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Last places
Way of Saint James from Sarria in group with guide
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Days
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Hours
Camino del Norte
NT02

Way of St. James from San Sebastian to Bilbao

Distance
Difficulty
Stages
Duration
120 km
●●●○○
6 stages
8 days
from

375 €

Walking the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian is one of the best ways to venture on the Camino del Norte. It crosses the Basque Country along its shores and offers an unparalleled fusion of pilgrim experiences, Cantabrian beaches and cliffs, and a millenary immaterial Basque culture - one of the oldest peoples in Europe. What we propose here is the stretch between Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, and Bilbo - or Bilbao - in a six-stage itinerary. A great way to get to know this land and discover why it is one of the favourite destinations for many walkers who dare to take a step off the beaten track of the French Way.
Discover one of Europe's oldest cultures
Tour the Basque coast and its spectacular scenery
Enjoy the spectacular seafood gastronomy
Camino del Norte
NT02

Way of St. James from San Sebastian to Bilbao

Distance
Difficulty
Stages
Duration
120 km
●●●○○
6 stages
8 days
Discover one of Europe's oldest cultures
Tour the Basque coast and its spectacular scenery
Enjoy the spectacular seafood gastronomy
from 375 €
Walking the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian is one of the best ways to venture on the Camino del Norte. It crosses the Basque Country along its shores and offers an unparalleled fusion of pilgrim experiences, Cantabrian beaches and cliffs, and a millenary immaterial Basque culture - one of the oldest peoples in Europe. What we propose here is the stretch between Donostia, the Basque name for San Sebastian, and Bilbo - or Bilbao - in a six-stage itinerary. A great way to get to know this land and discover why it is one of the favourite destinations for many walkers who dare to take a step off the beaten track of the French Way.

The recipe for great journeys

Natural, historical and ethnographic heritage, spectacular gastronomy, good company, slow pace and time for time. These are the ingredients with which we design trips in Viando. Are you staying at home? 

Is this trip for me?

Type of trip: Half distance
Journeys to savour slowly, with the best of each space and that indescribable sensation of overcoming your own limits.
Type of services: Configurable
You choose your category of accommodation, if you want breakfast or not, if you want us to carry your luggage, etc. You decide and we will make sure everything runs smoothly.
Travel style: On your own
Programmes designed so that you can travel the route on your own, at the pace set by your steps. Full autonomy and the peace of mind of knowing that we are with you if you need us.
Physical demands: Hiking
Routes of small or medium physical demand, of medium distance (20-30 km / day) and surfaces that facilitate walking, and that can be covered autonomously.

Services included

Accommodation
monitored

Full documentation

Pilgrim's badge

24h travel assistance

Advanced travel insurance

VAT and taxes

And also...

Luggage transport
Private transfers
Breakfast
Half board (dinners)
Cancellation insurance

Free if you book through our website

Luggage transport
Private transfers
Reinforced breakfasts
Half board (dinners)
Cancellation insurance

Itinerary

Day 1. Arrival in San Sebastian

Welcome to this Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian to Bilbao. On your arrival in San Sebastian (in Basque, Donostia) you will discover a modern and cosmopolitan city, with essential places that you cannot miss. The Wind Comb, the Royal Palace of Miramar, the Convent Museum of San Telmo, the Castle of La Mota, the Cathedral of the Good Shepherd, the Plaza de la Constitución or the María Cristina Bridge are some of the charms offered by this Basque capital and the start of this Pilgrim's Way from San Sebastian.

Hostel: Downtown River Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Amaiur Guesthouse or similar

Day 2. Stage San Sebastian - Zarauz

Distance: 19.7 km
Difficulty: ●●●○○
Accommodation: Zarauz / Zarautz

We start the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian in a stage in which we will have the sea as a backdrop. We start the ascent to Monte Igueldo, at the top of which stands the Torreón, a 180-metre high lighthouse built in the 18th century. If you think it's a tough start and prefer to enjoy the forceful but beautiful descent to Orio, you can always take the funicular railway, which has more than a hundred years of history.

Once in Orio, be sure to visit the Way of St. James Interpretation Centre. The end of the stage is in Zarauz (in Basque, Zarautz), another town linked to the sea. It is said that the Nao Victoria set sail from here: the first to circumnavigate the world.

Hostel: Zarautz Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Txiki Polit Guesthouse or similar

Day 3. Stage Zarauz - Deba

Distance: 23.3 km
Difficulty: ●●●○○
Accommodation: Deba

The second stage presents us with two possible options from the start. Either follow the promenade through Getaria, next to the road; or take the path through the mountain, passing by the Santa Bárbara hermitage and enjoy its impressive views after a steep but short climb.

Both options are good and of equal mileage. It depends on the personal tastes of each walker. Both paths lead to Zumaia, a beautiful town with spectacular cliffs. On your arrival in Deba, the end of the stage, be sure to visit the parish church of Santa María with a Gothic façade that still conserves its polychrome.

Hostel: Izarbide Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Zumardi Guesthouse or similar

Day 4. Stage Deba - Marquina

Distance: 23.6 km
Difficulty: ●●●○○
Accommodation: Marquina / Markina

In the third stage of the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian we will face a mountain route and we will say goodbye to the Cantabrian Sea for the rest of the programme. It is a more solitary stage than the others, since we will only pass through a small village and we will find some scattered farmhouses.

Our recommendation for this stage is that you stock up on everything you need. At the end, as you enter Markina, you can smell (and taste) one of its most typical sweets: the kokoteswhich are delicious aniseed-flavoured doughnuts.

Hostel: Hostel Casa Rural Intxauspe or similar
Standard accommodation: Hotel Antsotegi or similar

Day 5. Stage Markina - Guernica

Distance: 24.8 km
Difficulty: ●●●●○
AccommodationGuernica / Guernica / Gernika

The fourth stage of the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian is similar to the previous one in terms of gradients but with the presence of more small towns that make the route more bearable. The route will take you through Bolibar and the monastery of Santa María de Zenarruza.

When you arrive in Gernika you can enjoy not only the town's most outstanding gastronomic products, such as peppers and beans, but also a free visit to the Casa de Juntas and the Tree of Gernika, a historic symbol of the Basque people.

Hostel: Hotel Boliña or similar
Standard accommodation: Hotel Boliña or similar

Day 6. Stage Guernica - Bilbao

Distance: 31.6 km
Difficulty: ●●●○○
Accommodation: Bilbao

This stage of the Camino de Santiago from San Sebastian is undoubtedly the longest. Some pilgrims prefer to start in the town of Lezama, to do two stages: Guernica - Lezama 20.8 km and Lezama - Bilbao 10.8 km. This route was sworn in by the lords of Bizkaia, who took the oath of the fueros and guaranteed the laws and liberties of the people of Bizkaia.

The last eight kilometres run without any intermediate towns until the entrance to Bilbao. As in other large cities, access is through an industrialised area of little scenic value, but a visit to the city is well worthwhile. Walk through the old quarter and discover the Cathedral of Santiago - the only one on the Pilgrim's Way, apart from Compostela, dedicated to the holy pilgrim -, the Basilica of Nuestra Señora de Begoña and the Guggenheim Museum.

Hostel: Bilbao Hostel or similar
Standard accommodation: Miribilla Guesthouse or similar

Day 7. Discover Bilbao

If you have a full day in Bilbao, after a rest, breakfast and the end of our services, we recommend more specialised visits, such as the one we offer around the historic centre and the Cathedral of Santiago, the Guggenheim or the boat trip along the estuary and the Abra Bay. And if you have an extra day, you can spend it visiting Elorrio, Oñati and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu. Here you can enjoy stately homes and palaces carved in stone, the sanctuary considered to be the best example of contemporary Basque art, and many other surprises. As you can see, a wide range of possibilities.

Gain free cancellation
when booking on the website

Frequently asked questions

What to expect from this tour?
This Camino is perfect for you if you want to discover some of the spectacular landscapes of the Basque Country and its ancient culture. The changing profile of the stages, with some occasional challenging slopes, is relatively demanding, but every year it is done by hundreds of people of different fitness levels, so it is not necessary to have great physical abilities to be able to complete it.
The Northern Way is open all year round. Although it can be done in the middle of winter, taking into account a series of technical conditions (more information here), the most advisable time is usually the first half of autumn, when the weather is milder. It can also be done in summer, because temperatures are usually mild, but in this case you should expect more people on the Camino and there may be a certain saturation in the last stages.
All the stages of this route can be completed on foot, so there is no need for additional transfers. If you need transport to get to Donostia-San Sebastián from the city's airport or any other airport, or if you want to hire a transfer from Bilbao to the airport for your return home, we can include them as an optional service.
Accommodation in the following categories is available on this route: hostels, standard accommodation and charming accommodation. You can see more information about the categories of accommodation we use in Viando. in this link.

By default and compulsory, all our programmes include travel insurance with specific coverage for the Camino de Santiago. You can see the details in the section Insurance of our website. 

All our programmes include a 24-hour telephone support service, should you need help at any time during your experience. This means that you can also contact us outside office hours (when you are on pilgrimage). 

If you want to book this programme, you have the following options available a form where you can indicate the starting date, the type of accommodation and a series of optional services. The price will be updated according to the options you choose, so you have full control. Once you have configured your trip, click on "Book" to make the payment.

Once we receive your request, you will automatically receive a proof of purchase and within 48 working hours we will contact you to confirm the details of your booking and provide you with the documentation. 

In Viando we also work with tailor-made programmes (short stages, intermediate rest days, itineraries different from those proposed, etc.). If you are looking for a Camino that meets your needs/preferences, you can ask us for a quote. here.