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Norte west of Gijon and Del Mar routes

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Year of past OR future Camino
2012
West of Gijon is possibly some of the most spectacular coasts of the Norte. Ribadeo is well worth a visit. If you want to persist you could make your way to Ferrol and follow the Ingles into SdC.

Unless you are referring to the Ruta de Faros I'm not sure how you would link the Norte in Spain and the Del Mar in Portugal.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2012
@jungleboy, thanks! Except now I've got yet another Camino to add to the list. I guess when I walked that way in the '80's it didn't have a name. I just followed the coast or near to it from Santander to Ferrol conscious that the shells and occasional yellow arrows had run out after Ribadeo.

It always made sense to me that pilgrims from England, Wales and Ireland would make the, sometime risky, sea voyage to the north coast of Spain and walk from wherever they landed: Bilbao, Santander, Gijon, Ribadeo, Ferrol, A Coruna. The alternative, often risky, route through the Netherlands and France must have made the coastal route quite attractive.

I'm conscious that @Tia Valeria has posted much on that route and it obviously slipped my mind when I responded to Bill
 

FSP

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I can't comment on the alternate coastal route after Ribadeo as I did the norte route that cuts inland to SDC from there. I agree with Tincatinker that the most spectacular parts of the norte are after Gijon. Also, do yourself a favour and research the well documented off road alternates on the norte, in particular the coastal route out of Santander (I used the Wise Pilgrim app and book). It just about doubles the km to Boo but is the most spectacular stretch of coastline I've ever seen and I live on a coastline and have travelled extensively. Enjoy your journey!
Frank
 
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Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi Bill - The biggest thing to note about the Mar, in case you aren't aware, is that there's pretty much no pilgrim infrastructure. The yellow arrows are... to be kind, sporadic, so you'd want to be comfortable with a gps app. (In many places, the "Camiño Cantábrico" is a superior walk through this stretch, though the two routes often overlap.) There are no albergues. There are almost no pilgrims.

For some, of course, that's part of its charm! You really do get to see some spectacular coastal terrain, along with some fun fishing towns. San Andrés de Teixido is a special place. And I was just thinking about how fun it is to arrive in Ferrol on foot, along the coast, coming past the castle.

Anyway, I think it's a blast, though it is definitely not for everyone.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
How do people feel about the Norte west of Gijon all the way to the Del Mar and even using the Del Mar to go around to SDC?

I know the Primitivo is great but never mind that. What about the beauty, path style, and other aspects of going up and over the NW of Spain?
It sounds like an interesting way to go. Let us know about any information you have uncovered.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Hi Bill - The biggest thing to note about the Mar, in case you aren't aware, is that there's pretty much no pilgrim infrastructure. The yellow arrows are... to be kind, sporadic, so you'd want to be comfortable with a gps app. (In many places, the "Camiño Cantábrico" is a superior walk through this stretch, though the two routes often overlap.) There are no albergues. There are almost no pilgrims.

For some, of course, that's part of its charm! You really do get to see some spectacular coastal terrain, along with some fun fishing towns. San Andrés de Teixido is a special place. And I was just thinking about how fun it is to arrive in Ferrol on foot, along the coast, coming past the castle.

Anyway, I think it's a blast, though it is definitely not for everyone.
What is the distance between Ribadeo and Ferrol? How many K is it between places to sleep?
 

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
What is the distance between Ribadeo and Ferrol? How many K is it between places to sleep?

It really depends! In many cases, you can choose between a couple of different options, one longer and more scenic, the other shorter and a bit less interesting. In my recommended stages (see book page 11 in this sample), it runs roughly 190km between Ribadeo and Xubia, on the outskirts of Ferrol. But, there are ways to make it substantially longer.

Speaking broadly, you can find some sort of accommodation every 20-30km, though Teixido is the tricky spot. Worst case, you might need to use a taxi to get to/from an accommodation on a particular night, but it's workable.

Check the Mar section of the forum for more details! I've posted there a fair amount, as have a handful of other Mar fans. And Magwood's blog is an amazing resource.

For those sticking with the Norte, I'll make the pitch that you consider spending two nights in Ribadeo. On your "day off," leave your pack in your accommodation and make the stunning coastal walk to Praia das Catedrais on the Mar/Cantábrico, enjoy the famous beach, then take the train back to Ribadeo. A perfect little change of pace!
 

Josefine

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés Primitivo Aragonés/Francés, Portugues Fisterra/Muxia Norte San Salvador Via Gebennesis
This is a real temptation for next year if the situation allows it!! I have walked Norte from Irún to Gijón in 2013 but didn’t continue. Did visit Praia das Catedrais travelling by car and I agree with David It is truly spectacular! Walking there from Ribadeo would be something to dream about this grey winter. My biggest concern if I would chose to walk the Ruta do Mar would be the stages. Too long and too hard means it not for me. I’ll have to look in to it.
thanks for posting about it!
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
"Del Mar" has been so far named on this forum "Ruta do Mar". In this context, the official name that I think is put by the Church must be in Spanish? I really don't know.
 

Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
I've seen Camino del Mar and Ruta do Mar. It first came to my attention as Ruta, so it has stuck that way! Given that the Santiago authorities haven't acknowledged it as an "official" Camino, I find the distinction helpful in that regard.

Josefine, the stage concerns have definitely been an impediment to folks taking this route on. I think it's possible, with good planning, to generally carve out walkable stages. Indeed, after just skimming back through my info, I think you could make it work without breaking 25km (maybe 26-27 on the worst day). To do that would, counter-intuitively, require opting for the longer coastal approach in a couple of places in order to hit towns with facilities.

When scouting, though, I've also used both the train and the taxi to get to/from accommodations.
 

Josefine

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés Primitivo Aragonés/Francés, Portugues Fisterra/Muxia Norte San Salvador Via Gebennesis
I've seen Camino del Mar and Ruta do Mar. It first came to my attention as Ruta, so it has stuck that way! Given that the Santiago authorities haven't acknowledged it as an "official" Camino, I find the distinction helpful in that regard.

Josefine, the stage concerns have definitely been an impediment to folks taking this route on. I think it's possible, with good planning, to generally carve out walkable stages. Indeed, after just skimming back through my info, I think you could make it work without breaking 25km (maybe 26-27 on the worst day). To do that would, counter-intuitively, require opting for the longer coastal approach in a couple of places in order to hit towns with facilities.

When scouting, though, I've also used both the train and the taxi to get to/from accommodations.
Thank you Dave, sounds doable, I might give it a try!
 
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4 Eyes

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
The first 3-4 Ks or so NW outside of Gijon, for me, was a hellish journey through a valley with loud and unrelenting industrial noise, foul smell, and seamy sights. Of all the camino routes I have walked, that was the most trying section. I don't know how the inhabitants of the hillside villages cope with it. I am sure the villages pre-existed the industrial development.
Once you get to the top of the hills, however, you leave the foul stuff behind. Although it was not particularly beautiful on the top of the hills, in comparison it was almost heavenly. The sense of joy and relief I felt was incomparable. I was glad to have experienced the hellish section though, for I gained a fuller picture of life in Northern Spain.
After that part the Norte was fine. It's different from the Primitivo but definitely worth walking. I saw fewer pilgrims, fewer tourists, beautiful coastal villages, mud when it rained, some overgrown trails, and enough ups and downs.
The route is well marked and not too hard on the feet.
I have not been on the del Mar so can't comment on that.
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
How do people feel about the Norte west of Gijon all the way to the Del Mar and even using the Del Mar to go around to SDC?

I know the Primitivo is great but never mind that. What about the beauty, path style, and other aspects of going up and over the NW of Spain?

The name of the route up there is Camino Cantabrico. It is most likely the most beautiful coastline in Spain. But there is no albergues and the accommodation is very few and hard to find.

So, you need a tent or similar if you want to walk that route. It is marked though, with official signs, and is called Camino Cantabrico.

Camino Cantabrico (Ribadeo - Cobo Ortigal)
Camiño dos Mortos / Camiño de Santo André de Teixido (Cabo Ortigal - Santo André de Teixido)

The most spectacular places there are:

Praia das Catedrais, Spain
Banco-Mirador acantilados do Loiba
Capo Ortegal

...try to Google them.

Best
Andy
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
For those sticking with the Norte, I'll make the pitch that you consider spending two nights in Ribadeo. On your "day off," leave your pack in your accommodation and make the stunning coastal walk to Praia das Catedrais on the Mar/Cantábrico, enjoy the famous beach,
Be aware that in the busy season you need a reservation to go to this beach.

 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
It really depends! In many cases, you can choose between a couple of different options, one longer and more scenic, the other shorter and a bit less interesting. In my recommended stages (see book page 11 in this sample), it runs roughly 190km between Ribadeo and Xubia, on the outskirts of Ferrol. But, there are ways to make it substantially longer.

Speaking broadly, you can find some sort of accommodation every 20-30km, though Teixido is the tricky spot. Worst case, you might need to use a taxi to get to/from an accommodation on a particular night, but it's workable.

Check the Mar section of the forum for more details! I've posted there a fair amount, as have a handful of other Mar fans. And Magwood's blog is an amazing resource.

For those sticking with the Norte, I'll make the pitch that you consider spending two nights in Ribadeo. On your "day off," leave your pack in your accommodation and make the stunning coastal walk to Praia das Catedrais on the Mar/Cantábrico, enjoy the famous beach, then take the train back to Ribadeo. A perfect little change of pace!
Thanks for this great information! Look forward to reading everything!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
If you check out the various threads on the Ruta do Mar section of the forum (to distinguish from the Del Mar coming up from the south to Santiago) you will find that several of us have walked at least part of it.

Accommodation is sparse and no albergues, all private. Food can be a challenge too some days. It is however a lovely and rewarding walk. I think it is approx 320kms from Ribadeo to Santiago via San Andres de Teixido and Ferrol, but it is a long while now since we did the calculations. We all walked slightly different routes depending on our maps, online guides etc before @Dave produced his guide.

Use @Dave's guide, research, check out booking.com or similar for places to stay and enjoy a very quiet and beautiful Camino would be my recommendation.

Buen Camino
 
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Dave

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
There is a Ruta del Mar de Arousa y Rio Ulla that has to do with the Variante Espiritual on Camino Portugues.
Ha! Yeah, I missed that completely. I'm old enough now to remember a time when I could actually keep track of all of the "named" branches of the Camino...
 

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