The Camino del Norte in the Basque Country | Wise Pilgrim Guidebooks for the Camino de Santiago
Map of all Caminos to Santiago de Compostela
Camino del Norte Map 1
Altitude: 
25

The city of Irún, on the west bank of the Río Bidasoa, is the first Spanish city on the Camino del Norte; though it might be more accurately referred to as the first Basque city west of the river. To the east is France, and if your inbound flight landed there your connecting train will...

History: 

Irún, Irúña, and a third city named Iruña de Oca were the three most important outposts of the Roman empire in the Basque territories. Two significant battles took place here; the first and second battles of San Marcial. In the Summer of 1522 the local Basques, numbering less than a few hundred...

Notice: 

The name Irún is often confused with Irúña (the Basque name for Pamplona), something to keep in mind when booking tickets.

Irún is also the starting point for the Basque Interior Camino, which travels southwest to join the Camino Francés in Santo Domingo de la Calzada or Burgos. Do not...

The fiestas of San Pedro and San Marcial, known collectively as Sanmarciales, are held at the end of June. San Marcos is celebrated on the 25th of April.

The Road: 

Getting started in Irún is easiest from the train station or the municipal albergue, both are located in the Barrio San Miguel (though there is no church dedicated to the Saint).

From the terminal head straight towards the dome of the nearby Iglesia San Gabriel and Santa Gema...

Accommodation in Irún

Municipal

1

Hospital de peregrinos de Irun
Municipal
Lesaka, 1
60 Donativo€
Private

2

Albergue juvenil Martindozenea
Private
Avenida. Elizatxo, 18
60 17/23€
Pension

3

Pensión Bowling
Pension
Mourlane Michelena, 2
Photo in Pensión Bowling on the Camino de Santiago

4

Pensión Bidasoa ⭑⭑
Pension
Estación, 14
Photo in Pensión Bidasoa on the Camino de Santiago

5

Pensión Mari Carmen
Pension
Serapio Mugica, 33

6

Pensión Lizaso
Pension
Aduana, 5
Photo in Pensión Lizaso on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

7

Hotel Alcázar ⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Iparralde, 11
Photo in Hotel Alcázar on the Camino de Santiago
Altitude: 
10

Set off a short distance from the Camino, Hondarribia is none-the-less considered an important camino city. The old town is centered around a small hill overlooking the Txingudi Bay, and the suburbs and the Donostia Airport have spread outwards from it along the flat sandy plains. In...

History: 

It is said that the Apostle himself passed through Hondarribia on his way to Galicia

June: A Medieval market is held on the second Sunday of June.
July: Santiago is celebrated on the 25th of July.
August: Several neighborhood fiestas on the 15th to celebrate the Assumption of Mary.
October: San Francisco de Asís on the 5th.

Accommodation in Fuenterrabía

Private

1

Albergue Capitán Tximista
Private
Barrio Jaizubia, 14
36 23€ Photo in Albergue turístico Goikoerrota on the Camino de Santiago
Altitude: 
195

The Santuario is maintained by an Italian fraternity and the hours are limited; if you spot an open door duck in.

It was built in the 16th century and is home to the Black Virgen that was discovered on this hillside by two children. It also displays some high flying ships, a reminder to...

La Virgen de Guadalupe is celebrated on September 8th.
The Road: 

The way from the Santuario splits into three, one road and two trails. There is a sign and a map illustrating the differences. The official camino follows a trail just to the south of the ridge line, while an alternative known as the Purgatorio Route follows along the ridge line...

Altitude: 
10

The two Pasajes sit on opposite sides of the river, a narrow stretch that is crossed quickly by a small ferry. The albergue is located high up on the hillside. If you are a fan of fresh seafood the Falcon Crest restaurant on the San Pedro side has a decent reputation.

June: San Juan on the 24th and San Pedro on the 29th. July: The patron, San Fermín, on the 7th. Followed by Santiago on the 25th and San Pantaleón on the 27th.

Accommodation in Pasajes de San Juan

Municipal

1

Hospital de peregrinos Santa Ana
Municipal
Ermita de Santa Ana
14 Donativo€
1.00km → Faro de la Plata
Altitude: 
10
The Road: 

Once off the ferry, the official camino turns right while a road variant turns left. Turn right to follow the coastline to the sea, passing a boat yard along the way. Where the road ends, the path and climb (on steps) begins. At the top the camino returns to a paved road, turn right when it does...

The lighthouse here, along with another on the east bank of the passage, were built to guide ships through this narrow passage at times of rough seas and turbulent weather; once through though the ships enjoyed the calm of the well protected harbor which even today is one of the most heavily...

The Road: 

From the parking lot the camino turns left to return to a trail. Pay close attention to the various forks in the trail; although they are well marked there are many options through the forest.

Along this stretch you will also see markings for the GR-121, a 300km circuit that shares ground...

6.80km → Igueldo
Altitude: 
10

San Sebastián is one of the best-known tourist destinations in all of Spain, and is the capital city of the Basque province of Guipúzkoa (there are two more provinces in Spain and three in France). The city is home to about 200,000 people and twice as many more annual tourists, who...

History: 

San Sebastián was founded in the late 12th century by King Sancho (the wise) of Navarra to be its principal maritime port. This was useful to Sancho, but to the people of the town it was of little benefit to support a kingdom with so few opportunities to expand. In less than a few decades it was...

Although a bit too early in the year for the majority of passing pilgrims, the Tamborrada is held on the day of San Sebastián, January 20th.

August makes up for the rest of the year with the Assumption of Mary on the 15th followed by the Basque Fiestas at the end of the month through the start of September.

The Road: 

Turn right on the Avenida de Navarra towards the sea, the road follows it and you follow the road. You can walk in the sand of the Playa Zurriola if it suits you, the way ahead is evident as it crosses the bridge over the Río Uramea.

Once over the bridge...

Accommodation in San Sebastián

Municipal

1

Albergue Juvenil Ulía
Municipal
Ulía, 297
54 15-18€

2

Albergue juvenil Ondarreta - La Sirena
Municipal
Igueldo, 25
100 20€

3

Hospital de peregrinos Claret Ikastola
Municipal
Navarra, 1,
60 Donativo€
Pension

4

Pensión Donostiarra ⭑⭑
Pension
San Martín, 6
Photo in Pensión Donostiarra on the Camino de Santiago

5

Pensión Artea ⭑⭑
Pension
San Bartolome, 33
Photo in Pensión Artea on the Camino de Santiago

6

Pensión Kaia
Pension
Puerto, 12
Photo in Pensión Kaia on the Camino de Santiago

7

Pensión Anne
Pension
Esterlines, 15
Photo in Pensión Anne on the Camino de Santiago

8

Pensión San Fermín ⭑
Pension
Fermín Calbetón, 23
Hostal

9

Downtown River Hostel
Hostal
San Martín, 2
30/40€

10

Hostel Urban House
Hostal
Plaza de Gipuzkoa, 2
Photo in Hostel Urban House on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

11

Okako Hotel ⭑
Hotel
Iztueta, 7
Photo in Okako Hotel on the Camino de Santiago

12

Hotel Términus ⭑⭑
Hotel
Francia, 21
Photo in Hotel Términus on the Camino de Santiago

13

Hotel de Londres ⭑⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Zubieta, 2
Photo in Hotel de Londres on the Camino de Santiago

14

Hotel María Cristina ⭑⭑⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Plaza República Argentina, 4
Photo in Hotel María Cristina on the Camino de Santiago
Closed

15

Albergue de peregrinos de la Ikastola Jakintza
Closed
Escolta Real, 12
50 Donativo€
Altitude: 
150

There is a lighthouse here as well as a watch tower. There is also a small amusement park for children. The real draw though is the views. The easiest way here is via the funicular railway from San Sebastián.

The Road: 

Getting from the monte to the camino is a simple matter. From the parking lot at the top of the monte, make like a car and roll downhill along the road. When you get to the small gravel parking lot on your right, cut across it to pass the hotel Leku Eder and keep on that road. A description from...

10.10km → Orio
Altitude: 
175

Igueldo as a territory occupies the whole of the massif and the views along it are grand. All services are located along the main road, south of the camino.

The Road: 

From the Buenavista Hotel the camino keeps to the paved roads for several more kilometers but eventually heads back into the forest along trails and even along centuries old cobbled roads as it descends to the AP-8. After passing under the AP-8 turn right to follow the road steeply...

Accommodation in Igueldo

Camping

1

Camping Igueldo San Sebastián
Camping
Plaza Padre Orkolaga, 69
Photo in Camping Igueldo San Sebastián on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

2

Hotel Nicol’s ⭑⭑
Hotel
Plaza Gudamendi, 21
Photo in Hotel Nicol’s on the Camino de Santiago
Camino del Norte Map 2
5.50km → Zarautz
Altitude: 
5

Orio has a pretty small center, as it is stuck between the river and the hills. The primary industry in these parts is still fishing and the specialty in Orio is grilled bream. In centuries past pilgrims crossed the river here by boat.

History: 

The local church is dedicated to San Nicolas de Bari, patron of fishermen and a well known Saint among pilgrims.

The Day of the Fishermen, San Pedro, is celebrated on the 29th of June. The patron of Orio, San Nicolás de Bari, is celebrated on the 6th of December.

The Road: 

The camino reaches the riverfront and turns left (inland) towards the nearest bridge over the river. Once across the bridge, it turns right to follow the N-634 a short distance. Where the road bends left, the camino exits to the right to follow the waterfront and the Portua. Stay along the road...

Accommodation in Orio

Private

1

Albergue de peregrinos San Martín
Private
Casa Arteta
20 10€
Casa Rural

2

Casa Rural Mailán
Casa Rural
Arratola, 18
Photo in Casa Rural Mailán on the Camino de Santiago
Hostal

3

Hostal Xaloa ⭑⭑
Hostal
Estropalari, 26
Photo in Hostal Xaloa on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

4

Hotel Txanka Erreka ⭑
Hotel
Barrio San Martín, 5
Photo in Hotel Txanka Erreka on the Camino de Santiago
5.20km → Getaria
Altitude: 
5

The beach in Zarautz, which is not on the marked camino, is the longest beach in the Basque country. This Queen of Beaches as it is known is the largest tourism draw to the town and every Summer the city fills with thousands of surfers who come to compete. The palaces that once lined the beach...

History: 

Very little of Zarautz’s famed fishing past remains. The men here were the dominant whalers of their time until the whales disappeared from the Bay of Biscay. During the 19th century, when seaside palaces were the rage, the bourgeoisie built them here along the promenade.

Notice: 

Zarautz is a popular event town and plays host to several surfing competitions and bike races throughout the summer. Both can put a crunch on the number of beds available.

January: San Sebastián on the 20th, as well as a few wine celebrations throughout the month.
February: Santa Águeda, patroness of the Basque Country, on the 4th. The town also celebrates Carnaval.
May: Santa Marina is celebrated on the 21st.
June: San Pelayo from the 25th to the 27th.
July: Santiago on the 25th.
August: Santa Clara on the 12th, and the Virgen from the 14th to the 16th.
September: Semana Vasca, or Basque Week, from the 1st to the 9th.

The Road: 

The marked way through Zarautz is along the Nafarroa Kalea, about two blocks from the waterfront and parallel to it. As an alternative, you can turn right towards the beach and follow it to the end of town.

Leaving Zarautz can be a confusing affair and the local information...

Accommodation in Zarautz

Municipal

1

Albergue público de Zarautz
Municipal
Zumalakarregi, 16
30 Donativo€

2

Albergue Juvenil Igerain
Municipal
San Ignacio, 25
100 15*€
Private

3

Zarautz Hostel
Private
Gipuzkoa, 59
24 20/30*€ Photo in Zarautz Hostel on the Camino de Santiago

4

Galerna Zarautz Hostel
Private
Mitxelena, 35
18 22€ Photo in Galerna Zarautz Hostel on the Camino de Santiago
Camping

5

Albergue Gran Cámping Zarautz
Camping
Monte Talai-mendi
Pension

6

Pensión Txiki Polit ⭑⭑
Pension
Plaza Musika
Photo in Pensión Txiki Polit on the Camino de Santiago

7

Pensión Musika Plaza ⭑
Pension
Orape 7-2
Photo in Pensión Musika Plaza on the Camino de Santiago

8

Pensión Lagunak ⭑⭑
Pension
San Francisco 10
Photo in Pensión Lagunak on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

9

Hotel Olatu ⭑
Hotel
Ipar 10
Photo in Hotel Olatu on the Camino de Santiago

10

Hotel Zarauz ⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Nafarroa, 26
Photo in Hotel Zarauz on the Camino de Santiago

11

Hotel Alameda ⭑⭑
Hotel
Guipuzkoa
Photo in Hotel Alameda on the Camino de Santiago
1.80km → Askizu
Altitude: 
30

The old town of Getaria sits on the shallow bit of land that leads from the mainland to the Monte San Anton and is small enough to take in on your way through town.

Do spend at least a few minutes visiting the Iglesia de San Salvador, whose wonky sloping floor makes for...

April: San Prudencio on the 27th.
May: Antxoa on the 3rd, San Isidro on the 4th, and the Day of the Fisherman on the 5th.
June: San Juan on the 23rd and 24th.
August: San Salvador on the 6th.
November: San Martín on the 11th.

The Road: 

If you came into Getaria along the N-634 you will have to climb up to rejoin the camino. If you came into Getaria along the trail you will have to decide whether you want to descend into town (and then return) or whether to keep on walking.

The camino passes the Kanpaia...

Accommodation in Getaria

Private

1

Albergue Kanpaia
Private
San Prudentzio, 28
30 15€ Photo in Albergue Kanpaia on the Camino de Santiago
Pension

2

Pensión Iribar
Pension
Aldamar, 23

3

Pensión Getariano ⭑⭑
Pension
Herrerieta, 3
32 Photo in Pensión Getariano on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

4

Hotel Itxas Gain ⭑
Hotel
San Roque, 1
Photo in Hotel Itxas Gain on the Camino de Santiago

5

Hotel Rural Gaintza ⭑⭑
Hotel
Barrio de San Prudentzio, 26
Photo in Hotel Rural Gaintza on the Camino de Santiago
2.90km → Zumaia
Altitude: 
115
Notice: 

At the far end of Askizu the camino forks at a house, turn right. The trail here affords excellent views of the sea. It will begin to descend, passing the Playa de Santiago far below. At sea level it rejoins the N-634 along a pedestrian walkway into Zumaia.

The walkway bears...

The Road: 

At the far end of Askizu the camino forks at a house, turn right. The trail here affords excellent views of the sea. It will begin to descend, passing the Playa de Santiago far below. At sea level it rejoins the N-634 along a pedestrian walkway into Zumaia.

The walkway bears...

Accommodation in Askizu

Private

1

Albergue Agote Aundi
Private
Barrio de Azkizu
15 15*€
4.00km → Elorriaga (Deba)
Altitude: 
10

The city is poised on the west bank of the confluence of two rivers, so there are naturally a few bridges to cross. It is after the second crossing that you get to the oldest part of town, the monuments, and the best food.

In the center stands the Iglesia de San Pedro Apostol,...

San Pedro on the 29th of June.

The Road: 

Just over this second footbridge, the camino splits. The official camino continues straight ahead and upwards through town. The alternate route again follows the GR-121 by turning right. They rejoin within 3.5km.

The alternate route, known as the Ruta de Flysch because it...

Accommodation in Zumaia

Private

1

Albergue Santa Klara
Private
Santa Klara, 2
16 20*€
Association

2

Albergue de Zumaia (Convento de San José)
Association
Arritokieta kalea
25 8€
Casa Rural

3

Casa Rural Landarte
Casa Rural
Ctra. Artadi, 1
Photo in Casa Rural Landarte on the Camino de Santiago
Pension

4

Pensión Goiko
Pension
Erribera, 9
Hotel

5

Hotel Zumaia ⭑⭑
Hotel
Alai Auzategia, 13
Photo in Hotel Zumaia on the Camino de Santiago

6

Hotel Talasoterapia Zelai ⭑
Hotel
Playa Itzurun
Photo in Hotel Talasoterapia Zelai on the Camino de Santiago
5.20km → Itziar
Altitude: 
200
The Road: 

In Elorriaga the camino splits again. The GR-121 turns off to the right just before you get to the bar in town, and follows the coastline once more and in doing so it does not pass Itziar.

The official camino follows the road out of Elorriaga, descending towards the N-634. Cross with care...

3.80km → Deba
Altitude: 
260
History: 

The name Itziar, and a few derivations of it, is a popular name given to Basque women. Its origin goes back to the 8th century when a temple was built in reverence to Santa Maria de Itziar. Her statue remains here, and is venerated as much by sailors as by pilgrims.

The Road: 

From Itziar the camino turns north to return to the sea at Deba. Past the church turn right at the first fork and follow the country lane. You won’t notice any more highways as you wind your way towards Deba, but they are none-the-less tunneling beneath you.

Accommodation in Itziar

Casa Rural

1

Casa Rural Donibane
Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Donibane on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

2

Hotel Kanala ⭑⭑
Hotel
Itziar Auzoa
Photo in Hotel Kanala on the Camino de Santiago
Altitude: 
185

Located about 5km off of the camino, but there is an albergue here. The owners will drive you back to the camino in the morning if necessary. A very quiet mountain location.

Accommodation in Lastur

Private

1

Albergue de Lastur
Private
Plaza San Nicolás
70 16*€

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