2013 Basque in the Glory Tour
9 days / 8 nights
Over 1,000 years ago the original way to Santiago worked its way along the Northern Coast passing through the fabled Basque Country. Come with us and discover this mysterious land of proud people and marked contrasts. A culture that has always been tied to the land, we get a closer look of the Basques as we stroll their lush rolling hills, wander their imposing mountains, and skirt the tides of their rocky coves. We'll get a glimpse of sophisticated cosmopolitan centers and century-removed hamlets. Have a taste of full-flavored cheeses, the freshly caught seafood, and the crisp subtle wines.
2013 Tour Dates
- June 18 - June 26, 2013
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Basque in the Glory Tour Itinerary
NOTE: On all our trips, your walk is accompanied by a support van and multiple shorter walking options are available on a daily basis, including the opportunity of taking a day off for a rest! We can accommodate your walking needs and desires.
Bilbao & HondarribiaSleep: Hondarribia / Walking: 5 KMs or 3 miles
In the afternoon, we meet our group in Bilbao, the onetime industrial powerhouse which is currently undergoing its own Renaissance. After introductions, we hop in the van and head for the pleasant fishing village of Hondarribia, where we stretch our legs and take our first steps on the Northern Camino de Santiago with a short climb to the Sanctuary of Guadalupe. We finish the day with a visit to a typical Basque Cider house!
Sanctuary de Guadalupe to Pasajes San JuanSleep: Hondarribia / Walking: 11 KMs or 7 miles
Starting from Guadalupe, the yellow arrows take us a bit higher as we cross along the Mountain of Jaizkibel enjoying the views of the beaches and sea below! After strolling the ridge, we work our way down to the port of Pasajes de San Juan decorated with the small fishing boats of another time. After a zurito (small glass of beer), we return to Hondarribia, where we finish the evening with a fine meal of Basque Cuisine.
Pasajes San Juan to San SebastianSleep: San Sebastian / Walk: 8 KMs or 5 miles
This morning, we return to Pasajes de San Juan and cross over to the other bank of San Pedro just like the pilgrims did a thousand years ago - via boat! We then work our way past large "caserios", old stone Basque farm houses, and are soon greeted by the stylish resort town of San Sebastian, a place that has long been popular with the Spanish bourgeois. Here the beauty of the Concha beach makes it a wonderful place for an afternoon stroll.
San Sebastian to OrioSleep: San Sebastian / Walk: 15 KMs or 9 miles
With boots on, we leave San Sebastian with a stroll up to the Monte Igeldo and stop to enjoy the views of bay below. The rocky coast of the Basque Country has us going up and down hills, through small hamlets! We will also see along the hillside, flocks of sheep to remind us that the Basques are not just men of the sea, but also pretty good shepherds! With the sea to our right keeping us company, we quickly make our way to the busy fishing port of Orio. Here we regroup and return for another evening in San Sebastian.
Orio to ZumaiaSleep: Deba / Walk: 15 KMs or 9 miles
Returning to Orio, we pass through Zarautz and continue along a wonderful walkway that borders the sea and enter Getaria, whose famous sailing son, Juan Sebastian Elcano, was the first to sail around the world. We follow along the Northern Camino de Santiago passing local vinyards of txakoli, the local white wine, and reach the village of Zumaia, a Basque port famous for its whaling villagers and now their ship building.
Zumaia to DebaSleep: Deba / Walk: 12 KMs or 7 miles
Today the Camino de Santiago has us going up and down and up and down as we walk inland a bit! Leaving Zumaia, we follow a quiet country road that leads us to the top of town, where we hear the bells of the cows in the fields. After reaching the top at the church of Santa Maria in Itziar, we walk down into the one time fishing village of Deba. Your day can end with a nice swim in the Bay of Biscay!
La Rioja Wine RegionSleep: La Rioja / Walk: 5 kms or 3 miles
Our sampling on the Northern Camino de Santiago has come to an end, but we continue with a different type of tasting! This morning, we hop in the van and head south to try some of the famous Rioja Wines of the Basque Country. We start our visit with a look behind the XIII century walls of the hilltop town of Laguardia. Afterwards, we enjoy a light stroll around the surrounding lagoons, which provide a haven for migrating birds and help to irrigate the lands that surround it. We finish our day, with a fine meal of local cuisine, and of course, some Rioja Wine!
La Rioja Wine Region & BilbaoSleep: Bilbao
Today we continue our education of the Rioja wines by taking a guided tour of a local winery of these world famous tintos that have become the trademark of the region. Is the wine a treat to your eye, nose, or palate? After lunch, we head back to Bilbao, where we have a rest before meeting for an evening stroll in the famous 7 Streets of the Old Center. Our evening comes to an end with a our farewell dinner celebration.
After our delicious breakfast, our local art historian takes us on a guided visit of the internationally acclaimed Guggenheim Museum. Frank Gehry's titanium masterpiece evokes images of a flower and a ship - you decide what comes to mind! After the tour, we say "Agur"- goodbye in Basque as we hope that you have enjoyed your visit of our backyard!