In this first section of the Camino del Norte you will cover the 160 km from Irun to Bilbao. A route considered by many pilgrims as the Jacobean route of greatest scenic and environmental beauty. A journey through the Basque Country that alternates coastal and mountain areas, discovering to the pilgrims bucolic landscapes of the Basque countryside and an exquisite gastronomy.


Travel Itinerary

Welcome to Irun! After settling into your accommodation we recommend that you spend the afternoon visiting some of its museums such as the Oiasso Roman museum or other tourist attractions such as the island of the pheasants. All this makes Irun a perfect place to rest, get ready to live an unforgettable experience on the Camino del Norte.

You will wake up in Irún where you can enjoy a good breakfast before starting your stage towards 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. The path runs along tracks and through wooded landscapes until we reach San Sebastián.

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

You will wake up in San Sebastian from where you will start the hike to Zarautz. On leaving the city, the stage will give us wonderful views of Mount Igeldo. The stage is similar to the previous one with a route mainly along a track and through wooded areas that will take us to Zarautz.

This town is also known as the “queen of beaches” with one of the most beautiful beaches along the Cantabrian coast. We recommend relaxing on the promenade and take the opportunity to taste the typical dishes of the place.

You 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 slopes of Mount Igeldo and offers magnificent views of coastal towns such as Guetaria and Zumaia.

The stage ends in the coastal town of Deba, whose main tourist attractions are the beaches of Santiago and Lapari, its coves and its promenade.

During this stage you will not find many population centers where to rest or stock up, for this reason we recommend to carry in your backpack everything you need to face the stage. The landscape is characterised by large wooded areas alternating with typical farmhouses such as the Kostolamendi farmhouse, which is located at the highest point of the stage.

Once in Markina you can enjoy a day of tranquility in an incomparable natural environment.

The route of this stage runs through forest areas and old medieval roads that will take you to your destination, passing through historic villages such 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 the artist Pablo Picasso.

Most of the historical sights were destroyed during the German bombing which makes Guernica a modern town to rest and prepare for the next stage.

Today’s journey takes you through wonderful rural areas where the colour green is the protagonist. The route crosses the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a protected area that stands out for its great ecological and scenic wealth that will lead us to Lezama.

Lezama, formerly known as Santa María de Lezama, is a small town whose main attractions include the sports facilities of one of the most important clubs in Spanish football, Athletic Bilbao. Go Athletic!

This stage will be easy compared to the difficulty of the previous ones; although you will still have to make a last effort with the ascent of Mount Avril before arriving in Bilbao. The last kilometers of the route will be through industrial areas typical of the outskirts of large cities.

You will end your stage in Bilbao, a modern city next to the estuary whose main attraction is the Guggenheim Museum, one of the most visited museums in our country.

And so much for the first part of the Camino del Norte from Irún to Bilbao! We hope you enjoyed the experience. And if you are still hungry for more, we recommend you to continue the next 5 stages to Santander.

After leaving the lodge, end of our services.

Map of the Way

Type of accommodation


Services included

9 days / 8 nights accommodation9 days / 8 nights accommodation
Luggage transfer during the stagesLuggage transfer during the stages
Complete documentationComplete documentation
Pilgrim’s CredentialPilgrim’s Credential
24 hour emergency telephone assistance24 hour emergency telephone assistance
Travel insuranceTravel insurance

Optional Services

ServiceIn hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Irun to Bilbao
BreakfastBreakfast65€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner)MP (Breakfast and dinner)195€ per person
Supplement for single roomSupplement for single room185€ per single room
Extra nightExtra night60€ (sing. room) / 80€ (doub. room)
Breakfast Breakfast
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Irun to Bilbao 65€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner) MP (Breakfast and dinner)
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Irun to Bilbao 195€ per person
Supplement for single room Supplement for single room
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Irun to Bilbao 185€ per single room
Extra night Extra night
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Irun to Bilbao 60€ (sing. room) / 80€ (doub. room)


Frequently Asked Questions

In this modality you will do the Camino de Santiago at your own pace and you will only have to worry about choosing the route you like the most, the type of accommodation and your departure date. If you choose this option you will travel alone or with the people that appear in your reservation, and you will have all the services included so that you only have to worry about walking and enjoying the experience.
The Way of Saint James on your own includes the following services
  • Accommodation
  • Luggage transport
  • Dossier with information about the stages
  • Pilgrim's credential
  • 24-hour helpline
  • Travel insurance
In addition, you can customize your trip by adding the following optional services
  • Breakfast or half board
  • Private transfers to the start of the stage from Santiago de Compostela or from the airport.
  • Extra night at the beginning or end of the stage
Unlike the group trips, no bus service, guide or support vehicle is included between stages. But you will have a 24-hour hotline where you can contact us in case of any problem or unforeseen event, which we will solve quickly.
Yes, you will have total freedom to choose your departure date. However, if you want to do your Camino de Santiago in the months of December, January and February, we recommend that you check availability before making your reservation. At this time of year most accommodation is closed and many services may not be available.
In your travel documents, you will find the names of the accommodations assigned to you, as well as their contact telephone number and location.   As a general rule, all accommodation is located in the centre of the different towns along the Pilgrims' Route to Santiago de Compostela, without the need to deviate too far from the route. But sometimes, due to lack of availability, it is possible that some accommodation may be a little far from the village or even in neighbouring towns.   For all the accommodations that are at a considerable distance from the route of the Camino, we will provide you with a free taxi service that you can use to get to your accommodation and return to the Camino the next morning.   In any case, these are exceptions that we will inform you at the time of booking.
Luggage transport service by default is included in all our trips and it is not necessary to request it. You will be able to do the Camino de Santiago without your luggage on your back with the peace of mind that your suitcase will be at your next accommodation on your arrival.   Along with your credential you will also receive stickers, which you must cover with the requested information and stick it in a visible place on your suitcase.   Once you have arrived at your accommodation, we recommend that you ask at reception where you can leave your luggage. You will have to leave your luggage at the indicated place first thing in the morning for our carrier to pick it up. This way, when you arrive at your next accommodation your luggage will already be there.
We have a taxi service that you can hire whenever you need it. You can hire it, for example, to go from the airport to the start of your Camino, or to go from Santiago to your starting point to pick up your car once you finish the stage.   The price of the transfers will depend on the distance from your point of origin to the destination. If you have any questions about this service do not hesitate to contact us.
We include a compulsory insurance with each trip that will cover you for any inconveniences that may arise during the Camino de Santiago. We will send you the insurance policy together with your travel documents.
The basic travel insurance included in our packages has a wide coverage against unforeseen events, with which you will also have guaranteed medical assistance and numerous benefits that you can consult in the General Conditions of Travel Insurance.
In your travel documents you will find an emergency telephone number where we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This way you will travel with peace of mind knowing that one of our companions will help you to quickly solve any problem, incident or doubt that you may have along your Camino de Santiago.
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