PORTUGALETE – GALLARTA – KOBARON (16,80Km)
Portugalete is the last urban stage of the St. James Way along the north as it passes through Bizkaia. At this point, the Nervión River opens to the Cantabrian Sea and the Northern Route completes its stages through the Basque Country, crossing the mining area of Bizkaia until reaching the coast and its fantastic views.
This is a stage to enjoy on the Way, with rest areas and picnic areas in the shade all conveniently along a bike-lane and a “Via Verde” route.
Km. 0 Portugalete. We leave Villa Jarrillera taking the Avenida Carlos VII and down to the bike-lane, which we will follow most of this stage of the Way of St. James. We head towards Ortuella and pass over the A8 motorway. Pay attention because on Km. 2, next to the Uriosteneighborhood, there is a branch of the bike path that gives us the option to deviate from the road to enter Ortuella; We will continue, however, for the official stretch of the path marked with the official signpost “La Arena”. We continue touring the old mining area of Bizkaia while we contemplate the top of the Serantes peak.
Km 5.6 Gallarta. At this point we will deviate for a moment from the bike path, to the right, although soon we will take it again to cross a tunnel under the road. From the capital of Abanto-Zierbena to La Arena beach, thissection runs between the Serantes and Montaño mountains and has small recreational rest areas.
Km. 12.8 La Arena. When arriving at the first houses of Zierbena we continue along the sidewalk to the left until we reach a bbq and picnic area, as we enter into La Arena beach. We walk a littlealong the beach and use the metal bridge to cross over the Barbadún estuary to Pobeña.
Km. 12.3 Pobeña. Once at the car park you have to be careful because we have to take the narrow road that leads to the stairs leading to the Itsaslur path. These stairs reach a height of 40 meters, which can be a great inconvenience for pilgrims who take the Way of St. James by bike in the North, but then again, it gives us one of the stretches with the best views: The Way, now a Vía Verde, used to be an old mining railroad that transported the merchandise to the La Arena loading dock. This section of the stage will also allow us to see the old loading docks and the history of this mining area.
Km. 16.8 Kobaron. We arrive at the end of the Way of St. James through Bizkaia and the Basque Country, but the beautiful landscape on the coast continues to take us into Cantabria.
Estimated walking time: 3h 40min
Tourist information point of La Arena beach in Muskiz: (Open from June 15 to September 15) / Tel. 685 753 287
Association of Friends of the Way of St. James: 687 529 606
Gallarta health centre: Avenida delMinero s / n (Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.) Tel. 94 600 75 70.
Points of tourist interest:
La Arena Beach: Almost a kilometre long between Muskiz and Zierbena, this beautiful beach is one of the most beautiful natural enclaves of Enkarterri and much appreciated by both surfers and family tourism, thanks to its recreational areas and services.
Paseo de Itsaslur: A spectacular tour of one of the green paths “Vías verdes de Bizkaia” that go along old railroad tracks, in this case of mining trains. You can still see the vestiges of its old mining days and it offers beautiful views over the coastal cliffs.