Author(s): Dave Whitson
This is a meticulously detailed yet handy guidebook to the pilgrimage routes that lead through northern Spain to the sacred city of Santiago de Compostela. The Camino del Norte is an 817km five-week coastal route from the town of Irun, close to the French border. Its alternatives are the Camino Primitivo (which splits from the Norte near Oviedo for the next 355km) and the Camino Ingles (a five-day 116km route from the city of Ferrol on the north-west coast). The guide gives stage-by-stage descriptions to all three routes, and to the Camino de Finisterre (a three-day extension route from Santiago to the west coast). It features lots of advice including recommended gear, useful information on all available pilgrim hostels and an extensive glossary in English, Spanish and Euskara. The Camino Frances is often referred to as the Camino de Santiago, but it is actually, along with these Northern Caminos, part of a network of routes. As the Frances is so popular, however, the Northern Caminos offer ideal conditions. They are popular enough to offer sufficient facilities, clear waymarking and a pilgrim community, while plentiful cheap accommodation means no need to race for a bed.
Dave Whitson has walked extensively on pilgrim roads in Europe. A teacher in Portland, Oregon, he has led seven student group pilgrimages, including four on the Frances and one on the Norte. He has walked the Norte and Primitivo three times. Laura Perazzoli was a student on one of Dave's first group pilgrimages, on the Frances. She has since led her own groups on the Frances and Norte. She walked the Norte and Primitivo in 2009 and 2011, and the Ingles in 2011.
Map key; Overview map; Introduction; The story of St James; The Northern Caminos: Yesterday and today; Along the Routes: Different cultures; Choosing your camino; When to go; Preparation and planning; Being a pilgrim; Getting there and back; Equipment; Accommodation; Food; Postal services; Telephones; Other local facilities; Waymarking, route-planning and maps; Using this guide; The Camino del Norte; Stage 1 Irun to San Sebastian; Stage 2 San Sebastian to Zarautz; Stage 3 Zarautz to Deba; Stage 4 Deba to Markina-Xemein; Stage 5 Markina-Xemein to Gernika; Stage 6 Gernika to Bilbao; Stage 7 Bilbao to Pobena; Stage 8 Pobena to Castro-Urdiales; Stage 9 Castro-Urdiales to Laredo; Stage 10 Laredo to Guemes; Stage 11 Guemes to Santander; Stage 12 Santander to Santillana del Mar; Stage 13 Santillana del Mar to Comillas; Stage 14 Comillas to Colombres; Stage 15 Colombres to Llanes; Stage 16 Llanes to Ribadesella; Stage 17 Ribadesella to Sebrayo; Stage 18 Sebrayo to Gijon; Stage 19 Gijon to Aviles; Stage 20 Aviles to Soto de Luina; Stage 21 Soto de Luina to Cadavedo; Stage 22 Cadavedo to Luarca; Stage 23 Luarca to La Caridad; Stage 24 La Caridad to Ribadeo; Stage 25 Ribadeo to Lourenza; Stage 26 Lourenza to Gontan; Stage 27 Gontan to Baamonde; Stage 28 Baamonde to Miraz; Stage 29 Miraz to Sobrado dos Monxes; Stage 30 Sobrado dos Monxes to Arzua; Stage 31 Arzua to Santiago de Compostela; The Camino Primitivo; Stage 1 Sebrayo to Pola de Siero; Stage 2 Pola de Siero to Oviedo; Stage 3 Oviedo to San Juan de Villapanada; Stage 4 San Juan de Villapanada to Bodenaya; Stage 5 Bodenaya to Campiello; Stage 6 Campiello to Berducedo; Stage 7 Berducedo to Grandas de Salime; Stage 8 Grandas de Salime to Padron; Stage 9 Padron to Cadavo Baleira; Stage 10 Cadavo Baleira to Lugo; Stage 11 Lugo to As Seixas; Stage 12 As Seixas to Arzua; Primitivo-Norte link: Oviedo to Aviles; The Camino Ingles; Stage 1 Ferrol to Pontedeume; Stage 2 Pontedeume to Betanzos; Stage 3 Betanzos to Hospital de Bruma; Stage 4 Hospital de Bruma to Santiago de Compostela; Alternative start: A Coruna to Hospital de Bruma; The Camino Finisterre; Stage 1 Santiago de Compostela to Negreira; Stage 2 Negreira to Olveiroa; Stage 3 Olveiroa to Finisterre; Appendix A Route summary tables; Appendix B English-Spanish-Euskara glossary; Appendix C Suggestions for further reading; Appendix D Useful sources of information; Appendix E Index of principal place names