The Way shows the pilgrim some surprising landscapes. As it passes through wooded areas with an infinite number of greens, meadows, valleys and mountains, without forgetting our Cantabrian Sea with its blue waters. It will pass through idyllic villages and large cities. It was one of the most active routes in the early years of pilgrimage by all those who came to our shores via the sea. It was replaced in the 11th century, as the main route of communication, by the French Way. It is the longest route with 815 km and between 32 and 36 stages.
Some pilgrims will have to divide some stages in two because they can be long. This happens with the two that pass through our village: Aviles Stage – Soto de Luiña (39 km) Soto de Luiña Stage -Luarca (39 km) Currently most pilgrims divide them and make them into 4 stages. Although this splitting makes them seem short, the truth is that these stages require more physical effort. They are the so-called leg-breaking stages. Dividing them allows the pilgrim to do them in a more relaxed way. To enjoy the landscape and the beaches. And those who want to do more kilometers can take the license to go down to the town of Cudillero to see it but this would mean doing about 3 or 4 km more.
Stages with your profile.
Avilés – Muros del Nalón 22.5 km
Stage with constant unevenness, mainly on asphalt tracks.
Muros del Nalón – Soto de Luiña 16 km.
It is a short stage with frequent slopes. If you deviate about 800 meters in La Concha de Artedo you can enjoy its beach or take advantage of it, given that it is a short stage, once in Soto de Luiña go down to relax on San Pedro beach. You can admire the UNESCO heritage buildings linked to the Camino such as the Santa Maria Church and the Pilgrims’ Hospital (now a cultural centre).
Map and Profile with information of the Aviles – Soto de Luiña stage
Soto de Luiña – Cadavedo 23,00 Km
Here we have 2 options to walk the Historical Path of the Palancas or to follow the alternative, known as the Ballotas. Through either of them you will be in one of the most beautiful stages of the Camino del Norte. Once we have passed the last houses in the village, about 500 metres from them on the right we will find La Cuesta de la Torre, once it is crowned we will cross the N-632a and leaving the Cemetery on the left we will take a section of the aforementioned road, right next to the Cabo Vidío Hotel we will have to make our decision
Which way do we go?
Historic Palancas Way.
Also known as the path of the Vaqueiros. It is a mountain route on the same Asturian coast. At all times you will have both mountain and sea landscapes. Although some guides say otherwise, the truth is that it is practicable but if you have a bad but perfectly bearable. Its main problem, apart from the gradual ascent and the great descent as a finish line, is that it is lonely and you must take enough food and drink with you. Its signalling is correct and recently the most impassable sections have been cleaned up. But this path offers a landscape with a great natural charm, is a mountain route on the edge of the sea, because we will always have the view on the protected landscape of our west coast and the mountains and ridges of the interior, we will live in our way the essence of Asturias, the sea and mountains just by turning our head.
Northern Way Soto de Luiña – Villademoros Stage by the Palancas
It is recommended for those pilgrims who are used to make mountain routes and who are well oriented. We recommend carrying maps and paying close attention to the signs. If you are not physically well or you are in wind, rain or fog, it is better to take the Ballotas route.
The Ballotas Way.
Alternative route through the once feared “Seven Ballotas” and the “shaking bridge”. It runs along the coast and has no official status, but it is the one followed by most pilgrims. There are no landmarks along the Way, but there are yellow arrows that make it more than correct. The accumulated unevenness is very similar to that of the Palancas as it hides seven hills or “Ballotas”, which means that you have to climb seven steep valleys shaped by streams.
Map and profile of the Soto de Luiña – Cadavedo Stage by Ballotas.
A throughout the whole journey we will pass through the different villages of the coastal area where we will be able to find shops, bars, restaurants and accommodation.
Cadavedo – Luarca 15,3 km
Short stage that will allow us to enjoy the Villa de Luarca.
It is a pleasant and short stage with a single difficulty that is climbed from Canero as we find a difference in level of 140 m in 1.6 km.
Map and profile of the Cadavedo-Luarca Stage.
More information about the way
Pilgrims in the North
The Way of Saint James
The Palancas way
The Ballotas Way
Xurde Morán’s Blog
Information about St. James Ways in spanish