From Abadin to Vilalba, Camino del Norte, Stage no. 26




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Basic Details

  • Starting point: The center of Abadin, a small mountain town with all services and two pilgrim hostels.
  • Ending point: The center of Vilalba, a nice Galicean town of almost 15,000 inhabitants, with three pilgrim hostels and all services for pilgrims.
  • Availability of alternative routes: No. There are no marked trails in the zone, or other alternative routes. Some cyclists who are in a hurry follow the national road N-634 (Camino never gets further than 1.5 kilometers from this road on today’s stage), but I do not recommend it whatsoever, since the stage is quite nice (see the gallery further below in this post) and the terrain is not technical. There’s no point in cycling (or walking) on the road instead. What’s more, it is a national road (not a provincial one) and while not super heavy, some traffic is always present.
  • Distance21.5 km (download GPS here).
  • Elevation difference: +314 m, – 374 m.
  • Link to online map: here.
  • Difficulty score: 2/5, an easy stage.
  • Beauty score: 3/5.
  • Terrain/asphalt: 40%/60% (Even here, in Galicia, the most rural province of the entire Camino, you still walk more on asphalt than on terrain. However, the small country roads the Camino follows today are super quiet with virtually no traffic).
  • Next stage: Camino del Norte, stage no. 27, Vilalba – Baamonde.
  • Previous stage: Camino del Norte, stage no. 25, Mondonedo – Abadin.


Elevation profile for the route

– A really relaxing stage with the longest climb having only 60 vertical meters, and the gradient of climb (or descent) never surpassing 4%. Definitely one of the easiest stages on the entire Camino. Pilgrims in a great shape often connect it together with a stage from Mondonedo to Abadin, walking two stages on the same day.


Advanced info about the stage

  • Trail marking: Almost perfect. Stone markers with yellow arrows and the typical pilgrim shell (see gallery below). While one can easily repaint a yellow arrow, or cut down a tree with an arrow on it, these stone markers are super heavy and it is almost impossible to move them to other place or destroy them, making it difficult for the pilgrims to find their way. Hence today you can walk without a GPS, and getting lost is reserved only for those people who get lost everywhere, even in their own house :).
  • Natural places worth seeing: Nothing worth a special mention, but as you can see in the gallery below, the entire stage is quite nice, passing through quiet and green Galicean countryside, with tree tunnels, some small rivers you cross, and also some nice flower beds. All in all it is a nice stage nature-wise.
  • Historical, architectural, and culinary places worth seeing: 
    • Iglesia de Santa Maria de Abadin: A really nice small church from 12th century, located right after Abadin, with a garden turned to a picnic place (with stone tables and a water fountain).
      The place has a great vibe, and while the church is rarely open (only for a Sunday mass starting at 10:45), it is still a great location to visit for any history and architecture lover.
    • A nice Roman bridge crossing: Directly on the Camino, with wooden picnic tables right next to the bridge. A great spot for taking a snack on your way. It is exactly about halfway between Abadin and Vilalba.
    • Torre de Homenaje: The “tower of homage”, a typical structure for palaces in this zone, which served as the most protected area from outside attacks, and where the owners or the highly ranked inhabitants of the palaces typically resided. It is one of the few remains of the ancient palace in Vilalba, and now it is a part of the local Parador hotel (frequented by pilgrims how prefer to stay in luxury places on their pilgrimage :)). In any case, it is a wonderful tower and definitely the one thing to visit when you spend a night in Vilalba.
  • Camping/bivouac options on this stage: Today it gets a bit more tricky, because in contrary to the hilly stages of yesterday and the day before yesterday, you walk on a plateau today, with lot of agriculture, animal husbandry, and private property. Sure, you can take a risk and pitch a tent somewhere behind the fence (watch for cow shit and its consistency in the spot of your choice, if quite fresh it can easily mean that cows will arrive later in the day), but it isn’t something I would recommend. The only semi-decent spot is the picnic zone at the Roman bridge crossing, in the middle of the stage. And it probably won’t surprise you that there aren’t any organized camping places in this zone.
  • Dog friendly score: 4/5. Overall a super nice stage for your dog. No traffic, many spots with trees and shade, a nice river crossing (this river always has water, even in the height of summer) right in the middle of the stage, and so on. The only reason why I do not give it 5/5 is that there isn’t a single dog-friendly accommodation option in Vilalba. You will have to camp outside or walk further on…
  • Special remarks: None.


Accommodation options on today’s stage

* The infographic displays the number of pilgrim hostels (only pilgrims allowed), hostels (anyone allowed, shared rooms), and other accommodation options (hotels, pensions, etc, private rooms) in each point along the route, together with price range. For exact explanation of the pictograms we use check the explanations page. Below the infographic you will see our recommended picks (up to 3 pilgrim options and 1-2 “privacy” options, maximum five) for the stage, together with important information (but not too much info, just what you need :-)).

Recommended places to sleep along this stage

Pilgrim options:

  1. Albergue O Xistral, As Paredes (km 6). Location and reviews on Google maps here. 17 beds, 18-20 euro/night, with breakfast included. 10 euro extra for communal dinner. A beautifully restored traditional Galician house, with nice garden and a swimming pool (in summer). Good reviews across all pilgrim platforms. The only downside is that sometimes the owner rents the place to private groups (it was the case for example when I wanted to stay there :)), and in such occasions pilgrims won’t get in. Therefor it is recommended to make a reservation upfront, either by phone, +34 673 524 257, or on Check-in from 2:30 pm to 8pm.
  2. Albergue As Pedreiras, Vilalba (km 22). Location and reviews on Google maps here. 27 beds, 16-18 euro/night. Definitely the best hostel in Vilalba. It isn’t strictly a pilgrim place (other people are also welcome), but considering the tourist attractiveness of Vilalba (in terms of visiting Spain or other places of Galicia), I doubt there are many guests who aren’t pilgrims :). Anyway, the place has excellent reviews across all pilgrim platforms, great central location in town, and overall there’s nothing one could complain about. Highly recommended. Early check-in, from 12:30 pm, until 9pm. Recommended way of making a reservation:
  3. There are other 2 hostels in Vilalba, a municipal pilgrim hostel and one other place. They are nowhere as good as the As Pedreiras hostel, but if you do not get a bed there, you can check the other two. Reviews and location on Google maps: municipal albergue, and Albergue A Carballeira.


Privacy/luxury options:

  1. Hostal Terra Cha, Vilalba (km 22). Location and reviews on Google maps here. The most affordable private accommodation option in Vilalba. Single room for 35 euro, if you’re a bit lucky you can get it even cheaper. 19 rooms, frequented by pilgrims. Nice staff, decent restaurant on site, ideal if do not feel at your best at this stage, and just want a private place to stay where you do not really have to leave the hotel anymore during the day :). Check-in from 2pm, recommended way of making a reservation:
  2. Parador de Vilalba, Vilalba (km 22). Location and reviews on Google maps here. One of the few Parador Hotels you can stay at during your Camino del Norte, and probably the most affordable one :). You can get a single room for as little as 75 euro, which is something unheard of in most Parador hotels anywhere in Spain… For comparison, you won’t get a room below 200 euro/night in the Parador of Santiago de Compostela, unless you are there in an extremely low season, which is almost never in Santiago de Compostela :). Anyway, the Parador in Vilalba has pretty good reviews across all platforms, it is located in a wonderful historical building (just like all Parador hotels are), and all in all a nice experience for anyone who can afford it. Check-in from 2pm, recommended way of making a reservation:


Pictures from the stage

– Cows simply belong to Galicia. The more inland you enter, the more prevalent the are. You can see and smell them everywhere. Some people like it and some hate it, but it is an interesting experience nevertheless.

If you find any information on this page incorrect or outdated, or have a suggestion how to improve it for fellow pilgrims, please let us know. Thank you for helping the pilgrim community, and buen Camino 🙂

– A nice safe and even path, typical for this stage. You can see a marker with remaining number of kilometers to Santiago. These markers are typical for Galicia, just like the cows. I do not like the markers, since in my opinion they are too frequent and make you focus too much on numbers (like how many kilometers you walked or still have to walk), which isn’t really the point of walking the camino.

– A wonderful natural tunnel of trees, again quite typical for Galicia, and you will walk under many of these.

– A nice resting place near at the crossing of the Roman bridge. On the coast such places are frequented by tourists. Here the only people enjoying the shade and the nice wooden benches and tables are pilgrims.


Few tips at the end

  • This stage is one of the easiest on the entire Camino del Norte, and can easily be covered in 4 hours. If you feel like walking a bit more, however, you should take into consideration that there isn’t any accommodation option for the next 18 kilometers, all the way to Baamonde (the ending point of the next stage). Hence it is either 21 or 40 kilometers. Unless you camp outside, of course :).


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