Information about stage 11: Stage from Castro Urdiales to Laredo
It take 12 to 14 hours if you walk it in one day
Notice: The Islares hostel is CLOSED until further notice.
Km 0. Castro Urdiales – Center (All services)
We leave the hostel and continue to the right, finishing up the ascent to Campijo . At the top we go to the left, in the direction of the Camping , and we pass under the Cantabrian highway . Leaving the tunnel we continue to the right and visit several houses in the castreño neighborhood of Campijo . At the next fork, the Way continues to the right, leaving the Camping on the other side, and continues along a track and a stretch of road to Allendelagua , which has an Asset of Cultural Interest: the ruins of a medieval Templar castle located on the slope of Mount San Antón. At the entrance we pass next to the church of San Marcos (Km 1.8)and we cross the castro population to go down next to the A-8. The itinerary runs parallel to the highway, leaving aside the crossing to the Saltizones neighborhood (Km 3) and later passes under it to go up to Cerdigo , another district of Castro represented by its church of San Juan , which still maintains its apse Romanesque, dated around the 13th century. The temple is as soon as you enter. We go down to the center.
km 4.1. piggy
We cross the N-634 and later pass next to the cemetery. The Path turns north to approach the coast through a gate and a tunnel of Mediterranean vegetation. Countless ruts form a gratifying coastal path, with multiple gates, that takes us to Islares . Luciano Huidobro states that the walkers had five beds at their disposal at the Hospital de la Vera Cruz. At the entrance, the Camino passes next to the church (the pilgrims’ hostel is next door) .
km 7.3. Islares (Hostel. Bar. Shop)
We continue along Casal street. The services are located on the edge of the National and then you can continue along it until you connect with the Camino. The official signs lead next to Camping de Arenillas , where there is a restaurant bar and a shop . From this point we come across a dangerous section along the shoulder of the N-634. Later on we can use some tracks that are behind the right shoulder. We are seeing the Oriñón estuary , the mouth of the Agüera river that has an area of marshes. At this stage, the dilemma arises again of whether to continue along the N-634 to Laredo, like this by rough means, or to follow the official Camino. Although longer is the option we recommend.Next to the viaduct, the official Way leaves the road and goes up to Nocina , one of the more than twenty neighborhoods that make up the municipality of Guriezo.
km 11.6. Nocina (Hostel. Bar)
If someone wants to spend the night at the Pontarrón de Guriezo hostel, they must continue a few more meters along the N-634 to the El Pontarrón bar and pick up the keys there. The hostel is located a few meters ahead of the bar, at the foot of the CA-151. From Nocina we go down to the CA-151 , with a pedestrian lane, and we approach the Rioseco neighborhood . On the thick hill, the monumental San Vicente de la Maza stands out , an excellent Renaissance example that took the baton from a monastery.
km 13.4. Rioseco (Bar)
Be careful, because right at the entrance to Rioseco you have to turn 90º to the left to get to the Pomar neighborhood . There is a fountain and a washing place and after crossing the Rioseco stream we continue to the right as far as a housing estate and the hermitage of San Lorenzo . Later on we pass next to San Blas , from the 17th century and located in a beautiful spot in the Revilla neighborhood (Km 14.6) . After a straight line we arrive at the CA-520 and continue to the right until a roundabout, where the El Puente neighborhood is located . Here is the Guriezo Town Hall and a large part of the valley’s services.
El Puente (Bars. Shops. Health Center. Pharmacy. ATM)
The Camino continues straight ahead towards the neighborhood of La Magdalena . Before you have to cross the river Agüera . It seems that the ancient pilgrims who did not take the boat in the estuary, entered here to cross the riverbed on foot. Just before the church we leave the road to the right (Km 16.3) and take a detour to the La Riera house , where the ascent begins. A track leads to a silent eucalyptus forest. After half an hour we leave the track on the right that goes to the Lugarejos neighborhood (if someone needs water they can take a detour) (Km 18.7) , and we immediately finish the ascent.
After a flat section dotted with gorse and heather, with the Peña de las Abejas rock in front on the right, we begin the descent through a suggestive and isolated landscape. After a while we passed a house called La Pavana (Km 21) and then under the A-8 viaduct . It is worth stopping and contemplating the emerald green valley of Liendo , the Jacobean pass to Laredo. Sheltered by Mount Candina , more than a dozen neighborhoods sit between pastures and orchards. As soon as we pass the viaduct, we go down to the right to the Rocillo neighborhood (Km 22.9) . Then we cross the Sopeña neighborhood and shortly arrive at the Hazas neighborhood, capital of the valley and another possible and comfortable end of the stage. It concentrates all the services and has a good hostel for pilgrims , which we find just behind the church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción (Km 24.5) .
km 24.5. Hazas (Liendo) (All services)
We continue straight ahead along a road that goes up until it connects with the N-634, along which we continue the ascent. At one point the signs take us from the National Highway to the left to go down to Tarrueza (Km 27.6) , (although it is reflected on the map of the stage, it seems to us a somewhat absurd detour, since it descends sharply to Tarrueza to then ascend all those meters and end up going back to the National). A matter of taste whether to take the detour or continue along the National. After km 169 we turn right through the La Arenosa neighborhood to the La Torre viewpoint bar, with an excellent panoramic view of what was once one of the four villas on the Costa de la Mar.
After the bar we go down to the left along a lane, (a pity that the wall deprives us of the panoramic view) next to a transept, and as soon as we cross the access road we take some stairs straight ahead. They go down to the door of San Lorenzo or arch of La Calzada , which gives access to the chapel of the Holy Spirit and Laredo . Calle San Francisco is just the street on the left, which leads a few meters to the homonymous convent, where the Casa de la Trinidad hostel is located (Km 30.6) . The Buen Pastor hostel is also in front of the convent.
km 30.6. Laredo (All services)
Ascent from La Magdalena:
Leaving the Magdalena neighborhood, a drop of 200 meters is overcome in 2.5 kilometers, a very bearable effort.
- Caution at the exit of Cerdigo because you have to cross the road and there is no zebra crossing.
- There is an “alternative” on Mount Candina, it is dangerous and not suitable for people with vertigo, not recommended.
In today’s stage there are several alternatives to the official layout that we describe in the “the itinerary” section, we describe them below.
The first decision we must make is whether to follow the official route at Pontarron de Guriezo or continue along the shoulder of the national road towards Laredo. The hard shoulder option is 4 kilometers shorter than the official layout but more dangerous. To take it we must continue along the national road just before the Portarron de Guriezo, under the highway viaduct, ignore the signs that tell us to turn left onto a paved road and continue straight on the 634 national road.
If we take the option of the hard shoulder of the national highway once in the town of Mollaneda, we once again have the possibility of reaching Laredo along a coastal path and thus taking off a bit of the road. Once in this town, turn right towards San Julián beach, which we will not go down to, before the beach we will take a track to the left that will take us uphill near the Yesera loading area and from there along paths to the old town of Laredo. This last alternative is marked with yellow arrows and is highly recommended.
What to see, what to do
- The town of Laredo already has historical evidence at the end of the 10th century as the possession of Count Fernán González. Alfonso VII granted him the so-called “Old Privilege of Laredo” and Alfonso X granted his Council “letters of esteem and favor” for the many services they did in the conquest of Seville. Laredo was a military port of Castile and the only one enabled from Avilés to Bilbao for expeditions to America, until Seville and Cádiz assumed the prominent role that corresponded to them in this regard at that time.
Benito Zarauz Palace
Rebuilt in 1816, it is located at the end of the Plazuela de Cachupín, the place from which the famous Camino de Castilla started. Of its architecture, the four arches with ashlar stone stand out, in the portico; the start of the Medieval Gate of the Sea, inside; and the balconada corrida typical of this region. In addition, the noble clay coat of arms with a profusion of lambrequins, flags, pikes, cannons and other military attributes is noteworthy.
Casa Familiar de Mar
The construction of the palace house of the de la Mar family dates from the 17th century. It has a sillar stone façade and the balconies with a stone base and an iron balustrade, adorned with bronze balls, stand out. It boasts a superb coat of arms:stamped by an ornament, in the upper cantons we see two mermaids and under them two lions act as supports, stepping on two female busts with their paws. The arms of the shield belong to the surnames Mar, Libarona, Arce and Mantilla. This noble building was located next to the Bario River, navigable in medieval and modern times, which today canalized and vaulted runs under the road. If we go to Cachupín square, past the Zarauz Palace, there is the Hoyo tower house, also known as the Vélez Cachupín house, the last destination of the tour.