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Coast and Mountain Trails of Green Spain

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • Walk through Green Spain from the coast to the mountains
  • Beaches, dunes, cliffs and fishing villages
  • The paleolithic cave art of Altamira, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Lush mountain landscapes dotted with tiny hamlets
  • Discover the 12th century Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana
Discover the diverse landscapes of Green Spain, on an amazing journey from the coast to the mountains. This enchanting region is filled with contrasts. From the "Costa Verde" (Green Coast) with its quaint fishing villages, sand dunes and cliffs, to fairytale-like mountain landscapes dotted with lush valleys, lakes and tiny churches. Enjoy wonderful walking by day, and at night feast on delicious Cantabrian cuisine including grilled meat and tasty cheeses. Utilising two existing Camino routes, you follow the Camino del Norte west from near Santander, before following an ancient pilgrimage route, the Camino Lebaniego south to the dramatic Picos de Europa mountains.

What To Expect

This tour combines a walk along the beautiful "Green Coast" of Spain, with a journey inland on a pilgrimage route called the Camino Lebaniego, which leads to the Picos de Europa mountains. Moderately graded overall, you will overnight in small, traditional hotels which showcase the fine hospitality of this beautiful region of Spain. You should be prepared for a tougher final two days in the mountains, providing an exciting end to this walking tour.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail, Inn to Inn Walking | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travellers, A classic point to point walking trip, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Spiritual Journeys
  • Personal Growth

Inspiration:

  • New

Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate overall and includes daily walks of 12-26km so you will be walking for between 5 and 8 hours each day. The trail consists of a mixture of terrain and you will follow a combination of minor roads and footpaths. As you head into the mountains, the tracks will become slightly rougher and you will follow mountain tracks and footpaths. Daily ascents are between 195m and 1140m. The last day of the walk from Cicera to Santo Toribio is graded as moderate-strenous as it involves a lot of ascent and descent. As this route passes through some isolated stretches, we recommend it more for experienced walkers.

Navigation

Whilst you are walking on the Camino del Norte on the coast, the route is very well signposted. Once you head inland on the Camino Lebaniego, it is not quite as straightforward but the Cantabrian government have spent a lot of money on signposting the route so it is still easy to follow. Instead of following the usual yellow arrows and scallop shells that you will on the Camino del Norte, you will follow signposts with a red arrow and cross. You will also receive a detailed information pack which includes route notes and maps, and in addition to this you will have access to our Macs Adventure App, allowing you to follow the route on richly detailed mapping on your smartphone.

Accommodation Information

The accommodation is a mixture of small rural hotels and B&B's, all with private rooms and en-suite. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. 

Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

The Camino Lebaniego is available to solo walkers at a single supplement. Single rooms are also available for a supplement.

Meals

A local continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread, and orange juice. Lunch and dinner are not included as standard so you are free to choose from the available options.  Every place you stop will have evening meals available.

Included
  • Overnight in small rural hotels and hostels, twin/double rooms with en-suite W/C
  • Daily breakfast and 1x evening meal when you stay in Cicera
  • Baggage Transfers
  • A detailed information pack including route notes, maps and local information
  • Access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App
  • Emergency support from our local and UK offices
Excluded
  • Evening meals (except your overnight in Cicera, where it is included)
  • Lunches, snacks or drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal Equipment
Extras
  • Additional nights’ accommodation

When To Go

You can start this tour on any day of your choosing between May and October. Please note that it will be busy between July and middle of September as this is when many of the Spanish go on holiday in this area. 

The first part of this route is along the coast, where the weather can be changeable. As you head inland to the mountains, as with all mountainous areas and particularly because of the proximity of the mountains to the coast in this area, the weather can also change suddenly and there can be sudden rain-showers, or even snow at any time of year so you should be prepared for all weather conditions with waterproof gear and plenty of sunscreen!

Getting to the Start

You can fly into either Bilbao or Santander Airports.  Direct flights are available to Santander from the UK and Europe with airlines such as Ryanair, Iberia, British Airways and Vueling. Or there are many more options to Bilbao Airport including flights with KLM and Lufthansa. 

Should you need to travel between Bilbao and Santander, this is easily done by taking an ALSA bus, which takes 1hr 30m.

If you are traveling from outwith Europe, Madrid is a good hub to fly into. Santander can be reached by ALSA bus from Madrid in 5.5 hours.

Getting from the End

You can take a bus from Potes back to Santander with Autobus Palamera (2.5hrs). If your return flight is from Bilbao Airport, you will need to change buses in Santander and take another bus to Bilbao which takes 1h 30m.

Baggage Transfer

Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag will be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so that you only need to walk with a day pack.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

What happens if I can't walk a stage?
How much of the route is on the coast?
Can I add extra nights?
Will I receive a Compostela certificate for walking the Camino Lebaniego section of this route?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Santander and overnight Day 2 Transfer to Mogro. Walk Mogro to Santillana del Mar 13 miles / 21 km Day 3 Walk Santillana del Mar to Comillas 13 miles / 21 km Day 4 Walk Comillas to San Vicente de la Barquera 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 5 Walk San Vicente de la Barquera to Cades, transfer to rural hotel. 16 miles / 26 km Day 6 Transfer to Cades. Walk Cades to Cicera 10 miles / 16 km Day 7 Walk Cicera to Santo Toribio. Transfer to Potes 15 miles / 24 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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