Camino del Norte Stage 3 - Santander to Gijon11 Days & 10 Nights 4.7 Read 27 reviews
- The seafood and cider of Gijon
- The contrast of quiet fishing villages and modern cities
- The Tito Bustilla caves in Ribadesella
- Meeting fellow pilgrims and sharing your stories
- Enjoying the peace and tranquillity of this quiet route
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.
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
Activity Level & Terrain
This walk is graded moderate to strenuous and includes daily walks of between 12-32km per day.
You can expect to walk for between three and eight hours each day and much of it is rather arduous walking with some steep inclines/declines.
The Camino Del Norte follows a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths.
The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There are sections on the route where you will divert to follow the red and white stripes of the GR routes. There will always be other walkers around in-case you are looking for help.You will be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day
The accommodation in larger towns will be in 3-star hotels, the rest will be a mixture of rural hotels and hostels all with private rooms and en-suite. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early, especially in high season.
Solo Walkers & Single Rooms
The Camino is available to solo walkers at a single supplement.
A local continental breakfast is included each morning, which can sometimes just be coffee, bread and orange juice. PLEASE NOTE: On this section, breakfast is not available at the accommodation in Bustio. It is recommended that you bring something to eat in the morning. 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, you can get a pilgrims menu for about 10 euros which includes 3 courses, wine and water!
There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are walking the route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.
It is possible to walk the Camino del Norte in less time but we would not recommend this.
- Accommodation in small rural hotels and hostels with en-suite W/C.
- 9 Breakfasts
- Baggage Transfers
- A detailed information pack for the group leader including route notes, maps, and local information.
- Camino del Norte guide book.
- Emergency telephone support from our local and UK offices in the event of a problem.
- Return travel to Spain.
- Lunches, dinners (optional), snacks or drinks. Breakfast at Bustio.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Additional nights accommodation along the way.
When To Go
This trip is available to start on any day from the beginning of March to the end of October.
Time of Year
The weather in Northern Spain is very varied. In general you can expect pleasant temperatures for walking of between 19 degrees and up to about 26 degrees in the summer months. As you will be walking near the coast for much of this walk, you can expect some rainy days, particularly in spring and autumn.
Getting to the Start
Flying to Bilbao or Santander is the best for this. Direct flights are available from London Heathrow, Stansted, Bristol and Manchester.
Should you need to travel between the two cities, this is easily done by taking an ALSA bus, which takes around an hour and a half.
Getting from the End
Flying from Bilbao or Santander is the best for this. Direct flights are available to London Heathrow, Stansted, Bristol and Manchester.
Should you need to travel between the two cities, this is easily done by taking an ALSA bus, which takes around an hour and a half.
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. There is a supplement applicable for solo walkers on baggage transfers due to the fact that the transfer costs are usually shared.
The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
The pilgrim’s passport is issued by the church of St James, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way. At the end of the walk, in Santiago, you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100km). For the other sections of the trail, the passport is used as a souvenir with all the colourful stamps you will receive.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling 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.
Unfortunately we are unable to change your accommodation bookings and itinerary once you start walking as alternative accommodation is generally not available at such short notice.
The average daily distance of our Camino tours are between 20 and 25 kilometres and you can expect to walk for between five and eight hours each day and much of it is rather arduous walking. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment. That said if you are not at peak fitness you will find you will soon walk yourself fit.
A mixture of farm/dirt tracks, minor roads and footpaths. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections. There are sections on the route where you will divert to follow the red and white stripes of the GR routes. There will always be other walkers around in-case you are looking for help.
We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Camino is extremely popular. Numbers can rise by up to 100, 000 people. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.
Yes, some people prefer to walk carrying their own bags as a true pilgrim would have. You can select the option for removing the baggage transfers in Step 2 of the Booking Engine.
I would recommend April/May when the spring flowers are at their best and September/October when the colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat while the temperatures can fall sharply in the winter with some accommodation closing down for the end of season.
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Spain will be more than happy to help.
ItineraryDay 1: Arrival in Santander
Capital of the region of Cantabria, the historic port town is a beautiful place well worth exploring.
This modern hotel opened in 2003. It offers 92 spacious rooms featuring contemporary style furniture. Rooms have a safe, minibar, large desk with optional internet connection, TV and Canal + and individually controlled air conditioning and central heating. The bathrooms are equally spacious and bright, equipped with magnifying mirror, heated towel rail, telephone, background music and amenities designed by Javier Mariscal.
From Santander, a short taxi transfer misses out the paved roads which take you out of there to Ermita. From here walk to Santillana which is a beautifully preserved medieval village. Visit the 12th century Collegiate Church or explore the Altamira Caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring Paleolithic cave art.
The accommodation is located in a palace dating from the 18th century, found in the centre of Santillana with a magnificent facade and a beautiful terrace garden. It is decorated with antique furniture. Rooms are carefully decorated in a classic style with private bathroom, telephone and TV. The hotel has a restaurant, café and private parking.
Walking mostly on the pavement today takes you past expansive grassy fields and numerous church towers. Pass the town of San Martin de Ciguenza, and the colourful town of Cobreces before arriving at Mar-Comillas.
Hotel Comillas provides 30 rooms, equipped with TV, air conditioning, telephone, safety deposit box and private bathroom, and free WiFi. The building is surrounded by a 4000m garden with pool.
Quiet trails via grassy fields and church towers will bring you to the colourful town of Cobreces, before continuing to San Vicente de la Barquera.
The accommodation offers 16 rooms located in the upper part of San Vicente with the best views of the area. Despite being in centre of town, the hotel enjoys a quiet environment to enjoy the big terraces and green areas in a familiar and warm atmosphere. Facilities include piped music, television, cafeteria, heating, air conditioning in lounges, and internet in the rooms.
You leave Cantabria today and enter the wild region of Asturias with its dramatic coastline. The beaches become more rugged and the views even more spectacular.
El Rincón de Bustio offers 6 tourist apartments, each accommodation up to 4 guests, and 6 double rooms. This tourist complex has a private car park, and restaurant.
Accompanied by the view of the Picos de Europa to your left and the sea to your right, make your way to Llanes, a bustling town on the Asturian coast.
The accommodation is located on the beach and close to the city centre. There are 40 rooms with great views of the sea. All are equipped with TV, telephone, mini bar, heater, and safety deposit box. The hotel has a restaurant and a coffee shop, and breakfast is served on the terrace.
Pass a couple of wonderful monasteries today with unique locations close to the sea before arriving in the village of Ribadesella. Here you can explore the Tito Bustillo Caves with their prehistoric paintings.
A 3 star new-built hotel ubicated close to the beach, which rooms are provided with private bathroom, TV, minibar, safety deposit and telephone. The accommodation also offers library, heating and cafetería.
Continue via beautiful sandy beaches and coastline to the market town of Colunga.
Mar del Sueve is set in a traditional Asturian architecture house combining colonial and modern design in its interior. The rooms feature private bathrooms with hairdryer, minibar, heating, safe deposit, satellite TV and free Wi-Fi. The hotel also provides coffeshop, private garden and elevator.
Leaving Colunga, head through more small villages and past numerous churches to Sebrayo, where the Camino Primitivo pilgrims head inland. From here continue to Villaviciosa
Centrally located Hotel Carlos I is a restored house dating from the 17th century. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, with private bathrooms and TV. In addition, the accommodation has a lounge, library and a cafe.
After a steep ascent up the Alta de la Cruz, return to the coast at Gijón, a bustling city with attractive and well-preserved Roman baths.
This 3-star modern and comfortable hotel has 35 rooms with air conditioning, satellite TV, telephone, electronic safe, free WIFI and hairdryers. There is a café and private parking (fee payable).
Check out after breakfast and make your way home.
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