BDC Magazine

Camino del Norte

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BDC 317 : Jun 2024

Camino del Norte

The best routes for those looking to take the Camino de Santiago

When you decide to take the pilgrimage of the Camino de Santiago you are preparing for a great journey that you will never forget. You will have the opportunity to see many fantastic things and create some amazing memories that will last a lifetime. It is a chance to grow spiritually and achieve something wonderful. The Camino de Santiago is a large network of routes for every type of traveller, it can be a challenge to choose which one is best for you, as all of them are spectacular in their own right. With the help of you can build the right itinerary for you.   The French Way from Sarria – great for beginners One of the most popular and famous routes is the Camino Frances, or the French Way. Although the official start point is at St Jean Pied de Portal in the French Basque country, with many other start points also possible such as Pamplona, Burgos or León,  for many setting out on their first pilgrimage the best start point is at Sarria in Galicia. At 111 km from Santiago it is just over the minimum length required to be eligible for pilgrims to receive the traditional ‘compostela’ certificate that verifies they have completed the Camino de Santiago. The route is a great way to get introduced with the essence of the Camino. The route takes you through beautiful towns and cities and charming medieval villages and inspiring landscapes. Choose between rural and coastal experiences by starting in Portugal The main Camino Portugues is a perfect route for those looking for a more rural experience. It starts in the city of Lisbon, and continues over land to the Spanish border and across into Spain. There is the chance to stop at the city of Pontevendra once in Spain. You can visit the church of the Pilgrim Virgin, who protects all pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. This route is renowned for unbelievable scenic beauty, the amazing gastronomy from small rustic food places to amazing cuisines from talents chefs. Alternatively you can start in Oporto, and take the first part of the route along 150km of magnificent cliffs mountains and estuaries enjoying the beautiful Atlantic coast up to Redondela. At this point the route rejoins the main Camino Portugues for the final leg of the journey to Santiago de Compostela. Dramatic scenery and impressive coastlines on the North Camino The Camino del Norte, also known as the Northern Way, also runs along the coast but the north coast of Spain. The route is broken into 5 stages, and crosses through many intriguing and important towns and cities such as Bilbao, San Sebastián, Oviedo and Santander. If you are a food lover this is definitely the route for you, particularly as San Sebastian is in the top 10 cities of Europe for restaurants which hold Michelin stars. You will also get the opportunity to pass through delightful small fishing villages and try amazing seafood. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is absolutely worth a visit, along with the beautiful Palacio de la Magdalena and Santander Bay. The climate here is quite moderate, and can be colder and with rain, which leads to very lush green surroundings. And there are still more, the Camino Ingles, the Camino de Finisterre, the Camino Lebaniego, the Via de la Plata and many more. Then you also need to choose where you wish to join the route, and Santiago Ways can assist with all of this. Walk in the footsteps of previous English pilgrims on the Camino Ingles The Camino Ingles (The English Way) is called this as it is the route most favoured in years gone by by those travellers coming from the British Isles and Ireland. It started in in Ferrol and continues through to Santiago passing through towns like Pontedeume and Betanzos just like those original pilgrims. The journey crosses through the interior region of Galicia, with gorgeous green countryside and lush forests. Whichever route you choose, you can be sure that you will make memories you will remember forever.  

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