The Northern way is considered by many pilgrims to be the most beautiful and environmentally friendly route to Santiago de Compostela, so on this route, also known as the Camino de la Costa, you will travel the 120 kilometers that separate Bilbao from Santander. During your route you will be able to enjoy a landscape that alternates coastal areas with mountainous areas. This itinerary is characterized by its exuberant landscapes and spectacular views that will accompany the pilgrim.

Arrival in Bilbao

Once you have arrived in Bilbao on your own and settled in the accommodation you will be able to enjoy the charms of this modern city. You can not miss the famous museum of contemporary art: the Guggenheim Museum as well as let yourself go through its cobbled streets enjoying the wide range of local cuisine, with its famous “pintxos” as a star dish. It is also a day to rest, get mentally prepared for an unforgettable experience.

Bilbao – Portugalete

Dificultad LowTiempo estimado 4h 45′Distancia19,4 Km

You will dawn in Bilbao from where you will begin your stage. The beginning of the route will be marked by the peripheral industrial areas that you will have to cross until you meet nature again on your way to Portugalete. The high point of this stage will come when you have to cross the river Nervión by its famous Hanging Bridge also known as Puente Palacio.

Once in Portugalete we recommend visiting, among other tourist attractions, the Basilica of Santa Maria, the Tower of Salazar, the Iron Quay and the Old Town.

Portugalete – Castro Urdiales

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 7hDistancia27’6 Km

This stage alternates stretches along the coast with inland stretches in which the old routes used in the past for the extraction of iron from local mines will be traversed. For the first time, the path enters the province of Cantabria, where after several gentle ascents and descents, we end up at Castro Urdiales, leaving behind several villages, including Pobeña, a good place to stop and recharge your batteries.

Once in the coastal city of Castro Urdiales we recommend visiting the Castro Urdiales Castle Lighthouse, the Church of Santa María de la Asunción, the Santa Ana Castle Lighthouse, the Medieval Bridge, Ostende Beach and the Port.

Castro Urdiales – Laredo

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 6h 30′Distancia26,6 Km,

As in the previous stage, we will find slight ascents and descents that at no time will exceed 200 metres above sea level. The highest point is in Lugarejos. During the way we will cross small population nuclei before arriving at our destiny.

Laredo stands out for being the place where the coniscos, an ancient Cantabrian tribe, lived. It is also worth a walk through its old town also known as Puebla Antigua de Laredo to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and gastronomy of this Cantabrian people.

Laredo – Noja

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 6hDistancia23’3 Kms

Leaving Laredo behind, the stage crosses places of great natural beauty such as the Santoña marshes or the beach of Berría. For those who enjoy this route in summer you will have the chance to cross the estuary of Santoña by boat while if you choose to do so in winter you will have to take the interior variant or public transport. In any case, you must try their famous anchovies.

You will travel the last kilometres of this stage along the coast until finally the road will take you to the centre of Noja, a small coastal town where we recommend visiting the Torre de los Velasco, the Molino de Victoria and the Palacio Torre del Carmen.

Noja – Santander

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 5h 30′Distancia26 Kms

We leave Noja behind to begin a series of ascents and descents in the direction of the village of Somo. During the tour we will leave behind towns such as Arnuero and emblematic places such as the Bareyo mill. Once in Somo there are several options to cross the bay of Santander and get to the city. The most popular and recommended option, if the weather is good, would be to take a boat from the Pier of La Pedreña.

We will disembark next to the gardens of Pereda, in the heart of the town. In Santander you can not miss the famous beach of Sardinero, its cathedral or its historic center. On the other hand we recommend to take advantage of the afternoon to enjoy the local gastronomic offer that has as star dishes the cocido montañés and the rabas.


This is a day of farewells for many, the end of a journey, and why not, the beginning of many. The last day will dawn with one more road in your lives, but not a road of miles, but of experiences, emotions and new friendships; a journey that will be projected in your lives and will help you keep walking free towards your own goals. It has been a week since you decided to undertake this Northern Way from the city of Bilbao, and you have reached the end. Now it’s time to go home.

*After leaving the accommodation, end of service.


  • 7 days / 6 nights of accommodation
  • Backpack transfer service (1 package – máx. 20 kg.)
  • Credencial (Pilgrim’s passport)
  • Telephone assistance service 24/7
  • Travel assistance insurance
  • Single room supplement: 135 €/pax
  • Extra night in Bilbao / Santander: 60€ ind. / 80€ double
  • Breakfast: 50 €/pax
  • Half Board: 145 €/pax


  • 445 € pax double room


Accommodation in hostels, guesthouses and/or rural accommodations

We have selected for you the best accommodations so that you don’t have to worry about anything else but walking this path. El Camino del Norte presents, from Bilbao, a series of small hotels, hostels and rural houses with a lot of charm. They are simple, comfortable and without great luxuries, but very cosy, ideal to sleep and to rest.

* In case of an individual room, it will be necessary to pay a supplement.