Information about stage 8: Stage from Bilbao to Portugalete
It take 5 to 7 hours if you walk it in one day
Km 0. Bilbao (All services)
La Tendería , which is part of the seven primitive streets of Bilbao, ends at Calle de la Ribera, which we follow on the left. Here is the large covered market of La Ribera . After 120 meters we leave the street to the right to cross the Nervión or Ibaizabal estuary by the San Antón bridge. It illustrates the municipal coat of arms and replaced the medieval bridge that for many centuries was the only ford over the estuary. In Wikipedia we can read that “in the 15th century criminals were impounded under this bridge”, which was none other than tying a stone to their necks and throwing it into the water. After the bridge we turn right onto Bilbao la Vieja street, which connects straight on with San Francisco street. We go out to the Zabalburu square and head straight on the endless Autonomía street for 1.3 kilometers. Without changing the direction we will connect with Montevideo avenue (Km 2.7) . We pass by the Basurto Health Center and soon turn left to go up Lezeaga street for a long way. The itinerary later takes advantage of a pedestrian path that zigzags until it reaches the Kobetas Road, where we have another privileged view of the city. In this natural viewpoint of Mount Kobetas, where the Altamira neighborhood hangs , is the pilgrims’ hostel .
km 4.4. Bilbao pilgrims hostel
Next to the Bilbobus shelter we turn left to go down the other slope along a stony path. Perhaps the smoke from the Profusa factory , for the production of coke for foundry, will alert us, which brings the residents of the Delicias neighborhood into check. During the descent you have to pay attention to a turn to the left to take a curve. Further on we pass a gate and continue until the road, through which we descend. After a tunnel we arrive at Estrada Bizkorta, next to the Basurto-Castrexana highway. We resume the march to the left and take the crossroads to Las Delicias, where we cross the Kadagua river over the Devil’s bridge (Km 6.8) . We enter the neighborhood of Las Delicias-Urgozo , in the municipality of Barakaldo, about 50 meters after crossing the bridge we find a wooden signpost that indicates the way to Balmaseda (forgotten path) or to the north path, ours. Once we have crossed the tracks, we go up the paved track that goes to Santa Águeda. After several steep bends, we leave the track to the left and enter the medieval road under the mixed forest of Larrazabal. Through this road, which was the Camino Real, the merchants went down to Castilla, via Balmaseda through the Mena valley to Burgos, the products arrived from Europe and brought up the grain and wool to ship them to the continent. The road gives way once again to the track, which now has ramps that seem to have been transferred from Angliru and Cuitu Nigru and which reach the hermitage of Santa Águeda , where there is a fountain and an ideal space to make the first stop (Km 7,9) . We resume the journey along the paved track that ends up descending to the Cruces neighborhood of Baracaldés , where its emblematic hospital stands out .
Km 11. Cruces (Barakaldo) (All services)
Attention, because at the entrance roundabout you have to turn left onto Calle de La Paz, in the direction of the soccer field. We border this and go down to the bidegorri (bicycle path with paved path for pedestrians) that goes to the side of the Castaños river) . After a tunnel we turn right to continue along Ametzaga de Retuerto street , also a neighborhood in Baracaldés. We cross the N-634 through an underpass.
km 12.2. Retuerto (Barakaldo) (All services)
After the parish of the Sacred Heart we continue along a narrow street. At the end of the alley we continue to the right along Euskadi street, under the highway. At the roundabout we continue to the left next to the Kokoxily restaurant and head along Avenida de la Ribera in the direction of the Megapark . At the entrance to this extensive shopping park we turn right following a pedestrian and cycle path. We followed it for a long way to the end of the shopping complex and went down to the left by some stairs to the Galindo river promenade , where there is a post on the Camino indicating the distances to Sestao and Portugalete. About 1.3 kilometers later we cross the river and through a metal corridor we arrive at a decaying area with the buildings of theAurrerá Cooperative Society . A landscape motivated by the depopulation suffered in recent decades. We go to the slope of the Gran Vía de José Antonio de Agirre, in the Kueto neighborhood of Sestao . By the way, quite annoying at this point in the stage. At the top we pass by the Kueto Health Center and arrive at the Sestao Town Hall . The place name of the municipality may come from Sextus , the Latin name with which the Roman legion baptized the mountain where it was based.
km 17.8. Sestao (All services)
Next to the Town Hall we turn to the right (be careful because the metal plate that signals it goes unnoticed), going down Aizpuru street. The border between Sestao and Portugalete is almost an imaginary line and soon we are walking towards the mouth of the Nervión, where a tightrope walker structure crosses the estuary on several towers. This suspension bridge , with the function of a ferry between Portugalete and Getxo, was inaugurated in 1893 and has been a World Heritage Site since 2006. It covers 160 meters in length and is supported by four towers that rise to more than 60 meters in height. Having time, it is advisable to get a ticket to visit the catwalk. The views towards the interior of the estuary and the mouth with the port of Bilbao are magnificent. At the height of the church of Santa María we turn to the right to visit it and after going around it we continue through the Cantón de la Iglesia. Then we can turn right onto Coscojales street and then take Santa Clara street, the first on the left. It ends at Casilda Iturrizar street. The hostel is located at number 8, which is set up in the months of July and August on the ground floor of the Ramón Real de Asúa building.
km 19.7. Portugalete (All services)
Leg-breaker itinerary to Santa Agueda
The ascent to Mount Kobetas, to a lesser extent, and to the hermitage, where you climb 180 meters of unevenness in just over a kilometer, turn an urban walk into something more.
Concentration also tires
Although the route is very well signposted, looking for poles, arrows and tiles among so many urban signs forces you to concentrate more than you should.
There are two options to get to Portugalete, the official route described in this guide or along the right bank, following the estuary, always on the flat, to the suspension bridge. Next, we describe this second option.From the cathedral we take Bidebarrieta street, which takes us to the Arriaga theater and once there we continue next to the estuary leaving it on our left, we advance close to the estuary leaving the town hall, Zubizuri, La Salve bridges on our left , Pedro Arrupe, Deusto and the Euskalduna bridge, the latter at kilometer 3, we cross the roundabout and continue straight always parallel to the estuary without getting lost, either by a green lane suitable for walkers or by sidewalk as requested to the municipality of Erandio , kilometer 8.We leave Erandio next to the estuary and after a kilometer and a half we arrive at a crossroads with some bronze statues, we continue straight ahead leaving a gas station and some commercial warehouses on our right, at the end of these we come to a canal that flows into the estuary, just after crossing the canal we turn right onto a dirt track that leads us to a roundabout, we continue straight on Felipe del rio street to turn left at the next roundabout and arrive again next to the estuary. We continue leaving this on our left until the municipality of Getxo, where we will arrive at the Suspension Bridge that we will have to cross to enter Portugalete, kilometer 13.Cyclists can opt for this second option or for a bike lane that starts at the Olabeaga wharf, next to San Mames, and goes to Zorroza on the left bank.Following the official itinerary, the ascent to Santa Agueda crosses a medieval road that preserves its cobblestones.
What to see, what to do
Portugalete is located at the mouth of the Nervión , on the left bank of the estuary, bordering on the north with Santurtzi and the sea, on the south with Sestao, on the east with Getxo and Leioa and on the west with Ortuella and Trapagaran. It sits on a hill, one of whose slopes descends towards the Ría and the other towards the Ballonti river, both waterways serving as limits. Included in the Greater Bilbao region, it is 13 km from said capital. The Tourist Office is located on Paseo de la Canilla, s/n. Telephone: 944 729 314.
The bridge, inaugurated in 1893, was built by the Biscayan engineer Alberto Palacio y Elissague, a disciple of the creator of the Eiffel Tower . It is a pure structural element, devoid of any decorative covering, made up of two double piers, one on each bank, which raise cables up to 61 meters high and are anchored at both ends, in solid foundations located about 110 meters from the aforementioned towers. A cart slides over the crossbar from which hangs a system of crossed cables that hold the gondola that transports passengers and vehicles from one town to another. The original towers are built in riveted steel, while the current crossbar corresponds to the reconstruction carried out in the years 1940 and 1941, after being blasted during the Civil War, and although it differs slightly from the original, it respects the structural concept of the design. The gondola , which transports passengers and cars in just over a minute, is the one that has evolved the most over time, since in front of the first platform, which was open and covered by a simple tile, the current offers greater comfort to passengers.