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Planning Norte Route

Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
Hi, my son (25) and I are planning to walk two weeks of a camino in July. Initially we considered the Caminho Portugues but considering its popularity in July and other factors, I think Norte may be a better fit for us.
A couple challenges would be where is the best place to start (we are coming in from our new home in Lisbon and will want to be able to fly/bus/or train)
Also, since we will not have enough time to complete the entire route, are there places we should skip to/through?
Any and all recommendations are appreciated.
 
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Corned Beef

Veteran Member
Time of past OR future Camino
VDLP Part 2/2023
Try Rome2Rio to check your travel options. For example, flights from Lisbon to Asturias (Aviles) and Santander route through Madrid. There appears though to be a direct flight to Bilbao.

Trains are likely to route through Madrid and bus would likely be the same.
 

teaccam

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019 Norte
Hi, my son (25) and I are planning to walk two weeks of a camino in July. Initially we considered the Caminho Portugues but considering its popularity in July and other factors, I think Norte may be a better fit for us.
A couple challenges would be where is the best place to start (we are coming in from our new home in Lisbon and will want to be able to fly/bus/or train)
Also, since we will not have enough time to complete the entire route, are there places we should skip to/through?
Any and all recommendations are appreciated.
I got the overnight train from Lisbon Oriente to Irun. Arrived in around noon and walked to Passages de San Juan which was a nice intro to the Norte.
Great memories of the whole trip to Santiago.
From Bilbao you will be finding it hard to get a bed along the coast for quite a number of days. Lovely walking there but lots of tourists
 

backpack45

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Vezelay (2017, in progress); Primitivo & Norte; Geneva/LePuy; Arles; Portuguese; Francés + more
I thought all of the Norte was wonderful, but I am throwing out a couple of options. Many people start on the Norte and then move onto the Primitivo. This combination is shorter than doing all of the Norte. Another option is to just go ahead and plan to do the entire thing, but in sections. The trail will be there waiting for your return.
 

David with new Kit!

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019, 2021, 2022
Instead of skipping, why not simply start in Irun and walk until your two weeks are up and then return to continue at a later date?

I have heard that the first week from Irun is one of the best parts of the Norte.

I’m walking the Norte from late August and can confirm that accommodation will be at a premium during peak times, especially between Irun and Santander.
 
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Bastalley

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Past Sarria to Santiago then to Finnester, Muxia and back to Santiago

Future. June. Norte route.
Hi, my son (25) and I are planning to walk two weeks of a camino in July. Initially we considered the Caminho Portugues but considering its popularity in July and other factors, I think Norte may be a better fit for us.
A couple challenges would be where is the best place to start (we are coming in from our new home in Lisbon and will want to be able to fly/bus/or train)
Also, since we will not have enough time to complete the entire route, are there places we should skip to/through?
Any and all recommendations are appreciated.
I would recommend flying in to Oviedo and walking west. The best of both worlds with a few days on the coast then heading south into the country. Beautiful sites, fewer roads to walk and full of history. The pilgrims culture is embraced along this Way. I did not find the first half of the Norte route in the Basque country as pilgrim friendly but the scenery was amazing and I would suggest skipping the city walking.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
Try Rome2Rio to check your travel options. For example, flights from Lisbon to Asturias (Aviles) and Santander route through Madrid. There appears though to be a direct flight to Bilbao.

Trains are likely to route through Madrid and bus would likely be the same.
Thank you for sharing the Rome2Rio site. when it looks like a good option would be to fly into Pamplona, then bus to Bilbao? Still checking for better options
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
Instead of skipping, why not simply start in Irun and walk until your two weeks are up and then return to continue at a later date?

I have heard that the first week from Irun is one of the best parts of the Norte.

I’m walking the Norte from late August and can confirm that accommodation will be at a premium during peak times, especially between Irun and Santander.
Thanks, David with new Kit! That's a great idea but I began the Via de la Plata in March '20 thinking I would have the chance to get back and finish it within the year and then.....

I still have time to think about it, but at this time, I think we may do as much as we can with the target of ending in Santiago de la Plata at the end of our camino.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
I would recommend flying in to Oviedo and walking west. The best of both worlds with a few days on the coast then heading south into the country. Beautiful sites, fewer roads to walk and full of history. The pilgrims culture is embraced along this Way. I did not find the first half of the Norte route in the Basque country as pilgrim friendly but the scenery was amazing and I would suggest skipping the city walking.
Thanks, Bastalley, I like this idea and will take a look to see what kind of flights we can get to Oviedo. Ideally would be great to train in but since we are shorter on time (he begins school in Irvine in August), we will try to make whatever works best work.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
I got the overnight train from Lisbon Oriente to Irun. Arrived in around noon and walked to Passages de San Juan which was a nice intro to the Norte.
Great memories of the whole trip to Santiago.
From Bilbao you will be finding it hard to get a bed along the coast for quite a number of days. Lovely walking there but lots of tourists
Hi Teaccam, a train to Irun sounds ideal but I did not see a direct train from the Lisbon Oriente station. Do you have a link that you could share with this route?
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
Keep in mind that July is high season for the coastal towns on Spain's northern coast which can made accommodations more expensive.
 

Lovebubble

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2010, 2012, 2014 Baztana 2018 Portuguese 2019
Hi Teaccam, a train to Irun sounds ideal but I did not see a direct train from the Lisbon Oriente station. Do you have a link that you could share with this route?
You could always fly from Lisbon via Madrid to San Sebastian airport which is located in Irun/Fontarrabia. You can walk out of the airport and immediately start the del Norte. The Hendaye/Irun/Porto/Lisbon train no longer runs unfortunately. Buen Camino!
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
Thank you for all the helpful insights. Considering time constraints, high season for pilgrims, we will do the Primitivo. Looking to book flights (and albuerges, when possible) to Oviedo for a July 12th start
 

trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese
high season for pilgrims,

The issue on the Norte is not so much high season for pilgrims, but for tourists too. The pilgrim infrastructure on the Norte is not as robust as on the Frances and other routes, so there is some competition between pilgrims and tourists for beds/rooms.
 
Time of past OR future Camino
Via de la Plata
hello Trecile,

thank you, yes, I understand that. All things considered and all trails considered (we had initially chosen the portugues but worried it would be too busy), then considered the Norte but are constrained by my sons time my son‘s time available.

booked the ending albuerge this morning and working backwards to the two weeks leading up to our end at Santiago de Compestela.

the members of the forum are incredibly helpful. I’m very grateful to them and Ivar.
 
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