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Starting Camino Del Norte In April 2018

Discussion in 'Camino del Norte' started by Stuart Allison, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Stuart Allison

    Stuart Allison New Member

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    Hello,

    My daughter and I are planning to walk the Camino del Norte, perhaps switching to the Camino Primitivo when we get to it. We are planning to walk the route in April and May. I was thinking of starting around April 15 and with a rest day or two here and there, think we should finish in late May. We may then continue on to Finisterre. Have any of the forum members walked those routes at that time of year? Are we likely to find the albergos/hostels open and ready for pilgrims at that time? It looks like the weather should be decent. I'm especially curious what we might encounter on the Camino Primitivo.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice or wisdom you can share.

    Thank you for your time and assistance,
    Stuart
     
  2. RJS

    RJS Well-Known Member

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    Hi Stuart and welcome to the forum

    I have walked the Camino Norte and the Camino Primitivo, but not at the same time of year as you are planning, so I can’t advice you on the availability of Refugio’s for most of the route from my own experiences, but, I have known others to walk the route in April / May and I aren’t aware that they had any major problems in fining accommodation.

    I split my own Camino Norte into two stages

    Stage one from Irun to Santander – I walked this section in August / September – Trek notes at https://web.archive.org/web/20151018105545/http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/42d90/

    Stage two from Santander to Santiago de Compostela was part of by Big Camino from my home in Cumbria (NW UK) - Trek notes at https://web.archive.org/web/20151024000824/http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/bc/

    This would have been of more use to you as I walked this section in May / June, but alas, since the demise of VT, most on the information has now been lost :-(

    But, other than the last couple of days, after the Camino Norte joins The Camino Frances, we had no problems finding accommodation and used the Refugio’s where they were available and although there were always others pilgrims staying, there were spare beds available :)

    I also walked The Camino Primitivo but I walked this route in September – Trek notes at https://web.archive.org/web/20151120125413/http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/50192/c2/

    One thing I can say is out of the two routes from Villaviciosa where The Camino Primitivo splits off from The Camino Norte, The Camino Primitivo was my preferred option, a little more demanding as it goes through the mountains, but beautiful countryside with magnificent views.

    Good Luck and Buen Camino

    Rob
     
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  3. Stuart Allison

    Stuart Allison New Member

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    Thank you Rob. That is very helpful. I will carefully check through your notes but all you say sounds positive.

    Cheers
     
  4. calowie

    calowie Active Member

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    Stuart-we walked the Camino del norte and Primitivo 2 years ago, from mid May-mid June, about a month before you plan to walk it. The route is beautiful, the people great! Some of the people in the albergues told me they are open most of the year, but I did not write down a list. You could email recommended albergues in the earlier stages to find out. By mid May all should be open and running. The places we stayed can be found in our notes on our blog at https://carlosandmick.wordpress.com/

    I hope you enjoy this route as much as we did! Buen camino.
     
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  5. Stuart Allison

    Stuart Allison New Member

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    Thank you - this is very helpful. I will definitely go check your blog. Cheers
     
  6. El Condor 2014

    El Condor 2014 Active Member Donating Member

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    Hi @Stuart Allison , I walked Los Caminos del Norte this year From Irun to Santiago and onto Finisterre, I started in Irun last week of May,
    The weather was Fair , drizzle on and off for the first 4 days, Then a few good days then drizzle for another 3 days, (The Spaniards have a name for that very very fine drizzle, I think they call it Bochorno )
    There are many variation and alternative routes on this Camino , therefore I suggest you plan your route the day before.
    The first 5 days are a little tough, lots of ups and downs and lots of steps (up and Down )
    At Zumaia, make sure you take the detour and visit Ermita de San Telmo, Great views
    From Bilbao to Portugalette I suggest you follow the RIA on the right hand bank and get on the swinging bridge onto Portugalette , a nice easy walk and you save about 7 kms
    Between Colombres and Llanes visit the Bufones de Arenillas , beautifull and rouged coast with huge Blow holes
    From La Caridad to Ribadeo , I took the alternative route via Tapia de Casariego , If you do go via Tapia , go and check the Natural Swimming Pool, Just ask any of the locals for La Piscina Natural as soon as you enter the town . Just keep following the coast and it will bring you back to the Camino route.
    At Ribadeo I suggest you take a day off and visit Las Playas de las Catedrales . Go to the tourist bureau and ask what time is LOW Tide at Las playas de las Catedrales , You will be able to walk on the beach , an unforgettable experience with HUGE Arch formation ( take your swimming trunks with you) You can get a taxi from your Albergue or a Train from the train station , I suggest a Taxi
    Oopps ! I forgot you are doing The Primitivo. Sorry , I got carried away , but in case you change your mind !There it is
    I had no problems with Albergues,

    The views are magnificent,

    Buen Camino
     
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  7. Stuart Allison

    Stuart Allison New Member

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    Thank you - that is all very helpful. I'm 95% certain we'll walk the Camino Primitivo - depends a bit on what we feel like when we get there. But I will keep your suggestions in mind in case we continue with Camino del Norte.

    Cheers,
    Stuart
     
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