Overview for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to Tama
This unique walking tour will take you from the Green Coast of Spain to the mountain area of Picos de Europa. Going past fishing villages, historical monuments, churches and ancient hamlets, you will follow the Camino Lebaniego. The trail follows a pilgrimage route that started in the 8th century to worship the Lignum Crucis (“True Cross”), which is located in the monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, the final destination of this tour.
- Beautiful coastal and mountainous landscapes
- Mixture of pilgrimage route and mountain trek following a branch of the Camino de Santiago
- The Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana from 12th c.
Itinerary for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to TamaGo to top of page
Day 1: Arrival in San Vicente de la Barquera
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 is 75 min). If you have time after arrival you can have a stroll in the old town and the port of this beautiful historical fishing town.
- Overnight in San Vicente de la Barquera (Hotel Faro de San Vicente or similar)
Day 2: From San Vicente de la Barquera to Camijanes
To avoid a steep and uninteresting section, a transfer will take you 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. At the end of the day you have a taxi transfer to Puente Nansa, where you will stay for overnight.
- Walking for the day: 19 km, 5-6 hours, ↑450 m ↓475 m
- Overnight in Puente Nansa (Hotel Posada de Fidel or similar)
Day 3: From Puente Nansa to Lebeña
Taxi transfer in the morning will take you to the small remote hamlet Burio. A steep surfaced tractor road takes you 300 m further 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; the only bar on the entire route), 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 cozy and comfortable rural hotel.
- Walking for the day: 13 km, 6-6,5 hours, ↑680 m ↓820 m; shorter option with a start at the Collada de la Hoz: 9,5 km, 4,5 hours, ↑375 m ↓845 m
- Overnight in Tama (Hotel El Corcal de Liébana or similar)
Day 4: From Allende to Santo Toribio
After a 10-min transfer to Allende, you rejoin the Camino Lebaniego on its last section. First 340 m uphill to Cabañes – a small hamlet 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, you take some time to prepare for the spiritual climax of the pilgrim´s route: the last 2,8 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.
- Walking for the day: 12 km, 5 hours, ↑620 m ↓575 m; 1 hour extra to go to the monastery (2,8 km, ↑225 m ↓225 m)
- Overnight in Tama (Hotel El Corcal de Liébana or similar)
Day 5: Departure or Extension Picos de Europa
The tour ends after breakfast. You take a bus back to Santander or Bilbao. An extra night in Tama is highly recommended, and mandatory in July and August, as the accommodations require a minimum stay of three nights. 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 Aliva. There are public buses that can take you there and back.
- Walking for the day (optional): 14,5 km, 5 hours, ↑175 m ↓1000 m
- No overnight included, can be booked on request. In high season (July-August), an extra night in El Corcal de Liebana is compulsory
Hotels for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to TamaGo to top of page
The hotels on this trip have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.
*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days as well as 1 dinner on Day 4 at the hotel. When no restaurant is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Where no dinner is included, most places serve hearty menus – you can get a 3-course dinner including wine and water for GBP 10-15.
Travel for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to TamaGo to top of page
You are best to fly in and out of Santander. An alternative airport is Bilbao.
Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.
Transfers to/from Airports
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
We strongly recommend protecting the cost of your trip and other non-refundable travel expenses with travel insurance. Our Signature Travel Insurance allows you to insure all of your expenses. While a Signature Travel Insurance policy can be purchased at any time, purchasing a policy within 20 days of making your initial trip deposit gives you the widest range of policy options, including a Cancel for Any Reason coverage. For complete peace of mind, we also recommend enrolling with Global Rescue, the worldwide leader in field rescue, evacuation and security extraction services.
Departure from Tama
All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 20 kg per person).
Up-to-date travel advice on Spain is available here.
Trip Info for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to TamaGo to top of page
Difficulty Grade: Moderate
This itinerary includes walks of 4-6 hours per day on average (read more about difficulty grades) and long, but technically easy, routes at the beginning of the week and then more mountainous and off-the-beaten track as you get closer to the Picos de Europa. You will follow a mixture of countryside roads, footpaths through rural hinterland, minor roads and some busier roads close to the bigger towns and cities.
The routes are waymarked, and the itinerary is easy to follow. The route is marked with yellow painted arrows. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to Go
This trip is available from the middle of April until the end of September. July and August are considered high season. The flexibility of self-guided walking holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
You can obtain a passport at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants or hotels along the way. Compostela can be obtained if you reach Santiago de Compostela
What to Bring
We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.
- Good hiking boots or trail running shoes
- Hiking socks
- Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
- Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
- Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
- Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
- Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
- Hat/Baseball cap
- Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)
Included for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to TamaGo to top of page
- 4 nights in 3-star hotels and country inns in private en-suite rooms
- 4 breakfasts and 1 dinner
- Detailed journey documentation and practical information (roadbook, destination manual), all provided in digital formats prior to the departure date
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 20 kg per person)
- Private transfers according to the programme – day 2, 3 and 4 – in the morning; day 3 – in the afternoon
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price.
Other Trip-Related Costs
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
- Extra night in Tama during high season
- Flights and airport transfers
- Travel insurance
- All lunches and dinners
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
Extensions and Optional Extras
- Extra nights along the trail are bookable upon request
- Airport transfers
Gallery for Camino Lebaniego: San Vicente de la Barquera to TamaGo to top of page
Delightful moderate walk building up slowly to an interesting climax over the days. Varied and friendly hotels. Kirchberger in Wildsteig deseerves... Read full review
We are a retired couple of 73 and 70 years old. We enjoyed the trip very much. The trip was well organised; all went smooth, the accommodation... Read full review
This holiday not only had erupting volcanoes, fabulous hospitality and a plethora of dramatic landscapes to walk in, it also featured gorgeous... Read full review
We just completed the Catalan Coast and Mountain week-long self-guided walking tour. February was perfect in the off-season! [The] itinerary... Read full review