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, which gives a great impression with its bizarre architecture. The evening is at your disposal.
Overnight in Bilbao
Day 2: Bilbao – Argomaniz (20 miles/32 km)
After adjusting your bikes, 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 peaceful adjacent routes, 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. After lunch in the lively seaside resort Getxo with its elegant villas, a minibus takes us to the Embalse de Ullibarri, a reservoir near Vitoria Gasteiz. We will cycle around the Basque capital city one small secluded paths, always traveling near the lake to the day's destination. In the late afternoon we reach the Parador, where our dinner awaits us.
Overnight in Argomaniz
Day 3: Argomaniz – Estella (29 miles/46 km)
In the morning a bus takes us 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 not far from our hotel.
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.
Around 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, the 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 ambiance.
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 Valley of Rio Ezkurra with its sleepy villages and magnificent views into the wildly romantic landscape, the independent 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 – Hondarribia (24 miles/38 km)
In the morning, we will travel by taxi to the Spanish – French border. From there, we will cycle into the French Basque country. Our route leads in a constant up and down path through picturesque villages such as Sare and Ascain with their impressive Pelota Places. We will reach the mundane St. Jean de Luz at noon. After a joint lunch (included in the travel price), there is enough time to take a stroll in the city or to bathe in the sea, before our path leads us in the direction of Spain once again. In Hendaye, we will travel by ferry and will reach Hondarribia (or San Sebastián), which lies in Spain. You will have the evening to your own disposal. Numerous good restaurants can be found in the picturesque old city of Hondarribia.
Overnight in Hondarribia
Day 7: Hondarribia – San Sebastian (8 miles/12 km + 5 mile/8 km hike)
A short taxi ride takes us into the fishing village of Pasaia, in which the Basque culture is visible and noticeable all around. The Ikurriña, the Basque flag, can be found on many balconies here. After we have had a look around the village, we will take a small ferry over the port basin and will travel several kilometers on the Way of St. James. We are accompanied by old aqueducts and grand views of the cliffs along the way. At noon, we will mount our bikes again and cycle to San Sebastian. Passing the Zurriola beach and mundane buildings from the Belle Epoque period such as the Teatro Victoria Eugenia, our path leads through the crooked old city to the Plaza de la Constitucion as well as the old Town Hall. We will enjoy dinner in a rustic restaurant in the lively center of San Sebastián.
Overnight in San Sebastian
Day 8: Departure
As there is nothing on today's program, your departure can be arranged individually. Busses travel hourly to the airport of Bilbao as well as into the city center of Bilbao (Duration approximately 1 hour 15 min. – tickets are not included in the travel price).