Northern Way -

The Camino del Norte or Northern Way is also referred to as the "Ruta de la Costa". This Camino was used for centuries by Spanish pilgrims making their way along the magnificent coasts of the Basque region and Asturias to finally arrive in Santiago de Compostela.The Camino del Norte is a unique journey, favoured by many pilgrims.

This area of Spain combines the sea and mountains to spectacular visual display.

This Camino walk crosses some of the most spectacular scenery of the Northern Coast of Spain with superb cities like San Sebastian, Bilbao, Santander and Oviedo.

Since 2006, we at Follow the Camino have invented new and innovative ways to walk the Northern Way. There are 4 manageable sections, each of them 6-7 days.

Walk the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Oviedo in 4 sections

Camino del Norte 1/4 - From San Sebastian to Bilbao

Day 1- San Sebastian
You will be booked into a hotel in the heart of the town. The rooms are en-suite.

Day 2- From San Sebastian to Getaria (26km, 7h30)
Leaving San Sebastian and the magnificent Bay of Biscay, the Camino follows the beautiful coastline along grassy fields on rolling hills. First, we find the Roman Church of San Martin de Tours, then we pass through ancient whaling villages. Finally, we arrive in the picturesque village of Getaria, perched on a rock above a small harbour.

Day 3- From Getaria to Deba (17km, 6h30)
The Camino starts on a small country road, following the coast. Arriving in Zarautz, we take a small footpath into farmland. Passing the church of Santa Maria la Real and the village of Juan Sebastian Elcano, we continue our stroll to the coast. The last stop is the pleasant coastal resort of Deba.

Day 4- From Deba to Markina (20km, 5h)
Today we abandon the sea for more mountainous landscapes and we won?t see it again until Bilbao. The Camino crosses a river and starts climbing steeply into dense vegetation, until it reaches the Hermitage of El Calvario. From here, we will follow a narrow footpath (GR-121) passing through many hamlets. Finally, the Camino goes steeply downhill to Markina, a village with strong Basque traditions.

Day 5- Markina to Gernika (25km, 7h15)
Leaving Markina, the Camino follows a country road and crosses the river in Bolivar (28 km). It ascends to the medieval monastery of Cenarruza. Leaving the monastery, we take a path into a dense forest, to the top of Gontzegarai, and onwards to the village of Gerikaitz. At the Hermitage of Santiago, a steep footpath leads downhill to a creek and finally to Gernika.

Day 6- From Gernika to Lezama (24km, 6h30)
The Camino leaves Gernika by the hermitage of Santa Luzia Zallo. Shortly after, we start a climb to reach a road (PR-173), and then a cobbled path leads to the the top of the village of Morga. Here, we leave the farmland and enter a forest, following a steep descent to the traditional villages of Goikoletxea, Larrabetzu and finally, Lezama.

Day 7- From Lezama to Bilbao (12km, 3h30)
This is a relatively short stage across farmland. First we pass Zamudio and the interesting Roman church of San Maarten. The Tower of Malpica is visible above us. Slowly climbing to reach the summit of Mount Avril, we are rewarded with spectacular views of Bilbao and the valley below. On arrival in the suburbs of Bilbao, don?t forget to visit the beautiful Basilica of Our Lady of Bego?. Finally, we come to Place de Unamuno, in the old quarter of Bilbao.

Day 8- Bilbao. End of the Camino
After breakfast we bid you farewell.

FROM: €662



Camino del Norte 2/4 - From Bilbao to Santander

Day 1- Bilbao
You will be booked into a hotel in the heart of Bilbao. The rooms are en-suite.

Day 2- From Bilbao to Portugalete (18km, 3h)
First, a relatively short stage, going through the old industrialised 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 deep breath before the steep ascent to the town of Barakaldo. Following a footpath along the Galindo River, we arrive in Portugalete.

Day 3- From Portugalete to Castro Urdiales (28km, 7h30)
What a wonderful section! The Camino now leaves the coast, ascending to Ota?es 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 medieval and modern architecture.

Day 4- From Castro Urdiales to Laredo (25km, 7h)
Today, the Camino passes a medieval castle/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, and finally to Laredo. Laredo is a popular town reputed for its beautiful beaches, medieval quarter (Puebla Vieja) and lively atmosphere.

Day 5- From Laredo to Escalante (16km, 3h30)
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. Although today's walk is flat, the scenery is exciting. Survey the coast and mountains as you continue towards Escalante.

Day 6- From Escalante to Santander (27km, 7h30)
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.

Day 7- Santander. End of the Camino
After breakfast we bid you farewell.

FROM: €596



Camino del Norte 3/4 - From Santander to Ribadesella

Day 1- Santander
You will be booked into a hotel in the heart of Santander. The rooms are en-suite.

Day 2- From Santander to Arce (20km, 3h30)
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.

Day 3 - From Arce to Santillana del Mar (27km, 7h30)
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.

Day 4- From Santillana del Mar to Comillas (23km, 6h45)
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.

Day 5- From Comillas to Unquera (27km, 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.

Day 6- From Unquera to Llanes (25km, 7h)
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.

Day 7- From Llanes to Ribadesella (29km, 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.

Day 8- Ribadesella.End of the Camino
After breakfast, we bid you farewell

FROM: €673



Camino del Norte 4/4 - From Ribadesella to Oviedo

Day 1- Ribadesella

You will be booked into a hotel in the heart of Ribadesella. The rooms are en-suite.

Day 2- From Ribadesella to Colunga (21km,5h)
The Camino continues uphill towards the village of Vega, at the foot of the impressive Monte Redondu. 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 the mouth of the River de los Romeros can be seen. After passing a Templar site and the Benedictine Monastery of Santiago (founded in the 11th century), we arrive in Colunga.

Day 3- From Colunga to Villaviciosa (18km, 4h)
From Colunga, the Camino continues along the valley of the river Llovones, passing small villages. 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, consecrated in the year 921. If the church is opened 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.

Day 4- From Villaviciosa to Pola de Siero (28km, 7h30)
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. This alternative way allows us to visit Oviedo, and also to connect with the ?Camino Primitivo?, the Original way. On the Camino, don?t miss the Church of San Juan de Amandi (13th century), and the marvelous Pre-Romanesque Church known as El Conventin (9th century). 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.

Day 5- From Pola de Siero to Oviedo (17km, 3h45)
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 medieval bridge of Colloto, entering Oviedo via Cerdeno and Calles de la Tenderina Alta and Baja.
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.

Day 6- Oviedo. End of the Camino
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.

FROM: €639



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