Main cities and towns through the road: Bayona – Hondarribia – Donosti – Zarauz – Gernika – Bilbao – Castro Urdiales – Santoña – Santander – Santillana del Mar – Llanes – Ribadesella – Oviedo – Fonsagrada – Castroverde – Lugo – Melide – Arzua – Santiago de Compostela.
For many different reasons a large number of pilgrims journeyed to Santiago de Compostela along the coast from Bayonne, France crossing the Basque Country, Cantabria, Asturias and eventually reaching Galicia. The very first pilgrims who travelled to Santiago de Compostela only dared to venture along the coast as these were the only areas at peace in the turbulent period during the first millennium.
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Arrival & accommodation of your choice in Hondarribia.
Start your journey in Hondarribia, a picturesque and beautiful medieval town on the border between Spain and France. Continue to San Sebastian, a beautiful city by the La Concha Bay, with vestiges of Roman walls and superb buildings such as the Parish Church of San Vicente. Next to Zarauz with the Tower of Luzea and a splendid beach, and from here to Gernika, the ancient, sacred city of the Basques. Finally onto Bilbao. Accommodation of your choice in Bilbao.
Bilbao, the largest Basque city, which in recent times has enjoyed a well planned revitalisation bringing a new lease of life to this very charming old port. Sights include the famous Guggenheim Museum, the Fine Arts Museum, a splendid Old Quarter, a lovely riverside walkway, a funicular ride that affords terrific views of the city and not forgetting the Puente Colgante; a remarkable Hanging Transporter Bridge built in 1893 and still in use today. Continuing west you reach Castro Urdiales, with the Church of Santa Maria, one of the best examples of gothic architecture in Cantabria. Then onto Santoña, a maritime town with several gothic buildings such as the Church of Santa Maria. Overnight in Santander in the accommodation of your choice.
Santander, once a summer resort of the Spanish royal family, is today a busy port and a splendid city. The 12th century Cathedral was rebuilt in 1941, after a devastating fire. Worth visiting are the small zoo close to the Palace of Magdalena, the Museum of Archaeology and Prehistory and the beach at Sardinera. Moving along the coast you next visit Santillana del Mar, which is considered a national monument and one of the prettiest towns in Spain. A great number of 15th to 17th century houses are still standing here and the Romanesque Colegiate of Santa Juliana must also be highlighted. Afterwards move on to Asturias. Accommodation of your choice in the Ribadesella area.
After visiting the picturesque old quarter of Ribadesella, head to Oviedo the charming capital of Asturias and a University city. Just north of the city are two of the most magnificent Pre-Romanesque churches: Santa Maria del Naranco and San Miguel de Lillo. Within the city itself be sure to visit the Gothic Cathedral (14th century) and the San Tirso Church. Moving along you pass through Castroverde where you will find the beautiful Church of Santiago, before arriving in Lugo for the night. Accommodation of your choice in Lugo.
Visit Lugo, which was an important centre under the Roman domination. The city walls have been declared World Heritage by UNESCO. Other sites in the city include the Romanesque Cathedral, the old quarter and the Town Hall Square. Proceed to Melide, where the Church of San Pedro and the medieval bridge are worth mentioning. Next to Arzua, the last step before arriving in Santiago de Compostela, where you can see the church of Santiago and the pazo or country manor of San Lazaro. Finally to Santiago de Compostela. Accommodation of your choice in Santiago de Compostela.
Arrival to Santiago de Compostela, the third most important place of pilgrimage after Jerusalem and Rome. Around the magnificent Plaza del Obradoiro, you can find an ensemble of splendid buildings such as the dominating Cathedral of St. James (11th century, Baroque facade) and the Parador de Los Reyes Catolicos (once an inn and a hospital for sick pilgrims), with a Plateresque facade. Other fine buildings too numerous to mention include the Convent of San Martiño Pinario, in Baroque style with a Plateresque façade. Accommodation of your choice in Santiago de Compostela.
Return to your point of departure.
If you like the look of the above Suggested Tour we will gladly prepare a quote for you. The itinerary is not rigid and can be modified to suit your needs.
Below is a selection of the accommodation we would recommend for this tour. Click on the Hotel Code or symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property. If you have registered to use our Spain Travel & Holiday Planner, you need only click on to insert it into your itinerary.
|Camino de Santiago - Coastal Road||Hotel Code||Classification||Information|
|1 night in HONDARRIBIA||PAR09 PARADOR||Paradors|
|1 night in Lugo||GAL28||Country Hotel w/ pool|