Camino del Norte Daily Stages

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If you are planning to walk the Camino del Norte, you may be looking to plan your daily stages as part of the preparation. We’ve put together the guide below setting out the Camino del Norte Daily stages with different options included depending on the distances that you prefer.

  1. How long is the Camino del Norte?
  2. How many days does it take to walk the Camino del Norte?
  3. Why pick the North route of the Camino?
  4. Where to stay on the Camino del Norte?
  5. Daily stages of the Camino del Norte to walk 25 to 35km per day
  6. Can you walk the Camino del Norte with shorter daily stages?
  7. How to walk the Camino del Norte in daily stages of less than 25km
    1. Daily stages for the Camino del Norte of less than 25km
  8. How to walk the Camino del Norte in less than 30 days
  9. Camino del Norte daily stages of 25km to 35km
    1. Irun to San Sebastian 26km
    2. San Sebastian to Zarautz 22km
    3. Zarautz to Barrio de Ibiri 27km
    4. Barrio de Ibri to Zenarruza 26km
    5. Zenarruza to Gernika 18km
    6. Gerninka to Bilbao 32km
    7. Bilbao to Pobena 26km
    8. Pobena to Castro Uridales 30km
    9. Castro Uridales to Laredo 30km
    10. Laredo to Guemes 30km
    11. Guemes to Santander 10km
    12. Santander to Santillana del Mar 37km
    13. Santialla del Mar to Comillas 22km
    14. Comillas to Colombres 29km
    15. Colombres to Llanes 23km
    16. Llanes to San Esteban de Lecces 34km
    17. San Esteban de Lecces to Villavicisosa 33km
    18. Villavicisosa to Gijon 29km
    19. Gijon to Aviles 25km
    20. Aviles to Soto de Luna 36km
    21. Soto de Luna to Luarca 34km
    22. Luarca to Navia 20km
    23. Navia to Tapia de Casariego 21km
    24. Casareigo to Ribadeo 11km
    25. Ribadeo to Lourenza 27km
    26. Lourenza to As Parades (Castromaior) 22km
    27. As Parades to Baamonde 33km
    28. Baamonde to Sobrado dos Monxes 32km
    29. Sobrado dos Monxes to Salceda 34km
    30. Salceda to Santiago 27km

How long is the Camino del Norte?

The Camino del Norte (North Route) is 835km from Irun to Santiago.

How many days does it take to walk the Camino del Norte?

On average, most people walk the Camino del Norte in around 31 or 32 days. This will involve walking distances of between 25km and 35km every day. But, it is possible to walk it in less time this (see our guide to that below) each day. It is also very possible to walk less distance each day and slow down your Camino.

Why pick the North route of the Camino?

We just love the Camino North route. Here are the top 5 reasons that we think the North route is really quite epic:

  1. The Camino del Norte is a coastal route, you are never too far from the sea and beautiful views
  2. You get to walk through a number of very different provinces in Spain – from the Basque country, to Cantabria, Asturias and Galicia. Each one is individual with different cuisine and culture
  3. The Camino Norte route is much quieter than the other popular routes such as the Frances and the Portuguese. This creates a different sort of experience
  4. It is absolutely stunning! The scenery is incredible
  5. The North route travels through a number of vibrant and interesting Spanish cities such as Bilbao, San Sebastian and Santander before arriving in Santiago

You can read more here about the different routes and find out which route is best for you.

Where to stay on the Camino del Norte?

The Camino del Norte has a mix of albergues and private accommodation. You can find out more about what albergues are in our piece on albergues here. We’ve written a short guide to our favourite hostels/albergues on the Camino del Norte. You can find that here.

We really recommend using the Buen Camino app to plan your daily stages and view accommodation options at each stage too.

Daily stages of the Camino del Norte to walk 25 to 35km per day

On the Camino del Norte, you will find that most people walk in recommended daily stages. Typically, in our experience, many people walk between 25km and 35km each day. But there are variances to this, with some walking less and others walking more.

The below are the typical stages of the Camino del Norte. These are popular stages as they have accommodation at the end of each day and take in the main sites on the North route. We’ve also provided a detailed breakdown of each stage of the walk below.

  • Day 1: Irun to San Sebastian 26km
  • Day 2: San Sebastian to Zarautz 21km
  • Day 3: Zarautz to Barrio de Ibiri 27km
  • Day 4: Barrio de Ibri to Zenarruza 26km
  • Day 5: Zenarruza to Gernika 18km
  • Day 6: Gerninka to Bilbao 32km
  • Day 7: Bilbao to Pobena 26km
  • Day 8: Pobena to Castro Uridales 30km
  • Day 9: Castro Uridales to Laredo 30km
  • Day 10: Laredo to Guemes 30km
  • Day 11: Guemes to Santander 10km
  • Day 12: Santander to Santillana del Mar 37km
  • Day 13: Santialla del Mar to Comillas 22km
  • Day 14: Comillas to Colombres 29km
  • Day 15: Colombres to Llanes 23km
  • Day 16: Llanes to San Esteban de Lecces 34km
  • Day 17: San Esteban de Lecces to Villavicisosa 33km
  • Day 18: Villavicisosa to Gijon 29km
  • Day 19: Gijon to Aviles 25km
  • Day 20: Aviles to Soto de Luna 36km
  • Day 21: Soto de Luna to Luarca 34km
  • Day 22: Luarca to Navia 20km
  • Day 23: Navia to  Tapia de Casariego 21km
  • Day 24: Casareigo to Ribadeo 11km
  • Day 25: Ribadeo to Lourenza 27km
  • Day 26: Lourenza to As Parades (Castromaior) 22km
  • Day 27: As Parades to Baamonde 33km
  • Day 28: Baamonde to Sobrado dos Monxes 32km
  • Day 29: Sobrado dos Monxes to Salceda 34km
  • Day 30: Salceda to Santiago 27km

Can you walk the Camino del Norte with shorter daily stages?

Yes you can walk the Camino del Norte in more than 30 days taking shorter daily stages. We chose to walk in 28 days, but perhaps a more common approach would be to take between 30 and 32 days.

Many people may also choose to walk the Camino del Norte in more time than this. For example, it is possible to walk less than 25km per day. It is also possible to walk less than 20km per day if you wish to. But, if you are doing this then you may need to rely on some private accommodation as albergues may not always be easily found with such regularity.

If you want more information on training for the Camino, you can find our guide here.

How to walk the Camino del Norte in daily stages of less than 25km

Many people walk the Camino del Norte in 30 or 31 days. But, this can be very difficult, especially as the route is quite undulating. If you’d rather stick to shorter distances each day, the suggested daily stages below may suit you.

At the end of each daily stage we have suggested, there is some form of accommodation available. But, some of this is private and not a pilgrim hostel (albergue.) Many of the accommodation options are quite small too, so we would recommend booking beds in advance if possible.

You’ll notice that there are a few distances just over 25km. This is because there are a few places that we would really recommend that you try to stay if possible. One is Guemes, which in our view has one of the best albergues on the Norte – read more here. San Vicente de la Barquera is also a stunning town and we would very much recommend spending a night here.

You may also notice that there are a few shorter days on our suggested route. This is to allow you time to enjoy the big cities of Bilbao, Santander and Gijon.

Finally, we recommend using the Buen Camino app as this can help you to plan personalised daily stages. There may be other options or alternatives to the route below.

If you want more information on training for the Camino, you can find our guide here.

Daily stages for the Camino del Norte of less than 25km

Suggested daily stages for the Camino del Norte of less than 25km per day:

  • Day 1: Irun to San Sebastian 26km
  • Day 2: San Sebastian to Zarautz 22km
  • Day 3: Zauratz to Deba 21km
  • Day 4: Deba to Markina 23km
  • Day 5: Markina to Gernika 25km
  • Day 6: Gernika to Lezama 19km
  • Day 7: Lazama to Bilbao 10km
  • Day 8: Bilbao to Portugalete 20km
  • Day 9: Portugalete to Onton 18km
  • Day 10: Onton to Castro Uridales 18km
  • Day 11: Castro Uridales to Rioseco (Guriezo) 15km
  • Day 12: Rioseco (Guriezo) to Laredo 19km
  • Day 13: Laredo to Guemes 27km
  • Day 14: Guemes to Santander 10km
  • Day 15: Santander to Mar 25km
  • Day 16: Mar to Caborredondo 18km
  • Day 17: Caborredondo to San Vicente de la Barquera 27km
  • Day 18: San Vicente de la Barquera to La Franca 20km
  • Day 19: La Franca to Llanes 20km
  • Day 20: Llanes to Villahormes 14km
  • Day 21: Villahormes to San Esteban de Leces 21km
  • Day 22: San Esteban de Lecces to Priesca 24km
  • Day 23: Priesca to Peon 25km
  • Day 24: Peon to Gijon 15km
  • Day 25: Gijon to Aviles 25km
  • Day 26: Gijon to Soto del Barco 18km
  • Day 27: Soto del Barco to Soto de Luiña 20km
  • Day 28: Soto de Luiña to Canero 25km
  • Day 29: Canero to Piñera 23km
  • Day 30: Piñera to Valdepares (El Franco) 26 km
  • Day 31: Valdepares (El Franco) to Ribadeo 18km
  • Day 32: Ribadeo to Lourenza 27km
  • Day 33: Lourenza to Gontan 20km
  • Day 34: Gontan to Vilalba 22km
  • Day 35: Vilalba to Baamonde 19km
  • Day 36: Baamonde to Miraz 15km
  • Day 37: Miraz Sobrado dos Moxes 25km
  • Day 39: Sobrado dos Moxes to Arzua 22km
  • Day 40: Arzua to A Rua 18km
  • Day 41: A Rua to Santiago de Compostela 20km

How to walk the Camino del Norte in less than 30 days

It is possible to walk the Camino del Norte in less than 30 days. If you are a confident walker and comfortable with long distances of 35km and above, there are options to merge some stages and walk the Camino del Norte in 29, 28 or even 27 days. I expect some people have walked it in less.

The second thing to consider if you are looking to save time is to take trains into and out of the large cities. This may sound like cheating or you may think it’s not an option for you to consider. But, people do take this option on the Norte as there are some rather bleak walks into and out of Bilbao and Gijon. Both cities are surrounded by large industrial areas and therefore you could choose to skip a few kms, especially if the weather is very hot. For example, you can take a train from Lezama to Bilbao. Alternatively, you can take a train from Bilbao to Portugalete, which will mean you may be able to walk to Castro Uridales that day.

If you want more information on training for the Camino, you can find our guide here.

Camino del Norte daily stages of 25km to 35km

Irun to San Sebastian 26km

Route:

We recommend taking breakfast and a coffee in Irun as it will be a while before you get to another cafe once on the way. The route of of Irun can be a little tricky to find, but pay attention to the navigation on the Buen Camino app and you will find it. After this, you will start to see your first Camino shell sign posts, which you can follow all the way to Santiago.

The first part of this walk is along a long shady footpath. It’s the perfect time to reflect on the journey you are starting and get excited for what lays ahead! Eventually you will reach the town of Pasai Donibane – a quaint town and a great chance to get photos on your first day. From here, you must take a short boat across to the other side of the bank before continuing to San Sebastian. It costs 90 cents (as of 2022) and takes a couple of minutes.

There are two steep hills to climb on the first day, one of which takes you close to San Sebastian and offers spectacular views of the city once you arrive at the top. You will then walk down a steep hill to get to the city.

Highlights:

  • The boat ride from Pasia to San Sebastian
  • When San Sebastian starts to come into view over the cliffs
  • Arriving in San Sebastian for wine and pintxos

Accommodation:

There are at least six albergues in San Sebastian, this includes one donation based albergue Claret Ikastola Pilgrims Hostel. Alternatively, you can book one of the many private hotel options in San Sebastian city.

There are also some really great and modern hostels that you can book in advance on Hostel World. We would recommend booking ahead for San Sebastian.

The three best bookable hostels are, Colo Colo (a fancy start to your Camino!), Downtown River Hostel (simple and clean), A room in the city (complete with fantastic courtyard bar).

San Sebastian to Zarautz 22km

Route:

From San Sebastian you will follow the bays until you reach a steep uphill out of the city. There are a couple of places to refill water but not much else on the first part of the trail today.

Highlights:

  • The forest trails from San Sebastian to Orio
  • Sea views in and around Zarautz

Accommodation:

Many people stay in Zarautz on night two, but we continued to Zumaia to keep to our time schedule. But, we had also previously visited Zarautz and wanted to stay somewhere else. If you have plenty of time, we would recommend staying in Zarautz if you can. Many people also choose to stay in Getaria which is a smaller and more quaint town.

If you stay in Zarautz, there are a couple of hostels. The first is Blai Blai Hostel, the second is Zarautz Surf Hostel and the largest is Igerain Youth Hostel. We recommend booking ahead for this stage as Zarautz is a popular surf town and the hostels can be full of surfers in the summer!

Zarautz to Barrio de Ibiri 27km

Route:

Today was one of our favourite days on the Camino del Norte. The scenery is simply spectacular. There are not that many facilities on this day, aside from Deba town. We recommend having breakfast before you hit the trails.

There are two steep ascents today on the route from Zarautz to Barrio de Ibri. The first is into the small beach town of Zumaia. The second is a 300m climb up into Itziar.

Highlights:

Accommodation:

Many people choose to stay in Deba town, we continued to Barrio de Ibri because we wanted to stay at the Izarbide Pilgrims Hostel. We really recommend this hostel. It is remote and surrounded by fields. There are separate male and female dorms and good facilities, including a bar. The albergue does not host dinner, but they organise a communal supper at a nearby restaurant. They can also arrange a packed lunch for you to take the next day (we recommend doing this as there are no facilities after the hostel until 19km later. There are 32 beds and if you arrive early enough, you should get a bed. Reservations required in the winter.

Barrio de Ibri to Zenarruza 26km

Route:

The route from Barrio de Ibri until Markina Xemein is along stunning trails. But there are two things to be mindful of. Firstly, there are steep ascents and descents. The plus side of this is that it offers you fabulous views across the hills. The second, there are no facilities for 19km after you leave the hostel.

Markina Xemein is a pretty little town with a central square. There are plenty of places to eat and drink before you walk the 7km to the monastery at Zenarruza.

Highlights:

  • The mountain scenery for the first 19km
  • Getting to the top of the steep 450m climb
  • The delightful monastery and hospitality

Accommodation:

Accommodation tonight is at the Monasterio de Ziortza in Zenarruza. Facilities are basic but you will be made to feel very welcome.

If you’d rather not stay at the monastery, you can stay in Markina. There is a municipal albergue in the main square – you can’t book but can queue outside at opening time (15:00). But, be sure to visit the monastery the next day.

Zenarruza to Gernika 18km

Route:

Some steep ascents and descents again today. A mix of walking trail and some walking on road. Water fountains and one or two places to stop for refreshment are available.

Highlights:

  • The historic city of Gernika makes an excellent stop for lunch or dinner

Accommodation:

The largest albergue in Gernika is currently closed. Therefore, the other options are Akellare Boarding House or a few inns that can be booked in advance.

If you want to walk a little further than Gernika to get closer to Bilbao ahead of the next day, one option is to stop for lunch in Gernika and continue further to another albergue. We chose an albergue in Muixca y Morgan called Albergue Eskerika, which was one of our favourites on the Camino del Norte. You can book in advance on booking.com. Another popular option is Pozueta Rooms in the same area, this cost 15 euros per night for a bunk. Contact in advance to book.

Gernika to Bilbao 32km

Route:

A steep climb awaits from Gernika, with some footpaths in shade. The walk to Lezama and beyond is quite arduous, although a mostly flat walk the sun can be over head with no shade in the summer. Stock up on food in Gernika before heading out as there are few facilities until Lezama.

*As an FYI, it is possible to skip part of the walk into Bilbao if you get a train from Lezama. The walk into Bilbao is quite industrial and personally we chose to take the train to avoid this. Bilbao is also such a great city and we wanted to spend time there enjoying the city.

Highlights:

  • Intial trails out of Gernika
  • Arriving in Bilbao and eating in Casco Viejo – try to spend an extra day in the city if you can

Accommodation:

Bilbao is a large city and there are plenty of private accommodation options. There is one pilgrim only hostel, Santa Cruz de Begona Pilgrims Hostel. There are 22 beds and this is a donation based albergue so is likely to be popular.

If you’d like to book a hostel in advance which would be advisable in Bilbao, there are some good options available on Hostel World. First is Poshtel Hostel, which is advertised as a luxury hostel in the centre of town. Ekoos is an eco hostel with really nice communal space. Finally, La Troupe La Granja is a fun hostel with a bar.

Bilbao to Pobena 26km

Route:

The route leads along the river and across to Portugalete. The walk is quite industrial and not the most pleasant, it’s possible to take public transport to Portugalete instead. After this, the beach around La Arena is very pleasant.

Highlights:

  • Seeing the highlights of Bilbao before arriving at the industrial area
  • The beach and board walk at La Arena

Accommodation:

Pobena is a small place and it has one pilgrim hostel called Muskiz Pilgrims Hostel. 40 beds are offered on a donation basis and there are cooking facilities. Bring food to cook as Pobena doesn’t have good facilities.

Pobena to Castro Uridales 23 km

Route:

From Pobena to Castro Uridales is a fairly relaxed walking day. You can take a coastal route, which is a little shorter but has some road walking. We always take the coastal route when we can, so stuck with this option today. If the weather is good, you will want to get to Castro Uridales early to relax in the water and enjoy some tapas on your first night in Cantabria.

Highlights:

  • Arriving in Castro Uridales which is a stunning town

Accommodation:

There is one pilgrim only albergue in Castro Uridales, called Castro Uridales Pilgrim Hostel. It has 16 beds and is only open in peak season. They do allow camping in the garden if full. Otherwise, you can find private boarding houses and accommodation online.

Castro Uridales to Laredo 34km

Route: Hands down, the walk from Castro Uridales to Laredo was our favourite day of walking on the Camino del Norte when it comes to scenery. But, we took a slightly different route to the norm. Just after Islares, we found a route that crossed over the river and up the cliff. This meant that we essentially walked over the cliff rather than around it. It’s a steep climb and not for the faint hearted/ not an official Camino route – but if you want to take it, you can find it on Maps.Me and follow the black markings up the hill.

The normal route is 34km and takes you inland in a U shape before rejoining a lovely path at Liendo, which has great views of Laredo.

Lardeo is a large town with a beautiful sandy beach and lots of bars and restaurants. A perfect place to spend an afternoon if you can arrive early.

Highlights:

  • Cliff top views as far as the eyes can see
  • Relaxing in Laredo on arrival after the scary cliff top walk
  • The wonderful welcome at Casa de La Trinidad and communal dinner

Accommodation:

By far, the best place to stay in Laredo is the convent Albergue Casa de La Trinidad. As of 2022, a bed here costs 10 Euros and there is a communal dinner in the evening that you can join. Arrive at opening time (15:00) for the best chance of securing a bed.

Laredo to Guemes 28 km

Route:

We stuck with the coastal route which requires a small boat crossing to Santona. This takes a few minutes and is very easy to board. But, do note that the first crossing tends to be at 09:00 so you can’t get an early start if you take this route. But, everyone is in the same boat (literally!) Check the latest crossings before you leave the albergue. From here, there are a few nice seaside views along the Cantabrian coast before crossing inland to head to Guemes.

Santona has places to eat and drink. We also found a delightful vineyard, Bodega Vidular, which is worth a stop if you like wine.

Highlights:

  • Taking the little boat from Laredo in the morning
  • A lovely little vineyard, Bodega Vidular just off the road, a great place to stop for a drink
  • More coastal views

Accommodation:

Guemes Pilgrims Hostel, one of the oldest Albergue’s on the North Route is undoubtedly a must visit for anyone on the Camino del Norte. The owner of this Donativo Albergue will entertain you for hours, the facilities are wonderful and the communal dinner is a convivial experience. You can’t book but it’s a large albergue and you are pretty much guaranteed a bed if you turn up at a reasonable time.

Guemes to Santander 10km

Route:

We chose to walk from Guemes and stay in Santander. But, many people skip the city and continue to Santa Cruz de Bezana. We decided when we set out that we wanted to see all of the cities on the Norte, therefore we stayed in Santander. We would really recommend that others consider doing the same, Santander is an understated city and well worth a visit. We’ve written more about it here.

Once again, there are route choices on the way to Somo from Guemes. One inland and one coastal, the coastal is slightly longer and we think worth it. Both end up in Somo where you can take the ferry over to Santander. Somo itself is a nice town and a great place to stop for a long lunch or a dip in the sea. It’s also a popular surf spot too.

Highlights:

  • Tapas in Santander
  • The ferry from Somo
  • Long lunches in Somo and enjoying the beach

Accommodation:

In Santander, the pilgrim only hostel is called Santos Martires. There are 50 beds and it costs 15 euros. We’ve not heard the best things about this hostel, but it does seem reliable as a place to stay if you don’t have a booking.

There are various private accommodation options in the city that can be booked in advance. If you want to book a hostel in advance, there are some good options. First is Santander Central Hostel and another option with good reviews is Hostel Santander.

Santander to Santillana del Mar 37km

Route:

The route is fairly bland at the start but soon turns into countryside. We struggled to find anywhere for food and refreshments, but had packed lunch and there were plenty of nice spots to have a picnic.

Santillana del Mar is a beautiful town and we recommend staying here if you can. Confusingly, it is not actually on the sea, despite the “del Mar” in it’s name. But it has cobbled streets and stunning architecture, plus plenty of good restaurants with reasonable menus.

*You could take public transport out of Santander to get ahead of the day and skip some of the quite plain walking

Highlights:

  • Nice countryside with animals
  • The stunning town of Santillana del Mar – wander the streets and you feel as though you are in a movie set

Accommodation:

El Convento Hostel is the main pilgrim only albergue in the town. It has 55 beds and we would recommend booking in advance as it’s very popular. There are a few smaller hostels in the town that will have some availability if the convent doesn’t. There are also small hotels with rooms for around 40 Euros, such as Hotel Santillana.

Santialla del Mar to Comillas 22km

Route:

The route today is fairly flat and easy to travese. Lots of animals and countryside surround you. On this day, we chose to continue past Comillas to San Vicente de Baquera as we wanted to walk further on this day. San Vicente is a beautiful town and we really enjoyed our evening there. So if you want to walk a little further, that is an option.

Highlights:

  • Nice to enjoy a flat day
  • Sea views and beach vibes towards the end of the day

Accommodation:

Comillas has one pilgrim hostel, La Huella dle Camino, it is available to book on booking.com here.

Comillas to Colombres 29km

Route:

The route today has a significant milestone as you will move from Cantabria into Asturias. You will also move inland after San Vicente. If you have a chance to stop in San Vicente for breakfast or lunch before you move on to Colombres, it is well worth it in our view. Otherwise, the route enjoys a few undulating hills and not many facilities.

Highlights:

  • Crossing the bridge into Asturias
  • The beautiful harbour town of San Vicente de Baquera

Accommodation:

In Colomobres there are two private albergues, El Cantu and La Arboleda and a hotel.

Colombres to Llanes 23km

Route:

Some road walking for the first section, after which you can continue on road or take the more scenic coastal route (slightly longer but prettier and less hard on the feet.)

Highlights:

  • The beautiful and welcoming town of Llanes
  • Trying the famous Asturias cider in one of the cider houses in Llanes

Accommodation:

There is no municipal albergue in Llanes, but there are private options including hostels. The best for budget is probably Albergue La Estacion, which can be booked here.

Llanes to San Esteban de Lecces 34km

Route:

A straightforward walk, some pavement and road. Some nice coastal views. The route goes through the delightful town of Ribadesella, we were tempted to stay here but it is a little on the expensive side. As it’s quite a popular tourist town, we also didn’t feel that it was that welcoming to pilgrims. We decided to continue to San Esteban de Lecces to stay in the albergue there.

Highlights:

  • Ribadesella – a cute town with lots of nice restaurants
  • The hostel had a nice social vibe

Accommodation:

We stayed at the hostel in San Esteban de Lecces. We really liked it. It has a nice garden and social vibe. You can buy beers and breakfast is included, but you’ll need to take food or eat before you arrive as there is nothing else in the area. We ate in Ribadesella and walked on to San Esteban de Lecces.

The hostel is called Albergue de Peregrinos San Esteban de Lecces. It’s a Municipal albergue, just turn up to find a spot rather than book ahead. There are 60 beds.

San Esteban de Lecces to Villaviciosa 33km

Route:

Quite a difficult day of walking with some tough climbs. You are now over half way through the Norte, and if like me, your feet aren’t holding up very well (scroll down for a picture of my feet on this day – not in picture is the giant Gin and Tonic I was drinking), I promise it will get easier! Just like the route today, which gets easier for the last half! Food and refreshment available in Colunga today. Then lots of restaurants and bars in Villaviciosa.

Highlights:

  • Stunning coastal scenery along the way
  • The buzzing town of Villaviciosa

Accommodation:

Private albergues in the town are available, but no Municipal. We stayed here at the Villaviciosa Albergue which can be booked in advance on their website.

Villavicisosa to Gijon 29km

Route:

A fairly flat and easy day into Gijon. The last part of the path winds through the leafy suburbs of Gijon before entering the city. We didn’t find anywhere to eat until we neared Gijon and would recommend packing food. There is normally a restaurant half way to Gijon but it closes one day a week and leaves only a vending machine in it’s place (cash required.)

The route splits before Gijon. Turn left to Oviedo to take the Primitivo (if you dare) or continue to Gijon for the norte route.

Highlights:

  • Gijon is a vibrant city with plenty going on. We loved trying local wines in the wine bars in the city and exploring
  • Lots of downhill and a few forest paths today
  • Nosing around the suburbs of Gijon

Accommodation:

There is no municipal albergue in Gijon itself, the nearest is Camping Deva just before the city.

As this is a lively city, we would recommend booking something ahead if you plan to stay in the centre. If you’re looking for a bookable hostel in Gijon, then Boogalow is a cool and central option. You can book through hostelworld here. Otherwise, there are plenty of options on booking.com

Gijon to Aviles 25km

Route:

The route from Gijon to Aviles is quite possibly the worst day on the Camino del Norte. So much so, that we didn’t take any pictures, not helped by the fact we walked in rain. It’s an easy day of walking, but just quite boring. You mainly walk on flat road through industrial areas. There are a few cafes and truck stops along the way. Some do not take card, so hopefully you have some cash with you.

Aviles is quite nice however, so you will have a warm welcome awaiting you at the end of your walk. Plenty of places in the central square for a menu del dia.

For more on whether you need cash or card for the Camino, read our guide here.

Highlights:

  • Arriving in Aviles to a surprisingly pretty town and enjoying a late lunch on the square

Accommodation:

The main accommodation option in Aviles is the municipal albergue, albergue de pedro solos. Find it here. Bookings are not accepted but arrive at opening time to queue. It is a large albergue with plenty of beds. Not the comfiest of sleeps in this hostel, but it’s cheap and central with some nice communal space outdoors.

The albergue is right near to a superb bakery which opens very early in the morning. We strongly recommend picking up breakfast in the morning.

Aviles to Soto de Luna 36km

Route:

Don’t forget to head to the bakery next to the albergue here. Grab breakfast and a loaf for the day ahead. There are not many places for refreshment on the way after Soto de Barco, but lots of nice places for a picnic.

We encountered an unleashed farm dog dog blocking our way and had to re-route. A few others have had the same experience, but you may get lucky and sail through. Some nice walking in forest.

Highlights:

  • Stunning views and picnic stops available

Accommodation:

Soto de Luna is a small town, but there are a few options for accommodation. The municipal albergue – website here – is quite pretty and inside an old school building. Lots of garden space. There are also private options, including this hotel, which has some pilgrim accommodation attached. We paid 40 Euros for a private room for two and got a free beer on arrival.

Soto de Luna to Luarca 34km

Route:

Out of Soto de Luna there are two routes, a mountain and coastal. The mountain route is not safe, therefore we followed the coastal route. There are also options to take roads near to the coastal route (quicker but not as pretty). We went for the coastal the whole way. A few towns and stops on the way to grab food, even on a Sunday.

Highlights:

  • Coastal scenery and paths
  • Arriving in Luarca after a steep climb – a pretty town, albeit a little run down feeling

Accommodation:

Albergue villa de Luarca is the main albergue in the town. You can find it here. Otherwise, private accommodation available on booking.com

Luarca to Navia 20km

Route:

A really nice day of walking. The path flows through a shady area with pine trees, creating a beautiful scent if pine in the air. Plenty of places to stop, including a lunch spot with a pilgrim menu. You’ll climb around 430m and also descend the same amount.

Highlights:

  • Shaded paths and descents with lovely views
  • Navia is a buzzy town with a nice beach to enjoy an hour or so of reclining

Accommodation:

We stayed at Albergue San Roque which is the most popular in the area. The owner makes this place really special as he is super welcoming, plus the facilities are great. The town has plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy too.

Navia to Tapia de Casariego 21km

Route:

From Navia, you have two route options. One travels inland and the other detours to the beautiful little town of Tapia de Casariego. We would strongly recommend breaking up your journey and detouring to Tapia. You have a choice here, you could either stop for lunch and continue walking to Ribadeo (this is what we did.) Or, you could stay overnight in Tapia and then visit the stunning Playa Penarronda the following day before Ribadeo (which is what we wish we did.) If the weather is fine, we recommend taking two days. This stretch is the last bit of coast before you head inland to Santiago!

Highlights:

  • Small town of Tapia de Casariego – a wonderful place to be on the Norte

Accommodation:

If you plan to stay in Tapia de Casareigo, there are two albergues. Either the Pilgrims hostel – found here. Or, Hostel Tapia, found here. The first is very near to the sea.

Tapia de Casareigo to Ribadeo 11km

Route:

A short day if this is the route you choose. Take time to stop at the beach in Playa de Penarronda. When you reach Ribadeo, you will be entering Galicia and leaving Asturias behind. Be sure to try the seafood specialities in Ribadeo town.

Highlights:

  • Playa de Penarronda
  • Seafood in Ribadeo with a glass of white wine (Albarino of course)

Accommodation:

We stayed in one of our favourite albergues in Ribadeo, purely because the breakfast was so good. Albergue a Ponte, found here. Albergue Rio Eo is another otpion.

Ribadeo to Lourenza 27km

Route:

A stunning route heading through eucalyptus forest. Quite a few steep hills. There are no refreshment options for the first 18km so you will want to buy breakfast in Lourenza before you leave and possibly pack snacks. There’s a delightful cafe in San Xusto where most will stop for lunch or a drink.

Highlights:

  • Walking through eucalyptus forest
  • Lourenza is a small town but sociable with other pilgrims as there is only one bar and a few different albergues
  • Lourenza has a municipal swimming pool if you fancy a dip on arrival

Accommodation:

Lourenza has a plethera of albergues to choose from. O Pedregal is one of the best and can be booked in advance here. Albergue Savior is also great and has a fun roof terrace (the pictures on booking.com don’t do it justice.) Castelos Lourenza is also a great option with private rooms.

Lourenza to As Parades (Castromaior) 22km

Route:

From Lourenza, you’ll first arrive in Mondonedo. This is a really pretty cathedral town and worth a stop for breakfast in one of the cafes near the square. This will also be the last stop for refreshment before you arrive in Gontan.

There are two options, you can take the official route which is a shorter route with a steep hill. Or a flatter route, which is longer. We took the shorter and steeper route. If it’s very muddy, this may not be the best. But otherwise, we thought the mountain route that we took was the best option for scenery. We packed lunch to enjoy at the top of the hill. Be sure to take enough food and water with you.

Highlights:

  • Finding a beer in Gontan after the long and steep climb
  • Incredible views unlike anything we had seen on the Norte so far
  • Albergue O Xistral

Accommodation:

Many people choose to stay in Abadin. We continued to As Parades as we had heard of an amazing albergue with a swimming pool there. We do not regret this as it was one of our favourites on the route. Albergue O Xistral has excellent facilities and a great communal dinner including wine.

If you choose this option too, be sure to book ahead here.

As Parades to Baamonde 33km

Route:

A relatively flat day, with not many places for refreshments. Vilalba offers the best place to stop for lunch. A few places to eat and supermarket in Baamonde.

Highlights:

  • Albergue breakfast before heading out
  • Some shady paths and nice walking conditions for first 10km or so

Accommodation:

Baamonde has one municipal albergue. Friends our ours stayed there and said it was not the best, plus Baamonde is not the prettiest town. If you do stop in Baamonde, head t