The Camino del Norte from Bilbao

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The Camino de Santiago from Bilbao

Distance: 100 Km

Duration: 7 days / 6 nights

Meals: Half Board or Only Breakfast

Accomodation: Hotels and Country Cottages

Price: From 499€ per person

Our Offical License as a Wholesale Agency (Tour-Operator) allows us to work without intermediaries.

The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) from Bilbao to Santander is part of the second section of the Camino del Norte (The Northern Way). Explore the old town of Bilbao, visit its impressive Guggenheim Museum, and try some delicious “pintxos” before heading for Santander along the coast.

In this section we will pass by picturesque coastal towns, beautiful sandy beaches and rocky coves. This area has spectacular natural beauty where modernity and tradition flawlessly complement each other.

This section of the Camino del Norte is known for its cuisine so be prepared for an unforgettable trip as you enjoy its incredible coastal scenery and many cultural experiences.







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Camino de Santiago Itinerary from Bilbao

1

Bilbao

You will start your Camino de Santiago trip in the city of Bilbao, where you can find the impressive Guggenheim Museum located on the banks of the Nervión River. Visit the museum, explore the old town and eat some “pintxos” in the cozy little taverns before you start off on your journey!

2

From Bilbao to Portugalete - 14km

The first day of this section begins with the shortest leg of the week, walking through the historic center of Bilbao. The trail crosses a suspension bridge and travels along a quiet route on the banks of the Cadagua River.

You will cross the famous Devil’s Bridge before arriving at the hermitage of Santa Águeda. After this, there is a steep uphill climb to the small town of Barakaldo before making your way to Portugalete on a route that follows along the banks of the Galindo River.

3

From Portugalete to Castro Urdiales - 27km

From Portugalete, the Camino continues to follow the beautiful rocky coast. In the village La Arena you will pass by a wonderful beach with fine red sand. There are a few steep climbs along this route heading towards Castro Urdiales.

Castro Urdiales has the perfect mix of modern and medieval architecture. Upon entering the city, you will walk by the bullring and be able to get a good view of the beach.

4

From Castro Urdiales to Laredo - 24km

On the fourth day, the Camino will take you along the stunning coastal cliffs of the Cantabrian Sea, past a medieval castle. You will also pass by the Chapel of Santa Isabel and the Church of La Magdalena on the way to Liendo. Here you are presented with two options for the remaining part of the walk to Laredo.

You can opt for the route that runs through the valley, passing the Church of Our Lady of Liendo in Hazas, or you can take the alternative route, going up to the hermitage of San Julián on the way to Laredo.

Laredo itself is famous for its magnificent beaches, energetic environment and its medieval neighborhood (Puebla Vieja). The town is very touristy, especially in the months of July and August, as many residents from the Basque Country have their second residence here.

5

From Laredo to Escalante - 16km

The route today is flat, although the scenery is fantastic. From Laredo you will make your way to Colindres, where you will have the option of crossing over to Santoña by boat. Before reaching Escalante, you will walk through the marshes of Santoña, a wildlife sanctuary that has been declared a Heritage Site of National Tourist Interest.

This area is used as a passage for migratory birds and is a winter shelter for many species. When you head towards Escalante, you will be able to enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and the coast.

6

From Escalante to Santander - 17km

On your last day on the Northern Way, you will walk along the beautiful beaches of Berria and Helgeras on the way to Noja. From here there are two options for you to choose from. The first takes you south to San Miguel de Meruelo, and the second heads north along the coast, passing through the town of Isla.

The two routes meet up in Bareyo, which is home to the magnificent Romanesque Church of Santa Maria. To get to your final destination of Santander, you can take a traditional boat called a “Pedreñera” across the bay, from the town of Somo (Cost: 2€)

7

Santander

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

Camino de Santiago Accommodations from Bilbao

Accommodation in hotels, country homes, guesthouses, traditional Galician homes and charming hostels.

All rooms have a private bathroom and all the necessary facilities to ensure your comfort. Our accommodations have been selected to guarantee your rest and relaxation so that you have a pleasant stay along the Camino de Santiago.

All of the accommodations that we offer are personally checked on-site by our team. We also double check them by referring to the opinions of our customers.

Since we work with quality accommodations that have limited capacity, the exact name of the accommodation will be provided 30 days before the start of the Camino de Santiago.

Camino de Santiago Services from Bilbao

INCLUDED SERVICES

Accommodation in hotels, traditional Galician homes, country homes, and charming hostels.

Rooms with private bathroom.

Meal plan of your choice.

Luggage transport between stages.

Complete itinerary of the route.

24 hours Telephone assistance on route.

Assistance vehicle in case of emergency.

Informative dossier on the Camino de Santiago.

VAT.

ADDITIONAL SERVICES

Additional single room: €138 per person.

Extra night in Santander: €55 per person.

Transfer from Bilbao (includes airport ) to Santander: €160.

Travel assistance insurance: €18 per person.

Cancellation insurance: €12 per person.

About the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

One of the possible routes on the Camino del Norte is the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander. It Is one of the most beautiful of all the possible alternatives of the Camino de Santiago.

Therefore, we want to give you all the information about it and at the same time invite you to know other routes with Santiago Ways. Among the information will be the number of kilometres of the Camino del Norte desde Bilbao and many points of interest. We hope that it helps.

Bilbao

Why choose the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander?

We want to start by giving you the main reasons to do the route of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander. It Is true that in the end, each pilgrim chooses according to their preferences. Therefore, we want to talk about what are the points in favour of this route ahead of others.

1.-You can take advantage to visit Bilbao: The itinerary proposed by Santiago Ways for this route starts from the city of Bilbao. It Is a city with great historical roots that today and thanks to its conversion has also become a city of great artistic, cultural and gastronomic vitality.

That is why it is a reason for starting our route from its streets. On them, you will be able to visit emblematic places like the Guggenheim Museum, its old town or this city's Cathedral of Santiago.

Bilbao

2.- Gastronomy: In addition to Bilbao, there are numerous sites along this route that can offer authentic gastronomic experiences.

In fact, this point is especially important for pilgrims, particularly when they start their journey and begin to appreciate the satisfaction of a good meal after the pilgrimage. Towns like Portugalete or Laredo are authentic gastronomic meccas.

3.-Good Infrastructure: There are routes that still have to be updated in terms of infrastructures, especially because of the lack of investment of the autonomous governments. However, in the case of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander the endowment in this direction is excellent.

There are good communications, good signposting and in general everything you need to be able to guarantee our provisions and rest. This is especially important for those people who make the Camino for the first time.

4.-Environment: With the environment of this Camino del Norte from Bilbao not only do we refer to the spectacular landscapes that will cross such as the valley to Laredo or the beaches of the same municipality.

We also refer to the wonderful urban sites we will visit. The town of Castro Urdiales (which we will talk about later among the points of interest) is a good example of this and reason enough to do this route.

5.-Climate: The Camino del Norte takes place to a large extent along the coast of Cantabria. This makes the influence of the sea on the whole area to be felt, making the temperature very pleasant throughout the year.

Mar Cantabrico

It is true that according to preferences, there may be someone who prefers one season or another. We will discuss this later in the best time of the year section to make the way.

Information about the route of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao

The Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander runs as a second section of the Camino del Norte. It Is, therefore, possible to follow it before or continue it once you arrive in Santander.

Catedral de Santiago en Bilbao

In its journey, it crosses beautiful and picturesque villages mostly dedicated to fishing. At the same time, it also travels through places of great natural beauty, mainly beaches and coves. It is living proof of the symbiosis between man and nature.

It has a total distance of 100 kilometres so it can be done in a few days. In this aspect, we will talk later although we can anticipate that it is one of the most interesting routes for those who start on the road.

Route of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

Maps of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander

Now we enclose the maps of the route from Bilbao to Santander on the Camino del Norte. They are of special importance to be able to plan the route and to know in advance what places we will visit. We hope they'll be helpful.

Bilbao - Portugalete

Mapa etapa de Bilbao a Portugalete

Map stage from Bilbao to Portugalete

Portugalete - Castro Urdiales

Mapa etapa de Portugalete a Castro Urdiales

Map stage from Portugalete to Castro Urdiales

Castro Urdiales - Laredo

Mapa etapa de Castro Urdiales a Laredo

Map stage from Castro Urdiales to Laredo

Laredo - Güemes

Mapa etapa de Laredo a Guemes

Map stage from Laredo to Guemes

Güemes - Santander

Mapa etapa de Guemes a Santander

Map stage from Guemes to Santander

Profiles of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander

In this part, we want to detail the profile of the different stages of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander. With this, we want you to get an idea of the difficulty of the layout, its slope and average altitude.

Bilbao - Portugalete

Perfil etapa de Bilbao a Portugalete

Profile stage from Bilbao to Portugalete

Portugalete - Castro Urdiales

Perfil etapa de Portugalete a Castro Urdiales

Profile stage from Portugalete to Castro Urdiales

Castro Urdiales - Laredo

Perfil etapa de Castro Urdiales a Laredo

Profile stage from Castro Urdiales to Laredo

Laredo - Güemes

Perfil etapa de Laredo a Guemes

Profile stage from Laredo to Guemes

Güemes - Santander

Perfil etapa de Guemes a Santander

Profile stage from Guemes to Santander

Stages on foot of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander

We will tell you now what are the stages that are faced on the Camino del Norte from Bilbao going on foot with Santiago Ways. We remind you that in some sections there are alternative stages and that we are open to any change you want to make in this direction.

Stage from Bilbao to Portugalete

Stage from Portugalete to Castro Urdiales

Stage from Castro Urdiales to Laredo

Stage from Laredo to Güemes

Stage from Güemes to Santander

How long does the Camino del Norte from Bilbao take?

As we have said, the Camino del Norte from Bilbao is an affordable and relatively short route compared to others. For this reason, it is ideal to make it during a holiday period such as Easter.

It has a total length of 100 kilometres spread over 7 different stages with its corresponding 6 nights in the best hotels with Santiago Ways.

Best time to do the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

Each pilgrim has a preference for what time they consider best to complete the Camino de Santiago. However, it is true that each of the routes has some peculiarities that make some better than others.

That is why we want to talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each of the seasons when making the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander.

Spring

Spring is a good time to complete the Camino de Santiago except for weather instability in terms of precipitation. We must bear in mind that we are in an area of Atlantic climate where we can see an increased risk of rainfall for that season.

Mar Camino del Norte

That Is why we must take special care to keep that in mind. On the other hand, the temperatures are mild thanks to the influence of the nearby sea: in fact, when passing along the coast all the seasons are mild because of the Cantabrian Sea.

Also, we must highlight that we pass through areas of abundant vegetation that during this time of the year shows a great explosion of colours ideal for nature lovers.

Another point is that during this season we can take advantage of Easter to carry out the route of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander lasting no more than 7 days.

Summer

Summer is the favourite time of many pilgrims. This is because in the north the temperatures are much milder than they are in the rest of the peninsula. It is also the time of year in which we have more free time.

However, on the other hand, the problem of overcrowding exists. There are many pilgrims who have the same idea and can become a problem with accommodation. This is no problem in the case of those who make their pilgrimage with Santiago Ways.

Likewise, it must be said that the Camino del Norte does not have as many pilgrims as the Camino Frances so this should not be a problem in that respect either.

Autumn

In autumn the risk of precipitation increases again. The months of September and October are good months to make the Camino de Santiago in general because we can still have more hours of sunshine in what remains of the summer and temperatures have not yet come down appreciably.

In spite of this, we will be accompanied by an increased risk of precipitation, so we must increase our planning. There are fewer vacancies although we have already said that with Santiago Ways this is never a problem.

Another point in favour of autumn is that it makes the whole landscape even more beautiful because it is full of deciduous vegetation. So, it prepares a great symphony of colours that in all probability will be unforgettable for us.

Winter

Winter could be said to be the season of the brave. The risk of precipitation increases and temperatures fall even further despite the influence of the sea.

The majority of lodging establishments close (not those that collaborate with Santiago Ways) However, the Christmas break is a good time for more and more pilgrims who decide to live these festivities in a different way.

Navidad en el Camino de Santiago

Guide to the places you cannot miss on the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

We want to offer you a selection of several emblematic places on the Camino del Norte from Bilbao. Among them are not only sites of historical, patrimonial and artistic interest.

We also wanted to include some recommended places to eat on your route and at the same time, the places where you will stay with Santiago Ways.

Places of interest

We will recommend some places that you cannot miss on this magnificent route and that will give you a clearly unforgettable souvenir.

Castro Urdiales

It Is one of the most spectacular points of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao. In this wonderful town, in addition to its old town, we must highlight its imposing 13th-century temple, one of the most important examples of Gothic style throughout Europe. We also recommend its pier and its beaches. A real marvel in the Province of Cantabria.

Castillo Faro de Santa An

Laredo

It is another of the spectacular places that we can visit on the Camino del Norte from Bilbao. Undoubtedly we can emphasize its quiet beach with spectacular views to a cliff. It is a place where we can lose ourselves and, of course, enjoy its gastronomy as will be detailed later.

Laredo

Escalante

A municipality located on our route just before arriving in Santander. It is a picturesque location with an irresistible charm. We recommend walking through the streets or if you can visit the Santoña Marshes Natural Park.

Parque Natural de las Marismas de Santona

Where to sleep – The best hotels

As we have said previously, with Santiago Ways you can stay in the best accommodation. These include hotels where they will offer you the treatment you deserve and the attention you need. Here's a sample of them.

Where to eat – The best restaurants

We also wanted to include some restaurant recommendations along the entire route that you should not miss to enjoy the best of the local cuisine.

Restaurante El Hule

Located in the Vizcaya town of Portugalete, this establishment offers a very friendly and family service with home cooking and very close to the Basque Country. A place to taste the best of your cuisine at a fairly affordable price.

Asador El Puerto

If you want to give yourself a good homage in Castro Urdiales, we recommend you visit this steakhouse where you can enjoy sea and mountain specialities, with the characteristic generosity of Cantabrian cuisine. Be prepared, because of course, it will leave your appetite satisfied.

Restaurante La Posada del Mar

This Establishment is one of the most famous in the city and is not for nothing: it has excellent views of the Port of Santander and, at the same time, the best of its cuisine brought from the sea and also the lad that it has closeby. An excellent place to drink after doing our Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander.

Restaurante La Posada del Mar

Origin of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

The Camino del Norte was a route that used to be taken in times when the Reconquista still did not control the northern part of Spain. It is for this reason that the pilgrims to get away from the conflict travelled on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela along the coast, much safer than through the interior.

As time went on, this route became lost, being eclipsed by the Camino Frances, something more practical. However, today the Camino del Norte is more alive than ever and is a more interesting alternative for many pilgrims.

The Camino del Norte from Bilbao with Santiago Ways

Ideal footwear for the Camino del Norte from Bilbao

Other sections of the Camino del Norte

Other users’ opinions about the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

We know that it is important to know the opinion of others before starting the Camino de Santiago in any of its variants. For this reason, we also want to give you the opinion of other pilgrims who have already made the Camino de Santiago with us so that you can learn and know about their own experiences.

Marion Tilley-Vyner
Marion Tilley-Vyner
Santiago Ways made it possible for me to do the pilgrimage. At 69 I did not like the idea of staying in a hostal, I like a bit of privacy and comfort! And I could not have done the walking while carrying my luggage. Adriana at Santiago Ways helped me work out my route and booked hotels and luggage transfers. Also, having them there in case I had any problems, was very reassuring. Adriana was only a phone call away. I recommend using Santiago Ways for anyone having doubts about doing the pilgrimage - they make it so much easier!
Tammy Shain
Tammy Shain
Vanessa was awesome and we loved Santiago Ways! We had a group of 8 college friends that were all around 50-years old. The deciding factor in choosing Santiago Ways was the group discount offered for groups of 6 or more. All other companies threshold for a discount was 10 people. Vanessa and the staff were awesome to work with throughout the process. We did the five day hike from Sarria to Santiago. We requested superior accommodations in places that were on the trail. The accommodations were top notch and 4 of the 5 places were directly on the trail. The exception was our night in Lavacolla in which we were .4 miles off the trail. It was our choice to stay in that location in order to have a shorter walk to Santiago on our final day so we could make the noon mass. We were pleasantly surprised at how clean each place was and they all had great bar and restaurant choices in close proximity - with the exception of Lavacolla so we recommend eating on-site - it was very good.
Sandi Frost Steensma
Sandi Frost Steensma
We had an excellent experience on the Camino with Santiago Ways. We had 14 women and everything was wonderful. We enjoyed the hotels, loved the daily luggage transport and the food was terrific. Santiago Ways communicated throughout our trip. We felt well-supported when we needed to make changes. Thank you!!
Beatriz Beltranena
Beatriz Beltranena
Santiago Ways is excellent they exceeded my expectations!! they do a great JOB and we had a "Buen Camino" in part thanks to them... lovely hotels.. flawless bag transfers and great great service!!! I would totally recommend them and please look for Vanessa she is the best.
Jan Schubert
Jan Schubert
My family and I used Santiago Ways to organize our recent pilgrimage from Lisbon to Porto. They did an excellent job booking us (as much as possible) into wonderful, small, family-run hotels and coping with the many changes dictated by "group" travel. In addition, one of us was traveling by bicycle whilst the rest were walking, necessitating even more planning which Santiago Ways did with patience and grace. We recommend using Santiago Ways for Camino support and planning!!! Jan Schubert
Jill Scher
Jill Scher
My family and I (6 of us) just finished walking the Lisbon to Porto section of the Camino Portuguese. It was a wonderful experience for us. The hotels we were booked into were well chosen and the food was great. We also found the path to be well marked making way finding fairly easy. A great relief as we had heard it was not well marked. Our luggage was efficiently transferred each day and everything ran very smoothly. Thank you Santiago Ways! We would definitely recommend your services to our friends. Jill
Kenneth E. Nowell
Kenneth E. Nowell
Santiago Ways made my memorable hike trouble-free. I had excellent hotels, tasty breakfasts, dependable baggage forwarding, informative advance information, and a dependable drive to deliver me to Sarria. I really appreciate their attention to detail!
Margo Gosia Barker
Margo Gosia Barker
We booked our El Camino with Santiago Ways and we were very lucky to have Silvia as our agent. She did a fantastic job organizing our trip, always promptly responding to our inquiries, impeccable English, all accommodations that she arranged for us were great, and our luggage was always delivered to the next location timely, before our arrivals to sites. I would definitely recommend Santiago Ways and ask for Silvia to be your representative.
Patricia Bazán
Patricia Bazán
This trip changed my life in ways I could not describe! I knew the hiking was going to be a challenge, but Santiago Ways made it so easy to plan and execute. They are truly the best and I am already planning my next trip with Santiago Ways and would not think of going anywhere else. Silvia Rivera was particularly helpful in the planning, as she answered all my questions patiently, and help me through the process. Great job, Guys, and I will see you next year!
Roberto Canto
Roberto Canto
Have just finished El Camino de Santiago from Sarria with the help of Santiago Ways. They have been extremely accesible from day one. The transfer of the luggage throught the five days was impecable, always finding the luggage in the room on every stage of the way. The food and lodging was very acceptable. If I were to do it again I would not hesitate to contact them once more for their assistance! "Buen camino".
Edmee Flores
Edmee Flores
Our experience with Santiago Ways was flawless. We highly recommend this outfit for your Santiago way experience. A perfect 10!
Barbara Melinska
Barbara Melinska
Very nice experience. Good and professional organization.Nice and friendly environment during the event. Recommended 100 %. Saludos para Jose 😉
Hanna Ringel
Hanna Ringel
Simply put - an incredible experience! This agency looks after every last detail. I walked the last 100 km of the Camino with their help and I definitely want to go back soon and do a longer part of the route. When that happens (which I hope is soon) I'll definitely be using Santiago Ways again! Thanks for everything.
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Photos and videos of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander

Finally, we leave some pictures and videos of the Camino del Norte from Bilbao to Santander to see for yourself all that awaits you on this wonderful adventure.

The Camino de Santiago with Santiago Ways

Other Caminos de Santiago

Here you can see all the stages of the Camino de Santiago.

In Santiago Ways, we will advise you on which route of the Camino de Santiago is the best fit for you.

Other ways to complete The Camino de Santiago

The quietest Caminos de Santiago

The Camino de Santiago from Bilbao
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