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5 Nights – Coastal Trails of the Camino del Norte. Part 1 – from Bilbao to Oviedo

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6 Days, 5 Nights, Self-Guided
Max People : 14
Iberian Adventures > Destinations > Camino del Norte > 5 Nights – Coastal Trails of the Camino del Norte. Part 1 – from Bilbao to Oviedo
Tour Details

Self-Guided. 6 days, 5 nights.

This exclusive Iberian Adventures self-guided trip offers 4 days of hiking spectacular coastal trails along the rugged Atlantic seaboard in Asturias, one of Spain’s most beautiful regions. Our carefully designed itinerary combines the most attractive coastal sections of the famous pilgrims Way – El Camino de Santiago – along the “Camino del Norte”, as well as lesser-known trails – near but not on the Camino itself – that always seek to keep as close to the ocean as possible. It’s glorious hiking terrain, on some of the finest coastal paths in Europe. Scenic paths, beautiful sandy beaches, rocky coves, green pastures and gorse and heather clad clifftops, with plenty of cultural-historic interest along the way. Of course, this region is also known for great cuisine, whether from the sea or the land.

We offer this route in 2 sections: Part 1 is from Bilbao to Oviedo and Part 2 is from Oviedo to Ribadeo, making it easy to choose one or the other, or both depending on your time frame, interests and logistical requirements. 

In addition, you can easily combine these trips with our Camino Primitivo trips. Part 1 can easily be combined with one of our Camino Primitivo trips starting in Oviedo. Part 2 can combine with the final 100 km of the Primitivo from Lugo to Santiago.

Duration:

6 Days, 5 Nights

Meeting Point:

Bilbao (several daily flights from Madrid, Barcelona and other European cities).

Ending Point:

Oviedo. Option to link with the start of the Camino Primitivo itineraries OR continue with Part 2: Oviedo to Ribadeo.

Walk Difficulty and Terrain:

(B+ / C+)  Easy to Moderate, depending on whether you take longer or shorter options where offered.

Mostly gently rolling terrain / occasional short but steep ascents.

Surfaces range from grassy or earthen paths along cliff-top meadows, some dirt or muddy farm tracks, sandy beaches (depending on tides) and very short sections along quiet paved village roads.

Approximate walking distances:

9 – 11.2 km / 5.6 – 7 miles. Days range from 4 to 6 hours of easy walking.

Accommodations:

Bilbao – quality 3* or 4* hotels in a great location on or near the river, very close to the Guggenheim Museum and old town.

Llanes – a comfortable hotel in a 17th century convent in the old town

Ribadesella – an 18th century home in the “Indiano” style, on the waterfront

Lastres – an early 20th century traditional house with the best restaurant in town

All refurbished historic buildings have en-suite facilities and modern fittings. All properties are personally chosen for their comfort, character, location and overall quality.

Dates 2019:

You can start on any day of the week, from late March to late October.

Minimum number of people required to book:

1 or more

Price:

From 850 euros per person in twin or double rooms.

115 euros single room supplement.

Higher season rates will apply on certain dates, especially between mid-June and mid-September. This is very typical in coastal regions in Spain.

Price includes:

5 nights accommodation

5 breakfasts

All transfers of luggage and persons, required to complete the itinerary from Bilbao to Oviedo.

Optional walking tours (at extra cost) with local expert guides in Bilbao and Oviedo. Consult us!

Other options

Extra Night(s) in Bilbao prior to trip start date

Price Per Person: 80 euros per person in twin or double rooms.

15 euros single room supplement.

Highlights

Bilbao (Part 1 only) – this dynamic port city has become a global model for excellence in urban renewal, and a showcase for some of the world’s best architects, crowned by Frank Gehry’s fantastic Guggenheim Museum building.

Prehistoric cave art (Part 1 only) – you’ll have an opportunity to visit 2 fascinating caves with some of the world’s oldest known cave art. These visits are optional.

Oviedo – capital of Asturias, declared the “cleanest city in Spain”, with a beautifully conserved, pedestrian-only old quarter, and a UNESCO World Heritage cathedral containing relics that made it Spain’s second most important pilgrimage site after Santiago de Compostela. 

Fantastic coastal trails and dramatic scenery – the coastline here is rugged and very beautiful, and features some of the finest coastal paths in Europe, visiting sandy beaches and rocky coves, through green pastures and along gorse and heather clad clifftops. Many sections of run parallel to a nearby range of mountains providing an impressive backdrop to the landscape. 

Excellent beaches – we don’t exaggerate when we say that you’ll be passing by – and often walking across, depending on the tide – some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in Europe! The water is cold, but the beauty of a self-guided trip is that you set your own pace, so if you feel like a swim, the sea isn’t too rough and the weather is good that day, go ahead! Most beaches have shower facilities and during the summer season, lifeguards too.

Asturias – a “principality” within Spain. Although this is the Iberian peninsula’s most mountainous region, our route traverses its lovely coastal fringe of relatively level terrain, mostly meadows dotted with grazing cows, broken up by tiny fishing villages and farmhouse hamlets. Here, traditional lifestyles prevail, and the people are fiercely proud of their Celtic legacy and indomitable spirit – the Christian Reconquest of Iberia from the Moors began here with the 1st major defeat of the Moors at the Battle of Covadonga in 792.

Fewer pilgrims and more authenticity – this route runs through beautiful coastal but very rural landscapes. There are small towns and villages, chapels, churches although relatively few pilgrim’s refuges. Although not mountainous, the terrain is continuously rolling, and relative scarcity of services results in noticeably fewer pilgrims and a sense of authenticity often lacking on the much busier French Way.

Itinerary

Day 1Bilbao

Explore the area around the world famous Guggenheim Museum and Bilbao’s old town. Dinner at a typical Basque tavern, sharing “pintxos” – the local version of “tapas” – tasty morsels of varied kinds.

Overnight: 4 star hotel near the old town and Guggenheim.
Meals: we include no meals on arrival day.

Day 2Cave art, coastal trails of the Camino del Norte & Llanes

This morning you’ll leave the Basque Country, transferring westward along the coast, a very scenic drive. An optional stop en-route in Cantabria to visit a fascinating cave with prehistoric art – a UNESCO World Heritage site. Just after entering Asturias, you’ll be dropped off at a little village church, where you’ll start your first hike, leading the picturesque former whaling town of Llanes. On your way, just inland from a cliff edge, you’ll pass some curious “blow-holes” where the karstic erosion has created a series of tunnels leading from the water up to the surface, so that every time the waves come in, they force a mix of air and water up through the hole, creating a sight and sound much reminiscent of a whale’s spout!

Hike: 9 km / 5.6 mi
Overnight: 4 star historic hotel in a 17th century former convent in the old quarter of Llanes.
Meals: Breakfast and dinner included.

Day 3Coastal trails of the Camino del Norte

Today’s hike is along lovely clifftop trails linking sandy beaches, seaside villages and rocky coves. A highlight of the day will be one of the most spectacular beaches in all of Spain – Torimbia. A shorter and longer option is available.

Hike: 12.5 – 16 km / 7.8 – 10 mi. A shorter and longer hike option is available.
Overnight: 3 star hotel in Niembro or return to Llanes.
Meals: Breakfast included. Lunch and dinner on your own to explore.

Day 4Coastal trails of the Camino del Norte & Ribadesella.

Your trail follows more scenic paths crossing meadows, beautiful beaches and rugged coastline leading to the attractive Asturian port town of Ribadesella. The town’s main claim to fame are its Tito Bustillo caves, widely considered to contain some of the finest Neolithic cave paintings in the world. A guided visit of this UNESCO World Heritage site can be arranged.

Hike: 24.5 km / 15 mi. Shorter options are available by using a short taxi transfer at the start.
Overnight: 3 star hotel on the waterfront in Ribadesella.
Meals: Breakfast included. Lunch and dinner on your own to explore.

Day 5 Coastal trails of the Camino del Norte & Lastres.

The coastal route of the Camino de Santiago wends along more superb coastline, with a succession of golden beaches and pretty towns, ending in the fishing port of Lastres, winner of a coveted award as one of Spain’s most beautiful villages and was the setting of an amusing Spanish TV series called Doctor Mateo, about the lives of a doctor and other inhabitants of a fictional town called San Martín del Sella.

Hike: 27.5 km / 17 mi. Much shorter options are available by using a short taxi transfer at the start.

Day 6Oviedo

This trip ends, but in the morning we’ll transfer you to the Oviedo area where you have several options:
– Asturias airport for flights to certain international destinations as well as Madrid and Barcelona
– Oviedo train station where you can take the train to León (on the Camino Francés) and Madrid
– Stay overnight in the city, then your own plans onwards
– Begin Day 1 of Part 2 of the “Best Coastal Trails of the Camino del Norte”, from Oviedo to Ribadeo
– Begin Day 1 of any of our Camino Primitivo trips

Oviedo is the capital of Asturias and declared “cleanest city in Spain”. The city has a beautifully conserved, pedestrian-only old quarter with attractive squares and pleasant safe streets, as well as several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the Holy Chamber of the Gothic San Salvador cathedral with relics that made it Spain’s second most important pilgrimage site after Santiago de Compostela.

Day 2 – Optional stop en-route from Bilbao, before starting hike, to visit UNESCO World Heritage cave art
 These caves are the Cuevas del Castillo, with some of the world’s oldest known cave art. See more info here:

We can arrange a private guided tour in English, taking approx 50 min. This means adding a total of approximately 90 min extra to your schedule that day. If you like this idea, we can compensate by starting the hike closer to Llanes to make is shorter.

Please consult us for this option as availability is limited depending on the date and time.

 

Day 4 or 5 – Optional visit UNESCO World Heritage cave art in Ribadesella
 These caves are the Cuevas de Tito Bustillo, with some of the world’s most spectacular cave art. See more info here.

We can arrange a private guided tour in English, taking approx 60 min. This can be done on arrival at the end of your hike on Day 4 or in the morning of Day 5.

Please consult us for this option as availability is limited depending on the date and time.

Map

Photos