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My Holiday

Camino del Norte (Hondarribia-Santander)

(Stage 1-12): 14 days, 266 kms pilgrimage (165 miles).

Spain is More offers you the chance to walk this picturesque and alternative route along the northern coast of Spain to Santiago de Compostela. This famous and beautiful coastline offers everything from some of Spain's most beautiful beaches, brilliant restaurant, idyllic fishing villages and exciting cities. All this combined with the raw nature of the harsh rocky coast; this route will satisfy your every desire for nature, physical activity and and a chance to indulge yourself at the same time.

The Camino del Norte is as old as the Camino Francés, and in the Middle Ages it was the preferred way for Europe's kings and nobles to travel to Santiago. It was more secure than the French Camino, as pilgrims were far from the war against the Moors that took place further south. 

This route runs along the Cantabrian coast and you will experience one of Spain's most beautiful coastlines upclose.

The terrain is hilly and sometimes quite demanding, but you can usually find easier and good alternatives on the more difficult stretches.

The route follows a string of wonderful coastal towns and cities, among which the highlights are San Sebastian with its seafront and delicious pinchos (Basque tapas) and Bilboa with its world-famous Guggenheim Museum.

In addition to the stunning coastline and idyllic fishing villages, you can add unique local cuisine to your list that will satisfy the most demanding palate.

The route is also an ideal bicycle route, which Spain is More also organizes. 

You are accommodated in cosy hotels along the way, always counting on every suite having its own shower and toilet, and being conveniently located near the Camino. Every day your breakfast is included and your own personal guidebook will guide you comfortably and safely to the next destination. 

If you appreciate great hiking, sea and nature and want to get up close and personal with the countless villages along the route, and their wonderful restaurants, you cannot miss this trip.

On this Pilgrimage hike on you will experience stages 1 to 12 of the 35 Camino del Norte stages to Santiago.

✔ Daily Departures from mid-March to end-October.

✔ Hotel-to-Hotel Baggage Service is optional.

✔ Your personal Pilgrim's Passport.

✔ Specially Selected Hotels - always with private bathroom - selected for best location, service and authentic charm.

Spain is More Camino Guidebook (which you will receive some weeks before departure) contains practical pilgrim information, suggestions for packing list, recommended restaurants, maps of all cities along The Camino- and hotel location, Pilgrim's Passport/Credential, advice and guidance, service phone numbers and much more, all to make your trip on The Camino an experience of a lifetime!

✔ This trip can be combined with other Camino routes.

✔ Dividing stages: Sometimes!

Camino del Norte
  • Price
    From 895 EUR/pers.
  • Km
  • Days
    14 days / 13 nights
  • Difficulty
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    ? NOTE: nowhere, in any Camino, will steep cliffs be found next to path!

    1: Very easy. Flat and without significant gradients. Good and normally wide paths.

    2: Easy. Slightly hilly. Good and normally wide paths.

    3: Medium. Hilly, possibly with longer distances between service facilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

    4: Medium/Hard. Longer, steeper climbs, perhaps with few servicefacilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

    5: Hard. Long gradient(s), possibly few facilities. Very hilly. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

On the Camino del Norte between Hondarribia and Bilbao you will experience one of Spain's most beautiful coastlines up close. The terrain is hilly and sometimes quite demanding, but you can usually find easier and good alternatives on the more difficult stretches.

The route follows a string of wonderful coastal towns and cities, among which the highlights are San Sebastian with its seafront and delicious pinchos (Basque tapas) and Bilboa with its world-famous Guggenheim Museum.

In addition to the stunning coastline and idyllic fishing villages, you can add unique local cuisine to your list that will satisfy the most demanding palate.

More information on Hondarribia - Bilbao

After Bilbao the terrain is getting slightly easier - but without becoming easily. The Camino often follows the coastline and it is possible to walk long stretches along some of Spain's most beautiful beaches, with the feets in the water. Between the beaches and cliffs you'll find idyllic fishing and seaside villages which in summer are extremely popular vacation destinations.

The stages can rarely be shortened significantly, making the level hard to adjust the individual.

Service functions are generally good. In the evenings there are always restaurants on or near the hotel. The route passes every day through the cities, which has supermarkets, banks, laundry services, shops and other possibility for provisioning. 

More information on Bilbao - Santander

Detailed itinerary
Detailed itinerary (view all days )
Day 1.- Arrival Hondarribia

Arrival in Hondarribia which is a beautiful village in the Basque Country with two historic districts that make up the old and monumental part of the town center.
'Cisco Viejo' or Old Part corresponding to the walled old town. It is a area with many buildings of artistic and historical interest. The harbour is a charming fishermen neighbourhood, located outside the walls.  

Hondarribia is the perfect place to enjoy the local cuisine, either through pintos or in a restaurant (or both).

Day 2.- Hondarribia - San Sebastián27 Km

You start off with a tremendously beautiful walk with a splendid view of the bay. In many regards this stage is one of the most beautiful on the route.

However, you will have to work for the beautiful view and the stage is quite hilly. But you will be perfectly rewarded with delicious pintxos in San Sebastián 's beautiful old town.

Distance: 27 Km

Day 3.- San Sebastián - Zarautz20 Km

Waking up in San Sebastian is always a pleasure. Enjoy views of San Sebastian from Mount Igeldo and its lighthouse. You will walk through woods and the vineyards of Txacoli (white wine) and pass the picturesque fishing villages.

This day ends in Zarautz, a town between sea and mountains, which is also one of the most popular seaside resorts in the Basque Country.

Distance: 20 Km

Day 4.- Zarautz - Deba22 Km

This stage follows the coastline, forcing the pilgrims to overcome countless hills between the pretty coastal towns. You will pass, among other things, a beautiful monument from the 16th Century, as well as a wonderful geological phenomenon produced by the erosive action of the sea against the stratified rocks.

Distance: 22 Km

Day 5.- Deba - Markina - Xemein24 Km

The stage becomes quite hilly as the route goes inland and leaves the ocean for the next 3 days.

Pilgrims are faced with tough climbs, but everything has an end and the last path of the route is more favourable.

Distance: 24 Km

Day 6.- Markina - Xemein - Guernika Lumo25 Km

This day is an idyllic stage where Cistercian monks still welcome the pilgrims.

The Camino winds through dark and winding paths while small churches, towers and other medieval monuments are crossed.

The stage ends in the town of Guernica, which was immortalized by Picasso.

Distance: 25 Km

Day 7.- Guernica - Lezama21 Km

The Camino follows much of the day an asphalt road through the vast forests.

This part of the route is in sharp contrast to the modern metropolitan cities like Bilbao and San Sebastian.

Distance: 21 Km

Day 8.- Lezama - Bilbao11 Km

Monte Avril is the last "hurdle" of pelgrims that you must overcome to get to Bilbao. Bilbao, known for its cuisine, culture and music, which is felt throughout the city and especially in the old quarter.

We recommend to spend an extra day in Bilbao. The Bilbao Guggenheim Museum, the Euskalduna Conference and Music Centre, Norman Foster's Underground... are all examples of the dynamism that exists in Bilbao.

However, today's stage is short and you can easily get a impression of Bilbao in the time available.

Distance: 11 Km

Day 9.- Bilbao - Portugalete19 Km

A large part of the route goes through Bilbao's suburbs and along the major port.

You will be walking at a comfortable distance from traffic and noise, in a beautiful landscaped path, where you have a lovely view over the bay, the harbour and the city.

You will see the perforated landscape reminding everyone of the numerous mines, which until a few decades ago, was the main regional income.

Distance: 19 Km

Day 10.- Portugalete - Castro Urdiales28 Km

This historic trail overlooks the idyllic villages and nice beaches before the descent to the beautiful city of Castro Urdiales.

Castro Urdiales is an old fishing village that has glorious buildings and plenty of atmosphere.

Distance: 28 Km

Day 11.- Castro Urdiales - Laredo25 Km

At the beginning of this stage you pass the ruins of a medieval castle. A parallel path leads through a eucalyptus forest instead of walking close to the highway. In Laredo, the beautiful buildings from 16th – 19th century can be admired.

You have two choices of routes. The official is 37 kilometres, but can easily be reduced to approx. 25 km’s. Advantages and disadvantages as well as practical advice is described in our guidebook.

Distance: 25 Km

Day 12.- Laredo - Güemes29 Km

The stage begins with a short cruise across the bay, before the route passes some of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Spain. There are countless places where the rugged cliffs and intermediate beaches can be admired.

Distance: 29 Km

Day 13.- Güemes - Santander12 Km

A short and comfortable walk that ends up in the town of Somo, just across the bay of Santander.

The city is reached by boat from here. Many summer hiking guests prefer to stay a few days in one of the cosy summer towns close to Santander, with stunning beaches, which is highly recommended during summer months.

Distance: 12 Km

Day 14.- Departure

Departure from Santander.

What is included in this trip?

From 895 EUR/pers. Per person in a double room

Single room supplement:250 EUR

It includes
  1. 13 nights in a double room - always with private bath/toilet.
  2. 13 x breakfast.
  3. Transport from Madrid, Bilbao* or Barcelona to Hondarribia.
  4. Transport from Santander to Madrid, Bilbao* or Barcelona.
  5. The price includes 1 Spain-is-More-Travel Guidebook per every 4 travellers. More copies can be purchased when booking for 20€ per copy, or 30 euros per copy if the request is less than 6 weeks prior to departure.
  6. Pilgrim Passport / Credencial.
  7. 24/7 emergency telephone number.
  8. Taxes.
  9. *Discount apply.
Not included
  1. Some short local bus or taxi journeys, e.g. from airport to bus or train station in the same city.
  2. Summer: 15 July to 31 August is high season. Unlike the French route the hotels are filled with summerguests why the price increases considerably. During this time you should expect extra costs around 190 €/person.
  1. Personalise your Camino: Extended stays, divide stages, transportation to startingpoint from anywhere in the world and back. Please ask us, we will be happy to assist you.
  2. Baggage Transport on the pilgrim route can be purchased. If you buy a luggage service your bag / suitcase will be transported from hotel to hotel on the scheduled days of hiking. Price: 95€/luggage. Máx: 20 kgs./luggage.
  3. The price include 1 Spain-is-More-Travel Guidebook per every 4 travellers. More copies can be purchased when booking (20€/copy).
  4. Cancellation insurence: 6% of total price (can be added when ordering).

Experiences from our guests

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