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Walking in the Basque Country: Biarritz to Bilbao

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • A journey on foot from France to Spain through the Basque Country
  • Follow dramatic coastlines and pilgrim trails through green rolling hills
  • Stay in traditional Basque fishing villages and vibrant cities such as San Sebastian
  • Indulge in mouth-watering pinxtos and a glass of rioja wine at the end of a great hike
  • Visit Bilbao’s famous Guggenheim Museum; a spectacular landmark in the heart of the city
Journey from French to Spanish Basque Country on this walking adventure from Biarritz to Bilbao, taking in San Sebastian along the way. Walk along rocky coastlines, soft sandy beaches and through a lush green interior, following the best sections of the world-famous Camino del Norte between cities and villages. Explore bustling Bilbao and San Sebastian, the latter famous for its Belle Epoque grandeur and its status as a foodie Mecca - the jewel in the Basque Country’s already gleaming gastronomic crown. In contrast, experience traditional fishing towns like St Jean de Luz, which is brimming with traditional coloured panelled buildings. Hondarribia is another gem, with a wonderfully authentic, small yet lively centre. Whether in the villages, cities or on the trails, the Basque people’s friendliness, hospitality and pride in their region is evident everywhere you go.
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What To Expect

This moderately rated itinerary is ideal for those interested in getting to know the Basque Country’s unique culture, history and landscapes on foot. Stay in famous cities whilst also getting to see a side of the region that most tourists miss; excellent coastal paths, inland trails through rolling green hills, and traditional towns. Use of public transport allows you to experience the best walks. It is also ideal for foodies. Basque Gastronomy is world famous and a real highlight of any visit to the region.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travelers, Multi-Generational, Groups > 10, First Timers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 12 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Foodie Adventures
  • Coastal & Island

Inspiration:

  • New

Activity Level & Terrain

This trip is graded ‘moderate’ overall. Although days 2 and 3 could be considered easy to moderate, these walks are relatively easy-going and shorter at 12 and 8 km respectively, allowing plenty of time to enjoy the beaches and towns along the way. The rest of the walks are in the rolling hills of Northern Spain and therefore considered moderate. The trails are frequently undulating with some steep ascents and descents. The terrain is very varied being a mixture of wide and narrow coastal trails, country roads, pavements, forest paths, trails through fields, rocky and grassy paths. Some trails can become slippery and muddy after rain, so we recommend boots/shoes with a good sole, and walking poles. You should be a regular walker and in good shape to get the most from this tour.

Navigation

The trails are well waymarked. We also provide you with detailed turn-by-turn route notes and maps. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone's GPS so you will have no problems finding the way. You can simply download the GPX tracks to your phone for offline use and off you go!

Accommodations

Spend 7 nights in high-quality 3 star hotels. We have chosen properties that we believe offer the best in terms of location, atmosphere and value, as well as giving a warm welcome to walkers. We regularly use the properties listed in the itinerary but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are not available. However, they will be of a similar standard.
If you have more time, we recommend an extra night or two in St Jean de Luz, San Sebastian and Bilbao.

San Sebastian and Bilbao are events cities, and the price of hotels there can fluctuate greatly depending on what is going on at the time. If you request a booking when there is an event happening in either San Sebastian or Bilbao, you may be asked to pay a supplement.

Single Rooms and Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers, although there is a supplement due to the fact that some of the costs (such as transfers) are not shared. Single rooms are available on request and again a supplement is payable. 

Meals

A breakfast will be provided by your accommodation every morning. This is usually a buffet and there are many filling breakfast items available which are perfect for hikers; e.g. boiled eggs, ham, cheese, fresh bread, muesli, as well as sweet treats such as croissants, pain au chocolat, home-made jams and even cakes. Lunch is not included, but you can find small stores in which to purchase items for a picnic lunch, or if you time some of the shorter walks well you can have lunch at your destination. Dinners are not included, leaving you free to choose from the various options each day. There are numerous restaurant choices at each overnight location, you will be spoilt for choice!

Included
  • 7 Nights in 3* hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Transfers as per the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers
  • Information Pack, maps, route notes, GPX tracks, access to our smartphone app
  • 24-7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Biarritz and from Bilbao
  • Lunches & Dinners
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Public transport
  • Personal equipment
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Solo walker supplement
  • Single room supplement (s)

When To Go

You can start this walking tour anytime between April and June and between September and October. All these months are ideal for walking in the Basque Country. July and August are not possible due to high temperatures and hotel availability. We also recommend avoiding Easter as availability is tough and supplements will be necessary. San Sebastian and Bilbao are events cities, and the price of hotels there can fluctuate greatly depending on what is going on at the time. If you request a booking when there is an event happening in either San Sebastian or Bilbao, you may be asked to pay a supplement.

Getting to the Start

Biarritz has a small airport serving mostly French destinations but also a handful of international destinations. From the airport, take a short bus to Biarritz train station where you will be collected and taken to your first hotel in Bidart. Alternatively, fly into Bordeaux Airport. From here, take a bus or taxi (20 mins) to the main train station (Bordeaux St Jean). From here, take a train to Biarritz (approx. 2 hours). Where you will be collected and taken to your first hotel in Bidart.

Getting from the End

Take the bus (every 30 minutes) or a taxi from Bilbao centre to Bilbao Airport. The journey takes about 20 mins. Bilbao also has a train station and bus station, from which many other Spanish and European destinations can be reached. It takes about 5 hours to reach Madrid from Bilbao by train.

Luggage Transfer

Bag transfer is included in this trip; your bags will be moved between hotels. We ask that you limit your baggage to one bag per person with a maximum weight of 20kg per person. 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Biarritz, transfer to Bidart Day 2 Walk to St Jean de Luz 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 3 Walk to Hendaye/Hondarribia 5 miles / 8 km Day 4 Loop Walk to Cabo Higuer 9 miles / 15 km Day 5 Walk to San Sebastian 10.5 miles / 17 km Day 6 Walk to Orio 11 miles / 18 km Day 7 Walk to Deba 9 miles / 15 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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