Hidden Gem - The Northern Caminos

Our hidden gem this month is a guide to the Northern Caminos - covering three different routes to Santiago de Compostela, away from the crowds of the main route.

Vital stats:

  • Covers the Camino del Norte (800km), Camino Primitivo, Camino Ingles (116km route) and the Camino de Finisterre.
  • advice on gear, pilgrim hostels and a glossary in English, Spanish and Euskera.
  • Major cities include San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, Gijón, Lugo, and Santiago de Compostela.

Where is it?

794 Omap

How difficult is it

The first week of the Camino del Norte (Irún-Santiago) and the first week of the Camino Primitivo (Oviedo-Lugo) are strenuous, but feasible for people of most abilities; beyond those two stretches, the Northern Caminos are accessible to all walkers

When to go

These, routes can be walked at any time of year. Spring through to autumn is best for the range of facilities, although the height of summer can be very hot, and there are limited facilities during winter.

Castro UrdialesFarmland near As TravesasIglesia de Nuestra Senora de los DoloresPlaya de BerriaSan SebastianThe medieval road to ZarautzThe monastery of Zenarruzas Cloister

What is so special about this book?

There is no definitive way to Santiago. Away from the crowds on the Camino Francés (the most popular pilgrimage route), there is a spiderweb of paths, leading towards Santiago de Compostela. This guidebook includes three of these Northern Caminos, along the coast through Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and into Galicia. With fewer crowds, no need to race for a bed, and scenery ranging from the hilly and remote, to seafronts and cities, the Norte, Primitivo and Inglés Caminos offer pilgrims all the fascination and cameraderie of the Way of St James without the scrum.

A one-line review:

Some of the best waymarked walking routes through the northwest of Spain, enjoying lush scenery, coastal views and great facilities.

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