Camino del Norte Full Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago

Activity:
Walking or Cycling
Duration:
Up to 38 Nights
Distance:
803 km
Difficulty:
Medium +
Tour Type:
Time To Go:
April to October
Price:
1 week from €695
Rating:

Full Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago

The Full Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago or the Northern Way, is a fantastic Camino de Santiago route along the Northern coast of ‘Green Spain’ from San Sebastián in the Basque Country, to Cantabria, Asturias, and finally Ribadeo in Galicia.

From Ribadeo, the Northern Camino heads inland, taking pilgrims across forests and farmland of rural Galicia on its way to Santiago de Compostela.

Pilgrims also have the option to take an alternative route from the city of Oviedo, where the Camino del Norte connects with the Camino Primitivo and then continues on to Santiago de Compostela.

The Camino del Norte Full Route starts in the chic seaside city of San Sebastián (Donostia in Basque), a real paradise for foodies: it is the city with the second-highest number of Michelin stars in the world. Following the coastline for most of the way, you will discover charming fishing villages, swim in beautiful sandy beaches, and taste delicious fresh seafood.

Feel inspired at the impressive Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao; stroll by the elegant royal palace by the sea in Santander; sample Asturias’s famous cider and step back in time in Mondoñedo, the former capital of the Kingdom of Galicia. If you have time, we recommend you take a trip to see Ribadeo’s impressive Cathedrals Beach. With 5 star reviews, you will be treated to a stunning walk across Northern Spain.

This Full Camino del Norte route is a medium to challenging Camino route and is recommended for hikers with previous hiking experience and a good level of fitness.

Click below to create your Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago. You can select your starting and ending point at any place along the Camino del Norte Full Route. You can walk or cycle.

Map of the Full Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago

Itinerary of the Full Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Santiago

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.

San Sebastián
San Sebastián
You arrive in San Sebastián.
20 km
Zarautz
Zarautz

San Sebastián (Donostia in Basque) is a stunning and chic seaside city, as well as a paradise for foodies. Stroll down the Playa de la Concha and treat yourself to one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants before you start your Camino! San Sebastián has 16 Michelin stars, the second highest number per square metre in the world (just after Tokyo).

After your night in San Sebastian, you will follow the Camino route as it leaves San Sebastian and the Bay of Biscay and travels along the coastline through beautiful pastures and gentle hills. You will see the Roman Church of San Martín de Tours before passing charming coastal villages. You will finish today in the beautiful seaside town of Zarautz. Make sure to try the local Txakolí wine.

23 km
Deba
Deba

After your night in Zarautz, you will move inland along a quiet rural road before arriving in Getaria with its lovely harbour. After Getaria, the path enters farmlands and passes the harbour town of Zumaia. Today’s section finishes in the lovely seaside village of Deba.

23 km
Markina
Markina

After spending the night in Deba, your Camino trail leaves the coastline for the last time (you will reach it again in Bilbao) as you will head for the mountains.  After crossing a river the path climbs quickly into an area of thick vegetation before it reaches the chapel of El Calvario. The narrow footpath (GR-121) passes through a number of charming villages on the way before reaching today’s destination: Markina.

23 km
Gernika
Gernika

After your night in Markina, the trail follows a quiet country lane, crossing the river in Bolibar before rising to the medieval monastery at Zenarruza. From here, the trail keeps climbing through sheltered woodland to the top of Gontzegarai and on to the hamlet of Gerrikaitz. After passing the Hermitage of Santiago a sharp descent leads to a small river and the historic town of Gernika, made famous by Picasso’s masterpiece.

21 km
Lezama
Lezama

After your night in Gernika, you will leave the town and soon pass the hermitage of Santa Luzia Zallo shortly before climbing towards a road (PR-173). From here, a cobbled path continues climbing to the village of Morga where you will begin a sharp descent through the hamlets of Goikoletxea and Larrabetzu and once again enter woodland before reaching today’s destination: Lezama.

15 km
Bilbao
Bilbao

After your night in Lezama, your path will take you through farmland to the town of Zamudio, the Roman church of San Martin and the Tower of Malpica. From here, there is a gradual climb to the top of Mount Avril, where your efforts will be rewarded with stunning views of Bilbao and the valley below. As you enter the suburbs of Bilbao you should visit the delightful Basilica of Our Lady of Begoña. Your walk reaches its final point in the Plaza de Unamuno, in the old quarter of Bilbao.

Bilbao (or Bilbo in Basque) has reinvented itself in the past 30 years, becoming host to some of the best art exhibitions in the country at the impressive Guggenheim Museum. Explore Bilbao’s old town with its quaint taverns and taste a few of the amazing ‘pintxos’!

10 km
Portugalete
Portugalete

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
Laredo
Laredo

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
Noja
Noja

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).
Although there is an alternative inland route, the coastal section is the most scenic and we highly recommend taking it.

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

27 km
Santander
Santander

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, we strongly encourage you to follow the coastline which is a slightly longer option (approx 2km longer) 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/).  The capital of Cantabria, Santander is an elegant city with plenty of beaches, parks, nature, architecture and great food.

20 km
Arce
Arce

The capital of Cantabria, Santander is an elegant city and fantastic place to add extra days if you wish to extend your trip or wish for a rest.  With plenty of beaches, parks, nature, architecture and great food. What more could you ask for?

After your night in Santander, your 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, finishing today in the small village of Arce.

27 km
Santillana del Mar
Santillana del Mar

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.

23 km
Comillas
Comillas

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’.

27 km
Unquera
Unquera

Today 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.

26 km
Llanes
Llanes

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.

30 km
Ribadesella
Ribadesella

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.

21 km
Colunga
Colunga

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).

17 km
Villaviciosa
Villaviciosa

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.

30 km
Gijón
Gijón

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.

25 km
Avilés
Avilés

Today’s trail takes you from the city of Gijón to the city of Avilés. You will be walking up Monte Areo, where you will be able to enjoy some nice views and see prehistoric dolmens. There aren’t many services along the way so bring a picnic!

28 km
El Pito
El Pito

Today you have quite a long day ahead but after you leave the outskirts of Avilés, you will reach interesting small towns. Your stop for the night is El Pito, home to interesting Renaissance gardens and grand palaces. Just down the hill, you can visit the picturesque fishing village of Cudillero.

32 km
Cadavedo
Cadavedo

Today, you will leave El Pito and its majestic residences behind. While part of the path is along roads today, you will follow many old paths and pass some stunning beaches and green countryside along the way. If you do not wish to complete the full stage (32km), you can walk until Ballota (25km) and book a taxi to take you to Cadavedo.

15 km
Luarca
Luarca

You will follow your path near the coast after Ballota. After Cadavedo, the trails heads inland but as you approach Luarca you will be able to spot the sea again. Your stop for the night is the pretty, traditional fishing town of Luarca. Enjoy some of the fresh seafood and a glass of cider!

22 km
Navia
Navia

Today you will follow a peaceful inland trail from the fishing town of Luarca to the busy market town of Navia, on the riverbank. Make sure you explore the town, check out the medieval walls and enjoy a taste of the local cuisine.

31 km
Ribadeo
Ribadeo

Today will be your last day following the Cantabrian coast. It is also quite a long walking day so you talk to our team if you’d like to book a rest day in the lively town of Ribadeo. You will cross the bridge of the Saints over the River Eo to enter Galicia and reach Ribadeo. The town is famous for the Cathedrals Beach (a short taxi ride away), Galicia’s second most visited site after Santiago’s ‘proper’ cathedral.

28 km
Lourenzá
Lourenzá

Today’s walk takes you inland from Ribadeo to the country town of Lourenzá, famous for its local beans. You will follow rural paths, climbing slightly as the terrain becomes gradually mountainous. You will pass small villages and hamlets but not many shops or services so make sure you pack snacks and water. You will be picked up to stay at a superb ‘country cottage’ property, 6km outside the village.

8 km
Mondonedo
Mondonedo

Today, you will be climbing from Lourenzá towards Mondoñedo, which used to be one of the seven capitals of the Kingdom of Galicia. You will get amazing views of the surrounding countryside. Make sure you explore Mondoñedo before you continue towards Abadín.

If you wish you can split the distance between Lourenza and Abadin by staying in Mondonedo.

17 km
Abadín
Abadín

Mondonedo is a town with a long and varied history. There are a number of interesting sights in the town, including the Sanctuary of Remedios and the Cathedral.

20 km
Vilalba
Vilalba

Today, the Camino del Norte meanders among the forests, farmland and green pastures of the ‘Terra Chá’ (Flat lands) leading you to the area’s capital, the market town of Vilalba. Vilalba is capital of the Terra Chá. Try the local delicacies, cheeses and other farm products before you head home!

20 km
Baamonde
Baamonde

From Vilalba, the Camino del Norte takes walkers through the heart of the Terra Chá region of Galicia. Forest paths, small farming villages and lush countryside make most of today’s peaceful walk. In Baamonde, you will be picked up and taken to your accommodation for the night, a fantastic rural property in Miraz.

15 km
Miraz
Miraz

You will get a transfer from your accommodation back to Baamonde. Check out the medieval St James Church (Igrexa de Santiago) in Baamonde before you continue your journey across rural Galicia, following the Camino del Norte. Today is quite an easy walking day.

26 km
Sobrado dos Monxes
Sobrado dos Monxes

From Miraz, you will continue on your Camino del Norte journey across rural Galicia. You will reach the highest point of the trail at Marcela, so take a few minutes to enjoy the views. Your destination is Sobrado dos Monxes, home to an impressive monastery. The monastery dates back to the 10th century originally, although the current facade is baroque. You will be picked up at the monastery and stay the night in Miraz.

22 km
Arzúa
Arzúa

This morning you will be taken back to Sobrado dos Monxes to continue your Camino journey. Today you will walk the last stretch of the Camino del Norte before it joins the most popular Camino trail, Camino Francés, in Arzúa. Prepare yourself to meet many pilgrims in this busy market town. Arzúa is famous for its local cheese so make sure you give it a try!

18 km
Pedrouzo
Pedrouzo

Today’s Camino walk will take you through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams most of the day. Make sure you visit the chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago. You will stay the night in the town of Pedrouzo (310m).

21 km
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela

Today is the last walking day of your Camino trip. Starting in the town of Pedrouzo. Your next point of interest is Lavacolla in the outskirts of Santiago, where pilgrims used to wash themselves in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line your journey to Monte do Gozo (‘Mount of Joy’ 368m) and it is from here that will catch your first glimpse of the Cathedral of Santiago. When you arrive in the city (264m, population 80,000), explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site architecture and delight in the wonderful atmosphere of this spiritual and cultural mecca. The cathedral has a pilgrim mass everyday at noon.Your tour of the Camino del Norte ends after breakfast. Explore the old town in Santiago de Compostela before you head home. Please ask the team if you’d like to stay additional nights, take a day tour of the historic centre or a day trips to Finisterre or the Cíes Islands.

Superior Collection includes complimentary spa in Santiago.

Accommodation

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.

Access

How to Get There

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

San Sebastián

San Sebastián Airport 20km: The way between the city centre (stop name: “Gipuzkoa plaza 10”) and the airport (approx. 20km) can be taken with a bus (line E21), see www.ekialdebus.net.

Bilbao Airport 95km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/public-transport.html  A good bus connection between Bilbao and San Sebastian exists (10 times/ day, 1h10-2h journey time). See www.movelia.es.

Santander Airport 190km: For the transport from/ to the airport, the easiest way is to choose the direct bus line (1-3 times/ day, 2h45-3h45), stop name in San Sebastian is “Estacion de Autobuses.
See www.movelia.es. Another option is to take 2 buses: One between San Sebastian and Santander (“Estacion de Autobuses”, 10 times/ day, approx. 3h travel time) and then between the city and the airport (every 30min, 15 min travel time). See www.spanish-airports.com for the airport shuttle and www.movelia.es for the bus route between San Sebastian and Santander.

Bilbao

Bilbao Airport 10km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/public-transport.html

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.

Santander

 

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

Bilbao Airport 110km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/public-transport.html

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

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

Gijon

Asturias Airport 42km: There are buses from Asturias airport to Gijón bus station every hour (taking 45min approx). See www.movelia.es.

Santander Airport 174km: There are three buses a day from Santander airport (www.alsa.es) to Gijón 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.

Vilalba

A Coruña Airport 57km: There is one bus connection (line 20) between Vilalba and A Coruña airport each day (taking 1h00-1h30). See: www.arriva.es.

Santiago de Compostela Airport 87km: The way from/ to the airport can be taken directly in 1h45 min by bus. Arriva Spain offers buses (line 13) between Vilalba and the airport departing twice a week. See www.arriva.es.

Vigo Airport 200km: Follow instructions to get to Santiago and then you can take a bus (3 times a day, just under 2 hours) to Vilalba. See: www.arriva.es.

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela Airport 11km: There is shuttle bus from Santiago city centre to the airport, departing every 30min. Bus stops are: city centre (Plaza de Galicia),  train station (Estación de Ferrocarril) and bus station (Estación de Autobuses). See: www.empresafreire.com.

Vigo Airport 90km: From Santiago you can take a train to Vigo Guixar (see www.renfe.com) or a bus to Travesia de Vigo (every hour). You should then take a city bus from Travesia de Vigo to Vigo Airport (every 30 min).

A Coruna Airport 70km: From Santiago you can take a train to A Coruña (30 min approximately) and then take a bus from Alfonso Molina (line 4051) to the airport (every 30 min, takes 20 min approximately). Monbus has services from Santiago to A Coruña Airport (every 3 hours), see monbus.es/en for details.

Porto Airport 210km: There is a direct bus connection between Santiago (Estación de Autobuses) and Porto airport once or twice a day (taking 4h or 6h resp.). See www.alsa.es.

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.

Jim, Australia - July
"I did the Camino del Norte (the northern way) from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela starting on 4 June & finishing on 5 July (including 2 rest/sightseeing days). My walk distance was approximately 740 Klm & a thoroughly fantastic experience. The northern way has magnificent coastal scenery as well as beautiful medieval towns along the route. Being a 64-year-old male (walking solo), I chose not to stay at the hostels but instead arranged my accommodation through Caminoways’s. Camino ways was terrific in assisting me to finalise my itinerary. The quality of accommodation they provided was excellent along my entire route & exceeded my expectations. I also appreciated that wherever practical, the accommodation was located in the centre of town, close to key attractions. Overall I would recommend the Camino as a should do experience & Caminoways as a great company to assist you to make it happen."
Sandra, UK - May
"This is my second Camino walk using Camino Ways. This year it was part of the Norte route and, as before Caminoways provide everything you could want, from the detailed map to luggage labels, but most of all, the really wonderful hotels they booked for us on the way and for our final stop in Finisterre. Thank you"
Janelle, Australia - May 2016
"Amazing experience - Camino from San Sebastian to Bilbao. Booking through CaminoWays.com was easy. The walk wasn't guided but the maps and information received were enough for us to navigate our own way with no problems. The bags were picked up and delivered with no problems. Most of the hotel accommodation was great. The walk was challenging in parts but was also a fulfilling experience. The scenery was amazing and varied, and the food was SO good. I would definitely recommend this holiday to others."
Claire
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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