The following updates and corrections cover significant changes made for the Summer 2016 reprint of The Northern Caminos, along with any subsequent edits. Please note that we have not included minor price changes here (for example, an albergue price increasing by a euro), though inflation has struck many of the accommodations along the way. Page numbers corresponding to the 2015 edition are included in parentheses. 2015 updates can be found in a previous post.

Note that edits to this reprint have been more limited than normal, as we're preparing for a significant revamping of the guidebook for 2017.

Stage 1: Irún to San Sebastián
  • The route departing Irún has changed! It stays on the GI-2134 longer after leaving the city center, not turning left until after crossing the Canal Amuteko (and being right on the edge of the San Sebastián airport). Not a major upgrade, but it probably saves you a little asphalt in the end
  • The phone number for the albergue in Pasai Donibane is now 943 526 431
  • The ferry in Pasai Donibane now costs 70 cents (46)
  • Due to construction, this summer San Sebastián's municipal albergue de peregrinos will be moved to a new location, in the Mariaren Bihotza Ikastola school building at Nafarroa Hiribidea 1 (Avenida Navarra). This is actually a really advantageous location, right at the entrance to town. The Camino passes by it, immediately before turning onto the beach promenade in front of the Playa de Zurriola (48)

Stage 2: San Sebastián to Zarautz
  • New youth hostel in Zarautz: Zarautz Hostel (20-30€, 24 beds, K, W/D, wifi, bike storage, closed Jan-Feb)

Stage 3: Zarautz to Deba
  • The village of Azkizu is misspelled as "Akzizu" (55)
  • The coastal option (GR) to Deba no longer enters the city from the coast, due I suspect to trail erosion. Instead, it joins the Camino a bit before the descent to the city center. The Camino follows a cement road downhill towards the city and then forks onto cobblestones. It's a tough descent. If your knees are aching at this point, you could ignore the cobblestones and stay on the cement road--the way the Camino formerly followed--and ultimately descend into the city via elevator

Stage 4: Deba to Markina-Xemein
  • The waymark-defacement problem departing Deba has been resolved. No special directions required any longer--the waymarking is entirely clear
  • Izarbide Aterpetxea near Ermita del Calvario will be open from March 1 to November 1 in 2016 and now charges 13€ for beds. Menú del dia is available for 12€. Washing machine available and wifi 
  • The descent into Markina-Xemein has changed, remaining on a cement road throughout now. It's less steep (still plenty steep) and a bit longer
  • The entire approach through Markina has also changed, looping past the two churches along the eastside of town before turning due west.

Stage 5: Markina-Xemein to Gernika
  • The Zenarruza Monastery has added another room of beds and can now accommodate 20 pilgrims 
  • Not a route change, but worth noting: the trail quality has improved dramatically between Zenarruza and Gernika. In the past, there were some muddy, slippery stretches. Now, a lot of gravel has been distributed to improve footing, and wooden platforms/steps have been installed in the most perilous downhill stretches. A little less adventure, I'm afraid, but a lot more safety
  • New albergue in Munitibar: Albergue Lea (15€, 10 beds, open all year, W/D, 615 721 807)
  • Gernika's Albergue de Peregrinos may not reopen in 2016 due to construction taking place in the school gymnasium where this is located. Check in advance by calling Gernika's tourist office (946 25 58 92) in July/August

Stage 6: Gernika to Bilbao
  • Eskerika's Albergue Eskerika: The price is now 14 euros, but no longer includes breakfast. Wifi and W/D available. The albergue is open March 23 - October 23 in 2016 and opens at 15:00 daily. (69)
  • New albergue in Larrabetzu: Albergue de Peregrinos Larrabetzu (Donativo, 30 beds, July-August only, microwave, W/D, in school facilities on c/Lehendakari Agirre, 609 031 526)
  • If you would like to save yourself a kilometer on the walk after Lezama (en route to Bilbao), turn left in the roundabout after the Kurtzea train station (this is when walking along the highway between Lezama and Zamudio). Some waymarks will encourage you to turn left here for the shortcut, while the majority insist that you keep straight on. The shortcut will bypass Zamudio entirely and rejoin the "official" route on the other side of the N-637
  • Two new albergues de peregrinos in Bilbao: Albergue Claret Enea (now 11€, breakfast included, 20 beds, kitchen, W/D, wifi, bike storage 946 51 01 71, 609 087 620) and Albergue Santa Cruz de Begoña (Donativo, 22 beds, microwave, 687 529 606). The "official" Camino route passes both of these albergues (Santa Cruz before the old town and Claret Enea on Calle San Francisco)
  • Bilbao's Ganbara Hostel offers a 10% discount to pilgrims
  • Bilbao Central Hostel will charge 16-23 euros/bed in 2016, with rates varying by month

Stage 7: Bilbao to Pobeña
  • The "official" Camino between Bilbao and Portugalete is dramatically improved. It's shorter (just 14.5km from Plaza de Unamuno in Bilbao's old town to Portugalete's albergue) and it has some really pleasant river views. It will still take you through some shabbier parts of town, but I think it's a really interesting glimpse into the city as a whole. I would walk it again.
  • Portugalete has a new private albergue: Albergue Bide Ona (12€, 34 beds, microwaves, W/D, wifi, bike storage, closed Dec/Jan holidays)

Stage 8: Pobeña to Castro-Urdiales

  • No updates

Stage 9: Castro-Urdiales to Laredo
  • The Casa de Acogida in Tarrueza, shortly before Laredo, has closed
  • The route between Liendo and Laredo has changed. The old route still exists, passing through Tarrueza and some other small communities en route to Laredo. Another, newer route, however, backtracks to the highway and proceeds offroad, closer to the coast

Stage 10: Laredo to Guemes

  • The Laredo-Santoña ferry operates from 0900 to 2100 July-September. In March-June and October, it has a much shorter schedule, running between 0900 and 1400. The current price is 2.5€. If you're walking between November and February, you'll either need to take the inland route alternate, or take a bus between Laredo and Santoña. ALSA runs this route (schedule available on Google Maps), as does a local line that can be found here (91)
  • Readers report some difficulty managing the hill separating the Playa de Berria from Noja. Those with bad knees or uncomfortable with loose terrain may prefer the inland route option (92)

Stage 11: Guemes to Santander
  • Two new youth hostels in Santander: Hostel Santander and Santander Central Hostel
  • The route between Galizano and Somo that we recommended along the coast is now the official route, with all arrows directing you that way. This is a good thing!
  • Santander's albergue de peregrinos now has wifi

Stage 12: Santander to Santillana del Mar
  • Santillana del Mar's Camping Santillana is closed for check-in 2-4pm (109)
  • Whereas five years ago locals encouraged pilgrims to walk across the train bridge between Boo and Mogro, it is now actively discouraged. Beyond the safety concern, bridge-crossers may be fined by the police. We recommend that pilgrims who don't want to make the very long trek south to a pedestrian-friendly bridge instead consider taking the train between Boo and Mogro. Trains run every 30 minutes or so on weekdays and hourly on weekends, and the total journey just takes two minutes. Leaving the Mogro station, turn left and yellow arrows immediately reappear.
  • A reader recommends Posada La Victoria in Cudón
  • Leaving Barreda, watch out for a rogue yellow waymark urging you to turn left soon after crossing the bridge. This is an albergue in Quevada, trying to get your business. (You probably should pay attention if you´re staying in that albergue!)
  • New albergue in Queveda (off-Camino): Albergue Osa de Andara (10€, includes breakfast, 20 beds, open all year, microwave/refrigerator, washing machine, wifi, 636 025 252)

Stage 13: Santillana del Mar to Comillas
  • New albergue in Caborredondo: Albergue Izarra (6€, 20 beds, 628 428 167)
  • In Cóbreces, there is now an official route and an alternative route. The alternative is the route that used to be the official route, and it´s the one outlined in the book. The official route passes by all three albergues (along with a new bar and two grocery stores), remaining on the highway, and then actually leaves town by going all the way out to the beach before shooting back inland afterward to La Iglesia. It´s a little bit longer and on paved roads most of the way, but the beach is nice.
  • New albergue in Cóbreces: Albergue Viejo Lucas (14€, 150 beds, includes breakfast and W/D, 625 483 596) (112)

Stage 14: Comillas to Colombres
  • The route no longer turns L after crossing the Ría de la Rabia (117). All of those waymarks (save one) have been obliterated. Instead, you are supposed to remain on the highway for quite a while (you will find few waymarks supporting this, however). Then, after crossing another long bridge, you will need to turn left onto a minor highway. You will only find one waymark in support of this--a plaque in the sidewalk with an arrow. Ahead, you´ll find yellow splotches where former arrows encouraged you to keep straight on the highway. Would have been nice if they would have used some of that paint to draw new arrows! The next walk heads out to the coast, passing two beaches and numerous seasonal bars. If tide isn´t high, I suggest descending at the beginning of the second beach and following this all the way to the end, when you need to rejoin a road that will lead you to the bridge going into San Vicente. This will save you at least 1km.
  • After Serdio, the route has changed, forking left off the paved road onto a dirt track. At first glance, it might seem like this is for the Camino Lebaniego only, but it is intended for both, and it´s better. You´ll end up in Muñorrodero, passing by a bar and then joining the highway
  • The route between Pesués and Unquera is loads better, following a new dirt road that eliminates the highway crossing and is much firmer.

Stage 15: Colombres to Llanes

  • After Colombres, you´ll descend towards La Franca on a dirt track. When you arrive back on a paved road, you´ll see a route division. Go right, following a yellow arrow wrapped in red. This will take you across both highways and then you´ll turn on a dirt track that will lead you to La Franca proper and beyond...
  • After completing an off-road stretch after La Franca, you´ll rejoin the highway once again. Watch carefully for arrows calling for you to cross the highway and join the ¨costa¨ route. This is a great walk, pulling you out to the coast, as promised, and keeping you off-road all the way to Pendueles
  • New albergue in Llanes: Albergue La Casona del Pelegrino (15€, 44 beds, doubles 50€, includes breakfast, W/D, c/Colegio la Encarnación 3, 985 402 494) (125)

Stage 16: Llanes to Ribadesella
  • Leaving Llanes, take the coastal route! From Playa Soblon, climb the steps onto the coastal walkway and then head on to Playa de Poo! It´s a gorgeous walk, though I´d probably avoid the last half of it in wet and windy weather.
  • New albergue in Playa de Poo: Albergue La Cambarina (15€ July/August, 12€ rest of year, 16 beds, open mid-March - October, kitchen, W/D, Plaza de los Higos 128, 635 739 837
  • Celorio now has a supermarket

Stage 17: Ribadesella to Sebrayo
  • A reader reports (3/15/16) an error with our route advice near San Esteban. Note that the Camino proper does not take you directly into San Esteban, but rather you must diverge from the Camino. Watch the waymarks carefully
  • New albergue in Vega: Albergue Tu Casa (Donativo, 7 beds, communal meals, open March-October (but closed on Fridays!), wifi, 634 785 574) 
  • An alternative route now exists when leaving the albergue in La Isla, continuing a bit further along the coast before cutting inland through Huerres and rejoining the main route in Colunga
  • Bar Lismar in La Isla is closed on Tuesdays
  • Sebrayo's Albergue de Peregrinos: Reports in 2015 indicated that the albergue's water was not potable--worth checking on this before arriving (137)

Stage 18: Sebrayo to Gijón
  • Waymarks are totally solid on the Villaviciosa-Gijón route now, though don´t be confused by arrows pointing back behind you in the opposite direction. These are for the Covadonga pilgrimage and they overlap at times with the Camino.
  • Villaviciosa's Hotel Carlos I now charges 25€ for singles, 40€ for doubles, including breakfast
  • New albergue in Villaviciosa: Albergue El Congreso (10-15€, 49 beds, open March-November, K, W/D, wifi, bike storage, 985 891 180) 
  • New albergue in Amandí, 2km after Villaviciosa: Albergue La Ferrería (donativo, 12 beds, kitchen, communal meals, W/D, 646 516 846)
  • The old central train station is currently closed for construction (142)
  • New albergue in Gijón: Albergue El Peregrin (15€, 25€ half-pension, 19 beds, Profesor Pérez Pimentel 251-bajo, 637 993 443)
  • At Camping Deva on the outskirts of Gijón, waymarks call for you to turn R across the highway for the Camino. This takes you through Somio and eventually past the private albergue El Peregrin, which is a bit outside of the center. However, you can also turn left, passing the entrance to the camping, and continuing on that way. This is a much better walk! You´re off of pavement most of the time, often following shaded pedestrian tracks along small rivers. Similar distance, still with waymarks.
  • In addition, the waymarks in Gijón now direct you towards the beach, encouraging you to follow the bike/pedestrian track all the way to the coast. If you want to take the old way through the center, you can: watch for the bronze scallop shells on the right side of the road´s sidewalk. The two routes reunite close to the western turismo.

Stage 19: Gijón to Avilés
  • Those taking the bus through the first stage of the Gijón-Avilés walk should ask for the "Poago Alto" stop (144)
  • Roughly 5km before Avilés (near the end of Trasona), the route now forks off of the highway and onto a cycling/pedestrian track that follows the river into town. A big improvement! (147)
  • Avilés's Hotel Don Pedro has special pilgrim rates: singles 50€, doubles 55€, triples 65€, quads 75€. Includes breakfast

Stage 20: Avilés to Soto de Luiña
  • New albergue in San Martín de Laspra: Albergue San Martín (Donativo, 46 beds, kitchen, W/D, bike storage, 659 803 290)
  • The route has changed in Soto del Barco, and now turns right at the entrance to town

Stage 21: Soto de Luiña to Cadavedo
  • If you're up for a higher-altitude walk, we now strongly recommend the "Camino" option when the route splits shortly outside of Soto de Luiña. Read more here.
  • Casa Fernando in Ballota is closed on Saturdays (the hotel is still open)
  • New albergue in Cadavedo: Casa Carín (985 645 078)

Stage 22: Cadavedo to Luarca

  • Hotel Canero, in Valdés, charges pilgrims 20-30€ for singles, 30-50€ for doubles. They're also building a new albergue that should open by summer 2016. The hotel is open February-October in 2016

Stage 23: Luarca to La Caridad
  • Naves's Pensión Cantabrico charges the following in 2016: singles 20€, doubles 30€, triples 45€
  • Piñera's albergue de peregrinos is currently closed, but as of early June it is reported to be on the verge of reopening. After significant renovations, the albergue will now have 45 beds and a kitchen
  • Those interested in getting back to the coast can check out the Senda Costa Naviega, linking El Bao (just before Villapedre) and the Playa de Navia. After passing through El Bao on the Camino, KSO the N-634 (ignoring a waymarked Camino turn to the left), and then take the next right onto the NV-2. The trail should begin soon after, on your right. We haven't walked this, but there's a quality map available and we're told that white/yellow stripes mark the way. Our best estimate is that this makes the walk from Luarca to Navia roughly 31km. Let us know if you walk it!

Stage 24: La Caridad to Ribadeo
  • No updates

Stage 25: Ribadeo to Lourenzá
  • No updates!

Stage 26: Lourenzá to Gontán
  • Hotel Montero I in Mondoñedo has the following pilgrim rates for 2016: singles25-35€, doubles 45-55€, quads 70-80. They're also opening their own albergue, likely in March/April. The albergue will charge 10-15€ for beds (180)
  • O Bisonte de Maariz now has 6 beds available (181)

Stage 27: Gontán to Baamonde
  • New albergue in Vilalba: Albergue Turístico Castelos (10€, 38 beds, kitchen, W/D, Rúa das Pedreiras 16, 982 100 887) (187)

Stage 28: Baamonde to Miraz

Stage 29: Miraz to Sobrado dos Monxes
  • New albergue in A Lagoa: Albergue A Lagoa (10€, 13 beds, K, W/D, wifi, meals available and small grocery

Stage 30: Sobrado dos Monxes to Arzúa
  • No updates

Stage 31: Arzúa to Santiago de Compostela
  • As pilgrims rejoin the highway (N-547) at Cerceda (between A Brea and Santa Irene) on the opposite side of the road is a new albergue (with free Wi-Fi).  The new private albergue (El Chalet/Casa Luisa) is opposite the 24.7 km way-marker at Cerceda.  €10 for the bed, €10 for the dinner, and €3.50 for breakfast. (Thanks to Alan Bell for this and many other updates)
  • The pilgrim office has relocated to Rúa das Carretas, 33. Walk downhill past the parador in Praza do Obradoiro and then turn right.
 


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