The Northern Route of the Camino de Santiago –or Way of Saint James, as the famed pilgrimage route is known– is an ideal path for gourmands to take during their walking holiday in Spain. As you progress, the culinary treats compound, with Basque pintxos, Cantabrian seafood and Asturias’ legendary sidra awaiting at the end of a long day’s trek.
Discover the very best of the North’s cuisine with the Way of Saint James and enjoy an especially comfortable journey with stays at Paradores’ luxury and historic hotels, which features sites across this splendid area.
On the march
Starting out from Irun, the Way of Saint James’ northern route stretches across the Autonomous Communities of País Vasco, Cantabria and Asturias, leading visitors through the region’s dramatic landscapes, ranging from soaring mountains to verdant plains and dramatic coastal cliffs over the Bay of Biscay.
The route, of course, is not just about spectacular natural vistas: food is a key component on all steps of the journey. Stops across País Vasco, for instance, give travellers a great opportunity to sample the region’s famed pintxos, a tapa-like dish usually served ‘spiked’ onto a piece of bread with a skewer, perfect for consuming on the go with a glass of local txakolí (the region’s dry white wine). Try a few while visiting the great bars surrounding Parador Hondarribia, located within a former fortress which looms over the first town one encounters while crossing over from France.
Further on, in Cantabria, seafood is definitely the name of the game. The fresh daily catch brings forth treasures in the form of barnacles, lobsters, and the region’s world-famous sardines. For a sweet touch, head to Parador Santillana Gil Blas, located within the picturesque village of Santillana del Mar, home to scrumptious sobaos, a local spin on the sponge cake.
Quenching one’s thirst
As you progress towards Galicia and cross Asturias, drop in on Parador Cangas de Onís –a former monastery– to not only take in some of Northern Spain’s most beautiful natural entourages, but to enjoy the great local cuisine. Regional staples like fabada –a rich bean stew– and thick slabs of beef are on the menu, all ready to be washed down with sidra (cider), a most welcome refreshment!