Getting a pilgrim passport in Irun – Guide on how to find the place




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A modern-day pilgrim tries to plan everything in advance. Ordering two (or four) pilgrim passports online (just to make sure they’ll have enough space for all the beautiful stamps they’ll collect on the way), paying more for shipping than for the actual passports, pilgrims hope to simplify the start of their pilgrimage. In the old days, however, you simply came to a place, got your passport together with the first stamp, which sort of symbolized the start of your pilgrimage.

And you can still do so, at least in common starting places of more popular caminos, such as Saint Jean Pied de Port or Pamplona (French Camino), Irun, Bilbao, Santander (Camino del Norte)  Seville, Merida, Salamanca (Via de la Plata), and so on, and so forth. What’s even better, you can get your pilgrim passport for free (you can always donate something of course), you’ll get the version specific for your camino, and you will also get your first beautiful stamp!

In this article I will explain how to get the pilgrim credential in Irun, the starting point of Camino del Norte, about 850  kilometers away from Santiago de Compostela. Let’s go!


Where to get the credential in Irun

You may find people selling pilgrim passports in the albergues or even in places not designed particularly for pilgrims (hotels, bed & breakfast), but you really do not need to use their services, because you can get your pilgrim passport on each day, and at any hour, in the cathedral of Irun.

– Iglesia de Nuestra señora del Juncal in Irun, source: . I didn’t take a good picture when I was there :). Official attribution: Zarateman, CC BY 3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

The cathedral is open officially from 5pm to 8pm every day, except of Sunday, when it is open from 8:30am to 1:30pm. However, since the local parish resides in the building, you can get the credential at any time (reasonable time of course, you’re not going to bang on the door in the middle of the night :)).

* May also interest you: Camino del Norte Guide – 31 stages all the way from Irun to Santiago, with maps, GPX files, elevation gain and loss for each stage, natural, historic, and culinary places worth seeing, alternative routes (to avoid excessive road walking), and more… Make sure to that you experience the best from this beautiful camino.

All you have to do is knocking on the door of the parish office (as someone once said “knock, and it shall be opened unto you”), located at the bottom of the stairs, on the side of the building. There aren’t that many doors really, so you should not be worried of missing it. Wait if nobody answers, and if there is no response but the cathedral is open you can always go inside and look for the priest. Eventually you will get a nice pilgrim passport:

I got my pilgrim passport in Irun twice. This is the first one which I got back in 2015. As you can see it has seen some rough times :). anyway, I really liked the design and it was original for Camino del Norte

If you find any information on this page incorrect or outdated, or have a suggestion how to improve it for fellow pilgrims, please let us know. Thank you for helping the pilgrim community, and buen Camino 🙂

– Second time I got a slightly different credential, but it still isn’t the same passport you’d get in Saint Jean or on the French Camino in general.

Donating to the parish, getting the passport, talking to the priest

Local priests always have some passports ready for new pilgrims. They ask nothing in return, but it is a good custom to donate something–as much as you can offer as a pilgrim… When I came to Irun during the pandemic and wanted to make the donation, the priest actually didn’t accept it. He said that this would be an expensive camino, due to many albergues being closed, and a necessity to stay in some private places along the way, paying extra. And I can confirm he was right when it comes to the expenses :).

Anyway, money does play a little role for a follower of Christ (at least if they have authentic faith). The priest was happy to have some chat with me in Spanish, claiming his English was very basic. I can imagine though that knocking on the door and saying you are a pilgrim, he’ll know what you came for–the credential and your first stamp…

* May also interest you: What is the best time to walk Camino del Norte?


Getting to the Irun cathedral from train/bus station

You’ll probably arrive to Irun by train (from San Sebastian or other location in Spain), or by a bus. Some people actually cross the border from Hendaye in France, especially those who fly to Biaritzz airport, or take a train from Parise to Bayonne.

Finding the cathedral is pretty easy in this case, because the only possible border crossing in Hendaye (close to the railway) is already marked with yellow arrows, and all you have to do is following them until they take you directly in front of a cathedral.

Walking from the bus/train station, you simply have to ascend to the street Calle Colon Ibilbidea, and then go all the way straight, following this busy avenue with shops and restaurants, until you get to close proximity of the cathedral. Again, you cannot really miss it.

– Screenshot from mobile app (by the way a great application for following the caminos in Spain). Circled in red are the train/bus station and the Cathedral, the arrow points to the main avenida (Colon Ibilbidea) you should follow as the easiest way of reaching the cathedral. Of course, you can also use navigation, but if you are a bit old-school, the map will help…

Final thoughts

Whether you arrive to Irun on feet (walking from Hendaye, or perhaps from even further), by train, or by bus, you can always get to the cathedral within 30 minutes, eventually knocking on the parish door, meeting the local priest, getting your beautiful credential, and start your pilgrimage, with more than 850 kilometers ahead of you.

Hopefully this post helped you to understand how to get your pilgrim passport in Irun. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. Buen camino!


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