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2019 Camino Guides

Starting the Norte in "Irun"

Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to Finistere (2016), Primitivo - Oviedo to Muxcia (2017), Norte - planned 2018
#1
Hello, fellow pilgrims! My flight, originating in California, will land at San Sebastian airport (EAS) about 10am. The airport appears to actually be located just adjacent Irun. My traditional routine would be to check into the local alburgue (maybe the new Albergue de Peregrinos de Irun ), see any sights, pretend to get a good nights sleep, and head out first thing in the morning.

However, in looking closely at the map, it appears as though I can walk directly from the airport and soon find the Camino. Can anyone confirm/ deny this observation? Provide any details? If so, maybe I could take a short walk to Hondarribia (Alburgue Capitan Tximista? Others?). And, if I find I've more energy, maybe I walk all the way to Pasajes de San Juan. Heading straight out from the airport would get the kinks out of my airplane-contorted body, avoid Irun (unless I'm missing something?), and get me "out there"! I may not be fit for a full day right after my flight, but it would be nice to get closer to San Sebastian

Alternatively, I could simply go into Irun, get myself settled in my first alburgue of the trip, meet some fellow pilgrims, maybe walk into Hendaye (bragging rights that I "started in France"), and "officially" start in Irun.

I would like to be a bit more whimsical about my plans, however, talk of crowded alburges on my first night following the long flight encourage me to have a sense of what I might do before I actually land. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
#2
Hello, fellow pilgrims! My flight, originating in California, will land at San Sebastian airport (EAS) about 10am. The airport appears to actually be located just adjacent Irun. My traditional routine would be to check into the local alburgue (maybe the new Albergue de Peregrinos de Irun ), see any sights, pretend to get a good nights sleep, and head out first thing in the morning.

However, in looking closely at the map, it appears as though I can walk directly from the airport and soon find the Camino. Can anyone confirm/ deny this observation? Provide any details? If so, maybe I could take a short walk to Hondarribia (Alburgue Capitan Tximista? Others?). And, if I find I've more energy, maybe I walk all the way to Pasajes de San Juan. Heading straight out from the airport would get the kinks out of my airplane-contorted body, avoid Irun (unless I'm missing something?), and get me "out there"! I may not be fit for a full day right after my flight, but it would be nice to get closer to San Sebastian

Alternatively, I could simply go into Irun, get myself settled in my first alburgue of the trip, meet some fellow pilgrims, maybe walk into Hendaye (bragging rights that I "started in France"), and "officially" start in Irun.

I would like to be a bit more whimsical about my plans, however, talk of crowded alburges on my first night following the long flight encourage me to have a sense of what I might do before I actually land. Thanks in advance for your thoughts!
Hola!

I only walked from Irun on Via de Bayona and not the Norte but I think you would want to ease your jetlag (after all it's 9 hours difference) and spend a day/afternoon there. I heard that there is a killer uphil after Irun on the Norte! Irun is nice city to just meander through and as you mentioned could cross into France, everything is very close.

Buen Camino!
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
#3
Yes, you could walk from the Airport to the Camino. Since you are flying in, why not bus or taxi to Irun for the night?
I would stay one night in Irun. Then get your "bragging rights." Train station in Hendaye is unique. People get off the train, or sometimes rush off the train, from France and do a direct walk through the small station to the Spanish side. The rail lines are parallel to each other. So the off on again is a direct shot. But you have to cut through the small station building.

Why? cause this was the border control point years ago. Especially under Franco in the Basque country. And, "the station is a border railway station where all trains have to stop, as those coming from/going into Spain have to change gauge from 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gaugeto 1,668 mm (5 ft 5 21⁄32 in) Iberian gauge. The electric pickup supply also changes here from 1500V DC (overhead France) to 3000V DC (overhead Spain). Between the stations of Hendaye and Irun, both track gauges run together."

Then start the Camino in the morning.

Stop by the chapel on the way to Pasajes. Can't miss it.

Then walk from Irun to Pasajes (Pasaia) The Alburgue there is nice. It is at the upper elevation of the town. So to go eat is a nice walk down the steps and back up again. No stores, bars, cafes, etc where the Alburgue is located at.

You will have to catch the small ferry (Pasaia) to cross over to the other side to continue the walk in the morning. Once off the ferry on the other side, then decide which way to continue on your walk. Off the ferry boat to the left is walking in the city. This is side walks, road, stores, apartment buildings, etc all the way to Sebastian.
Or, off the boat and to your right is the hills and woods way.

Irun:
The airport is walking distance from center of Irun. Yes, A walk....but can be done.
In Irun I stayed at the Pension Bowling (no bowling alley there LOL). Not a bad place. There were other walkers staying there. The TI office in Irun is great. She will give you maps, directions, help etc.

The first few days will be "tough" ... well for me being over 70 the elevation gains and drops were a killer.

I just cannot get enough of San Sebastian (Donostia). So I stayed there two nights.

I made it to Gijon. Due to leg injury I called it quits there. And rode bus to Ferrol (where I grew up).
 
Last edited:
Camino(s) past & future
Frances SJPP to Finistere (2016), Primitivo - Oviedo to Muxcia (2017), Norte - planned 2018
#4
Thank you both (and others) for your thoughtful counsel. Sounder minds will prevail, and I look forward to starting my Camino Norte in "Irun"!
 

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