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Camino del Norte in Spain

The Camino del Norte is often said to be a more authentic pilgrim experience than the more well-known Camino Frances. The route is a lot quieter, the terrain more rugged and therefore challenging, but the rewards make it worth it. Some of the most amazing cities in Spain, not often visited by tourists, amazing gastronomy, and a really strong bond between pilgrims on the route, combine to make this trip one to treasure.

You may want to explore the dynamic first section from San Sebastian to Bilbao, the final section from Ribadeo to Santiago, or immerse yourself in the north of Spain and walk the full route. Another option is to combine the Camino del Norte, with a lovely inland pilgrimage which leads to the Picos mountains from the coast called the Camino Lebaniego. Whether it be stopping at the famous Guggenheim in Bilbao or taking in the amazing coastal scenery of "Green Spain", the Camino del Norte has plenty to offer. 

Like all of our Camino tours, you will be sure of a hassle-free experience with daily luggage transfers and hand-picked accommodations all included. So if you are looking for a Camino which packs a bit more of a punch, or perhaps looking for a different Camino adventure after having done the Camino Frances, please do not hesitate to contact our team who will be happy to help you plan your Camino del Norte. 

Discover Camino del Norte

  • Why Walk the Camino with Macs Adventure
    Why Walk the Camino with Macs Adventure

    Macs Adventure has been running self guided pilgrimages on the Camino de Santiago since 2008.  As soon as we walked the Camino, we knew that there was something completely unique about the route and were excited to share it with the rest of the world. 

    From humble beginnings, we now send over 2000 Pilgrims every year on the Way, each of them finding their own adventure on this spiritual route. We wanted to provide the freedom to choose your route, itinerary and travel companions and to take the Camino at your own pace. 

    We know how daunting it can be, setting off on an adventure of this scale and we quickly realised how important it was to have amazing partners on the ground in Spain to deal with any issues that you might come across.  We are proud to say that our Spanish team are outstanding and should you have the slightest issue, they will fall over themselves to help you out. 

    We offer a flexible, tailor-made Camino experience that gets you in comfortable, friendly overnight accommodation in local B&Bs and guesthouses. We carry your bags to lighten your load so you can concentrate on simply putting one foot in front of the other and enjoying the unique culture, food and architecture of this less-travelled part of Spain. No hostels, no shared dorms, no heavy bags on your back, no rushing along to secure your bed for the night.  You can book with confidence that we have it all covered for you. 

    We want to showcase our expertise, by giving you all the resources you will ever need.  In the planning stage, we have free guides, comprehensive videos and a host of staff with their own Compostela certificate, waiting to answer your questions. On the route, we use high-quality digital mapping as well as the best maps and guidebooks to make sure you find your way.  

    We love the Camino and our main aim is to make sure that you do too.  

  • Essential Camino del Norte Facts
    Essential Camino del Norte Facts

    Length - The Camino del Norte stretches right across the north of Spain from San Sebastian in the Basque Country, through Cantabria, Asturias and into Galicia, 783km to the west. We have split the walk into 5 sections, or you can choose to do the full route. 

    The Waymarking is very good Despite being one of the lesser-travelled Camino routes, the waymarking is still very good on the Camino del Norte, so you do not need to worry about getting lost. 

    Peace and quiet - The Camino del Norte is the route taken by around just 6% of pilgrims so you if you are looking for some solitude then this is definitely the route for you.

    Weather - with a large part of the route being on the coast, this Camino does not experience the high temperatures some other Camino's can do during the summer months. Also because of this, the weather can also be quite changeable - it became "Green Spain" for a reason! So be prepared with waterproofs for this one - although fingers crossed you won't need them! 

    Links with the Camino Primitivo - for those looking for a longer trip or a bit more variety, it is possible to combine the Camino del Norte with the Camino Primitivo with a short de-tour south to Oviedo where you can continue on to Santiago. 

  • Foodie Highlights of the Camino del Norte
    Foodie Highlights of the Camino del Norte

    San Sebastian - birthplace of the pintxos and home to the second highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants per square metre in the world, this is THE place for any foodies! Book yourself an extra couple of nights here to experience some of the best food in the world!

    Asturian Cheese - home to over 100 different types of cheese, Asturias is known as País de Quesos (the land of cheeses). Try a "tabla de quesos" if you wish to sample some of them.

    Llanes Seafood -this small seaside town is home to some amazing seafood restaurants including El Cuerra, a traditional Asturian restaurant serving amazing fish!

    Asturia Bean Soup - a hearty soup ideal for pilgrims, consisting of beans, potatoes, kale, ham and blood pudding. May not sound so nice, but it is a favourite in this region and very tasty!

    Cider (Sagardoa)Cider houses are famous in the Basque Country  with the region producing over 13 million litres every year. If you are a big cider lover, you may wish to visit at the time of Txotx. This begins in January and finishes in April-May and the cider houses offer a traditional menu featuring cod omelette, fried cod, beef steak, cheese, sweet apple jelly and walnuts, accompanied by cider poured directly from the barrel!

    Pulpo - we must not forget that the Camino del Norte not only passes through the Basque Country and Asturias, but also finishes in Galicia where you can look forward to trying some of that region's specialities - Pulpo a Feira (Octopus). Usually served boiled and sprinkled with some paprika, this tasty dish can be found in most traditional restaurants on the Galician part of the Camino del Norte.

     

     

  • Accommodation on the Camino - What to Expect
    Accommodation on the Camino - What to Expect

    Probably one of the most daunting prospects of planning any trip is finding the right places to stay! However, Macs Adventure takes this out of your hands when you book one of our Camino packages and book all your accommodation in advance for you, leaving you free to enjoy the walk! Here is what to expect from your accommodations on the way! 

    Variety - you can expect to be staying in a large variety of different types of accommodations on any of our Camino routes. This ranges from small family-run B&B's or "pensiones", to "casa rurales" which are refurbished country cottages,  to slightly larger hotels in the bigger cities and towns. Sometimes the smaller accomodations may be called "hostales" but please don't worry - this is not the typical bunk room you may expect in a hostel. You will always have your own private room and bathroom. We always aim to book you into the most personal and charming options available so that your experience is an authentic one. Staying in a variety of accommodation like this is all part of the experience, but it is important to keep this in mind to manage your expectations, as if you stay in a slightly fancier place one night, it may not always be the same the next night! 

    Air-Con? - generally, the smaller accommodations we use do not offer air-conditioning as they are in older buildings and of a more traditional style. Most of the time there will be some sort of fan in the room to cool you down during the hotter summer months!

    Breakfasts - again, the types of breakfast on offer at your accommodation vary hugely. One morning, you may find a true feast presented to you with everything from fresh pastries and bread to cooked eggs. Other mornings, you may find the selection slightly more limited with just bread and cheese on offer. Generally, when you have a long walking day ahead of you it's best not to fill up too much anyway, but you will soon become accustomed to the pilgrim way of life! 

    Upgrades - you may be surprised to learn that there are actually some very luxurious upgrade options available along the Camino which you may be tempted to upgrade to for a night or two! If this sounds like your idea of bliss, you may want even want to consider our Camino in Style tour which includes the finest boutique hotels and country manor houses (pazos). Otherwise, speak to us about perhaps upgrading to one of the famous Paradores, a range of state-owned hotels which are usually very luxurious and housed in old historical buildings. There are Paradors in several locations across the Camino routes. 

     

  • Walking the Camino del Norte

    Take a look at the Camino del Norte. It takes you along the stunning north coast of Spain, through several different regions before heading inland down through Galicia to Santiago.

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