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When and where

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
After walking the Camino Francis 9 times I am planning to walk the Camino Norte. 2 questions:
1. Are there any must stay another day cities like Burgos and Leon on this route?.
2. The guide book suggests summer or fall but I might need to go in Spring, May and June. Has any experience with walking at that time?
Thanks Sharon
 

Antonius Vaessen

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2015-2016 VdlPlata - Sanabres
2016.Primitivo
2017 Salvador
2018 Norte (to Sobrado)
2019 Norte again
I would say Bilbao, San Sebastian, Santander ( perhaps not for the city, but to take the alternative route along the coast, which is beautifull) Oviedo and Ribadeo ( to visit the Playa de catedrales at low tide and walk the coastal path back to Ribadeo, very beautifull and you can walk without backpack)
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
I walked the first half of the Norte in mid-late April this year, and I do not know why a guide book would tell you its not a good time to walk. All I can think of is weather. The Norte is only a few hours drive from the Francis at all points, but the weather is different.

1) You start and end most days at sea level versus 800m on the Frances, so on average it is warmer in the cooler months
2) You are next to the ocean, so on average it is cooler in the warm months
3) You have the Pyrenees on your left at all times, so that makes for much greater rainfall levels due to orographic effects

All of this played out for us as we walked. It was definitely warmer and wetter than the same time of year on the Frances, but not to any enormous effect. I see no reason not to walk the Norte in Spring, unless swimming at the beaches that you cruise by daily is in the plans. Definitely too cold to swim. As the beaches are the main draw in what is really a tourist area, the number of tourists was negligible, and you could see it in the beach towns. To me, that's a plus for a pilgrim as you are not competing with tourists for beds.

Buen Camino
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I walked the first half of the Norte in mid-late April this year, and I do not know why a guide book would tell you its not a good time to walk. All I can think of is weather. The Norte is only a few hours drive from the Francis at all points, but the weather is different.

1) You start and end most days at sea level versus 800m on the Frances, so on average it is warmer in the cooler months
2) You are next to the ocean, so on average it is cooler in the warm months
3) You have the Pyrenees on your left at all times, so that makes for much greater rainfall levels due to orographic effects

All of this played out for us as we walked. It was definitely warmer and wetter than the same time of year on the Frances, but not to any enormous effect. I see no reason not to walk the Norte in Spring, unless swimming at the beaches that you cruise by daily is in the plans. Definitely too cold to swim. As the beaches are the main draw in what is really a tourist area, the number of tourists was negligible, and you could see it in the beach towns. To me, that's a plus for a pilgrim as you are not competing with tourists for beds.

Buen Camino
Thanks so much for the information. The guide book stated the weather as the reason that it wasn't a good time. However, I don't swim and don't want to compete with tourists. So May June it is.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I walked in Late September and October. The weather was really nice. Never had a problem finding beds and the whole vibe is different as the further you go there are fewer and fewer pilgrims. It is tougher, at least for me than The Camino Francis and scenery wise very different. The coast is spectacular to say the least. The only place you may have a problem if you want muni albergues is in San Sebastian as I believe the municipal albergue is still closed but I may be wrong. I stayed in the hostel called A Room In The City. It was about 24US and really nice in an excellent location. If you want the best ice cream on earth don't miss Gelateria Boulevard. WOW!
 

easygoing

Camino Sharon
Camino(s) past & future
I have walked the Camino Francis 7 times, twice in 2017 and 2018. (2019)
I walked in Late September and October. The weather was really nice. Never had a problem finding beds and the whole vibe is different as the further you go there are fewer and fewer pilgrims. It is tougher, at least for me than The Camino Francis and scenery wise very different. The coast is spectacular to say the least. The only place you may have a problem if you want muni albergues is in San Sebastian as I believe the municipal albergue is still closed but I may be wrong. I stayed in the hostel called A Room In The City. It was about 24US and really nice in an excellent location. If you want the best ice cream on earth don't miss Gelateria Boulevard. WOW!
Thanks I love ice cream. ♥ And now I am thinking of walking in late September. My problem is (if you call it a problem) that I am walking both the Camino Francis with a girlfriend and then the Norte with my husband in 2020. So which one to do first?
 

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
Which towns to spend time in depends on your interests. Santander has a good museum of pre-history by the market and Santillana del Mar has the town itself and also the museum at Altamira. This museum needs a ticket best bought beforehand to avoid the first queue and probably a day stop over to allow time to do that. LLanes too has some fascinating old buildings.....
May is good but Mothers Day weekend is busy usually and the May Day weekend so later May is better than early.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF April 2016 April - Jun
Del Norte, Finesterre 2018 May - Jun
May and June last year was great...some rain, added mud but a joy to do. Altus poncho and gortex shoes kept me totally dry....buen camino👣
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Thanks I love ice cream. ♥ And now I am thinking of walking in late September. My problem is (if you call it a problem) that I am walking both the Camino Francis with a girlfriend and then the Norte with my husband in 2020. So which one to do first?
If you are walking one after the other? If you are I would do the Norte first as it will be beautiful and aot fewer Pilgrims than what you will see on the CF during that time period. It will get really quiet on the Norte after you head southwest towards Santiago. I start the Frances on Monday. It is a great camino and miss doing it. For me it is way too crowded in peak season. Looking forward to the experience of walking this time of year.
 


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