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Northern Spain - Basque Country - Walking Holiday

Region: Europe // Dates: 17 - 29 July 2020 (12 nights)
Northern Spain - Basque Country Walking Holiday

Straddling the border between France and Spain, the Basque country includes the Bay of Biscay towns, rural villages and the western Pyrenees. Designed by our local tour leader, this thirteen day tour offers half and full day walks on pilgrims' trails to mountain monasteries, sections of the Grande Randonnee and the Way of St James. We learn about the history and culture of the Basque people, explore old towns, new museums and taste both traditional and modern cuisine. Meeting in Bilbao, we visit the renowned Guggenheim Museum and nearby Urdaibai, the most important wetlands on the Iberian Peninsula. Travelling inland from the Bay of Biscay, our journey takes us to the karst scenery of Gorbeiako Natural Park. Walks follow rolling hills to oak forests, crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls. In Aitzgorri-Aratz Natural Park, we walk from a Franciscan sanctuary to a shepherd's hermitage. Further southeast, the landscape of Urbasa-Andia Natural Park reflects the rural lifestyles over the centuries. After stopping in Pamplona, we walk in the Irati forest and visit the medieval village of Ochagavia. From our base in Roncesvalles we walk sections of the Way of St James, visit Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and stay in a former smuggler's inn in the French alpine village of Saint Etienne. Hiking sections of the GR10 trail we visit beautiful Basque villages such as Ainhoa and prehistoric grottoes near Zugarramurdi. This town is famous for its 17th century witches and delicious cake filled with black cherry jam. Staying in a Parador in charming Hondarribia, time is spent visiting the medieval 13th century old town. Our final hikes are on the St James Way coastal route. One day we finish with lunch in Getaria, locally known as 'the kitchen of the province'. Another, we follow the cliff tops from Pasaia through lush vegetation to finish at Donastia-San Sebastian with a celebration dinner.

Overview

Straddling the border between France and Spain, the Basque country includes the Bay of Biscay towns, rural villages and the western Pyrenees. Designed by our local tour leader, this thirteen day tour offers half and full day walks on pilgrims' trails to mountain monasteries, sections of the Grande Randonnee and the Way of St James. We learn about the history and culture of the Basque people, explore old towns, new museums and taste both traditional and modern cuisine. Meeting in Bilbao, we visit the renowned Guggenheim Museum and nearby Urdaibai, the most important wetlands on the Iberian Peninsula. Travelling inland from the Bay of Biscay, our journey takes us to the karst scenery of Gorbeiako Natural Park. Walks follow rolling hills to oak forests, crystal-clear rivers and waterfalls. In Aitzgorri-Aratz Natural Park, we walk from a Franciscan sanctuary to a shepherd's hermitage. Further southeast, the landscape of Urbasa-Andia Natural Park reflects the rural lifestyles over the centuries. After stopping in Pamplona, we walk in the Irati forest and visit the medieval village of Ochagavia. From our base in Roncesvalles we walk sections of the Way of St James, visit Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port and stay in a former smuggler's inn in the French alpine village of Saint Etienne. Hiking sections of the GR10 trail we visit beautiful Basque villages such as Ainhoa and prehistoric grottoes near Zugarramurdi. This town is famous for its 17th century witches and delicious cake filled with black cherry jam. Staying in a Parador in charming Hondarribia, time is spent visiting the medieval 13th century old town. Our final hikes are on the St James Way coastal route. One day we finish with lunch in Getaria, locally known as 'the kitchen of the province'. Another, we follow the cliff tops from Pasaia through lush vegetation to finish at Donastia-San Sebastian with a celebration dinner.

Highlights

Highlights:
  • Visit the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao
  • Explore the Urdaibai Estuary, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve
  • Walk through oak forests & karst scenery in Gorbeiako Natural Park
  • Explore the human history of Aizkorri-Aratz & Urbasa-Andia Nature Parks
  • Visit medieval villages & walk in the Irati, Europe’s best-preserved beech & fir forest
  • Stay in the towns of San Sebastian, Pamplona, Roncesvalles, Saint Etienne, Hondarribia
  • Hike on sections of St James Way & the famous GR10 trail
  • Explore Zugarramurdi famous for witches, caves & cake
  • Finish with spectacular coastal walks from Hondarribia & Donastia-San Sebastian

Details

Details:

17 – 29 June 2020 (12 nights)

Twin share/person (starts Bilboa /ends San Sebastian)
Advanced Early Bird: A$TBA until 11/11/2019
Regular: A$TBA
Single Supplement: A$TBA 
Note: For guests who request a single room the single supplement will be charged. For single people who prefer to share, we will try to find a suitable room-mate, but if this is not possible the single supplement surcharge will apply.

Minimum Group Size: 10 guests

Special Interest:
Botanical, History, Culture, Geology

Walk Rating:
Moderate: 7–16km per walking day with some shorter options (agility required for ascent/descent steps). Age is not necessarily as important as your fitness and recent walking experience, and anyone of reasonable fitness should be able to join this tour. We reserve the right to be flexible with the itinerary to allow for unforeseen circumstances including weather conditions and group fitness.

Tour Itinerary

To download the Detailed Tour Itinerary simply click on the link below:
Note - The free program Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to open PDF files.

Leader

Related items

  • Leo San Sebastian

    Leo San Sebastian grew up in Spain’s Basque Country and has been a professional tour leader for over three decades, leading walking holidays throughout Spain, Morocco, the French Swiss & Italian Alps, South America and Asia. Over the past 13 years he has created and led interNATIONAL PARKtours Spain and Morocco programs. Leo’s knowledge, care and concern for travellers and passion to showcase local areas will ensure a wonderful journey.

Gallery

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