The Camino del Norte and Primitivo now part of UNESCO World Heritage List image
Aug 27     ·     Gail

The Camino del Norte and Primitivo now part of UNESCO World Heritage List


At the World Conference Centre in Bonn, Germany, the World Heritage Committee announced the inclusion of the Camino del Norte in the UNESCO World Heritage List. This announcement put Spain third behind Italy and China for the number of heritage sites in one country.

Four routes have been recognised in this new classification. They are the Camino de la Costa, the Camino Primitivo, the Lebaniego in Cantabria and the Basque-Rioja. The Camino del Norte (or Northern Way) runs from Irún to Oviedo where it joins the Camino Primitivo which continues down to Santiago de Compostela. These routes began with the first pilgrims as far back as the 9th Century. The new additions join the old city of Santiago, the Camino Frances, the Roman Wall of Lugo and the Tower of Hercules in A Coruna on the updated list.

The Camino del Norte has a blend of cities and hidden gems which are surrounded by stunning vistas. Some notable stops include San Sebastián, Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, Lugo and Melide. Bilbao is filled with famous art galleries such as the Guggenheim and Santandár is ideal for lounging on the beach after days of walking. From the 15 September each year the two cities have a massive party in celebration of Aste Nagusia (The Big Week) which is a celebration of all things Basque and involves giant fireworks displays and street parties.

For a more gastronomical experience a visit to Melide to try the wide variety of pastries and pulpo (octopus). Melide is the point where the Camino Primitivo joins the Camino Frances for the last descent into Santiago de Compostela.

If you would like to take part of the Camino del Norte or Camino Primitivo along the Camino de Santiago routes, contact our Camino experts.

Feel free to contact us at for more information on walking the Camino, the Camino de Santiago tours or our services.


Follow the Camino organises walking and cycling holidays in Europe for adventure seekers from all over the world. Since 2006, we’ve offered a great range of manageable walks and cycles for all age groups, in particular on the famous Camino de Santiago. We were the first ever tour operator to operate the Camino de Santiago by creating manageable sections along the main routes to Santiago de Compostela. We are often copied but never equalled!

To find out which route might be best for you, contact our Camino Planners through the form on the top-right-hand side of the page to get your free customised Camino itinerary.