Steep cliffs, rushing waves, wide views out to sea and ancient monasteries and chapels — this is the Camino del Norte, the northern section of the world's most famous pilgrim route. Winding its way along the coast, this stretch of epic trail will open up magnificent views of the open ocean and Spain's beautiful northern coastlines — and will deliver a peaceful experience that will stay with you for the rest of your life.
Steep cliffs, rushing waves, wide views out to sea and ancient monasteries and chapels - this is the Camino del Norte. The northern branch of the famous Pilgrim's Way to Santiago is still a real insider tip among pilgrims. The pilgrim's path always winds its way along the coast through the hilly landscape of northern Spain. Walking a pilgrimage path means a lot of peace and self-discovery – even for people who are not religious – and it is precisely this peace and seclusion you can still find on the Camino del Norte. This is an experience that you will live and tell about for the rest of your life.
The Camino del Norte, also known as Camino de la Costa, runs from San Sebastian along the Atlantic coast to Santiago de Compostela. You will need about five weeks for the whole section, but we have put together a compact two-week tour for you. In 15 daily stages you hike from the Asturian capital Gijón to the famous cathedral. This is enough time to get a deep pilgrimage experience and can also be combined with your holiday calendar.
Gijón can be reached via the nearby Asturias airport. From there the train will take you to the city centre. Santiago de Compostela also has an international airport, via which you can return home. Just remember: The popularity of this route is not to be underestimated. It's crucial to book your accommodation well in advance, even if real pilgrim hostels won't turn you away if you're desperate.
Your first day on the Camino del Norte starts in the Asturian port of Gijón. It forms with the milestone Aviles the industrial center of the region and you will get to see clearly on this tour. Gijón itself has a very beautiful old town, whose streets can be wonderfully explored. If you have already arrived the night before, one of the best pastimes is to taste the well-known regional drink in one of the siderias.
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From Ballota it goes down to the small Rio Cabo, the run is overgrown wild and you cross it on a small bridge. At its mouth into the sea, a stone beach has formed. For the next few kilometers beach here clings to cliff to beach. Afterwards you will leave the coast for a while and walk across the typical hills of the region through agricultural areas and small villages.
With the visit of Mondoñedo today is another delicacy on the plan. The first few kilometers of the day are not particularly remarkable because of their proximity to the motorway, but in and above all Mondoñedo it is really nice.The city is one of the ancient capitals of the Galician kingdom. You can tell that from the beautiful slate-roofed granite houses and the large cathedral in the village. The forecourt invites you to linger with its gastronomy.
The region around Vilalba is called Terra Cha, which means as much as Flat lands. Accordingly, today you do not expect so many altitude meters today. But the area is wooded and there is a lot of agricultural use. Their products can then be eaten in the market town of Vilalba. Especially the cheese is really delicious.
This stage is your penultimate one and the proximity to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela is becoming more and more visible. Before you leave Arzua, you should try the local cheese specialty, for breakfast, it gives you the perfect basis for the coming day of pilgrimage. Your camp is in O Pedruozo. Now it is only one more night and you have reached your goal.