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Camino del Norte - Cantabria & Asturias Coast

Camino del Norte - Cantabria & Asturias Coast

The central part of the Northern Way hugs the coastline of ’Green Spain’, through Cantabria and Asturias. Expect golden beaches, hidden coves, green meadows & mountain peaks, dramatic sea views & historic towns, pretty fishing villages & quiet paths.

Overview

Why Choose the Camino del Norte?

Ribadasella in Asturias sits on a golden curve of sand between Mountains & SeaRibadasella in Asturias sits on a golden curve of sand between Mountains & Sea

The Northern Way is possibly the Camino which has the most beautiful landscapes, thanks in large part to its geographical position between sea and mountain. The full Northern Camino route measures 840 km / 520 miles, starting at from French border, winding along the Basque coast, into Cantabria, onto Asturias and finally into Galicia, where the Way turns inland, heading south towards Santiago de Compostela.

We can offer you the entire Camino del Norte route from Irun to Santiago de Compostela, however more often we are asked to tailor between 1 and 3 weeks through the neighbouring regions of Cantabria and Asturias.

We highly recommend this section for walkers who have some experience of long-distance walking. This is a quieter path than the busy Camino Frances to the south, so you want to be more self-sufficient when it comes to self-guiding. That said, we provide detailed walking notes, maps and gps tracks. This Northern Camino would be a great choice for your second Camino journey, or you have some experience of inn to inn walking.

Our week-long hike on the Basque Camino is also delightful and you can get there easily with flights into Bilbao. Click here to check it out - https://walkthecamino.com/travel-tours/camino-del-norte-basque-coast

3 weeks to walk from Santander in Cantabria to Ribadeo in Galicia

The Camino del Norte's Cantabria / Asturias section begins in the Cantabrian capital of Santander and finishes at the coastal town of Ribadeo on the Asturian border with Galicia.

Santander is a maritime city, with a busy ferry port and popular for recreational sailing. Set on a wide bay, this attractive city has sandy beaches, cultural monuments and museums to explore. Your Camino journey begins at the imposing Gothic Cathedral, heading west through the suburbs & commercial district until you reach open countryside and the historic town of Santillana del Mar. Santillana is a jewel in the Cantabrian crown, packed with medieval towers, Renaissance palaces and Romanesque religious buildings. It's also on the doorstep of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Altamira Caves, internationally famed for its superb pre-historic art and cave painting.

You have a couple of days of country walking before reaching the coastal footpath around the seaside village of Comillas, where Gaudi (of Barcelona Cathedral fame) built an extraordinary fantastic summer residence. Then on to the picturesque port of San Vincente de la Barquera before reaching the border with Asturias, a region dotted with quaint fishing ports and little villages. Oriental Asturias brings you alongside mountains that rise dramatically in brilliant greens, with sharp peaks often shrouded in mist and sheer sides descending to meet the Cantabrian sea. It's a landscape worthy of a Tolkein novel.

We spilt the Asturias Camino into two sections, the east and the west, with the city of Aviles being the connecting point between the two. We recommend you consider adding a rest day in nearby Ovideo, to enjoy the many sights and delights of the ancient city and regional capital.

You can choose to walk any part of this three-week itinerary. Just choose where you wish to start and finish. We will work out your logistics and advise what might work best for you. As with all long-distance routes, there is some tarmac walking, especially around the cities of Santander, Gijon and Aviles. However, we are ever creative with our itineraries and can minimise the amount of urban walking, and just stick to the most rural and picturesque stretches if you prefer.

Playa Torimbia, LlanesPlaya Torimbia, Llanes

Itinerary

Cantabria Section - 53 miles / 85 km

  • Arrive in Santander
  • 9.3 miles / 14.9 km to Mogro
  • 13.1 miles / 20.9 km to Santanilla del Mar
  • 13.9 miles / 22.3 km to Comillas
  • 7.1 miles / 11.3 km to San Vicente de la Barquea
  • 9.6 miles / 15.4 km to Unquera

Asturia Oriental Section (East) - 95 miles / 152 km

  • 17.3 miles / 27.6 km to Llanes
  • 8.0 miles / 12.8 km to Nueva
  • 11.6 miles / 18.6 to Ribadesella
  • 12.4 miles / 19.8 km to Colunga
  • 11.1 miles / 17.8 km to Villaviciosa
  • 18.7 miles / 29.9 km to Gijon - (this is quite a tough day, in terms of distance, terrain and ascent. We suggest we split it into two days with a transfer off Camino to overnight accommodation).
  • 15.8 miles / 25.3 km to Aviles

Asturias Occidental Section (West) - 80 miles / 127 km

  • 14.3 miles / 22.8 km Muros de Nalon
  • 10.3 miles / 16.4 km Suto de Luina
  • 11.8 miles / 18.9 km Cadavedo
  • 10.0 miles / 16 km Luarca
  • 12.6 miles / 20.1 km Navia
  • 13.1 miles / 20.9 km Tapia de Casariego
  • 7.5 miles / 12 km to Ribadeo (Galicia)

Oviedo - Captial of Asturias

Oviedo CathedralOviedo Cathedral

The magnificent, ancient capital city of Asturias is Oviedo, located just a few miles south of Aviles and set in a pretty green valley surrounded by hills. An overnight visit here is highly recommended, with plenty to admire and taste. The Cathedral of Oviedo is the starting point of the Camino Primitivo. Asturian King Alfonso II was the first pilgrim to travel to Santiago de Compostela, in the 9th-century, just a few years after the discovery of the remains of the Apostle St James. There are many art and architectural treasures in Oviedo, including the enchanting 9th-century pre-romanesque church of Santa Maria, which sits nestled into Mount Naranco and overlooks the city with a clear line of sight to the Cathedral tower.

Highlights

Beaches

The golden sands of Gijon's Playa de San LorenzoThe golden sands of Gijon's Playa de San Lorenzo

Traditional Fishing Ports

Coastal Footpaths

Cantabrian SeaCantabrian Sea

Natural Monuments

Cathedral Beach, GaliciaCathedral Beach, Galicia

History

Santa Maria del Naranco, OvideoSanta Maria del Naranco, Ovideo

Food & Drink

The culinary traditions of land and sea have equal weight here and you'll be delighted by the regional specialities. Spanish chefs produce wonderful dishes using first-class local ingredients; locally caught fish and seafood from the Cantabrian Sea, dairy and beef producers are often small scale farmers and artisan cheesemakers and the region has an enviable climate for growing fruit and vegetables as well as orchards and vineyards. You can expect high-quality cuisine in the simplest of establishments. You'll also find excellent regional wines, ciders and liquors that easily compete with the best in Europe.

Welcome to Green SpainWelcome to Green Spain

Typical Ciderhouse RestaurantTypical Ciderhouse Restaurant

Asturian CheesesAsturian Cheeses

The Seagull Seafood Restaurant right next to the fishing port in NaviaThe Seagull Seafood Restaurant right next to the fishing port in Navia

Clams and ArtichokesClams and Artichokes

Champagne of CidersChampagne of Ciders

Breakfast is often set out as a buffet with cold cuts, fruits, cheeses and baked goodsBreakfast is often set out as a buffet with cold cuts, fruits, cheeses and baked goods

Accommodation

Small Country Hotels & Guest Houses

We book our clients into small family-run hotels and pensions. These are traditional style in the main and classified as 1 - 3 stars depending on amenities such as lifts, swimming pools, air-con and restaurcion. In the larger towns and cities, there are upgrades to 4-star establishments.

Hotel Las Lunas in Soto de LuiñaHotel Las Lunas in Soto de Luiña

Private rooms with en suite as standardPrivate rooms with en suite as standard

Country Guest HousesCountry Guest Houses

Village InnsVillage Inns

Getting there

Flights into Santander, Bilbao or Oviedo airports Local transfers available by bus, train and taxi

Rail connections from Spain and France to the north coast of Spain. There is a railway line that runs the entire length of the Northern coast of Spain.

Ferries from the UK to Santander.

Customer Reviews

Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Walk the Camino.

  • Review by Jennifer
    Did you enjoy your holiday?
    It was fabulous

    How would you rate your holiday?
    So well organised. Great communication.

    How would you rate your accommodation?
    I liked the varied hotels. It added to a feeling of seeing local life. All were very clean and good breakfasts in all.

    How would you rate your food?
    I can eat anything and found the set meals really enjoyable. More relaxing for me than choosing food from an al a carte. To have the option of a Michelin restaurant was amazing

    How would you rate your baggage transfers?
    Smooth

    How would you rate your information pack?
    Yes, I should have read it before I left!

    Any suggested improvements?
    Not really for me

    Would you book with Walk the Camino again?
    Definitely and have already spread the word to friends

    Would you recommend Walk the Camino?
    Yes
  • Review by Irene
    Did you enjoy your holiday?
    Yes very much. Very beautiful area and very friendly people. Accommodation was exceptional.

    How would you rate your holiday?
    Organisation was excellent - no issues re transport baggage collection or accommodation.

    How would you rate your accommodation?
    Excellent

    How would you rate your food?
    Good. Breakfasts all excellent. Tasting menus options interesting - one tasty and filling - the other tasty but not so filling. A simple evening meal choice probably would be my first choice - not necessary included in the package if eating places available at stops.

    How would you rate your baggage transfers?
    Very smooth - no issues at all

    How would you rate your information pack?
    More or less. The information re distances and elevations could have been better.

    Any suggested improvements?
    It would be good if the local administrations made serious efforts to ensure that the Way is much better sign posted.

    Would you book with Walk the Camino again?
    Very definitely.

    Would you recommend Walk the Camino?
    Yes and have done so.

    Any other comments?
    I have used your services twice and been very happy with the quality of service and personal interest taken by staff in the needs and comfort of clients.

Map

About Us

WalkTheCamino.com is the Camino de Santiago website for Walk the Camino, a specialist organiser of tailor-made walks and tours on the Camino de Santiago and other parts of Spain.

Contact Us

Walk the Camino
13 Main Street
Suite 9
Milngavie
Glasgow
G62 6BJ
Scotland
United Kingdom

+44 (0)141 956 1569
info@walkthecamino.com

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