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Immerse yourself in the incredible landscapes, culture, and cuisine of Spain's Basque Country
The breathtaking Basque Country of Northern Spain is the setting for this incredible premium road bike tour. Nothing has been overlooked in designing of this unique adventure, so you can be sure of a superior experience!
Beyond the professionally guided cycling, you'll encounter exquisite landscapes, iconic climbs, premium accommodation, and the world-renowned wine and cuisine of the Rioja region of Spain.
Looking back after the tour, you'll be hard-pressed to decide on a favorite destination. Was it Bilbao, the start and end point of your experience, surrounded by its verdant hills and graced by a captivating coastline? Perhaps it was your stay in timeless San Sebastián, the 'Pearl of the Bay of Biscay'? Or was it the magnificent land of wine - Rioja Alavesa - where your ride took you through award-winning vineyards?
Once the cycling day is complete, you'll get ready for the night with a massage, then enjoy an exclusive Basque culinary experience, including wine tastings, dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant, and authentic Basque Pintxos.
- Bilbao, treasure of the Basque Country
- Private tour of the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art
- Unique insight into the history, culture, and identity of the Basque Country
- Exclusive Basque culinary experience including a Michelin-star restaurant and visit to the best wineries
- Impressive Basque coastlines
- San Sebastián, culinary capital of Spain
- Rioja Wine Region and Rioja Alavesa, the land of wine
- Gravel bike touring through magnificent vineyards
- Professionally guided and fully supported cycling itinerary
Day 1: Arrival in Bilbao
Upon arrival in Bilbao, you'll be transferred from the airport to your hotel. Here, you will be welcomed by our local representative who will brief you about the upcoming tour and other activities. Your accommodation this evening is the boutique Hotel Miró, with its contemporary decor and minimalist design, located opposite the iconic Guggenheim Museum.
Day 2: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe - Bilbao (58 miles/94 km)
Leaving Bilbao, cycle along the splendid estuary past the beautiful villages that define the interior or Bizkaia. You'll bike along backroads through Markaida, Larrauri, and Bakio, an exclusive summer resort surrounded by beaches, cliffs, coves, and promenades.
Continuing parallel to the gorgeous coastline, you'll reach Jata. After a short climb with gentle gradiants, you'll be rewarded with unmissable views over San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, surrounded by cliffs and the sparkling azure of the sea. The spectacular beauty of this spot led to it being chosen as a filming location for the famous HBO series Game of Thrones.
Further along the coast, you'll reach the blissful fishing village of Armintza and the coastal town of Plentzia, with its brilliant bay. You'll return to Bilbao along the coast, gliding past the impressive cliffs of Barrika, Getxo, Las Arenas, and the estuary.
Overnight in Bilbao. B, L, D.
Elevation: 7415 ft/2260m
Day 3: Bilbao - Getaria - San Sebastián (65 miles/105 km)
Today you'll head towards the east of Bizkaia, warming up with a beautiful mountain pass ascent, followed by a descent into Guernica. This symbolic town was the scene of a terrible bombing during the Spanish Civil War, the resulting suffering of which was captured in the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso.
Once again, you'll pass through beautiful rural villages into the interior of Bizkaia until you reach the fishing town of Lekeitio. Here, you'll find a serene coastal landscape complete wth lovely beaches, the island of San Nicolas, a port, and the old town.
Cycle along parallel to the Cantabrian Sea to the fishing village of Ondarroa, located at the eastern end of the Biscayan coast, where the coastline is defined by steep cliffs. Ondarroa's Old Town creates an enchanting atmosphere with its unmistakable medieval and seafaring flavor. You'll want to pause here to really soak up the atmosphere of its narrow, steep streets.
Once in the medieval fishing village of Getaria, you'll enjoy a delicious lunch featuring the village's famous salted anchovies and tuna in oil.
Overnight in San Sebastián. B, L.
Elevation: 5905 ft/1800m
Day 4: San Sebastián - Hondarribia - San Sebastian (45 miles/72 km)
Head east on a little rural road for a pleasant 5 km climb up Castillo del Inglés into Aiako - Harria Natural Park. On a clear day, you'll be able to capture an incredible snap of the city of San Sebastián and the spectacular bay of La Concha.
Taking the fun descent through the trees, you'll eventually arrive in the beautiful coastal town of Hondarribia, bathed by the waves of the Cantabrian Sea. From here, you can gaze out over the wonderful bay of Txingudi, neighboring Hendaye, and even across the French border in the distance. As you venture into the walled Old Town, you'll be charmed by the cobbled streets fit with emblazoned houses and unique buildings like the Castle of Emperor Charles V, now converted into a parador.
The mountain range of Jaizkibel stretches east to west between the Cantabrian Sea and the mouth of the Bidasoa River. The mountaintop affords picturesque vistas of the Bay of Txingudi, as well as the Atlantic coast of France. The descent will lead you back into San Sebastián.
Overnight in San Sebastián. B, L.
Elevation: 4691 feet/1430m
Day 5: San Sebastian - Zarautz - Rioja Alavesa (28 miles/45 km)
A morning climb leads you up to Igueldo Mountain, located at the tip of Concha Bay, and marking the boundary between the sea and city. You'll follow an up and down route that finally descends to Orio, a typical fishing town on the coast of Gipuzkoa located where the sea, mountains, and mouth of the Oria River merge. It's a town that has witnessed the comings and goings of many pilgrims over the centuries, and is still closely linked to the Camino de Santiago. The historic center, dating back to the 12th century, is formed of a labyrinth of steep, cobbled streets evocative of medieval Spain.
You'll leave Orio by a 1 km backroad - a fun and demanding climb surrounded by farmhouses and traditional Basque buildings. You'll descend into Zarautz where the beach, over 2 km long, is popular with surfers, flanked by cliffs, and lined by a lively promenade of terraces and cafes, one of which you're welcome to take a scenic break in. The postcard-perfect presence of hundreds of blue and white awnings, coupled with the fine golden sand, makes the beach at Zarautz one of the most beautiful on the Basque coast.
Back in San Sebastián, you'll climb the scenic leg from Orio to Igueldo before the end of the day's cycling. You'll stay the next two nights at the luxurious Hotel Viura, superb accommodation that's something of an architectural masterpiece owing to its splendid design. You'll instantly notice that the vertical and horizontal shapes create an ultramodern fantasy contrasting incredibly with the traditional church next door.
Overnight in Rioja Alavesa. B, L, D.
Elevation: 2905 feet/885m
Day 6: Rioja Alavesa (32 miles/52 km)
Today you'll pedal through unique landscapes and seas of verdant vineyards, ranging from small family-run wineries to huge commercial successes like the spectacular Marqués de Riscal winery, designed by the famous architect Frank Gehry.
Your route features charming settlements, like the medieval town of Laguardia, capital of the Rioja Alavesa region. Founded in the 10th century as a defense of the Kingdom of Navarre, Laguardia preserves its medieval layout which remains almost intact. Its main tourist attractions are its atmospheric wine cellars and echoing caves that criss-cross underground.
Biking around the Laguardia Lagoons, you'll discover a protected biotope located right in the heart of Rioja Alavesa. These wetlands are privileged ecosystems due to the richness and diversity of the life forms that inhabit them. In addition, they're located in an almost exclusively wine-producing region that boasts an enormous wealth of archeological sites in its surrounding area, including the Poblado de la Hoya and the dolmen of the Chabola de la Hechicera.
Overnight in Rioja Alavesa. B, L, D.
Elevation: 2625 feet/800m
Day 7: Rioja Alavesa (gravel) - Bilbao (32 miles/52 km)
During your last cycling stage, you'll immerse yourself in the natural charms of this sublime region, which is covered in vibrant vineyards and aromatic olive groves. You can also discover some of the most charming villages in the area, such as Samaniego, making an essential stop at the foot of the Sierra de Toloño. From there, you'll continue to Ábalos, laced with narrow streets lined by beautiful stone manor houses. Your journey then continues to the wine town of Labastida.
Returning along a network of enjoyable roads that run parallel to the Ebro River (the longest river in Spain), you'll find yourself fascinated by the ancient fortress of San Vicente de la Sonsierra, a walled town located atop a hill.
Overnight in Bilbao. B, L.
Elevation: 2625 feet/800m
Day 8: Bilbao
Today is the official end of your tour. Departure airport transfer is included on this day.
Don't want your tour to end? You can maximize your time in Bilbao with one of our cycling day tours!
*B, L, D: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner. Provisions alter by day, so please check the itinerary codes.
Surface and terrain
This tour is designed for road bike enthusiasts and takes place on shared country roads. However, the route is chosen to showcase the incredible beauty of the region whilst simultaneously keeping you away from major traffic. Spanish motorists are very accustomed to road cyclists enjoying the terrain and incredible views. You will find elevation information in the daily itinerary.
Listed below are the preferred hotels for this tour and are generally the hotels that will be booked for you. If not available, an alternative will be suggested.
Miró Hotel, Bilbao
Hotel Arima, San Sebastian
Hotel Viura, Rioja Alavesa
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.
Tips on getting to and from your tour.
Sundays: May 26, Jul 14, Sep 22, Oct 13, 2024 (minimum 6 persons)
Special tour dates and smaller groups are possible with supplement.
Per person, double occupancy €3250 Single use room (1 person/1 room) On request
Extra nights, Bilbao
Per person, double occupancy €80 Single-use room (1 person/1 room) On request
Trek Emonda SL 6 Disc Road Bike €330 BH Core Gravelx Carbon 2.6 Electric Bike €390
Pedals (Shimano, Look, or standard) Upon Request
A deposit of €668 is requested upon tour confirmation.
- 7 nights accommodations in 4-star hotels with breakfast
- Welcome package (cycling jersey and a water bottle)
- Arrival and departure airport transfers
- 5 x light lunches on the road including fresh products, and snacks
- 1 x lunch at Iñigo Lavado Restarrant
- 2 x dinners at well know restaurants in Basque Country including a selection of wines, beer, and other drinks
- 1 x Pintxos experience in San Sebastian
- 1 x dinner at the award-winning Michelin star
- Cycling guide
- Support vehicle
- 2 x massages by a professional physiotherapist
- Daily laundry for cycling gear
- Private guided tour of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum
- 1 x visit to winery in Rioja Alavesa
- Personalized photo album of the tour
Trek Emonda SL 6 Disc Road Bike (6 day rental): €330
This bicycle can deal with the toughest mountains, the steepest descents, the tightest curves and the fastest sprints. The hydraulic disc brakes have great breaking power and control regardless of the type of road and the weather conditions.
BH Core Gravelx Carbon 2.6 Electric Bike (6 day rental): €390
Lightweight, carbon e-bike, designed with the technology used in the frames of BH’s high-end road bike range. This electric bike has an incredible range (165 km and up to 220 km) thanks to a combination of low motor consumption and a 540Wh battery. The Core display is fully integrated into the stem and it features a button that allows you to increase or reduce the assistance level, through an LED color system.
Pedals (please specify)
Shimano, Look, or standard pedals
Helmet (available on request)
★★★★★ Greg B. 5 months ago
This was my first bike tour and exceeded all expectations. I was with others who had been on dozens of bike tours and they said this was one of the best (if not, THE best) for multiple reasons. 1. Bike Tour Company (Bizi Cycle Tours) - company started just a few years ago by married couple. Virginia Berasategui is former pro triathlete and is the guide and husband (Ander) is responsible for business end/logistics/food. They are a fun couple who were raised in the area seem to know everyone. Based on ability, they can and will adapt routes. 2. Location - Beautiful location for riding...beaches, countryside views, mountains, and vineyards. This trip incorporates 4 days of road and 2 days of gravel cycling through vineyards. Tour de France (2023) took place here during first three stages and this tour includes many of the same roads. Roads are pristine since they were paved in advance of Tour. 3. This tour combines cycling AND gastronomy (and wine!)...and amazing experiences. Each full day experience was unexpected and seem to top the day prior. Bike tours typically emphasis either cycling or the food. This tour combines both in a big way. 4. Price: this tour is a great deal and was longer and included more that the large American tour companies. None of the 'big boys' offer this same type of experience/routes. Other: the terrain here can be challenging in Basque. Beginner or causal cyclists should go with electric bikes. If you like going on longer rides and/or like to push yourself, this tour is for you! My group wanted the full cycling (and eating) challenge, and we received it!
- What was the date of your tour?
- September 2023
- How many tours have you completed?
- Difficulty (actual vs. expected)?
- Somewhat harder
- Who is this tour suitable for?
- First-time bike tourists, Solo travelers, Families with teens
- Do you recommend this tour?