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.
2017 Tour Dates
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Basque in the Glory Tour Itinerary Download 2017 PDF
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 one-time 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 in the old quarter of town, which is surrounded by medieval walls that have protected the villa for centuries.
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 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 SebastiánSleep: San Sebastián / 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 caseríos, old stone Basque farm houses, and are soon greeted by the stylish resort town of San Sebastián, 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 Sebastián to OrioSleep: San Sebastián / Walk: 16 KMs or 10 miles
With boots on, we leave San Sebastián to ascend Monte Igeldo and stop to enjoy the views of the bay below. The rocky coast of the Basque Country has us going up and down hills and through small hamlets. The many flocks of sheep 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 Sebastián.
Orio to ZumaiaSleep: Getaria / Walk: 16 KMs or 10 miles
Returning to Orio, we pass through Zarautz and continue along the walkway that borders the sea and enter Getaria, whose famous sailing son, Juan Sebastián Elcano, was the first to sail around the world. We follow the Northern Camino de Santiago passing the local vineyards of txakoli, the local white wine, until we reach the village of Zumaia, a Basque port famous for its whaling and now its shipbuilding.
Zumaia to DebaSleep: Getaria / Walk: 12 KMs or 7 miles
Our walk quickly takes us to the coast where we alternate between cliffside paths, rolling green farmland, and views of the blue sea. Greet a local with Kaixo - Basque for hello - and watch them warm right up! Our day on the trail ends in Deba, where after a dip in the Cantabrian Sea, we get our appetites ready for a visit to a popular Basque cider house, a meal you won't forget!
La Rioja Wine RegionSleep: Laguardia
Unfortunately, our days on the Northern Camino de Santiago have come to an end. However, we continue our adventure with a different kind of pilgrimage: to the heart of Spain's wonderful wine region, La Rioja. We start our visit with a look behind the XIII century walls of the hilltop town of Laguardia. Here we learn how the blood of the Camino is made; century-old traditions mix with 21st century science to create world-renowned tintos!
La Rioja Wine Region & BilbaoSleep: Bilbao / Walk: 5 KMs or 3 miles
After breakfast, we take a light stroll around the surrounding lagoons, which provide a haven for migrating birds. Those of you looking for a bit more R&R have the option of pampering yourself at the hotel's wonderful spa. After lunch, we hop in the van and head for Bilbao. We take the evening to explore the famous seven streets of the old quarter and close with a savory farewell dinner.
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. We hope you have enjoyed your visit of our backyard!
* Please note: This itinerary is subject to slight modifications due to hotel availability, weather, festivals and other occurrences.