El Camino del Norte

El Camino del Norte

The very first pilgrims way to Santiago de Compostela, better known as “El Camino del Norte” dates back from the Early Middle Ages when devotees came on foot from other parts of Europe to traverse the northern green provinces of the Iberian Peninsula on their way to the holy shrine.

We offer a walking tour that follows part of the coastal route of the St. James way, through the Principality of Asturias, providing a combination of cultural heritage, folklore and nature. The tour traces the spectacular coastline of surf beaches and picturesque fishing villages, a scenic hilly landscape, dotted with small historic villages.

The walks average 15 kms per day ranging in grade from easy to moderate. On some days you can opt for a longer version. Your luggage will be transported each day to your accommodation in “Casas de Aldea” - authentic traditional Asturian houses or farmhouses in small rural villages. Each day you will have opportunities to sample the traditional cuisine of the region.

Day 1 Oviedo - Ribadesella

On arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in Ribadesella.  Its fishing harbour was once a main port in the Middle Ages through which  large numbers of pilgrims and merchants entered the region. There may be time for a swim at the splendid  beach of Santa Marina, a visit to the cave of Tito Bustillo with its pre-historic cave paintings or a leisurely circular walk. 

Day 2 Ribadesella - Prado

15 or 20 kms.
After crossing the bridge over the River Sella you soon come across the blue/yellow St. James shell, a sign that you are on “El Camino del Norte”. The famous pilgrims way runs through green meadows bordering the scenic coastline, always protected by the shelter of the Sierra del Sueve Natural Park. A longer version takes you up the hill of Pico de la Forquita (340m) from where you have beautiful panoramic views over the Sueve Sierra and Cantabrian Sea.

Day 3 Prado - Pernus

15 or 24 kms.
Descend to the coast to join the Pilgrims Way running through green meadows bordering the scenic coastiline. Cross little white sandy beaches sheltered by rocks which allow you to literally step in huge footprints left by dinosaurs which once inhabited the region.

Day 4 Pernus - Villaviciosa

18kms.
Today head for the green hills through typical Asturian hamlets to the church of Priesca built in the year 921 with its pre- Romanesque architecture. Continue near a small stream with overgrown ruins of old grain mills and continue across the valley to Villaviciosa.

Day 5 Villaviciosa

Today is free to relax. You may choose to do a 12 km walk or visit some nearby fishing villages or enjoy a lazy day at the beach and with a refreshing dip into the Cantabrian Sea.

Day 6 Villaviciosa - San Justo

15 or 26 kms.
Today you cross the heart of cider region with its traditions and folklore. Apple orchards everywhere and in autumn the juicy sweet smelling fruit will be pressed to make delicious cider. A longer version takes you to Santa María de Valdediós. The monastery dates back from the 13th century with adjacent the picturesque Pre-Romanesque church “San Salvador”. This fine little church, declared World Heritage status, is one of the most well preserved Pre-Romanesque buildings of the Principality, an architecture only to be found in Asturias. Overnight Hotel Rural “El Nogal”.

Day 7 San Justo - Oviedo

12 kms.
Back at the seaside, the trail passes sheer cliffs and secluded white sandy beaches. It joins with the promenade around the bay of San Lorenzo at Gijón whose history dates back to the times of Roman occupation in 1CE. You can see traces of the old city wall and thermal Roman baths can be visited at the end of the esplanade. Travel by local train to Oviedo, capital and cultural centre of Asturias. Overnight Oviedo – Hotel Campoamor.

Day 8 Oviedo

Breakfast and end of tour.