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Getting from Bilbao airport to Irun to start walking on the same day


Camino(s) past & future
2019 Camino Del Norte / Primitivo
Hi members,
This topic has probably been covered before. But this is my first Camino so any advice would be greatly appreciated.
A friend and I are starting our Camino in late May 2019.

Our flight from the UK lands at 10:00am at Bilbao airport.
I have not used Bilbao airport before and don’t know how long luggage reclaim etc takes till you actually leave the airport.

Could members advise the quickest / best way to get to Irun? With the view to walk to Passages of San Juan on that arrival day.

We walk quite quick and I would estimate the 17 hilly kms to passages of San Juan would take us a maximum 3 1/2 hours.
Or do members think stay in Irun and start the next day?

Many thanks


Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
Bilbao airport is quite small and user-friendly. You should pass through it very quickly and buses into town from there are cheap, fast and frequent. Once in Bilbao you have the choice of bus or Euskotren to Irun. The ALSA long-distance buses are slightly quicker but less frequent. I think you should be in Irun fairly easily by mid-afternoon. Personally I would not plan for a 17km walk that day but that is of course your decision.




Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP-Finisterre X 2 - 2016 & 2017, El Norte - Irun to Vilalba 2018
Last year I started walking on the day that I arrived in Biarritz. I had planned to spend the night in Biarritz and start the next day, but my flight from Geneva was cancelled and rescheduled for the best morning. Therefore I wasnt able to start walking until the afternoon.
I already had known that there was a chance that the 14 bed albergue in Pasajes de San Juan would be full so I had a reservation at Casa Txurdin, a small guest house in Pasajes. It's 25€ for a private room/shared bath and breakfast. The phone number is +34685475733, and the owner is on WhatsApp. I made a reservation by text through WhatsApp.


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
Bilbao airport is compact, and your luggage will off the aircraft in a few minutes, and the bus is across the lobby-- IIRC you will buy your ticket at a booth by the door. If you take the recommended bus to Bilbao then train or bus to Irun, you would be hardpressed to get there by 2.00 pm and, having done that 17km stretch, I think you would be competition-fit or very lucky to do it in the timeline you suggest. If you took an airport transfer car, you could be in Irun before noon, and getting to San Juan de Pasaje by 4 or 5 would be doable--- at a hefty price!! I have stayed at Casa Txurdin and it is lovely and economical-- taking breakfast on the terrace the next morning was a very agreeable experience.

But if it were me, I would overnight in Irun, and start the next day.


Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
You can catch a Pesa bus from Bilbao airport direct to San Sebastian at 10:45, arriving at 12:00 (if you miss this one, don't worry there's one every hour). From San Sebastian it's only 20-30 minutes to Irun by bus or train. If you've got the energy to walk, then go for it!

[Update: here, I found the schedule: https://www.pesa.net/pesa/descargas/actual/DO50B.pdf?t=1548004856 - hope it loads ok, by the way cost for the trip is €17. From the bus station in San Sebastian there are about 3 buses per hour to Irun with Pesa or Lerraldebus, with Pesa the journey only takes 15 mins!)
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Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
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(9/2017) Le Puy
You have a couple of options: 1. Start your walk in Bilbao. It's a great city with lots of active people running, riding bikes, walking with families. Stayed in a clean youth hostel there. It's easy to find the route - actually there are two routes out of town: over the mountain or along the river and cross it with the suspended bridge (puente colgante) 2. If you are set on starting in Irun, I would bus to Irun and spend the night there. I took the Euskotren metro from Bilbao to Irun and it was super slow - took several hours, felt more like days. I really liked staying in Irun. There is an Albergue there that opens at 16:00 (4:00 pm).

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