Author Archives: gerard

Stage 34: Soto de Luiña – Piñera

Soto de Luiña – PiñeraA day just as yesterday, just as rainy, so I’ll have to travel carefully on the roads. Today I can hardly see anything due to the fog, but thanks to the GPS I can travel without getting lost, and I will pedal a few kilometres more than yesterday.

Most part of the trip is on not very busy roads. I went up to Castañedo again and got inland and took village roads. This is not the Way but runs parallel to it and is suitable for cycling, while the forest trails are in poor conditions. When I come back to the coastal perimeter, the route is by general roads, but they are not very busy because most motor vehicles take the freeway parallel to the coastline.

The whole trip is quite even and attainable, but for a pass between Argallana and Ballota, on the first half of the trip, and in inland mountains areas. If we have time, it is worth devoting two or three hours to visiting Luarca, when we have already completed two thirds of our trip today, because it has many attractions, such as the museum of Cepesma, with the greatest collection of giant squids in the world, or the route of indianos’ houses.

I spend the night in Piñera’s pilgrim hostel, a place where I meet people I have met in other hostels.

Stage 34 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 34 download:

Distances: Pilgrim hostel of Soto de Luiña – Pilgrim hostel of Piñera 62 km

List of villages:

Download track 34 with QR BIDI

Download track 34 with QR BIDI

Soto de Luiña
San Martín de Luiña
Villa de Moros
La Corripia
Las Barqueras
Puerto de Vega

Price of accommodation: 5 euros.

Etapa 34 en castellano · Etapa 34 en català

Stage 33: Avilés – Soto de Luiña

Avilés – Soto de LuiñaToday, it is raining and there is a lot of fog, particularly thick in mountain roads, so it will be a stage with half the trip I planned.

The first 18 km are by road and a little boring because the fog doesn’t let me see a great deal. The landscape gets much livelier passing by Aguilar’s beach, which is very picturesque, and I reach the coastal town of Cudillero. Local festivals are taking place and there is a nice atmosphere at breakfast time, by mid morning.

From Cudillero, there are sections by forest trails and village and general roads which are not used a lot, until I reach Castañedo and decide to go down to Soto, where there are no campsites, but there is a municipal pilgrim hostel, and I will use the credential to spend the night there.

Stage 33 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 33 download:

Distances: Pilgrim hostel of Avilés – Pilgrim hostel of Soto de Luiña 38 km

List of villages:

Download track 33 with QR BIDI

Download track 33 with QR BIDI

La Lloba
Soto del barco
La Mariega
Muros de Nalón
El Pito
La Atalaya
Soto de Luiña

Price of accommodation: 5 euros.

Etapa 33 en castellano · Etapa 33 en català

Stage 32: Deva – Avilés

Deva – AvilésThis is a short stage, but it is intense since it gets away from the Way of St. James and gets into an area of gastronomy and leisure for Asturian people, but not very well-known to tourists. It goes along large part of the strip of land of Cape Peñas, not reaching the cape, and passes by San Juan de Avilés lighthouse, along a not very urban route, and mostly by road.

From the campsite, we go down to Gijón/Xixón and pass by the Laboral University before taking a bike lane which takes us to the centre of the city. From the centre, we go to the western end, where we have another bike lane parallel to the road AS-19, which we can use for about two kilometres, or we can take the road directly to use it as a shortcut until the AS-239, a much less busy road. The GPS track is recycled from another route and is not very accurate as regards the route AS-19.

I go to Candás and arrive at lunch time, just at the end of the Octopus Festival, which brings together hundreds of visitors from outside the town, bag-pipers, and octopus sellers who come from Asturias and Galicia.

I leave Candás to go to Luando, and I turn inland until I get to the forests I will have to cross in order to reach Oviés, near the beach and down the Cape Peñas. From Oviés, I travel along a mountain road up to the industrial site “Maqua”, I turn north and get to Llodero. I visit Avilés lighthouse, enter through the sea inlet and get to the city. I spend the night in Avilés pilgrim hostel.

Stage 32 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 32 download:

Distances: Deva campsite – Pilgrim hostel of Avilés 53 km

List of villages:

Download track 32 with QR BIDI

Download track 32 with QR BIDI

La Cabaña

Price of accommodation: 5 euros.

Etapa 32 en castellano · Etapa 32 en català

Stage 31: San Esteban de Leces – Deva

San Esteban de Leces - DevaToday’s stage is as long as yesterday’s, but there are more mountain trails and tracks, and it is nicer to travel. Except one road pass with a steep slope, the rest of the trip has smooth slopes up and down inland, since we will only see the beach in Duesps, when we get away from road N-632.

Of all the towns we will pass by today, it is worth spending a while in Villaviciosa, the world’s “apple capital” and a privileged natural environment. Our route surrounds the sea inlet from the inner part, and allows us to see interesting landscapes. Then, we follow provincial and general roads until we get close to Deva, a town five kilometres far from Gijón/Xixón.

In Deva, there is a municipal campsite with very good facilities, where they give bungalows to people with pilgrim credentials, so you can stay in the campsite as if you were in a lodge. Tonight, Saturday, June 29th, 2013, a celebration called “Orgullín del Norte” takes place, at the same time as other LGBT pride parades. There is a party with a DJ that lasts until dawn.

Stage 31 Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 31 download:

Distances: Pilgrim hostel of San Esteban de Leces – Deva campsite 59 km

List of villages:

Download track 31 with QR BIDI

Download track 31 with QR BIDI

San Esteban de Leces
Los Tarreros
La Vega
La Llera
La Vega
Deva (campsite)

Price of accommodation: 5 euros.

Etapa 31 en castellano · Etapa 31 en català

Stage 30: Colombres – San Esteban de Leces

Colombres – San Esteban de LecesAfter staying a whole day in Colombres, half of today’s stage will be by general roads, and the second half will be by secondary roads near the coastline, without remarkable difficulties and with smooth slopes. A highlight here can be the San Antolín viewpoint, about halfway to the end of the stage, from which you can see some of the best-known beaches in Asturias, such as Ballota and Andrín.

At first, Ribadesella was my destination of the day, but I have decided to visit the town and spend the night in San Esteban de Leces, where there is a public pilgrim hostel of the Principality of Asturias, where I can check the conditions of public hostels.

Ribadesella is a middle-sized, touristic town, a perfect place to eat and spend the night, but it is not a quiet place, and due to my tendinitis, I have to rest. You get to San Esteban de Leces after a 5 km long steep slope from Ribadesella, but the next day starts with quite a few kilometres down by road.

In San Esteban hostel, there are not many services and there is not a single bar in the city centre, but there are street vendors who sell all kinds of foods, and you can also order freshly-made food, which is delicious and at a very good price, from a bar & restaurant from a nearby town.

Stage 30 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 30 download:

Distances: Pensión Oyambre – Pilgrim hostel of San Esteban de Leces 59 km

List of villages:

Download track 30 with QR BIDI

Download track 30 with QR BIDI

El Peral
La Franca
San Esteban de Leces

Price of accommodation: 6 euros.

Etapa 30 en castellano · Etapa 30 en català

Stage 29: San Vicente de la Barquera – Colombres

San Vicente de la Barquera - ColombresThis is a very short stage. I was delayed and left San Vicente de la Barquera late, but I stop to have something to eat at midday in Unquera, the last town in Cantabria, and the cradle of a unique type of pasta called Corbatas. After eating, I cross the bridge of river Deva, bordering Asturias, and I go to the next town centre: Colombres.

Colombres is a little town of about one thousand inhabitants, but it is not very well-known in Asturias, and has many hotels, lodges and hostels, and even a few campsites near the city centre. It has a curious architecture, with many colonial style buildings, a legacy left by migrants who went to America and then returned to Asturias, who are called “indianos”.

I stay in “Pensión Oyambre”, in the neighbourhood of Peral, excellent in every aspect and highly recommendable. Tomorrow I will spend the day walking around the town and will also visit “Archivo de Indianos”, a museum devoted to the Asturians’ migration to the American continent and to interpreting the works of the indianos.

Website of the “Archivo de Indianos” (only in Spanish):

Stage 29 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 29 download:

Distances: San Vicente de la Barquera – Pensión Oyambre 20 km

List of villages:

Download track 29 with QR BIDI

Download track 29 with QR BIDI

San Vicente de la Barquera
La Acebosa
El Peral

Price of accommodation: 12 euros.

References: Pensión Oyambre. 33590 El Peral (Colombres). Tel. +34.985412242

Etapa 29 en castellano · Etapa 29 en català

Stage 28: Güemes – Loredo – Santander – San Vicente de la Barquera

Güemes – Loredo – Santander – San Vicente de la BarqueraThis is a very long stage, but without relevant slopes, so it can be followed easily and patiently. This stage will end our route along Cantabria, since it is a small province. Today’s stage can be divided into two if someone is interested in exploring more deeply some of the best-known towns of Cantabria, such as Santander, Comillas, or Santillana.

Alternatives to the Way in this stage

A curious but short alternative to the Way of St. James is the one going from Güemes to Santander via the coastline. It is only 12 km longer than the Way route, but it is worth getting away from the general route to end in Santander too, with the water-taxi we can take in Somo. This alternative is included in today’s stage track.

Another alternative is the one aiming at avoiding a 6 km long trip we would have to travel to get to the Pas river bridge along the route to Boo de Piélagos-Oruña-Mogro. We can skip it by taking the FEVE train in Boo de Piélagos and getting off in the next station, Mogro. We can also get off in Requejada, to avoid passing by the mouth of river Saja and a 17 km long trip.

You don’t miss anything relevant from a landscape or urban point of view if you take the FEVE train and get off in Requejada with your bikes, and I recommend it if you want to do this stage in only one day, and spend some time exploring some of the emblematic towns in western Cantabria.

Stage 28 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 28 download:

Distances: La cabaña del abuelo Peuto – San Vicente de la Barquera 95 km

List of villages:

Download track 28 with QR BIDI

Download track 28 with QR BIDI

Santa Cruz de Bezana
Boo de Piélagos
Oruña de Piélagos
Santillana del Mar
El Arroyo
La Iglesia
La Rabia
San Vicente de la Barquera

Etapa 28 en castellano · Etapa 28 en català

Stage 27: Castro Urdiales – Güemes

Castro Urdiales – GüemesFirst stage only via Cantabria. The first section is about 15 km long, along tracks that follow the coastline and are not very suitable for cycling, so it is difficult to ride the bike although there are no steep slopes.

From Islares, you take a road and the experience gets much better. Then you go down to Laredo, and from there, you go to Santoña on a little water-taxi. The coastal town of Santoña is a perfect place to eat seafood. From Santoña to Güemes, all the landscapes are mountainous, and we won’t see the beach again during today’s stage.

In Güemes, I stay in a lodge called “La Cabaña del Abuelo Peuto”. It is owned by the priest Ernesto Bustio. It is open to pilgrims and has permanent volunteer activities for the Third World. This is said to be one of the best lodges to be in contact with pilgrims, and it may be true if we compare it with most hostels that can be found in Cantabria or Asturias, less maintained than those in Euskadi or Galicia.

“La Cabaña” has special routines: At 7 p.m. every day, there is an informative talk in Spanish, and occasionally in English, to tell about the life of its founder, the origin of the lodge, the type of activities developed there, and to ask guests to be generous in their voluntary donations to maintain the lodge.

Stage 27 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 27 download:

Distances: Pilgrim hostel of Castro – La cabaña del abuelo Peuto 55 km

List of villages:

Download track 27 with QR BIDI

Download track 27 with QR BIDI

Castro Urdiales
Iseca Vieja
Castillo Siete Villas
San Miguel de Meruelo

Price of accommodation: voluntary contribution.

Etapa 27 en castellano · Etapa 27 en català

Stage 26: Gernika – Portugalete – Castro Urdiales

Gernika – Portugalete - Castro UrdialesI go from Gernika to Castro Urdiales, that is to say, the last third of Euskadi to the first town in Cantabria.

I travel the first kilometres after leaving Gernika by road, but then I get into the forest trails used in the Way of St. James. They are in poor conditions, due to neglect and persistent rainfall, so it is very hard to pedal up to Bilbao.

I cross Bilbao and take the road towards Getxo, following the sea inlet for about 15 km. In Getxo, I cross the sea inlet and go to Portugalete using the emblematic Bizkaia hanging bridge, the world’s first mechanical transporter bridge.

From Portugalete to Castro Urdiales, there is a magnificent and really long bike lane which ends in a greenway, so for 20 km, it is not necessary to worry about traffic or surface conditions, because it is a bicycle-specific pavement. In Castro, I will stay in a pilgrim hostel because, although it is a little late, it is not full and it seems to have a nice atmosphere.

Stage 26 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 26 download:

Distances: Youth hostel Gernika – Pilgrim hostel of Castro 75 km

List of villages:

Download track 26 with QR BIDI

Download track 26 with QR BIDI

Andra Mari
Castrro Urdiales

Price of accommodation: 5 euros.

Etapa 26 en castellano · Etapa 26 en català

Stage 25: Zenarruza – Gernika

Zenarruza – GernikaAt first, you have to travel by road because the way is in very poor conditions and the weather is unstable. My incipient tendinitis gets worse and I have to stop in Gernika to rest all day and take specific medication.

I spend the night in Gernika’s youth hostel, and I devote my time to visiting museums all day. In the city, there is a very good atmosphere, and they are getting ready for San Juan festival in nearby towns.

Stage 25 in Wikiloc:

GPS Track for Stage 25 download:

Distances: Zenarruza Monastery – Youth hostel Gernika 23 km

List of villages:

Download track 25 with QR BIDI

Download track 25 with QR BIDI


Price of accommodation: 21 euros

References: Gernika-Lumo Aterpetxea. Kortezubi bidea, 9 – Gernika-Lumo (Bizkaia). Tel. +34.944650775

Etapa 25 en castellano · Etapa 25 en català