Basque Country Guided Walking Holiday

France-BasqueCountry-AdobeStock_79970194.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: European Multi-Centre
Walking Grade: 3
from £1,699pp with flights

Discover the rich and unique culture of the Basque Country and the varied landscapes on both sides of the border with our Guided Walking multi-centre holiday. In France, explore the local area on foot, spot the local Pottok horses and walk to the summit of Mount Esnaur. A train ride to the summit of La Rhune is bound to be a highlight of the trip. In Spain, walk along the coast to San Sebastien and further explore coastal paths and inland trails that pass through vineyards.

Holiday Highlights

  • Experience the diverse Basque Country culture in both France and Spain
  • Explore the coast along old pilgrim trails and through Spanish vineyards
  • Take a train to the summit of La Rhune for spectacular views out to the ocean

What’s included

  • A full programme of guided walks and sightseeing, including a free day to explore at your own leisure
  • All transport to and from walks
  • The services of a knowledgeable local leader
  • ‘With flight’ holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
  • 7 nights' half-board accommodation in en-suite rooms

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

We arrive at Bilbao airport, where we meet our local guide and transfer across the border to Ascain, where we spend our first three nights. Depending when we arrive and once you’ve checked in, there may be a little time to explore the town before meeting with your guide for dinner.

Hotel de la Rhune, Ascain - Basque Country

A delightful 3* family-run hotel close to the centre of the peaceful town of Ascain, the Hotel de la Rhune offers comfort and tranquility in the heart of the French Basque Country. With 27 ensuite rooms, offering views either of the surrounding countryside, hotel garden or the town itself. You can relax in the terrace garden and watch the locals play Basque pelota after your day's exploration.


Today we’ll enjoy an introduction to the local area with a walk that ascends Mount Esnaur (273m), one of the mountains that surrounds Ascain. With luck, we’ll spot one of the local ‘Pottok’ horses; their small size and strength made them ideal for working in the mines.

Hotel de la Rhune, Ascain - Basque Country

A delightful 3* family-run hotel close to the centre of the peaceful town of Ascain, the Hotel de la Rhune offers comfort and tranquility in the heart of the French Basque Country. With 27 ensuite rooms, offering views either of the surrounding countryside, hotel garden or the town itself. You can relax in the terrace garden and watch the locals play Basque pelota after your day's exploration.


This morning we’ll take short journey by local bus to the col de Saint Ignace. From here, we’ll take the tourist train to the summit of La Rhune where, with good weather, we’ll enjoy some spectacular views out towards the Atlantic coast. Our walk from the summit will cross the French and Spanish border before descending back to the col, enjoying the views as we go.

Hotel de la Rhune, Ascain - Basque Country

A delightful 3* family-run hotel close to the centre of the peaceful town of Ascain, the Hotel de la Rhune offers comfort and tranquility in the heart of the French Basque Country. With 27 ensuite rooms, offering views either of the surrounding countryside, hotel garden or the town itself. You can relax in the terrace garden and watch the locals play Basque pelota after your day's exploration.


We say goodbye to Ascain as we return over the border. A bus journey takes us along the coast to Pasaia; we’ll stop by Victor Hugo’s house then take a small local boat across the river to start our walk. We ascend stone steps – part of the pilgrim way – before our trail enters and undulates through a pine forest and along the coastline. Our coastal walk takes us to San Sebastián; as we near it, we should be treated to some stunning views. Later, we’ll transfer to Getaria for the next four nights. Hotel: Hotel Saiaz, Getaria

Hotel Saiaz, Getaria - Basque Country

Housed in a Gothic building in the old town, this wonderful 3* hotel offers intriguing historic details with all the modern comforts. Many of the 17 ensuite rooms offer sea views and the breakfast room has panoramic views across the Bay of Biscay. All rooms have WiFi, a minibar, safe and television.


Today is a free day for you to explore the local area independently at your own pace. Your local guide can help with suggestions, but here are some ideas you might enjoy:

Getaria: take in the spectacular views over the Bay of Biscay; visit the church and explore the old city walls and fishing port; relax on one of nearby beaches or enjoy a dip in the sea; or visit the Cristóbal Balenciaga museum of fashion.

Zarautz: a short bus ride away, there are plenty of shops and the longest beach in the Basque Country.

San Sebastián: a stunning city with beautiful beaches and impressive architecture. It can be easily reached by train.

Bilbao: also accessible by train, there’s much in this city to enjoy including the famous Guggenheim museum.

Hotel Saiaz, Getaria - Basque Country

Housed in a Gothic building in the old town, this wonderful 3* hotel offers intriguing historic details with all the modern comforts. Many of the 17 ensuite rooms offer sea views and the breakfast room has panoramic views across the Bay of Biscay. All rooms have WiFi, a minibar, safe and television.


We transfer by public transport to the coastal town of Zumaia, from where we’ll enjoy a fantastic coastal walk following the Compostela trail and GR-121. This walk offers some of the finest Spanish Basque coast; the area is now protected to help preserve its unique beauty and the ecosystem.

Hotel Saiaz, Getaria - Basque Country

Housed in a Gothic building in the old town, this wonderful 3* hotel offers intriguing historic details with all the modern comforts. Many of the 17 ensuite rooms offer sea views and the breakfast room has panoramic views across the Bay of Biscay. All rooms have WiFi, a minibar, safe and television.


On our final day we take a short transfer by public transport from the beach at Zarautz to Getaria. This is a fabulous walk along the coast, which also takes in a loop trail around Getaria amidst the txakoli vineyards.

Hotel Saiaz, Getaria - Basque Country

Housed in a Gothic building in the old town, this wonderful 3* hotel offers intriguing historic details with all the modern comforts. Many of the 17 ensuite rooms offer sea views and the breakfast room has panoramic views across the Bay of Biscay. All rooms have WiFi, a minibar, safe and television.


After breakfast and a leisurely morning, we’ll transfer to Bilbao airport for our return flight home.


Basque Country Itinerary Map

Hotel de la Rhune, Ascain - Basque Country

A delightful 3* family-run hotel close to the centre of the peaceful town of Ascain, the Hotel de la Rhune offers comfort and tranquility in the heart of the French Basque Country. With 27 ensuite rooms, offering views either of the surrounding countryside, hotel garden or the town itself. You can relax in the terrace garden and watch the locals play Basque pelota after your day's exploration.

Hotel Saiaz, Getaria - Basque Country

Housed in a Gothic building in the old town, this wonderful 3* hotel offers intriguing historic details with all the modern comforts. Many of the 17 ensuite rooms offer sea views and the breakfast room has panoramic views across the Bay of Biscay. All rooms have WiFi, a minibar, safe and television.

What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety and comfort are our priorities, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents.
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares).
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended.
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers.
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra.
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks.
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner.
  • Thermos flask for hot drink.
  • Water bottle (at least 2 litre).
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar.
  • Small torch.
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).
  • Sun hat and sunglasses
  • Sun cream.

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents.
  • Insect repellent.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Camera.

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability and prices are subject to change.
Non-member associate fee: £10 per person.

These departure dates can be booked with flights or as land only holiday options. All packages that include flights are ATOL protected. Advertised flight prices are based on UK flights departing from London. Regional departures and/or connections to London, if available, can be requested. Cabin upgrades may also be available on request.

Date (Start/ End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
09 May / 16 May 2019 Itinerary £1,699 Available Book Now
20 Jun / 27 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,799 Available Book Now
05 Sep / 12 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,799 Available Book Now
Date (Start/ End) Version Price Status Trip Notes Book
2020
09 May / 16 May 2019 Itinerary £1,449 Available Book Now
20 Jun / 27 Jun 2019 Itinerary £1,549 Available Book Now
05 Sep / 12 Sep 2019 Itinerary £1,549 Available Book Now

Important Information

  • Single supplement: £38 per night
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
European Multi-Centre
Walking Grade:
3

7 nights from £1,699pp with flights

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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