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Is San Sebastian to Bilbao a good place to start? Picturesque?

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NiamhMangan

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
First Time Camino!
Hi there,
I'm thinking of doing the San Sebastian to Bilbao route of El Camino del Norte this Easter over 7/8 days, I'm just wondering if it is a nice section of the Camino to start? Is it picturesque? I will also be travelling alone and I wonder is it a good time to travel and if accommodation will be difficult etc.?

Any tips would be greatly appreciated!! :D

Many thanks,
Niamh
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte Sept 2013
Camino del Norte Sept 2014
Camino del Norte 2015,16,17,18
Yes as I recall San Sebastian is lovely and it is a good section to start on . Islares and Laredo are lovely. Santander is also amazing.
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
Why not start at Irun, which is the traditional starting point of the Norte? That way, you'll meet up with fellow pilgrims in the albergue from Day 1, all equally excited to be starting their Camino. There are no pilgrim albergues in San Sebastian, so you might not meet any fellow peregrinos and it might be a lonely walk on your first day. The walk from Irun is really lovely - it'll take you about 7 days to walk to Bilbao.

Things will be pretty busy over Easter - maybe not with pilgrims (it'll be busier closer to Santiago), but it's the Spanish holidays and the north coast attracts a lot of local tourists, so private accommodation will be booked up. I'd definitely book accommodation in advance for places that don't have albergues, like San Sebastian. Also, just to add: this first week is a wonderful stretch through the Basque country, but it's also notorious for its difficulty! Not too bad if you're a seasoned hill walker, but it's definitely much more of a challenge compared to other Caminos (or even other parts of the Norte).
 

Niels

camino mi privio
Camino(s) past & future
Ca. del Norte and Ca. Primotivo in 2016 + Santiago to Muxia; Ca. Frances and Ruta Dragonte in 2018.
You'll miss the alpinist track along the ridge of Jaizkiebel, which probably is the most stunning view on the del Norte.
 

Trude

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2013 Finnestere, Muxia 2013, 2017
Norte 2014, Francais, 2015, 2016, VDLP 2017
Great walk, San Sebastian can be tricky for accomodation so arrive by train look at the beautiful city and then walk on. It is a beautiful walk to Bilbao. Buen Camino
 

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