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Northern Caminos: Updates, Accommodation List

2020 Camino Guides

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
AWESOME timing @Dave ! Thank you very much.
EDIT: BTW, I forgot to say we got the book a few weeks back!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Jul-Sept 2019: Six weeks in Northern Spain.
Apr 2018 Asturias
May 2016 CP: Portuguese
Seriously, perfect timing for me to find this...and you JUST put it up yesterday...wow.
 

crackmrmac

Veteran Member
Good man Dave, thanks for updates.

It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos
Yes indeed. I walked this great Camino last Fall using 2012 edition.

Buen Camino from rebel that walked railway after Santander!!!
 
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Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Last week, we reached out to the ~800 or so accommodations that we track on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés to seek updates for 2016. While the response rate has been slow, as many places close over the holidays, or even through the winter, we've already gotten some interesting news to share:
  • There's a new albergue coming soon to Ferreira on the Camino Primitivo. Called Albergue A Nave de Ferreira, it's located a short distance before the Ponte Ferreira albergue, and it's expected to open in early April. It will have 42 beds (12 euros for the night) and a few private rooms, along with meals available
  • One of the emerging trends is the creation of albergues within established hotels. This isn't new by any means (I can think of El Pito's Albergue Cudillero and Luarca's Albergue Villa de Luarca as two examples), but it seems to be expanding in 2016. Specifically, there are three new/newer places to highlight. In Tineo, on the Primitivo, the Palacio de Merás launched an albergue in 2015 that earned rave reviews from one pilgrim who wrote to us. It's a posh hotel and pilgrims have access to the spa. Up next, two other hotels on the Norte have informed us that they're adding albergues: Hotel Canero in Valdés (just after Cadavedo) and Hotel Montero in Mondoñedo. The latter may open as early as April; the former shouldn't be expected before June at the earliest
  • This isn't new, but it's striking to me how Cóbreces on the Norte has become awash with beds. Between the older albergue in the Cistercian abbey, the small Albergue O Pino, and the giant new Albergue Viejo Lucas, there are roughly 200 beds available in that small town. Hopefully this leads to some funds to resuscitate the old church
  • Early indications are that private albergue prices will generally be in the 10-18 euro range, and I'd suggest setting 12 as the new baseline. Albergues based in hotels and youth hostels are more likely to have seasonal rates, spiking in the summer and dropping in the off-season. Pilgrim-oriented privados generally maintain the same price year-round and are more likely to be in the 10-12 range
  • Hotel prices, at least based on what we've heard so far, are roughly holding steady from last year, increasing at most 5%. (It's important to note that we've only heard back from a small percentage of hotels so far.) Keep in mind that rates vary dramatically across seasons, especially on the Norte. July/August rates are consistently 50-100% higher than October-May rates. Depending upon the hotel, June and September can fall high, low, or in their own "mid-season" range. Pilgrims walking in the off-season may find the prices comparable in a hotel triple/quad to a private albergue, and it's worth shopping around for a discount
That's it for now. As we learn more, I'll post other updates in this thread and add them to the Northern Caminos site as well. Happy new year, all!

Dave
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
O, can i make an Adjustment tip or 2?

Please focus on better maps. The maps used are not very usefull.

Maybe think about lighter paper and changing the size? Used paper is quite think and this makes the whole book to have to carry with you and sometimes stages are spread out over as much as 8!! pages. This is really not very user friendly.

These are just opinions, but on the other hand, these are also suggestions from a customer/end user
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
O, can i make an Adjustment tip or 2?

Please focus on better maps. The maps used are not very usefull.

Maybe think about lighter paper and changing the size? Used paper is quite think and this makes the whole book to have to carry with you and sometimes stages are spread out over as much as 8!! pages. This is really not very user friendly.

These are just opinions, but on the other hand, these are also suggestions from a customer/end user
I agree with Dutch when it comes to the weight and format. You also have to crack open the book at this time if you want to write in it or take pictures of the pages. And yes, more info per page for those of us who take pictures of them to have handy in our smart phones.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Dutch and Anemone: we've heard the feedback loud and clear. Will do our best to push through significant changes following our re-walking of all routes this summer. Definitely learned a lot from the experience of making our first guidebook and hope that we can make it much better as we move forward.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Hi Dave
Thank you for the guide. It was helpful. I had not realised you were contactable via the forum. I guess it is now too late to post any corrections to phone numbers along to way?)
Maybe in the future -(better maps? ) I found them pretty hard going, sorry. Hard to pin point where you were for instance. But that's just my opinion as I need something simple.
Annie
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Happy to receive any and all corrections, Annie!
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Maps mabe a bit more simplistic....i hate to say it, but kinda like brierley simplistic.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I like the ones in the Roher books which show routes, bus and train stations. Very handy when you have to split a traditional etapa in two with transport back and forth from a mid-point. Imhave no problems with findind distance between points in the current format as the points are listed in the text with distances.
 

spursfan

Veteran Member
Dave

The description of Vilela (p175) could be clearer - fork right into town is misleading - the focus should be on getting to the bar/albergue that is after and uphill from the handful of houses that you keep on your right - I can remember a road junction before the houses - a clear direction from that junction together with approximate distance in metres to the albergue would be helpful

Since the location is so remote (not too sure how often the bar is open) I was glad to be able to stay there - the albergue is above the local meeting room, though thankfully the meeting downstairs ended shortly after 10 that night

You do mention at the beginning of the chapter how few opportunities there are to refuel - I can't remember any shop for the 27k between Ribadeo and Lourenza - but it might be worth an extra mention in the notes for Ribadeo itself, reminding one to stock up

Mike
 
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Hi Dave!
I am just wondering if the book I bought 2013 is not working. I did 270 km in 2014 but had to leave home because of illness in my family. Since then I have been thinking of doing the rest of the North Camino, but haven´t done it, a little worried of doing it alone, as in 2014 I was with friends that finished it.
So, can I use my "old guide book" this year if I decide to do it. I sure want to, might even find some people on the way to walk with.
Thank you and best regards
Runa in Iceland
 
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Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Two more notable updates:
  • The monastery in Zenarruza has added a second room to its albergue. It now has the capacity to sleep 20 pilgrims, and will continue to offer dinner and breakfast, all by donation. Open all year, except for Christmas
  • The folks running Albergue Turístico Castelos in Vilalba are adding another private albergue in Seixón, 12km after Baamonde. I don't have an exact opening date, but I'm told it's "soon." Hard to believe there will now be three albergues clustered in the 3km stretch connecting Seixón and Miraz!
 

ramble-on

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2010; LePuy 2011; VdlP 2013/14; CdN (to Oviedo) & Primitivo 2016
Hi Dave,
I'm a bit confused (nothing new with that!). I have the kindle edition (identified as "second edition 2015/reprinted 2015 with updates") which I just downloaded a few days ago. Does that edition have all the material in your website updates (which are dated 11/30/2015) or do I need to add them to my pack? I'm enjoying reading the guide and am looking forward to the trek on the Norte/Primitivo/Finisterre - probably mid-June to end July. I agree with others' comments about maps, and in the kindle edition, they are quite fuzzy when zoomed in on. Much better than many others but could be improved in future.
Dick
 
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spursfan

Veteran Member
My guess is that the website updates are not in the second printed edition and so will need to be added/scanned
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi Dave,
I'm a bit confused (nothing new with that!). I have the kindle edition (identified as "second edition 2015/reprinted 2015 with updates") which I just downloaded a few days ago. Does that edition have all the material in your website updates (which are dated 11/30/2015) or do I need to add them to my pack? I'm enjoying reading the guide and am looking forward to the trek on the Norte/Primitivo/Finisterre - probably mid-June to end August. I agree with others' comments about maps, and in the kindle edition, they are quite fuzzy when zoomed in on. Much better than many others but could be improved in future.
Dick
Hi Dick,

Sorry for the slow response. If you have the reprint of the 2nd edition, then you should have nearly everything that is posted in the updates section of the website, aside from the changes noted in this thread. The quickest way to check: flip to page 43. If Irún's albergue is listed as opening in April and having 48 beds, and if Pensión Bowling is listed as charging 30-50 euros for a single, or 40-60 for a double, then you're good.

Brand new maps will be coming after this summer. Not soon enough for you, I'm afraid, but it's definitely a priority. We may overlap--I'll be starting off in Irún around June 25. Hope to see you on the way!

Dave
 

ramble-on

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2010; LePuy 2011; VdlP 2013/14; CdN (to Oviedo) & Primitivo 2016
Thanks very much, Dave. It looks like it's up to date as it has the above details. As to the maps, that's good news for future pilgrims, but I will just have to muddle through! It seems much of the route is well marked, or fairly well marked, so I should be ok. However, if you see late middle-aged gent wandering around looking mystified, that might be me so please point in the right direction!:)
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Except the Francés
Sorry if this duplicates information posted elsewhere, but when I passed through in November there was a sign on the door of the albergue in Piñera saying it was closed from 1 November, and not giving an re-opening date - but somehow giving me the impression that it was not going to be any time soon. Gronze and mundicamino both say it's open all year, while jacobeo says it's closed for reformas without giving a re-opening date, so it might be worth ringing ahead if anybody is planning to stay there: 679363819 (Pilar).

It didn't matter to me, as I was going from Luarca to La Caridad that day, but it's several km from the next town, and I don't think there was anything in the way of alternative accommodation if you did happen to arrive there after a long day.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Thanks for the tip, Alan. I have emails out to a few different places in the area to get an update on the albergue's status.
 
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Thank you Dave, I am sure this will be good to have in my guide book when I start my journey May the 6th from Güemes. You sure are doing a great job.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
I've gotten confirmation that the albergue in Piñera is currently closed. Still trying to find out if this is permanent...
 

Elena_RU

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Primitivo, 2014. Camino del Norte, 2016.
I've gotten confirmation that the albergue in Piñera is currently closed. Still trying to find out if this is permanent...
Thanks! I'm looking forward for the update. I'm gonna be there in 2 weeks. I hope it's closed not for long.
I've read the message above. Thanks, Alansykes!
 
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TracitaEnCamino

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Future Norte--Primitivo
Last week, we reached out to the ~800 or so accommodations that we track on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés to seek updates for 2016. While the response rate has been slow, as many places close over the holidays, or even through the winter, we've already gotten some interesting news to share:
  • There's a new albergue coming soon to Ferreira on the Camino Primitivo. Called Albergue A Nave de Ferreira, it's located a short distance before the Ponte Ferreira albergue, and it's expected to open in early April. It will have 42 beds (12 euros for the night) and a few private rooms, along with meals available
  • One of the emerging trends is the creation of albergues within established hotels. This isn't new by any means (I can think of El Pito's Albergue Cudillero and Luarca's Albergue Villa de Luarca as two examples), but it seems to be expanding in 2016. Specifically, there are three new/newer places to highlight. In Tineo, on the Primitivo, the Palacio de Merás launched an albergue in 2015 that earned rave reviews from one pilgrim who wrote to us. It's a posh hotel and pilgrims have access to the spa. Up next, two other hotels on the Norte have informed us that they're adding albergues: Hotel Canero in Valdés (just after Cadavedo) and Hotel Montero in Mondoñedo. The latter may open as early as April; the former shouldn't be expected before June at the earliest
  • This isn't new, but it's striking to me how Cóbreces on the Norte has become awash with beds. Between the older albergue in the Cistercian abbey, the small Albergue O Pino, and the giant new Albergue Viejo Lucas, there are roughly 200 beds available in that small town. Hopefully this leads to some funds to resuscitate the old church
  • Early indications are that private albergue prices will generally be in the 10-18 euro range, and I'd suggest setting 12 as the new baseline. Albergues based in hotels and youth hostels are more likely to have seasonal rates, spiking in the summer and dropping in the off-season. Pilgrim-oriented privados generally maintain the same price year-round and are more likely to be in the 10-12 range
  • Hotel prices, at least based on what we've heard so far, are roughly holding steady from last year, increasing at most 5%. (It's important to note that we've only heard back from a small percentage of hotels so far.) Keep in mind that rates vary dramatically across seasons, especially on the Norte. July/August rates are consistently 50-100% higher than October-May rates. Depending upon the hotel, June and September can fall high, low, or in their own "mid-season" range. Pilgrims walking in the off-season may find the prices comparable in a hotel triple/quad to a private albergue, and it's worth shopping around for a discount
That's it for now. As we learn more, I'll post other updates in this thread and add them to the Northern Caminos site as well. Happy new year, all!

Dave
Hi Dave!

This is amazing! I admit, I am rushing right now and have not had a chance to look over the lists. I'm sure they will be very helpful! My question is, are there hostels/albergues in between the destinations.....let's say I don't just stick to the Etapas and end up somewhere in the middle of two villages, will there be accommodations along the way are they on either end? I know, I need to do my homework... :) Thanks!
 

Ed t

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
French, portugese, vdlp
My wife and I bought the Kindle Edition for our recent walk. Loved it! Particularly when we realised that it is MUCH easier to read from an iPhone (via the Kindle Reader app) than from a Kindle (colour, map clarity, gesture control etc). And the iPhone is smaller too, so win win. Thanks very much.
 

Peregrino44

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014) Finisterre (2014)
Hi Dave,

Thank you for all your hard work. I ordered the Cicerone Guide last week, giving it only 20 business days to arrive at my house before I leave for the Norte. If it does not come before I leave, is it possible to pick up the book in a store in Bilbao? Could you recommend a bookstore that would carry it, if so?

Thank you

Peregrino44
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi everyone,

A few more accommodation-related updates for 2016 from the Norte:
  • Gernika's Albergue de Peregrinos, which has opened in summer the last couple of years and been based in the Escuela Pública Allende Salazar's gymnasium, may not reopen in 2016. Construction is taking place in the gym and it's unknown when this will be completed. If you're walking through the area in July/August, call the turismo in advance to check on its availability: 946 25 58 92. Gernika's youth hostel is still open
  • There's a new albergue in small Caborredondo, Albergue Izarra. 6€, 20 beds, 628 428 167. This is a new albergue from Alex, who formerly served as hospitalero at Bodenaya
  • New albergue in Llanes with a very central location: Albergue La Casona del Pelegrino (15€, 44 beds, doubles 50€, includes breakfast, W/D, c/Colegio la Encarnación 3, 985 402 494)
  • Finally, on the Primitivo, the new albergue in Ferreira is finally set to open within the week: Albergue A Nave de Ferreira. It's located a short distance before the Ponte Ferreira albergue and will have 42 beds (12 euros for the night) and a few private rooms, along with meals available
We're gearing up to head back to the Norte/Primitivo/Inglés in late June. Looking forward to re-walking all of the routes in the book and overhauling all of the maps (among other things). Hope to see some of you on the trail!

Dave
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
One more quick update: I just received word that the Casa de Acogida de Tarrueza, a small albergue located just before Laredo, has closed.
 

Mitch Dion

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena, Italy
planning Camino Del Norte
Has anyone had a recent stay at the Albergue in Pasajes de san Juan? Santa Ana? The phone number listed on the Accommodation list seems to be disconnected. We are traveling with 4 pilgrims, so wanted to get in touch with them in advance. Thanks!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi Mitch,

Here are the two numbers I have for the albergue: 618 93 96 66 / 943 526 461. Which one is dead? Does the other work?

Thanks,
Dave
 

Mitch Dion

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Francigena, Italy
planning Camino Del Norte
Hi David,
Thanks for the help-
the "618" number I get a message saying not a serviceable number.
the "943" number rings and rings without a pick up- will try again tomorrow.
Best,
Mitch
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Food, not accommodation!
When passing through stage 21 in the guide - the restaurant in Ballota had a sign out saying closed Saturdays - the nearest food we found was in Novellana which for pilgrims is before Ballota.
Also in La Isla (stage 17) there is now only one bar, cafe-bar Lesmar, and that is closed on Tuesdays as their day off. The nearby shop is open.
In Comillas (stage13/14) we felt that prices in the plaza were very expensive compared with our other experiences so would suggest checking prices carefully if on a strict budget.
Sorry this is backwards but it is the direction in which we were travelling.
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
Here are the two numbers I have for the albergue: 618 93 96 66 / 943 526 461. Which one is dead? Does the other work?
hi, dave!

I also have this number for santa Ana albergue. 943/526 431. perhaps this one will work?
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi everyone,

Laura and I are gearing up for a big summer in northern Spain. In support of the next edition of Northern Caminos, we'll be walking the following:
  • Camino del Norte (including all major variants)
  • Camino Primitivo (ditto)
  • Camino Inglés
  • Ruta do Mar
  • Camino del Salvador
  • Voie Littorale (Bayonne-Hendaye)
  • Camino Lebaniego
  • Camino a Covadonga (near Villaviciosa - Covadonga)
What will we do with all of those new routes? Unclear at the moment! But, this is our best shot to do some extensive work in-country, so we're taking advantage of it. At a minimum, the Norte/Primitivo/Inglés content will be used for a totally overhauled new edition of Northern Caminos with completely new maps and elevation profiles.

(Just to be clear: we've just submitted updates for a re-printing of the current edition. I suspect that new printing will be out within a couple of months. Most of the major updates for that are available on NorthernCaminos.com. The new edition, with all of the big changes, will take more time--I hope that it's available in advance of next summer.)

We'll post observations and notes from the road at the new Facebook page in support of the book, and important updates to the website as well. Thanks to everyone who has contributed feedback over the last few years. We hope to have a much better book available for you soon.

Dave
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Ruta do Mar
We walked much of this last year. We can PM you places we walked through and accommodation if it is helpful. Also notes on our blog for at Camino 2015.
@Magwood has also just walked this as did @alansykes last year. We all seem to have found different routes in some places!!! and some of the signing left much to be desired. In other places it was excellent. A good guide is definitely needed.
We have also walked and found some good accommodation between Arriondas and Covadonga which we can send to you.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Thank you, Tia Valeria! I've definitely read carefully through your blog and the other forum members' to glean whatever insight and guidance I can. But, I would be happy to receive any other information that you have to share.

I'm hoping to have plenty of time left in my trip when I arrive at the Mar, so that I can fully explore some different options. Magwood definitely got me interested in making the detour to Estaca de Bares. We'll see what happens!
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Hola Dave, just sent you a PM with the accommodation lists for both Ruta do Mar (Ribadeo to Cedeira) and the Camino from Arriondas to Covadonga.
Buen Caminos
 

caminka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
see signature
New albergue will open on the camino in Larrabetzu for July and August, catered by Bizkaya camino organization (Hosvobi). 20 beds and 10 mattresses, microwaves and fridge, washing and drying machine. donativo. this gives another option before Bilbao.

http://www.hosvobi.org/albergues/larrabetzu/
http://caminodesantiago.consumer.es/albergue-de-peregrinos-de-larrabetzu

Hosvobi also has another albergue listed on the picture on their home site, in Zarra-Olabe between Ziortza and Gernika, but no other info. it doesn't look to be the same as the one in Mendata.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
That's a great place for an albergue!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi all,

I'm in Castro-Urdiales tonight. Having a blast being back on the Norte. Whenever possible, I'm posting a bunch of stuff to the Facebook page for Northern Caminos. Here's the most recent update, outlining route changes I've noticed on the Norte so far. Worth emphasizing: the waymarking, by and large, has been very reliable. There has definitely been some investment into upkeep and trail development throughout the Basque Country's portion of the Norte.

---------------------------

I arrived in Castro-Urdiales today, which means I've cleared the Basque Country and arrived in Cantabria. Here are some route changes I've noticed on the Camino del Norte so far. Some may be very recent, some may be a couple of years old at this point, but they definitely diverge from what the book tells you:

1) Right out of the gates: the route departing Irún has changed! It stays on the GI-2134 longer after leaving the city center, not turning left until after crossing the Canal Amuteko (and being right on the edge of the San Sebastián airport). Not a major upgrade, but it probably saves you a little asphalt in the end

2) I mentioned this before, but the coastal option to Deba no longer enters the city from the coast, due I suspect to trail erosion. Instead, it joins the Camino a bit before the descent to the city center. The Camino follows a cement road downhill towards the city and then forks onto cobblestones. It's a tough descent. If your knees are aching at this point, you could ignore the cobblestones and stay on the cement road--the way the Camino formerly followed--and ultimately descend into the city via elevator

3) The waymark-defacement problem departing Deba has been resolved. No special directions required any longer--the waymarking is entirely clear

4) The descent into Markina-Xemein has changed, remaining on a cement road throughout now. It's less steep (still plenty steep) and a bit longer

5) The entire approach through Markina has also changed, looping past the two churches along the eastside of town before turning due west. Every time I pass through Markina, the route changes. It's a bit maddening, especially because there are now all kinds of residual waymarks causing confusion in the town. In the end, though, it's small enough to not matter too much

6) Not a route change, but worth noting: the trail quality has improved dramatically between Zenarruza and Gernika. In the past, there were some muddy, slippery stretches. Now, a lot of gravel has been distributed to improve footing, and wooden platforms/steps have been installed in the most perilous downhill stretches. A little less adventure, I'm afraid, but a lot more safety

7) The Camino almost entirely avoids the highway prior to arriving in Gernika now. Sometimes, it takes some borderline silly detours to achieve this feat, but still!

8) If you would like to save yourself a kilometer on the walk after Lezama (en route to Bilbao), turn left in the roundabout after the Kurtzea train station (this is when walking along the highway between Lezama and Zamudio). Some waymarks will encourage you to turn left here for the shortcut, while the majority insist that you keep straight on. The shortcut will bypass Zamudio entirely and rejoin the "official" route on the other side of the N-637

9) Those interested in bypassing the city center of Bilbao are in look. There's a GR option that forks off the Camino shortly after descending from Monte Avril park. You can find a map of the route there. It will deliver you very close to where our suggested walk to Portugalete along the eastside of the Nervion begins

10) The "official" Camino between Bilbao and Portugalete is dramatically improved. It's shorter (just 14.5km from Plaza de Unamuno in Bilbao's old town to Portugalete's albergue) and it has some really pleasant river views. It will still take you through some shabbier parts of town, but I think it's a really interesting glimpse into the city as a whole. I would walk it again.

11) Note: the Camino through Bilbao now passes directly by two albergues de peregrinos: Santa Cruz de Begoña (the descent to the city from the Begoña church has been re-routed to pass by this) and Claret Enea, which is right on c/San Francisco. Incidentally, Calle San Francisco is pretty fun--all around the albergue are international groceries (LatAm, African, Asian), kebab and Indian/Pakistani restaurants, and internet centers

12) Finally, this comes from Laura: the route between Liendo and Laredo has changed. Instead of staying inland and following the highway a lot, you know veer out earlier to the coast and have a much better walk. I'll get to see that for myself tomorrow!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Route updates in Cantabria and Asturias (through Avilés)

As I´m typing this under time constraints in the Avilés library, I´m going to have to be a bit more skeletal on details, but here are some of the biggest route changes I´ve seen so far:

1) I mentioned this before, but the route between Liendo and Laredo has changed a bit, staying almost entirely off the highway now, aside from a very brief stint early on. It´s all still paved, but you´re on minor, country roads.

2) The route between Galizano and Somo that we recommended along the coast is now the official route, with all arrows directing you that way. This is a good thing!

3) Leaving Barreda, watch out for a rogue yellow waymark urging you to turn left soon after crossing the bridge. This is an albergue in Quevada, trying to get your business. (You probably should pay attention if you´re staying in that albergue!)

4) In Cóbreces, there is now an official route and an alternative route. The alternative is the route that used to be the official route, and it´s the one outlined in the book. The official route passes by all three albergues, remaining on the highway, and then actually leaves town by going all the way out to the beach before shooting back inland afterward to La Iglesia. It´s a little bit longer and on paved roads most of the way, but the beach is nice.

5) OK, the route between Comillas and San Vicente de la Barquera seems to have changed twice since the book. Soon after the long bridge crossing after Comillas, the route no longer forks left. All of those waymarks have been obliterated. Instead, you are supposed to remain on the highway for quite a while (you will find few waymarks supporting this, however). Then, after crossing another long bridge, you will need to turn left onto a minor highway. You will only find one waymark in support of this--a plaque in the sidewalk with an arrow. Ahead, you´ll find yellow splotches where former arrows encouraged you to keep straight on the highway. Would have been nice if they would have used some of that paint to draw new arrows! The next walk heads out to the coast, passing two beaches and numerous seasonal bars. If tide isn´t high, I suggest descending at the beginning of the second beach and following this all the way to the end, when you need to rejoin a road that will lead you to the bridge going into San Vicente. This will save you at least 1km.

6) After Serdio, the route has changed, forking left off the paved road onto a dirt track. At first glance, it might seem like this is for the Camino Lebaniego only, but it is intended for both, and it´s better. You´ll end up in Muñorrodero, passing by a bar and then joining the highway. And then...

7) The route between Pesués and Unquera is loads better, following a new dirt road that eliminates the highway crossing and is much firmer.

8) After Colobres, you´ll descend towards La Franca on a dirt track. When you arrive back on a paved road, you´ll see a route division. Go right, a yellow arrow wrapped in red. This will take you across both highways and then you´ll turn on a dirt track that will lead you to La Franca proper and beyond...

9) And then, after you complete an off-road stretch after La Franca, you´ll rejoin the highway once again. Watch carefully for arrows calling for you to cross the highway and join the ¨costa¨ route. This is a great walk, pulling you out to the coast, as promised, and keeping you off-road all the way to Pendueles.

10) Leaving Llanes, take the coastal route! From Playa Soblon, climb the steps onto the coastal walkway and then head on to Playa de Poo! It´s a gorgeous walk, though I´d probably avoid the last half of it in wet and windy weather.

11) The approach to Villaviciosa has changed a bit and is even more wiggly than before.

12) Waymarks are totally solid on the Villaviciosa-Gijón route now, though don´t be confused by arrows pointing back behind you in the opposite direction. These are for the Covadonga pilgrimage and they overlap at times with the Camino.

13) OK, this is great: at Camping Deva on the outskirts of Gijón, waymarks call for you to turn R across the highway for the Camino. This takes you through Somio and eventually past the private albergue El Peregrin, which is a bit outside of the center. However, you can also turn left, passing the entrance to the camping, and continuing on that way. This is a much better walk! You´re off of pavement most of the time, often following shaded pedestrian tracks along small rivers. Similar distance.

14) In addition, the waymarks in Gijón now direct you towards the beach, encouraging you to follow the bike/pedestrian track all the way to the coast. If you want to take the old way through the center, you can: watch for the bronze scallop shells on the right side of the road´s sidewalk. The two routes reunite close to the western turismo.

15) Towards the end of Trasona, the route into Avilés has changed, leaving the highway and diverting instead to a river-side pedestrian track. A big improvement!
 

BeatriceKarjalainen

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Finished: See post signature.
Upcoming: Nothing planned
Thank you so much Dave! This was really helpful. Made the changes in my copy of your book.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
This is such great information, thanks. For those of us thinking about a Camino deal Norte in 2017, do you have Any idea when the next edition will be available? Buen camino, Laurie

p.s. I was bummed by your comment on the route between Comillas and San Vicente -- even MORE asphalt!!! That's just rubbing salt in the wound, it's already almost all asphalt between Santander and Comillas!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
We'll do everything we can to have it ready by May/June, but it will be tight. This isn't like a typical set of updates that we'd do for a re-printing. This is a total overhaul: new maps, new elevation profiles, significant changes to the text (in particular, trimming back the turn-by-turns). As such, it requires not just our work on the content-end, but also a lot of work from the Cicerone folks on layout/formatting.

The one bright side to the San Vicente route change is that it seems like one really could follow the beach for a significant portion of the walk. If one descended just after Gerruca, or more conservatively when the route passes directly by beach access at the Arroyo de Bederna, I think it should be possible to follow the beach to Playa de Merón, where one would have to join the road towards San Vicente. It's also possible to follow the Oyambre beach for a while and reconnect to the highway later. Obviously, high tide could limit these possibilities. If you maxed out these options, you might be able to get as much as half of the walk from Comillas to San Vicente off road.
 

Simon Shum

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Oct 2013, Porto, San Salvador & Primitivo 2014. Norte 2016, VdLP & Via Francigena 2017
Hi Dave, for your info, I am walking the Norte now and just stop at a new private albergue (10days old). It is a beautiful facility right by the camino after Mendata and about 8 km before Gernika. I am here by myself! 20 beds, 12 euros and 9.5 euros for supper. 946253150

Hope you find this useful for your new guide!
 

Elaine Fullarton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
May-June 2014, April-May 2015
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Hi Dave, I booked our flights yesterday and bought your book on Amazon. Boom! Start walking the Norte March 30th 2017, my 3rd Camino. Thank you so much for this awesome book and website!!!! Can't wait to start reading it.

Cookie & Machine
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
We'll do everything we can to have it ready by May/June, but it will be tight. This isn't like a typical set of updates that we'd do for a re-printing. This is a total overhaul: new maps, new elevation profiles, significant changes to the text (in particular, trimming back the turn-by-turns). As such, it requires not just our work on the content-end, but also a lot of work from the Cicerone folks on layout/formatting.

The one bright side to the San Vicente route change is that it seems like one really could follow the beach for a significant portion of the walk. If one descended just after Gerruca, or more conservatively when the route passes directly by beach access at the Arroyo de Bederna, I think it should be possible to follow the beach to Playa de Merón, where one would have to join the road towards San Vicente. It's also possible to follow the Oyambre beach for a while and reconnect to the highway later. Obviously, high tide could limit these possibilities. If you maxed out these options, you might be able to get as much as half of the walk from Comillas to San Vicente off road.
Any update on expected publication date? Hoping for a late May departure from Irun, with a Camino de Baztan prequel with a bunch of forum peregrinas!

Am I right that the Baztan is not in your book, Dave?
 

NualaOC

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few and hopefully lots more. See signature.
Any update on expected publication date? Hoping for a late May departure from Irun, with a Camino de Baztan prequel with a bunch of forum peregrinas!

Am I right that the Baztan is not in your book, Dave?
You're right Laurie, the Baztan isn't in the Northern Caminos guide. The one you translated a few years ago is still good, if used in conjunction with the up to date accommodation list from the cathedral.
 

Anitaczn

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Santiago; Camino del Norte 2018
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Is Mondonedo a popular overnight stop for pilgrims? Regards Anita
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Mondoñedo is a lovely town and well worth staying in. There is plenty of choice of accommodation (see here) We found much of interest in the town as well as the Cathedral.
buen Camino
 

Llew

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances & Finisterre 2012, Norte, Ingles,Finisterre & Muxia 2015, Australian (2016), Portuguese 2018
Mondonedo is very good. Lots of bars and cafes. Municipal albergue is managed by the police and you need to report to police station first to pay and get your passport stamp.. Albergue is very clean but no closing time. When I was there people stayed up late talking & drinking. In the end I had to get up and ask them to desist. Turned out there were all Spanish cyclists who thought they ok doing what they were doing.
Approx 2km past Mondonedo is a house, O Bisonte de Maariz, owned by Kili Katova, or Carmen as she is known. Has 6 beds and is donation. House is open from 7am and pilgrims can stop for breakfast, tea or coffee, a snack or to replenish water. Carmen is an artist and sells painting, postcards etc. I stopped for breakfast and it was excellent. Can highly recommend this place. website is www.bisontemaariz.blogspot.com.es
 

jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Approx 2km past Mondonedo is a house, O Bisonte de Maariz, owned by Kili Katova, or Carmen as she is known. Has 6 beds and is donation. House is open from 7am and pilgrims can stop for breakfast, tea or coffee, a snack or to replenish water. Carmen is an artist and sells painting, postcards etc. I stopped for breakfast and it was excellent. Can highly recommend this place. website is www.bisontemaariz.blogspot.com.es
Two of my “camino family” stayed there too and said it was a really good overnight stop. They were on an extremely strict budget (a French social worker and her ward, who was undergoing rehabilitation), so the donativo setup suited them well for what they could afford.
Jill
 

Miss Diesel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Camino 2017
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Great but any advice about getting luggage transported along different stages as my walking partner has a serious back problem
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Welcome to the forum @Miss Diesel . There are comments about pack transport in various places, which a search on the forum should find, using the box under your name - top right. As far as I know the Correos takes packs on all the Camino routes now. Using the search I found this for you - @mspath put this Correos service link up in the thread Baggage transport
Buen Camino
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Welcome to the forum @Miss Diesel . There are comments about pack transport in various places, which a search on the forum should find, using the box under your name - top right. As far as I know the Correos takes packs on all the Camino routes now. Using the search I found this for you - @mspath put this Correos service link up in the thread Baggage transport
Buen Camino
Not all Caminos, yet, just these: This service is available for the French Way from Roncesvalles, the Portuguese Way from Tui, the Original or Primitive Way from Oviedo, the Northern Way from Gijón and Avilés, the English Way from Ferrol and A Coruña, the Sanabria Wayfrom A Gudiña and the Fisterra Way.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Thanks @Anemone del Camino - there is baggage transfer on the Norte from the start, we met some-one who used it, so hopefully someone can clarify who runs it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: 2016, Del Norte: (2018), Finisterre: (2018), Olvidado (to Bonar): (2019): Bonar on 2020
Dave - When are you planning on publishing and releasing an update to the 2015 edition of the book? Thanks.
Jeri
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Dave - When are you planning on publishing and releasing an update to the 2015 edition of the book? Thanks.
Jeri
I'm not Dave, obviously, but I can tell you that there has been a delay in the publication of this book. Dave hasn't been on the forum since April.

I know that another forum member, @wisepilgrim , is about to publish a Norte guide, which you can pre-order at Ivar's forum store. Looks like it will be available in early October. https://www.santiagodecompostela.me/collections/guide-books/products/a-wise-pilgrim-guide-to-the-northern-camino-from-irun-to-santiago.

Full disclosure -- I know @wisepilgrim personally. I have seen some of the page proofs of this Norte guide and think it will be excellent. I have also seen his Camino Frances book, which is now in print and is excellent (and the reviews agree with me). So based on that, I would expect the Norte book to meet the same high standards.

Buen camino, Laurie
 

Miss Diesel

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Camino 2017
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Hi Dave using your book to plan our route from Irun to Bilbao in June . We want to avoid roads and hard surfaces as much as possible. Is it possible. I am finding your book useful even st this stage. Keep up the good work.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi Miss Diesel,

You've picked a good stretch! Here's a quick review of what you're facing with roads/hard surfaces:
  • Stage 1 - unavoidable roads leaving Irún, entering/leaving Pasajes, entering/leaving San Sebastián (though you could walk along beaches through a big part of the city if you were so inclined). You could further reduce roads if you followed the GR E-9 (red/white stripes) for the approaches to Pasajes and San Sebastián, though you're adding distance and rigor
  • Stage 2 - Almost 3/4 of this walk follows minor paved roads. Almost no car traffic--it's quiet, easy walking. But it is paved. There's no good way to avoid it
  • Stage 3 - Take the left fork from Zarautz (inland, higher-level) to shave a bit of pavement off the walk to Getaria. From there to Zumaia, roughly 2/3 of the walk is paved. As with yesterday, it's mostly all quiet, little-used roads. From Zumaia, take the GR route and you'll greatly reduce pavement. You can take the GR directly from Zumaia to maximize the off-road, but you'll also add some kms. Alternately, you can follow the official Camino to Elorriaga and then fork right onto the GR and hit the sweet spot (I think), getting the nicer, off-road, coastal walk without adding meaningful distance to the stage
  • Stage 4 - Some unavoidable pavement leaving Deba and entering Markina, but then a lot of good, off-road walking in between. There are some minor roads along the way, but it's also often possible to walk on a narrow dirt stretch along the side. This is a strenuous walk, but it's a good day for your preferences
  • Stage 5 - A mix. Roughly 13km unpaved, 11km paved
  • Stage 6 - All road leaving Gernika (2.5km). Over next 13km to Goikolexea, roughly 50/50. From there to Zamudio it's a paved slog along the highway. There's a bus if you want to skip through this. From Zamudio, it's mostly paved minor roads up and over Monte Avril, and then into Bilbao (roughly 1.5km unpaved)
Outside of the Goikolexea-Lezama stretch and the entry/exit of towns, the paved roads are almost entirely quiet, little-used roads.

When we eventually get the new edition out, we'll have paved/unpaved breakdowns included for each stage...

Dave
 

Texas Walker

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Hello. I greatly appreciate the update information on your site--it helps to fill out the book a bit. Unfortunately I didn't think to check it all out before leaving in 2017...DH had a trip ending injury (fracture) at approach to Deba on the Norte. Recently I was reading down the updates and hit the list of 2016 updates where y'all talked about the changes to the routing in that area. Really wish you would keep the info about how to find the elevator in your book as an optional "in case it's rainy" note! Just a thought. Thanks for all your hard work!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Really wish you would keep the info about how to find the elevator in your book as an optional "in case it's rainy" note! Just a thought. Thanks for all your hard work!
Point taken! We'll have smaller, zoomed in maps of places like Deba in the (eventual) next edition and that would be an easy detail to include. I'm so sorry to read about the injury; I've often held my breath on some of those cobblestone descents, especially when it's wet out.
 

Donna M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Northern Camino May
Dave

The description of Vilela (p175) could be clearer - fork right into town is misleading - the focus should be on getting to the bar/albergue that is after and uphill from the handful of houses that you keep on your right - I can remember a road junction before the houses - a clear direction from that junction together with approximate distance in metres to the albergue would be helpful

Since the location is so remote (not too sure how often the bar is open) I was glad to be able to stay there - the albergue is above the local meeting room, though thankfully the meeting downstairs ended shortly after 10 that night

You do mention at the beginning of the chapter how few opportunities there are to refuel - I can't remember any shop for the 27k between Ribadeo and Lourenza - but it might be worth an extra mention in the notes for Ribadeo itself, reminding one to stock up

Mike
i got a little lost and stopped a farmer because i needed ahot drink as it was raining hard all day. Came out at Villar mar grumpy woman in cafe who made a good coffee. New Albergue one of my best experiences kitchen great bathrooms new beds sheets towels woodfires Savior great staff washing facilities and breakfast 13 euros im lay on my bed writing this love it here....Lourenza
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi everyone,

Here are a couple of updates from Irún: Albergue Goikoerrota has closed permanently and Irún's municipal albergue (Martindozenea) remains closed in 2019. Good thing the Albergue de Peregrinos moved into a larger space last year!

And here's an update on the book front: at long last, the new edition will be released in May. This will be re-titled as The Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo, as we're moving the Camino Inglés section to a separate guide that will also include the Ruta do Mar. We're completely done with the former (it's basically off to the printers now) and I'm waiting for the galley proofs of the latter, for one last round of edits. Probably a June release for that one, but still waiting. Note that the Amazon release date is always later (it takes a while, in particular, for Cicerone's books to make it to Amazon US), as is the kindle.

We've been waiting for years for the chance to basically overhaul the book, so it's a relief to finally arrive here. Here's what will be different:
  • Completely new maps (stages and cities) and elevation profiles
  • Snapshot of paved/unpaved breakdown of each stage
  • An overview of the Voie Littorale between Bayonne and Irún
  • An overview of the Camino Lebaniego and Camino Covadonga
  • All kinds of alternative routes (the coast from Hondarribia, the coast from Santander, and on and on)
  • The Norte-Primitivo link between Lugo and Sobrado
  • All of the GPX tracks will be available for download from Cicerone shortly
We're continuing to push updates through to our site (I need to do another round soon), so if you have an older edition you can bring it up to speed there. (Or, even if you don't have a guide, find up-to-date info that's useful to you.) If you're thinking about getting the guide over the next few months, though, I wanted you to be aware that a far, far superior version will be coming in May.

Dave
 

Walkerooni

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Thanks Dave. Currently deciding whether to do del Norte or return to Frances. I clicked on accommodation link above and got error message. Probably a moot point as I just ordered the new Del Norte book.
 

nickpellatt

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2015 Portuguese 2018 Norte May 2019 Finesterre and Muxia April 2019
Has anyone had a recent stay at the Albergue in Pasajes de san Juan? Santa Ana? The phone number listed on the Accommodation list seems to be disconnected. We are traveling with 4 pilgrims, so wanted to get in touch with them in advance. Thanks!
This might be late, I stayed there in June. Two elderly people were working here, I dont imagine they use the phone too much .. They didnt open until 3, and wouldnt accept leaving bags etc before then. I liked it, clean, cosy etc, but it didnt strike me as the kind of place you could call in advance, reserve etc.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Thanks Dave. Currently deciding whether to do del Norte or return to Frances. I clicked on accommodation link above and got error message. Probably a moot point as I just ordered the new Del Norte book.
Thanks for the catch! I ported the site over to a new wordpress-based home, and that shifted some of the urls. Norte updates are now here: http://northerncaminos.com/index.php/norte/

Incidentally, while the new edition isn't available in print form from Amazon US until month's end, the kindle version is now available.

Dave
 
Hi folks,
Attempting the Norte again this week, wednesday.
Was wondering if the Pilgrims alburgue is open in Irun?
(I read the accommodation link but its not to specific re 2019 and the Pilgrims Alburgue.

Any help appreciated.

Regards

Peter
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi folks,
Attempting the Norte again this week, wednesday.
Was wondering if the Pilgrims alburgue is open in Irun?
(I read the accommodation link but its not to specific re 2019 and the Pilgrims Alburgue.

Any help appreciated.

Regards

Peter
Yep! Two other hostels in/around Irun have closed, including the municipal youth hostel and the privado a few km outside of town. But the albergue de peregrinos is thriving.

Dave
 

Jennifleur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Santander walking Camino Norte...
Two more notable updates:
  • The monastery in Zenarruza has added a second room to its albergue. It now has the capacity to sleep 20 pilgrims, and will continue to offer dinner and breakfast, all by donation. Open all year, except for Christmas
  • The folks running Albergue Turístico Castelos in Vilalba are adding another private albergue in Seixón, 12km after Baamonde. I don't have an exact opening date, but I'm told it's "soon." Hard to believe there will now be three albergues clustered in the 3km stretch connecting Seixón and Miraz!
Hi Dave, I ve just bought your book and dipping in...thanks ... inn walking from Santander towards Oviedo with only about seven days and some physical issues.... would love to know where are the stopping highlights for you personally and the nicest albergues or cheapest pensiones as it s only a week and would like to enjoy it fully...next time for longer....if you ve time for a few accommodation pointers...thanks for the book!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Hi Jennifleur,

I'm on the run (well, on the walk, actually), so I've only got a sec and need to do this off the top of my head. Here are some places (an incomplete list) I've stayed in that section, or heard very strong feedback on, that stand out as notable: Albergue Santa Cruz (in Bezana), Albergue Piedad (in Boo), Albergue Izarra (in Caborredondo), Albergue de Bustio (between Unquera and Colombres), Albergue Aves de Paso (in Pendueles), Albergue Casa Belen (Cuerres), Albergue Tu Casa (Vega), Hotel Carlos I (Villaviciosa).

Hope you have a great walk!
Dave
 

Jennifleur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Santander walking Camino Norte...
Hi Jennifleur,

I'm on the run (well, on the walk, actually), so I've only got a sec and need to do this off the top of my head. Here are some places (an incomplete list) I've stayed in that section, or heard very strong feedback on, that stand out as notable: Albergue Santa Cruz (in Bezana), Albergue Piedad (in Boo), Albergue Izarra (in Caborredondo), Albergue de Bustio (between Unquera and Colombres), Albergue Aves de Paso (in Pendueles), Albergue Casa Belen (Cuerres), Albergue Tu Casa (Vega), Hotel Carlos I (Villaviciosa).

Hope you have a great walk!
Dave
Thank
 

Jennifleur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Santander walking Camino Norte...
Thank you so much for this.... will check these out! Enjoy your run... or maybe walk... sometimes at least! Best wishes
 

Jennifleur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Santander walking Camino Norte...
i got a little lost and stopped a farmer because i needed ahot drink as it was raining hard all day. Came out at Villar mar grumpy woman in cafe who made a good coffee. New Albergue one of my best experiences kitchen great bathrooms new beds sheets towels woodfires Savior great staff washing facilities and breakfast 13 euros im lay on my bed writing this love it here....Lourenza
Where s this Donna?!
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Greetings from Herington, Kansas, everyone. Just a quick update: there's a new albergue in Querúas, en route to Luarca on the Norte: Albergue La Yalga (16 beds, 20€, includes breakfast, doubles 45€, dinner available, @, W/D, 985 475 104).
 

Jennifleur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Santander walking Camino Norte...
Greetings from Herington, Kansas, everyone. Just a quick update: there's a new albergue in Querúas, en route to Luarca on the Norte: Albergue La Yalga (16 beds, 20€, includes breakfast, doubles 45€, dinner available, @, W/D, 985 475 104).
Thanks Dave...sounds like a good one!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donna...may I ask you where this one is? Thanks!
I’m not Donna, but I have stayed in Lourenza. Gronze’s map shows it in between Gondán and Mondoñedo. The private albergue there listed must be the one she is talking about. And it must be new, because the last time I was through a few years ago, we were all in the municipal albergue. It was fine, but a bit uncared for.

Lourenza, btw, is the home of a famous white bean. There is a small museum dedicated to that bean right in town. I always buy some of them in a little grocery store in Santiago — if you like beans, these are tops. Another little bit of trivia — though the dish Fabada (white bean stew) is from Asturias, many of the beans used by restaurants and cooks in the stew, are not the Asturian faba bean, but the white bean grown in Galicia near Lourenza.

And I will throw in another great choice of albergue after Mondoñedo, just on the chance it will help someone. In between Abadín and Vilalba, the albergue O Xistral is one of the nicest anywhere around. Since it is “off stage”, it may not get as much traffic. Lovingly restored ancient stone house, beautiful yard for lounging around, cozy common areas and very good facilities for sleeping and showering. Good communal dinner prepared by the owners.


I have been thinking about the “second half of the Norte” (after the split for the Primitivo) lately. A forum friend is considering starting in Oviedo and walking that part. As I think back, I am continually reminded about wonderful places to see and stay, great coastal alternatives, all in all a really excellent camino!
 

Jennifleur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Starting in Santander walking Camino Norte...
I’m not Donna, but I have stayed in Lourenza. Gronze’s map shows it in between Gondán and Mondoñedo. The private albergue there listed must be the one she is talking about. And it must be new, because the last time I was through a few years ago, we were all in the municipal albergue. It was fine, but a bit uncared for.

Lourenza, btw, is the home of a famous white bean. There is a small museum dedicated to that bean right in town. I always buy some of them in a little grocery store in Santiago — if you like beans, these are tops. Another little bit of trivia — though the dish Fabada (white bean stew) is from Asturias, many of the beans used by restaurants and cooks in the stew, are not the Asturian faba bean, but the white bean grown in Galicia near Lourenza.

And I will throw in another great choice of albergue after Mondoñedo, just on the chance it will help someone. In between Abadín and Vilalba, the albergue O Xistral is one of the nicest anywhere around. Since it is “off stage”, it may not get as much traffic. Lovingly restored ancient stone house, beautiful yard for lounging around, cozy common areas and very good facilities for sleeping and showering. Good communal dinner prepared by the owners.


I have been thinking about the “second half of the Norte” (after the split for the Primitivo) lately. A forum friend is considering starting in Oviedo and walking that part. As I think back, I am continually reminded about wonderful places to see and stay, great coastal alternatives, all in all a really excellent camino!
Thanks Peregrina!!.... love the info about the white bean.... ! I may not get that far.... i d say I may not even quite get as far as Luarca.... i m sorted till more or less San Vincente de la B...any recommendations to stay or little bits of quirky info from around San Vincente onwards in directions of Oviedo? Many thanks for your reply even though you re not Donna!
 

nanay

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
camino portugues, 2017
Last week, we reached out to the ~800 or so accommodations that we track on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés to seek updates for 2016. While the response rate has been slow, as many places close over the holidays, or even through the winter, we've already gotten some interesting news to share:
  • There's a new albergue coming soon to Ferreira on the Camino Primitivo. Called Albergue A Nave de Ferreira, it's located a short distance before the Ponte Ferreira albergue, and it's expected to open in early April. It will have 42 beds (12 euros for the night) and a few private rooms, along with meals available
  • One of the emerging trends is the creation of albergues within established hotels. This isn't new by any means (I can think of El Pito's Albergue Cudillero and Luarca's Albergue Villa de Luarca as two examples), but it seems to be expanding in 2016. Specifically, there are three new/newer places to highlight. In Tineo, on the Primitivo, the Palacio de Merás launched an albergue in 2015 that earned rave reviews from one pilgrim who wrote to us. It's a posh hotel and pilgrims have access to the spa. Up next, two other hotels on the Norte have informed us that they're adding albergues: Hotel Canero in Valdés (just after Cadavedo) and Hotel Montero in Mondoñedo. The latter may open as early as April; the former shouldn't be expected before June at the earliest
  • This isn't new, but it's striking to me how Cóbreces on the Norte has become awash with beds. Between the older albergue in the Cistercian abbey, the small Albergue O Pino, and the giant new Albergue Viejo Lucas, there are roughly 200 beds available in that small town. Hopefully this leads to some funds to resuscitate the old church
  • Early indications are that private albergue prices will generally be in the 10-18 euro range, and I'd suggest setting 12 as the new baseline. Albergues based in hotels and youth hostels are more likely to have seasonal rates, spiking in the summer and dropping in the off-season. Pilgrim-oriented privados generally maintain the same price year-round and are more likely to be in the 10-12 range
  • Hotel prices, at least based on what we've heard so far, are roughly holding steady from last year, increasing at most 5%. (It's important to note that we've only heard back from a small percentage of hotels so far.) Keep in mind that rates vary dramatically across seasons, especially on the Norte. July/August rates are consistently 50-100% higher than October-May rates. Depending upon the hotel, June and September can fall high, low, or in their own "mid-season" range. Pilgrims walking in the off-season may find the prices comparable in a hotel triple/quad to a private albergue, and it's worth shopping around for a discount
That's it for now. As we learn more, I'll post other updates in this thread and add them to the Northern Caminos site as well. Happy new year, all!

Dave
There is a brand new albergue in Otur, about 7 km from Luarca, Albergue Casa del Peregrino which opened this April. The owner Mercedes is a very nice lady and the Albergue is equipped with a “ fully functional” kitchen. We just happened to pass by and stopped as we have already walked 23 km from Cadavedo. Best decision we made!
 

Walkerooni

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
I am planning Camino Eli Norte from Bilbao to Santiago starting mid-May, and have just booked flight. Early I know, but excited and got a good sale. I don’t typically book accommodation, but want a place to land the day I arrive. looked at Bilbao Akelarre Hostel online and it says it is completely booked for all days around my arrival. I think that is pretty unlikely! Is it likely that it is just too early and they are not taking reservations yet?
 

AJGuillaume

Pélerin du monde
Camino(s) past & future
Via Gebennensis (2018)
Via Podiensis (2018)
Voie Nive Bidassoa (2018)
Camino Del Norte (2018)
It could well be a tad too early. I emailed accommodation in Portugal for our walk in May, and in a few instances, the answer was that they had closed for the season and that they would take bookings from February.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
I am planning Camino Eli Norte from Bilbao to Santiago starting mid-May, and have just booked flight. Early I know, but excited and got a good sale. I don’t typically book accommodation, but want a place to land the day I arrive. looked at Bilbao Akelarre Hostel online and it says it is completely booked for all days around my arrival. I think that is pretty unlikely! Is it likely that it is just too early and they are not taking reservations yet?
Yep, definitely too early to book through their site. I bet, though, that if you email them that you could make a reservation that way.

Just to double-check--you know that Akelarre is on the outskirts of Bilbao, right? That might be perfect, if you want to have a quick exit from the city in the morning, but it might be very inconvenient if you want to be more central. If a hostel in the Old Town would be better, I really enjoy Ganbara.
 

Walkerooni

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances SJPdP to Santiago (June-ish 2018)
Yep, definitely too early to book through their site. I bet, though, that if you email them that you could make a reservation that way.

Just to double-check--you know that Akelarre is on the outskirts of Bilbao, right? That might be perfect, if you want to have a quick exit from the city in the morning, but it might be very inconvenient if you want to be more central. If a hostel in the Old Town would be better, I really enjoy Ganbara.
Yes, I did realize that. Am thinking maybe 1night elsewhere (more central) and a day of exploring, then stay there the night before I start. Thanks for the recommendation!
 

poogeyejr

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte, May 2011
Norte, Sept 2013
Start of the Frances, 2017
I would look at Portugalete, there is a Metro station close and a quick way into the city. It is an amazing town and worth the extra look. Then you miss all the industrial exit from Bilbao.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
Over the last couple of days, I've been working on updates for the routes in our two guides--The Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo and The Camino Inglés and Ruta do Mar. Both of these were released in 2019, so there won't be a new printing in 2020, but fortunately there aren't too many big changes, so far.

The updates are available on the Northern Caminos website -- click through for the Norte, Primitivo, Inglés, and Mar (not much on that last one yet--if anybody walks it this year, I'd love to hear from you). On each of those pages, you'll find updates at the top; if you scroll down, you'll find accommodation lists for each route, with links to each place.

To spotlight a couple of trends: First, there has been a flurry of activity with new albergues popping up on the Norte between Villaviciosa and Ribadeo. This has been a slow place for development, since so much traffic diverts south with the Primitivo, and that has put a strain on facilities. So, it's good to see new places emerging near Peón, in Novellana, in Querúas, in La Ronda and Otur (both after Luarca), and even a third albergue in Ribadeo.

Second, I wonder if we're seeing the death of municipal albergues outside of Galicia. In the last couple of years, we've lost municipals in San Sebastián, Gernika, Islares, Comillas, San Vicente de la Barquera, La Isla... maybe I'm over-reacting. Some of these have always been spotty and some might actually re-open following discussed repairs. But, it seems like in many places the municipals are declining and the funds aren't there to restore these structures once they pass breaking point. I have received very terse responses from town reps when I've managed to get in contact, including someone from Islares telling me simply that the albergue was closed for "bureaucratic reasons."

Anyway, on the bright side, we have also seen some new albergues pop up on the donation-based model with communal meals, so that tradition clings to life along the Norte.

Dave
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Second, I wonder if we're seeing the death of municipal albergues outside of Galicia. In the last couple of years, we've lost municipals in San Sebastián, Gernika, Islares, Comillas, San Vicente de la Barquera, La Isla... maybe I'm over-reacting.
Hi Dave,

No, you're not over-reacting. I actually put this up yesterday. I wanted to provide some information about albergue availability in winter, similar to the 'aprinca' site for the CF. I noted that, before Gijon, about half the albergues were closed over winter, and that only 25% of stage-end destinations (using Gronze stages) had municipal albergues. Making for a potentially frustrating experience, both off and on season.

[By the way, one of the reasons I posted this was because I checked this (i.e. your) thread and the "updates" and "accommodation" links in the first message appeared to be broken (they just lead to a "404 - Oops!" message. So your update is very well-timed!]

Thanks for all your hard work,
Jan.
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
[By the way, one of the reasons I posted this was because I checked this (i.e. your) thread and the "updates" and "accommodation" links in the first message appeared to be broken (they just lead to a "404 - Oops!" message. So your update is very well-timed!]
Dang, I should have caught that when we migrated over to wordpress. New urls all over the place. (As it happens, I'm currently updating all of the links in our accommodation lists, so my life is a long list of dead links right now.)

For the record, having up-to-date opening/closing info for accommodations on these routes is a massive pain. It seems to change annually for many places. We ask every year and get widely varied responses. Some places declare that they're open year-round, but that's only in theory; if things are quiet and they decide to go on a trip, they go (and fair enough). In the book listings, if we don't indicate timing (like "open Semana Santa - October), then the place is open all year. However, if traveling outside of April-October, I'd probably get in the habit of calling/emailing ahead to confirm availability, especially if it's the only game in town.

Dave
 

Tandem Graham

Every new day an adventure
Camino(s) past & future
Bike: Mont St Michel-SdC. Budapest-Vezelay. Alicante-Burgos
Walk: Le Puy-SJPdP. Dax-(CF)-SdC.
Am thinking maybe 1night elsewhere (more central) and a day of exploring
In the centre of Bilbao old town, beside great pinchos bars and just a couple of hundred metres from the Cathedral (dedicated to Santiago) is Estrella Ostatu - an affordable, friendly and safe old fashioned hotel with en suite rooms. Reception is on the first floor. You can reserve on Booking.com. Have stayed there more than once and would recommend.
 

Johan van der Hoven

Johan - South Africa
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2016
Camino Primitivo 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Attempt Camino del Norte 2020
Hi everyone,

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I finally had the time to do a project that's long been on my to-do list: make a website in support of the Northern Caminos book (here it is!). It's still new, but it has two sections that I hope all people planning trips on the Norte, Primitivo, and Inglés find useful, whether you have the book or not. First, there's an updates section that has all of the edits we've made to the most recent edition of the book, and all new updates that come in moving forward. (We welcome your updates!)

Second, there's an accommodation section that has links to all albergues, youth hostels, pensiones, and hotels in the book. When possible, we also include links to online booking sites for those accommodations. It's totally possible to walk these routes without reservations and staying exclusively (or mostly so) in albergues de peregrinos. But, for those hoping to book some of their accommodations in advance, we hope this helps to make it easier and more accessible, particularly for non-Spanish speakers.

We'll be re-walking all routes in the book this summer, in preparation for some extensive updates and adjustments. As we have more material available, we'll continue to share it out on the site. Thanks to all who have helped us make the guide better through past feedback, and please keep it coming.

Dave
Thank you Dave!!!!
 

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