Full Camino del Norte


23 days


Popular time


Starting from




8.6 min | 19.1km average | 29.8 max


57.4 min |535.9m average | 1116.1 max


2   3.2   5

Follow the Camino Preview Map Trip 632

Santander, another port city, not only boasts a historic centre and beaches but is also where the royal family of Spain use to take their summer breaks. This third section of the traditional Camino del Norte 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.
Our fun and friendly guides are all Follow the Camino certified and speak Spanish and English, so they’ll make sure that all your questions are answered. They will ensure that your experience on this incredible journey is enhanced even more! We can also add a guide to any pre-arranged group booking! Get in touch with our Camino Planners for a quote!
Important: Follow The Camino guided tours are guaranteed at a minimum of seven people. In case we do not reach this number, the tour will continue as self-guided and we will refund the price of the guide to you.

Nature on Camino del norte

Nature Lovers

The Camino del Norte is perhaps the most scenic of all the Camino routes. Hugging the rugged Atlantic coastline, it takes pilgrims through some of Spain’s most lush regions – from the Basque country to Cantabria, Asturias, and on to Galicia. This route is the ideal escape for nature lovers, who want to take some time to reflect away from the hustle and bustle. Breathe in the fresh sea air, stroll on sandy beaches, or admire the view from a cliff top perch. Intersperse the ocean views with rambles through small sleepy villages that cling to a bygone way of living a quiet and simple life.

San Sebastian

Cosmopolitan Cities

The Camino del Norte passes through some of the top cities to visit in Spain. The crown jewel is San Sebastian with its mixture of elegant architecture, sandy beaches, and fine dining. A short distance along the coast you then find Bilbao, the largest city of the Basque region and the hub of modern art. Further along you then come to the third city, Santander. Once the summer destination of the Spanish royal family, nowadays there is an eclectic mix of tapas bars and restaurants, busy shopping streets, and sandy beaches all within easy walking distance of each other.

Church in San Sebastian


Along the Camino del Norte there is a wealth of cathedrals and churches to visit. In San Sebastian, there is the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd (dating from the late 19th Century) and is known for its dominating single spire. In Bilbao, the Cathedral of Santiago is dedicated to St James. In Santander, the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary of Santander is on a site that has had a church here since the 8th Century. Unlike many other cathedrals, the interior is relatively small and simple making for quite a contrast with the vast size of the external structure. The final cathedral worthy of note is in Oviedo, the Cathedral of San Salvador. Originally built in the 8th Century, it has been rebuilt over the years with an array of architectural periods visible. Within you can find holy relics such as the Holy Chest, the Cross of los Ángeles, and the Cross of la Victoria.

Full Camino del Norte

Starting from € 2320



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Included in this package

Bed & Breakfast

Specially Hand-Picked Accommodation

Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack

24/7 Customer Service

Virtual Face-to-Face Pre-Departure Briefing


Premium Accommodation

Airport Pick-Up

Additional Nights


Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel

Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest

Not included: Flights/trains, Insurance, Drinks/Lunch






Once you arrive you’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of the town. San Sebastien is located on the Bay of Biscay in the mountainous Basque Country, and is a city known for its stunning beaches and waterfront promenade. Here, you can enjoy world-renowned cuisine as well as the more informal dining experience of pintxos and wine.



22.8 km


Leaving San Sebastian and the unspoiled Bay of Biscay, this route curves along the coastline through grassy fields and rolling hills. First, you’ll see the Church of San Martin de Tours, a lovingly restored national monument, before passing through some traditional whaling towns. Later, you arrive in the picturesque village of Getaria, perched on a rocky headland above a cute harbour.



16.2 km


For Day 3 you’ll set out on a small country road hugging the coast, eventually arriving in Zarautz. From there, take the small footpath into farmlands until you reach the Church of Santa Maria la Real and birthplace of explorer Juan Sebastian Elcano, the first man to circumnavigate the Earth in the 16th Century. Once you’ve stopped to admire the town, continue along the coast to the last stop for the day – the stunning beach town, Deba.



18.4 km


Today, we leave the sea behind for more mountainous landscapes and won’t see the coast again until Bilbao. The route crosses a river and starts climbing into dense scrub, until it reaches the Hermitage of El Calvario. From here, keep to the narrow footpath (GR-121), which passes through many secluded hamlets. Finally, the trail descends steeply into your destination, Markina. This is a village with a strong sense of history and Basque traditions.



22.3 km


Leaving Markina, the route follows an ancient cobbled road and crosses the river in Bolivar. It ascends to the 15th Century Monastery of Cenarruza, which contains a Gothic Renaissance church and mediaeval cloister. Leaving the monastic site, the path moves into dense woodland, up to Gontzegarai, and down again to Gerikaitz. At the Hermitage of Santiago, a steep footpath leads downhill to a creek and finally into the town of Gernika.



14.3 km


Setting out this morning you’ll leave Gernika by the hermitage of Santa Luzia Zallo. Shortly after, we’ll reach the road (PR-173) that will take us to Morga. Here, we leave the farmland and enter a forest, following a steep descent to the traditional villages of Goikoetxea, Larrabetzu, and finally, Lezama.



9.6 km


This is a relatively short stage through pastoral farmland. First, we pass Zamudio and the Roman Church of San Maarten, where the Tower of Malpica is visible above. Slowly climbing to reach the summit of Mount Avril, we’re rewarded with spectacular views of Bilbao and the valley below. On arrival in Bilbao, don’t forget to visit the beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of Bego, as well as Place de Unamuno, in the old quarter of Bilbao.



8.6 km


First, a relatively short stage going through the old industrialised neighbourhoods of Bilbao. After passing the suspension bridge, the Camino enters the industrial heart of the Basque Country; despite this, it is a place of peace and calm along the Cadagua River. Crossing the historical ‘Devil’s Bridge’, the Camino arrives at the hermitage of Santa Águeda. From there, we take a breath before the steep ascent to the town of Barakaldo. Following a footpath along the Galindo River, we arrive in Portugalete for a night’s rest.



22.2 km


The Camino now leaves the coast, ascending to Otañes with beautiful views of the craggy coast below. From here the Camino enters a forest track that brings us to Robredal and its church of San Nicholas. Finally, we arrive in the coastal town of Castro Urdiales, passing the bullring and the beach. Castro Urdiales is an interesting town with a mix of mediaeval and modern architecture.



25.2 km


Today, the Camino passes a mediaeval castle and lighthouse and follows the coast along spectacular cliffs, overlooking the Cantabrian Sea. Reaching Guriezo, we continue on the main Camino to Rioseco, passing the Chapel of Santa Isabel, crossing the bridge over the River Aguera and on to the Church of La Magdalena. From Guriezo the Camino continues to Liendo where there are two route choices to Laredo; either crossing the valley and passing the Church of Nuestra Senora de Liendo in Hazas, or following paths up to the Chapel of St Julian. Laredo is a popular town reputed for its beautiful beaches, mediaeval quarter (Puebla Vieja), and lively seaside atmosphere.



11.2 km


The Camino continues from Laredo in the direction of Colindres (where it is possible to cross to Santona by boat). We continue by road, following Santoria’s Marshes. This marshland is of considerable importance to the migration and wintering of numerous aquatic birds from all over Europe. Although today’s walk is flat, the scenery is stimulating. Survey the coast and mountains as you continue towards Escalante.



29.8 km


From Escalante, the Camino continues via the beaches of Berria and Helgueras until reaching Noja. From there, the Camino heads south towards San Miguel de Meruelo, or an alternative Camino can be taken that continues north along the coast to pass through the town of Isla. Both Caminos converge in Bareyo where it is worth stopping to admire the beautiful Romanesque Church of Santa Maria. From the village of Somo, you can catch a ‘pedrenera’, a traditional boat used to connect the two sides of the bay.



12.7 km


During this stage, the Camino moves slightly inland and passes through typical Cantabiran towns such as Santa Cruz de Bezana, Mompia, and Boo de Pielagos. The estuary of Boo de Pielagos leads to the village of Arce, where you will stop for the night.



17.8 km


The Camino follows the pleasant, hilly landscape of the coast today. Coming to Miengo, we finally reach the Besaya region. Take your time while here to visit the charming little village of Suance. Passing meadows and sleepy villages, we eventually arrive in the mediaeval village of Santillana del Mar.



17.3 km


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.



22.8 km


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 species. The Camino next reaches the town of San Vicente de la Barquera. Finally, passing estuaries, green pastures, and forests, we arrive in Unquera.



23 km


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 la 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.



27.6 km


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 main towns. Then, the Camino continues downhill to the mediaeval 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.



19.8 km


The Camino continues uphill towards the village of Vega, at the foot of the impressive Monte Redondo. Reaching Vegas beach, we cross the Regatu del Acebu and climb to the charming village of Berbes. Then, the Camino goes downhill to the beach of El Arenal de Mons, where you can see the mouth of the River de los Romeros. After passing a well-known Knights Templar site and the Benedictine Monastery of Santiago (founded in the 11th Century), we arrive in Colunga.



17.2 km


From Colunga, the Camino continues along the valley of the river Llovones, passing small villages along the way. As we leave the valley the track leads uphill to the Cabanona Pass, where we can get superb views of the coast. The Camino continues downhill to Priesca, past the Church of San Salvador, which was consecrated in the year 921 AD. If the church is open, have a look at the paintings inside. Now, on the left bank of the river Sebrayu, the Camino follows the Nabla river valley to reach Villaviciosa.



25.3 km


From Villaviciosa, we follow the Camino until we reach the village of La Casquita. Here, we leave the coast taking the southern way of the Camino Norte. On the Camino, don’t miss the Church of San Juan de Amandi, and the marvellous Pre-Romanesque Church known as El Conventin. We cross the river Valdedio and continue to Camoca to the Alto La Campa, enjoying superb views over the Sariego Valley. We finally descend to Figares and continue walking towards La Carcabada until we come to Pola de Siero.



17.1 km


The Camino passes El Rayu, famous in the 18th Century for its ceramics, and we head towards Carbayal, Fonciello, Meres, and Granda. This area has a semi-urban character. Passing the small village of El Llugarin, we come to the mediaeval bridge of Colloto, entering Oviedo via Cerdeno and Calles de la Tenderina Alta and Baja.





After breakfast, we bid you farewell. In the Middle Ages, Oviedo was one of the most important pilgrimage sites on the Camino. Don’t miss the Cathedral of San Salvador and the relics and treasures in the Holy Chamber while you are here.

How to Get There

Getting to San Sebastian, Spain

It is best to fly to France (Biarritz or Paris) or Spain (Bilbao or Santander).

Fly into Biarritz, France

A number of airlines from Ireland, the UK and across European capital cities – including Ryanair, EasyJet and Air France (via Orly) – fly into Biarritz Airport.

The easiest way to get from Biarritz Airport into San Sebastian is to take a bus. From the airport, there is a direct line into the centre of San Sebastian.

    Fly into Paris, France

    Virtually all airlines fly to Paris from Ireland, the UK and across European capital cities. From Paris Airport, make your way to Paris Montparnasse train station. From there, you go to the border town of Hendaye, and then change for a train heading to San Sebastian.

      Fly into Bilbao, Spain

      You can fly from Bilbao to any of the following Spanish Airports: A Coruna, Alicante, Barcelona, Badajoz, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Jerez, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Santiago de Compostela, Seville, Tenerife, Valencia, and Vigo. European flights to Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Milan, Munich, Paris, and Stuttgart are also available.

      At the moment, EasyJet, Iberia/BA and Aer Lingus fly from the UK and Ireland to Bilbao. EasyJet offers daily flights from London Stansted Airport, Iberia/BA flies from Gatwick or Heathrow via Madrid and AerLingus operates out of Dublin. The bus from Bilbao Airport to San Sebastian takes 1 hour and 15 minute, and runs several times a day.

        Fly into Santander, Spain

        Ryanair is the only low-cost airline that currently offers direct flights to Santander. They offer flights from London Stansted, Dublin, Frankfurt, Milan, and Rome, as well as Reus and Madrid in Spain. Iberia offers a good selection of internal flights from Alicante, Barcelona, Gran Canaria, Malaga, Palma de Mallorca, Seville, and Valencia. Arriving at Santander Airport, make your way into the centre of the city.

        Then, you can catch a direct bus to San Sebastian, which will take 2 hours and 45 minutes. Altertnatively, you can catch a train to Bilbao and then change to another train bound for San Sebastian.

          Getting home from Oviedo, Spain

          It is best to fly out from Santander.

          Fly from Santander

          There is a bus from Oviedo directly to Santander Airport, and also a bus service to Santander city centre.

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            The Camino del Norte is a hilly route along the northern coastline, with a mixture of coastline, countryside and hills before moving inland to Oviedo.
            January Off season
            February Off season
            March Off season
            April Good time
            May Good time
            September Good time
            October Off season
            November Off season
            December Off season