The Coastal Way

Stage 1: Bustio - Llanes

23.67-kilometer stage with a smooth profile and without major slopes that runs between the bridge over the river Deva in Bustio and the port of Llanes. The Camino de Santiago crosses the councils of Ribadedeva and Llanes, presenting sections that have very well preserved their original characteristics (with a dirt road or gravel) and others that have been altered by the construction of road infrastructures in the 20th and 21st centuries. especially the national highway N-634, along whose shoulders part of the route runs.

This stage runs through a transition zone between Cantabria and Asturias, which is reflected in the landscape and architecture that marks the Jacobean route, in which there are abundant examples of buildings inspired by Cantabrian construction models (the so-called mountain architecture ) and others more typical of the tradition of Asturias. This situation is especially evident in the council of Ribadedeva, which in fact was part of the Asturias de Santillana or the province of Santander for several centuries of the Middle and Modern Ages, until its definitive reincorporation to Asturias in 1833. This is also , an area in which the presence of the so-called Indianos has been decisive, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries. These are people who emigrated to America for economic reasons and who triumphed in their host country, promoting in their home towns the construction of large residential buildings that showed the new status they had accessed. Likewise, they financed, alone or through associations of emigrants from the same place, the realization of public works, such as sanitation or lighting networks, or the construction of facilities such as hospitals, libraries or cultural centers, thus enabling that small towns at the dawn of the twentieth century had a level of services typical of large cities. The town of Colombres is a paradigmatic example of all this.

There are many historical references in relation to the passage of pilgrims to Compostela through these lands, from the mentions of the hospitalero in charge of lighting a light every night in the chapel of Cristo de El Bao to guide pilgrims passing through existence in Llanes of a pilgrims hospital founded as early as 1330, without forgetting the fact that already in the Fuero de Llanes, the founding charter of this coastal town, allusion was made to pilgrims and their right to make their way in peace.

This is a path marked by churches of great heritage interest, such as those of Santa María de Colombres, San Acisclo de Pendueles, Santa María de Puertas de Vidiago or San Roque l’Acebal, as well as chapels such as those of El Bao in Ribadedeva or El Cristo de Llanes, without forgetting the small humilladeros or chapels of souls, a reflection of popular religiosity, present on the Camino del Cantu, near Colombres, in Buelna or in the vicinity of San Roque l’Acebal.

Stage description

Km 0  – Bustio

The starting point of this stage of the Coastal Way is at the bridge over the Deva river, the dividing line between the communities of Cantabria and Asturias and between the towns of Unquera and Bustio. This bridge is located near the point where the Deva River meets the Cantabrian Sea, forming the Tina Mayor estuary and a clear natural border between the two autonomous communities. Before the construction of this bridge, the riverbed was crossed thanks to the use of small boats or barges. The existence of a pier further north of Bustio is documented, in the place known in the Middle Ages as Puerto Chico, from where a path started that soon reached the church of Santa María de Tina (today in ruins but still preserving the structure of the Romanesque construction) and later to the hermitage of Santu Medé, near the town of Pimiangu, on the coastal plain of the municipality of Ribadedeva.

Immediately after crossing the bridge, you will reach the small town of Bustio, the first in Asturias, in the council of Ribadedeva. It is a population that preserves many houses of traditional typology, flanked by buttresses of ashlars between which there are usually two floors, with a wooden corridor on the top. There are also examples of mountain architecture, easily identifiable as they are large houses with a lot of prominence from the ashlar masonry and usually flanked by a tall tower. An outstanding example of this type of construction is “Villa Delfina”, towards which the Jacobean route is headed just after crossing the bridge over the Deva river.

The Camino de Santiago runs between “Villa Delfina” and another traditional construction, with a stone facade facing the bridge. The greatest ascent of this stage then begins, through the so-called Camín del Cantu, a section of approximately two kilometers, with a road that combines paved areas with others of concrete, and which leads directly to Colombres, the municipal capital.

In these two kilometers, more than 120 meters of unevenness are saved, through a road that has wide perspectives, which allow us to contemplate from the Picos de Europa on the left to the town of Pimiango on the right, a town that is presented to us as a population of linear development at the top of an elevation, dominated by the church tower on the far left. In the vicinity of Pimiango is the cave of El Pindal, with Paleolithic paintings and declared a World Heritage Site in 2007.

The ascent of the Camín del Cantu continues until reaching a small chapel of souls located to the right of the route. From here, the flat road until reaching the first buildings that announce the arrival in Colombres, the capital of Ribadedeva.

Just two kilometers after entering Asturias, the Camino de Santiago reaches the first municipal capital, Colombres, a town that was declared a Site of Cultural Interest in 2013 under the category of Historic Site.

The Camino de Santiago reaches Colombres by continuing the Camín del Cantu, between large single-family houses, progressively densifying the hamlet until it reaches the center of the town. The Jacobean route crosses the urban nucleus from East to West, running through Lamadrid, Pío Noriega and Francisco Sánchez Noriega streets.

In its tour of the capital of Ribadedeva, the Camino de Santiago allows you to get to know some of the most emblematic corners and buildings of the town, starting with the church of Santa María, an interesting building with origins in the 15th century that underwent a great reform in the middle from the 19th century that gave it its current configuration, with two towers flanking the façade. After passing through the church, the Camino de Santiago borders the central square of Colombres, a space designed in 1895 and presided over by the City Council and with the statue of the great local benefactor, Manuel Ibáñez Posada in the center. In front of the Town Hall, on the other side of the square, is the Quinta Guadalupe, headquarters of the Indianos Archive and Museum of Emigration of Asturias.

The Way runs through streets in which the coexistence of the most traditional hamlet of Colombres can be clearly appreciated (houses with one or two floors, with a fire wall flanking their facades and with frequent use of balconies and corridors) with the buildings of Indiana promotion, of which we have exceptional examples at the exit of the town, such as the imposing Casa de las Palmeras, with its access avenue flanked by large palm trees, the Casa de los Leones or the Quinta Buenavista.

After passing through Colombres, the Camino continues, always heading west, along the street and road to Badalán, progressively passing from an urban area to another more properly rural environment. At the exit of the nucleus, a traditional crossing is left on the right hand side, arriving shortly after the so-called Concharascas road, an unpaved road, of compact earth and stone, that in a gentle descent, and passing next to a solitary centenary holm oak, It leads to the place of El Bao, from where it continues until it passes by the hermitage of Santo Cristo, a place with a long Jacobean history.

From here there is soon the encounter with the national highway N-634, having to go back two hundred meters in an easterly direction, along the shoulder of this road, which is conditioned for the transit of pedestrians. At the height of a yellow building that is on the left side (in the direction that the Camino now takes) of the road, and that corresponds to the Oyambre pension, cross the road and continue in the direction of Pimiango .

The Camino runs for a hundred meters along the shoulder of the local road RD-1, separated from the road by a guardrail and which has a gravel road. When approaching the Colombres cemetery (located on the right hand side and that is not flanked), turn left, continuing the route for one kilometer along a road parallel to the highway, with the initially concreted road that later gives way to another of compact stone. In both cases, it is a very wide road, built in the early years of the 21st century simultaneously with the Cantabrian highway, which runs parallel to the left. In the first few meters of this route, you will pass the Colombres railway station on the right.

In its final section, this road has an asphalt surface and leads directly to a roundabout that connects with the N-634, having to cross the national road and continue along the shoulder towards La Franca, a town that is crossed without entering it and that leads directly, to the left, (at the height of the neighborhood called Corral d’Abaxu), to the detour towards the AS-346 road, in the direction of Santa Eulalia, where the Camino de Santiago continues in its last section already through the council of Ribadedeva.

The route continues along this regional road for about 750 meters, crossing the Ahijo river and reaching a curve next to some rocky outcrops on the surface, where the route leaves the road and deviates towards a compacted stone path that leads towards the Campo bridge over the Cabra river, the border between the municipalities of Ribadedeva and Llanes. This is a space that, due to the construction of the Cantabrian Highway in this area, has been greatly transformed, being currently dominated by the impressive supports of two viaducts that cross the Cabra river valley at a considerable height.

The bridge marks the limit between the councils of Llanes and Ribadesella/Ribeseya, and for several centuries, between 1230 and 1833, it also constituted the dividing line between Asturias and the province of Santander, until with the provincial reorganization promoted by the first liberal Spanish government this municipality, like the two Peñamelleras, finally became part of the Principality.

Once the Arco bridge is crossed, a steep but short ascent begins along a recently built path, with a compact stone and gravel road that runs between the pillars of the highway viaduct and progressively becomes rural, passing to be a traditional path, flanked by sebes and bushes, and that leads, in a little more than half a kilometer, to the remains of the old Santiuste shop, located to the right of the Camino, and which is one of the traditional places of rest that were linked to this Jacobean route of the llanisca coast.

After passing the sale, a steep descent of just 300 meters towards the N-634 road begins, from here it is possible to contemplate the Cantabrian coast, in an area of special beauty (located opposite the Camino, on the other side of the national highway, the famous jesters of Santiuste).

For a little less than 700 meters, the Camino runs along the shoulder of this national highway. After that distance, there is a detour to the left that allows access to a path parallel to the road, a service road with a compacted stone surface that allows moving away from the road for approximately 450 meters. At the beginning of this detour there are two structures corresponding to an old shepherd’s refuge and a chapel of souls, moved from its original location on the occasion of the construction of the highway. This detour concludes with the incorporation back to the shoulder of the national highway, which continues for one kilometer before reaching the first town of Llanes, which is the Jacobean coastal route, Buelna.

The Camino flanks the town of Buelna, running at all times along the shoulder of the national highway. From here you can see the beautiful traditional architecture that characterizes many of the town’s buildings, as well as some large house, with its monumental entrance door, such as that of the Conde del Valle. At some points, the town has an almost continuous front of two-story buildings with wooden corridors between firebreaks on the upper floor. You can also see the church of Santa María from the Camino, also passing the route right next to a small chapel of souls.

At the exit of the town of Buelna, the Camino continues along the shoulder of the national highway for about 400 meters, until it reaches the detour to the town of Pendueles, where it connects with the local highway LL-3.

Then a wandering through different local roads that converge in the town of Pendueles begins. Shortly after the detour, you go through an underpass under the railway line and soon, at a crossroads, you pass a small public space on the left where a fountain is located. The Camino continues west through the neighborhoods of Verines, Arenas and La Venta (this toponym that recalls that in this place there was a hostel at the service of travelers), through asphalt paths between houses, many of which have walls of closure built with dry superimposed stone, which flank the Jacobean route during a good part of its journey through Pendueles.

As it passes through the houses in the lower part of Pendueles, it reaches the path to the cemetery, in front of which there is a vegetable island behind which it continues to the right, in the direction of the church of San Acisclo, recognizable by its high tower of inspiration. medieval and due to the large dimensions of a temple that preserves a Romanesque façade that can be seen from the outside. On the southern flank of the building you can see a Stations of the Cross based on free-standing crosses and others reproduced on the façade of the church itself.

The route continues along the LL-3 road, in a slight ascent that will allow you to contemplate some of the most outstanding buildings in the town, as well as broad perspectives of the town. El Camino is already a fully urban sidewalk, flanking the central area of sociability of the town: a square where a bowling alley is located. On the left, after the first curve that is found when passing the church, you can see, in an elevated position, the palace of the Count of Valle de Pendueles, in whose plot the first bread basket that appears in this itinerary of the Coastal Path rises Asturian.

A little further on, also on the right-hand side, are the ruins of the imposing palace of Santa Engracia, today in a state of abandonment but still impressive for its size and for the evocation of the past splendor that it knew, of which there are still witnesses in the form of fountains and ornaments of the old gardens that were located between the road and the building.

After passing this palace, continue straight ahead, towards the exit of the town, running over a bridge over the train tracks and then leaving on the right hand side a meadow limited by rocks between which small cavities can be glimpsed, often occupied by cattle. .

From this Pendueles exit, the Camino joins the shoulder of the N-634 national road again, heading towards Llanes. Eight hundred meters later, you come to a roundabout, which you always cross in the left direction, until you pass under a flyover, reaching another roundabout, which is skirted, then continuing for just over 600 meters along the shoulder of the national highway, towards Llanes, until reaching the town of Vidiago.

Among the first constructions that flank the Camino de Santiago upon arrival in Vidiago, in the Casa’l Riu neighborhood, there is a large house with an access portal. Shortly after passing these first houses, the shoulder of the national highway gives way to a sidewalk, along which the Camino continues, until it reaches a junction where the route takes the detour to the left, in the area known as La Bowling alley.

You go up a small hill and begin the journey to the west, parallel to the national highway, leaving the town center on the right, with its church of Santa María de la Paz.

Going through the neighborhoods of El Trichoriu, El Costazu, Riviescas, Gozalo and Las Llombetas, in the upper area of Vidiago and heading towards Riegu, runs along an asphalt road, between stone walls and traditional houses, many with wooden corridors. At the end of the last houses of the town, the Jacobean route continues along a dirt road, flanked by large stone walls.

This fully rural road runs at the foot of the Sierra Plana de la Borbolla, through places with abundant vegetation and trees, and leads directly, after about 400 meters, to the next town, Riegu

The Camino de Santiago crosses the town of Riegu at the top of it, between traditionally built houses, grouped in small neighborhoods between which there are cultivation spaces limited by high stone walls. You arrive at an open public space, in which there is a fountain and, on the right hand side, the primary schools, of Indian promotion and great architectural value.

The route continues between more widely spaced houses, some of large size and in some of whose plots private sports facilities of large dimensions can be guessed, through the neighborhoods of L’Aldea, La Cueva, La Boleta and El Tornu). At certain points you can see the national highway and the nucleus of Puertas de Vidiago on the right, which the Jacobean route does not reach.

The road has an asphalt surface until it passes the last houses in the El Tornu neighborhood. Then, it becomes a path with a land surface, flanked at the beginning by earth walls, which runs perpendicular to the previous march, and ends up leading to a small and lush forest through which it is routed again. the march towards the West, until it converges with a forest track, which continues in a western direction, to the left, near the Peña Tú Idol, which can be accessed from a path perpendicular to the Jacobean route, in a southern direction .

The path continues towards the Peña Tú interpretation room, a modern building that is on the right hand side of the Camino, at a point where the route makes a downward bend that leads to the shoulder of the N-634 national road, then starting a route of little more than two kilometers by that shoulder. During it, after crossing the Purón river, the facilities of a fish farm and a campsite are left on the left, as well as an old large house, corresponding to the historic Venta del Pomar.

In this way you get to the vicinity of a roundabout, with a road sign to San Roque l’Acebal and the A-8 motorway. As soon as you pass that sign, you cross the road and drive to the left. A dirt and stone road then begins that deviates from the national highway and moves towards an underpass on the road, linking up with a path that runs to the west more or less parallel to the national highway. This path, initially made of compact stone, is giving way to a more primitive route, with the land surface and flanked by abundant vegetation. As you advance, you will find, on the left hand side, flanking the Camino, a small chapel of souls.

A few meters after the chapel of souls, the path rejoins the shoulder of the national highway. After 215 meters in this case, you will arrive at the town of San Roque l’Acebal, the next town on the coastal road.

After the identification sign of the town, located on the national road, the Camino de Santiago deviates to the right, along a local road, with firm asphalt, which runs between houses and stone fences of farms and plots, in an area known as Camino Real. You arrive, heading west, to a dirt road, framed by shrub vegetation and some trees, until you end up at the back of a modern two-story building with a low floor of considerable height. The path flanks the parking lot of this construction to the right, continues in front of a building of ashlars and monumental size corresponding to a church that was never finished, remaining unfinished. Soon you will access the center of the town of San Roque l’Acebal, located at the foot of the nearby Sierra del Cuera.

The route continues along a sidewalk located on the right bank of the national highway that crosses San Roque l’Acebal, until it reaches the vicinity of a service station, when just before it crosses the road and goes on to circulate on a paved local road , which runs behind the service station and a series of houses until it returns to the national highway, in front of an Indian house preceded by two palm trees.

For 300 meters the road coincides with the left shoulder of this road. After that distance you will come to a roundabout, which is bordered, passing the Jacobean route to run along a sidewalk. Continue after the roundabout on this sidewalk, leaving behind a building and turning right under an underpass. The Camino then begins an ascent, first along an asphalt track that soon becomes a compact stone pavement and that after several turns, converges on a rural road with a dirt track strongly embedded between earth walls and between chestnut trees. A few meters later, the Camino reaches the Alto de la Jorcada, where the Cristo del Camino hermitage is located, a place of great devotion to the Llaniscos and a long Jacobean history.

From the Cristo chapel, the Camino begins a descent through the area of La Jorcá and La Portilla towards the first foothills of the town of Llanes, through an asphalt road that progressively gives way to a street with its sidewalks, flanked by houses single-family homes of recent construction, which ends in a roundabout already in the urban nucleus, heading the route to the left, connecting with Avenida de la Concepción and with Pidal and Las Barqueras streets, until reaching the bridge over the Carrocéu river that marks the end of this stage, being an excellent point to start the exploration of the town of Llanisca. In this initial transit through the town of Llanes, the Camino runs alongside several large mansions, promoted in many cases by Indians returned from America. These are constructions from the late 19th or early 10th centuries, such as the Partarríu palace, Villa Concepción or Villa Flora. There are also some examples of construction of other styles, such as the mountain Villa de Los Barquitos.

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