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Way of Saint James from Sarria in group with guide
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Days
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Hours
Camino del Norte
NT03

Way of Saint James from Bilbao to Santander

Distance
Difficulty
Stages
Duration
120 km
●●●○○
5 steps
7 days
from

795 €

Cliffs on the Northern Way
We welcome you to the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao. Walk with us from one of the main Basque capitals to Santander, a stately city considered one of the most beautiful on this route. Walk parallel to the Cantabrian coast and discover the fishing tradition, the millenary Basque culture and the spectacular coastal landscapes, crossing beaches on foot, and estuaries and bays by boat. Six stages to understand why the Northern Way is one of the favourite destinations of many walkers who dare to take a step away from the more beaten French Way.
Let yourself be seduced by the tempestuous coast of the Cantabrian Sea
Enjoy the magnificent gastronomy of Northern Spain
Discover some of the most beautiful villages in Europe
Cliffs on the Northern Way
Camino del Norte
NT03

Way of Saint James from Bilbao to Santander

Distance
Difficulty
Stages
Duration
120 km
●●●○○
5 steps
7 days
Let yourself be seduced by the tempestuous coast of the Cantabrian Sea
Enjoy the magnificent gastronomy of Northern Spain
Discover some of the most beautiful villages in Europe
from 795 €
We welcome you to the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao. Walk with us from one of the main Basque capitals to Santander, a stately city considered one of the most beautiful on this route. Walk parallel to the Cantabrian coast and discover the fishing tradition, the millenary Basque culture and the spectacular coastal landscapes, crossing beaches on foot, and estuaries and bays by boat. Six stages to understand why the Northern Way is one of the favourite destinations of many walkers who dare to take a step away from the more beaten French Way.

The recipe for great journeys

Natural, historical and ethnographic heritage, spectacular gastronomy, good company, slow pace and time for time. These are the ingredients with which we design trips in Viando. Are you staying at home? 

Is this trip for me?

Type of trip: Half distance
Journeys to savour slowly, with the best of each space and that indescribable sensation of overcoming your own limits.
Type of services: Configurable
You choose your category of accommodation, if you want breakfast or not, if you want us to carry your luggage, etc. You decide and we will make sure everything runs smoothly.
Travel style: On your own
Programmes designed so that you can travel the route on your own, at the pace set by your steps. Full autonomy and the peace of mind of knowing that we are with you if you need us.
Physical demands: Hiking
Routes of small or medium physical demand, of medium distance (20-30 km / day) and surfaces that facilitate walking, and that can be covered autonomously.

Services included

Accommodation
monitored

Full documentation

Pilgrim's badge

24h travel assistance

Advanced travel insurance

VAT and taxes

And also...

Luggage transport
Private transfers
Breakfast
Half board (dinners)
Cancellation insurance

Free if you book through our website

Luggage transport
Private transfers
Reinforced breakfasts
Half board (dinners)
Cancellation insurance

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in Bilbao

To make the most of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao, it is important to arrive in Bilbao in good time. We recommend strolling through the old quarter in search of the Cathedral of Santiago, the only one on the entire route dedicated to the holy pilgrim, as well as the Cathedral of Compostela. The Guggenheim Museum is another option.

And if you have an extra day, you can spend it visiting Elorrio, Oñati and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu. As you can see, a wide range of possibilities before starting your pilgrimage.

Hostel: Bilbao Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Miribilla Guesthouse or similar

Day 2. Stage Bilbao - Portugalete

Distance: 19.9 km
Difficulty: ●●○○○
Accommodation: Portugalete

The first stage of this section is the most urban of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander. There is the possibility of choosing a variant on the banks of the Nervión estuary, so as not to make it so monotonous. This option will take you to Barakaldo. The official route, on the other hand, will take you through the streets of the towns that grew up on the outskirts of Bilbao, and allows you to save 7 km and some slopes.

On your arrival in Portugalete you will see the Hanging Bridge, also known as the Bizkaia Bridge, the charming medieval old town, the 14th century Salazar Tower and the Gothic-Renaissance style Basilica of Santa María.

Hostel: Bide Ona Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: North Guesthouse or similar

Day 3. Stage Portugalete - Castro Urdiales

Distance: 25.4 km
Difficulty: ●●○○○
Accommodation: Castro Urdiales

On the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao to Santander, this is undoubtedly the longest stage. From Portugalete to the next town, La Arena, there are twelve kilometres that run inland along a cycle lane, or "carril bici". bidegorri. From there, the route continues along the coast, through Pobeña.

From here, a beautiful stretch of greenway awaits you, a real balcony overlooking the sea that follows where the mining railway used to run. Before reaching Ontón, you leave the Basque Country and enter Cantabria. From this town, the route forks into two options: the official route goes through Otañes, away from the coast.

The alternative shortens the stage by 7.2 km and runs along the hard shoulder of the N-634. On your arrival in Castro Urdiales, in addition to its impressive heritage, you can enjoy the Cantabrian gastronomy, although it still shares much with the typical Basque dishes. There is no doubt that fish and seafood are still the main protagonists.

Hostel: Pension Ardigales (private room) or similar
Standard accommodation: Pension Ardigales or similar

Day 4. Stage Castro Urdiales - Laredo

Distance: 26.6 km
Difficulty: ●●●○○
Accommodation: Laredo

Leaving Castro Urdiales, the path climbs up to Allandelagua, at the top of which we can contemplate the remains of a medieval Templar tower-fortress. Further on, a new fork in the road makes it necessary to make a decision. The official route lengthens the stage by almost six kilometres and increases the number of slopes along this stretch, but it is the most peaceful and scenic. The alternative route runs along the hard shoulder of the national road, and although it is shorter, it is also more dangerous. Our recommendation is to choose the official route.

After passing through Liendo, you will quickly reach Laredo, where you can enjoy the Convent of San Francisco, the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción - a jewel of Gothic art -, the Merenillo or San Marcial gate, which formed part of the 13th century wall, and the 18th century Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de la Bien Aparecida.

Hostel: Casa Loopez Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Hotel El Ancla or similar

Day 5. Stage Laredo - Güemes

Distance: 29 km
Difficulty: ●●●○○
Accommodation: Güemes

On this section of the Pilgrims' Route to Santiago de Compostela from Bilbao, there are two options at the start: the first is to border the Santoña estuary, lengthening the route and enjoying the coastal scenery. The second is to go to Puntal de Laredo and, from there, cross by boat to the town of Santoña. From there, you will cross Noja, Isla, Arnuero and Castillo Siete Villas before reaching Güemes, the ideal place to rest and finish such a long stage.

Hostel: La Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Posada Valle de Güemes or similar

Day 6. Stage Güemes - Santander

Distance: 15.3 km
Difficulty: ●○○○○
Accommodation: Santander

The last stage of the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao is very short, so we recommend that you enjoy it and take it easy. Although we recommend you to leave early to have more time to enjoy the Cantabrian capital.

Once again, there are two alternatives to choose from: the first is the official route, which joins Galizano with Somo for 7 km parallel to the road. The second option would be the coastal variant, which joins the official route a little before Somo, in the vicinity of the Sanctuary of Nuestra Señora de Latas. This variant is longer, approximately 4 km longer, but you will walk along the coast on your last stage and pass through the towns of Langre and Loredo.

On your arrival in Somo you will have to go to the pier to take one of the boats, popularly known as the "boats of the sea". stonemasonsThe ferries run regularly throughout the year to link Somo and Santander across the bay. When you arrive in Santander you will find a welcoming and peaceful coastal town with its wide harbour, one of the most beautiful bays in Spain.

Hostel: Hostel Allegro or similar
Standard accommodation: Angelines Guesthouse or similar

Day 7. Discover Santander

After the break and breakfast, our services come to an end. If you have time in the city, we recommend you to distribute the visits of the previous day. Santander does not leave you indifferent and is one of the main attractions for those who make the Camino de Santiago from Bilbao.

Gain free cancellation
when booking on the website

Frequently asked questions

What to expect from this tour?
This route is for you if you are looking for a little challenge on your way. Bear in mind that the first stage, between Bilbao and Portugalete, is almost 100% urban (Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country). For the rest, it is an accessible route for anyone with a minimum of physical preparation and a normal state of fitness.
The Northern Way is open all year round. Although it can be done in the middle of winter, taking into account a series of technical conditions (more information here), the most advisable time is usually the first half of autumn, when the weather is milder. It can also be done in summer, because temperatures are usually mild, but in this case you should expect more people on the Camino and there may be a certain saturation in the last stages.
All the stages of this route can be completed on foot, so there is no need for additional transfers. If you need transport to get to Lugo from Santiago airport or any other airport, or if you want to hire a transfer from Santiago to the airport for your return home, we can include them as an optional service.
Accommodation in the following categories is available on this route: hostels and standard accommodation. You can see more information about the categories of accommodation we use in Viando. in this link.

By default and compulsory, all our programmes include travel insurance with specific coverage for the Camino de Santiago. You can see the details in the section Insurance of our website. 

All our programmes include a 24-hour telephone support service, should you need help at any time during your experience. This means that you can also contact us outside office hours (when you are on pilgrimage). 

If you want to book this programme, you have the following options available a form where you can indicate the starting date, the type of accommodation and a series of optional services. The price will be updated according to the options you choose, so you have full control. Once you have configured your trip, click on "Book" to make the payment.

Once we receive your request, you will automatically receive a proof of purchase and within 48 working hours we will contact you to confirm the details of your booking and provide you with the documentation. 

In Viando we also work with tailor-made programmes (short stages, intermediate rest days, itineraries different from those proposed, etc.). If you are looking for a Camino that meets your needs/preferences, you can ask us for a quote. here.