Camino del Norte (The Northern Way)
From Irún to Santiago de Compostela. 35 sections. 820 kilometres. It links the last two stages with the French Way. The Camino de Santiago del Norte is one of the historical routes used by European pilgrims to reach Compostela. This itinerary crosses the entire north of Spain, following the Cantabrian coast from France to Galicia. This circumstance made it a very popular Way before the Reconquest took place, since it crossed safe territory for pilgrims and the nobility of Europe who came to visit the tomb of the Apostle Santiago.
When the Peninsula was again under the control of Christian rulers, the French Way took center stage over the other routes, including the Northern Way. In the last decades the Northern Way recovered its peak and today it is one of the favorite options, due to the beauty of its surroundings and the absolute prominence of the Cantabrian Sea.
Also called Camino de la Costa, the Route starts in Irún and crosses the communities of the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias, to enter Galicia through the beautiful town of Ribadeo. The diversity of the territory and the landscape is one of the attractions of this itinerary, which encounters the hardest stages throughout the stages of Euskadi.
Cantabria will be a rest for the pilgrim who, however, will circulate on roads and tracks. Asturias and Galicia will return the walker to rural and mountainous terrain, with the last stages already far from the sea.
Some sections of this coastal route are literally attached to the coastline, offering great views of beaches and cliffs. From the surfer beach of Zarautz to the stately beach of El Sardinero in Santander or the famous inland beach of Gulpiyuri in the Asturian town of Naves.
Others pass through the interior, combining the mountains, valleys and forests. The itinerary always runs close to towns, medium-sized towns and cities such as San Sebastián or Bilbao, Castro Urdiales already in Cantabria, the beautiful Santillana del Mar or Comillas with Gaudí's Capricho.
Upon arriving in Asturias, the pilgrim will be able to enjoy Llanes and its Indian houses; Villaviciosa, famous for its cider; or Mondoñedo, one of the old seven capitals of Galicia.
Continuation with the Primitive and French Way
As it passes through Asturias, the Northern Way connects with the Primitive Way at the height of Sebrayo. The pilgrim must choose at this point between continuing to Oviedo and completing the 14 stages of the Primitive Way or continuing the Route along the Cantabrian coast to Gijón.
In Arzúa, where more than 780 kilometers have been traveled from Irún, the Northern Route joins the French Way to reach Santiago de Compostela. It is the second longest route to the Galician capital, after the Vía de la Plata, very intense and attractive.
The Northern Way is a well-marked route, especially as it passes through the País Vasco. The increase in pilgrims registered in recent years has led this itinerary to reinforce its network of hostels and accommodation, so far enough to cover the demand for walkers and bicigrinos.
We remind you that from Easter to October 31, the backpack transport service is available on the Northern Way.
The Northern Way under sail
The North is one of the few Jacobean routes that can also be done by sea. Under the name 'Sail the way' or Navigate the Way, pilgrims will be able to travel the Cantabrian coast in sailing boats.
The ports of Ferrol, A Coruña or Finisterre will be the first stop on this journey, which must continue on foot to Santiago. Whoever makes the Camino de Santiago by sailing will be able to get the Compostela as long as they complete a hundred miles of sailing and travel the last stretch on foot, from Monte do Gozo to the Cathedral, to receive the Compostela.
Camino de Santiago associations
Asociación Cultural Amigos de Ribadesella "Camino de Santiago"
Plaza de Abastos, s/n - Apto. de Correos, 51 Ribeseya/Ribadesella, 33560
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Villaviciosa
Calle General Campomanes, 26, bajo Villaviciosa, 33300
Asociación Astur-Galaica de Santiago Apóstol
Calle Severo Ochoa, 3 - 1ºD Avilés, 33404
Asociación Cultural y del Camino de Santiago "La Humildad"
Carretera General s/n Soto de Luiña , 33156
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Siero, Noreña y Sariego
Párroco José García Galán, 1 La Pola de Siero, 33510
Asociación Astur - Galaico de Amigos del Camino de Santiago (Abres - Vegadeo)
Barrio A Ponte, 2 A Veiga/Vegadeo, 33770
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Astillero y Cantabria
Calle Fernandez Escarzada, s/n Guarnizo (Astillero), 39611
Asociación "Abrindo Camiño" de Amigos do Camiño Norte de Santiago
Calle Ferrería, 11. Viloalle Mondoñedo, 27747
Mundo Nuevo. Departamento "Camino de Santiago” (M.N.C.S.)
Calle Fueros, 2 - 1ºD. Delegación Comarcal Txingudi. Apto. de Correos, 555 Irún - San Sebastián
Asociación de los Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Vizcaya
Grupo Sto. Domingo de Guzmán, 14 - Lonja frente a Calzadas de Mallona Bilbao, 48006
Asociación de Hospitaleros Voluntarios Camino de Santiago Bizkaia
Calle Carmelo 6, 2º. Apto. de Correos 7009. Contacto en Albergue Altamira Bilbao, 48004