There are many resources for walking the Camino Frances. One particular resource that can be very handy is a list of all of the albergues along the route. This is in PDF format so you can download it to your phone or tablet and it will then be accessible without having WiFi.Albergues on the Camino Frances as of 12_2017
There are many pilgrim routes in Spain. One of the least traveled for now is the Camino Ignaciano or the Ignatian Way. This Camino follows the footsteps of St. Ignatius of Loyola. In 1522 a then knight, Ignatius of Loyola traveled a path from Loyola in the Basque country to Manresa in Catalunya. It begins in his birthplace Azpeita (Guipúzcoa) and ends in the place of his re-birth at the Cave of St. Ignatius in Manresa. A total of about 400 miles.
Training for the Camino is an important part of your successful completion of your pilgrimage. One thing to consider is walking with your pack. At first you may want to carry it with little to no weight only water. As time goes on begin to add weight a little at a time until you have your full weight or maybe even more. Walking with a full pack is much different than walking with no pack at all. As you train with your pack you will begin to build new muscles to allow you to carry the weight along the Camino. Walking with a full pack regularly for a month or so before leaving is a big help with being used to the trail. You might also find that your clothing choices need to be adjusted or even your foot ware. You will also have the chance to test your ability to get your water bottle without removing your pack or even making the choice to use a water bladder instead.
The pilgrims office in Santiago de Compostela provides a wealth of knowledge on their website.
Fun travel thought of the day. With all of the very low fares to Europe going out of San Francisco I wanted to see if I could get to SFO without taking my car. So here is what I have discovered.
The train goes from Sacramento to San Francisco (Capital Corridor Amtrak)
2. BART goes from the Richmond Transit stop of the Capital Corridor train to SFO
3. You could use Uber or Lyft from your house to the train station in downtown Sacramento.
This also works in reverse. BART goes from SFO to a transfer station in Oakland where you can get another BART train to Richmond and then catch the Capital Corridor Amtrak train back to Sacramento. This will save someone having to give you a ride to SFO and/or the cost of parking your car at the airport.
The cost of the train is around $27.00 each way and the cost of BART is $10.00 each way. You can buy a discounted BART ticket in the dining car on the train for $8.00 each way. So worst case it looks like about $37.00 each way which is pricy but not when compared to the cost of parking or someones time there and back twice.
Lastly the schedule of the trains is very regular, at least in the daytime.
Then there is the MEGA Bus that goes from the University Ave and 65th street light rail station to the Cal Train station in San Francisco. You can then take the Cal Train to SFO. It is actually the least expensive route available.
Many people use Apps on their phones or tablets. This will be about Apps for general use.
Evernote This is one of the top Apps for capturing and saving information. The stored information can be easily recalled even if you have no cell service or WiFi. It is very good for saving photos of your credit cards, Passports, Airline tickets, Hotel Reservations or anything else that you may wish to be able to access at anytime. You can even store a pdf of all if the albergues on the Camino and easily reference it along the way.
Dropbox This app is for storing documents. It is great for saving all of your documents or even pictures in the cloud but will require Wifi or cell service to be able to access your documents.
Whatsapp This is a very popular texting app. It is used in Europe by over 500 million people. It is a great way to be able to communicate with your friends and family from the Camino or frankly, anywhere in the world. It works with cell service or Wifi. Highly recommended.
Telegram Telegram is another texting app.
Airline Apps – Most all of the major airlines have apps for you phone. They are very good and worth using.
Rome to Rio Rome2Rio is one of the best apps out there for getting from point A to point B. By putting in where you are starting and where you want to go you will get a list of many different ways to get there. Bus, Train, Plane, Shared Car etc..
Hotel Apps – Most hotel chains have apps they are also worth using.
Booking.Com Booking.Com is an excellent site for finding hotel rooms along the Camino and really anytime anywhere.
Bus/Train Apps Most companies have apps for your phone. ALSA, RENFE, SCNF
Subway Map apps – If you are traveling to a city such as London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, or Lisbon you can download an app with the map of the subway. This is very helpful when you are tying to figure out where you are or where you are going on the subway.
Reading Apps – The kindle app for any phone works great. There are also many other reader apps that you may want to consider if you do not care for Kindle.
Music/Podcast Apps – For Apple devices the podcast app works really great. For Android devices the Stitcher app is a good app to be able to listen to podcasts and music.
Weather Apps – There are a great number of weather apps available.
Map Apps – There are many Map Apps out there. Maps.me and Pocket Earth are two that get great reviews for using on the Camino. Both allow you to download maps of countries and regions of countries for use off line.
Translate Apps – Google translate is the standard here.
Adobe Acrobat App Adobe Acrobat is the app for reading PDF files.
First of all this can be a very controversial subject. Many will say that the Camino is a place to disconnect from the world and relish in the journey. While that is true unfortunately there are many more that simply cannot disconnect or choose not to disconnect from the world. So, if you are going to want to have a connection to the world here are a few pointers.
Today most albergue’s, hotels, casa rurals, bars and restaurants have Wifi (pronounced weefee in Spain). If you are in a restaurant or bar it is gracious and reasonable to expect that you will purchase something before asking to use the Wifi. To ask if they have Wifi ask ¿tiene wifi? To ask for the password simply ask – La contraseña por favor!
If you are going to take a phone or tablet to Spain and wish to use them to make and receive calls or use data you will need to either contact your US carrier and request an international data plan or buy a Sim for Spain.
US Carriers – The cost of international data plans can be extremely expensive. Make sure to check with your carrier prior to leaving to check the cost. T-Mobile does have coverage internationally in some cases included in the cost of some if not all of their plans.
Spain Sims – You can purchase a sim card for use with the Spanish phone system either here in America before you go or once you get to Spain. The key is the your phone must work on the same band as Spain and it must be unlocked. Most if not all Verizon phones are unlocked. Most if not all ATT phones are locked. To get your phone unlocked you will need to contact your carrier. It is always best to check with your specific carrier to verify that it is unlocked.
As an example Orange provides a plan called Mundo for 15€ it gives you one cent per minute calling back to the USA. 2 Gigs of Data and 7 cent per minute calling in Spain.
You can purchase your sim card here in the united states from SimsForSpain or at one of the many Orange stores in the major cities of Spain.
The Camino del Norté or the Northern Route or it is also called the Ruta de la Costa, begins in a city on the boarder between Spain And France called Irún, and travels along the beautiful Atlantic coast of Spain before turning inland toward Santiago de Compostela.
You will travel through many cities such as the beautiful seaside town of San Sebastián/Donastia, Bilbao, Gernika (which is the subject of a famous painting by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso), Castro Urdiales, Santander, Ribadesella, Gijón, Avilés, Ribadeo, Mondoñedo, and Sobrado dos Monxes befor joining the Camino Frances at Aruza. You will walk through Basque country, Cantabria, Asturias until finally reaching the region of Galicia and Santiago de Compostela. Total distance depending on your chosen route is about 825km
This route is one of the first routes to be walked in the 9th century. The Muslims still occupied much of the Iberian Peninsula but due to the high mountains of the Picos de Europa and Cordillera Cantabrica they were not in this area. While on many days you will be near the sea this route is very hilly and has many steep climbs especially in the early stages of the Camino.
Be ready for some absolutely beautiful scenery walking along the coast as well as in the mountains. The route is well marked with among other things yellow arrows. There is at least one albergue or casa rural in each town or city, however, be prepared to walk further between towns on some stages. This camino is far less traveled and you will fine much less pilgrims along the way.
As far as time of year to walk this Camino, Spring to Fall would be great. Since you are walking very near the sea the weather can vary, while it is unlikely that you will experience extremely high temperatures during the summer months, you are more likely to see rain and certainly fog in the morning even in the summer months. As always be prepared for all types of weather.
Links for more research on the Norther Route
Eroski Consumer is a site that offers tons of information on all Camnino’s this page offers a full PDF of the Norté caution it is all in Spanish.
Arriving in Madrid
Madrid Airport Full information on airport, services and connections to Madrid.
Madrid Airport Trains Information on the Madrid Renfe Cercanías trains.
Madrid Bus All the details on Madrid bus service. There is an express bus directly from the airport to the train station.
Madrid Alsa Bus Station All information on the station, timetables etc.
Arriving at Biarritz
Biarritz airport All information on services etc.
Arriving in Barcelona?
Barcelona Airport – El Prat Information in the airport in Barcelona
Bus station information and schedules
Metro and local bus information
Arriving in Bilbao?
Bilbao Airport All information on services and connections.
Bilbao Bus Station Timetables and other information.
Bilbao Stations Some useful information on working out which station you need in Bilbao, with addresses.
Bilbao Ferry Port information.
Arriving in Santiago?
Santiago Airport Information on services, travel links etc.
Empresa Freire Operates the bus service between Labacolla Airport and Santiago.
Train Station Santiago de Compostela Santiago train station information
Bus Station Santiago de Compostela Santiago train station information
Arriving in Santander?
Santander Airport Information on services and travel links etc.
Santander Ferry Port information.
Arriving in Asturias Oviedo?
Asturias Ovideo Airport Information on services and travel links etc.
Bus Station Oviedo Oviedo train station information
Bus Station Oviedo Oviedo Bus station information
Arriving in Málaga?
Málaga Airport All information on destinations, transfers etc.
EMTMalaga Bus company which runs airport bus.
Renfe Cercanías Málaga Málaga suburban train services.
Málaga Bus Station This is where the Eurolines coach terminates.
Arriving in Granada?
Granada Airport All information on transfers, destinations etc.
Bus information for Granada Airport bus service.
Granada Information Lots of helpful travel info.
Arriving in Seville?
Tussam Bus timetables and route map for all transport types in Seville.
Arriving in Zaragoza?
Zaragoza airport All information on transfers, destinations etc.
CTAZ – Zaragoza public transport website.
Alosa buses – part of Avanza group, Zaragoza to Jaca and other routes.
Arriving in Girona-Costa Brava?
Girona airport website.
Girona/Barcelona airports website.
Sagalés Girona airport bus.
Arriving in Lisbon?
Lisbon Airport All information, including transport links.
Metro Metro website with maps, fares etc
Carris Lisbon bus services.
Travelcards Lisbon prepaid travel card information.
Aerobus Airport bus.
100rumos Airport shuttle.
Lonely Planet A wealth of information about transport connections out of Lisbon
Arriving in Porto?
Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport All information on destinations, connections etc
Andante travel cards These are used for most Porto public transport, this FAQ covers most questions.
Porto Metro Routes, maps, fares etc.
STCP Buses Routes, maps, fares etc.
Useful Contacts in Santiago
Santiago Tourist Office at Rúa do Vilar, 63 General help and advice. Will book accommodation and local tours and activities.