Itinerary Castro Urdiales - Laredo
Today we will travel 30.6 kilometres to complete the stage in Laredo. The surface on the stage is in good condition and the terrain along the route is quite simple.
The biggest slope we will face today will be 200 metres high, which we will climb along a distance of 2.5 kilometres.
Castro Urdiales (km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: Today's route is a long one, so take it easy and take advantage of the many urban areas that will come your way to stop in them. Remember that the goal is not to arrive, but to enjoy the route. Buen Camino!
We begin today's stage with the ascent to Campijo. Once at the top, we turn right, towards the campsite, passing under the Cantabrian highway. After the tunnel, we go to the right, crossing several houses in the Campijo district.
Shortly after we find a fork in the road, and the pilgrim path continues to the right, leaving the campsite on the other side. Following a track and a stretch of road, we arrive at Allendelagua, where we can visit a castle located on the slope of Mount San Antón.
At the entrance of the town, we pass next to the Church of San Marco (km. 1.8) and cross the town to descend next to the A-8 highway.
The pilgrim path runs parallel to the road, leaving aside the crossing to Saltizones (km 3). Later, it passes under the highway to climb to the centre of Cerdigo, a hamlet in Castro Urdiales, where, as soon as we enter, we find the Church of San Juan. After the visit, we descend to the centre of the town.
Cerdigo (km. 4,1).
Practical tips for this section: Just as sometimes we leave it to your choice whether to shorten a few kilometres following the road section instead of following the pilgrim route, on this stretch although you could continue along the national road until the end of the stage, we do not recommend it, since the N-634 road is not exactly a quiet one. Buen Camino!
We cross the N-634 road and then pass by the cemetery. The route travels north to approach the coast, after traversing a gate and vegetation tunnel. Various detours form a pleasant coastal path, with numerous gates, which leads us to Islares, passing at the entrance next to the village church (km. 7.3).
We continue along Calle Casal. The signs lead us next to the Arenillas campsite and by a dangerous stretch of the N-634 road, while we observe the Oriñón estuary. We could continue along the hard shoulder of the road to Laredo, but we recommend following the official route, even if the route is longer.
Upon reaching the viaduct, the pilgrim path leaves the road and ascends to Nocina, in the municipality of Guriezo (km. 11.6). From here we descend to the CA-151 road, and on its pedestrian lane we reach Rioseco, where on the hill, the presence of the monumental San Vicente de la Maza is clearly evident.
Rioseco (km. 13,4).
Practical tips for this section: After passing the A-8 highway viaduct, it is advisable to stop to contemplate the emerald green colour of the Liendo Valley and the beautiful landscape dotted with neighbourhoods and orchards. Buen Camino!
At the entrance of Rioseco, we turn 90 degrees on the left to head to Pomar. We find a fountain and a laundry room, and after crossing the stream, we continue on the right towards an urbanization and the Chapel of San Lorenzo. We continue and arrive at the Church of San Blas, in Revilla (km. 14.6).
Following a straight road, we reach the CA-520 road and continue to the right by a roundabout in El Puente. The pilgrim path continues ahead, towards Magdalena. But before we enter the centre, we must cross the River Agüera.
Just before reaching the church we leave the road on the right (km. 16,3) and take a small detour to Casa de la Riera, where the climb begins.
We enter a forest of eucalyptus via a path. Half an hour later, we leave the track on the right, which goes to Lugarejos (km. 18.7) and immediately complete the ascent.
We advance by a flat stretch dotted with gorse and heather, with La Peña de Las Abejas in front of us, and we begin the descent through a solitary landscape. We pass by, next to La Casa La Pavana (km. 21) and then under the viaduct of the A-8 highway.
After the viaduct, we go down on the right to Rocillo (km. 22.9). Then we cross the Sopeña area and then we reach Hazas, capital of the valley, where we find the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption.
Hazas (km. 24,5).
Practical tips for this section: The detour on the N-634 road that leads to Tarrueza involves going down to the centre of the village, then climbing those metres again and returning to the national road.
If you have no interest in visiting the village and you are not a purist, you can follow the national road to kilometre point 169, thus avoiding this descent and ascent that, for some, may seem absurd. Buen Camino!
We continue straight ahead along a road that, on the rise, links with the N-634 road, on which we continue to climb. The pilgrim signage diverts us off the national road, on the left, to go down to Tarrueza (km. 27.6).
After the centre, we go back up to the national road, and after kilometre point 169, we turn right, through La Arenosa to the La Torre bar-viewpoint, which has an excellent panoramic view.
After the viewpoint, we descend on the left by a lane, next to a crossroad. We cross the road, continue straight on to some stairs, which go down to the door of San Lorenzo or the La Calzada arch, access point to the Chapel of Espiritu Santo and Laredo.
By the street on the left, Calle San Francisco, we arrive at the convent of the same name, and from there, we enter the old town of Laredo.
Laredo (km. 30,6). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this pleasant fishing village you will find all kinds of services. See you tomorrow!
In Laredo you can enjoy a pleasant afternoon strolling through its old town, Puebla Vieja de Laredo, relaxing on the beach or visiting civil buildings or religious temples.
If you have any energy left, you may be encouraged to tour the Parque Natural de las Marismas de Santoña, where El Regatón beach is located, following a two-hour route. However, first thing tomorrow morning we will pass through this place.
In the village you can walk along the beautiful promenade and the fishing port, reaching La Salvé Beach, where you can bathe safely. If you prefer more tranquility, you can approach Aila beach, much less crowded, but with more swell.
If you are interested in civil architecture, you can take advantage of the afternoon to visit the Benito Zarauz Palace, Casa Vélez Cachupín, Casa Familiar del Mar, Palacio de Los Cuatro Témporas or the local market.
In the Atalaya, you can visit Fuerte del Rastrillar. The religious constructions of the Convent of San Francisco, the Chapel Espiritu Santo and the Church of Santa Maria de la Asunción, are also of interest.
What to do Castro Urdiales - Laredo
Below are details on the sights you can visit along today's route.
Castillo de Allendelagua
Allendelagua Castle is a ruined fortification on a rocky hill, which is not accessible by vehicle. Its construction dates back to the 14th and 15th centuries, from it, is preserved only the base of the walls, which are almost imperceptible among the huge rocks.
Regarding its construction, some legends attribute it to the Order of the Templars but some studies, based on its period of construction put such beliefs into doubt. The castle was declared a monument in 2002.
Iglesia de San Marcos
The Church of San Marco is located in Allendelagua. It is a simple temple of medieval origin, from the 15th century. The Gothic-style church consists of a single nave and inside houses a major Solomonic altarpiece from the 18th century.
Hours: Only open during hours of worship.
Iglesia de San Juan
The Church of San Juan is located in Cerdigo. It is a Romanesque temple, built in the 13th century. The church highlights the apse made of masonry and the moulded corbels without ornamentation and the belfry with two pointed windows.
The temple also has a tower house made of masonry and with a structure of three floors. Its balcony is bordered by padded pilasters and a split circular pediment, in Baroque style, on which is featured a shield held by lions.
Iglesia de San Martín
The Church of San Martín is located in the centre of Islares. The temple dates back to the 16th century and is of a late Gothic style. The construction is made of masonry and stone, although its exterior appearance has been considerably modified by various renovations in which its façade has been covered with lime and the corners of the temple have been fitted with ashlar.
The original structure of the church had three naves since the roof has two levels, which is especially appreciated on the west façade. The temple has a quadrangular bell tower, with the sections highlighted in masonry. In the last section, there are two half-point arch spans and between them is a clock.
Currently, the interior of the church is formed by a single nave that is accessed by a half-point arch, which presents a cross on its keystone. It is divided into two sections with arches in limestone block. On its right wall, you can see three horned ox eyes, which give luminosity to the interior of the temple.
At present, on the south façade, you can see a body, used as housing, that shelters the pilgrims doing the Camino de Santiago and that has been recently built. On the north side a small graveyard is located.
Iglesia de San Vicente de la Maza
The Church of San Vicente de la Maza is located in the village of Rioseco, on top of a small hill, surrounded by a lush holm oak wood. The temple has a complex construction history.
Its works began in the mid-16th century and lasted until the end of the 17th century, at which point many of the elements that give the temple its present appearance were completed. However, the portico was built in the 18th century.
Its architecture responds to the columnar churches that were constructed at the time mainly in the axis of the Basque Country, Navarra and La Rioja, although it also presents common elements that can be observed in churches of Burgos.
The most outstanding decoration on the outside is the Monumental Door, Baroque style, with classicist and mannerist elements.
The temple consists of a square floor of three naves of equal height. These are covered with star cross vaults, in which the central nave stands out for its complexity.
These rest on smooth circular pillars with ornate capitals with classic mouldings. One of the most interesting areas of the temple is its presbytery, which has an octagonal shape.
Ermita de San Blas
The Chapel of San Blas is located in the town of Revilla, in the municipality of Guriezo. Its date of construction is unknown, but it is known that in the 15th century it already existed. It is believed that originally the chapel was consecrated to the Virgin of Our Lady of the Palace.
The temple has a rectangular floor plan and its walls are made of masonry. The structure features a belfry in masonry, with only one span, and is covered by a gabled roof.
Inside, it houses altarpieces from the 18th century.
Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción
The Church of Our Lady of the Assumption is located in Hazas, the capital of the Liendo Valley. Its construction dates back to the 17th century and is in a renaissance style.
The temple presents three naves, divided into three sections each and rectangular apse. From the outside of the church stands the impressive portico of its south façade, with arcades and a half-point access door, topped by a niche and a beautiful bell tower.
From its interior, the interesting set of altarpieces stands out, among which stands the one located on the main altar, from the 17th century. The temple was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2002.
Laredo is a small fishing village in Cantabria, the capital of the municipality of the same name. The town has a population of almost 12,000 inhabitants.
Its area is of great tourist interest and is also the scene of various historical events. For example, Laredo was the military port of Castile and the only one enabled for expeditions to America, until Seville and Cadiz assumed this role.
The old town is known as Puebla Vieja de Laredo and consists of six streets full of monuments and the Arrabal. In the village you can walk along the beautiful promenade and the fishing port, reaching La Salvé beach. You can also visit Aila beach, but this one has much more sea swell.
As examples of civil architecture, you can visit Benito Zarauz Palace, Casa Vélez Cachupín, Casa Familiar del Mar, Palacio de Los Cuatro Témporas or the local market. In Atalaya, you can visit the Rastrillar Fort.
Also of interest are the religious constructions of the Convent of San Francisco, Chapel of Espiritu Santo and the Church of Santa Maria de la Asunción. In the vicinity of the town, you can visit the Marismas de Santoña National Park, where the El Regatón beach is located.
Palacio Benito Zarauz
The Benito Zarauz Palace is located in the town of Laredo, at the end of the Plazuela de Cachupín, from where the famous road to Castile departed from. In its architecture, the four arches made of ashlar stone stand out, in the porch, which constitutes the start of the Puerta Medieval de la Mar.
Casa Familiar de Mar
Casa Familiar de Mar is located in the heart of Laredo and dates back to the 17th century. The construction features an ashlar stone façade, with stone-footed and iron balustrades decorated with bronze balls.
The building has a superb coat of arms in which two sirens can be seen, in the upper corners, supported by lions who with their legs step on two busts of women. The coat of arms belongs to the surnames Mar, Arce, Libarona and Mantilla.
In the old days, the palace was located next to the River Bario, but it is now channelled and flows under the main road.
Capilla del Espíritu Santo
The Chapel of the Holy Spirit is located in a district of Laredo that bears the same name, next to the old town Hospital. Its construction dates from the 15th century and was constructed by order of Don García González de Escalante and his wife.
The exterior of the chapel has numerous elements of Baroque style, given its construction period. From the original building, the circular apse has been preserved, which encloses inside a mural of a sacred scene. The temple also highlights the small corbels that are under the roof composed in different reliefs.
Convento de San Francisco
The Convent of San Francisco is located within the walls of the town of Laredo. Its construction dates back to 1568 and is considered one of the most important classist buildings in the Cantabrian province.
It was originally founded by the Franciscan Order, but from 1883 to the present day, it has been inhabited by the Order of Trinitarian Mothers, which allocate some of the convent's outbuildings as the Museum of Sacred Art.
Inside, the main altarpiece of pre-Churrigueresque style stands out, in which you can appreciate, in its central part, a carving of San Francisco. The many chapels that are located around it do not go unnoticed, built by order of the noble families in the town, such as the Alvarado, Marroquines, and the Salazar families, among others.
Mass times: Working (19:00) and public holidays (10:00).
Edificio del Mercado de Laredo
The building of the Laredo Market was built in 1900 and has a modernist style, with eclectic influences inside, with a ceramic-based decoration of animal busts and representations of food. Currently, the building is being used as a market for supplies and it sells fruit, vegetables, fish and meat.
Palacio de los Cuatro Témporas
Palacio de Los Cuatro Témporas is located in Laredo. Its name is due to the four allegorical sculptures that represent the four seasons and preside over the main façade.
Its construction was carried out in the 19th century by order of Ramón de Carassa, a cattle breeder in the town. It is currently considered one of the most representative palaces of 19th-century popular architecture in the province.
Parque Natural de las Marismas de Santoña
The Santoña Marshes National Park is a natural environment that covers an area of more than 4,000 hectares. For its great ecological value, it is considered one of the most important natural areas in Spain, where more than 20,000 birds of 120 different species, small mammals and a unique flora inhabit the zone.
Spring and autumn are the best seasons for sighting seabirds, as it is the time when they complete their migration. Among the birds that can be admired in the marshes divers, herons, cormorants, ducks, spatulas, geese, waders, and gulls, all stand out, among others.
To appreciate the marshes it is best to do a route that runs over the levees of the Bengoa Marsh, north of the urban centre of Santoña, following a path that runs parallel to the C-629 road. The route lasts approximately two hours.
Hours: In summer, until September 15, Tuesday to Sunday (from 10:00 to 19:00). In winter, from Tuesday to Friday (from 10:00 to 17:30) and Saturday and Sunday (from 10:00 to 18:00). Closed on Mondays.
Aila Beach is located in Laredo. It is a small cove of 50 metres in length, formed by golden sand and rocks. The beach is very quiet, partly due to the strong sea swell.
Playa El Regatón
El Regatón beach is located in the interior of the Santoña Marshes Natural Park, near the Treto estuary. It has an area of approximately 2,300 metres and is composed mainly of fine sand.
The sandy area has a large dune system that has enormous ecological and landscape value. Since the beach is located in a protected area, it has hardly any equipment or services.
Playa La Salvé
La Salvé beach is located between the fishing and sports port and the promenade. The sandy area extends over 4,250 metres and is shaped in the form of a shell. The beach presents one of the largest dune systems in Cantabria.
The Laredo Fishing port is located in the centre of the village, at the beginning of Salvé Beach. Although fishing is not the main economic activity of Laredo, the visit to the fishing port will allow the visitor to get to know the life of the fishermen in the area.
The Laredo promenade runs parallel to Salvé Beach, over four kilometres. Along it, the visitor can enjoy a quiet walk where you will find various spaces, such as theme parks, gardens and viewpoints.
Iglesia de Santa María de la Asunción
The Church of Santa Maria de la Asunción was built around the 13th century thanks to the rewards given to the sailors of Laredo, after conquering several cities in the south.
Nevertheless, both the transept and the apse are from the 16th century and the side chapels from the 17th century. Subsequently, the tower was added, (nowadays disappeared), and the exterior archivolts and the belfry.
The classical Gothic temple is considered one of the best examples of this architectural style in Cantabria. The highlight of the church is the altarpiece in honour to the Virgin of Bethlehem, considered the best polychrome carving of the Flamenco style in the Cantabrian province.
Mass times: 11:00 and 12:00.
Fuerte del Rastrillar
The Rastrillar Fort is nestled in the Atalaya de Laredo, an extinct volcano from millions of years ago. Its role was mainly defensive, closing the bay at the entrance against possible enemy ships. The fort was in operation until the early 20th century.
The Tower of Fort Rastrillar houses a set of architectural remains that had military purposes, such as batteries, trenches, pavilions or powder kegs.
The environment has been rehabilitated since the late 1990s. Between 1863 and 1864 a tunnel was excavated through the Atalaya and during the Civil War, it served as a refuge for the inhabitants of the town.