Sun and beach, Mediterranean islands, fortunate isles, exuberant coastlines in the vibrant Levant region… The attributes of southern Spain have made the country famous and turned it into one of the world’s top five tourist destinations par excellence. However, is there anything else apart from hot nights and discos? Of course: the Green Spain, made up of the regions of Galicia, Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque Country. The Cantabrian coast still shares a lot of points in common: rich historical and natural heritage, enviable gastronomy and a route that goes back to the Middle Ages. Let us travel along the Northern Way of the Green Spain.
The “Camino Primitivo” or Original Way refers to the first Camino de Santiago that existed. Before the passage through the Pyrenees was safe for pilgrims from the rest of Europe, the Jacobean route served to unite the Christian strongholds; these were trying to organise a political opposition to the Caliphate of Cordoba, which was beginning to experience the material and intellectual splendour of Al-Andalus. The first Way linked the city housing the Visigoth court of Oviedo with Santiago de Compostela, and its first pilgrim was King Alfonso II the Chaste. As Christian influence grew along the Cantabrian coast, the Original Way became the Northern Way.
Scattered villages, awe-inspiring landscapes, beaches of white sand and freezing water, and the beginning of the first European art after the fall of the Roman Empire will accompany us along this Northern Way, which was declared World Heritage along with the Original Way this summer. This is the second Jacobean route to attain this status, after the French Way.
Boutique Hotels Spain has prepared as parallel route to the Northern Way, in which you can discover the peace and joy of northern life.
Hotel Etxegana (Bizkaia province, the Basque Country)
Hotel Etxenaga is to be found very close to the Bizkaia stage of the Northern Way. The Green Spain is exemplified by the views from the hotel, located close to Gorbea nature reserve. Its spa and cuisine, which combines auteur dishes with classical, delicious Basque delicacies, will help us to rediscover homemade tastes that we thought had been lost forever.
La Casona de Suesa (Cantabria region)
One of Spain’s less known natural paradises is to be found in Cantabria. The harmony of its natural landscapes contrasts with the towns’ traditional architecture. Casona de Suesa cherishes both values. On leaving the locality of Galizano, located on the Northern Way, we come across Casona de Suesa, a place where we can enjoy rural architecture, resting and tranquillity.
Hotel El Jardín del Carrejo (Cantabria region)
Before leaving the area of Las Anjanas, the Northern Way enters the illustrious locality of Comillas. Nearby we come across Hotel El Jardín del Carrejo, located between the natural reserves of Oyambre on the coast and El Saja, on a 30,000-square-metre estate. The ideal place for enjoying a break away from the noise of everyday life.
Hotel Palacio del Cutre (Principality of Asturias)
We are now in the land of the brown bear on our way to Compostela. Palacio del Cutre exemplifies the stately qualities of Asturian architecture: a palace on top of a hill, near the Picos de Europa mountains and very close to the sea. Medieval chronicles have given way to traditional Asturian cuisine, which is not to be overlooked.
Hotel Torre de Villamoros (Principality de Asturias)
Just before reaching Luarca, the last Asturian stage of the Northern Way, we come across this hotel housed in an old defensive tower. Its gastronomy is only comparable to the beautiful surroundings, where we can enjoy trekking or walking in the mountains.
Hotel Torre de Villademoros (Asturias)
Shortly before arriving Luarca, Asturias last stage of the Camino del Norte, we found this hotel, once an old tore defensive. Its cuisine is matched only by the beauty of the environment, which can be exploited for hiking or mountain walks.
Casa da Fervenza (Lugo province, Galicia region)
We go down from the coast towards inland Galicia. Close to the locality of Vilalba we come across Casa da Fervenza, a rural house where you can enjoy the peacefulness of Galicia’s forests. Located on the banks of the Miño River, here is where the expression land of a thousand rivers comes to life. However, inland Galicia offers more than just traditional values: its auteur gastronomy combines modernity and past.
Casa A Pedreira (Pontevedra province, Galicia region)
A little further south from our northern route we come across the locality of Cuntis. It is also a landmark on the Road to Santiago from Portugal, but is it worth mentioning here due to its excellent spas. If our body has its own memory and remembers all the good things we do for it, then a short break in A Pedreira will be fully appreciated by our members.
Hotel Altaïr (Santiago de Compostela, Galicia)
We have reached our destination: Compostela. The Galician capital has several rites to be fulfilled when you arrive as a pilgrim: visiting Praza do Obradoiro, embracing the statue of the Apostle, visiting the silver urn housing his remains… But if we want to enjoy a well-deserved rest after completing an itinerary of rocks and forests, we will find it in Hotel Altaïr; this exquisite rarity, with a touch of Zen inspiration, lets you enjoy the magic of Compostela’s monumental district from a privileged location.
Rest, relaxation and rites fulfilled. It is time to enjoy the Northern Way.