Basque Country (San Sebastian and Bilbao)

by / Friday, 17 January 2014 / Published in Pack

This route will take you through the Basque Country its main cities, San Sebastian and Bilbao, visiting some of the nicest coastal villages and some of the most beautiful inland villages in this wonderful province. It is a seven days journey in which you will try some of the best food in Spain as Basque cuisine is internationally recognized. Basque people is tough at the beginning but also high-minded. They value family a lot and can be your best friend after a time. It is said that if you get a Basque friend you will have him forever.

This is just a sample tour and can be modified and adapted to all your requests. Contact us to shorten or lengthen it. Tell us what you want and what you like and we will customize your holidays.

Description

This route will take you through the Basque Country visiting some of the nicest coastal villages and some of the most beautiful inland in this wonderful province. It is a seven days journey in which you will try some of the best food in Spain as Basque cuisine is internationally recognized. Basque people is tough at the beginning but also high-minded. They value family a lot and can be your best friend after a time. It is said that if you get a Basque friend you will have him forever.

Map

Day1

Arrive in Bilbao. Today it is time to visit this town built around the “Ría” (Estuary). Go for a walk and see the many bridges crossing the “Ría” among which you shouldn´t miss the San Antón bridge, from where you will see the San Antón Church, and the Zubi – Zuri footbridge, designed by renowned architect Calatrava. The “Arriaga theatre” which resembles the París Opera and the “Guggenheim Museum” are a must to see. Get to the “Dog´s street and fountain” and visit the medieval and the modern old town. There you can enjoy some of the famous “pintxos” (small portion of food) at any of the many bars.

Day 2

In the way to San Sebastián first stop will be Bakio. Walk to “San Juan de Gastelugatxe” islet to be delighted with awesome coastal views. Get to Bermeo and visit the “tower of the Ercilla”. Keep on to Mundaka and stopover at protected Urdabai natural reserve which at low tide shows you the immensity of the beach. Explore Gernika and its famous oak, symbol of the unity of all the Basque Country, which share the same cultural and ethnographic traditions extending beyond political frontiers. Last stop is Getaria where you will overnight. Walk through this fishing village known for its locally “Txacolí” white wine.

Day 3

Move to Zarautz but before getting there go near Mount Tailamendi and get delighted with the views, the traditional “caseríos” (typical basque houses), and the forest around. Then go and get to know the old part of this village with its narrow streets. The Santa María la Real Church and the Palace of Narros are both beautiful places to visit. It is well known by surfers as it hosts the world surf Championship. Less than 1km from the town center is Iñurritza biotope, a set of dunes, marshes and cliffs that make up an ecosystem quite well preserved making it a particularly attractive place for visitors. Get to San Sebastián, the capital of the province. Don´t miss “La Concha” beach and its city sea line. At the end of the path of this beach go and see the “Wind comb” (Peine de los vientos), a sculpture by Eduardo Chillida. Go up to Mount Igueldo and see the beautiful views. Walk into the old town and try some of the famous “pintxos” (small portion of food) at any of its bars. This part is full of restaurants where you can have lunch. Last stop today, where we will stay at night, is Hondarribia. It is a fortified village in a strategic position close to the French border which port was very important time ago. In its pedestrian streets full of beautiful houses of many different colours many restaurants offer a great selection of fish and other places to have a drink and relax.

Day 4

We are leaving the coast today to go into the nature. Start moving to Tolosa, the town sat at the banks of the Oria river and home to buildings with a long history as well as palaces, towers and churches. Don´t forget to visit the Gorrotxategi Patisserie Museum or one of the cheese factories, if you want to find out how the internationally renowned Idiazabal cheese is produced. Go on to Idiazabal and Beasain where you have to see the Igartza Historical monuments. We will delve further into Gipuzkoa's valleys, eventually arriving at the Loyola sanctuary, in the town of Azpeitia. This is one of the best exponents of baroque art in the Basque Country. The porch and the basilica dome are particularly impressive, as is the tower house in which the founder of the Society of Jesus, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, was born. Overnight in Azpeitia

Day 5

On our way to Durango we will stop at the Debabarrena MTB centre, in Elgoibar. You can rent a bicycle here and enjoy a bike ride while enjoying scintillating views from Gipuzkoa's mountains. While in Durango, don't forget to visit its Historic Quarter, with a rich heritage in the shape of palaces, towers, parish churches, crosses, archways, etc, In addition, Durango offers a broad and varied array of cuisine (“pintxos”, traditional cuisine, modern Basque cuisine, dishes from a traditional cider house menu, etc.) Finally, we will discover Elorrio, the connecting point between the three Basque provinces. Its Old Town is particularly striking, and has been declared a Monument Site. It is bursting with palaces and grand houses made of stone and carved masonry, dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries. Religious buildings such as the Purísima Concepción basilica and the Santa Ana Monastery are complimented by the Argiñeta necropolis, a series of sandstone graves and funerary stelae from the 9th century. Night in Durango

Day 6

You can choose between going into Urkiola Natural Reserve or discovering Vergara, with its wonderful palaces, stately homes and mansions of the XVI and XVII centuries and Oñati, described as the “Basque Toledo” by Ignacio Zuloaga. The university in here is a good example of the Basque Renaissance. The old town and “San Miguel” Parish Church is highly recommended. Then discover the Arantzazu sanctuary, in the Aizkorri-Aratz Natural Park. Our adventure comes to a close in Leintz-Gatzaga, a town which has had links to salt production since the Iron Age. A full-scale recreation of the saltworks is located on the outskirts of the town.

Day 7

End of tour and return home.

More info

If you want further information about this pack and how to quit, add or modify anything to adapt it to your likes and preferences, please e-mail us at info@hiddeninspain.com or visit our contact section. We will be happy to tailor-made your holidays.

2 Responses to “Basque Country (San Sebastian and Bilbao)”

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