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Basque Country: Bilbao to San Sebastian via Olite

  • 7 nights | 25 miles/day
  • Difficulty Level: 2
  • Guided from: €1770
  • View Dates

Tours using road, hybrid or touring bikes:

  1. Mostly flat
  2. Flat with some gentle slopes
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs
  5. Extensive climbing

Tours using mountain bikes:

  1. Mostly flat, wide trails
  2. Some gentle slopes, wide trails
  3. Rolling, hilly terrain and/or narrow trails
  4. Some long and/or steep climbs and/or technical trails
  5. Extensive climbing and/or highly technical trails
  1. Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  2. Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  3. Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge.
  4. Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year.
  5. Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  6. Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.

Tour description

Wide barren plains, steep rugged mountains, green forests, spectacular coasts and quiet beaches. Cycling in a landscape that could hardly be more multifaceted. A tour through Euscadia to Pelota and Harrijasotzaile, Pil-Pil and Intxaursaltsa. Encounters with a mysterious language, archaic sports, imposing cultural monuments and traditional Spanish and Basque kitchen.

Daily Program

Day 1: Arrival
In Bilbao, the hotel awaits you. At 5:15pm we will meet in the lobby for a tour through the world-famous Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art. The evening is at your disposal.
Overnight in Bilbao

Day 2: Bilbao – Argomaniz (20 miles/32 km)
We start our cycle tour along the river Nervion through the slowly awakening city of Bilbao in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean. Mainly on cycle paths and quiet byroads, we witness the decline of the former industrial city as well as the emerging modern metropolis of Bilbao. In Portugalete the world's oldest transporter bridge takes us across the river Nervion. Since 2006 the Puente Bizkaia belongs to the the UNESCO world heritage. After lunch in the lively seaside resort Getxo with its elegant villas, a minibus takes us to the Embalse de Ullibarri, an artificial lake near Vitoria Gasteiz. On small paths near the lake we circumvent the rather unattractive capital of the Basque Country. In the late afternoon we reach the Parador, where an exquisite dinner awaits us.
Overnight in Argomaniz

Day 3: Argomaniz – Estella (29 miles/46 km)
In the morning a bus takes us in 30 minutes to the Sierra de Urbasa. On this deserted high plateau, barren grassland alternates with lush beech groves. Flocks of sheep, griffon vultures and grazing horses accompany our bike tour. After a descent with panoramic views on the bizarre rocky scenery of the Sierra de Santiago de Loquiz, and past pictorial villages, our route leads to Estella. On our round trip we see Romanesque churches like San Sepulcro with its impressive tympanum and the palace of the dukes of Granada de Ega. Dinner will be served at a highly praised restaurant.
Overnight in Estella

Day 4: Estella – Olite (29 miles/46 km)
Our day starts with a short bus ride to a Mirador, where we can admire the vast openness of Navarre. We start with a pleasurable descent through the beautiful Sierra del Pérdon to Puente de la Reina, where the French Camino de Santiago joins the Spanish. In Calle Mayor we discover architectural jewels such as the churches Santiago as well as richly decorated residences, silent witnesses of a long tradition of pilgrimage.

By noon we arrive in Artajona, towered by a legendary fortress of the 11th century. After a longer ascent we reach the wine growing area of Tudela, production site of the famous Rosados de Navarre. Along lonely trails we reach the former royal city Olite in the late afternoon. Our eventful day ends with dinner in a stylish ambience.
Overnight in Olite

Day 5: Olite – Vera de Bidasoa (36 miles/59 km)
Weather permitting, a minibus takes us in about 90 minutes to the summit of Mount Artxueta in the Aralar range. A splendid view opens up over the mountain range of Urbasa.

After a comfortable cycling leg mostly downhill, the bus takes us uphill again to another pass. Then our bikes roll almost 19 miles downhill into the most characteristic Basque region of our tour. In the pristine valley of Rio Ezkurra with its sleepy villages and magnificent views into the wildly romantic landscape, the specific culture of the Basque Country becomes evident. On our last miles we follow the former railroad track to Vera de Bidasoa where we are welcomed at the hotel. An excellent Basque dinner awaits us.
Overnight in Vera de Bidasoa

Day 6: Vera de Bidasoa – St. Jean de Luz (15 miles/25 km)
Today, a morning climb will be rewarded with a magnificent view and an impressive downhill into the French part of the Basque Country, to the village of Sare. Every single white house has its own name and a red or green wooden beam, decorated with dried peppers and flowers.

In the early afternoon, we reach St. Jean de Luz on quiet paths. For many Frenchmen, the former fishing village is the most beautiful bathing resort of southwestern France. The promenade invites for a stroll and attractive shops in the small pedestrian area offer typical Basque specialities and craftwork. We are welcomed at the charming accommodations. For another exquisite dinner we will meet at a small fish restaurant.
Overnight in St. Jean de Luz

Day 7: St. Jean de Luz – San Sebastian (21 miles/34 km)
We leave St. Jean de Luz cycling along rolling hills in the direction of Hendaye, the old French border town. A ferry takes us across the Bidasoa to Hondarribia thus returning to the Spanish País Vasco. From Mount Jaizkibel (1630 ft) in the extreme west of the Pyrenees, a long downhill with wonderful panoramic views of the Gulf of Biscaya and the evergreen back-country leads us to the picturesque port of Pasaia. We cross the natural harbor on a small boat and as weather permitting, hike up Monte Ulia along quiet paths to reach the peak with breathtaking views over the city and the famous Conca Bay.

After a short descent we cycle through the most interesting parts of San Sebastian. We will celebrate our typical Basque farewell dinner in an excellent restaurant in the bustling old town center.
Overnight in San Sebastian

Day 8: Departure
After breakfast we go on a guided city tour through beautiful San Sebastian. Our trip ends around 11 a.m. Hourly shuttle busses take you from San Sebastian to the airport of Bilbao (ticket included in the tour price). Please do not book your flight with a departure time earlier than 3 p.m. as otherwise the morning program has to be shortened.

Dates

May 26*; Jun 2, 9; Aug 25; Sep 1, 8, 2018 (minimum 8 participants; *indicates fully booked)

Prices

Tour package
Per person, double occupancy
€1770
Single room surcharge (1 person/1 room)
€465
Bike Rentals
Electrically assisted bike
€165
Please note: Instead of operating bicycle tours ourselves, BikeTours.com represents local bicycle tour operators around the world. Review the tour operator's information and terms below, then submit your booking request through BikeTours.com. The primary benefits of booking your tour through BikeTours.com include:
  • Lower cost: You pay local tour company prices—less than what big American companies charge
  • Variety: Choose from more than 200 tours offered by local operators in 35 countries.
  • Advice: Our informed advisors help you choose the trip that's right for you.
  • Great exchange rates: Pay low rates thanks to the millions of dollars in foreign currency we buy each year. Or pay in euros!
  • Convenience: We handle the full booking and payment process.
  • Support: We’re your advocates from initial planning through final pedal stroke.
Contact us with any questions about booking and paying for your tour through BikeTours.com. We look forward to serving you!

Rotalis Terms and Conditions

Cancellation:

 

If there is a price increase of more than 5%, you are entitled to cancel the tour at no charge. If a reservation is changed to a different tour within 60 days prior to the start of the tour, a fee of EUR 60 per person will be due. However, this shall only apply if you do not find a substitute participant. At a later date, the change of reservation will be treated as cancellation at the cancellation fees stated below.
If either of two customers booked in a double room cancels the contract, the original registration will be converted into a single-room reservation, with the tour price being adjusted accordingly. In such a case, we expect the remaining customer to be willing to accept a room of a lower standard or to stay the night and have breakfast at a different hotel or Bed + Breakfast, if this should be necessary at some stops; however, this shall apply only in case no substitute participant registers for the vacancy in the double room.

Cancellation fees of the confirmed tour fare for tours in Europe:
Before the 60 th day prior to the start of the tour: 10 %
From the 59th to 28th day prior to the start of the tour: 30%
From the 27th to the 14th day prior to the start of the tour: 50%
From the 13th to the 6th prior to the star of the tour: 60%
From the 5th day to 1 day prior to the start of the tour: 80%
Non-commencement of the tour (day of arrival): 95%

Cancellation fees of the confirmed tour fare for bike & boat tours:
Before the 60th day prior to the start of the tour: 20 %
From the 59th to the 31st day prior to the start of the tour: 30%
From the 30th to 21st day prior to the start of the tour: 50%
From the 20th to the 11th day prior to the start of the tour: 70%
From the 10th to 1 day prior to the start of the tour: 90%
Non-commencement of the tour (day of arrival): 100%

Cancellation fees of the confirmed tour fare for long distance tours:
Before the 35th day prior to the start of the tour: 30%
From the 34th to 22nd day prior to the start of the tour: 50%
From the 21st to the 1 day prior to the start of the tour: 80%
Non-commencement of the tour (day of arrival): 95%

For special tours and tours reserved to circles of friends, separate cancellation fees are applicable.

Cancellations of pre- or post-stay reservations made by the tour operator are subject to the general cancellation terms. The cost for e-bikes cannot be refunded due to their long-termed disposition.

The customer cancelling his/her tour will be free to prove that the cancellation costs are lower than the lump-sum fees mentioned above. However, it is required that the tour operator office is promptly notified of the cancellation, first by telephone and subsequently by written confirmation.
You can protect yourself against the cost risk in the event of cancellation by taking out cancellation insurance. We strongly recommend that you take out travel cancellation insurance. Your travel professional can advise you.

The tour operator reserves the right to call off a tour if the following minimum numbers of participants are not reached: eight (8) participants for tours in Europe (exception the tour operator Special: 6), eight (8) participants for tours outside Europe, 14 participants for Bike & Boat tours. The cancellation will be made five (5) weeks prior to the beginning of the tour at the latest. In this case, you may immediately request the participation in an equivalent tour, provided that such a tour is available in the program without additional charge.

The 5 weeks guarantee shall not apply if we have to call off a tour, or discontinue a tour, due to events of force majeure, e.g., war, riots, civil unrest, Acts of God, etc., which jeopardize the safe organization and implementation of the tour in the best interest of our customers.

The tour operator has the right to terminate the travel contract with a participant without notice if such participant persistently disturbs, interferes with, or jeopardizes the cycling tour despite having been warned. We trust you understand that such termination is justified also in order to safeguard the best interests, and the expectations, of the other participants with regard to the holidays booked with the tour operator. In such a case, however, the tour operator retains the right to claim payment of the tour fare, less any travel expenses saved, if applicable. Any extra costs arising from return transportation shall be borne by the excluded participant.

Participants who prematurely terminate a tour, are not entitled to refunds.

Services of the Tour Operator:

The tour is deemed to start by the time the first service is rendered by the tour operator, e.g., when the first hotel room is made available and/or the bicycle is handed over. The meal plan starts with dinner on the day of arrival or with breakfast on the first cycling day and ends with breakfast on the last day of the tour. Our packages also include transportation by car/bus, railway and ship, etc. during the tour as well as all costs incurred in connection with any scheduled visits to places of interest. Note: The costs of visits made on your own and the transportation costs on so-called "rest days" as well as optional activities offered by the tour operator are not included. We reserve the right to modify individual tour services should that become necessary after the travel contract has been signed, provided that such modifications are immaterial and do not impair the overall style of the tour.

Liability:

Within the limits of our obligation to exercise the care and diligence of prudent businessmen, we warrant that the description of all specified travel services is correct at the time of the update of the website, that the service providers (hotels, carriers and others) have been properly selected and procured and that the tours have been conscientiously prepared and will be implemented with all due care. Transportation by rail, bus, cog wheel train, cable car, ship, canoe and the like during the trip are services which are only procured by us as agents and shall be subject to the terms and conditions of the respective carrier; such terms and conditions shall also govern the limit of liability of the tour operator. If a visit scheduled in the program is impracticable for reasons beyond our control (renovation of churches and the like), we cannot be held responsible. If an unforeseen event of force majeure (e.g., war, riot and civil unrest, Acts of God) occurs and it must be expected, on the basis of an objective weighing of all circumstances, that carrying out the tour would become substantially more difficult or involve a substantial risk, the participant and/or the tour operator may each give notice of termination of the travel contract. This provision shall also apply if the tour has already started. However, in such a case the tour operator retains the right to adequate compensation for the travel services already performed or yet to be performed until the end of the tour. If the package includes a return trip by air, the participant and the tour operator shall bear the extra costs for the return trip in equal shares. You will participate in the cycling tours at your own risk. This provision shall also apply to other activities such as hikes, boat and canoe trips included in the cycling tour, and it is understood that participation in such activities is voluntary at all times (bike routes are always available as an alternative). The responsibility for complying with the road traffic regulations shall lie with you. You shall be liable for any loss, damage or injury you may cause to third parties. If you have personal liability insurance, it may provide coverage for such contingency. We are liable to you for compensation of the loss of or damage to your baggage only if such loss or damage is attributable to intent or gross negligence on our part. In other respects, our liability for damages on account of mal-performance of the contract is limited to an amount corresponding to once the tour price, provided that the loss or damage has not been caused by us either intentionally or by gross negligence or if we are responsible solely on account of fault of a service provider selected by us. Any responsibility on our part is excluded if the participant fails to comply with any instructions issued by us in his/her best interest (e.g., for safety reasons). We suggest that you protect yourself against such risks by taking out accident and/or baggage insurance. Minors may only participate if accompanied by a parent or (legal) guardian. If you have reason for complaint, please advise your tour guide or the tour operator without delay. It is understood and agreed that our tour guides are not entitled to acknowledge claims. In addition, any claims against us will be deemed to exist only on condition that they are asserted with us not later than one month after the contractually stipulated end of the tour. Contractual claims for body damages due to intent or gross negligence shall become statute-barred after two years. All other contractual claims shall become statute-barred after one year.

Miscellaneous:

Verbal agreements shall not be effective unless confirmed by us in writing. Services, fares and prices are subject to change, and we reserve the right to correct errors, including typographical errors and errors in calculation. Any and all disputes arising out of or in connection with the travel contract shall be resolved exclusively by Austrian courts and shall be governed by Austrian law.

Before booking your flight, please make sure that the required minimum number of participants has been reached. The tour operator cannot make any refund in case that the trip is cancelled because the minimum number of participants has not been reached.

In the event of grossly negligent or deliberate damage to the bike provided by the tour operator for the tour, the operator is entitled to exercise claims for the occured damages.

For tours operated by contractual partners, special terms and conditions may be applicable. Detailled information will be made available upon request.

By signing the travel contract you agree that any photographs taken during the tour by tour guides or fellow travelers, may be used by the tour operator for their company advertising, in particular for the tour operator catalog and website.

All photos used by permission. ©Rotalis

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