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Hondarribia -> San Sebastian


New Member
Hi all

I'm getting ready for my first camino and decided to do the Norte and Primitivo - love the sea and have always wanted to return and explore the Basque country after a fantastic trip in 1997.

As I don't have much time (3 weeks) starting 1June, I'll be taking the bus sometimes to be able to complete and catch my flight back home from Santiago.

I'm planning to start in Irun and go via Hondarabbia, but am a bit concerned though as this first stretch appears to be the hardest (steep climbs) and quite long. Also after researching this and other related sites I don't think there is any accomodation on that route until Pasajes....

Is this route (from Hondarrabia to Pasajes) doable in one day for a complete beginner? Or would it be more advisable after visiting Hondarabbia to take the bus from Irun to San Sebastian and walking from there?

Thanks in advance.

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Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (May 2005), Norte (May 2006), Vezelay (2007).

I thought that the distance is about 24 km so San Sebastian can be done in one day. Don't know what you mean with beginner.....not trained or the first time?




Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
First: Camino Francés 2002; most recent: Norte/Primitivo 2019
Hi Karen-

I definitely could be wrong here, but I think they have remarked the Norte so that it doesn't go through Hondarribia anymore. When I followed the yellow arrows, they led me out of Irun and then straight on to Pasajes via the hermitage.

That's not to suggest, of course, that you couldn't still go that way, and I bet you would find yellow arrows once in Hondarribia. But, I think you'll be trading some nice off-road walking for a lot of highway. If you just want to see the town, you might consider taking a taxi/bus to it, having a look around, and then returning to Irun to start your walk.

As I said, I might be wrong, and I hope someone will correct me if I am. I know for sure, though, that the walk straight from Irun to Pasajes is a great one!

You'll have no trouble reaching Pasajes and I really doubt you would have a problem making it to San Sebastian. Reserve a bed ahead of time and enjoy the walk.


PS - My advice to those looking to trim off part of this route is skipping the section between Bilbao and Santander - lots of road walking and less interesting things to see than before and after.


New Member
Thanks for the feedback! I am a beginner in all senses of the word, so all info is welcome. This trip has been a long time coming and it's exhilarating now that it's becoming so real and present. Hondaribbia is simply a must for me and I can see that it's a detour from the route, so I'll just visit the town and return to Irun to continue/start the walk from there.

Hmmm, the consensus seems to be that Irun to San Sebastian can be managed in a day, it just looks so tough for a "first day" altitude and distance wise. These things wouldn't usually bother me, but I'm concerned about overexpending myself right at the beginning....

Once again, thanks for the feedback :)

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
kck said:
Is this route (from Hondarrabia to Pasajes) doable in one day for a complete beginner? Or would it be more advisable after visiting Hondarabbia to take the bus from Irun to San Sebastian and walking from there?....

Hi, Karin

In my opinion it's perfectly possible to walk this 24 km to San Sebastian.

During the first 3 days you have to pass hills and valleys near the sea, very nice views, not so "easy" as some parts of the Camino Frances but not really difficult.

Buen Camino, enjoy it.

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
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