→ → Irún → 4.40km → Santuario de Guadalupe

Altitude
25
To end of camino
835.00
ATM
Yes
Bar
Yes
Bus
Yes
Bus Terminal
Yes
Correos
Yes
Grocery
Yes
Hospital
Yes
Medical Center
Yes
Pharmacy
Yes
Train
Yes

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 border without difficulty.

The bridge over the river here is called the Puente de Santiago and it is the traditional starting point. Be that as it may, the arrows are scant city wide so you will have to be alert and you may well need to ask around. Otherwise follow the signs towards the Estación Ferrocarril de Irún (train station, often abbreviated ff.cc.) and then follow the directions below.

Irún’s more notable churches include Nuestra Señora del Juncal (which holds the oldest statue of the Virgen in the region), the Ermita de Santa Elena (one of the oldest buildings in the city), and the hilltop (views!) Ermita de San Marcial.

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 two, you are heading northwest from Irún.

Fiesta

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.

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, defended the city from capture by the 3,000 strong mercenaries led by the King of Navarra to the South. Centuries later their ancestors determined to defeat, with the help of Spanish troops and the Duke of Wellington, the Napoleonic troops.

Of the major port cities along the Basque coast, Irún is the least developed. What it has lacked in industry though it has made up for with cross border trading; since the 19th century, the rail lines between the two countries have run on different gauge tracks and to this day both people and goods require a transfer.

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 (post office) along the way. Continue straight past the church to the first intersection with a traffic light, the Paseo Colon.

From here you have two choices:

1. The old town of Irún; turn right and over the tracks to get to most of the churches, parks, and hotels.

2. The municipal albergue and the camino; turn left and you are officially on the camino.  At the first roundabout the camino continues straight and heads under the overpass.  Alternatively, turn right at the roundabout to get to the municipal albergue.

When the opportunity to cross to the left-hand side presents itself do so; the camino turns left 500m ahead immediately after crossing the river.

NOTE: If going to Hondarribia was your plan, keep going straight after the bridge. Once you have left the main road, the camino begins the climb, first on secondary roads and then on trails, to the Santuario de Guadalupe.

Comments

michael

Posting this here for want of a better place. My partner and I just completed a week of the Camino from San Sebastian to Bilbao (late March 2022). We had an awesome time!!
Most, if not all, public Albergues were closed. This seems to be because we were off-season, not due to covid. April 1st seems to be when most will reopen so consider going after this date if this is important. Most towns had at least one hostel/private Albergue which in our experience were great (ranging from €15-€20 per night). We would recommend planning ahead by a couple of days to arrange these if you are coming off season. There are only small lingering effects of the covid19 pandemic, for example in Deba, where it seems the town hasn’t got round to reopening the only Albergue (and may not for some time) so you need to book an expensive hotel, or avoid this town. Broadly however covid is not a huge deal and shouldn’t effect your trip too much. Buen camino.

michael

Wanting to know if there is luggage storage at the bus station in Irún.

michael

Wanting to know if there is luggage storage at the bus station in Irún.

michael

Trying to locate where the bus station is

michael

Trying to find the arrows in Irun.

michael

Posting this here for want of a better place. My partner and I just completed a week of the Camino from San Sebastian to Bilbao (late March 2022). We had an awesome time!!
Most, if not all, public Albergues were closed. This seems to be because we were off-season, not due to covid. April 1st seems to be when most will reopen so consider going after this date if this is important. Most towns had at least one hostel/private Albergue which in our experience were great (ranging from €15-€20 per night). We would recommend planning ahead by a couple of days to arrange these if you are coming off season. There are only small lingering effects of the covid19 pandemic, for example in Deba, where it seems the town hasn’t got round to reopening the only Albergue (and may not for some time) so you need to book an expensive hotel, or avoid this town. Broadly however covid is not a huge deal and shouldn’t effect your trip too much. Buen camino.