Northern Way | Full Walk

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    Walk the full Northern Way, from the Basque Country to Santiago

    The Northern Way (or Northern Camino) is a memorable walk, that will allow all pilgrims to discover the diversity of Spain.

    From breathtaking landscapes through mountains, to coastal routes… you will be able to enjoy some of the most genuine regions of Spain, such as the Basque Country, Cantabria or Asturias. From some of the most popular cities of Europe (such as San Sebastian or Bilbao) to the rural tracks in Asturias, for example.

    The Northern Way spans more than 800 km, from Irún (right on the French border) following the coast to Ribadeo. From this point to Santigo de Compostela, the route will be inland.

    It is considered to be a physically demanding Camino, particularly the first walking days through the Basque Country.

    Those pilgrims looking for stunning views and physical challenges, should consider walking the Northern Way.

    • Private accommodation · Half Board · Luggage Transfers included.
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    If you want to add extra nights, upgrade your accommodation, add or remove meals, stay on a specific place… or change anything on the itinerary, please do not hesitate to let us know. We offer tailor-made tours!

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    Please note that our itineraries are completely flexible. If you have a different idea in mind (want to add or remove nights, services, etc), you can just let us know.

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    Day 1:

    Arrival in Irún, starting point of the Northern Way.

    Day 2: Irún – San Sebastián (26 km)

    • The first stretch of the Norther Way is considered the most spectacular one, offering stunning views of the sea.
    • You will see Neolithic and medieval remains, castles… and the the view of the Bay of Biscay.

    Day 3: San Sebastián – Zarautz (18 km)

    • We will face ascents when leaving San Sebastian, some of the major challenges of the walk.
    • Time to walk through green hills.

    Day 4: Zarautz - Deba (24 km)

    • The walk combines sea views, beaches, and quiet rural areas.
    • It is the last stretch along the coast for a couple of days.

    Day 5: Deba – Markina Xemein (23 km)

    • Time to say goodbye to the coastal views for a couple of days, as this is an inland section.
    • It features several churches: Church of the Assumption, Church of Santa María or the Sanctuary of San Miguel de Arretxinaga.

    Day 6: Markina – Gernika (25 km)

    • The route passes through the village of Bolivar and the Monastery of Zenarruza.
    • Gernika is one of the most popular towns of the Northern Way.

    Day 7: Gernika - Lezama (21 km)

    • Some pilgrims walk all the way from Gernika to Bilbao in one day, but we recommend to stop in Lezama, since the walk can bee too strenuous.

    Day 8: Lezama – Bilbao (11 km)

    • After a long ascent that offers incredible views of Bilbao, the arrival in this amazing city will be downhill.
    • What to do in Bilbao? Visit the Guggenheim Museum, the Gothic Basilica of Begoña and the historic center. We recommend to spend an extra day to discover the city.

    Day 9: Bilbao – Portugalete (10 km)

    • Leaving Bilbao is not the most beautiful part of this Camino, because of the industrial landscape.
    • Some pilgrims avoid this section by taking public transport to the next place, but we always recommend to walk it, since it is also part of the experience.

    Day 10: Portugalete - Castro Urdiales (29 km)

    • The walk passes through the coastal hillside.
    • There are alternative routes on the way, that can make the walk longer or shorter depending on which one you choose.

    Day 11: Castro Urdiales - Laredo (30 km)

    • This is quite a long walking day, but it offers a wide variety of landscapes.
    • Green valleys, sea views, hilltops… are some examples of the views.

    Day 12: Laredo – Guemes (29 km)

    • The Playa de Berria, is one of the most beautiful stretches of the Northern Way.
    • You will need to take the ferry from Laredo to Santoña (a town with monastic origins).

    Day 13: Guemes - Santander (17 km)

    • As usual when approaching the biggest cities of the Camino de Santiago, the landscape will become very industrial.
    • What to do in Santander? Visit the cathedral, the Museum of Prehistory and Archeology, and walk through the promenade. Santander is another recommended city to spend an extra day.

    Day 14: Santander – Arce (27 km)

    • Leaving Santander can be quite boring, since the path is all paved, straight and no particular highlights.
    • It is possible to walk all the way from Santander to Santillana del Mar, but since the walk can be too long and challenging, we recommend to stay in Arce.

    Day 15: Arce - Santillana del Mar (23 km)

    • Santillana del Mar is a lovely town, with a really well preserved historical center.
    • The popular caves of Altamira are 2 km far from the town center.

    Day 16: Santillana del Mar - Comillas (23 km)

    • The path will be mostly paved from Santilla del Mar to Comillas.
    • One of the highlights of the day: San Martín de Cigüenza, a picturesque village, with the church and the river.

    Day 17: Comillas – Colombres (28 km)

    • Last walking day in Cantabria region, right before reaching Asturias.
    • The path goes through small villages, the biggest town of the day is San Vicente de la Barquera.

    Day 18: Colombres – Llanes (23 km)

    • The first part of the day will be trough paved roads, until reaching Pendueles.
    • From this point up to Llanes, we will enjoy footpaths and coastal views.

    Day 19: Llanes - Ribadesella (30 km)

    • We will see different monasteries on the way from Llanes to Ribadesella.
    • Ribadesella is a really nice coastal town, where you will be able to enjoy its beaches and the prehistoric cave paintings.

    Day 20: Ribadesella - Colunga (21 km)

    • The Camino will combine inland and coast.
    • We recommend you to walk around the market town of Colunga.

    Day 21: Colunga – Villaviciosa (17 km)

    • Today you can walk all the way to Gijón, but we recommend you to stay in Villaviciosa. Not only because the walk can be too strenuous, but also because Villaviciosa is a lovely town to discover.

    Day 22: Villaviciosa - Gijón (30 km)

    • Gijón is the first big city after a couple of through small villages and rural areas.
    • Once in Gijn, the caminos split: you can continue through the Northern Way, or take the Primitive Way (or Original Way) up to Santiago de Compostela.

    Day 23: Gijón – Avilés (24 km)

    • Gijón and Avilés are amazing towns, but unfortunately the walk connecting them is not the most enjoyable of the Camino del Norte.
    • The views from Monte Areo and its recreational area, can be considered the highlight of the walk.

    Day 24: Avilés – El Pito (28 km)

    • Leaving Avilés will mean walking through suburbs, before reaching rural areas.
    • We recommend the Reinassance gardes of El Pito.

    Day 25: El Pito - Ballota (25 km)

    • The path follows the national road for a while, but is quiet with little traffic.

    Day 26: Ballota - Luarca (22 km)

    • Pilgrims will not enjoy the coastal views from Ballota to Luarca. But the landscape of the countryside in Asturias is very pleasant.

    Day 27: Luarca – Navia (22 km)

    • The walk is mainly through the countryside of Asturias, and offers really nice and quiet views.

    Day 28: Navia - Ribadeo (31 km)

    • Last walking day in Asturias region, before reaching Galicia, and also last day on the coast.
    • Ribadeo is one of the main towns of the Northern Way, as it marks the beginning of the final section of the walk.

    Day 29: Ribadeo – Vilanova de Lourenzá (27 km)

    • Time to say goodbye to the coast for the rest of the walk.
    • From this point, you may see the signs both in Galego (the language spoken in Galicia region) and Spanish.
    • This a rural walking day. We recommend to visit the Monastery once in Vilanova de Lourenzá.

    Day 30: Vilanova de Lourenzá - Abadín (25 km)

    • The walk through the mountains will offer fantastic views.
    • Mondoñedo is one of the highlight of the day, it used to be one of the seven capitals of the Kingdom of Galicia.

    Day 31: Abadín - Vilaba (20 km)

    • The path will pass through forests, rural areas and farming hamlets.
    • You can continue up to Baamonde, but we recommend to stop in Vilalba, the only large city for a couple of days.

    Day 32: Vilalba - Baamonde (20 km)

    • The walk from Vilalba to Baamonde will be quiet and pleasant, same as the following days.
    • We recommend to bring food with you, just in case, since facilities along the way can be quite limited.

    Day 33: Baamonde - Miraz (15 km)

    • Same as the previous day, the path passes through small rural areas. It is a very relaxing walk, but limited in terms of facilities and accommodation.

    Day 34: Miraz - Sobrado dos Monxes (22 km)

    • Today we will reach the highest poing of the whole route, that is Marcela.
    • Highlight of the day: the impressive monastery in Sobrado dos Monxes.

    Day 35: Sobrado dos Monxes - Arzúa (21 km)

    • We recommend you to enjoy the last walking day of peace and solitude, since the walk from Arzúa will join with the French Way.
    • The route will become more sociable until you reach Santiago de Compostela.

    Day 36: Arzúa - O Pedrouzo (19 km)

    • Some pilgrims walk from Arzúa to Santiago in one day, but we recommend to stop in O Pedrouzo and enjoy the last day of the walk peacefully.

    Day 37: O Pedrouzo - Santiago de Compostela (20 km)

    • Last day of the walk, before reaching Santiago de Compostela.
    • For so many pilgrims this can be described as a moment of euphoria, after so many weeks of challenges.

    Day 38: Check out Santiago de Compostela


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