Trek Notes - Spain

El Camino - St James Way

“El Camino del Norte” – “St James Way”

General Information
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 coming from northern Europe trespassed the northern green provinces of the Iberian Peninsula on their way to the holy shrine.  

This walking tour follows part of the coastal 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. 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. 

Dates: (start any day)
01 April - 15 July 
10 September - 01 November

On arrival at the airport you will be met and transferred to your accommodation in Prado. There may betime for a leisurely 2.5 hr walk to a scenic lookout with panoramic views over the Sierra del Sueve and Cantabrian Sea. Overnight Casa de Aldea “La Forquita”.

Day 2  PRADO – LA RIERA (15 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. Overnight Casa de Aldea “La Pride”. 

Day 3  LA RIERA – MIRAVALLES (16 kms)
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 across the valley to Miravalles. Overnight Casa de Aldea “Nozal de la Peña”. 

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 enjoy a refreshing dip into the Cantabrian Sea. Overnight Casa de Aldea “Nozal de la Peña”. 

Follow the winding road that leads to numerous villages with ancient chapels and churches. Arrive in Santa María de Valdediós, and stay at the monastery dating back to the 13th century, now declared Humanity Heritage by UNESCO. Once a shelter for medieval pilgrims, the Cistercian monks of this monastery now welcome guests to a unique and comfortable stay. 

Day 6  VALDEDIOS – SAN JUSTO (15 kms)
Cross the heart of cider region with its traditions and folklore, apple orchards are everywhere. Many farms have their own “llagar” cider bodega with presses and wooden barrels for storage of apple cider. 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 – Gran Hotel España 4*.

Breakfast and end of tour.

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