Camino del Norte in the Basque Country | Wise Pilgrim Guide to the Camino de Santiago

Camino del Norte Map 1
Distance to Santiago: 
835.00
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 cross the...
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 confuse the...
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, passing the Correos (...
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1

Hospital de peregrinos de Irun
Lucas de Berroa, 18

Municipal
50 Donativo Photo in Hospital de peregrinos de Irun on the Camino de Santiago

2

Pensión Bowling
Mourlane Michelena, 2

Pension
Photo in Pensión Bowling on the Camino de Santiago

3

Pensión Bidasoa
Estación, 14

Pension
Photo in Pensión Bidasoa on the Camino de Santiago

4

Pensión Mari Carmen
Serapio Mugica, 33

Pension

5

Pensión Lizaso
Aduana, 5

Pension
Photo in Pensión Lizaso on the Camino de Santiago

6

Hotel Alcázar
Iparralde, 11

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Alcázar on the Camino de Santiago

7

Albergue juvenil Martindozenea
Avenida. Elizatxo, 18

Private
60 17/23
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 many ways the...
History: 
It is said that the Apostle himself passed through Hondarribia on his way to Galicia
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1

Albergue Capitán Tximista
Barrio Jaizubia, 14

Private
36 23 Photo in Albergue turístico Goikoerrota on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
830.60
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 the...
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. Both routes are...
Distance to Santiago: 
818.70
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.
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1

Hospital de peregrinos Santa Ana
Ermita de Santa Ana

Municipal
14 Donativo
Distance to Santiago: 
818.60
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 used...
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 with the...
Distance to Santiago: 
811.20
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 flock to the...
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...
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 continue straight ahead, past the municipal...
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1

Albergue Juvenil Ulía
Ulía, 297

Municipal
54 13/16*

2

Albergue de peregrinos de la Ikastola Jakintza
Escolta Real, 12

Closed
50 Donativo

3

Albergue juvenil Ondarreta - La Sirena
Igueldo, 25

Municipal
100 16.80

4

Pensión San Fermín
Fermín Calbetón, 23

Pension

5

Hostel Urban House
Plaza de Gipuzkoa, 2

Hostal
Photo in Hostel Urban House on the Camino de Santiago

6

Pensión Donostiarra
San Martín, 6

Pension
Photo in Pensión Donostiarra on the Camino de Santiago

7

Pensión Artea
San Bartolome, 33

Pension
Photo in Pensión Artea on the Camino de Santiago

8

Hotel Términus
Francia, 21

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Términus on the Camino de Santiago

9

Hotel de Londres
Zubieta, 2

Hotel
Photo in Hotel de Londres on the Camino de Santiago

10

Hotel María Cristina
Plaza República Argentina, 4

Hotel
Photo in Hotel María Cristina on the Camino de Santiago

11

Okako Hotel
Iztueta, 7

Hotel
Photo in Okako Hotel on the Camino de Santiago

12

Pensión Kaia
Puerto, 12

Pension
Photo in Pensión Kaia on the Camino de Santiago

13

Pensión Anne
Esterlines, 15

Pension
Photo in Pensión Anne on the Camino de Santiago

14

Hospital de peregrinos Claret Ikastola
Navarra, 1,

Municipal
60 Donativo

15

Downtown River Hostel
San Martín, 2

Hostal
30/40

Monte Igueldo

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.
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 the pass the hotel Leku Eder and keep on that road. A description from this point can be found on the previous page.
Distance to Santiago: 
804.40
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 uphill. At the...
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1

Hotel Nicol’s
Plaza Gudamendi, 21

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Nicol’s on the Camino de Santiago

2

Camping Igueldo San Sebastián
Plaza Padre Orkolaga, 69

Camping
Photo in Camping Igueldo San Sebastián on the Camino de Santiago
Camino del Norte Map 2
Distance to Santiago: 
794.30
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 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 and...
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1

Albergue de peregrinos San Martín
Casa Arteta

Private
20 10

2

Hostal Xaloa
Estropalari, 26

Hostal
Photo in Hostal Xaloa on the Camino de Santiago

3

Casa Rural Mailán
Arratola, 18

Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Mailán on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Casa Rural Mailán on the Camino de Santiago

4

Hotel Txanka Erreka
Barrio San Martín, 5

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Txanka Erreka on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
788.80
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.
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 office doesn’t do much...
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1

Zarautz Hostel
Gipuzkoa, 59

Private
24 20/30* Photo in Zarautz Hostel on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue público de Zarautz
Zumalakarregi, 16

Municipal
30 Donativo

3

Galerna Zarautz Hostel
Mitxelena, 35

Private
18 22 Photo in Galerna Zarautz Hostel on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Galerna Zarautz Hostel on the Camino de Santiago

4

Albergue Juvenil Igerain
San Ignacio, 25

Municipal
100 15*

5

Pensión Lagunak
San Francisco 10

Pension
Photo in Pensión Lagunak on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Pensión Lagunak on the Camino de Santiago

6

Pensión Txiki Polit
Plaza Musika

Pension
Photo in Pensión Txiki Polit on the Camino de Santiago

7

Pensión Musika Plaza
Orape 7-2

Pension
Photo in Pensión Musika Plaza on the Camino de Santiago

8

Hotel Olatu
Ipar 10

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Olatu on the Camino de Santiago

9

Hotel Zarauz
Nafarroa, 26

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Zarauz on the Camino de Santiago

10

Hotel Alameda
Guipuzkoa

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Alameda on the Camino de Santiago

11

Albergue Gran Cámping Zarautz
Monte Talai-mendi

Camping
Distance to Santiago: 
783.60
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 a curious feel. On the...
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 Albergue at the highest...
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1

Albergue Kanpaia
San Prudentzio, 28

Private
30 12 Photo in Albergue Kanpaia on the Camino de Santiago

2

Pensión Iribar
Aldamar, 23

Pension

3

Pensión Getariano
Herrerieta, 3

Pension
32 Photo in Pensión Getariano on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Pensión Getariano on the Camino de Santiago

4

Hotel Itxas Gain
San Roque, 1

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Itxas Gain on the Camino de Santiago

5

Hotel Rural Gaintza
Barrio de San Prudentzio, 26

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Rural Gaintza on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
781.80
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 right at the river to...
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 right at the river to...
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1

Albergue Agote Aundi
Barrio de Azkizu

Private
15 15*
Distance to Santiago: 
778.90
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, austere but with...
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 crosses the sedimentary...
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1

Albergue de Zumaia (Convento de San José)
Arritokieta kalea

Association
25 8

2

Albergue Santa Klara
Santa Klara, 2

Private
16 20*

3

Pensión Goiko
Erribera, 9

Pension

4

Hotel Zumaia
Alai Auzategia, 13

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Zumaia on the Camino de Santiago

5

Hotel Talasoterapia Zelai
Playa Itzurun

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Talasoterapia Zelai on the Camino de Santiago

6

Casa Rural Landarte
Ctra. Artadi, 1

Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Landarte on the Camino de Santiago
Distance to Santiago: 
774.90
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 here,...
Distance to Santiago: 
769.70
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.
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1

Hotel Kanala
Itziar Auzoa

Hotel
Photo in Hotel Kanala on the Camino de Santiago

2

Casa Rural Donibane

Casa Rural
Photo in Casa Rural Donibane 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.

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1

Albergue de Lastur
Plaza San Nicolás

Private
70 16*
Camino del Norte Map 3