Camino del Norte, Bilbao to Pobeña 27 km


I’m trying something new.  This QR code should take anyone interested to the Wikiloc route that I recorded this morning. You can also access the track via this link

  • Accumulated elevation gain 168m
  • Accumulated elevation loss 173m

I met with Renate at 07:30 and took the option to walk along the east side of the estuary of Bilbao. I walked this route back in 2016, but there are other options. Although the morning was dull the Guggenheim Museum didn’t fail to impress on the opposite bank

This route has improved considerably since I last walked. A lot of the ugly industrial areas have been upgraded and there is now a lovely path right next the estuary with apartment blocks alongside. There is still a certain amount of wasteland before reaching Portugalete but overall it was a much more pleasant walk. 

We arrived at the Puente Colgante (hanging bridge) at Portugalete after about 13/14 km. “The bridge was the first shuttle bridge built in the world made with a metallic structure situated at the mouth of the estuary”

Last time I crossed the water in the hanging cradle (50 centimos), but was hoping on this occasion to take the lift to the top of bridge and walk across. However we were told that the lift on the other side of the estuary was not working so we would have to walk across the top of the bridge and back again and then take the cable car. We didn’t have the inclination to do that. 

I had also decided that I would make the use of the travelators that give a ride up the very steep hill in Portugalete as I had remained camino-pure last time and walked every step. But sadly they were also out of action. 

After Portugalete we are directed onto a cycle/walking path that continues for 10+ km to the small town of Arena.  As we get closer to our destination we see more farm animals – cows with their bells ringing such a beautiful tune,   donkeys and horses,  and some very scruffy looking sheep

At Arena (which has a shop – Pobeña does not), we have a boardwalk alongside the beach and finally a short stretch of sand into Pobeña. 

The Albergue at Pobeña doesn’t open until 15:00 and when we arrive at about 14:40 there are already eight weary pilgrims waiting, including Marilyn and Paul who took the bus to Portugalete and walked from there. Marilyn is suffering a bit with her feet but is such a soldier that she keeps on walking. 

The albergue has 38 beds (bunks) and is donativo, no kitchen but microwave and separate bathroom facilities.  Just had a lovely hot shower and there are clothes-washing facilities around the back. 

The albergue is filling up – 29 at the last count.

About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue
This entry was posted in Camino de Santiago de Compostela, Camino del Norte, Camino Primitivo and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Camino del Norte, Bilbao to Pobeña 27 km

  1. Ron Adam says:

    The WikiLoc QR code works. It opens directly to the specific route you post. Thank you!


  2. Nina says:

    The QR code works perfectly! 27,11 km 🙂
    Nice shoes by the way. Happy feet?


  3. OzAnnie says:

    Wow. Straight into it Maggie! A strong peregrina 😀
    Buen camino.


  4. renate@harrie says:

    After seeing Maggie off for all her previous caminos, made me wanting to do one myself. So happy to do this adventiour together Maggie!


  5. Dave says:

    Excellent first day then! Well done. I’m reading this on my phone as I nearly always do these days, so not sure how to make use of the QR code in that circimstance? It isn’t a click able link as well. I’ll definitely need to get the gpx routes of you 😁.

    I saw the picture of poor Marylyn’s feet wrapped up in bandages – I gasped!! It sounds like a mix of walking and transport is the answer. Hope she gets better over time. I’m really glad to see the first day’s albergue open. Very jealous but finally hopping on a plane to Athens tomorrow, with hiking gear. Hope the body holds up. Looking forward to your blog tomorrow already.


  6. Sally says:

    How are the boots?


  7. sixwheeler says:

    On the road again…


  8. Tali says:

    It’s great to have you back on the road! I’m not sure how to use the QR code when my only device is my iPhone that I’m using it to read your post. (I’m on the Camino Frances for a couple more weeks). How does my camera read it? Tali


    • Nina says:

      Tali; put a finger on the QR code on your iPhone and leave it there for a second or two and a window will miraculously pop up. Then choose Open in Wikiloc…


  9. Yay! We are off and walking. I am so excited to be following along behind you Maggie. Buen camino. x


  10. Lindsay says:

    Beautiful photos Maggie as always. So wonderful to see you off again. Enjoy xx


  11. M3 Mary says:

    so happy to see you on the road again Maggie. Hope the new boots are comfy. The Guggenheim looks truly splendid. Where will you get dinner tonight if there is no shop and no kitchen? I hope you get something. An Army marches on it’s stomach after all. Much love xx


  12. Derek Mills says:

    Hello Maggie,

    I am Derek (Mills) Theodoricum Mills on FB, care of the Pilgrim’s office in Santiago 😉😊 I have followed your blog for years and do Camino also but never to the level of commitment that you do.

    I’m getting in touch to tell you that you’re QR code works perfectly.

    Good Luck with the new adventure.

    Kind regards


    Sent by mobile e-mail



  13. The QR code worked splendidly. Thank you.


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