The Northern Way

From Irún to Santiago de Compostela. 35 sections. 820 kilometres.

This ancestral route started attracting pilgrims coming to Santiago de Compostela from the ancient Kingdom of Asturias in the 9th century. Many of them arrived by sea from France, Britain, Flanders and the Scandinavian countries. When the Spanish Reconquista succeeded, the French Way became more relevant and other routes like this one were slowly forgotten.

In recent decades, the Camino del Norte or Northern Way started attracting pilgrims and is nowadays one of the preferred routes due to the beauty of the landscape and the overwhelming presence of the Bay of Biscay. This route is also called the Camino de la Costa or Coastal Way and departs from Irún, goes through the Basque Country, Cantabria and Asturias to enter Galicia through the beautiful town of Ribadeo.

Some sections take you literally along the coast with amazing views over beaches and cliffs. Other sections go inland, with an array of mountains, valleys and forests. The route is always close to villages, towns and cities where you can find any necessary services.

In Arzúa, you will have covered over 780 kilometres from Irún and joined those coming from the French Way to reach Santiago de Compostela. This is the second longest route to the Galician capital after the Vía de la Plata or Southern Route, a very intensive and attractive choice. Pilgrims have several options in many of the sections so that they can choose which places to visit.
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Section 1. Irún - Donostia/San Sebastián (27’5 km)
Section 2. Donostia/San Sebastián - Zarautz (20,5 km)
Section 3. Zarautz - Deba (22 km)
Section 4. Deba -Markina/Xemein (24’5 km)
Section 5. Markina/Xemein - Gernika/Lumo (25 km)
Section 6. Gernika/Lumo - Lezama (21 km)
Section 7. Lezama - Bilbao (11 km)
Section 8 Bilbao - Portugalete (19’5 km / 12’5 km)
Section 9. Portugalete - Castro Urdiales (27’5 km / 34’5 km)
Section 10. Castro Urdiales - Laredo (26’5 km / 33 km)
Section 11. Laredo - Güemes (29 km)
Section 12. Güemes - Santander (12 km / 15’5 km)
Section 13. Santander - Santillana del Mar (37 km / 42’5 km)
Section 14. Santillana del Mar - Comillas (22 km)
Section 15. Comillas - Colombres (29 km)
Section 16. Colombres - Llanes (23 km)
Section 17. Llanes - Ribeseya/Ribadesella (31’5 km)
Section 18. Ribeseya/Ribadesella - Sebrayu/Sebrayo (31’5 km)
Section 19. Sebrayu/Sebrayo -Xixón/Gijón (36 km)
Section 20. Xixón/Gijón - Avilés (25 km)
Section 21. Avilés - Muros (22’5 km)
Section 22. Muros-Soutu de Luiña/ Soto de Luiña (16 km)
Section 23. Soutu de Luiña/Soto de Luiña - Cadavéu/Cadavedo (23 km)
Section 24. Cadavéu/Cadavedo - L.luarca/Luarca (16 km)
Section 25. L.luarca/Luarca - A Caridá/La Caridad (29’5 km)
Section 26. A Caridá/La Caridad - Ribadeo (22 km)
Section 27. Ribadeo - Lourenzá (30 km)
Section 28. Lourenzá - Gontán (23 km)
Section 29. Gontán - Vilalba (24 km)
Section 30. Vilalba - Baamonde (18 km)
Section 31. Baamonde - Miraz (16 km)
Section 32. Miraz - Sobrado (21 km)
Section 33. Sobrado -Arzúa (19 km)

How to get to the starting point?

How to get to Irún:

How to get to Irún by train: There are long-distance trains to Irún from Madrid and Barcelona with a stopover in Saragossa and connections to other Spanish cities such as Pamplona, Segovia, Burgos, Valladolid or Lleida, for example. You can check the timetables at Renfe (+34 934 61 67 08). Besides, there are non-stop trains from Donostia-San Sebastián at Euskotren (+34 943 450 131). To check the trains from France to Irún, go to SNCF (+33 0892 353 535).

How to get to Irún by bus: Alsa connects Irún with Madrid, and also other cities in Spain such as Oviedo, Santander, Burgos or Vitoria. Those who want to come from Valencia, Murcia or Teruel have bus lines with Bilmanbus. From Barcelona, you can come with Vibasa -Monbús.

How to get to Irún by car: There are some 470 kilometres from Madrid to Irún, it takes at least 4 and a half hours to get there using the toll-free motorway A-1 (autovía) and then the toll highway AP1 (autopista), which you can avoid using toll-free alternatives such as other autovías or regular roads, but they increase the distance and duration of the drive.

How to get to Irún by plane: The nearest airport to Irún is that of San Sebastian (+34 943 668 500). It does not offer many destinations but it has daily flights to Madrid and Barcelona, as well as an interesting list of city buses that take passengers to Irún for an affordable price.
Confraternity Sites

Mundo Nuevo. Departamento "Camino de Santiago” (M.N.C.S.)
Delegación Comarca Txingudi - C/ Fueros, 2 - 1ºD - Apto. de Correos, 555
Irún - San Sebastián 555

Asociación de los Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Vizcaya
Grupo Sto. Domingo de Guzmán, 14 - Lonja frente a Calzadas de Mallona
Bilbao, 48006

Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Astillero y Cantabria
C/ Fernandez Escarzada, s/n
Guarnizo (Astillero), 39611

Asociación Cultural Amigos de Ribadesella "Camino de Santiago"
Plaza de Abastos, s/n - Apto. de Correos, 51
Ribadesella/ Ribeseya, 33560

Asociación Astur - Galaico de Amigos del Camino de Santiago
Barrio A Ponte, 2
Abres (Vegadeo/ A Veiga), 33007

Asociación Astur-Galaica de Santiago Apóstol
c/ Severo Ochoa, 3 - 1ºD
Avilés, 33404

Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de Siero, Noreña y Sariego
Párroco José García Galán, 1
La Pola de Siero, 33510

Asociación Abrindo Camiño de Amigos do Camiño Norte de Santiago
C/ Ferrería, 11
Mondoñedo, 27747


We transfer your rucksack

So that you can travel light along the Way


We transfer your rucksack or suitcase from accommodation to accommodation!! In this way, you can walk more comfortably, unburdened, and enjoying every step of the Way. We will take your luggage every day to your next hostel or hotel.


Bicycle transportation services 

We send your bicycle to your starting or finishing point


Decide where you want to start the Camino and we will send your bicycle there from any of our Correos offices. Once you finish the Way you can again go to the nearest post office and send it back home. We send your bicycle neatly packaged and insured in a way that you need not disassemble it.


Luggage transfer

For everything you want in or out of your rucksack 


With our Paq Peregrino you can send suitcases or parcels to any point in the Camino -hostel, hotel, Correos office, etc. - so that your stuff is there when you arrive. This way you can have extra clothes or other items and not only the ones you take for your walk. You can also send back whatever you may have in your rucksack for the Camino that you no longer need.


Prepaid Card

So that you have nothing to worry about other than just enjoying the Camino 


In Correos we have a prepaid card that is not linked to any bank account. In this way, you can do the Camino without taking your credit or debit cards with you. You will only have to top it up with the money you need and then top up again if you run out of balance. This is a simple, safe and comfortable way of taking your money along the Camino.



Stamping Your Credencial

So that you have the best stamps on your Pilgrim's Passport 

Correos offices along the Way stamp your Credencial or Pilgrim's Passport with our special stamps. Many of them display a significant tourist attraction of that particular place for you to keep as a souvenir.



Sending parcels on the Camino de Santiago 

Send your parcels without having to come to our Correos offices!


You can send a parcel from any of the over one-hundred CORREOS offices located along the Way and from some of our “Tiendas Amigas del Camino”, a network of shops and accommodations from where you can send parcels any time you want. This service will help you get rid of the content of your luggage that you no longer need, buy some souvenirs, typical products... without having to worry about carrying them with you. 



Lockers in Santiago

So that you can freely visit the Cathedral or enjoy the city

Our Pilgrim's Office at Rúa do Franco, 150 metres from the Plaza del Obradoiro, has lockers. You can leave your rucksack, suitcase, bike, trekking pole... before you go into the Cathedral or to visit Santiago without having to worry about your luggage.


Correos Offices

To help you with anything you may need 


We have over 150 Correos offices along all the Caminos. We will be delighted to welcome you and help you with anything you need.