Camino del Norte 3/4 - From Santander to Ribadesella
This third section takes you through the western coast of Cantabria with a mixture of coast walking and inland more hilly country. Leaving Santander you will move inland passing through towns before coming back to the estuary and village of Arce. A hilly day, passing meadows and sleepy villages will have you arrive into Santillana del Mar.
Another day of coastline and pretty villages takes you to the impressive beach of Comillas, where the town also boasts some impressive architecture. A somewhat long day follows with more coast, a Natural Park and then green pastures and a forest to arrive in Unquera. Now entering Asturias an undulating walk takes you up and then down a few times to reach Llanes. Your last day is a long day but beautiful beaches will warm you up before the steady uphill climb to the Church of San Pedro de Pria before coming down to the town of Ribadesella your final stop on this section.
You will be booked into a hotel in the heart of Santander. The rooms are en-suite.
From Santander to Arce (20km, 5h)
During this stage, the Camino moves slightly inland and passes through towns such as Santa Cruz de Bezana, Mompia and Boo de Pielagos. The estuary of Boo de Pielagos leads to the village of Arce. A project, currently underway, will eventually shorten the journey by 10 kilometres with the addition of a pedestrian bridge.
From Arce to Santillana del Mar (26km, 6h30)
The Camino follows the pleasant, hilly landscape of the coast. Coming to Miengo, we finally reach the Besaya region. Take your time to visit the charming little village of Suance. Passing meadows and sleepy villages, we arrive in the medieval village of Santillana del Mar.
From Santillana del Mar to Comillas (23km, 5h45)
This stage introduces the pilgrim to the wild western coast of Cantabria. The Camino passes villages of outstanding beauty like Cobreces, with its Cistercian Monastery, and finally arrives in Comillas with its impressive beaches and remarkable architecture. Check out the spectacular “Capricho de Gaudi”, the Palace of Sobrellano with its pantheon chapel, and the Pontifical University.
From Comillas to Unquera (28km, 7h30)
From Comillas, the Camino continues along the coast, and comes to Oyambre Natural Park. Here you will have the chance to witness an outstanding marine ecosystem consisting of a large variety of birds, molluscs and fish. The Camino reaches the town of San Vicente de la Barquera. Finally, passing estuaries, green pastures and forests, we arrive in Unquera.
From Unquera to Llanes (25km, 6h)
The Camino de Santiago enters Asturias, crossing a bridge over the river Deva and continuing into Bustio. Before Colombres, we have to climb the “Cuesta’l Cantu”. Then we go downhill along the Sierra de La Borbolla. The Way now enters Pendueles. Here, the Camino take a narrow footpath that crosses the road to Andrin and climbs up to the Jorcada pass. The Camino drops to La Portilla and continues to Llanes, where we stay for the night.
From Llanes to Ribadesella (31km, 8h)
Passing the beautiful beaches of Palombina and Barro, the Camino crosses the river Niembro. Climbing steadily uphill, we reach the Church of San Pedro de Pria, set on a hill overlooking the district’s seven towns. Then, the Camino continues downhill to the medieval stone bridge over the river Guadamia, it crosses the railway and continues on to Sobares and Ribadesella. Ribadesella is a fascinating town and well worth a stroll around.
Ribadesella.End of the Camino
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
- Great mix of comfortable accommodation in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
- Bed & Breakfast
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Great dinners with local food
- Extra nights
- Upgrade to authentic & luxury accommodation
- Airport transfers
Option 1 – Santander
Santander airport with Ryanair offer flights from London Stansted and now Dublin, Frankfurt, Milan and Rome as well as Reus and Madrid in Spain (can book return flights).
Iberia offers a good selection of internal flights from Alicante, Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville and Valencia.
Option 2 – Bilbao
Bilbao airport with Aerlingus, Easyjet or British Airways.
There is a regular airport shuttle bus (15mins).
Bus to Santander takes 1hr30, several buses a day.