Naeff

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte Aug/Sept 2016
Hi Kym
Thanks for your posts and questions, and thanks to all who have replied. I have also now booked my flight to Bilbao and back from Santiago de Compostela starting end of August and finishing end of September. I'll be walking alone and for the first time, don't speak Spanish (maybe I will learn a few words by then) and won't be camping. Kym, how are you preparing for this journey and when are you starting? Would be nice to meet someone "familiar" en route.
Thanks again. Talk to you soon.
Paula
 

Thornley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x 2 , Norte x 2 , Le Puy x 3 , Portuguese x 2,
Mont St Michel , Primitivo .
What's the one piece of advice you'd give me and what one item was most precious to you during the walk?
There will not be that many places you will be able to camp , believe me.
Don't let a farmer see a smoke in your hand Kim , its a no no in the bush.
Paw Paw cream will be handy and respect for where you are paramount.
 

Nann

Nannette's Journey
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Del Norte August 2016
Hi All,

I'm so excited I booked my flights yesterday to walk the Camino del Norte starting from Bilbao in September this year. It's been a dream for many years. I have done my research on the different routes and as this is the least walked I have chosen this one. I'll be doing the walk alone so any friendly faces doing the walk at the same time please say hi!

I'm going to be camping the route instead of the hostels, simply because I treasure my privacy. I have the route mapped out and after watching some really helpful videos on the forum I think I know what I need to take - basically as little as possible, amazing walking boots and blister treatment!

For those that have walked the route what's your advice? Did you do any training before? Who has camped the route and what do you suggest?

As I understand it very few people along the route speak English, so I'm in the process of learning Spanish too, along with some help from my Spanish boyfriend!!

I look forward to connecting and hearing your advice, thank you :)

Kym.
I am going to do the Del Norte alone at the same time. I am trying to plan out how to do it in 30 days. I can only take off 5 weeks of work. I'm planning on being there the whole month of September.
 

Get on our Mailing list for new products on the Camino Store and news from the Camino Forum







Advertisement

Booking.com

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter






Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 16 1.3%
  • February

    Votes: 9 0.8%
  • March

    Votes: 50 4.2%
  • April

    Votes: 179 15.1%
  • May

    Votes: 292 24.6%
  • June

    Votes: 85 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 23 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 27 2.3%
  • September

    Votes: 339 28.5%
  • October

    Votes: 146 12.3%
  • November

    Votes: 17 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 6 0.5%
Top
AdBlock Detected

We get it, advertisements are annoying!

Sure, ad-blocking software does a great job at blocking ads, but it also blocks useful features of our website. For the best site experience please disable your AdBlocker.

I've Disabled AdBlock