Basque Country: Bilbao to San Sebastián via Olite

4.7/5 (3)
7 nights
25 miles/day
Guided from EUR € 1989
Bike tour in Spain
Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours

Basque Country: Bilbao to San Sebastián via Olite

4.7/5 (3)

Rider Level: Recreational Electric bike tours

7 nights
25 miles/day

Guided from EUR € 1989
Bike tour in Spain

Tap above to jump to different sections of this tour

  • Bike to the best of the Basque

    Behold the full glory of the Basque Country on this epic guided tour of its multifaceted landscapes and scintillating Spanish cities! As you bike from the vibrant, visionary city of Bilbao to the jewel in the Basque's crown, San Sebastián, you'll cross wide plains, admire views of rugged mountainsides, emerge from atmospheric forests, and cycle along sublime coastline. Along the way, experience incredible encounters with captivating cultural monuments, an enchanting language, archaic sports, and mouthwatering Spanish and Basque cuisine.

    • Basilica of Saint Mary of Chorus, San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain. CC:San Sebastian Basilica of Coro
    • San Sebastián, Spain. dynamosquito, Flickr
    • Olite, Basque Country, Spain. Mark Hillary, Flickr
    • City Hall in San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain. CC:Zarateman
    • San Sebastián, Spain. Sid Saxena, Unsplash
    • Paella is a Spanish tradition. Sandrawei, Unsplash
    • Vineyards en route. Nacho Dominguez Argenta, Unsplash
    • Bilboa, Basque Country, Spain. londonexpat, Flickr

    View more photos

    Highlights

    • Bilbao, city of modern art
    • Traditional Basque Country landscapes
    • Basque coastal resorts
    • Former royal city of Olite
    • San Sebastián, city of blissful beaches

    Learn More

    Learn more about guided tours or see more Spain bike tours.

    Interested in adding to your itinerary? Check out our cycling day tours in Bilbao and San Sebastian.


    Basque Country

    Photos 

  • Traveler photos

    •  (photo by Linda Croft)
  • Daily program

    Day 1: Arrival in Bilbao
    The adventure begins in Bilbao! Arrive in your hotel and meet in the lobby at 5:15 pm - the group will take a tour through the world-famous Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art, a distinctive architectural icon housing many treasured pieces. The evening is at your disposal - explore more of this vibrant Spanish city, or enjoy peaceful downtime in your hotel.

    Overnight in Bilbao.

    Day 2: Bilbao – Argomaniz (20 miles/32 km)
    After your bike fitting in Bilbao, the journey begins! You'll start your cycle tour through the city of Bilbao as it slowly awakens to the day, following the River Nervion in the direction of the Atlantic Ocean. Pedaling mainly along cycle paths and peaceful adjacent routes, you'll gain an insight into the emergence of Bilbao as a modern, artsy metropolis following an industrial decline. In Portugalete, glide over the world's oldest transporter bridge with the gently weaving Nervion River beneath you.

    The tour will stop for lunch in the lively seaside resort of Getxo, home to splendidly elegant villas, before a minibus takes the group to the Embalse de Ullibarri, a tranquil reservoir near Vitoria Gasteiz. Here, you'll cycle along secluded paths with views of the lake. In the late afternoon, you'll arrive in Parador, where dinner awaits.

    Overnight in Argomaniz.

    Day 3: Argomaniz – Estella (29 miles/46 km)
    In the morning, a bus will take you to the Sierra de Urbasa (around 30 minutes). On this high, deserted plateau, barren grassland alternates with lush beech groves. Here, you'll find charming flocks of sheep, sneaky griffon vultures, and gently grazing horses. Enjoy a fun descent with panoramic views as the bizarre, rocky scenery of the Sierra de Santiago de Loquiz unfolds around you.

    Pedaling on past pictorial villages, emerge into Estella, where the group will take a round trip past Romanesque churches like the San Sepulcro, with its impressive tympanum, and the palace of the Dukes of Granada de Ega. End the day with a lovely dinner.

    Overnight in Estella.

    Day 4: Estella – Olite (30 miles/48 km)
    Your day starts with a short bus ride to a mirador (turret), from which you can admire the vast openness of Navarre. Enjoy the descent through the sublime Sierra del Pérdon on your way to Puente de la Reina, where the French Camino de Santiago joins the Spanish. In Calle Mayor, you'll discover architectural jewels such as the churches of Santiago and richly decorated residences - silent witnesses to a long tradition of pilgrimage in the area.

    Around noon, you'll arrive in Artajona, towered over by a legendary fortress dating back to the 11th century. After a long ascent, you'll reach the wine growing area of Tudela, the production site of the famous Rosados de Navarre. Following atmospheric, lonely trails, you'll go on to reach the former royal city of Olite in the late afternoon. The eventful day draws to a close with a stylish dinner.

    Overnight in Olite.

    Day 5: Olite – Vera de Bidasoa (31 miles/49 km)
    Weather permitting, a minibus will take you the 90 minute distance to the summit of Mount Artxueta in the Aralar range, where a splendid view will open up over the Urbasa mountain range.

    After a comfortable cycling leg that's mostly downhill, the bus will take you uphill to another pass. From here, you'll cycle almost 19 miles downhill into the most characteristically 'Basque' region of the tour. In the Rio Ezkurra Valley, with its sleepy villages and magnificent views into a wildly romantic landscape, the independent culture of the Basque Country really becomes evident.

    On the last miles of today's tour, you'll follow the former railroad track to Vera de Bidasoa where you'll be welcomed at the hotel and served a scrumptious Basque dinner.

    Overnight in Vera de Bidasoa.

    Day 6: Vera de Bidasoa – San Sebastian (24 miles/38 km)
    In the morning, you'll travel by taxi to the Spanish-French border. From here, you'll cycle into the fabulous French Basque Country. The route leads you on a constant up and down path through picturesque villages like Sare and Ascain, home to the impressive Pelota Palaces.

    By noon, you'll reach the quaint commune of St. Jean de Luz, with its picturesque alleys. There's enough time here to take a stroll or a dip in the sea before you turn your bicycle in Spain's direction once again.

    Arriving in Hendaye, you'll take the ferry to Hondarribia, Spain. From here, there's a transfer to San Sebastián and your modern hotel, the NH Collection Aranzazu*** (two overnight stays). Dinner will be enjoyed together.

    Overnight in San Sebastián.

    Day 7: San Sebastian round trip (13 miles/20 km)
    Today's the day for exploring the scintillating city of San Sebastián, the jewel in the crown of the Basque Country. From the hotel, you'll cycle along Concha Bay into Old Town, home to impressive buildings from the Belle Epoque such as the Teatro Victoria Eugenia and the modern Palacio de Congresos. Pedaling into the suburb of Pasaia, you'll be immersed in the authentic Basque culture, with the Ikurriña (Basque flag) proudly flying from many balconies here.

    You'll arrive back at your hotel in the early afternoon, leaving you with enough time to head down to the beach for a swim in the azure ocean waters, or to explore Old Town's numerous bars and shops. You'll enjoy your final group dinner, sharing your memories and experiences from the trip.

    Overnight in San Sebastián.

    Day 8: Departure
    As there is nothing on today's program, your departure can be arranged individually. Buses travel hourly to the airport in Bilbao as well as into the city center of Bilbao (duration approximately 1 hour 15 min – tickets are not included in the travel price).

    Looking to add to your itinerary? Why not spend the day uncovering something extra in San Sebastián or Bilbao on one of our cycling day tours?


    Basque Country

     Photos Accommodation 

  • Accommodation

    Hotels

    These are sample hotels and may vary by availability.

    Bilbao: Gran Hotel Domine or Hotel Miró Bilbao

    Argomaniz: Parador de Argomaniz

    Estella: Hospedería Chapitel

    Olite: Parador de Olite

    Vera de Bidasoa: Hotel Churrut

    San Sebastian: NH Collection Hotel Aranzazu

    Interested in visiting other areas before or after your tour? Visit our hotels page to learn more about lodging options.


    Basque Country

     Daily program Bikes 

  • Bikes

    Bikes available on this tour and included in the tour costs (must be reserved in advance at the time of booking):

    • Standard touring bikes

    Bikes available to rent (must be reserved in advance at the time of booking):

    • Electrically-assisted bikes*

    *More about electrically-assisted bikes >

    All above bike rentals will be equipped with the following at no additional charge:

    • Saddlebag (water-repellent), rear
    • Rotalis waterbottle souvenir

    Pedals:
    The bikes will have flat pedals. If you want to bring your own pedals, please bring your own shoes and also the necessary equipment to change the pedals.

    Helmets:
    Helmet rental is not available on this tour. We recommend that you bring your own helmet for safety and hygiene purposes.

    Note: wearing a helmet is mandatory in Spain.

    Bike Protection:
    Bike protection can be purchased at the time of booking. You can read more about that HERE.

  • Dates

    May 25; Jun 1, 8, 2024 (minimum 8 participants; *indicates fully booked)

    Prices

    Tour package

    Per person, double occupancy €2199
    Single use room (1 person/1 room) €2778

    Bike Rentals

    Electrically assisted bike €230

    Included services

    • 7 nights accommodation
    • Breakfast
    • Luggage transfers
    • Guide during the whole tour
    • 6 multi-course dinners (beverages not included)
    • All visitors and tourist taxes
    • All transfers as mentioned in the tour description
    • All entry fees as mentioned in the tour description
    • Touring bike rental
    • Support vehicle during the whole tour
    • City guide in the Museum Guggenheim Bilbao

    Tour Company


    Basque Country

     Bikes Other Details 

  • Map

    Maps are for information purposes only and reflect typical routes between overnight locations. They may not reflect your actual route.

    Surface and terrain

    The terrain on this tour is mainly downhill or flat, with only a few climbs. There are some short arranged transfers.


    How to get there

    Tour start and end
    Nearest airport and train station: Bilbao, Spain

    From the airport of Bilbao you will reach the starting hotel within 15 minutes by taxi. There are shuttle buses, leaving regularly, which also take you to the city center.

    In order to participate completely in the travel program, your flight would need to land at the latest 2 pm. The return flight can be planned individually (Duration of the journey to the airport is just over an hour).

    Tips on getting to and from your tour.

    • Linda Croft 2 weeks ago

      Perfect Blend of Cycling, Cultural Experiences, Friends and Food!

      From our tour of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao to our last dinner in San Sebastian we packed in a lot of cycling and great experiences! The hotels and Paradors we lovely, well located and comfortable. I'm a solo traveller from Canada and the group was mostly Germans but they spoke English as did the guides so I was always informed. The bikes were great. The cycling was spectacular. We had some gorgeous descents. The food was plentiful and delicious. Many great memories!

      •  (photo by Linda Croft)
    • East coaster September 23, 2018

      Back in the saddle

      This was my first bike tour in 15 years. I've toured many countries by bicycle in the past but I was not in good cycling shape when I went on this trip. Fortunately it was completely enjoyable and a great way to start bike touring again. The routes are fabulous, including some dirt roads, and there was almost no traffic. The scenery is varied and the rides along the coast are beautiful. I used a regular bike but most other riders were on e-bikes. Most of the other folks in the group were retired and went on a lot of bicycling tours, including with the same tour operator, Rotalis. There was not much of a range in age. The group stays together so no one is left behind which means that you travel at the pace of the slowest person. The meals were wonderful but lengthy. All in all a very relaxing and interesting tour.

      What was the date of your tour?
      August 25-Sept 1, 2019
      How many tours have you completed?
      12
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      As expected
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers, First-time bike tourists
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 5/5 Value
      • 5/5 Included meals
      • 5/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 5/5 Ease of navigation
      • 3/5 Tour documents
      • 5/5 Local tour company services
      • 5/5 Route selection
      • 5/5 Guides (if applicable)
    • Maryam September 9, 2018

      Basque 2018

      This was an organized tour but its was not balanced, most people had e-bikes and the level of ride was not comparable. The routes and difficulties were not explained well and underestimated. There was a day that we were biking on shoveled road for over 30 Km' s and it was not even mentioned prior to the ride.

      What was the date of your tour?
      August 25th 2018
      How many tours have you completed?
      6
      Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
      Somewhat harder
      Who is this tour suitable for?
      Solo travelers
      Do you recommend this tour?
      Yes
      • 3/5 Value
      • 4/5 Included meals
      • 4/5 Bikes + equipment
      • 5/5 Hotels or boat
      • 5/5 Scenery
      • 2/5 Ease of navigation
      • 2/5 Tour documents
      • 4/5 Local tour company services
      • 4/5 Route selection
      • 3/5 Guides (if applicable)

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