Walking from Lezama to Bilbao El Camino del Norte

We have an easy day today walking from Lezama to Bilbao el Camino del Norte as we want to have a good day exploring the city and all it has to offer.

The Guggenheim, Athletico Bilbao FC and much more…

Lezama to Bilbao Overview

  • Distance – 12km
  • From – Lezama
  • To – Bilbao

We were up early and set off for the short walk to Bilbao but we have a rather large and steep hill to climb before we get there.

The walk leaves Lezama walking through lush forests before starting the climb up to Mount Avril.

The climb is a 300m climb which is relatively easy as it is over 3km in distance. Once we get over the other side is a descent directly into Bilbao. The views are amazing.

Lezama to Bilbao elevation profile
Lezama to Bilbao elevation profile
Lezama to Bilbao Gronze.com

After a few small hamlets and some lovely countryside we start the approach to Bilbao. I’m sure I caught a glimpse of the Guggenheim Museum as we walked in.

It only took us a couple of hours to get here and we walked through Bilbao to our hotel in the old town to dump our gear and explore.

We got a nice 3 bed room hotel to at least have a bit of peace and quiet for the night.


We arrived into Bilbao on a lovely summers day and after settling in to the hotel we headed out to check out the city.

We head out and walked along the river in the centre of the the city.

Pilgrim Mark Stevens in Bilbao

We walked for a while down the rive and then decided to take a trip up the cable car railway to the top of the Artxanda mountain.

Artxanda Funicular railway

The Artxanda Funicular railway is a popular tourist attraction. It is a cable railway that links the city center of Bilbao with the recreational area at the top of the Artxanda Mountain, which is located just outside the city. 

The railway has been in operation since 1915, and it is one of the oldest funiculars in Spain.

The funicular consists of two cars that run on parallel tracks and the journey to the top of the mountain takes around 3 minutes. The panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains are amazing.

Pilgrims at the top of the funicular railway in bilbao
Scenic view of Bilbao

At the top is Artxanda Park, which has several walking trails, picnic areas and playgrounds. There are also several cafes and restaurants. We ate in one looking over Bilbao and had a lovely lunch

Overall, the Artxanda Funicular railway is a fun and unique way to see Bilbao from above, and the views are amazing. There is a fountain at the top so we had to have a fun picture taken.

Pilgrims at a water fountain in Bilbao

We came back down the railway and continued to walk around the river as it curled around the city waiting for our first glimpse of the Guggenheim Museum.

statue on the river in Bilbao
Camino De Santiago Course

Learn about the Camino De Santiago by taking a Course

Have you always wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago but felt it was too daunting of an endeavor? Have you asked yourself some of the following questions ?

  • Am I able to physically walk that distance?
  • How would I even start preparing?
  • What should I pack ?
  • When should I go?

Its time to take the leap and take a course to learn everything you need to know

Eventually we came along the river and saw the Guggenheim Museum. The Guggenheim Museum is a contemporary art museum located in the heart of the city. 

It opened in 1997 and quickly became an international sensation, known for its stunning architecture and impressive collection of modern and contemporary art.

The building itself is a work of art, with a striking, titanium-clad exterior that reflects the surrounding landscape and is situated next to the Nervión River. 

guggenheim museum in Bilbao

Unfortunately the queue was too long for us to wait so we made a pact to come back and see the museum another time with our partners. I think Bilbao would be a great place to visit on a weekend city break.

A bit further round the bend on the river is the Athletico Bilbao FC football ground. We went here are tried to get in for a look at the pitch but it was all closed up so a picture was the best we could do.

Pilgrim Mark Stevens at the Athletico Bilbao FC Stadium

After exploring the City for most of the day we checked and we had still done 10km just walking around.

We checked back at the hotel, showered got changed and headed out into the Old Town of Bilbao. This is an area that shouldn’t be missed when walking the Camino Del Norte.

Camino del Norte: Irún to Santiago along Spain's Northern Coast (Village to Village Map Guide)

Camino del Norte: Irún to Santiago along Spain's Northern Coast 

  • Author - Matthew Harms, Anna Dintaman & David Landis
  • Village to Village Map Guidebook
  • 96 pages
  • 3.5 ounces
  • 143 detailed stage, city and town maps and elevation profiles including town amenities

Old Town Bilbao

Old Town Bilbao, also known as Casco Viejo, is a historic neighborhood located in the heart of Bilbao. It is known for its narrow winding streets, colorful architecture and lively atmosphere. 

The neighborhood is home to a wide range of bars and cafes, many of which have been around for decades and offer a glimpse into the city’s rich cultural history.

One of the most popular spots in Old Town Bilbao is Plaza Nueva, a large square lined with bars and restaurants. The square is a popular gathering place for locals and visitors alike, and is a great spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat while people watching.

Another popular spot in Old Town Bilbao is the Calle del Perro, a narrow street lined with pintxo bars. Pintxos are a type of Basque tapas, and are a popular local delicacy. This is the area we headed for as we fancied sone local red wine and some amazing pintos.

The bars in Calle del Perro serve a variety of pintxos, from traditional dishes like tortilla and chorizo to more creative creations like foie gras and goat cheese.

Overall, Old Town Bilbao is a must-visit destination for any Pilgrim on El Camino Del Norte and wants to chill in an amazing city with great nightlife.

Pilgrims in old town Bilbao

Related Articles

More Articles

John brierley camino de santiago guidebook
Mark Stevens

Happy New Year 2023

Happy New year 2023 to all Pilgrims. May you Camino planning be good and you have a fantastic journey on the Camino de Santiago. Buen

Read More »

Free Camino packing List

I have developed a simple lightweight Camino packing list after walking The Camino de Santiago numerous times. If you want to travel with a lightweight pack this is the packing list for you.

Some of the links above are affiliate links via amazon and other partners, which means that I will receive a small commission should you purchase using my link. This doesn’t cost the purchaser any extra money and helps fund my adventures and ongoing content creation for all my readers.