The Camino del Norte or Northern Way is the Camino route taking pilgrims along the wonderful Northern coast of ‘Green Spain’ from the Basque Country, across Cantabria, Asturias and on to Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia.
– main route for foodies, where you can find the top 10 cities with the highest number of Michelin stars in Europe
– less crowded than the French and Portuguese way
– stunning green scenery through all the Camino del Norte mountains, forests, and unique Spanish villages
– it requires a good physical preparation, with steep mountains and hills along the way
– rain is frequent during summer
– main cities & towns – Spain: Irún, San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, Gijón, Baamonde, Santiago de Compostela
The Camino del Norte, or Northern Way, is also referred to as the Ruta de la Costa. This Camino was used for centuries by Spanish pilgrims making their way along the magnificent coasts of the Basque region and Asturias to finally arrive in Santiago de Compostela, the final resting place of the Apostle Saint James.
The Camino del Norte is a unique journey, favored by many of today’s pilgrims. This Camino route crosses some of the most spectacular scenery on Spain’s northern coast, visiting superb cities such as San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander, and Oviedo. Ultimately, this Camino joins the Original Way or Camino Primitivo in Oviedo, which continues on to Santiago de Compostela.
If you’re looking to escape the crowds and heat of summer, walking the Camino del Norte is perfect for you. This area of Spain combines the sea and mountains to a spectacular visual display. Its many glorious beaches allow you the opportunity to go for a swim and cool down after your walking day is done. Rich in culture and authenticity, the Northern Way is bursting with charm. This route ends in Oviedo, a city undoubtedly made for strolling around at your leisure, with its pedestrianized historic quarter and many squares to stop for a rest at a chigres and sample the region’s emblematic drink – cider.
Compared to the more popular Camino Frances, the Camino del Norte is more scenic and the pilgrim has a more solitary experience here. In terms of facilities, there are fewer albergues here, especially in the first half of the journey but things improve once one reaches Asturias and especially Galicia.
The northern coast of Spain is greener due to higher precipitations in the area so a pilgrim must be prepared for more rain on this route. But the rain will be certainly compensated by the lush green hills and mountains, especially the Picos de Europa in Asturias. Many stretches of the Camino are next to the sea and you will have the occasion to dip into the sea in the summer months in some unspoiled beaches.
Waymarking is generally good, although in the Basque country it is sometimes rare. As you progress and you reach Galicia, the waymarking is outstanding.
It is best to choose the Camino del Norte during the summer months of July and August if you want to have a chance to swim in the ocean. It is otherwise very wet and cold around here.
This is considered by many to be the most difficult Camino route, in that there are many mountains to climb. However, with good climbs, you get better views.
Guggenheim Museum (Bilbao)
Museum of Contemporary Art built in 1997 by the architect Frank Ghery with the purpose of revitalizing the post-industrial city of Bilbao.
“El Capricho” by Gaudí
Made in the unrepeatable style of the famous architect Gaudí, this mansion combines shapes, colors and materials to achieve a living aspect.
Church of San Pedro (Gijón)
Built in the mid-twentieth century to replace an old Gothic temple destroyed during the Civil War, it presents a historicist style inspired by the Asturian Romanesque and pre-Romanesque.
Monastery of Sobrado dos Monxes
This monastery was built in the tenth century and is of great relevance in the study of the history of Galicia by the cultural life that developed there.
Known in English as the Way of Saint James among other names, is a network of pilgrims’ ways serving pilgrimage to the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. It is also popular with hiking and cycling enthusiasts and organized tour groups.
– Camino Francés
– Camino Portuguese
– Camino del Norté
– Le Puy Camino
– Finisterre Camino
– Arles Camino
– Geneva Camino
– Camino Catalán
– Camino Mozarabe
– Chemin de Paris et de Tours
– Camino Inglés
– Camino to Fátima
– Via De La Plata
– Camino Primitivo
– Vezelay Camino
– Via Appia
– Cluny Camino
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