Beyond the beautiful scenery, culture and food, the Camino del Norte requires some planning. Or to be more precise, I felt that we needed a plan. As they say:
You need a plan to deviate from.
The only guidebook that we could find was the Pilgrim Route: the Northern Caminos by Laura Perazzoli and Dave Whitson.
Using the daily stages in the book, I created a spreadsheet of day-by-day locations, distances and altitude gains. The book had 31 stages, i.e. 31 walking days to Santiago.
I wasn’t comfortable with some of their distances. Some days were over 24 miles; on other days, we would only walk 9 miles.
Also I knew something might happen: a broken piece of equipment or an injury. So we added two extra days. But amazingly, nothing disastrous happened.
We were able to alter some destinations. We started walking a day earlier and shortened some days.
I kept track of all the lodging: albergues, hostels, pensions, hotels.
Here’s the list of towns and places we stayed in.
A few accommodations were so outstanding that I gave them a star (*). But it’s my version of outstanding. To me, it’s all about memorable people. I enjoy interacting the people who run the lodging.
Look at my stages, change it to suit you, and Buen Camino.
PS As I write this, I received the package that I mailed home from Santiago. It contained maps and literature for several other Caminos.