Camino del Norte – out and back NC7

Santander – Santiago – Circular tour

Based on 14 nights self-drive independent tour in Spain

The classic Northern Spain itinerary adapted to combine with the ferry crossings to Bilbao and Santander. The stops are interleaved to keep driving times reasonable so you can cruise to Spain in style with your own car, motorbike or classic car – and discover north-west Spain at a leisurely pace.

This out-and-back tour is a great solution for those wishing to enter and return via the same Spanish airport, combing well for example with the routes from Manchester and Bristol to Bilbao or Dublin and Edinburgh to Santander.

The route follows close to one of the main ways of St James yet never far from the dramatic coastline and with the stunning Cordillera de Cantabria mountain range as a backdrop. 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:

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

From £1000* per person

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

Lastres, Asturias

Day 1 to 3 – Asturias: Picos & Dinosaur Coast

  • Picos de Europa soaring directly above the coast
  • Mirador del Fito – the best view of the Picos & the coast
  • Jurassic footprints by the beaches
  • Canoe down the Sella or get out on a fishing boat
  • Oviedo’s fine Pre-Romanesque architecture
Playa Catedrales

Day 4 & 5 – 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
  • Sagadelo pottery, traditional yet with a modern look.
Santiago Cathedral

Day 6 & 7 – 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

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)

Day 10 & 11 – 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
Oyambre Beach

Day 12 to 14 – 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

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 book 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

Getting there

An out-and-back itinerary, this route is best enjoyed either from the Basque Country (Bilbao) or Galicia (Santiago – A Coruña). The best options are:

  • Flight connections from-to:
    • Stansted: Bilbao with Easyjet / Santander, Santiago and Vigo with Ryanair
    • Heathrow: A Coruña with BA
    • Gatwick: Bilbao with BA / Asturias with Vueling / Santiago with Easyjet
    • Manchester: Bilbao with Easyjet
    • Edinburgh: Santander with Ryanair / Bilbao with Easyjet
    • Dublin: Santander or Vigo with Ryanair / Santiago or Bilbao with Aer Lingus
    • Bristol: Bilbao with Easyjet
  • Ferry: if you wish to bring your own car, classic car or motorbike

Make the same itinerary point-to-point – please click here for more details

Getting around

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. Please consult about parking at hotels if travelling with a classic car, motorbike or other ‘special’ vehicle.

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.

What our clients say

3 week tour in Cantabria, Asturia and Galicia, interesting, different, wonderful scenery, great food, superb accommodation

client 2018

A great itinerary.

Client 2018

Picos de Europa

This was a completely new part of Spain for us which we have wanted to explore for a while and it did not disappoint.

-client 2018

Playa de Vega - Ribadesella

The hotels were great, scenery was stunning and the food was fantastic. We had an amazing time.

-client 2018


Made to measure!

Excellent accommodation and itinerary, very clear information prior to booking and to guide us on our journeys.

-client 2018

Real attention to detail for all aspects of the trip.

-client 2018

The hotels and holiday information were excellent and we enjoyed all the places we visited.

-client 2018

Casas Cantabricas was very helpful on the phone in booking the tour …. Well planned and well organised!

-client 2018

Vines la Rioja

We saw fabulous beaches and coves, mountains and forests and managed to fit in some cathedrals and museums along the way. New to holidaying in Spain we put ourselves in the hands of the excellent people at Casas Cantabricas who worked out an itinerary which suited our needs.

-client 2017

Fuente De Clouds stage

Casas Cantabricas and their information, especially on their app made the whole experience so simple and gave us so many ideas of places to go and things to do along each leg of the journey. My Spanish was not always up to the occasion but it provides a Winter project ready for next year’s Spanish road trip – with Casas Cantabricas.

-client 2017

Oyambre Beach

We thoroughly enjoyed the beauty and variety found in this region of Spain. Staying in a range of small independent hotels – all of which were special in their own way – we received a very warm welcome and excellent service at each of them.

Our holiday exceeded our expectations – Casas Cantabricas did a good job.

-client 2017

Northern Spain has lovely sandy beaches with a splendid mountainous backdrop. The roads are quiet and in better shape than our own UK roads and driving is stress free.

-client 2017

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

– client 2016

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

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

The hotels were wonderful and we have no complaints on any score. All of the owners/staff were extremely welcoming and very helpful to us in making the most of our visit.

– client 2014

Boats Luarca

We had a really great time and thoroughly enjoyed the tour which you had put together for us. It contained the perfect combination of interesting places and sights and gave a wonderful oversight of the entire region.

– client 2014

Camino del Norte tour in images