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Is it possible to walk from Bilbao airport to Portugalete?

manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
Is it possible to begin walking on/towards Portugalete on the Camino del Norte right from Bilbao's airport? A friend of mine will be joining me eventually in Santillana del Mar, but she would like to start walking as she deplanes in Bilbao around noon. I suggested she rest there, but she prefers to get going right away. Looking at the map, Portugalete seems like a reasonable hike from the airport. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Thanks,

Mary
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
I mean, is it possible? Sure, it's possible, though it's a lot of road-walking and probably some busy roads. That said, there isn't exactly an appealing walk to choose between Bilbao and Portugalete, so it's not like she would be missing something nicer.

Looking at the location of the airport in Google Maps, though, I think the most pleasant alternative might be to double-back to Zamudio and join the Norte there. The walk from Zamudio into Bilbao is pretty nice and she could then spend the night in Bilbao before continuing on the next day. If I were to start my pilgrimage by walking straight out of the airport (a cool notion), I think that's what I would do.
 

manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
Dave, thank so much for your suggestion. My friend is going to be behind me and wants to catch up before I get to Santillana del Mar. She has been to Bilbao, and to be frank, Bilbao really doesn´t have much to offer. The main attraction there is the Guggenheim, and of course since it opened in 1997, it has become a tourist attraction.
Plus another problem I see is the busy highways around the airport area, and going to Zamudio would be with the goal of ending up in Bilbao that day.

Anyway, another option that I am looking at is go to Barakaldo and get on the CDN there. Portugalete would be a skip and a hop from Barakaldo. What do you think?

Ultreia!

Mary
 

Dave

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Via Podiensis 2015
OK, fair enough. I'd recommend against going all the way into Barakaldo, though--there's little to be gained, other than dragging out a fairly unappealing walk. I actually advise people to travel from Bilbao to Portugalete on the NE side of the river, ignoring the yellow arrows on that section of the Norte, so it would be easy for your friend to intersect that sooner.

My best recommendation, wiggling along smaller roads between the airport and Arenas and then taking the Transporter Bridge across into Arenas, is highlighted on the Google Map below:

https://maps.google.com/maps?saddr=Barrio+Gaztañaga/Gastañaga+Auz.&daddr=43.3116121,-2.9379913+to:43.3038151,-2.9565711+to:43.302134,-2.960211+to:43.3054042,-2.9660187+to:43.3154653,-2.9852879+to:Muelle+Tomás+Olabarri/Tomas+Olabarri+Kaia&hl=en&ie=UTF8&ll=43.30688,-2.964206&spn=0.016708,0.032701&sll=43.307755,-2.932534&sspn=0.016707,0.032701&geocode=FWPIlAIdQa3T_w;FfzhlAIdeSvT_ym_PLFKNUVODTHAnvzOSjC98Q;FYfDlAId5eLS_ylXzuCbvVpODTGXXJuwk05yOQ;Ffa8lAIdrdTS_ylVdEEKl1pODTGFxc3VVuA9sA;FbzJlAId_r3S_ylFuGaOkVpODTGDVDjQxemjHg;FQnxlAIduXLS_ylvj_J3W1pODTGUEslvAa3HLw;FV0QlQIdgfrR_w&t=h&mra=dpe&mrsp=1&sz=15&via=1,2,3,4,5&z=15

Hope that helps,
Dave
 

manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
Thanks Dave, I'll take a look at your suggestion. The only problem is that the NE part of the river is not part of the CDN and my friend not speaking Spanish would have me worried. I just thought that if she took a taxi to Barkalado, the distance then to Portugalete is greatly reduced, and she could get a taste of the Camino without being concerned about getting lost. This would give her time to check into the hotel and relax before heading out the next morning.
Maybe I am being too overly concerned and if she were to walk as soon as she arrives in Bilbao with clear directions she might be OK.

Thank you!

Mary
 

manoll

Peregrina 2013
Camino(s) past & future
CDN 2013, 2018
Camino Primitivo - 2013
Camino Sanabrés - 2016
Camino Portugués Coastal - 2019
It was done! My friend arrived in Bilbao and began walking as soon as she got off the plane. Not only did she go through the northern part of Bilbao to Portugalete, but she walked all the way to Pobeña that same day! When I found out what she did I was pretty amazed at her pace, she is a very fast walker, but once we hooked up in Laredo she adjusted her pace to mine, -slower, of course!
 

Mark Watkins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte May 2014
It was done! My friend arrived in Bilbao and began walking as soon as she got off the plane. Not only did she go through the northern part of Bilbao to Portugalete, but she walked all the way to Pobeña that same day! When I found out what she did I was pretty amazed at her pace, she is a very fast walker, but once we hooked up in Laredo she adjusted her pace to mine, -slower, of course!
I am landing at Bilbao airport in 2 weeks - any pointers as to navigating out of the airport on foot to Camino path? Thanks!!
 

Mark Watkins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte May 2014
that makes perfect sense - for the price of a bus ride and 15 minutes to city center..and yes, I will indulge with the pintxos and txakoli! The NE side of the river is duly noted!!

Many thanks MendiWalker!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Thanks Dave, I'll take a look at your suggestion. The only problem is that the NE part of the river is not part of the CDN
It is part of the Camino del Norte if there is a pilgrim walking on it! The "official" routes are signed for convenience, but there are no rules but to walk (or cycle, or ride)-- mediaeval pilgrims took whichever walking route worked best for them. You do not lose points for talking alternative routes (and, in any case, as another poster noted, it is signed).
 

Mark Watkins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte May 2014
Not only that , but if you wish We can meet up and indulge in the Camino pleasures as I have with other forum members. And if possible we can walk that stage together ( Bilbo-Portugalete).
Let me know with plenty of time if you are interested. As I have posted on other threads here on the forum the offer is for all forum members.
By the way if you are looking for a nice hostel and right in the" 7 Calles" ( old part of town) and near the cathedral it´s called Ganbara . It´s on Calle Prim. The offer discount to peregrinos.

Ondo Ibili !
It would be great to meet and walk with you! I arrive around 12 noon on May 28 so I can meet you that afternoon or the morning of the 29th. Thanks for the tip on Ganbara - I will plan on staying there.

cheers!
 

Mark Watkins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte May 2014
is there a location and time to meet for a beer? I arrive at Bilbao airport at noon on this Wednesday?

I will not have a phone - email works best.
 

Mark Watkins

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte May 2014
that makes perfect sense - for the price of a bus ride and 15 minutes to city center..and yes, I will indulge with the pintxos and txakoli! The NE side of the river is duly noted!!

Many thanks MendiWalker!!
Hi Mendi - I am back in the USA...Camino was awesome with the exception of some blisters. I really enjoyed meeting with you and hope to do it again in the future - I never did the Irun phase so maybe see you then. You gave me a great warning about staying right at the IMQ building..which I forgot about as I was taken with the beauty of the river...a slight detour eh? ;)
 

gaulsdog

Member
It is possible. I walked it in 2012, I walked back to Zamudio inside the crash barrier of the main road, it has a little worn pathway where a lot of the locals seem to walk.
Then its just a matter of walking up Monte Avril and down into Bilbao.
then I walked down the right bank of the Ria Del Nervion all the way to Portugalette the road gets a bit tricky for walking as you near Portugalette ,crossed the river and stayed in Pension Buenvista
pensionbuenavista@gmail.com that night for 20 Euros.
The whole journey took me about 7 hours including several refueling breaks

Lovely walk
 

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