Is Skye's Cuillin Ridge on your bucket list? If so, you're in luck! Get 20% our guidebook to this iconic route and other scrambling guidebooks in our range - use code CUILLINRIDGE at checkout. Offer ends 30th April.

The Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo

To Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre from Irun or Oviedo

Guidebook to walking the Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo pilgrim routes to Santiago de Compostela in northwest Spain. The 820km Camino del Norte from Irún via Bilbao and Santander takes around 5 weeks to complete. The 355km Camino Primitivo takes about 2 weeks. Includes the Camino Finisterre from Santiago to the coast.


Summer/late spring/early autumn are best, because of the weather and because much of the accommodation closes in winter


Irún, San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Gijón, Oviedo, Lugo, Santiago de Compostela


While certain stages of the Caminos may be quite physically demanding, the Caminos are largely approachable to any walker, since it is often possible to split difficult stages into shorter sections. Luggage transport services are available for walkers who need support.

Must See

The rocky coastline of the Basque Country, sandy beaches, the mountains of Astoria, rolling hills of Galicia; some of Spain's most dynamic cities, including San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, Lugo, Santiago; variety of architecture from Lugo's Roman walls, Romanesque and Gothic churches, to Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum
15 May 2019
22 May 2023
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.75cm

A guidebook to walking the Camino del Norte and Camino Primitivo through northern Spain, popular variants of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage or Way of St James to Santiago de Compostela. Suitable for most abilities, the 820km (510 mile) Camino del Norte takes around 5 weeks to complete, whereas the shorter 355km (221 mile) Camino Primitivo requires about a fortnight. 

The Camino del Norte is described in 32 stages and the Camino Primitivo in 12 stages, each between 15 and 39km (9–24 miles) in length. The Camino del Norte roughly follows the coast from Irun visiting San Sebastian, Bilbao and Santander, whilst the Camino Primitivo takes an inland route from Villaviciosa via Oviedo and Lugo. An extension to Finisterre and link routes to connect the Norte and Primitivo are also described. 

  • GPX files available to download 
  • 1:100,000 mapping plus larger-scale town maps for key locations 
  • Handy route summary tables and pilgrim lodging listings help you plan your itinerary 
  • Detailed information about refreshments and facilities along the route 
  • Advice on planning and preparation 

Table of Contents
Dave Whitson Cicerone author WHITSON

By Dave Whitson

Dave Whitson is a high school History teacher in Portland, Oregon and a graduate of the University of Washington. He made his first pilgrimage in 2002 on the Camino Francés and was inspired to return with a group of his high school students, which he did in 2004. He has made long-distance treks in Norway on the Pilgrim Road to Nidaros, in England on the North Downs Way to Canterbury, and in Turkey on the Lycian Way, all told walking roughly 10,000 kilometers on pilgrim roads in Europe.

View author profile
Laura Perazzoli Cicerone author PERAZZ

By Laura Perazzoli

Laura Perazzoli graduated from John Hopkins University with a degree in Writing Seminars and currently lives in Seattle, Washington. She completed her first pilgrimage in 2004 on the Camino Francés as one of the students on Dave Whitson's initial student pilgrimage. After this trip, she was excited to provide others with a similar experience and has since led student pilgrimage trips on the Camino Francés, the Camino del Norte and the Via Francigena. Laura first walked the Camino del Norte and Primitivo with a student group in 2009 and returned in 2011 to re-walk the route and to complete the Camino Inglés to ensure up-to-date route information for this guidebook.

View author profile