Camino del Norte Day 6 Gernika to Lezama

The Camino del Norte, also known as the Northern Way, is an amazing pilgrimage route that runs along the northern coast of Spain.

The route is known for its rugged coastline, stunning views and rich cultural history. In this blog post, we will focus on Camino del Norte Day 6, which takes us from the town of Gernika to Lezama. 

We will discuss the difficulty of the walk, answer related questions and provide tips and insights to help you prepare for the journey.

Camino del Norte Day 6 Overview

  • Distance – 26km
  • From – Gernika
  • To – Lizama
  • Terrain – so high elevation gains

Over a beer last night and some food we went through our Camino del Norte statistics to date and the distance covered and realised we have walked a few marathons already.

The Northern Way is tough but so rewarding. We realised we have climbed the equivalent of Mount Snowdon every day as well as walking nearly a marathon at the same time. 

gernika to lezama on
courtesy of

How long does it take to complete this stage of the del norte?

The Camino del Norte from Gernika to Lezama is approx 26 km long and takes an average of 6-8 hours to complete. 

However, this can vary depending on several factors such as the fitness level of each Pilgrim, weather conditions and the number of stops made along the way as well as the weight of your backpack.

I always walk with a 33 litre backpack as part of my Camino Packing List.

If you’re planning to complete the walk in one day, it’s important to start early in the morning to ensure you have enough time to rest and enjoy the scenery along the way.

My typical routine is to check out the days walk ahead in my Camino del Norte guidebook and then stock up the night before with water and food if there arent a lot of cafes or supermarkets on route.

Pilgrims in Gernika
Pilgrims at a statue in Gernika
Camino De Santiago Course

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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

How hard is the walk from Gernika to Lezama?

Along the way you will face many different types of terrain including roads, dirt tracks, forest trails, and more. However, the route is well signposted and Pilgrims should have no trouble following the path. 

If you Follow the Yellow Shell Camino signs you won’t get lost.

CAMINO ROUTE Terrain Conditions

One of the main challenges of this days walk are the altitude changes. The route includes some steep climbs and descents, particularly as you pass through the mountains of Billakaio and Arteagagana. 

From Gernika, we started off heading towards the hermitage of Santa Lucía.

Ermita de Santa Lucía de Zallo

After this there is a tough climb as we headed upwards towards Alto de Morga.

After reaching the summit of Alto de Morga, you will head towards the hermitage of San Esteban, from which you will continue ascending along the road. 

The climb to Alto de Aretxabalagana is particularly steep, but the views from the top are well worth it. 

From the top, you will continue downhill alternating tracks, roads and beautiful forest trails until you reach Goikolexea. 

From Goikolexea, the path is now a straight road that follows the road until it reaches Lezama.

Difficulty Level and Factors That Can Impact the Walk

The altitude changes and terrain conditions can make the walk challenging for some, but the route is well signposted and manageable for most walkers. 

If you are not used to walking long distances, it is highly recommended that you take your time and break the walk into smaller sections. 

It is also important to bring plenty of water and snacks to keep your energy levels up throughout the journey.

What are the main landmarks on the route from gernika to Lezama

The walk from Gernika to Lezama is filled with some great landmarks and points of interest each with its own unique history and culture. 

Below are some of the must see landmarks that Pilgrims can experience on this route:

Hermitage of Santa Lucía

This beautiful hermitage is located just outside of Gernika and is a popular pilgrimage site for locals. This 16th-century hermitage is a beautiful and peaceful spot to rest on the journey. 

The hermitage is dedicated to Saint Lucia, the patron saint of the blind and is often visited by the local faithful who come to pray as well as Pilgrims on the Camino.

Alto de Morga

This high point on the route offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.

Hermitage of San Esteban

This historic hermitage dates back to the 16th century and is located on a hilltop overlooking the surrounding countryside and is another beautiful spot to rest and soak in the views.

Dedicated to Saint Stephen, it is located on a hill and is easily recognizable by its bell tower.

Eskerika hostel

This hostel is a popular stop for walkers on the Camino del Norte. It provides basic accommodation and services such as meals, showers, and laundry facilities.

Eskerika Hostel has 20 beds at approx €15 per bed and double rooms for €50 a room with a small shop and great terrace.

Eskerika Hostel
Eskerika Hostel

Alto de Aretxabalagana

This is the highest point on the route, and it provides walkers with incredible views of the surrounding landscape. 

From here, the route continues downhill and the terrain becomes more gentle. 

Top Tip: It’s also a great spot for taking Camino photos.


This small village is known for its charming architecture and traditional Basque culture.


This historic village is home to a number of notable buildings and landmarks, including the Church of San Miguel and the Palace of Larrabezu.


This small town is located about 10km outside of Bilbao and is a popular stopping point for walkers on the Camino del Norte.

The town is home to several restaurants, bars and albergues making it a great place to stop unless you fancy pushing 30km and getting all the way to Bilbao.

We laid up as our plan is to get to Bilbao in the early morning and spend the day exploring the city and celebrate getting this far on our pilgrimage.


How difficult is the walk from Gernika to Lezama?

The walk from Gernika to Lezama is considered moderate to challenging. The route covers a distance of around 26km and includes some steep climbs and descents.

How long does it take to complete the walk?

The average time to complete the walk from Gernika to Lezama is around 6-8 hours, depending on your fitness level and walking pace. Factors such as weather conditions and rest breaks can also impact the duration of the walk.

What is the best time of year to walk the Camino del Norte?

I have found from my walks on the Northern Way that the best time to walk is between April and October, when the weather is mild and the days are longer. 

However, it is worth noting that the route can be busy during peak season, so walkers should book their accommodation in advance. I walked in May and September, both great months to walk.

Weather on the Camino de Santiago in May


The Camino del Norte Day 6 on this popular pilgrimage route offers Pilgrims a unique and challenging experience. The section from Gernika to Lezama is one of the most scenic sections of the route, with stunning views and a variety of terrain. 

While the walk is challenging, it is also incredibly rewarding, and Pilgrims are sure to have an unforgettable experience.

In summary, the walk from Gernika to Lezama covers a distance of around 26km and takes around 6-8 hours to complete. The route includes some steep climbs and descents and various types of terrain, but is well signposted and well-maintained. 

There are some accommodation options available along the way and you should always book your accommodation in advance during peak season.

Accomodation in Lezama

Albergue de peregrinos de Lezama

  • 20 beds
  • Donativo (pilgrims only)
  • Open June to September
  • Laundry, shop, Terrace and Large Garden

Casa Rural Madarian

  • Double room from €60
  • Open all year
  • Breakfast, Large Garden

Hotel Rural Matsa**

  • Double room from €80
  • Open all year
  • Breakfast, large Garden

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