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Start Norte from Bayonne/Irun or Gijon?

CoquilleDC

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Astorga-SDC 2015
Hello! I will be going on my 6th camino trek in early May. I will have about 14 days plus travel days. I am considering Bayonne/Irun to Santander or Gijon to Santiago. Do you have a comparison or recommendation between the two?

After a three year pandemic break from these treks I am both excited to be back on the trail for people and culture, but nervous that I am a bit less physically prepared as this is a bit last minute. Thank you!
 
The 2024 Camino guides will be coming out little by little. Here is a collection of the ones that are out so far.
I've done the Norte on several occasions, first from Irún (over a period of 3 Caminos to SdC, the last portion leaving from Gijón) and last year Bilbao - SdC.

From these various experiences I would personally say start in Irún or Bayonne and see where you end up then return to finish at a later date.

Leaving from Gijón you will miss a majority of the coast which would be a too bad IMHO.
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
Hi. I too would definitely suggest Irun which will bring you to Santander, at least and probably further. Santander has its own airport. Assuming you get further it's quite easy to find a train or bus back for you return flight. The first week from Irun was exceptional.
 
The first day couple of days from Irun are quite demanding if you are a bit out of training, although superb walking. I would recommend starting at St Jean-Pied-de-Port, then following the Irun Link. This is a very practical warm-up for the Norte, as you may walk the fairly easy 47 miles (76 km) over three days, or with a slight diversion for accommodation, 55 miles (88 km) over four days. The route, which is well waymarked, follows the foothills of the French Pyrenees and takes in a lovely stretch of the Pas de Roland. The views are fantastic throughout and breathtaking in parts. I have walked and thoroughly enjoyed many Caminos, but without doubt, these three days remain the best and most memorable three days of all. I cannot recommend the Irun Link highly enough. If you would like to know more, or want details of the Amis de Saint Jacques Pyrenees-Atlantiques, who designed the route and will send you pdf guide, maps and a list of simple and cheap accommodation, feel free to message me.
 
Last edited:
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I've done the Norte on several occasions, first from Irún (over a period of 3 Caminos to SdC, the last portion leaving from Gijón) and last year Bilbao - SdC.

From these various experiences I would personally say start in Irún or Bayonne and see where you end up then return to finish at a later date.

Leaving from Gijón you will miss a majority of the coast which would be a too bad IMHO.
Thank you! That sounds like the consensus! I’m very grateful for the input!
 
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Hi. I too would definitely suggest Irun which will bring you to Santander, at least and probably further. Santander has its own airport. Assuming you get further it's quite easy to find a train or bus back for you return flight. The first week from Irun was exceptional.
Many thanks! I may fly into Biarritz and start from Bayonne or SJPP. Flights from the US seem to be more flexible via Paris vs Madrid. 🥾
 
The first day couple of days from Irun are quite demanding if you are a bit out of training, although superb walking. I would recommend starting at St Jean-Pied-de-Port, then following the Irun Link. This is a very practical warm-up for the Norte, as you may walk the fairly easy 47 miles (76 km) over three days, or with a slight diversion for accommodation, 55 miles (88 km) over four days. The route, which is well waymarked, follows the foothills of the French Pyrenees and takes in a lovely stretch of the Pas de Roland. The views are fantastic throughout and breathtaking in parts. I have walked and thoroughly enjoyed many Caminos, but without doubt, these three days remain the best and most memorable three days of all. I cannot recommend the Irun Link highly enough. If you would like to know more, or want details of the Amis de Saint Jacques Pyrenees-Atlantiques, who designed the route and will send you pdf guide, maps and a list of simple and cheap accommodation, feel free to message me.
How generous, and what a great idea! Yes, I will send you a message to learn more about this option. Thank you! 🥾
 
The first day couple of days from Irun are quite demanding if you are a bit out of training, although superb walking. I would recommend starting at St Jean-Pied-de-Port, then following the Irun Link. This is a very practical warm-up for the Norte, as you may walk the fairly easy 47 miles (76 km) over three days, or with a slight diversion for accommodation, 55 miles (88 km) over four days. The route, which is well waymarked, follows the foothills of the French Pyrenees and takes in a lovely stretch of the Pas de Roland. The views are fantastic throughout and breathtaking in parts. I have walked and thoroughly enjoyed many Caminos, but without doubt, these three days remain the best and most memorable three days of all. I cannot recommend the Irun Link highly enough. If you would like to know more, or want details of the Amis de Saint Jacques Pyrenees-Atlantiques, who designed the route and will send you pdf guide, maps and a list of simple and cheap accommodation, feel free to message me.
Hi Tom,

Reading your enthusiastic words about the Irun Link, I became very interested. Could you please send me the link to the pdf guide?

Thank you,
Laszlo
 
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I've done the Norte on several occasions, first from Irún (over a period of 3 Caminos to SdC, the last portion leaving from Gijón) and last year Bilbao - SdC.

From these various experiences I would personally say start in Irún or Bayonne and see where you end up then return to finish at a later date.

Leaving from Gijón you will miss a majority of the coast which would be a too bad IMHO.

YES!!!
 
The first day couple of days from Irun are quite demanding if you are a bit out of training, although superb walking. I would recommend starting at St Jean-Pied-de-Port, then following the Irun Link. This is a very practical warm-up for the Norte, as you may walk the fairly easy 47 miles (76 km) over three days, or with a slight diversion for accommodation, 55 miles (88 km) over four days. The route, which is well waymarked, follows the foothills of the French Pyrenees and takes in a lovely stretch of the Pas de Roland. The views are fantastic throughout and breathtaking in parts. I have walked and thoroughly enjoyed many Caminos, but without doubt, these three days remain the best and most memorable three days of all. I cannot recommend the Irun Link highly enough. If you would like to know more, or want details of the Amis de Saint Jacques Pyrenees-Atlantiques, who designed the route and will send you pdf guide, maps and a list of simple and cheap accommodation, feel free to message me.
Could you please send me the pdf guide? Sounds like an awesome plan.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Certainly, Celi. The Forum allows only ten files. Two more will follow on another message.

The website of the Amis de Saint Jacques Pyrenees-Atlantique is easily found online. The yare very helpful and will reply in English if your French is no better than mine. (They are slow, but are probably volunteers.) The information I am sending is eight years old; accommodation, but little else, may well have changed, so I advise you contact the Amis for updates.

It's a superb Camino! Extraordinarily interesting and beautiful.

Tom
 

Attachments

  • Accommodation - St. Jean to Irun.pdf
    46.7 KB · Views: 15
  • Irun Link, Day 1.pdf
    32.3 KB · Views: 20
  • Irun Link, Day 2.pdf
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  • Irun Link, Day 3.pdf
    31.9 KB · Views: 4
  • Irun Link, Day 4.pdf
    64.8 KB · Views: 2
  • Irun Link, Maps Day 1a.pdf
    997.7 KB · Views: 8
  • Irun Link, Maps Day 1b.pdf
    994.1 KB · Views: 7
  • Irun Link, Maps Day 2.pdf
    1.3 MB · Views: 6
  • Irun Link, Maps Day 3.pdf
    953.6 KB · Views: 3
  • Irun Link, Maps Day 4.pdf
    887.8 KB · Views: 4
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Celi, these two files are my ow work. They worked for me, but feel free to ignore or adapt.


Best wishes,


Tom
 

Attachments

  • El Camino del Norte Overview & Itinerary.pdf
    29.1 KB · Views: 21
  • Le Chemin de Saint-Jean à Irún Overview & Itinerary - Copy.pdf
    23.1 KB · Views: 11
Hi Tom,

Reading your enthusiastic words about the Irun Link, I became very interested. Could you please send me the link to the pdf guide?

Thank you,
Laszlo
Did I send you these, Lazlo? Or can you get them from my reply to someone else?

Let me know if not, and I will send them,

Tom
 

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