The Northern Way or Camino del Norte (#caminodelnorte) is the Camino route following the gorgeous Northern coast of Spain from San Sebastián to Gijón, Ribadeo and on to Santiago de Compostela. Alternatively you can continue to Oviedo and join the Original Way.
The Camino del Norte starts in the Basque Country, in the chic sea-side city of San Sebastián (Donosti in Basque), a real paradise for foodies: it is in fact in the top 10 cities with highest number of Michelin stars in Europe. The Northern Way follows the coast line for most of the way so you can discover charming fishing villages, swim in beautiful sandy beaches and taste delicious seafood. Feel inspired at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; stroll by the elegant royal palace in Santander; sample Asturias famous cider; stay in lively seaside towns and admire the natural beauty of the Northern coast of ‘Green Spain’. Read more Northern Way Camino articles on our blog.
The full Northern Way from San Sabastian to Santiago takes just over 5 weeks to complete or you can choose to walk any one section.
|Section 1||San Sebastian||–|
|Getaria||25||The first section of the Camino del Norte (the Northern Way route of the St James Way) begins in the beautiful and sophisticated coastal city of San Sebastián, a gastronomic mecca home to several Michelin-star restaurants. From San Sebastián (or Donosti in Basque), the Northern Way travels West along the green hills of the Basque coastline. The trail passes the historic town of Gernika, made famous by Picasso’s master piece and finishes in Bilbao, where you should visit the impressive Guggenheim Museum. The Basque Country is renowned for its cuisine, its ‘pintxos’ and some of the country’s best chefs so this Camino walk will be an unforgettable gastronomic experience.|
|Portugalete||10||The second section of the Camino del Norte, the Northern route of the Camino de Santiago, starts in the Basque city of Bilbao and finishes in the pretty coastal city of Santander, in Cantabria. Explore the old town in Bilbao and its magnificent Guggenheim Museum before you head West along the coast towards Santander. Along this section you will walk by seaside towns, lovely beaches and rocky bays. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and you will be able to admire the contrast between modernity and tradition, in the many towns and historic stops along the way.The North coast in Spain is renowned for its cuisine so prepare for an unforgettable gastronomic experience on the Camino.|
|Arce||20||This holiday will see you travel along the third section of the Camino Norte, Northern Way.This section of the Camino de Santiago begins in Santander and finishes in the charming seaside resort of Ribadesella. The mountains of the North provide a spectacular contrast to the picturesque coastline.This region is renowned for its cuisine, particularly seafood, fish and Asturias famous natural cider.|
|Santillana del Mar||27|
|Avilés||25||Starting in the coastal city of Gijón by the Cantabrian Sea, this is a fabulous Camino trail following the coast most of the way and taking pilgrims through pretty seaside villages and fishing towns in Asturias such as Luarca and Navia. As you cross the bridge over the Eo River you will reach the lively town of Ribadeo, entering Galicia. From Ribadeo, the Camino del Norte heads inland across the rolling green hills towards the once important town of Mondoñedo with its fantastic medieval architecture. All along the Asturian and Galician coast you will be rewarded with stunning scenery and architecture, as well as delicious local food, particularly fish and seafood; not forgetting Asturias famous cider.|
|Baamonde||20||The fifth and last section of the Camino del Norte, the Northern Way route of the famous Camino de Santiago, starts in the market town of Vilalba and takes pilgrims across Galicia’s farmland and lush country side all the way to Santiago de Compostela. You will be also joining the famous French Way in Arzúa, so you get the best of both worlds: a less travelled path on the Northern Way and the most popular and social trail on the French Way. One of the highlights of this trip is the magnificent monastery in Sobrado dos Monxes. Since you will be walking over 100km, don’t forget to stamp your pilgrim passport and request your Compostela certificate when you reach Santiago.|
|Sobrado dos Monxes||26|
|Santiago de Compostela||21|
The Camino del Norte or Northern Way is a stunning Camino de Santiago route, running along the coastline of Northern Spain or Green Spain for most part. The route starts in the Basque Country, and continues across Cantabria and Asturias before entering Galicia via the Santos Bridge over the River Eo, taking pilgrims from Asturias to Ribadeo.
Along with the Camino Primitivo or Original Way, the Camino del Norte became a prominent pilgrimage route in the early history of the Camino, in the 9th and 10th centuries. While the Camino Frances then became the most travelled of all routes, the Camino del Norte still maintained a regular flow of pilgrims until the 18th century. This Camino de Santiago route attracted not only pilgrims from the North of the Iberian Peninsula but also from overseas from faraway lands such as Scandinavia, England, Flanders and Germany: many pilgrims would make the journey by sea to some of the ports of Northern Spain before continuing on foot to Santiago de Compostela. Many of them would also stop in Oviedo to visit the relics of San Salvador.
The Camino del Norte joins the French Way in Arzúa.