The Northern Way is considered by many pilgrims to be the jacobean route of greatest scenic and environmental beauty and in this itinerary you will cover the first 150 kilometres that separate Irún from Bilbao. During your route you will be able to enjoy a landscape that alternates coastal zones with mountain zones. This itinerary is characterized by its exuberant landscapes and spectacular views that will accompany the pilgrim through Basque lands. Good way!

Arrival in Irún

Once you have arrived in Irun on your own and have settled in the accommodation you will be able to enjoy the charms of this border city. Starting point for pilgrims who have chosen the northern route, Irun is also a city that has historically been very important in foreign trade and transport. We recommend taking advantage of the afternoon to visit some of its museums such as the Roman museum Oiasso or other tourist attractions such as the island of the pheasants in addition to rest, get mentally and prepare to live an unforgettable experience.

Irún – San Sebastián

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 6hDistancia24,8 Km

You will wake up in Irún where you can enjoy a good breakfast before starting your stage in the direction of San Sebastián. The stage runs between the coast and the mountains, during our stage we will leave behind places of cultural and historical attraction such as the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

San Sebastian, also known as Donostia, is a city full of history and cultural heritage that we recommend to visit as well as to enjoy its wide gastronomic offer.

San Sebastián – Zarautz

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 5h 30′Distancia22’2 Km

You will dawn in San Sebastian from where you will begin the walk to Zarautz. At the exit of the city, the stage will give us wonderful views of Mount Igeldo. The stage is similar to the previous one with a route mainly by track and between wooded zones that will take us to Zarautz.

This town is also known as the “queen of beaches” with one of the most beautiful beaches of the entire Cantabrian coastline. We recommend relaxing on the promenade and taking advantage of the typical dishes of the place.

Zarautz – Deba

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 5h 30′Distancia21,8 Km,

We are facing a relatively short stage but of medium difficulty due to the constant ups and downs characteristic of this mountain route. The path runs along the slope of Mount Igeldo and will give us magnificent views of coastal villages such as Guetaria and Zumaia.

The stage ends when we reach the coastal town of Deba whose main tourist attractions are the beach of Santiago and Lapari, its coves and its promenade.

Deba – Markina

Dificultad HighTiempo estimado 7hDistancia24 Kms

During this stage we will not find population centers where to rest or to supply us, for this reason we recommend to take in the backpack everything necessary to confront the stage. The landscape is characterised by large wooded areas that alternate with typical farmhouses such as the Kostolamendi farmhouse, which is at the highest point of the stage.

Once in Markina we will be able to enjoy its great historical patrimony in which we emphasize its old footpaths, today reconstructed for the enjoyment of the pilgrims and tourists.

Markina – Gernika

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 6hDistancia24,6 Kms

The route of this stage runs between areas of forest and ancient medieval roads that will take us to our destination through some villages with a lot of history as Bolibar. The final point is Gernika, a town known for the tragic events that occurred there during the Spanish Civil War that were captured and made known worldwide thanks to the work of artist Pablo Picasso.

Most places of historical interest were destroyed during the German bombardment which makes Gernika a modern town where to rest and prepare for the next stage.

Gernika – Lezama

Dificultad MediumTiempo estimado 5hDistancia20,8 Kms

This is a stage that goes through a rural and bucolic environment that we recommend to enjoy since the last stage will be completely different. The path crosses the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a protected area that stands out for its great ecological and landscape richness that will guide us to Lezama.

Lezama, formerly known as Santa María de Lezama, is a small village in the region of Bilbao that has among its main attractions the sports facilities of one of the most important clubs in Spanish football, the Athletic de Bilbao.

Lezama – Bilbao

Dificultad LowTiempo estimado 2h 30′Distancia10,8 Kms

This stage will be easy in comparison with the difficulty of the previous ones although we will still have to make a last effort with the ascent of Mount Avril before arriving in Bilbao. The last kilometres of the road will be through industrial areas around the big cities.

Finally we will arrive at Bilbao, a modern city next to the estuary whose main attraction is the Guggenheim Museum. We also recommend spending some time enjoying the extensive local gastronomy.


*After leaving the accommodation, end of service.


  • 9 days / 8 nights of accommodation
  • Backpack transfer service (1 package – máx. 20 kg.)
  • Credencial (Pilgrim’s passport)
  • Telephone assistance service 24/7
  • Travel assistance insurance
  • Single room supplement: 185 €/pax
  • Extra night in Irún or Bilbao: 60€ ind. / 80€ double
  • Breakfast: 65 €/pax
  • Half Board: 195 €/pax


  • 535 € pax double room


Accommodation in hostels, guesthouses and/or rural accommodations

We have selected for you the best accommodations so that you don’t have to worry about anything else but walking this path. The Northern way presents from Irún a series of small hotels, hostels and rural houses with a lot of charm. They are simple, comfortable and without great luxuries, but very cozy, ideal for sleeping and resting.

* In case of an individual room, it will be necessary to pay a supplement.