Today's stage involves the crossing to Santoña, which can be done in various ways: crossing the estuary by boat, by bus from Laredo or following the route through the interior, a long detour to Noja.
Those who do the Camino del Norte between mid-March and mid-December will surely opt for the boatcrossing, as it is a unique experience with wonderful views.
However, those who do the route in winter, and have to take public transport or travel inland, will also enjoy beautiful places.
Itinerary Laredo - Guemes
Today's route is 29.5 kilometres long, in the case of linking it with Santoña using the boat across the estuary.
The route does not involve many difficulties, except for the ascent to El Brusco, which begins with a sandy path that will exhaust us a little in the early hours of the morning.
Laredo (km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: From Laredo, there are two variants, along the coast and inland. If you do the Camino del Norte during the spring or summer, at the foot of the beach you can take a boat, which for 2 euros approximately, and be taken to Santoña, from there continue your route.
If, on the other hand, you do so between mid-December to mid-March, the boat is not operational and you will need to take the bus to get to Santoña or follow the route of the inland that runs through Colindres, Adal, Treto, Cicero, Gama and Escalante. Buen Camino!
From Laredo to Santoña there are two stretches. The coastal route, which crosses to Santoña by boat, or by bus if the route is done in winter, since the boat is not operational, and continues to Noja.
And the inland route, much longer, that crosses Colindres, Adal, Treto, Cicero, Gama and Escalante, to the confluence with the variant of the coastal route in Noja.
If we want to follow the coast, we can start the morning heading to the Plaza de la Constitución, where the Laredo Town Hall is located.
From there, we continue straight ahead along Calle López Seña, which leads to the promenade that runs parallel to the Salvé beach.
We can cross Salvé beach by the promenade or barefoot and walk along the sand. We reach Puntal de Santoña, at one end, and at the foot of the beach, we take the boat that leads us to Santoña.
If you want to follow the interior route, either because you like it more or because you do the route at a time when the boat is not operational, and you do not want to take the bus that links Laredo with Santoña, you should consult the observations section in our guide to see the route's description.
Santoña (km. 4,9).
Practical tips for this section: If you did not take advantage yesterday to visit the Santoña Reserve, today you will have the opportunity to do so again. The walk through the reservation lasts approximately 2 hours.
In this section, the route of the pilgrim path through the town of Santoña is unmarked but does not involve major problems. Buen Camino!
The entrance to Santoña implies entering the region of Trasmiera. We get off the boat and go straight ahead, crossing Plaza de la Concordia and following Calle Santander(km. 5.9). Without deviating, we continue along Calle Cervantes, crossing Plaza de San Antonio and we enter Calle del Mazanedo.
After the roundabout decorated by a sculpture of anchovies, which warns us of the town's specialization in anchovy production, we continue straight to the next roundabout, where we turn slightly to the right, by Calle de la Alameda, where we find a bicycle bike and the first yellow arrows.
Moving parallel to the marshes, we pass next to the El Dueso Penitentiary Centre, and head to the Berria beach. In this section, it is best to leave the avenue and advance along the beach to pass the El Brusco promontory.
Following a sandy path, we face the first part of the climb, then the terrain becomes more compact and with it, the climb becomes more bearable.
From the top (km. 10.1) we can enjoy spectacular views of the huge Trengadín beach. After another stretch of sand, we reach Noja. We go up to the town square, where the Church of St. Peter awaits us.
Noja (km. 14,2).
Practical tips for this section: In the urban stretch of Noja you will not find many signs, so you have to be attentive.Buen Camino!
We cross the square diagonally and leave it by Calle de los Cuadrillos. when we have reached number 6, we turn to the left and just then to the right, by Calle de la Valle.
At the next junction, we find a sign on a pole, which is easy to go unnoticed, that tells us to continue on the left.
Once we pass the football field, we turn 90 degrees to the right to enter the district of Cabanzo (km. 15,2). Here, we turn again 90 degrees, but to the left, and soon after to the right.
Following local tracks and roads, we pass under the CA-147 road and reach the area of San Pantaleón, in the town of Castillo Siete Villas, in the municipality of Arnuero.
Following the directions of the pilgrim’s way, we make several more turns and end up at the foot of the CA-141 road, which we cross, paying attention to the traffic.
We continue to the right and at the first junction, we turn left, to reach a square, where the hermitage of San Pantaleón is located.
We cross the districts of San Juan, La Pedrosa and arrive in the Castillo area, with its Church of San Pedro. The variant that comes from the interior converges here at this point (km. 18.6)
Barrio de Castillo (km. 18,6).
Practical tips for this section: In this section, we will also find little signage.
Keep in mind that at the exit onto the CA-447 road (km. 23,6), the pilgrim route continues to rise to the left, but after just a few metres, approximately 7 minutes later, is the Church of Santa María de Bareyo, considered a Romanesque jewel. Think about making a small diversion if you're interested in visiting it. Buen Camino!
In front of the apse of the Church of San Pedro, we turn right and 80 metres later, to the left. A gravel track and a stretch of tracks lead us to San Miguel de Meruelo, in the municipality of Meruelo. At the entrance of the village, we deviate to the right to the Monar district, avoiding the road.
From the top of the neighbourhood, we enjoy a good panoramic view of the valley irrigated by the River Campiazo and pass next to the Church of San Miguel (km. 21).
The CA-454 road cuts us off and we follow it to the right. At kilometre point 3, next to a marquee, we take a detour to the left and enter the district of Solorga, in San Miguel de Meruelo.
We then cross the River Campiazo over a beautiful bridge hidden among the vegetation. At the exit, we continue on the right by the La Venera path, which advances on a climb. We will find little signage on this road, but you have to reach the Chapel of San Roque and then exit on the CA-447 road (km. 23,6).
At this point, the pilgrim path continues to the left, going up along the road. We pass Camping Los Molinos and start the descent by the same paved road.
After kilometre point 3, we leave the road on the left and continue along Calle El Canton through which we cross the Villanueva area, in the town of Guemes, which belongs to the municipality of Bareyo (km. 26).
We continue along the La Moraza path and exit to the CA-455 road, which we cross and continue to the right, for a few metres, to leave it immediately on the left, reaching the El
Cagigal (or Quejigal) district by a detour, well signposted, we enter Güemes.
Guemes (km. 29,5). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Unfortunately, the pilgrim path leaves out the town of Ajo, in the municipality of Bareyo, located 4 kilometres from The town of Güemes.
Ajo has an impressive monumental set that is worth the visit if this afternoon you find yourself with the energy you can go towards the town to visit it. See you tomorrow!
It is a quiet village, where you will find a few sights, only the Chapel of St. Julian, the Church of St. Vincent Martyr and the Palace of Güemes.
However, if you want to do some sightseeing, you can get close to the neighbouring Ajo, which has an impressive monumental site, such as Casa Vélez de Hontanilla, Casona de Villanueva, the Convent of San Ildefonso, the Chapel of San Pedruco, the Church of San Martín Tours or the Casona Llabad Caminos, and with various natural environments of interest, such as Cabo de Ajo, La Ojerada or an archaeological park.
Those who do not wish to stay overnight in Güemes and want to follow the path, at the fork of the road, they must continue straight on, today we will stay here, enjoying the tranquillity.
Comments Laredo - Guemes
Here's some information to help you enjoy today's route. In the precautions section, you will find the description of the interior stretch, which will be the one you must follow if you complete theCamino del Norte between the middle of December and the beginning of March.
Precautions stage Laredo - Guemes
Today's journey does not involve great difficulties in terms of its terrain. The ascent to El Brusco, in the early morning, may be impressive, but it does not involve as much difficulty as it may seem when we approach it from the plains of Salvé beach.
The Santa Clara de Assisi company takes charge of offering the boat service that allows the passage between Laredo and Santoña.
The service is operational between mid-March and mid-December approximately, if you do the route on these approximate dates, the easiest thing is to check at your accommodation or contact the company to validate if the service is available.
St. Clare of Assisi phone number: 670 294 207 or 637 584 164
Today's stage is not very well signposted, especially between Noja and San Pantaleón. In this section, it is important to concentrate, so as not to end up getting lost.
If the boat service is not operational, you can take a bus to Santoña, if you want to take the route along the coast. Another option is to follow the historic interior section, which is longer as there is a detour.
To follow the interior route, you must go towards Laredo, by Avenida Duque de Ahumada, to the bus station. From there, following the signage, and along the Laredo road, you will reach Santolaja and then Colindres and Treto.
In this last town, you must pay attention at the exit, because, on that same road you must continue a few metres to take a detour, towards Santoña, and about three hundred metres later, turn back to the left, to reach the Cicero district.
Arriving at the Parish Church of San Pelayo, you have to take a paved track that will lead you to a dirt road which advances parallel to the motorway. At the end of it, you will find the Palace and the Chapel of Rugama, already in the district of La Bodega.
Along dirt roads, you will reach the village of Gama and soon after, Escalante, as they are very close to each other. In Escalante, you can continue along the asphalt to Noja or turn right, towards the Church of Santa Cruz.
If you decide to go by road you must continue by the CA-141 road, and later divert onto the road that leads to Noja. If you decide to visit the temple, you must continue to the left, to El Brusco, and then reach the beach at Noja, and from there go to the town centre, where both variants converge.
Food stage Laredo - Guemes
We suggest some of the regional dishes that you can taste on this stage of theCamino del Norte.
Anchovies from Santoña
Sorropotún (Tuna and Potato Stew)
Sobaos (Lemon sponge cakes)
Borono (Spiced Cornflour Black Pudding)
Corbatas de Unquera (Puff Pastry biscuits)
Frisuelos (Artesan pancakes)
Licor de orujo (Grape liquor)
What to do Laredo - Guemes
Along today's route, you will find various historical and cultural attractions. Here's some information on each of these points.
Santoña is the capital town of the municipality of the same name, although in the Middle Ages the town was known as Puerto de Santoña. The municipality has just over 11,000 inhabitants and a rich cultural and natural heritage.
In the surroundings of the Santoña marshes, there are beautiful beaches, almost unspoilt, given the protected environment that surrounds them. In the centre of the town, you can visit both religious architecture, such as the Church of Santa Maria de Puerto, as well as civil.
As an example of civil architecture, Los Palacios of Manzanedo, belonging to the Marquises of Chiloeches and the Casa Palacio de Castañeda stand out, as well as the forts of Napoleon, San. Martin and San Carlos.
Iglesia Santa María de Puerto
The Church of Santa Maria de Puerto is located in Santoña. Its name is due to the location of the town during the Middle Ages, or simply as Puerto de Santoña.
The current temple dates back to the 13th century, although its origins date back to an earlier monastery, from the mid-8th century. The construction has a proto-Gothic style and retains some remains of its old chancel, from the late 12th century.
Its structure consists of three naves, the central being the highest and widest, which opens to the other two naves by half-point arches, typical of the Romanesque tradition. The capitals maintain Romanesque features and show iconographic themes of paradise, hell, severed heads, wild boar hunting, etc.
The most outstanding Gothic elements are located on the vaulting. Inside, the church guards one of the most notable Flemish paintings in Spain, the altarpiece of St. Bartholomew. Also noteworthy is the main altarpiece, from the 16th century, and the altarpiece of San Pedro, from the beginning of the 17th.
Fuerte de Napoleón y Penal del Dueso
Napoleon's Fort is located in Santoña, in the El Dueso district, and is also known as the Fort of Mazo or Imperial. The original construction was ordered and directed by Napoleon himself, in 1812.
The fortress was strategically laid, dominating all points to the north and west, in order to avoid any attack, either through Berria beach or through a land invasion.
The building had a barracks for more than a hundred soldiers and a supply warehouse. Its construction required a large investment and required to dismantle part of the rock on which the fort was located. In 1870, it was partially renovated.
At the beginning of the 20th century, this land belonged to the Ministry of War and was known as Fort and Plaza de Armas de Dueso. Subsequently, it was used as a prison.
Initially, it only took inmates from African prisons and the old Dársena prison. From the 21st century onwards, it was transformed into a detention centre for ordinary prisoners.
Fuerte de San Martín
San Martín Fort is located in the town of Santoña. Its construction was carried out in the early 17th century, but in the following two centuries it underwent several renovations that ended up turning it into an imposing fortification.
The fort is 2,700 square metres in size and is shaped like a horseshoe. In its structure has two firing areas housed and an upper terrace, where cannons and howitzers are located. The construction is classified as a site of Cultural Interest.
Fuerte de San Carlos
The Fort of San Carlos is the oldest in the town of Santoña. Its construction dates back to the 17th century and was made with earth and wood. The site of the fort is located in a watchtower, which before its construction, served as coastal surveillance.
At the same time in the 17th century, the village decided to replace the battery with a stone one, at which time the fort was named San Carlos, in homage to King Charles II.
During the following two centuries, it was remodelled on several occasions, becoming an important stone fort, essential for the defence of the town.
In its structure, it had a huge barracks, several storage buildings, a battery, similar to that of San Martin, a small square of arms and a total of 37 guns. In 1992, it was listed as a site of Cultural Interest.
Palacio de Manzanedo
Manzanedo Palace is located in Santoña. It is a construction dating from the 19th century, built by Juan Manuel de Manzanedo González, an Indian from Cuba who became rich in this island, through trading.
The building was provided by the architect Antonio Ruiz de Salces. The property is composed of two structures, the palace and the garages. The palace has a prismatic body in neoclassical style and is made of plastered masonry. On its base, in the corners and on the vanes you can see the masonry work.
Palacio de los Marqueses de Chiloeches
The Palacio de los Marqueses de Chiloeches, in Santoña, dates back to the 17th century and is baroque in style. The most striking thing about the construction is its impressive façade. The building has had various uses throughout its history.
For a time, it functioned as a military hospital, then, during the Civil War, as a prison, and in the post-war period, as a school. In 1977 it was declared a Historic-Artistic Monument.
Casa Palacio de Castañeda
Casa Palacio de Castañeda is located in the village of Santoña. The building was built in the early 20th century and has a neoclassical style, although its main façade has eclectic architectural elements. The construction consists of a house and the turret.
Iglesia de San Pedro
The Church of San Pedro is located in the centre of the town of Noja. The temple dates back to 1084, although it has undergone numerous renovations throughout history. At the end of the 16th century some of its chapels were added and a century later the tower was erected that can be seen today from any point of the town.
Its structure consists of three naves and topped with the chancel. Below it, is the main altarpiece that houses the carving of San Pedro, which is surrounded by the images of San Celedonio and San Emeterio.
Mass times: From July 1st to August 31st, work and eve (20:30) and public holidays (9:00, 11:30 and 20:30). From 1 September to 30 June, Thursday, Friday and eve (19:00) and public holidays (10:45).
Casona de los Marqueses de Albaicín
The house of the Marqueses of Albaicín is located in the village of Noja. The construction was carried out in 1916 and is the work of Leonardo Rucabado. The building was built on an old Baroque house and mixes various styles such as mountain and eclectic.
The mountain style is typical of the hall, the shield, the overhanging eaves, etc. While ripped windows, galleries, etc. are much more eclectic.
Its masonry and brick walls, as well as the masonry work on the cornices, are typical of the Baroque. Finished with a pair of twin windows, the tower features a neo-Renaissance style.
Today, this small palace is used in summer, by the Noja City Council, for the promtion of various cultural activities.
Playa de Ris
Ris Beach is located in the municipality of Noja and has an area of approximately 2,200 metres. It is one of the busiest and windiest golden-sanded beaches in the area.
Playa de Trengandín
Trengandín beach is located in the village of Noja and has an extension of approximately six kilometres, being one of the longest sanded areas in Cantabria. The landscape of the beach is of great beauty and when the tide goes down you able to see large rocks.
Iglesia de Santa María
The Church of Santa Maria is located before entering the town of Bareyo. The Romanesque-style temple dates from the late 12th century, on to the early 13th century, although throughout history it has undergone various renovations, so of its original Romanesque style, only the apse and the lantern are preserved.
The apse is separated by two columns and a double-headed moulding. Its cornice is ornate by balls and rests on corbels decorated with geometric figures and iconography.
The south and central windows of the apse are adorned with diamond-tipped protection. The interior of the apse has two bodies with half-point arches and pointed semi-dome.
The lower floor is composed of five blind arches supported by ornate capitals with human heads. The upper floor consists of seven half-pointed arches, three of them cambered, on which you can see a caryatid representing a male figure.
Inside the church, a Romanesque baptismal font is preserved, in which the scene of two felines devouring a person is observed. In 1978, the temple was declared a site of Cultural Interest in 1978.
Hours: Closes on Mondays. From July to September, Tuesday to Sunday (from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 19:30).
Molino de la Venera
The Venera mill is located in the village of Bareyo. It is a mill built in 1987 that preserves, today, the original dam. Its construction was carried out in masonry and its structure is protected with a gabled tiled roof.
Güemes is a small town in the municipality of Bareyo, which has just over 300 inhabitants. The village is known for the beautiful valley that surrounds it. In the town, you can visit the Chapel of St. Julian, the Church of St. Vincent Martyr and the Güemes Palace.
Ermita de San Julián
The Chapel of San Julián is located in the village of Guemes, in the district of El Cajigal. It is a Romanesque temple, formed by a single nave, from which stand out the corbels that decorate the north façade of the temple.
In the old days, the chapel hosted pilgrims who followed the Camino de Santiago, but in the 19th century, the temple was abandoned. It is currently undergoing rehabilitation, with the idea of developing the building to accommodate a Dissemination of Information Centre for the Camino de Santiago.
Iglesia de San Vicente Mártir
The Church of San Vicente Mártir is located in the Güemes Valley. The Renaissance-style temple was built in 1677 by the sculptor Andrés de Monasterio.
Its structure consists of a single nave covered by a cross vault and features an attached side chapel. Inside, you can see the main altarpiece, in Baroque style, which houses the image of Our Lady of Carmen.
Palacio de Guemes
Güemes Palace is a regionalist house, built between 1915 and 1920. The building has elements typical of mountain houses. In the tower is you can see a shield with the weapons related to the Mazas surname.