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Northern Way – Bilbao to Santander 2/5

Walking Section 2 of 5

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The second section of the Camino del Norte, the Northern Camino de Santiago, starts in the Basque city of Bilbao and finishes in the pretty coastal city of Santander, in Cantabria. This Camino route is full of Northern delights, as you will be walking in the Basque country, one of Spain’s foodie capitals. Explore the old town in Bilbao, visit its magnificent Guggenheim Museum and taste delicious ‘pintxos’ before you head West towards Santander following the coast. Along this section of the Camino del Norte you will pass lovely sandy beaches and craggy bays, stopping in quaint seaside towns for the night. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the contrast of modernity and tradition give the route a unique character and charm.The North coast in Spain is renowned for its cuisine so get ready to treat your palate to an unforgettable gastronomic Camino journey. This tour will delight you with amazing coastal scenery as well as cultural experiences.

VIEW OUR TOUR OPTIONS

  • Standard – 7 days/ 6 nights. Staying in our hand-picked accommodation.
  • Short Break – This 3-night tour starts in Laredo and finishes in gorgeous Santander. Walk two sections of the Northern Way along the Cantabrian coast.

Trip highlights

  • Feel inspired at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • Swim in Northern sandy beaches
  • Wander the medieval streets of Laredo
  • Relax by the sea in Santander's Magdalena Peninsula

1 Bilbao

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You will start your Camino de Santiago journey in the city of Bilbao (Bilbo in Basque), home to the stunning Guggenheim Museum along 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 Portugalete - 10km

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3h | +540m / -525m
The first day of the journey starts off with the shortest stage of the week, travelling through the historical part of Bilbao. The trail crosses a suspension bridge and travels along a peaceful route on 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 via a path along the banks of the Galindo River.

3 Portugalete to Castro Urdiales - 29km

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7h30 | +661m / -670m
From Portugalete, the Camino continues along the beautiful rocky coastline. At La Arena you will cross the wonderful beach of fine red sand. There are some steep little climbs as you hug the coast on your way to Castro Urdiales. Castro Urdiales has a good mix of modern and medieval architecture and as you enter the town you will pass the bullring and the beach.

4 Castro Urdiales to Laredo - 29km

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7h | +739m / -747m
On your fourth day, the Camino will take you along the breathtaking coastal cliffs of the Cantabrian Sea, passing a medieval castle/lighthouse along the way. You will also pass the Chapel of Santa Isabel and also the Church of La Magdalena on the way to Liendo. Here you are presented with 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 take the alternative route, climbing to the Chapel of San Julián on the way to Laredo. Laredo itself is famous for its magnificent beaches, energetic atmosphere and the medieval quarter (Puebla Vieja).

5 Laredo to Noja -14km

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3h30 | +116m / -101m
Today’s walk is mainly flat but the scenery is nonetheless fantastic.   From Laredo, get the ferry to Santoña, before continuing along the coastal path to Noja (14km).

Alternatively from Laredo you have the option to follow the inland route which is a bit more challenging (23km) but equally as beautiful. Pass through the towns of Colindres, Escalante and Barrio de Castillo where you can take in the beautiful views of the mountains and the coast before reaching Noja.

NB. If you wish to continue along the coastal trail to Noja it is important to take into account the ferry operating hours or any seasonal disruption before you leave Laredo which could impact the service and influence your choice of route.  www.excursionesmaritimas.com/horarios15.htm
Short Break: Laredo is also the starting point of our Northern Way Short Break.

6 Noja to Santander - 27km

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5h30 | +185m / -198m
From Noja you will continue to San Miguel de Meruelo. In Bareyo you will find the magnificent Romanesque Church of Santa María. From Galizano to Somo, you can either take a straight road into town (saving 2km) 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/)

7 Santander

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Santander is your final destination for this section of the Camino de Santiago on the Northern Way. The capital of Cantabria, Santander is an elegant city and fantastic place to relax for a couple of days after your walk: beaches, parks and nature, architecture and great food. What more could you ask for?

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.

Portugalete - 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.

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.

Escalante - 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.

Bilbao Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Santander Average Temperature & Rainfall

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Flying IN and OUT

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 Santander:
Best option: Santander airport (10km)
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.
Other option: Bilbao airport (110km)
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.

Transfers to and from Airport

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 Santander:
Best option: Santander airport (10km)
In Santander, there is a bus line (every 30min), linking the bus station with the airport. See: www.movelia.es
Other option: Bilbao airport (110km)
Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.bizkaia.net.

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

  • Walk from Bilbao to Santander and stay in our selected accommodation. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €801
    Double/Twin Room
    €644
  • Short Walking break on the Camino del Norte. Two walking days: from Laredo to Escalante and from Escalante to Santander. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €401
    Double/Twin Room
    €322

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
  • Holiday pack: inc. notes & map(s) & pilgrim passport, what to bring, useful information

We also offer

  • Airport Transfers, Hotel Upgrades (where available), Bike Rental