Information about stage 16: Stage from Comillas to Unquera
It take 7 to 9 hours if you walk it in one day
We leave the old prison of Comillas, now converted into a magnificent hostel for pilgrims, and we go down the Paseo de Solatorrre in the direction of San Vicente de la Barquera. The beginning runs parallel to the CA-131 along a bike path where on the left you can admire the surroundings of the Sobrellano Palace . Without leaving the lane, the route crosses Rubárcena and crosses the narrow Puente de la Rabia over the estuary of the same name. Formed by the mouth of the Turbio and Capitán rivers, it is located within the Oyambre Natural Park, an oasis for lovers of landscapes and ornithology. After the ford you have to turn left in a steep ascent along a paved track. It will come out onto the road where, again on the left, we come to the church of Santa María del Tejo , built on the remains of an old monastery and which still preserves its corbels and archivolts from the Romanesque period. Exiting the CA-363 we enter the rural nucleus of El Tejo and descend towards the Santa Marina golf course . Designed by Severiano Ballesteros, always in memory, it has a social club located in a 16th century mansion. There is no choice but to cross part of the complex, surrounded by green, and cross the bridge over the Capitán stream. Then you pass next to the 17th century chapel and leave the sports facility along a paved track. We go up it to the church of San Pedro , before La Revilla , a town in the municipality of San Vicente de la Barquera. Hostel Llambres is located at the foot of the CA-131, right at pk 29 (one kilometer on the right). At the foot of the N-634 , at pk 27, is the VA hostel. Venture . Along a path we will soon see the Puente de la Maza , the gateway to San Vicente de la Barquera . This stone ford began to be built at the end of the 16th century on top of the previous wooden one. In the Civil War it was quite battered and it was rebuilt and widened as we see it today. We advance along it over the San Vicente estuary, formed by the mouth of the Escudo and Gandarilla rivers. After crossing the estuary, it is possible to avoid entering San Vicente, but it would be in bad taste to tiptoe out of the town that Mr. Bustamante has made even more famous, if possible. Also, at the top of the town, stands the pilgrims’ hostel of San Vicente. After visiting this seaside town, with views also of the wild Picos de Europa, we continue walking on asphalt to La Acebosa , which we arrive at after passing over the A-8 and crossing the train tracks. Attention, just after crossing the bridge of the A-8 there is a signposted shortcut that takes us directly to Serdio without going through “la Acebosa” or “Hortigal”, 2 kilometers of path are saved by tracks and stone paths. From La Acebosa, a town of close to 150 inhabitants, a section ascends with great views that takes a long detour and descends to the CA-843 in the direction of Pesués. First we will arrive at Hortigal , on the banks of the Gandarilla river and later on at Estrada, a village in the municipality of Val de San Vicente where its tower stands out. It is a medieval fortification made of masonry and that has a walled area around it and the remains of a moat. It was original from the 8th and 9th centuries but was rebuilt again in the 13th century. After the defensive mass, we leave the asphalt to the right and resume it in 15 minutes to enter Serdio , a place in Val de San Vicente with a pilgrims’ hostel . We leave Serdio and on the left we come out onto another paved track to end at another. On the left is Muñorrodero but the Path continues to the right to pass under the railway and cross the bridge over the Tina Menor estuary, the mouth of the Nansa river. We cross the estuary to go up a track to the left that brings us to the N-634 in Pesués . We ascend a path to later enter a wooded path that starts on the left and descends vertiginously in the last section. The path takes us to the entrance of Unquera . It is a town with services, but without a hostel, so if we are looking for a Jacobean atmosphere we will have to cross the bridge over the Deva river that makes the border between Cantabria and Asturias and thus reach the nearby town of Bustio, with a private hostel, or continue a couple of kilometers to Colombres , also with a private hostel, located at the entrance.
Uphill stage with a marked rural character, but without major complications
There is a signposted shortcut before reaching La Acebosa, just after passing over the A-8, take a track on the right that goes directly to Serdio without going through La Acebosa or Hortigal, saving 2 kilometers of road.At the exit of Serdio we will find the fork towards the Camino Lebaniego, a very interesting path that ends in Santo Toribio de Liébana and continues along the Vadiniense path to the town of Mansilla de las Mulas in Leon.Unquera is the last town in Cantabria. Starting tomorrow our boots will step on the Principality of Asturias.
What to see, what to do
Guided by the river course of the Deva and loaded with valuable minerals from the Ándara Massif, the barges pooled in the Ría de Tinamayor in Unquera to later deposit the raw material on the ships that would take them to their destination. Unquera is a service town strategically located in a privileged environment: beach and mountains a few kilometers away. Next to the mouth of the Deva in the Bay of Biscay and separated 30 kilometers from the Picos de Europa.
Ria de Tinamayor
From its source in the Picos de Europa, the Deva River runs 62 kilometers winding through the Liébana region and through the Hermida Gorge. It flows into the Ría de Tinamayor in Unquera, creating a natural border between the Cantabrian and Asturian regions. Here the Asturian fishermen from Bustio together with the Cantabrians from Unquera and Molleda form the Tinamayor Cooperative.
Corbata de Unquera
It is impossible to visit this town in Val de San Vicente and not try its most famous sweet. The Unquera tie is made from wheat flour, butter, eggs, almonds and sugar. In Unquera they have a traditional way of making puff pastry. They knead the flour and add butter until they form a dough that they cool to 8 degrees and then add royal icing and almonds and make the characteristic knot. The tie is baked for about 20 minutes and it’s ready to sink your teeth into. Ummm…!