The Camino del Norte - A Wise Pilgrim guide to the Northern Camino from Irun to Santiago [2022 Edition]
The 2022 edition of this guidebook has been a year and a half in the making, a great deal longer than the average update. What began as routine communication with albergues during the brief period of pilgrimage in the Summer of 2020 led to the usual on-the-ground investigating during the last 2 months, right up until this edition went to press in the last week of September.
Creating it was a challenge. I have done my best to communicate with every albergue, and they in turn have done their best to relay what they know about their future. At the time of printing, the changing rules and regulations have kept everyone on their toes but together we have tried to put forward the best information possible. What was certain is that nearly every albergue is planning to open in 2022, including many that didn’t in 2021.
This edition contains many changes from the last published edition, most of them a result of the changing health codes that have compelled many albergues to change the services they offer. Many have reduced the number of beds available in dormitories in favor of converting some of that space into private rooms, quite a few have closed their kitchens, and several have changed ownership altogether. Prices have risen a bit as many properties have had to reduce the number of pilgrims that they can accommodate. Some have adopted a system of donation instead. More albergues than ever allow pets, and tents. And lastly, many more albergues than ever before now accept reservations. Local laws are still evolving, and no doubt a few changes are still to come: if an albergue price goes up, or if their bed count goes down, please be kind to them… it is not their fault.
Changes to the services in towns have been less drastic. Some towns lost their only grocery, their aging owners have chosen to retire. Another not-so-small town lost its only ATM.
And the camino itself? Well, it has not changed at all.Patiently it waits.
Thank you to all of the pilgrims whose support has kept this dream moving forward.
The guides have been rewritten and now contain more practical information than they ever have; for the first time including more specific information for pilgrims who are looking for albergues that offer group dinners and vegetarian options.
The guidebooks include:
The same comprehensive accommodation directory. Hundreds of properties, including all albergues. Hotels, paradors, casa rurales, pensions, and camp sites. For albergues you will know: how many beds (including private rooms) the albergue has and how much they cost, phone number, months (and hours) open, and whether the albergue accepts non-pilgrims or reservations. You will also know whether they have a bar/restaurant, a kitchen for your use, whether they serve a group dinner, have vegetarian options, wifi, laundry facilities, or bicycle storage.
City by city information. Navigation tips and cautions, historical references, a list of available service (pharmacies, restaurants, atms, that kind of stuff) and dates for local fiestas.
Large Scale Maps: Large Scale Maps with no pre-determined stages. These maps are at the start of the book and are the best reference for anyone wanting to plan ahead without having to flip through the book.
Elevation Profile: The elevation profile sits alongside the large scale maps, giving you a better overview of the terrain ahead.
City Maps: Lots and lots of city maps. From the small villages to the regional capitals, if there is more than one option for accommodation a map is included to help you find it. These maps are inline with the guide and also show the nearest grocery, albergue, pharmacy, atm, and other bits.
Detours and alternative routes: The camino splits in a few places, and when it does an overview is provided to help you visualize the option ahead.
Quick booking links. For cities where accommodation is available on booking.com, a QR code is included (in an appendix) to help you get the task done with the least amount of clicking possible.
The guidebook has been produced to be climate neutral, and is printed in Santiago de Compostela.