Start: San Vicente de la Barquera End: Tama
After arrival at Santander or Bilbao airport, you take the bus to the city centre of Santander and from there a direct bus to San Vicente (3 to 4 buses a day, in July and August up to 9, duration 75min). If you arrive in San Vicente de la Barquera with some time, this beautiful historical fishing town is worth an afternoon stroll through its old town and the port.
To avoid a steep and uninteresting section, you will be driven with the luggage transfer part of the way, up to the village of Serdio. Here you will see for the first time the route signs for the Camino Lebaniego, the branch from the Camino de Santiago to the pre-Romanesque monastery of Santo Toribio, which was quite popular among pilgrims in medieval times because of a Lignum Crucis relic. Your route today takes you down to the river Nansa, then Southward along its shore.
Challenge: 13 - 17.5 km / 8 - 11 mi, 300 m ascent, 285 m descent, 4 - 5.5 hrs
Again you will be taken with the luggage transfer to avoid a long section of tarmac road into the valley of Lamasón, you will be dropped off at the small hamlet La Fuente, apparently in the middle of nowhere. A steep surfaced tractor road takes you uphill to the pass Collada de la Hoz (at 665 m) from where you look down upon the Cicera valley and the limestone wall of the Picos de Europa at the back. The rest of the walk is a step back into history, as you traverse the rural hinterland, first down to the village of Cicera (465 m), then up again to the Arceón pass (845 m) and down again to Lebeña. You will have time to visit the unique Mozarabic church Santa Maria de la Lebeña and admire the gothic statue of Mother Mary, before a taxi drives you to your cosy and comfortable rural hotel.
Challenge: 13 km / 8 mi, 750 m ascent, 800 m descent, 5.5 hrs.
Extension from Lebeña to Castro Cillórigo: + 4.5 km / 3 mi, + 2 h, + 250 m ascent, + 200 m descent
After a 10 min transfer to Allende we rejoin the Camino Lebaniego on its last section. First 340 m uphill to Cabañes - a small hamlet with with beautiful views of the valley - then through an old chestnut wood via Pendes and back to Tama. From here, you continue to the nearby medieval town of Potes. Here, we take some time to prepare ourselves for the spiritual climax of the pilgrim´s route, which - unfortunately - is not the most interesting part: the last 3 km along the sidewalk of the main road and then up and down to the monastery of Santo Toribio. At the end of the day, there will be a transfer back to the hotel.
Challenge: 12 km / 7,5 mi, 5 hrs, 530 m ascent, 450 m descent
Up to Santo Toribio: + 3 km / 2 mi, + 1h, + 225 m ascent and descent
After breakfast, you take a bus back to Santander or Bilbao, but during high season an extra night stay at the hotel in Tama is compulsory. You might want to spend this day in the high part of the Picos de Europa, taking the cable car at Fuente Dé and starting at the upper cable car station (1835 m), walking down to Espinama, via the high pastures of Áliva. There are public buses that can take you there and back.
Challenge: 10 km / 6 mi, 4.5 - 5 hrs, 500 m ascent and descent
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Some of the hotels we work with appear here. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked.
It is a centric hotel with an excellent location at the begining of the harbour, close to the fishing quarter of La Barquera and to the old town. With beautiful views of the bay and the estuary. With comfortable rooms decorated in a navy-style and a nice terrace with views to enjoy a cool drink.
Traditional house built in the second half of the 19th century in ashlar stone, it has undergone a thorough restoration respecting the original building and enriching it with noble materials such as wood and local stone, as well as a modern, comfortable decoration with all the services.
The hotel was opened less than 8 years ago so the hotel has modern facilities that maintain the essence of rural tourism and the Cantabrian mountain style. The hotel offers 14 rooms, 2 apartments , lounge, a relaxation area with sauna , jacuzzi and gym, a large terrace and garden area , cafeteria , library with computer and Internet access throughout the building. Very conveniently located, close to the well-known medieval town of Potes.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April and October.
The nearest airports to San Vicente are Santander (SDR) and Bilbao (BIO)
Arrival in San Vicente de la Barquera
From Santander or Bilbao airport, you take the bus to the city centre of Santander and from there a direct bus to San Vicente. There are 3 - 4 buses a day, in July and August up to 9, duration is 75 min; time schedules at www.lacantabrica.net
Departure from Tama
You will need to transfer to Potes bus station. From here there are buses to Santander airport run by Palomera. From Santander airport, you can take a bus to Bilbao, time schedules at www.alsa.es
NOTE: It is wise to book your bus tickets and taxi transfer in advance, especially for arrivals and when travelling in summer or on Friday afternoons.
Airport transfers for arrival / departure can be booked in advance through S-cape Travel. Costs will depend on number of passengers, airport used and time of pick up.
If you come by car from Santander or Bilbao airports, you should take highway E-70 / A-8 direction Torrelavega / Oviedo and take exit 64 to San Vicente de la Barquera. At the roundabout, take the first exit direction CA-243, heading to San Vicente de la Barquera.
GPS tracks are available upon request