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Northern Way of St James, World Heritage Site by UNESCO
For those who are looking for a physical adventure or a more spiritual retreat in the Northern Way Of St James, these are very great news.
We are happy to inform that El Camino de Santiago del Norte was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO last Sunday, 5th July 2015. This announcement has been very well welcomed in Spain, where the Way of St James is one of the most important pilgrimage routes in the world.
Unesco also approved extensions to three existing sites, including the addition of the Camino Francés to the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims from all over the world have walked the Camino de Santiago for centuries, following the various paths on their way to Santiago de Compostela.
What Unesco says: "A network of four Christian pilgrimage routes in northern Spain, the site is an extension of the Route of Santiago de Compostela, a serial site inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1993. The extension represents a network of almost 1,500 km: coastal, interior of the Basque Country–La Rioja, Liébana and primitive routes. It includes a built heritage of historical importance created to meet the needs of pilgrims, including cathedrals, churches, hospitals, hostels and even bridges. The extension encompasses some of the earliest pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela, following the discovery in the 9th century of a tomb believed to be that of St. James the Greater."
The Northern Way of St James is known as a very quiet and nice route of special natural beauty. The surface features of this route is very different to El Camino de Santiago Frances which makes it a different adventure. The Northern Way follows the North coast of Spain, from the French border in Irun, along the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and finally Galicia region where the town of Santiago de Compostela is.
The Northern Way of St James is a very bumpy and sometimes mountainous way with impressive scenarios such as the Picos de Europa in Asturias which the pilgrim can see on his left as he walks along the cliffs in the coast. In El Camino del Norte there are many opportunities to have a bath or to relax in small solitary beaches of clean turquoise water or simply enjoy the view of the sea and the waves hitting the rocks in the cliffs.
For the lovers of nature, forests and green landscapes El Camino del Norte is the perfect track but they should keep in mind that El Camino del Norte represents a greater physical challenge than El Camino Frances due to the constant going up and down of the way and also due to its humid Atlantic weather which makes rain quite likely even in summer months.
No doubt that after some tiring days like these ones, all you need is a good night' sleep! Holiday Inn Express Bilbao Airport is your best bet!