The Camino de la Costa begins in Irún, at the River Bidasoa crossing, and passes through such important ports as Hondarribia, San Sebastián, Zarautz and Zumaia. It continues along the entire stretch of the coast in Cantabria, passing through the towns of Castro Urdiales, Laredo, Santoña, Noja, Santander, Santillana del Mar and San Vicente de la Barquera. At the estuary of the River Tina Mayor, the route crosses into Asturias, before passing through localities such as Llanes, Ribadesella, Gijón, Avilés and Vegadeo, although there are several different routes connecting the coast with Oviedo. Once in the Asturian capital, pilgrims head for Ribadeo. After crossing the estuary of the River Eo, which marks the border between Asturias and Galicia, the route passes through a succession of towns, including Ribadeo, Lugo, Vilanova de Lourenzá, Mondoñedo and Vilalba, until it reaches Arzúa, where it joins the Camino Francés, now very close to Santiago de Compostela.
The consolidation of this pilgrimage route led to the emergence of great religious establishments, such as the cathedrals of Bilbao and Mondoñedo, the monasteries that always took in pilgrims, such as that of Sobrado dos Monxes, and the collegiate churches of Ziortza and Santillana del Mar.