From Luarca to La Caridad, Camino del Norte Stage no. 22




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Basic Details

  • Starting point: The city center of Luarca, with all services for pilgrims, and one pilgrim hostel with a relatively bad reputation.
  • Ending point: The city center of La Caridad, a nice town of Asturias with roughly 2,000 inhabitants, all services, and two pilgrim hostels.
  • Availability of alternative routes: Not really, but there is a small part on the coast, towards the end of today’s stage, between Navia and La Caridad, that is marked as a GR route with red and white stripes, and you can perhaps take it. It passes next to some decent beaches and a few good wild camping spots (more to it in “advanced info about the stage” section), but it isn’t exactly next to the Camino, and walking to connect with this way will eventually add about 5 kilometers of extra walk to the existing 30 kilometers you already have to cover today. However, if you are interested in this variant, I have mapped it for you and you can have a look at it here: Link to the map. There is one more trail on the coast before Navia, which happens to be one of the most beautiful walking trails in all Asturias, and I write more about it in the “advanced info about the stage” section, since it isn’t really an alternative Camino, but more of a walk on its own, that happens to connect to the Camino.
  • Distance: Official Camino route: 30 km (download GPS here).
  • Elevation difference: +650m, – 660m
  • Link to online map: here.
  • Difficulty score: 3/5
  • Beauty score: Official Camino route: 2/5. Coastal alternatives and detours: 5/5.
  • Terrain/asphalt: 15%/85% (back to the paved roads for the vast majority of the day; luckily at least 90% of these paved roads are super small local roads with no traffic except of the locals who live in the houses nearby; if you opt for coastal variants, you can turn this around and have only 30% of asphalt walking with 70% of dirt roads and small trails).
  • Next stage: Camino del Norte, stage no. 23, La Caridad – Ribadeo.
  • Previous stage: Camino del Norte, stage no. 21 – Santa Marina – Luarca.


Elevation profile for the route

– The stage is relatively uneventful, except of the first climb from Luarca (not very steep but long enough to feel it). After the first 10 kilometers you more or less stay on level ground, except of a small drop to the city of Navia and a climb that follows afterwards. The stage has 30 kilometers, but many pilgrims walk it in 6 hours, unless they take one of the coastal detours and variants recommended in this guide.


Advanced info about the stage

  • Trail marking: Generally very good, with no unexpected twists and turns. The only thing you should pay attention here are the marks for the pilgrims on bicycles, that means yellow arrows with a note “bici“, or with a simple drawing of two wheels below the arrow. The Camino keeps the cyclists on the paved roads for the entire time, whereas walking pilgrims take a nice relief from asphalt walking on several occasions, and hence it is better following the Camino for walking pilgrims.
  • Natural places worth seeing: 
    • Botanical gardens near Luarca: Right after the exit of Luarca. It is a bit outside of the Camino (400 meters detour), but you can connect back to the Camino following small routes. This huge botanical garden does not only offer you an opportunity to discover and marvel on the flora of Asturias, it also has nice views, and access to the beach, and it is definitely worth a visit, perhaps even on your afternoon in Luarca. Admission fee is 3 euros, no pilgrim discounts available.
    • Senda Coasta Naviega – Another coastal alternative you can follow for a bit of today’s walk, reconnecting later with the Camino in Navia. I have never walked this signposted trail personally, but it is considered one of the most beautiful trails in the entire Asturias (and saying that about any trail really means something, considering how beautiful Asturias is :)), with beaches, waterfalls, lush forest and all you can imagine on a coastal trail from a fairy-tale. I have mapped it for you here: link to the map, where you can also export it as GPX file to your device. Please note that this isn’t an easy path, many sections aren’t suitable for bikes, and I recommend it mostly to pilgrims in good shape who will stay for the night in Navia (which has a great pilgrim hostel called albergue San Roque), without continuing to La Caridad on the same day.
    • Playa Permenande, the best beach to go once you have already dropped your backpack in La Caridad. It is easily accessible by car, but still isn’t very touristic, since it is a rocky beach and most local tourists are spoiled and prefer sandy beaches :). What I like about this beach is that due to the orientation and the protection of the rocks around it, it typically isn’t windy at all, and is very suitable for swimming.
  • Historical, architectural, and culinary places worth seeing:
    • Museo Rural Etnografico de Luarca – A small but beautiful ethnographic museum with an excellent collection of items that show us how people of the zone lived in the past. The guide is renowned for his passion for the collection on display, and adds another level to the experience. The museum is located in a small hamlet called San Martin, at the exit of Luarca. Again, it is 700 meters detour from the Camino, but you can easily connect back to the way following small local roads. It is also an inspiration for a place to visit once you spend the night in Luarca.
    • Parque de la Vida – A privately owned science museum, about 1 km detour from the Camino, about 4 kilometers after Luarca. If you go for a guided tour (starts from 11am every morning), you’ll pay 7 euros. The guide is fluent in English (or at least it was the case when I was there :)). Anyway, it is a specific place and a museum of this sort you won’t encounter anywhere else on your Camino del Norte.
    • Puerto de Vega – Again outside of the Camino, but you can take the coastal route to Navia (see paragraph above for more information) and pass directly through the town. The city has numerous historical buildings and small palaces, and it is definitely the one town to visit on this day, if you’re into history.
  • Camping/bivouac options on this stage: Good, with many nice places on the coast not frequented by either tourists or locals, and enough small paths and trees to find a good spot to pitch a tent away of anyone’s attention. A few places I can vouch for in particular are the Area recreativa de Salas (benches, tables, functioning water fountain, beautiful views, busy only on weekends), and the Beach of Castello (a pebble beach with a rather abandoned picnic area with tables and many trees and overall the picnic zone is great to pitch a tent since nobody will bother you there at night). When it comes to organized camping places, you will find just one in the zone, 3.5 kilometers after La Caridad:
    • Camping Campaoh Cabo Blanco: Just 100 meters detour from the Camino, very natural and green area, tents already mounted (you may or not be allowed to pitch your own tent), better for the group of 2-3 pilgrims (more economical in the big tents), dog friendly, typical price for the big tent 50 euro/night (that’s why it is a better place for a group of people), no services on site. In my opinion a decent option for one night if you cannot find bed elsewhere and do not want to wild camp for the night.
  • Dog friendly score: 3/5. Even though it may look discouraging at first sight, with 85% of road walking for the day, it isn’t as bad for the dogs as it seems. 90% of the time the roads are really quiet with minimum of traffic, and there are enough spots with shade on the way, including 2 or 3 crossings of rivers you can go down to (for the dog to drink and perhaps refresh itself in a cold water). And of course, as you can see in the description of today’s stage, you can take several alternative routes over the coast that will take you away from the paved roads, and are definitely much better for dogs (though they add extra kilometers to your walk). What’s more, the pilgrim hostel in La Caridad called La Xana accepts dogs, and reservations, so make sure to call them in advance and secure your place :).
  • Special remarks: This is a stage with many options, be it the places where you can stay for the night (has many good pilgrim hostels in different cities), or the alternative routes you can take (including one following arguably one of the most spectacular hiking trail in Asturias), or the many small museums run by real enthusiasts you can visit. Sadly the official Camino doesn’t pass through any of these places. This is one of the stages where planning comes handy, detours are worth it, and I suggest you to approach it accordingly :).


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 La Casa del Peregrino, Otur (km 7). Location and reviews on Google maps here. A nice cozy donation-based albergue, the only real pilgrim place in the zone of Luarca. 10 beds only. The owner (Mercedes) has a great reputation on all pilgrim platforms, for her hospitality and the way she treats the pilgrims. Communal dinner and breakfast, highly recommended. Check-in from 1:30pm to 8pm, recommended way of making a reservation: phone call, +34 627 887 507.
  2. Albergue de Peregrinos de Pinera, Pinera (km 17). Location and reviews on Google maps here. 26 beds, 10 euro/night. In the past the albergue didn’t have the best reputation, but it has a new owner in charge, and based on reviews on different pilgrim platforms, things have improved significantly. Offers dinner for 10 euro (decent quality). Overall no doubt a good place to stay, especially for the price. Doesn’t accept reservations, but you can call to +34 684 053 054 if arriving late, to check out whether there is a free bed for you. Check in from 1pm.
  3. Albergue San Roque, Navia (km 20). Location and reviews on Google maps here. 24 beds, 15 euro/bed. Has an excellent reputation across all pilgrim platforms, especially for a friendly and helpful host, but also for cleanliness and the comfort it offers, considering it is a pilgrim hostel. Early check-in as well, from 1pm. All in all highly recommended. You can make a reservation by a phone call, +34 691 904 242, +34 984 569 905.
  4. Albergue La Xana, La Caridad (km 30). Location and reviews on Google maps here. A decent albergue in La Caridad with 12 beds + some private rooms. Price from 15 euro/night, but can go up in summer. God reviews on all pilgrim platforms, especially when it comes to the hosts. Some installations (for example beds) would benefit from a bit of renovation or investing in new mattresses etc. Check in from 1pm, recommended way of making a reservation: phone call, +34 984 196 830.


Privacy/luxury options:

  1. Hotel Rural Casa Xusto, La Caridad (km 30). Location and reviews on Google maps here. One of the best rated hotels in the entire Asturias, incredibly stylish and beautiful, in the rustic style. A true luxury you can get for below 100 euro/room, outside of the main season. But it doesn’t get too busy even in summer, and you may get a bed here anytime, even simply walking-in. Check-in from 4pm, recommended way of making a reservation:

Pictures from the stage

– One of several beautiful churches you will pass by on today’s walk, in the village of Villapedre.

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 🙂

– While you won’t get really close to the coast on today’s walk, you will venture close enough to be able to take some pictures of the ocean.

– The beach “Playa Permenande“, about 2 km walk from the center of La Caridad. It always has nice vibes and is never really crowded. Definitely a great place to visit once you have already dropped your backpack in La Caridad.

– Another picture of the beach “Playa Permenande”, I really like that the access it “wheelchair friendly”.


Few tips at the end

  • If you are on a budget and want to stay in the least expensive pilgrim hostel in La Caridad, the municipal albergue that still costs only 8 euros, you have to wake up really early. Since the place opens at 11 am already, and doesn’t accept reservations, and it has only 18 beds, it fills up super quickly in summer, especially by young Spaniards who often do the camino in groups and at times take buses to get the beds in least expensive places. If you arrive to La Caridad after 1pm in July or August, getting a bed in this albergue is almost impossible. There is one other albergue in town called La Xana, which is in my opinion nicer than the municipal one. Costs twice as much though and has only 12 beds, but at you can make a reservation and walk in peace for the day.


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