I learned something on my first two days on the Camino del Norte that would be a common theme for most of my days — once you descend to sea level, there is usually a climb right ahead. So I had just completed over a 350 meter climb from San Sebastián to the farming community of Munioetazar and began my descent to the town of Orio. This day was also typical of most by the sea for each climb had a series of descents where you made up the lost elevation. Each descent usually had climbs soon followed by a loss of that elevation and more. It was no wonder that I was exhausted by the end of each day!
I found my walking companions on a patio of a café in one of the small communities before Munioetazar, and after a short break of my own, we were on our way. I left my last post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, San Sebastián to Munioetazar, overlooking this beautiful scene with the Basque farmhouse and the Bay of Biscay. A nearby sign stated that we have nine kilometers to Orio. Let’s continue…
A couple of views of the path that you’ll encounter on the mostly downhill stretch between Munioetazar and Orio. The track varied from a paved path through lush forest…
to a rough path through lush forest…
to along a ridge with a lush hillside of fern and shrubs overlooking the Bay of Biscay. Okay, I used “lush” too much.
I really enjoy the homemade signs along the Camino and believe they are part of the rich character.
Pleasant path between farmland.
A home decked out in colors for Aupa Orio. I believe it’s the local football team.
After a tough previous day and a good morning climb, 787 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela seemed like a long, long way!
A look toward the counryside to the South. The freeway, Autopista del Cantábrico, is an important link between the Northern communities in Basque Country.
On the outskirts of Orio, the community of San Martin includes an ancient church, rural accommodation, an albergue, and a well-known local restaurant, Asador San Martin.
Passing this Basque home as we enter Orio.
It seemed quiet around midday. Orio has a population of just over 5000 people and is slowly making a transition to a tourist town from its roots in the fishing industry.
Along the Camino, you can find tourist and pilgrim information here. I don’t believe that most pilgrims spend much time in Orio. It’s only about 15 kilometers from San Sebastián where the majority of pilgrims would have spent the night. Zarautz is a couple of hours ahead and sits in a beautiful location next to the sea.
If you’re tired after the walk from San Sebastián, and not in a hurry, a viable option would be spending a night in Orio, possibly at one of the rural accomodations. Not everyone wants to be in town or by a beach anyway. The next day, you can have an easy walk to Zarautz and enjoy the seaside town, or continue to Getaria. Just don’t keep walking to Deba late in the day like some dummy I know. Yes, that was me 🙂 I’ll talk about that later.
The bust of an important citizen of Orio, Maria Maestrari, is displayed prominently in Calle Mayor. She was a teacher in Orio but I couldn’t find any other information.
Not all of the walk was exciting or scenic.
Crossing the bridge with views of the Río Orio. The port for the nearby area is along the banks.
As with many coastal towns, there is a rich history of fishing that is still important to the local area.
My walking companions and I had a relaxing lunch in the tourist area of Orio. After over an hour break and eating (and drinking I recall), I was quite sluggish for the upcoming climb to the hillside with fantastic views of Zarautz and the Bay of Biscay. Please join me on my next post, On the Camino Del Norte in Spain, Orio to Zarautz, as we continue to the seaside resort town of Zarautz.
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