Camino del Norte NC1

Bilbao to Santiago by the coastal route

Based on 14 nights self-drive independent tour in Spain

The classic Northern Spain itinerary, following close to one of the original ways of St James yet never far from the beautiful coastline with the backdrop of the Cordillera de Cantabria mountain range. From start to finish you’ll find great walking, superb food and wine, great cities and lovely, well preserved towns to investigate as well as the legacy of hundreds of years of pilgrimage.

The full route takes two weeks but you can do as little, or as much, as you like.

Tour Highlights:

  • World class wines and gastronomy
  • Spain’s most beautiful beaches
  • Breathtaking mountain scenery
  • The ‘Way of St James’, steeped in history
  • Magnificent cities, unspoilt villages
  • Ancient architecture to ultra modern Guggenheim
Book now

£1000 - £1275* per person

* Indicative prices (including car hire – flights not included). Ferry-drive based on 2 people £1100 to £1450 p.p. for 14 nights.

Guggenheim Bilbao

Day 1 & 2 – Bilbao & the Basque Country

  • Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim & its sister the Bellas Artes
  • Basque cuisine, pintxos or something more substantial
  • Basque coast, lovely beaches, spectacular rock formations
  • Head for the hills, great walking just near the city
  • San Sebastian, Belle Epoque elegance by the sea
Oyambre Beach

Days 3 to 5 – Western Cantabria

  • Historic seaside towns of San Vicente, Comillas or Santillana del Mar
  • Sandy beaches and craggy protected coves
  • Carmona, Barcena Mayor in the beautiful valleys
  • Prehistoric cave paintings at Altamira and many more
  • Wonderful walks along the coast or in the rolling hills
Fuente De Clouds stage

Day 6 & 7 – Picos de Europa 

  • Breathtaking mountain scenery, walks & activities for all
  • Wildlife, butterflies to birds of prey, bears too!
  • Make a pilgrimage to Santo Toribio
  • Cable car at Fuente De whisks you up to 1800m
  • Potes, Cangas and Arriondas, historic yet full of life
  • Local mountain gastronomy, cider & Orujo
Boats Luarca

Day 8 & 9 – Western Asturias

  • Pretty fishing villages such as Cudillero & Luarca
  • Beautiful beaches & dramatic cliff-top coastal walks
  • Dinosaur coast & Jurassic museum
  • Oviedo, historic Asturian capital & Gijon by the sea
  • National Park of Somiedo – maybe you’ll see bears!
  • Visit a traditional Asturian cider house (sidrería)
Playa Catedrales stage

Day 10 to 12 – Costa Lucense, Galicia

  • Great seafood – famed throughout Spain
  • Playa de los Catedrales, one of many fantastic beaches
  • Unspoilt coastline with lovely fishing villages
  • Viveiro, lively seaside city with an atmospheric old town
  • Sagardelo pottery, traditional yet with a modern look
Santiago Cathedral

Day 13 & 14 – Santiago de Compostela, Galicia

  • Journey’s end, for centuries Europe’s most important pilgrim destination
  • World heritage city centred around the magnificent Cathedral, said to house the bones of St James
  • Guided walking tour, there’s so much to discover
  • Lively bar scene, great tapas and young Ribeiro wine, or if you prefer, a drop of Albariño

What’s included

The itinerary includes the following:

  • Accommodation in our listed hotels – 2 sharing 1 std. double ensuite, B&B
  • Economy 4dr car hire
  • or ferry crossings with Brittany Ferries (car + 2 berth interior cabin)
  • Guide to Northern Spain
  • Restaurant guide covering regions en-route
  • Instructions to find all accommodation & regional road map

Not included:

  • Flights – but we are able to advise
  • One-way car hire charges, where applicable (see your quote email)
  • The following car hire extras – these can be added at pick-up point
    • extra driver
    • child seats
    • GPS
  • Garage parking where applicable (mostly city stops) – please ask us about parking charges

Travel info

Getting there

A point-to-point itinerary, this route is best enjoyed flying in to the Basque Country and back from Galicia – or vice versa – the best options are:

  • Connections from-to:
    • Stansted: Bilbao with Easyjet / Santiago with Vueling and Ryanair
    • Heathrow: Bilbao with BA / A Coruña with BA
    • Gatwick: Bilbao with Vueling / Santiago with Easyjet and Vueling
    • Edinburgh: Santander with Ryanair / Vigo with Ryanair
  • Single port of entry and return: Interleaving the stages

Getting around

For passengers travelling by air we will include a hire car as part of the package. Normally we include a 4 door economy class car but please let us know if you would like something different.

For those coming on the ferry you will use your own vehicle but in either case we will provide full instructions to arrive at each hotel, complete with GPS, as well as a map of the area.

Camino del Norte in images

Playa Isla y Sierra del Sueve

We started in Bilbao and ended in Santiago and toured along the coast and explored the Picos Europa in between. Hotels were great, scenery was amazing and food was fantastic. We had a ball.

– client 2018

…about Casa Cantabricas …. Everything felt personal and all the bookings and directions went smoothly. The chosen hotels and stopping points were perfect and much better than we could ever have hoped to find ourselves. Would certainly use again and would happily recommend to others.

– client 2018

We highly recommend this area for those wanting a slightly different holiday.

– client 2017

Naranjo de Bulnes spring

….. I have already recommended this holiday and company to others and would book another tour through them again. A really great holiday.

– client 2017

We had a great holiday made easy by your great organisation and brilliant choice of accommodation.

– client 2016

The quality of the Hotels and the service given at every one was excellent. The booking process was simple and the information provided very useful.

– client 2016

Fuente De Clouds stage
Oyambre Beach

… from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela. It was an interesting mix of coast, mountains and towns. The hotels we stayed in were very varied, including a medieval house, a grand villa, a monastery and an ultra-modern hotel.

– client 2016

Casas Cantabricas were so helpful from pre-booking to the day of arrival. They are very knowledgeable about the area and provided lots of useful information to enable us to make the most of our stay. I felt that nothing was too much trouble for them.

– client 2016

Just a note to thanks you for organising a great holiday!  Everything worked well, and the hotels and people were lovely.

The [Vamoos] travel app is excellent so far and extremely easy to load

– client 2016

Thank you for putting together an excellent programme for us which we enjoyed immensely.
All of the hotels chosen were superb. We were made feel very welcome everywhere.
We would like to return again within the next 12 months.
Well done!

– client 2016

Boats Luarca

Casas Cantabricas arranged a stunning tour of Green Spain. They made it easy for us to get full enjoyment out of this lovely area. The tour was well paced giving us ample time to relax and enjoy the sights.

– client 2016

Casas Cantabricas proved to be very knowledgeable about the region visited. Their service was excellent, meeting all of our needs.

– client 2016

The Hotels were very good and extremely interesting, fully matching our desire for older properties full of character. We would definitely use this company again and recommend anyone to do likewise.

– client 2016