Bilbao and Santiago de Compostela are two of the most popular cities in northern Spain, but with 700km separating them and no real train network in the north of the country, you're going to have to think about how you make the journey. Read on for details of how to get from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela by various forms of transport.
Flights from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela
There are regular flights from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela. This is the most practical option.
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Making the Journey Over Land by Train and Bus
There are about four buses a day from Santiago de Compostela. The length of the journey varies (between nine and eleven hours), so check on the site before booking. Tickets cost between 50 and 65 euros.
There is no direct train from Santiago de Compostela to Bilbao. Find out which routes are available within Spain on this.
In general, there are very few trains that travel from east to west in the north of Spain. The real train buff might want to take the FEVE narrow gauge railway, but this would take a very long time. The FEVE line is intended as a local railway: to get from Bilbao to Santiago, you'd need to change in Santander and Oviedo, finishing in Ferrol, where you can take a normal train to Santiago (but the Ferrol to Santiago route only runs twice a day. Really, it's not worth the effort.
Read more about the FEVE trains in Spain.
The best stop en route is Oviedo in Asturias, famous for its pre-Romanesque churches, cider and Asturian cuisine, one of the most unique in the country. Oviedo is best reached by bus, but you also have the option of taking the above FEVE train line all the way.
An alternative would be to head south from Bilbao to Logroño, famous for its Rioja wine and excellent tapas scene, and then head along the route of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage to Burgos (with its beautiful cathedral) and Leon (famous for its free tapas culture), before finishing in Santiago de Compostela.
Read more about the Best Tapas Cities in Spain.
Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela by Car
The 700km from Bilbao to Santiago de Compostela can be covered in about six hours, driving mainly on the AP-1, A-231, and A-6. Consider stopping in Burgos, Leon, and Astorga on your way.
Alternatively, drive along the coast, through Santander and Gijon or Oviedo. Consider a slight detour to A Coruña when you reach Galicia.
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