Camino del Norte landscape pilgrims

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Camino del Norte Route


of walking trails


days of walking


different stages

Camino del Norte Stages

The Camino del Norte is a pilgrimage from San Sebastian along the northern coastline of Spain to Oviedo. Passing through famous towns and cities such as Gernika, Bilbao, Santander and Ribadesella you will have plenty of opportunity to experience both the Basque and Cantabria cultures. The walk will have you on sandy beaches, cliff top walks with ocean views, woodland and farmlands, seaside towns and cosmopolitan cities.

This first section of the Camino del Norte takes you from the city of San Sebastian to the city of Bilbao.  San Sabastian makes a wonderful starting point for the Camino del Norte. Located on the Bay of Biscay in the mountainous Basque Country, San Sebastian is known for its beaches and waterfront promenade.  Here you can enjoy world-renowned cuisine as well as the more informal dining experience of Pinxto’s and wine pairings.

This second section connects two of the major cities in the north of Spain, Bilbao and Santander and has you leave the Basque region to enter the region of Cantabria. Bilbao is a wonderful mix of Basque traditions and contemporary architecture.  Surrounded by green hills and right on the coast there is much to see and do within close proximity of this city.

The first day walking although predominantly urban and industrial it has a sense of peace and calm as it follows the river, before ascending to Portugalete.  Leaving briefly the coastline and passing through a forest you will return on the same day to the coast and Castro Urdiales. A spectacular cliff walk will take you to the popular beach town of Laredo. A short, flat walk through Santoria’s marshland then takes you to Escalante your last stop before Santander.

Your final day walking this section is via beaches where at the end of the day you have the option to take a traditional boat across the bay to the city centre of Santander. Santander, another port city not only boasts a historic centre and beaches but is where the royal family of Spain use to take their summer breaks.

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.

This final section of the Camino del Norte takes you from the coast inland to Oviedo which is also the starting point of the Camino Primitivo.  From Ribadesella you still get to enjoy the coastline as you go up and down to towns and beaches before passing the Templar site and Benedictine Monastery of Santiago to arrive in Colunga. A relatively short day follows along the valley before climbing up the Cabanona pass and coming back downhill to another valley and the town of Villaviciosa.

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