Camino del Norte Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao 1 week

Activity:
Walking or Cycling
Duration:
7 Nights
Distance:
125 km
Difficulty:
Medium +
Tour Type:
Self-Guided
Time To Go:
April to October
Price:
From €710
Rating:

Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao in 1 week

The first section of the Camino del Norte begins in chic and elegant San Sebastián, a gastronomic mecca, home to several Michelin-starred restaurants.

From San Sebastián (or Donosti in Basque), the Camino del Norte travels West along the green coastline and countryside of the Basque Country for 127kms. This is the Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao and it is perfect for anyone who wants to learn more about Spanish food, art, and culture while also exploring some very scenic coastline and countryside.

The Basque Country is renowned for its fantastic cuisine, its ‘pintxos’ and some of the country’s best chefs so this Camino walk will be an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

This trail takes Camino pilgrims to the historic town of Gernika, made famous by Picasso’s masterpiece of the same name, and finishes in Bilbao, where the impressive Guggenheim Museum is a must-see. There are many other interesting cultural things to experience and discover in Bilbao so we would recommend taking an extra day here to explore.

This section of the Camino del Norte in the Basque Country is classed as moderate to challenging, so a reasonable level of fitness is required. This route can be challenging for those with little walking experience but it is highly rewarding.

The best time of year to explore the Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao is from May to July when the weather is very pleasant. Spring and Autumn can be quite cool.

If you are considering walking on the Camino del Norte, read more about what makes the Camino del Norte Special.

This walk-through of the Basque region generally gets 4 and 5 stars from our clients.

Click below to create your Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao route. You can walk or cycle.

Map of the Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao in 1 week

Itinerary of the Camino del Norte San Sebastian to Bilbao in 1 week

This is the most popular itinerary, you may be able to combine or split the distance for each day. Click on get a quote to customize your trip.

San Sebastián
San Sebastián
You arrive in San Sebastián.
20 km
Zarautz
Zarautz

San Sebastián (Donostia in Basque) is a stunning and chic seaside city, as well as a paradise for foodies. Stroll down the Playa de la Concha and treat yourself to one of the city’s many Michelin-starred restaurants before you start your Camino! San Sebastián has 16 Michelin stars, the second highest number per square metre in the world (just after Tokyo).

After your night in San Sebastian, you will follow the Camino route as it leaves San Sebastian and the Bay of Biscay and travels along the coastline through beautiful pastures and gentle hills. You will see the Roman Church of San Martín de Tours before passing charming coastal villages. You will finish today in the beautiful seaside town of Zarautz. Make sure to try the local Txakolí wine.

23 km
Deba
Deba

After your night in Zarautz, you will move inland along a quiet rural road before arriving in Getaria with its lovely harbour. After Getaria, the path enters farmlands and passes the harbour town of Zumaia. Today’s section finishes in the lovely seaside village of Deba.

23 km
Markina
Markina

After spending the night in Deba, your Camino trail leaves the coastline for the last time (you will reach it again in Bilbao) as you will head for the mountains.  After crossing a river the path climbs quickly into an area of thick vegetation before it reaches the chapel of El Calvario. The narrow footpath (GR-121) passes through a number of charming villages on the way before reaching today’s destination: Markina.

23 km
Gernika
Gernika

After your night in Markina, the trail follows a quiet country lane, crossing the river in Bolibar before rising to the medieval monastery at Zenarruza. From here, the trail keeps climbing through sheltered woodland to the top of Gontzegarai and on to the hamlet of Gerrikaitz. After passing the Hermitage of Santiago a sharp descent leads to a small river and the historic town of Gernika, made famous by Picasso’s masterpiece.

21 km
Lezama
Lezama

After your night in Gernika, you will leave the town and soon pass the hermitage of Santa Luzia Zallo shortly before climbing towards a road (PR-173). From here, a cobbled path continues climbing to the village of Morga where you will begin a sharp descent through the hamlets of Goikoletxea and Larrabetzu and once again enter woodland before reaching today’s destination: Lezama.

15 km
Bilbao
Bilbao

After your night in Lezama, your path will take you through farmland to the town of Zamudio, the Roman church of San Martin and the Tower of Malpica. From here, there is a gradual climb to the top of Mount Avril, where your efforts will be rewarded with stunning views of Bilbao and the valley below. As you enter the suburbs of Bilbao you should visit the delightful Basilica of Our Lady of Begoña. Your walk reaches its final point in the Plaza de Unamuno, in the old quarter of Bilbao.

Bilbao (or Bilbo in Basque) has reinvented itself in the past 30 years, becoming host to some of the best art exhibitions in the country at the impressive Guggenheim Museum. Explore Bilbao’s old town with its quaint taverns and taste a few of the amazing ‘pintxos’!

Accommodation

Standard Hotel & Guesthouse

We have hand-picked hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail. All rooms are en-suite with bathroom.

For our family packages, we have hand-picked establishments with outdoor space and swimming pools where possible. Where accommodation with private outdoor space is not available, we have selected comfortable hotels with spacious common areas as well as a convenient location close to recreational areas and sights. As your comfort is our priority, we try to book hotels located within walking distance of the Camino. Despite our effort, on rare occasions your accommodation can be located a few kilometers away from the trail, so we organise transportation to/from your accommodation.

Superior Collection

Stay in very special hotels and unique properties along the Camino.  We have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered. Rest assured when you select Superior Collection, you will enjoy the full experience of our best hotels and top guesthouses when and where this option is available, however, bear in mind, that sometimes due to location factors, only our choice of standard collection hotels and guesthouses may be available. All rooms are en-suite.

Access

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

Irun

San Sebastián Airport 3km: There is a bus from the airport to the town centre (every 15 minutes, taking 7 minutes) www.lurraldebus.eus

Biarritz Airport 30km: Take the shuttle bus from the airport to the main train station in Biarritz (7 minutes). From here you can take a train directly to Irun (many times a day, taking about 30 minutes).

Bilbao Airport 120km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/public-transport.html. A good bus connection between Bilbao and San Sebastian exists (10 times/ day, 1h10-2h journey time). See www.movelia.es. From San Sebastian city centre you can take a bus or train directly to Irun (many trains and buses every day, each taking about 30 minutes).

Santander Airport 190km: For the transport from/ to the airport, the easiest way is to choose the direct bus line (1-3 times/ day, 2h45-3h45), stop name in San Sebastian is “Estacion de Autobuses.
See www.movelia.es. Another option is to take 2 buses: One between San Sebastian and Santander (“Estacion de Autobuses”, 10 times/ day, approx. 3h travel time) and then between the city and the airport (every 30min, 15 min travel time). See www.spanish-airports.com for the airport shuttle and www.movelia.es for the bus route between San Sebastian and Santander. From San Sebastian city centre you can take a bus or train directly to Irun (many trains and buses every day, each taking about 30 minutes).

San Sebastián

San Sebastián Airport 20km: The way between the city centre (stop name: “Gipuzkoa plaza 10”) and the airport (approx. 20km) can be taken with a bus (line E21), see www.ekialdebus.net.

Bilbao Airport 95km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/public-transport.html. A good bus connection between Bilbao and San Sebastian exists (10 times/ day, 1h10-2h journey time). See www.movelia.es.

Santander Airport 190km: For the transport from/ to the airport, the easiest way is to choose the direct bus line (1-3 times/ day, 2h45-3h45), stop name in San Sebastian is “Estacion de Autobuses.
See www.movelia.es. Another option is to take 2 buses: One between San Sebastian and Santander (“Estacion de Autobuses”, 10 times/ day, approx. 3h travel time) and then between the city and the airport (every 30min, 15 min travel time). See www.spanish-airports.com for the airport shuttle and www.movelia.es for the bus route between San Sebastian and Santander.

Bilbao

Bilbao Airport 10km: Shuttle bus (line A3247) from Bilbao airport from/to Bilbao bus station (stop name: Termibus, every 30min). See www.aena.es/en/bilbao-airport/public-transport.html

Santander Airport 100km: For the transport from/ to the airport, the easiest way is to choose the direct bus line (starting point: Termibus) from/ to the airport (6 times/ day, approx. 1h30). See www.movelia.es.

Whats Included

  • Included: Selected accommodation with private bathrooms, Holiday Pack on your mobile phone (Route ebook and Google Maps) and a 24/7 support number providing assistance during your trip, for instance organising a support vehicle if needed. In 2021 we also offer a Free Postponement with every booking made
  • Not included: Flights, drinks, city tax, Travel Insurance (Recommended)
  • Optional: Luggage transfers (On by default. One bag up to 20kg per person), dinners (On by default, where available), bike rental (On by default) and airport transfers, etc…

Manage your trip online

Note on Accommodation: We aim to book you into each of the towns listed on the itinerary, however in case of low availability we may book you 2 nights in the same town with provided transfers. If you are booking Superior collection or Country cottages, please note it is subject to availability and therefore cannot be guaranteed. Superior/Country cottage accommodation may be away from the route with included transfers. More details.

Have questions? Read our FAQ pages.

Sandra, UK - May
"This is my second Camino walk using Camino Ways. This year it was part of the Norte route and, as before Caminoways provide everything you could want, from the detailed map to luggage labels, but most of all, the really wonderful hotels they booked for us on the way and for our final stop in Finisterre. Thank you"
Peter, Ireland - August 2016
"Northern Way. Extremely well organised and easy to follow. Stunning views and challenging tracks. Would strongly recommend."
Janelle, Australia - May 2016
"Amazing experience - Camino from San Sebastian to Bilbao. Booking through CaminoWays.com was easy. The walk wasn't guided but the maps and information received were enough for us to navigate our own way with no problems. The bags were picked up and delivered with no problems. Most of the hotel accommodation was great. The walk was challenging in parts but was also a fulfilling experience. The scenery was amazing and varied, and the food was SO good. I would definitely recommend this holiday to others."
Claire
Specialist: Claire
Customer Experience Director Claire hails from the lovely Midlands and spent some years living in Galway in the West of Ireland, where she completed a degree in languages. She ...
More by Claire