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Best way to get to Irun

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
I am on track to start from Irun in August but would like to hear from those who have gone before me, the best way to get to Irun. Is it from Paris, Madrid or somewhere else?
Thanks
Liz
 

mspath

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances, autumn/winter; 2004, 2005-2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
Check out this earlier thread for helpful info re the Biarritz airport to Irun journey.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/biarritz-airport-to-irun.54738/
Since you may be walking from the Hendaye gare to Irun do stop at the small bar/resto Chez Alain on the way at 11 ave d'Espagne. They are most friendly and do a very good daily menu for 13.50 euros. If you wish you can even take a shower for free! The place is a routiers or truck stop but in no way hyper macho. I loved it last autumn. See more here http://restoroutier.free.fr/fiche_64_hendaye.htm

Buen camino!
 

jpflavin1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(10,11,17), Vasco(12), Salvador(13), CP(13), CN(14), Madrid (16), Mozarabe (18), VdlP(19)
I agree flying into Biarritz is the fastest way. There are several non stop flights daily from CDG to Biarritz. There are no non stop flights from Mad to Biarritz. You can travel by TGV train from CDG to Bayonne and then a local train to Irun. You can also take a train or bus from Madrid.

CDG to Biarritz - 1.5 hours by air, 6 plus hours by train
MAD to Biarritz - no direct flight, 6 plus hours by train

Hope this helps.

Ultreya,
Joe
 
Camino(s) past & future
I’m 62 and doing it with my 25 yrs old son in aug/September 2018
I am on track to start from Irun in August but would like to hear from those who have gone before me, the best way to get to Irun. Is it from Paris, Madrid or somewhere else?
Thanks
Liz
Hi Liz ,
I flew from Liverpool to Bordeaux, then the train to Bayonne. The rest was easy as I had a cycle. SAN Sebastian was my favourite place on the journey .
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Santiago (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)
Aosta to Rome - Via Francigena (2018)
I don't know where you are flying from, but consider London-San Sebastian then train to Hendaye as well. The flights could be shorter, more direct, and cheaper.
 

NaimaA

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances 2007, camino Portugues 2008, camino Aragones 2014
Hi Liz ,
I flew from Liverpool to Bordeaux, then the train to Bayonne. The rest was easy as I had a cycle. SAN Sebastian was my favourite place on the journey .
I flew Barcelona to San Sebastian with Vueling last April (~40 eu one way) and walked from the airport to Irun (30 min) or you can take a bus from the airport...
 
Camino(s) past & future
St Jean to Santiago (2012, 2014, 2015, 2017)
Aosta to Rome - Via Francigena (2018)
No, I beg to differ - there don't seem to be any direct flights between London and San Sebastian airport
Sorry, no direct flights but reasonably priced and well timed flights are available. I'm flying LHR-EAS April 10.
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
Again, depending on your point of departure. From Canada, it is easiest to Frankfurt, then change for Biarritz or, more likely, to Bilbao. From Bilbao, local train or even bus to Irun. The Saint Sebastian airport (EAS) is on the north side of Irun, and a local bus can take you into the town.
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
I flew Barcelona to San Sebastian with Vueling last April (~40 eu one way) and walked from the airport to Irun (30 min) or you can take a bus from the airport...
I am flying Brisbane to Paris!
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
Flying to Barcelona is possible, I need to decide ASAP as I am booking flights
 

cindy9

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy - Santiago ('14), Camino del Norte ('15, '17, '18), Via de la Plata & Sanabres ('17), Ingle
Flying to Paris and then taking the TGV express to Irun is easy and gets you directly to Irun. TGV Express leaves from the Montparnasse train station twice daily.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017
Planning Norte/Primitivo May-June 2019
We’re flying Sydney to Madrid and then to San Sebastián. As mentioned the San Sebastián airport is close to Irun.
 

Rick M

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
April ('16,'18, '19)
If coming from overseas, flying into CDG (Paris) and STAYING in Paris for at least one night makes sense to get over the jetlag. There is a bus to take you from CDG to Montparnasse station (LeBus Direct) every 30 minutes. Book a hotel in your price range somewhere near Montparnasse. Enjoy Paris. Book a TGV the next day from Montparnasse to Hendaye. Those walking the Frances get off in Bayonne, but you are going two more stops to the end of the line. Walk over the bridge from Hendaye station in France to Irun.

Buen Camino
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Check Brisbane-Barcelona-San Sebastian. The airport is almost on the Camino del Norte, seems closer to Irun than to atual San Sebastian.
 

camino07

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances x5, Portuguese VdlP12, Sanabres, Aragones, Norte,Salvador,Primitivo, VdlP 17,Madrid18Norte
We took train from Barcelona to Irun passing San Sebastian. this year we will take train from Madrid to Irun.
After flight from Perth.
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
If coming from overseas, flying into CDG (Paris) and STAYING in Paris for at least one night makes sense to get over the jetlag. There is a bus to take you from CDG to Montparnasse station (LeBus Direct) every 30 minutes. Book a hotel in your price range somewhere near Montparnasse. Enjoy Paris. Book a TGV the next day from Montparnasse to Hendaye. Those walking the Frances get off in Bayonne, but you are going two more stops to the end of the line. Walk over the bridge from Hendaye station in France to Irun.

Buen Camino
Many thanks I appreciate youtaking the time
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
We took train from Barcelona to Irun passing San Sebastian. this year we will take train from Madrid to Irun.
After flight from Perth.
I can fly either into Madrid or Paris. I am now flying to Europe from Mexico City
 

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
We flew to Bilbao. Short bus ride to San Sebastián land then there is light rail that gets 200m from the bridge to France. We overnighted is SS before and after Irun to acclimatize 43C9399C-0C19-4CB2-830E-498E11347A15.jpeg43C9399C-0C19-4CB2-830E-498E11347A15.jpeg
 

David Hobson

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Sections of Frances in 2016
Portuguese Camino from Lisbon 2017
June 2018 Primitivo and Norte
I am on track to start from Irun in August but would like to hear from those who have gone before me, the best way to get to Irun. Is it from Paris, Madrid or somewhere else?
Thanks
Liz
Last year I flew into Bilbao then bus to San Sebastian then local tiny train into Irun, On-line timetables worked perfectly.
Good Luck
 

halfbask

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances: Sept 2-29, 2016
del Norte: Spring/Summer 2017
I am on track to start from Irun in August but would like to hear from those who have gone before me, the best way to get to Irun. Is it from Paris, Madrid or somewhere else?
Thanks
Liz
1. * It is VERY HARD to get a bed while walking the del Norte in August. Every Spaniard will be vacationing at the coast. From my experience, I'd change the month. It was a HORRIBLE problem so I stopped the walk and vacationed along the Northern Coast.
2. Getting to Irun: There are sooo many fun ways to get there. (Maybe) you will be surprised to type a few alternatives into Google Maps and "check" the bus icon (all public modes). Paris to Irun shows many Metro-Bus-Train combos. Same for Madrid-Irun, Barcelona-Madrid, London-Bilbao... I flew into London and had some fun, then took a CHEAP flight to Biaritz for more fun, then a train to Irun (there are buses). Today, from San Francisco, cheapest would be Norwegian Air to Barcelona and then whatever seemed fun to Irun.
3. A TIP, when needed: There are 2 light gauge 'trains' that, together, run from Irun all the way to Ferrol. Think, 'Disney Land People Mover.' They run often, are cheap and go thru areas you wouldn't normally see by bus or Train. Eusko Tren has segments that run from Irun to Bilbao, including San Sebastian, beach towns, Gernika, Urdabai Biosphere. At Bilbao you walk to the RENFE FEVE line which goes all the way to Ferrol.

And using Google Maps, you can always find a bus/other, from and to anywhere.

Additionally, I use the following Apps in Spain:
RENFE - Long-haul National Train
RENFE Cercanias - Medium distance National Train
Eusko Tren - generally just use the maps
ALSA - National Bus Line (but Google Maps will reference many Bus Lines using the same stations/other stops)
BLA BLA Car - ride sharing app you can only use from a browser (the App won't allow you to book rides from a US cell. Some problem with treaties...) BLA BLA trips are CHEAP.

* Anecdote: From Portugalete (Bilbao), 2 Norwegian women were able to maintain beds in a Hostel. For several days they would walk out. Stop. Take the bus back to Portugalete. Next morning take the bus to where they had stopped walking the day before. Walk. Stop. Take a bus back to Portugalete....

Maybe I'll see you on the del Norte--in June or September.
 

4 Eyes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF from SJPP 14, VDLP from Seville 15, DN&P from Irun 16, Portuguese from Lisbon 17, CF from SJPP 18
Flew from California to Bilbao. Took short bus ride from right outside the small Bilbao airport to San Sebastian. Booked three nights in San Sebastian. Next morning took local light rail into Irun. Walked from the Irun light rail station back to San Sebastian, with only a day pack to make my first day easy. Next day rested and went sightseeing in San Sebastian. 3rd day started in earnest towards Santiago with full pack.
 

WayWalker

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
We flew into Biarritz, rode the bus right outside the airport to Hendaye then walked 2k over the border to Irun. Very easy.
 

Leigh Macklin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances {2016}, Portugese {2017}
Getting there for me (from Toronto) would be a layover in London or Paris. London looks to be better timing and prices for the dates I want. The flight would be to Biarritz as San Sebastian and Bilbao are much more expensive. Then I hear it is an easy bus to Hendaye.
 

Babyboomergirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017,Camino Primitivo 2018, Camino Finisterre/Muxía 2018 Camino del Norte (2019 )
We flew to Bilbao. Short bus ride to San Sebastián land then there is light rail that gets 200m from the bridge to France. We overnighted is SS before and after Irun to acclimatize View attachment 50992View attachment 50992
I have flights booked from Perth ( Australia) to San Sebastian arriving in the late afternoon. Trying to decide whether to book a few nights in SS to have a rest / recovery day after the long flight and then train to Irun to walk back to SS or go straight to Irun and try and break the walk to SS into two stages to recover from jet lag. Really want to start slowly so any advice or tips welcome.
 
Camino(s) past & future
.
I have flights booked from Perth ( Australia) to San Sebastian arriving in the late afternoon. Trying to decide whether to book a few nights in SS to have a rest / recovery day after the long flight and then train to Irun to walk back to SS or go straight to Irun and try and break the walk to SS into two stages to recover from jet lag. Really want to start slowly so any advice or tips welcome.
Bbg - if you have the luxury of time, San Seb is the place to spend it.
I've also walked that stage back to Irun. It's a very fine stage but going there and back over 2 days strikes me as superfluous. Also if you want to start slowly and are splitting it into 2 parts then it'd take you a few days to get back to SS!
I'd just soak up SS for a day or two and then get to the Irun albergue late afternoon on the day before you want to start (you can take the metro). You could then split the stage into 2 parts if your body is telling you to start slowly.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, check the multi-city option through Madrid. Fly into Madrid, connect to flight to San Sebastián (whose airport is actually in Irun, it’s about a 15-20 minute walk to downtown Irun).

Then home Santiago to Madrid and across the pond. I have done this multi-city option for years now and it usually only adds a couple hundred dollars to my ticket and is exponentially more convenient. Buen camino.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have flights booked from Perth ( Australia) to San Sebastian arriving in the late afternoon. Trying to decide whether to book a few nights in SS to have a rest / recovery day after the long flight and then train to Irun to walk back to SS or go straight to Irun and try and break the walk to SS into two stages to recover from jet lag. Really want to start slowly so any advice or tips welcome.
The San Sebastián airport is in Irun and an easy walk to downtown. Which is not to say a few days in SS is a bad idea, of course. You could also take a day or two in Hondarribia and start from there. It’s about a 4 minute bus ride from central Irun and is a very prettified tourist town.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
The San Sebastián airport is in Irun and an easy walk to downtown. Which is not to say a few days in SS is a bad idea, of course. You could also take a day or two in Hondarribia and start from there. It’s about a 4 minute bus ride from central Irun and is a very prettified tourist town.
Have many people started walking in San Sebastián ? Is there a difference to starting in Irun?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Have many people started walking in San Sebastián ? Is there a difference to starting in Irun?
I would say that it would be a shame to miss the glorious “alpine route” ( which is s gross overstatement, this is not a mountain climb). And especially if you stick with the GR as described in many posts, avoiding camino asphalt, it is a beautiful way to start the Norte.
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
To get to Irún? I ran! 🤪.

(Sorry, that dumb joke has been rattling around in my mind since I first saw this question posted!!!)
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
I would say that it would be a shame to miss the glorious “alpine route” ( which is s gross overstatement, this is not a mountain climb). And especially if you stick with the GR as described in many posts, avoiding camino asphalt, it is a beautiful way to start the Norte.
THank you for the reply. I am flying into BCN and just finalizing my plans into Irun. Kept reading post where people were going to San Sebastián then going to Irun and walking back to San Sebastián. ..my feeble brain became slightly confused o_O Yes I agree with you completely. A short steep ascent is not likely to stop my knee. Would you compare it (or maybe the first week in total) ...the climb, to the Zubiri experience.. you know, remember where you keep saying to yourself, this is the top...oh wait that’s not the top...ok this is the top..no that’s not the top ..hahahh😁 i’m up for the challenge slow and steady and I am armed with a list of your coastal alternatives, a good playlist, a gps watch and wise pilgrim so I think I’m ready.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
THank you for the reply. I am flying into BCN and just finalizing my plans into Irun. Kept reading post where people were going to San Sebastián then going to Irun and walking back to San Sebastián. ..my feeble brain became slightly confused o_O Yes I agree with you completely. A short steep ascent is not likely to stop my knee. Would you compare it (or maybe the first week in total) ...the climb, to the Zubiri experience.. you know, remember where you keep saying to yourself, this is the top...oh wait that’s not the top...ok this is the top..no that’s not the top ..hahahh😁 i’m up for the challenge slow and steady and I am armed with a list of your coastal alternatives, a good playlist, a gps watch and wise pilgrim so I think I’m ready.
Sorry,Irebabel, but it has been more than 13 years since I was in Zubiri! You could compare the elevation profiles on gronze, that would give you a more “scientific” result anyway. But I think you mean some place other than Zubiri, because from Roncesvalles to Zubiri it is down, down down.
 

Babyboomergirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017,Camino Primitivo 2018, Camino Finisterre/Muxía 2018 Camino del Norte (2019 )
Bbg - if you have the luxury of time, San Seb is the place to spend it.
I've also walked that stage back to Irun. It's a very fine stage but going there and back over 2 days strikes me as superfluous. Also if you want to start slowly and are splitting it into 2 parts then it'd take you a few days to get back to SS!
I'd just soak up SS for a day or two and then get to the Irun albergue late afternoon on the day before you want to start (you can take the metro). You could then split the stage into 2 parts if your body is telling you to start slowly.
Thanks. I didn’t realise there was a metro so that makes it much easier to get to Irun so I will take your advice and stay in SS first and then start the Camino in Irun. I don’t think the albergue in Irun will be open in March so would need to book a room there unless I catch an early morning metro to Irun on the day I start walking.
 

Babyboomergirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017,Camino Primitivo 2018, Camino Finisterre/Muxía 2018 Camino del Norte (2019 )
If you haven’t bought your ticket yet, check the multi-city option through Madrid. Fly into Madrid, connect to flight to San Sebastián (whose airport is actually in Irun, it’s about a 15-20 minute walk to downtown Irun).

Then home Santiago to Madrid and across the pond. I have done this multi-city option for years now and it usually only adds a couple hundred dollars to my ticket and is exponentially more convenient. Buen camino.
Thanks. I have booked a multi city flight this year which will be much easier and cheaper and time efficient.
 

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019
Sorry,Irebabel, but it has been more than 13 years since I was in Zubiri! You could compare the elevation profiles on gronze, that would give you a more “scientific” result anyway. But I think you mean some place other than Zubiri, because from Roncesvalles to Zubiri it is down, down down.
Good idea i’m In planning mode now. The cyborg knee determines the stops. There was quite a bit of up up too. It was funny because I remember listening to the audiobook “I’ll Push you” about the 2 best friends, one who pushes his friend over the Pyrenees in a wheelchair to Santiago I was playing that scene in my head and laughing in pain as I went up the hill from Roncesvalles to then down to Zubiri thinking the very same thing they did. Hahah. If you have not seen the documentary or read the book I recommend it. For me there was an issue with deceptive signage. It was much longer than the signs indicated unless I took a higher route un knowlingly which is very possible. There were no village stops and there is no water in this section. Once you start the climb that’s it until you desend into Zubiri. I still laugh and cry when I think of it. If you read my camino summary I refers to it as holy hell Zubiri.
Update @peregrina2000 here is the link
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/return-of-the-cyborg-turtle-with-post-camino-summary.57400/
 
Last edited:

Iriebabel

Iriebabel & the cyborg turtle
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April (2018)
Camino Del Norte end of March 2019

André2112

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances + Finesterre April/May (2018)
Camino Norte August (2019)
Consider Bilbao as well.
Hi.
I am arriving in Bilbao on the evening of July 31st. Still have not decided wether to start form there, or get myself to Irun and start there.
I walked SJPDP to Sanitago last year, so this is not about getting the compostella, I dont even know if I will walk all the way to Santiago this time.
This time I just want to walk, so I guess scenery is important to me.
Please advise :)
 

André2112

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances + Finesterre April/May (2018)
Camino Norte August (2019)
I am on track to start from Irun in August but would like to hear from those who have gone before me, the best way to get to Irun. Is it from Paris, Madrid or somewhere else?
Thanks
Liz
Hi Liz,
I will start on the Norte around aug 1st, not decided if I will start from Bilbao (where I fly into) or Irun. Buen Camino!
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF15, CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF17, CP17, CdN, CM, CF18, LePuy19
I have heard good things about the environs of the trail from Irun to Bilbao. I started in Laredo last year and my only complaint was constant rain. so I bailed out in Santander and went to Fromista.
 

Babyboomergirl

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2017,Camino Primitivo 2018, Camino Finisterre/Muxía 2018 Camino del Norte (2019 )
The San Sebastián airport is in Irun and an easy walk to downtown. Which is not to say a few days in SS is a bad idea, of course. You could also take a day or two in Hondarribia and start from there. It’s about a 4 minute bus ride from central Irun and is a very prettified tourist town.
Thanks .I hadn’t considered Hondarribia but it does look like a very pretty town so first night there is a good option.
 

Redvespablur

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo April/May 2016
Voie Littorale May 2020
Irun to Bilbao was probably our favourite stretch of our Norte / Primitivo - we are goin back next year to to do some of Voie Littorale and then Irun fininishin in Bilbao. It justifies a redo. 51668

I had planned this stretch willfully ignoring geography and pretty much mucked it all up - our blog describes.

Only great planning decision of our first week was the light rail to Irun and walk back to SS with light pack followed by a rest day.
 

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