The Camino de Santiago (The Way of St. James) from San Sebastian is the first section of the Camino del Norte (The Northern Way), starting in the cosmopolitan city of San Sebastian, one of the European centres for fine dining due to the multitude of Michelin-starred restaurants in the city.
From San Sebastian, the Camino del Norte continues along the coast, although you can also enjoy the surrounding green hills.
The Camino passes through well-known villages such as Gernika, remembered for the intense bombing it underwent during the Spanish Civil War. This section ends in the city of Bilbao, where we highly recommend paying a visit to the majestic building that is home to the Guggenheim Museum.
In the Basque Country, you can enjoy its traditional cuisine, which means going out to eat “pintxos” accompanied by a nice “txakoli” wine that is typical of this area. If you want to enjoy good food and landscapes, this is the section for you.
San Sebastian is a city with a beautiful landscape and is truly a foodie’s paradise.
Enjoy a long walk along the La Concha Beach or venture inside one of the 16 restaurants in San Sebastian that have a Michelin star, being the second place in the world with the most Michelin-starred restaurants per square metre, only to be surpassed by Tokyo.
Overnight: San Sebastian
We start the route by leaving the city of San Sebastian and walk along the coast of Vizcaya while enjoying its green meadows and mountains.
On this route, we can see the Romanesque Church of San Martin de Tours before crossing through beautiful villages along the coast.
The day ends in Getaria, where you can admire its beautiful port. Here in Santiago Ways we recommend that you try the “txacoli”, a typical slightly sparkling white wine from this area.
Length: 27 km
Leaving Getaria, we should head along the coast through the countryside before reaching Zarautz, which is known for its beautiful beach (the longest in the Basque Country).
After Zarautz, the trail moves into green lands and passes by the Church of Santa Maria La Real and the town of Elcano. Today’s session ends in the beautiful town of Deba.
Length: 22 km
Today the route leaves the coastal area for the last time as we head into the region’s interior. After crossing a river, the route makes its way to an area with plentiful vegetation, before reaching the El Calvario Chapel.
The regional road (GR-121) passes through several towns before reaching our destination for today: Markina.
Length: 20 km
When leaving Markina we must continue to walk through the countryside, crossing the river in Bolivar before reaching the medieval monastery in Zenarruza. From here, we must continue to walk uphill until we reach the highest part of Gontzegarai.
After passing through the Santiago Chapel, a moderate descent leads to a small river and the historic village of Gernika, famous for Picasso’s masterpiece.
Length: 28 km
After leaving Gernika, we will pass by the Chapel of Santa Luzia Zallo before ascending towards the road (PR-173).
From here, a paved trail continues uphill towards the town of Morga, from where you begin the descent through the villages of Goikoletxea and Larrabetzu. Later we will cross the forest before reaching our destination for today: Lezama.
An interesting fact, the Athletic Bilbao football club trains here in this town.
Length: 21 km
As you can see, the route’s last day is also the shortest. The trail will take us through the town of Zamudio and the charismatic Roman Church of San Martin and the Zamudio Tower.
From here, there is a gradual ascent to the top of Mount Avril, where your hard work will be rewarded with breathtaking views of Bilbao. When entering the outskirts of Bilbao, we must pay a visit to the Basilica of Our Lady of Begona.
The walk comes to an end at the Unamuno Square, in Bilbao’s old town.
Length: 15 km
Bilbao (or Bilbo in the Basque language) has reinvented itself over the past 30 years, with the stunning Guggenheim Museum being home to some of the best art exhibitions in the country.
Explore the old town of Bilbao with its quaint taverns and enjoy eating some typical “pintxos” before returning home!
End of our services.
All the rooms you book with Santiago Ways to do the Camino de Santiago have a private bathroom and all the necessary services to ensure your best comfort.
Our team checks on site the quality of all the accommodation offered in order for pilgrims to have a comfortable and unforgettable experience on the Camino de Santiago.
When working with quality accommodation with limited capacity, the exact name of the accommodation will be provided 30 days before the start of the Camino.
All accommodation on the Camino de Santiago is subject to availability. In case we can't offer any of them due to lack of capacity, we'll accommodate you in one of equal or better quality.
Single rooms are subject to availability. Reservations must be made in advance and come at an additional cost.
All our accommodation has been selected to ensure tranquillity, rest and enjoyment during your Camino de Santiago:
Accommodation in Hotels and Country Cottages.
Rooms with private bathroom.
Meal plan of your choice.
Baggage transfer between stages.
Complete route itinerary.
24 hours Telephone assistance on route.
Assistance vehicle in case of emergency.
Information pack for the Camino de Santiago.
Additional single room: €144 per person.
Extra night in Bilbao: €55 per person.
Transfer from Bilbao to San Sebastian: €160.
Travel assistance insurance: €18 per person.
Cancellation insurance: €12 per person.
In order to resolve pilgrims’ doubts, here we answer the questions that are most frequently asked when we receive your enquiries.
If you have any other questions, you can contact us and we will be happy to help you resolve all your queries.
The Camino de Santiago can be started on any day of the year, always taking into account the weather and the season in which you want to travel, so that your clothes are the right ones.
The best way to get to the starting point of your Camino de Santiago is to arrive at the airport, train station or bus station nearest to the town from where you will start walking.
Once you confirm your Camino, you will send us the arrival information for your flight, train or bus and, from there, we organize a private transfer to the town where you should start your Camino.
Yes, you can. All the routes on the Camino de Santiago are suitable for pilgrims to travel solo.
Also, whether you are travelling alone, or travelling accompanied but want to sleep in a single room, Santiago Ways offer this option to you.
We can book all your nights of accommodation in single rooms at an additional cost. We suggest you book well in advance since they are usually in high demand.
On the Camino de Santiago, you will find hundreds of pilgrims walking on their own. Many of them may have come to the Camino alone; others have probably moved away from their fellow travellers for a few hours because of the difference in speed when walking.
In any case, all the routes on the Camino are very well signposted, so you will have no problem if you go on your own.
Most routes on the Camino de Santiago are done in a self-guided mode. Thus, each traveller has the opportunity to advance on their own and at their own pace along the routes marked on the complete itinerary of the route, which is sent one month before starting the Camino.
However, we also offer organized groups with accompanying guide on the stretch from Sarria to Santiago. We have specific dates already established, and we carry them out in groups of up to 15 people, with guaranteed departures. The guides in charge of these routes speak English and Spanish.
We already have all the dates published until 2021, so you are encouraged to reserve your place before the groups are filled.
The complete route itinerary of the route is a guide that we prepare for you with information about the maps, route profiles and places of interest, kilometre by kilometre on each of the stages that you will go through on the Camino de Santiago.
The travel distances and travel times indicated for each route on both the website and the itinerary we send you are based on reference values. It depends on each pilgrim exactly how they carry out these times and distances, according to the speed at which they progress.
You will receive it by email one month before starting your Camino along with all the documentation for the trip: accommodation reservations, baggage transfers, among others.
In Santiago Ways, we adapt each stage to the needs of our pilgrims, so that they can travel according to their physical capability and the number of days available.
On average, a stage of the Camino de Santiago has 15 to 20 km. On most routes, however, we can organize your Camino so that you walk fewer kilometres, dividing some stages into two parts, depending on what is most comfortable for you.
Both sedentary people and those who regularly exercise should physically prepare for doing the Camino de Santiago.
Sedentary people can start with moderate activity and continue progressively. They should start by taking small 20-minute walks, two or three times a week. It is suggested to increase the time until you reach walk about 4 or 5 kilometres every hour.
People with regular physical activity can start by walking from 45 to 60 minutes a day and increase the amount of time and kilometres they travel in the same span of time.
Generally, it is recommended to start training for about three months before starting the route.
There is no minimum number of days in advance to book, although on certain dates the occupancy of the accommodation is higher, especially in high season, and in dates of religious interest such as the San Fermin Festivals in Pamplona, from 7th to 14th July, or the Feast of Santiago the Apostle, on July 25th.
Therefore, in order to guarantee availability in the best accommodation, we suggest you book as much in advance as possible, so that we can meet all of your needs.
For any of the Caminos, we suggest you to bring the following items: light and fast drying clothing, waterproof jacket and trousers, sun hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, a pair of shoes suitable for hiking, trekking poles, a pair of shoes to rest in, a jacket that doesn't take up much space and a bottle to carry water.
Depending on the time of year in which you make the route, these items may vary.
Remember that with Santiago Ways, you have included a baggage transfer service between stages, so we will take your backpack from one accommodation to another so that you only worry about walking (maximum 1 piece of 20 kg per person).
For this reason, we suggest you prepare a second backpack, much smaller, that you can carry with you every day with water, sunscreen, cap, sunglasses, documents, some food and cash.
Every day, at 8:00 am, you must bring your luggage, properly labelled, to the reception. One of our carriers will pick it up and take it to the place where you are going to stay on your next stage.
Delivery time varies according to the distance between stages and the carrier's delivery route. Usually, delivery is made before 4 p.m.
To complete any of the routes on the Camino de Santiago, it is advisable to have travel insurance with all the necessary coverage, especially emergency evacuation and medical care.
To do this, we suggest you take out the Travel Assistance Insurance and Cancellation Insurance that we offer you in Santiago Ways. If you want more information about it, we will be happy to answer your questions.
Yes, all rooms you book with Santiago Ways to do the Camino de Santiago have a private bathroom.
Yes. We offer accommodation in single rooms and double rooms, according to the requirements of each pilgrim.
Single rooms have a special surcharge and are subject to availability according to the location.
We work with multiple accommodations in all locations which allows us to guarantee the best quality rooms for our pilgrims, provided that they are booked well in advance.
The name and exact location of each hotel is sent about one month before the start of the Camino with all the documentation related to the trip.
No. All the accommodations we book for our pilgrims have private rooms with private bathrooms in order to guarantee all the comfort needed torest properly.
All the accommodations that we book are in the centre of the towns or villages. In any case, depending on availability, if any accommodation is somewhat far from the centre, most of them are accessible on foot.
When necessary, Santiago Ways could offer a round trip transfer so that the pilgrim can reach their accommodation in the most comfortable way possible and return the next day to the point on the route from where he must continue the Camino.
All the accommodation that we book in Santiago Ways offers the necessary comfort to rest after long days of walking.
We work with hotels, traditional Galician homes, country cottages, and charming hostels, always a room with a private bathroom.
We are now going to talk with you about the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian to Bilbao, one of the most interesting and practical routes for many pilgrims. We will give you all the necessary information to complete it and, incidentally, we will remind you of what are the most important advantages to do with Santiago Ways.
We hope that it will help you and we encourage you to consult other articles about other routes available on the Camino de Santiago in general and on the Camino del Norte in particular.
Although it is true that when it comes to choosing which way to go, while each one of us has different views and reasons, it is also true that each of the routes has its own characteristics that make it more advisable for one pilgrims’ profile or another. That’s why we want to start by telling you what are the main reasons why it’s worth doing the Camino del Norte and, in concrete, the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao.
1.- Gastronomy: One of the most important claims of the Basque Country as a Spanish region is without a doubt its gastronomy. This is famous all over the world and is, in fact, one of those that flag our gastronomy beyond our borders.
In this sense, we must particularly highlight gastronomic enclaves such as San Sebastian or Guernica itself, famous largely for its peppers (similar to those found in Padron).
Because of this, and as gastronomy is a point of utmost importance along the whole way (as you will learn while on the pilgrimage), we cannot overlook this wonderful incentive.
2.- Landscapes: The most genuine characteristic of the Camino del Norte is that it takes place almost entirely along the Cantabrian coast.
This is one of the most beautiful coasts in Europe and constitutes in itself a more than sufficient reason to undertake this Camino del Norte. So, if you are a fan of nature and above all the calm that the sea gives you, the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao could be your choice.
3.-Infrastructure: The infrastructure on this stretch of the Camino del Norte is very well maintained. In infrastructure, we not only include the state of roads and roadways but also communications, signage, and of course, the facilities they have to replenish their supplies and rest along the way.
In this sense, the route of the Camino del Norte de San Sebastian scores a 10 out of 10.
4.-Climate: Another of the points in favour that the Camino del Norte has and precisely because it passes near the sea is its climate. Being close to the coast, its temperatures are very mild and stable throughout the year.
As we’ll specify later when we talk about the best time to make the Camino de Santiago, the Camino del Norte has a special advantage at this point.
It can be done practically at any time of the year: much more if you do it with Santiago Ways, you do not need to book so much in advance and you can do it at the time you choose.
5.-No overcrowding: One of the biggest advantages of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao is that it does not suffer from overcrowding. In some times of the year and especially for those who do not travel with Santiago Ways, this can be a drawback (especially when it comes to finding good accommodation).
However, in the case of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao this is not a problem: much less with the work done by Santiago Ways .
The Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian forms part of the route of the Camino del Norte. In particular, this is your first section. Although It is possible to continue from Bilbao, here we will focus only on this section.
It begins in the beautiful city of San Sebastian, which is one of the world’s gastronomic cradles. This has a large number of Michelin-starred restaurants, so in itself is already an attraction.
The Camino del Norte runs along the coast although it also has hill stretches of great natural beauty. On its route, there are places of great cultural, historical and artistic interest such as the emblematic enclave of Guernica.
It ends in the city of Bilbao, where we can enjoy some of its architectural jewels. The whole tour will be accompanied by one of the best gastronomic experiences in the world.
Here, we offer the maps related to the route of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao. They are necessary to be able to plan your route correctly and to know the sites that you will visit on your pilgrimage.
San Sebastian – Getaria
Getaria – Deba
Deba – Zarautz
Markina – Gernika
Gernika – Lezama
Lezama – Bilbao
We will now talk about the profile of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao . We will do it graphically so that at a glance you see what is its path. We can anticipate that it is a stretch where the difficulty can lie in the ruggedness of some sections but not by the slopes but by the many rivers that cross through it.
San Sebastian – Getaria
Getaria – Deba
Deba – Markina
Markina – Gernika
Gernika – Lezama
Lezama – Bilbao
We also enclose the stages of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao. These stages can be modified if you do it with Santiago Ways.
Stage from San Sebastian to Getaria
Stage from Getaria to Deba
Stage from Deba to Markina
Stage from Markina to Gernika
Stage from Gernika to Lezama
Stage from Lezama to Bilbao
The route of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian is one of the easiest because of its length and duration. In addition, it has a nicer profile than other possible routes. It has a total length of 101 kilometres divided into 8 stages with its corresponding 7 nights.
This makes it an ideal way for short periods such as Easter, summer or Christmas. Later we will talk about it in detail.
It is true that in every case the tastes of each person when choosing which time is best to do the Camino de Santiago play a very important role. However, it is also true that because of the characteristics in each of the routes, some have their own benefits that others do not have.
That’s why we want to talk to you about each season to tell you when it’s best to do the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian .
We hope that it will help you although we remind you that with Santiago Ways it is always possible to do it in the best way possible throughout the year.
Spring is the preferred time for many pilgrims for several reasons. To begin with, during this period you will find Holy Week. The length and duration of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian make it ideal for that date.
On the other hand, the climate accompanies with mild and pleasant temperatures by passing near the coast. It must be said that the risk of precipitation can increase. Nothing that we can’t avoid with proper preparation.
Also, we must emphasize that the beauty of the environment is intensified as a consequence of this season. That is why it is also a special time for nature lovers. The concurrence of pilgrims falls compared to the summer although there will still be pilgrims on the roads.
Summer is always the favourite time for pilgrims. In the case of doing the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao you should know that temperatures will be smooth thanks to crossing through oceanic climate zones. That means there will be a cool atmosphere despite it being summer.
Against this, it is necessary to say that the influx of pilgrims increases, but there are not as many as on other routes like that of the Camino Frances. It should not, therefore, be a problem and even less with Santiago Ways .
In autumn, the risk of precipitation increases again. The temperatures are still mild, but we must be cautious in this regard. On the other hand, the landscape becomes especially beautiful as a result of the mountains and vegetation losing their leaves and the colours that accompany us become even more beautiful.
Low occupancy: there’s no problem with Santiago Ways, so September may be ideal to take advantage of the last days of summer.
Although winter is not recommended for routes like the Camino Primitivo, in the case of the Camino del Norte, the risks decrease because also in this season the temperatures are mild.
Yes, the risk of rain increase and most lodgings close their doors. With Santiago Ways, this is not a problem because we offer you the best accommodation throughout the whole year.
There are many places of interest along this route from the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian . Among them there are not only places of cultural, artistic and historical interest but also some restaurants that we want to recommend for your stops and passing the best hotels where you will stay with Santiago Ways.
First, we want to talk about the most important points that you cannot miss on this route of the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian. They are points of special monumental beauty that we advise you not to miss.
Getaria is a beautiful village in the province of Guipuzcoa. It Is a town of seafaring tradition from where not only the legendary Basque whalers but also Juan Sebastian Elcano, the first navigator to lead the first round the world voyage.
It is located in the vicinity of a beautiful hillside tinged by a wonderful green colour that contrasts with the beauty of the sea that has historically given its “raison d’être”. No doubt, an enclave you can’t miss.
This locality is famous for the beauty of its natural surroundings: a corner that by itself is enough to fall in love with the beauty of the Basque Country. Also located in the province of Guipuzcoa is another of the special interest points on our route.
This town is built in the middle of the beautiful mountains of the province of Vizcaya. It Is one of the last sites before we reach Bilbao. In addition to the historic and spectacular surroundings, we recommend that you visit the quarry.
A powerful display of beauty and harmony between the work of man and nature.
As we have said previously, with Santiago Ways you will be sure to stay in the best accommodation. Our vocation is to give you the best care and the best attention throughout your pilgrimage. Here are some examples.
And as eating is an important part of the Camino, we also want to recommend some famous restaurants for the quality, service and care of its clientele. These are our recommended restaurants on the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian to Bilbao.
Restaurante Bolina el Viejo
In the emblematic town of Guernica that Picasso contributed towards making famous for the bombing during the Spanish Civil War, is located this restaurant with a family atmosphere where in addition to its exquisite peppers, we will be able to taste the best of the Basque gastronomy in general and from the local area in particular.
In the town of Markina is this cosy location where we can rest as we deserve. They offer very personal service and are always ready to welcome the pilgrims with the biggest of smiles and the best of gastronomy from this magnificent region of Spain.
It is located in the city of Bilbao: It is perfect, therefore, to give yourself homage once you have completed your pilgrimage. In addition to a character typical of the traditional Basque cuisine, they offer us an avant-garde touch to a fairly acceptable value for money.
The Camino del Norte disputes with the Camino Frances the honour of being the first route. We could say that it’s quite likely that the Camino Frances a was first because the pilgrimage began during the times of the Reconquista.
Naturally, after the Camino Primitivo, we mean. It seems that to try to get away from the hotbeds of the struggle, this coastal route was often used.
Another hint that makes you think it was before is that it is more rugged: for a while, it stopped being used when the route of the Camino Frances became popular after taking control of the area.
We also want to share with you the opinion of other users who have made the Camino del Norte with Santiago Ways. You will Probably be encouraged to undertake this wonderful adventure with us.
To get an idea of everything that awaits you doing the Camino del Norte from San Sebastian , here we leave some pictures and videos of the route.
Here you can see all the stages of the Camino de Santiago.
In Santiago Ways, we will advise you on which route of the Camino de Santiago is the best fit for you.