The Coastal Route - or Northern St James' Way - is the most popular long distance route after the French Route and it is also the oldest Jacobean path, according to many historians. In the 9th and 10th centuries, before improved roadways linked Gipuzkoa with Castile, this was the pilgrims' preferred route, despite the ups and downs of the coastline and having to walk around the mouths of the rivers in Gipuzkoa: Oiartzun, Urumea, Oria, Urola and Deba.
The Coastal Route nowadays is another way of enjoying the sea views and alternating hikes up small mountains with urban landscapes whilst getting to know the districts of the Gipuzkoa Coast one by one. It starts in Hondarribia and takes in the most extraordinary landscapes offered by the sea and mountains in Gipuzkoa. It finishes in the pretty seaside town of Mutriku, just before pilgrims start their descent into Bizkaia.