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 of daily life. 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 the countryside and forests, passing by small sleepy villages that cling to a bygone way of living a quiet and simple life.
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 the coast 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.
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 strong and dominating single spire. In Bilbao the Cathedral of Santiago despite being built in the 14th and 15th century only became a Cathedral in 1950 and as the name eludes 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 may Cathedrals the interior is relatively small and simple in style 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.