Just because we are at home doesn’t mean we can’t explore the Camino.
If you weren’t able to follow us on Social Media, here’s a summary of our Fresco Tours Virtual Camino Norte in the Basque Country Tour!
(All photos were taken on our signature ‘Basque in the Glory Tour‘)
Day 1 – Meeting our Fresco Pilgrims and exploring Hondarribia
After meeting our group in Bilbao we hop in our 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 our day in the old quarter of town, where medieval walls have protected the villa (and pilgrims) for centuries.
Day 2 – Sanctuary de Guadalupe to Pasajes de San Juan
Starting from the Sanctuary of 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.
Day 3 – Pasajes de San Juan to San Sebastian
This morning, we return to Pasajes de San Juan and cross over to San Pedro on the other side of the port 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, arguably one of the prettiest towns in Spain.
Day 4 – San Sebastian to Orio
The rocky coast of the Basque Country has us going up and down hills and through small hamlets. With the sea to our right keeping us company, we quickly make our way to the fishing port of Orio. Here we regroup and return to San Sebastián for a stroll and some pintxos (Basque tapas).
Day 5 – Orio to Zumaia
From Orio to Zarautz and then along the seaside walkway to Getaria, whose famous sailing son, Juan Sebastián Elcano, was the first to sail around the world. Then onwards to Zumaia,, a Basque port famous for its whaling and now its shipbuilding.
Day 6 – Zumaia to Deba
On today’s walk we continue our way along the Camino de Santiago alternating cliffside paths, rolling green farmland and views of the blue sea. Our day on the trail ends in Deba where we can dip our feet in the Cantabrian Sea before returning to our hotel for a rest before dinner.
Day 7 – Markina to Zenarruza Monastery
Today we visit two major religious sites in the Basque Country. In the morning we head inland to visit the Basilica of Saint Ignacio of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus and one of Basque Country’s most venerated saints. The second is the 15th century Cistercian Monastery of Zenarruza, which has provided shelter for pilgrims since the Middle Ages. In-between both visits we’ll have time to return to the yellow arrows of the Camino Norte and get some miles in.
Day 8 – Zenarruza Monastery to Guernica
After a lighter day in the boots, we finish off our Camino de Santiago along the Northern Coast with a hike into Guernica, a name made famous around the world by Pablo Picasso’s dramatic anti-war painting of the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War.
Day 9 – Guernica and Bilbao
In the Middle Ages, the Lords of Biscay would meet in Guernica under a giant oak tree to celebrate their fueros – self-governing laws that granted the Basques their autonomous rule. Today, we visit the Biscayan Assembly House and theTree of Guernica. As we make our way to Bilbao and our farewell dinner feast, we stop at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe for a visit, which is not only a stunning place but a must for any Game of Thrones’ fan!
Day 10 – Bilbao
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) and of course: Buen Camino!
Thank you for following our Virtual Camino Norte in the Basque Country Tour!