Camino del Norte Short Break Camino del Norte Markina to Bilbao 4 days

Activity:
Walking or Cycling
Duration:
4 Nights
Distance:
59 km
Difficulty:
Medium +
Tour Type:
Self-Guided
Time To Go:
April to October
Price:
From €401
Rating:

Short Break Camino del Norte in the Basque Country

Walk part of one of the most popular sections of the Camino de Santiago on the Camino del Norte in the Basque Country. The Short Break Camino del Norte is from Markina to Bilbao over 4 days.

Take a break and walk from picturesque Markina to lively Bilbao immersing yourself into the green rolling hills of the Basque countryside in this short break of 59km spread into 3 walking stages.

Slow down to enjoy the architectural marvels of castle-looking churches some with over 1000 years and observe the farm animals like cows, horses, and donkeys that will infect you with their tranquillity. They definitely have a quiet life.

The Camino del Norte Basque Country route will take you across Gernika, eternalized by the famous “Gernika” painted by Picasso after the bombing that destroyed the city. You can see a replica of the painting made with tiles in the city centre and visit Museo de la Paz (Museum of Peace) where memories from the bombings can be seen.

Visit the tree of Guernika, an old oak that symbolizes the traditional freedoms of the Biscayan people as well as Casa de Juntas where the politicians would gather to decide the future of the region.

After leaving Guernika you will then have a stop in Lezama before the last push to Bilbao, a historic city with a modern vibe where you can visit the impressive Guggenheim Museum and Puppy, the giant dog made with flowers.

Wander around the streets of Castro Viejo (old town) to fall in love with the beautiful colourful houses and then stop in the main square where plenty of cafes and restaurant invite for a lazy sunset trying the endless variety of “pintxos” all prepared with local delicacies, along with some basque cider.

This stretch of the Camino is classed as moderate to challenging. Make sure to do some walking and fitness preparation in advance to make the most of your trip.

Click below to create your Short Break Camino del Norte, Walking or cycling.

Map of Short Break Camino del Norte in the Basque Country

Itinerary of Short Break Camino del Norte in the Basque Country

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.

Markina
Markina
You arrive in 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’!

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.

Irun

San Sebastián Airport 3km: There is a bus from the airport to the town centre (every 15 minutes, taking 7 minutes) www.lurraldebus.eus

Biarritz Airport 30km: Take the shuttle bus from the airport to the main train station in Biarritz (7 minutes). From here you can take a train directly to Irun (many times a day, taking about 30 minutes).

Bilbao Airport 120km: 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. From San Sebastian city centre you can take a bus or train directly to Irun (many trains and buses every day, each taking about 30 minutes).

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. From San Sebastian city centre you can take a bus or train directly to Irun (many trains and buses every day, each taking about 30 minutes).

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.

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.

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"
Peter, Ireland - August 2016
"Northern Way. Extremely well organised and easy to follow. Stunning views and challenging tracks. Would strongly recommend."
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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