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Camino Lebaniego

5 Days & 4 Nights
  • Walk the Camino Lebaniego from Spain's Green Coast to the Picos de Europa
  • Lush mountain landscapes dotted with lakes, tiny hamlets and churches
  • Reach Santa Toribio Monastery, home to the Lignum Crucis (true cross of Christ)
  • Feast on hearty Cantabrian dishes such as Cocido Lebaniego
  • Explore the lively mountain town of Potes with its delightful cobbled alleyways
Discover the little-known pilgrimage route, the Camino Lebaniego, which leads you from the Green Coast of Spain to Santo Toribio Monastery in the Picos mountains. Walk through fairytale-like mountain landscapes dotted with green valleys, lakes and tiny churches by day, and at night feast on delicious Cantabrian cuisine including grilled meat and wonderful cheeses. The culmination of this short pilgrimage is reaching the Santo Toribio Monastery, home to the largest surviving piece of the Lignum Crucis, the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.

What To Expect

Moderately graded overall, this short pilgrimage route will take you from the coast to the mountains in three days and is perfect if you are looking for a quieter walk. You will overnight in small, traditional hotels which showcase the fine hospitality of this beautiful region of Spain. Be prepared for a tougher final day in the mountains, providing an exciting end to this relatively undiscovered Camino route.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travelers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

Spiritual Journeys, Personal Growth

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 5 Years

Activity Level & 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.

Accommodations

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. 

A direct bus runs between Santander and San Vicente de la Barquera, taking just over 1hr. You can also take the train which takes 1h 30m. From Bilbao a bus to San Vicente takes approx 3hrs. 

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.

Luggage 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?
Can I add extra nights?
Can I receive a Compostela certificate for walking the Camino Lebaniego?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in San Vicente de la Barquera and overnight. Day 2 Walk San Vicente de la Barquera to Cades, transfer to rural hotel. 16 miles / 26 km Day 3 Transfer to Cades. Walk Cades to Cicera 10 miles / 16 km Day 4 Walk Cicera to Santo Toribio. Transfer to Potes 15 miles / 24 km Day 5 Onward Travel

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