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Northern Way Cycling – Bilbao to Gijon 1/2

Cycling Section 1 of 2

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  • Northern Way - Section 1-day3-caminoways.com
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  • Northern Way - Section 3-comillas-caminoways.com
  • Northern Way - Cycling-santander-caminoways.com
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  • Gijon-camino-del-norte-seafront-caminowayst

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Cycle the first half of the Camino del Norte, the Northern route of the Camino de Santiago, starting in the stunning coastal Basque city of Bilbao.The route travels West along the green hills of the Basque Coast, passing picturesque villages, beautiful sandy beaches and stunning bays. From the Basque Country you will head into Cantabria and then Asturias, where you will have a chance to admire the natural beauty, heritage and gastronomy of this part of ‘Green Spain’. The area is known for its exquisite cuisine so you are in for a foodie treat. You will finish your Camino by bike in Gijón, where you can treat yourself to a glass of the famous Asturias natural cider!

*We recommend cycling the Camino only if you have some cycling experience and if you have essential bike maintenance knowledge. Cycling the Camino de Santiago – How it Works.

Trip highlights

  • Get inspired at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • Discover charming seaside towns and sandy beaches
  • Feel refreshed with a sip of Asturias natural cider
  • Join the 'Original Way' in Oviedo

1 Bilbao

northernway-bilbao-caminoways.com

You will start your Camino de Santiago cycling trip in the city of Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque), home to the stunning Guggenheim Museum by the River Nervión. Visit the museum, explore the old town and taste a few ‘pintxos’ in the small cosy taverns before you get on your way!

2 Bilbao to Castro Urdiales - 39km

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4h30 | +465 / – 485
Today you will cycle from the historic town of Bilbao, cross the suspension bridge and continue by a peaceful route along the banks of the Cadagua River. You will cross the famous ‘Devils’s Bridge’ before arriving at the Hermitage of Santa Águeda. After this, there is a steep climb to the small town of Barakaldo before arriving in Portugalete following a path along the banks of the Galindo River. From Portugalete the Camino continues along the beautiful rocky coastline. At La Arena you will cross the wonderful red-sand beach. There are little climbs as you hug the coast on your way to Castro Urdiales. There was once a Templar castle in Castro Urdiales. Where the castle once stood, you will find a lighthouse.

3 Castro Urdiales to Laredo - 30km

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2h30 | +410 / -410
Castro Urdiales has a good mix of modern and medieval architecture. From here, the route continues along the breathtaking coastal cliffs of the Cantabrian Sea. At Liendo, you have two route options for the rest of the stage to Laredo: you can either take one route across the valley, passing the Church of Nuestra Senora de Liendo in Hazas or you can climb to the Chapel of St. Julian on the way to Laredo. Laredo is famous for its magnificent beaches, energetic atmosphere and the medieval quarter (Puebla Vieja).

4 Laredo to Santander - 43km

Northern Way - Cycling-santander-caminoways.com

5h | +566m / -574m
The first part of today’s cycle is flat but the scenery is nonetheless fantastic. From Laredo you have two alternatives: taking the coastal route, crossing to Santoña by boat (www.excursionesmaritimas.com/horarios.htm) or taking the inland route through Escalante and Santoña`s Marshes wildlife sanctuary and nature reserve. Both routes coastal and inland join again in Bareyo, where you will find the magnificent Romanesque Church of Santa María. From Galizano to Somo, you can either take a straight road into town (saving 5km) or follow the coastline which is a longer option but very scenic. To reach the final destination of Santander, you can take a traditional boat called ‘Pedreñera’ across the bay (saving you approximately 3.5km), from the village of Somo (Not included, 2Eur,www.losreginas.com/reginas/servicio.htm).

5 Santander to Santillana del Mar - 47km

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4h | +589m / -513m
From Santander the Camino heads inland through the towns of Santa Cruz de Bezana, Mompia and Boo de Piélagos. You will follow the estuary at Boo de Piélagos to the small village of Arce. From here the Camino hugs the beautiful, hilly landscape of the northern coast.
You will enter the Miengo region as you reach the town of Miengo. Suance is a beautiful little village and it would be well worth taking some time to explore. Your destination for today is the medieval village of Santillana del Mar. You will cycle through lovely meadows and tranquil villages on your way.

6 Santillana del Mar to Unquera - 50km

Northern Way - Section 3-comillas-caminoways.com

5h | +1006m / -1090m
From Santillana del Mar you will continue along the wild, rugged coastline of Cantabria. On your way to Comillas you will pass gorgeous little villages such as Cobreces with its Cistercian monastery. Comillas itself has fantastic beaches and incredible architecture. You should take some time to explore the sights in town such as the Pontifical University, the Palace of Sobrellano with its pantheon chapel and the ‘Capricho de Gaudí’.
You will then continue cycling along the coast to Oyambre Natural Park. The park is of huge importance for its wildlife and marine ecosystem, home to many species of bird, mollusks and fish. From here the Camino heads for Colombres through green fields and woodland, passing the town of San Vicente de la Barquera and a number of small estuaries. On leaving Unquera you will enter Asturias, crossing a bridge over the river Deva into Bustio.

7 Unquera to Ribadesella - 56km

Northern Way - Section 4-ribadesella-caminoways.com

5h | +881m / -888m
The pretty town of Colombres is home to several impressive ‘Casas de Indianos‘ built by local emigrants who made fortune in America. After Colombres, the Camino continues towards Pendueles along a narrow path that climbs to the Jorcada Pass after crossing the road to Andrín. After this there is another descent to La Portilla and today’s destination: Llanes, a lively town nestled between the coast and the Picos de Europa.

From Llanes, the Camino del Norte then continues along the coast and the fantastic beaches of Palombina and Barro. After crossing the river Niembro you will start the steady climb up to the Church of San Pedro de Pria. The church sits on top of a hill which overlooks the seven towns of the area. From here you will descend to the river Guadamía where you will cross the medieval stone bridge. You will pass through Sobares on your way to the town of Ribadesella, a lovely seaside town.

8 Ribadesella to Villaviciosa - 38km

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4h | +953m / -962m
From Ribadesella the trail moves up and over a hill to the village of Vega which sits at the foot of the towering Monte Redondu. Once you reach the beach in Vega you will traverse the Regatu del Acebu and make your way uphill to the lovely village of Berbes. From here the track descends to the coast at El Are-nal de Mons and the mouth of the river de Los Romeros. On the way to the town of Colunga you will pass a Templar site and the Benedictine Monastery of Santiago which was founded in the 11th century. After Colunga you will pass a number of pretty villages through the river Llovones valley. From here the Camino climbs to the Cabanona Pass which covers fantastic views of the coastline. The descent to Priesca passes the Church of San Salvador which was founded in 921AD and you should really take a moment to admire the paintings inside if it is open. The Camino follows the valley of the river Nabla to reach Villviciosa.

9 Villaviciosa to Gijón - 30km

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3h | +620m / -640m

Most of today’s trail passes inland through lush countryside before reaching the coast again at Gijón. At Casquita, there will be signs for pilgrims heading for Gijón and continuing on the Camino del Norte, but also signs for those pilgrims heading towards Oviedo to continue on the Camino Primitivo, the oldest Camino trail. Take your time to explore the city of Gijón, home to fantastic beaches, great gastronomy, history and heritage (including Roman baths) and where you will find the Bagpipe Museum.

Alternative Route: you can choose to finish in the city of Oviedo instead, if you’d like to join the Camino Primitivo there.

10 Gijón

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Today, your Camino de Santiago cycling adventure on the Camino del Norte comes to an end. Make sure you explore the city of Gijon, home to beautiful beaches, fantastic cuisine, history and heritage (including Roman baths) and where you will also find the Bagpipe Museum.

Hotels & country cottages have been carefully selected for their location, comfort, character, food, and friendliness of the staff. They are subject to availability and if the hotel described is not available, we will provide you with one of the same standard of comfort & price. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability.

Bilbao - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Castro Urdiales - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Laredo - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Santander - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Santillana del Mar - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Unquera - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Ribadesella - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Villaviciosa - Standard

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.

Gijon - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guest houses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guest houses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Oviedo - Standard / Superior

Standard: For our Standard Accommodation, we have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Camino de Santiago for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the Camino de Santiago trail.
Superior Collection: Stay in the best hotels on the Camino de Santiago: we have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Flying IN and OUT

How to get to Bilbao:
Best Option: Bilbao airport (10km)
Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.bizkaia.net.
Other option: Santander airport (100km)
For the transport from/ to the airport, the easiest way is to choose the direct bus line (starting point: Termibus) from/ to the airport (6 times/ day, approx. 1h30). See www.movelia.es.

How to get back from Oviedo: 

Best Option: Asturias airport (50km)
The way from/ to the airport can be taken directly in 45 min by bus. Alsa offers buses between Oviedo (starting point: bus station (Estación de Autobuses de Oviedo)) and the airport every hour. See www.alsa.es.
Alternative Option: Santander airport (190km)
There are 3 bus connections between Oviedo and Santander airport each day (taking 2h30-3h30). See: www.movelia.es.

Transfers to and from Airport

 

How to get to Bilbao:
Best Option: Bilbao airport (10km)
Bilbao is an international airport, connected with many cities all over Europe, e.g. London (Stansted, easyJet), Manchester (easyJet), Dublin (Aer Lingus), Paris (Orly, Vueling), Frankfurt (Lufthansa) or Lisbon (easyJet). See www.skyscanner.com.
Other option: Santander airport (100km)
Carrier Ryanair operates in Santander and serves flights, e.g., from/ to London (Stansted), Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt (Hahn), Paris (Beauvais), Milan (Ciampino) and Dusseldorf (Weeze). See www.skyscanner.com.

How to get back from Oviedo: 

Best Option: Asturias airport (50km)
EasyJet serves some flights from/ to Asturias, e.g. London (Stansted) or Lisbon. Paris (Orly) is served directly by Vueling Airlines. Domestic flights from/ to Madrid or Barcelona are also possible. See www.skyscanner.com.
Alternative Option: Santander airport (190km)
Carrier Ryanair flies from/ to Santander, e.g. from/ to London (Stansted), Dublin, Edinburgh, Frankfurt (Hahn), Paris (Beauvais), Milan (Ciampino) and Dusseldorf (Weeze). See www.skyscanner.com.

 

Ferry Laredo-Santoñawww.excursionesmaritimas.com/horarios.htm

Ferry Somo-Santanderwww.losreginas.com/reginas/servicio.htm

Please select from our available tours below and proceed to booking. Contact the team if you have any special requests.


Select your trip

1. Tour options - Select your trip type

  • Stay in our selected accommodation, all rooms en-suite. Bike rental also available. You can choose to finish in Gijón or Oviedo. Price per room

    Single Room
    €1077
    Double/Twin Room
    €904

2. Select Date

3. No. of rooms

  • Single (1 bed)
  • Twin Rooms (2 beds)
  • Double (1 large bed for 2)

What's Included

  • Luggage transfered from hotel to hotel
  • Rooms en-suite
  • Half Board (dinners included in smaller towns)
  • Holiday pack: inc. notes & map(s) & pilgrim passport, what to bring, useful information

We also offer

  • Airport Transfers, Hotel Upgrades (where available), bike rental