8. Bilbao and Basque Country Guided 7-Day Tour from Bilbao
Explore the Basque Country on a week-long journey to the sites of historical and cultural importance. Using Bilbao as your base, enjoy half-day and full-day excursions to surrounding cities and towns. Travel along the coast to see fishing villages, old ports, and picturesque beaches. Spend time inland visiting mountains, wineries, and remote villages. Select 3-star or 4-star accommodation and choose from various meal plans which provide either some or all of your food.
Day 1: Bilbao
After arriving in Bilbao, transfer to your hotel. Receive your dossier with information about the Basque Country and the program. Depending upon your time of arrival, there will be free time for exploring on your own. Lodging at the hotel in Bilbao.
Day 2: Urdaibai – Bermeo – Gernika - Bilbao
Breakfast, Depart for the coast on a half-day excursion, heading along the right bank of the river and by the industrial towns of Barakaldo, Sestao, and Portugalete. Travel past the famous Transporter Bridge of Biscay, through the imposing Castle of Butron, and to the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Visit Mungia, the fishing village of Bermeo, Mundaka and the Urdaibai Reserve of Biosphere, and Gernika.
Return to Bilbao and free time for lunch (your guide will recommend you the best options). Later, walking tour of Bilbao, visiting the old quarter and seeing the main squares, churches, and more. Lodging at the hotel.
Day 3: Biarritz – San Sebastian
Breakfast. Travel to Biarritz and tour the old port, the Virgin on the Rock, and the Beach of Kings. Continue along the coast to Saint Jean De Luz, and then stop in Hondarribia where you have some free time for lunch (your guide will recommend the bets options). In the afternoon, you will arrive in San Sebastian, for a panoramic tour of the city’s mountain and historical quarter, followed by free time. Then return back to Bilbao and accommodation.
Day 4: Vitoria – Rioja
Breakfast. Travel to Vitoria for a tour of the city and the best preserved Old Town in the Basque Country. Then follow the route toward the wine region, passing by Labastida, to arrive in the medieval village of Laguardia. Enjoy a walking tour and a visit to a traditional Rioja winery. By mid-afternoon you will return back to Bilbao by way of Elciego, where you will see the magnificent architectural work of Frank Gehry at the Marques de Riscal Winery. Accommodation in Bilbao.
Day 5: Sanctuary of Loyola – Getaria – Zarautz – San Sebastian Breakfast. Make your way to the Sanctuary of Loyola, then visit Getaria, a charming fishing village and the birthplace of Juan Sebastian Elcano. See Zarautz, home to the longest beach in Basque Country. Then go to San Sebastian for a city tour, followed by a walking tour in the historic center, before returning to Bilbao in the afternoon.
Day 6: Elorrio – Oñati – Sanctuary of Arantzazu
Breakfast. Spend the day exploring the traditional inner Basque Country. Head toward Durango, located near Gorbea Natural Parka and Urkiola Natural Park. Stop in Elorrio, an area characterized by the abundance and slenderness of its palaces and manor houses of stone and carved stonework. Continue to Oñati, home to the oldest university in the Basque Country. Travel up a road between cliffs to reach the Sanctuary of Arantzazu, where you can tour the grounds and enjoy the view, before returning to Bilbao in the afternoon.
Day 7: Bilbao
Breakfast. Enjoy free time in the city until it’s time to transfer to the airport, train station, or bus station.