Camino del Norte Camino del Norte Bilbao to Santander in 1 week

Walking or Cycling
6 Nights
109 km
Time To Go:
April to October
From €606

Camino del Norte Bilbao to Santander

This section of the Camino del Norte Bilbao to Santander on 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.

Hikes on this section of the Camino de Santiago are challenging with many climbs and longer hiking days of 29km. However, despite the challenge of the hikes, the scenery is stunningly beautiful and is really worth all the effort.

This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and the contrast of modernity and tradition gives the route a unique character and charm you won’t find anywhere else in Spain.

Along this section, there are many old churches and chapels for those interested in religious history to explore in addition to great medieval architecture.

Stops along the way include Portugalete, Castro Urdiales, Laredo, and Noja before arriving in Santander. Santander is full of dramatic scenery and a great laid-back atmosphere.

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 and stunning Spanish foods and wines. If this sounds good, this is definitely the tour for you!

Click below to create your Camino del Norte Bilbao to Santander. You can walk or cycle.

Map of the Camino del Norte Bilbao to Santander

Itinerary of the Camino del Norte Bilbao to Santander

This is the most popular itinerary, you may be able to combine or split the distance for each day. Click on get a quote to customize your trip.

You arrive in Bilbao.
10 km

After your night in Bilbao, you will resume following the Camino de Santaigo trail as it leaves 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.

29 km
Castro Urdiales
Castro Urdiales

After your night in 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.

29 km

After spending the night in Castro Urdiales, 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).

14 km

After your night in Laredo, your walk today will be mainly flat but with scenery that 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.

27 km

After your night in 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,  The capital of Cantabria, Santander is an elegant city with plenty of beaches, parks, nature, architecture and great food.


Standard Hotel & Guesthouse

We have hand-picked hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail. All rooms are en-suite with bathroom.

For our family packages, we have hand-picked establishments with outdoor space and swimming pools where possible. Where accommodation with private outdoor space is not available, we have selected comfortable hotels with spacious common areas as well as a convenient location close to recreational areas and sights. As your comfort is our priority, we try to book hotels located within walking distance of the Camino. Despite our effort, on rare occasions your accommodation can be located a few kilometers away from the trail, so we organise transportation to/from your accommodation.

Superior Collection

Stay in very special hotels and unique properties along the Camino.  We have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered. Rest assured when you select Superior Collection, you will enjoy the full experience of our best hotels and top guesthouses when and where this option is available, however, bear in mind, that sometimes due to location factors, only our choice of standard collection hotels and guesthouses may be available. All rooms are en-suite.


How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.


Bilbao Airport 10km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See

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


Santander Airport 10km: In Santander, there is a bus line (every 30min), linking the bus station with the airport. See:

Bilbao Airport 110km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See

Ferry Laredo-Santoña

Ferry Somo-Santander

Whats Included

  • Included: Selected accommodation with private bathrooms, Holiday Pack on your mobile phone (Route ebook and Google Maps) and a 24/7 support number providing assistance during your trip, for instance organising a support vehicle if needed. In 2021 we also offer a Free Postponement with every booking made
  • Not included: Flights, drinks, city tax, Travel Insurance (Recommended)
  • Optional: Luggage transfers (On by default. One bag up to 20kg per person), dinners (On by default, where available), bike rental (On by default) and airport transfers, etc…

Manage your trip online

Note on Accommodation: We aim to book you into each of the towns listed on the itinerary, however in case of low availability we may book you 2 nights in the same town with provided transfers. If you are booking Superior collection or Country cottages, please note it is subject to availability and therefore cannot be guaranteed. Superior/Country cottage accommodation may be away from the route with included transfers. More details.

Have questions? Read our FAQ pages.

Specialist: Claire
Customer Experience Director Claire hails from the lovely Midlands and spent some years living in Galway in the West of Ireland, where she completed a degree in languages. She ...
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