From the border-town of Irún to St Adrian's tunnel, on the boundary with the province of Alava, the Jacobean route that crosses inland Gipuzkoa was, for many centuries, one of the most important lines of communication that linked the north of Europe and the peninsular plateau, even before pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela became really popular in the 11th century.
Pilgrims from Europe continued to use these lines of communication for centuries. They knew that the Inland Route was not the fastest, but it was quite comfortable, safe and protected. Alfonso X 'the Wise" founded fortified towns along it that emphasised its importance.
Along the way, pilgrims will find remarkable civil and religious heritage, such as the Ama-Xantalen hermitage in Irún (used as a place of worship for the last 2000 years), the medieval Idiakez Palace in Tolosa, the artistic-historical buildings of Segura or the San Juan de Letrán basilica in Ordizia. Just before passing into Alava, at St Adrian's tunnel, pilgrims will discover one of the most beautiful spots along St James' Way and the only place in the world where Emperor Carlos I had to bow his head.