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Northern Way – Santander to Gijon 3/5

Walking Section 3 of 5

  • Northern Way - Cycling-santander-caminoways.com
  • northernway-caminoways-santillana-del-mar
  • Northern Way - Section 3-comillas-caminoways.com
  • northernway-caminoways-llanes
  • northernway-caminoways-to-ribadesella
  • Northern Way - Section 4-ribadesella-caminoways.com

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This section of the Camino del Norte, the Northern Way route of the Camino de Santiago, starts in the elegant coastal city of Santander and takes walkers across lovely seaside towns in Cantabria and Asturias, such as Santillana del Mar and Ribadesella, before finishing in Gijón.The mountains of the North provide a spectacular contrast to the picturesque coastline and charming villages. Northern Spain, also known as ‘Green Spain’, is renowned for its cuisine and along this Camino de Santiago walk you will be able to indulge in superb fresh seafood and local produce, as well as tasting the traditional cider of Asturias.You can choose to finish in Gijon, on the Northern Way, or take the path to Oviedo, where you can join the Original Way, also known as the Camino Primitivo. This section is classed as moderate so a reasonable level of fitness is required. The Northern Way is the perfect Camino if you are looking for great scenery, a coastal trail and authentic cultural and gastronomic experiences.

VIEW OUR TOUR OPTIONS

  • Standard:
    • 11 days/ 10 Nights. From Santander to Gijon, on the Camino del Norte. Stay in our hand-picked accommodation.
    • 12 days/ 11 Nights. This Camino de Santiago tour starts in Santander and takes an alternative route to Oviedo, where you can join the Original Way. Stay in our hand-picked accommodation.

Trip highlights

  • Relax by the sea in Santander's Madgalena Peninsula
  • Discover charming seaside towns
  • Walk along the heart of 'Green Spain'
  • Feel refreshed with a sip of Asturias natural cider

1 Santander

Northern Way - Cycling-santander-caminoways.com

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

2 Santander to Arce - 20km

Northern Way - Section 2 -santander-caminoways.com

3h30 | +229m / -231m
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.

3 Arce to Santillana del Mar - 27km

northernway-caminoways-santillana-del-mar

7h30 | +528m / -451m
Today’s walk on 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 walk through lovely meadows and tranquil villages on your way.

4 Santillana del Mar to Comillas - 23km

Northern Way - Section 3-comillas-caminoways.com

6h45 | 518m / -587m
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 most especially the ‘Capricho de Gaudí’.

5 Comillas to Unquera - 27km

northernway-caminoways-puente-san-vicente

7h30 | +564m / -602m
On day 5, you will continue 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, molluscs and fish. From here the Camino del Norte heads for Colombres through green fields and woodland, passing the town of San Vicente de la Barquera and a number of small estuaries.

6 Unquera to Llanes - 26km

northernway-caminoways-llanes

7h | +373m / -366m
Upon leaving Unquera you will enter Asturias, crossing a bridge over the river Deva into Bustio. The pretty town of Colombres is home to several impressive ‘Casas de Indianos‘ built by local emigrants who made fortune in America. From Colombres, you will descend along the Sierra de la Borbolla. The Camino then enters 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.

7 Llanes to Ribadesella - 30km

northernway-caminoways-to-ribadesella

8h | +451m / -440m
The first part of today’s stage travels 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 Ribadesella, a nice little town worth exploring: divided in two by the bridge, the East side is home to the charming medieval old town, while the West side has a gorgeous beach and the town’s famous Tito Bustillo cave, home to ancient cave art. Book early if you want to visit the caves, as they have a maximum number of visitors allowed per day.

8 Ribadesella to Colunga - 21km

Northern Way - Section 4-ribadesella-caminoways.com

6h | +320m / -300m

From the lively seaside town of Ribadesella, you will head inland briefly towards San Esteban, and then return to the coast, where you will pass exceptional sandy beaches. Your stop for the night is the bustling market town of Colunga (San Cristóbal).

9 Colunga to Villaviciosa - 17km

beach-camino-del-norte-caminoways

5h | +330m / -320m

Today is quite a short walking day. Starting from Colunga, you will pass many villages along the way. In Priesca, you should stop to check out the 10th Century Church of San Salvador, one of the oldest on the Camino de Santiago.

10 Villaviciosa to Gijón - 30km

Gijon-camino-del-norte-caminoways

7h | +620m / -640m

Today is one of the longest and most challenging days on the Camino del Norte, as you will walk up Alto de la Cruz. Most of today’s trail is in lush countryside and you will hit 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. 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.

Oviedo Alternative Route Villaviciosa to Pola de Siero - 28km

asturias-granary-camino-del-norte-caminoways

7h | +500m / -300

Today the Camino will split at Casquita: you need to follow the signs for Oviedo, where you will be able to join the Camino Primitivo. It will split again after Ambés: one option taking you to the Monastery of San Salvador in the valley, the other taking you through Arzabal, uphill. Both routes will rejoin and continue to your stop for the night: Pola de Siero.

Oviedo Alternative Route Pola de Siero to Oviedo - 17km

Oviedo-cyclists-camino-de-santiago-caminoways

5h | +80m /-100

Today you have a shorter walking day on your last stretch to Oviedo, where you can join the Camino Primitivo, the Camino de Santiago oldest route. The city of Oviedo has amazing architecture and monuments to visit. With plenty to do and see, make sure you take your time to explore the city.

11 Gijón

Gijon-camino-del-norte-seafront-caminowayst

Today, your Camino de Santiago walking adventure on the Camino del Norte comes to an end. Make sure you explore the city of Gijón, home to fantastic beaches, great gastronomy, 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.

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.

Arce - 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.

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.

Comillas - 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.

Llanes - 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.

Colunga - Standard

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.

Villaviciosa - Standard

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.

Gijon - Standard

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 guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered.

Santander Average Temperature & Rainfall

santander-average-temperature-caminowayssantander-average-rainfall-caminoways

Gijon Average Temperature & Rainfall

Gijon-temperature-average-Northern Way-Camino-Ways    Gijon-rainfall--average-Northern-Way-Camino-Ways

Flying IN and OUT

How to get to 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.
Alternative 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.
How to get back from Gijón:

Best option: Asturias airport (42km)
EasyJet serves some flights from/ to Asturias, e.g. London (Stansted) and Lisbon. Paris (Orly) is served directly by Vueling Airlines. Domestic flights from/ to Madrid or Barcelona are also available. See www.skyscanner.com.

Other option: Santander airport (174km)
Carrier Ryanair operates in Santander and serves flights, e.g., from/ to London (Stansted), Dublin, Edinburgh, Brussels, Frankfurt (Hahn), Paris (Beauvais), Milan (Bergamo), Rome (Ciampino) and Dusseldorf (Weeze). See www.skyscanner.com.

Transfers to and from Airport

How to get to 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
Alternative 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.
How to get back from Gijon:
Best option: Asturias airport (42km)
There are buses from Gijon (bus station) to Asturias airport every hour (taking 45min approx). See www.movelia.es.

Other option: Santander airport (174km)
There are three buses a day from Gijon to Santander airport (www.alsa.es) taking between 3h and 3h30. Alternatively, there are regular bus connections between Gijon and Santander (bus station) each day (taking from 2h to 4h). In Santander, there is a bus (every 30min), linking the bus station with the airport. See: www.movelia.es.

More Info on getting to Santander

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 Santander to Gijón. Stay in our hand-picked accommodation along the Camino del Norte. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €1410
    Double/Twin Room
    €1138
  • Walk from Santander to Oviedo (233km), starting point of the Original Way. Stay in our hand-picked accommodation along the Camino del Norte. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €1556
    Double/Twin Room
    €1257

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)