Camino del Norte: Stage 4
Deba – Markina-Xemein (24 km – 15 miles)
Today you will leave the Cantabrian Sea to get into the Basque mountains and its farmhouses. It is a hard stage because there are lots of ups and downs. You will walk through the Valle de Artibai valley and visit a hermitage that has three huge monoliths.
You will leave Deba crossing the estuary to get to a road that will lead you to Mutriku. Cyclists will go through all the stage, the other pilgrims should turn left a little bit to get to a path you will have to walk up for approximately one kilometer, but you will be surrounded by the forest and you will enjoy the wonderful landscape. You will cross the Ermita del Calvario hermitage. You will find a fountain where you can rest for a while before continuing.
Once you return to the asphalted road you will cross a grillroom in the GI-3330 and then returning to a rural path. You will cross again the road to get to the asphalted road that will lead you to Olatz, in Murtriku. You will cross a small hermitage devoted to San Isidro, after this, you will walk through an asphalted road. Once you get to a crossing you will have to continue straight forward and then go to the left in the next one to get to a path. You will see a stream called Anu and you will start to walk up, crossing a farmhouse and also getting the Collado de Arnoate hill that is located in Bizkaia. Once you get to a fountain where you can have some water and rest for a while, you will have to turn right to walk up again.
You will walk now near some farmhouses (Sakoneta, Arzorinzabal and Amulategui) and once you get to the last one you will have to turn left to walk up through the hardest path in today’s stage. you will start descending seeing the Calle de Artibai valley, Then you will get to the field, but before you will walk through a neighborhood called Arretxinaga very known due to its Ermita de San Miguel hermitage. It is a temple from the 18 century but built over another temple with more than four centuries. It is located in the valley’s heart. Its construction is remarkable, being composed by stones and three big rocks laying one in each other, creating some sort of chapel. In the middle of the hermitage, you will see a sculpture of Archangel San Miguel protected by three monoliths of at least forty million years old. Near this hermitage you will find a house that has a tower called Torre de Barrotea, from the 16 century, this house belongs to a famous local family We have to highlight that here took place many important things such as the birth of Fabiola of Belgium.
Then you will walk towards the Urko river and you will have to cross it two times to get to the Avenida de Arretxinaga avenue. Then you will have to turn left through the Calle de Artibai street and then to the left through the Calle de Osteko street. You will get to a hostel called Padre Carmelitas that is the end of this wonderful stage. Markina/Xemein is also called “the pelota’s university” as many of the best pelota vasca players of the world came from here.
What to see
You have to take into account to have the appropriate clothes and equipment is the most important. You can visit our section about what to take with you to do the way.
What to eat
- Pintxos (small portions of food)
- Salsa vizcaina
- Marmitako (typical fish stew)
- Scorpio fish
- Canutillos de Bilbao (typical pastries from Bilbao)
Bear in mind
Cyclists should do all this stage through the asphalted road, through the road that links Murtriku and Ondarroa. Once you get to the end of this road you will continue through the BI- 633.
All pilgrims should be careful in this stage, especially in winter.What to see
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