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Starting the Camino del Norte on April 28th - any advice?

carmenkelly

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte starting April 28, 2018
I plan on starting the Camino del Norte on April 28th from Irun. This will be my first Camino, and I am stoked. However, I have heard the Camino del Norte during this time of the year can be pretty rainy, and I am questioning whether or not to do the French Way instead. Any words of advice? Anyone plan on walking the Camino del Norte during this time?
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Hi I walked the Norte from Irun March 1 arrived in Santiago April 5 this year (just home 4 days). Very very rainy almost every day to every second day. Lots of deep mud especially the first 2 weeks, forest paths are soft and washed out in places due heavy prolonged rain since January. I witnessed a landslide before Luarca which blocked the 2 lane road completely (boulders trees, early). Use logic, use hiking poles, I as very grateful to have brought gaiters (water mud) stay safe and listen to locals re safety of coastal routes. Buen camino. BTW no bedbugs at all
 

grayland

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Yes
If the Norte is wet and rainy....the Camino Frances will have basically the same weather. I would suggest staying with the Norte.
The Norte has become busy but is far less jammed than the huge crowds on the CF.
 

Colette Z

Happy Pilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
If the Norte is wet and rainy....the Camino Frances will have basically the same weather. I would suggest staying with the Norte.
The Norte has become busy but is far less jammed than the huge crowds on the CF.
I agree, when we had heavy rain on El Norte those on the Frances had snow.
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
The weather everywhere this year has been crazy, from the super late snow conditions in the Alps to the unsettled last months in places like the Caribbean. Go with what you first planned. I'm hoping to do the Del Norte myself possibly a similar time to you but reliant on other events so could be mid May.
 

NaimaA

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2007, camino Portugues 2008, camino Aragones 2014
I am walking the norte now, in two weeks had one only very heavy raini windy day...the rest sun, cloud, light rain....it is beautiful. Don't let the weather stop you...as it is unpredictable... Buen camino !!
 

Natasha Soares

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-June 1998 (April-June 2018)
Starting on April 30th from Irun with family of husband, 21 yr old daughter ( 1st day is her 21st) and 13 yr old son. And an old friend. Expecting rain and mud - we are in drizzle in Tarragona at present. Hope to see you along the way somewhere.
 

peregrinamaybe

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (Apr-Jun 2018)
My husband and I will start around the same time from Irun (April 27 or 28). We're expecting rain but hoping hoping it won't rain everyday (or at least not heavily). I have waterproof shoes, a rain jacket, and a backpack rain cover, but didn't really go out of my way on the rain prep. If we get surprised, I figure we can buy gaiters, ponchos, etc. there. We debated between Via de la Plata and Camino del Norte given the weather but I've been to southern Spain previously and really wanted to see the North.
 

Chorapoetka

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino portugues from Porto August 2017, Camino del Norte April May 2018
Hi, I am starting on 24th April from San Sebastian. I am checking the forecast almost every day and it's really hard to figure out how the weather is really going to be as it changes all the time. What really concerns me is the question about albergues: how many of them are going to be opened, cause it seems most of them open first June/July
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
Well I’m on route to Stansted airport and hopefully land in Biarritz 5pm this evening. Once how I’ve figured to get to Irun on a public holiday this evening I intend to start walking tomorrow morning. The weather like everywhere has been unpredictable but it looks like it’s set to improve.
Once the Public Holiday is out of the way I hope this won’t end up being a bed race.
 

cds22

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (April 2018)
Camino Primitivo (April 2018)
Just arrived in Bilbao (started in Irun on April 26th). First day was reasonably sunny but rain off and on since. Rained all day yesterday. LOTS of mud on some sections of trail so gaiters or rain pants will help keep you a little cleaner and drier. And definitely recommend hiking poles as it's pretty slippery out there!
 

Rosemary314

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014,
VDLP 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2019
Hi I walked the Norte from Irun March 1 arrived in Santiago April 5 this year (just home 4 days). Very very rainy almost every day to every second day. Lots of deep mud especially the first 2 weeks, forest paths are soft and washed out in places due heavy prolonged rain since January. I witnessed a landslide before Luarca which blocked the 2 lane road completely (boulders trees, early). Use logic, use hiking poles, I as very grateful to have brought gaiters (water mud) stay safe and listen to locals re safety of coastal routes. Buen camino. BTW no bedbugs at all
I am planning to walk next year, and would like to start in April. DId you stay in alburgues? Did you have difficulties finding food or other accomodation? I am wondering if April is too early
 

cds22

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (April 2018)
Camino Primitivo (April 2018)
I am planning to walk next year, and would like to start in April. DId you stay in alburgues? Did you have difficulties finding food or other accomodation? I am wondering if April is too early
No problem finding food, just keep in mind that most stores are closed from about 1 - 4 in the afternoon (but most bars are open). The only time I had trouble finding room in an albergue was around the May 1st national holiday - best not to be around a touristy area (like a beach town) during that time.
 

Scarlet Fez

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino de Frances Sept/Oct 2016
Camino Portuguese Oct 2017
Del Norde Start 2nd May 2018
Arrived yesterday in Bilboa having walked from Irun. The first 5 days were tougher than in my opinion any day on the Frances. Yes I stayed at the Orrison.
As for food, it’s a lottery to what is open, either during the walk or even in the evenings. As the Albergue in Lazama was closed a number of us stayed in Larrabetzu. Bars open in evening but literally nowhere to eat apart from very plain Tapas!!
Horses for courses I accept, the scenery is stunning but I am finding no Camino X factor. This to me is a damn hard walk where you eat where you, mostly on your own as you see so few people. That being said what is good for the goose is not always good for the gander.
 

Rosemary314

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2014,
VDLP 2017
Camino Frances Sept 2019

Luka

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pelgrimspad I, Via Monastica, Via Podiensis, Via de la Plata, Camino Francés, Camino del Norte...
@Scarlet Fez a little consolation: I found the stretch from Irun to Bilbao the hardest (hence most mountaineous) part of the Camino del Norte. Stunningly beautiful though.

There isn't a pilgrim infrastructure like on the Frances, with all the bars, restaurants and shops. I am surprised though that it is so hard to find anything decent to eat. But I mostly produced my own salads with ingredients from the supermarket as being a vegetarian. And no other pilgrims? I guess there must be at least 30 to 40 daily on the road now.
 

Natasha Soares

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
April-June 1998 (April-June 2018)
the apartment mentioned above in Gernika is great and Jabi who owns it is really helpful. it has 3 double bedrooms and kitchen and can sleep one more in living room. 7 of us had a really nice stay there a week ago.
 

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