This suggested itinerary takes you on and off the beaten path exposing you to historic villages, stunning coastline and the lovely mountainous countryside of the Basque Country.
Arrive in Bilbao and continue to the pleasant suburb of Getxo. From here you can enjoy being on the coast but within easy access of Bilbao by metro. Today explore Bilbao city or perhaps walk by the sea to Portugalete where you can visit the first ever hanging transporter bridge still in operation. Later enjoy dinner in one of the local restaurants specialising in fish and seafood.
Accommodation in Getxo.
Today enjoy exploring the eastern Vizcayan coast and towns such as Bakio where you can walk to the San Juan de Gastelugatxe islet affording magnificent coastal views. Continue to Bermeo which has an interesting Fishing Museum located in the fortified tower of the Ercilla Ancestral home. Next to Mundaka and the exceptional, protected Urdaibai Reserve which at low tide exposes enormous stretches of beach. From here continue to Gernika, the spiritual home of all Basques. Return to Getxo and overnight.
Travel east to Hondarribia, stopping en-route to see the pretty fishing village of Getaria which is famous for its locally produced txakolí white wine and excellent, harbourside restaurants. Some might be interested to know that the famous clothing designer, Balenciaga, came from Getaria and a museum featuring his works was recently opened to the public.
Next to Zarautz, situated on a fertile plain between Mount Santa Bárbara and Mount Talaimendi, with one of the finest and longest stretches of beach on the Northern coast.
Visit the old town with its narrow streets and attractive palaces and fortified house such as Narros, Torreluzea, Portu (the Town Hall), Makatza and the Santa María La Real church. From here continue to Hondarribia.
Situated on the French border, this charming fishing village delights visitors with its lovely old medieval quarter with great bars, restaurants and numerous historic sights, and its adjacent fishermans quarter with tall, colourful stone houses. Here in Hondarribia you can also enjoy a walk along the Txingudi Bay with views over to Hendaia in the French Basque Country. Accommodation of your choice in Hondarribia.
Explore Hondarribia. The old town centre is completely fortified and surrounded by parks and gardens. The historic Santa María's Gate opens onto the Calle Mayor, leading to the Palace of Charles V, nowadays a state-owned Parador. There are many fine buildings in the centre such as Nuestra Señora de la Asunción parish church, the Fortified House of Etxebeste, the Town Hall, Casadevante Palace, Zuloaga Palace, the Plaza de Vicario, the Calle Pampinot, and many more.
Afterwards enjoy the La Marina Fishermans district, with its characteristic streets, its fishermen's houses and its promenade. A relaxing stroll along the river Bidasoa leads to the Hondarribia Beach. Nearby is the sheltering harbour for fishermen and many pleasure boats. Further on is Frailes Beach, Amuitz Island and San Telmo Castle, close to Cape Higuer with the lighthouse of the same name. Overnight in Hondarribia.
Travelling in the direction south west of Bilbao, you arrive in the Ayala Valley the so called “little Switzerland” of Alava and a place of great natural beauty. It is here that the Nervion river, which flows into Bilbao, rises and either side of the region are stunning natural parks; Gorbeia and Valderejo. Lots of interesting medieval towns and villages can be visited as well as enjoying many interesting walks. Accommodation of your choice in the Ayala Valley.
Today plan to go hiking in Gorbeia or Valderejo, there are trails to suit all levels. Later drive up the winding Orduña port to discover the scenic source of the river Nervion. This is also a great place for bird-watching.
Continue south into the Añana region where you can see the saltpans in Salinas; a village that has been exploiting salt left by the river since Roman times and onto Sobron where you can drive along the stunning Sobron river gorge.
Return to the Ayala Valley via Vitoria, capital of Alava and the Basque Country.
Overnight in the Ayala Valley.
Departure to point of origin.
If you like the look of the above Suggested Tour we will gladly prepare a quote for you. The itinerary is not rigid and can be modified to suit your needs.
Below is a selection of the accommodation we would recommend for this tour. Click on the Hotel Code or symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property. If you have registered to use our Spain Travel & Holiday Planner, you need only click on to insert it into your itinerary.
|Basque Country Rambler||Hotel Code||Classification||Information|
|2 nights in Getxo||TBC65||Central Hotel|
|2 nights in HONDARRIBIA||TBC01||Country House|
|2 nights in Ayala||TBC31||Country House|