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when to walk the ''del NORTE''


Bem in Sydney
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008 Camino del Norte 2011 VdlP 2013
Levante in 2019?
I'm in the planning stage of my next Camino. I walked the "Frances" in May 2008, started in StJPdP. In my 29 days of walking had about 19 days of rain, which was somewhat unfortunate,
but did not diminish the enjoyment, spiritual and allround experience.
Next year I want to go the ''del Norte'', but I'm not quite sure yet WHEN to start.
The website recommends (weatherwise) late May to early October.
I'm obviously a bit concerned weatherwise (see above), but would rather start EARLIER than
later, was thinking of early to mid April.
Please, who can share their ''del Norte'' experience with me, concerning weather, closures
of refugios in April (read of some only being opened from May onwards) and does Easter (Semana santa) have a bearing on the camino or running of the refugios....other than more perigrinos espanol are on the road and it could be a lot busier, even on the northern route.
As I live in Sydney/Australia my planning has to be quite accurate, cuz I have a loooong way to
come and can't so easily rearrange my timing.
Looking forward to hearing/reading from you, as well can give detailed advice about the "Frances"
if needed
Cheers from sunny Sydney
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Alan Pearce

Veteran Member
Hi Bem

Victor and I started from Irun on August 29th and arrived in Compostela on September 30th. In that period of 33 days we experienced only 2 days of rain. We found the section from Irun to Bilbao very steep and very muddy even without recent rain. It would be very difficult to walk while it was actually raining, which would be more likely in the time frame you prefer i.e.April.

buen camino


Be brave. Life is joyous.


Staff member
Hi, Bem,

I started from Irun in early May, 2007. We had one day of relentless rain, going into Llanes, which was a shame because it was a beautiful coastal walk. There were a few others of occasional showers but generally we had perfectly good weather -- sun, clouds, some grey overcast days, but all very walkable. The only day we found to be a slog was that one into Llanes. We stayed on the Norte all the way, and people who detoured south to the Primitivo at Villaviciosa told us they had lots of rain. As did people who were a couple of days behind us on the Norte. So I'd say it's the luck of the draw, but May is likely to be drier than April, if past weather patterns are predictive of the future.

Buen camino, Laurie


Bem in Sydney
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2008 Camino del Norte 2011 VdlP 2013
Levante in 2019?
Alan and Laurie,
Thanks for your replies. I think it's better to start my walk early May. Weather seem to be
more stable and all refugios open.
Buen Camino,


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances('05, '07), Aragonese ('05), del Norte / Primitivo ('09), Via Tolosana (Toulouse '05), Via Podiensis (Le Puy '07), Via Lemovicensis (Troyes '09), VF ('12), Winter Camino ('13/'14) Cammino d'Assisi ('14) Jakobseweg (Leipzig - Paris '15) San Salvador/Norte ('15) Ignaciano ('16) Invierno ('16)
Hi Bem, I was about 3-4 days ahead of Alan (got into Santiago on the 27th Sept) and didn't have any problems with rain or slippery conditions either. The heat was sometimes something to dodge, but coming from Sydney you shouldn't find it too arduous as it is a very dry heat compared to what you would be used to. I think I had 2 days of what I would call drizzle, someitmes nearly rain, while on the Del Norte. I diverted to the Primitovo at Oviedo where it was much cooler, and had it been wet it could have been very uncomfortable. Mind you, the countryside here is spectacular, and the temperatures are much reduced due to the altitude. Cheers, Janet
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Bridget and Peter

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Home to Reims 2007
Reims to Limoges 2008
Camino Ingles 2009
Limoges to Gernica 2009
Gernica to San Vicente de la Barquera 2010
San Vicente to La Isla 2012
La Isla to Santiago Sept/Oct 2014
Just back from roughly two weeks on the Norte. Walked Guernica to San Vincente de la Barquera. Had about 1 hours rain the whole time. Never needed more than one layer over a sleeveless top. Flowers in April AMAZING. People on the beaches, some looked naked from the top of the cliff. LOVED it.


New Member
Would it be right to assume that the weather would a lot warmer along the coast on the northern route than inland in April? This April must have been quite cold, so how was it along the coast?

I have holidays in April and in August, so which would be better?


Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Norte/Primitivo (April/May) 2009: Norte/Primitivo (parts) (April/May) 2010: Inglés (May) 2011: Primitivo (April/May) 2012: Norte / Camino de La Reina (April/May) 2013: Camino del Mar / Inglés (May/June) 2015
Hi Bem,
We are just back from short etapas of the Primitivo and Norte. After what was a glorious end to April, I think the consensus is that it has been one of the coldest starts to May in Spain for many years: lorries banned from the mountain roads because of heavy snow!! The Norte (8c to 10c) was far warmer than the Primitivo (3c to 5c) although both were unusually wet. I would say "don't let it put you off a May Camino". Everrything is open, not too many people around (except May Day w/e) and last year, reasonable weather the whole time.
Go for it!
Buen Camino

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