Tailor-Made Holiday

The Best of the Basque Country

Explore the full flavours of San Sebastian, Bilbao and Basque Walking Country

9 days

from £2,845pp (excluding flights)

This nine day holiday is designed to soak up the culture and flavour of the mountainous Basque Country.  With daily morning flights from London with British Airways reaching Bilbao in under two hours, enjoy a lunch of grilled fish accompanied by local zesty wine, against the backdrop of the Cantabrian coast, before siesta time.

A visit to both Bilbao and San Sebastian gives a greater insight into this fascinating region. While Bilbao is innovative and contemporary, famed for its Guggenheim Museum, San Sebastian has a French resort feel with beach fronted promenades home to world-renowned Michelin restaurants headed up by innovative chefs and Europe’s best stretches of sand. Only an hour on the highway divides these two contrasting destinations. So often dismissed by many that head south from the ferry terminal, take the slow road to see much more of what this region can offer. 

  • Visit the Guggenheim Museum and Fine Arts Museum in Bilbao
  • Sample the tapas in the vibrant pintxo bars of Bilbao, pairing wines with bite size regional specialities
  • Wander the Parte Vieja, the cobblestone old town of San Sebastian with designer shops and fabulous cafes
  • Visit a Txacoli winery farm where they make Idiazabal cheese and a local bodega for wine tasting
  • In the company of a trekking guide, explore the Basque Country on foot

Walking in the Sanctuaries and Natural Parks of the Basque Region

Reached from Bilbao the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve has been listed by UNESCO due to its natural setting and outstanding beauty. The river Oka at the heart of the reserve creates some spectacular wetlands, and home to some incredible bird life. Aside from the main pull of migratory birds, the area has a beautiful coastline including Laga Beach, popular with surfers.  Walking with a guide, exploring the stunning landscape. Head to the highest peak, Anboto, of Urkiola Natural Park, home to many trails and mountain bike routes.

Getaria is a charming fishing port with a backdrop of hills home to vineyards, 25 kilometres outside of San Sebastian. This is the getariako txakoli wine region so well worth a visit to a family owned bodega. A trek to Zumaia offers incredible coastal vantage points - get the camera at the ready.

Insiders Tip

Book early with British Airways to benefit from airfares as low as £100. Travelling outside summer holidays offer excellent value for money.

Walk out to the island of St Clara in San Sebastian during autumn, when spring tides are at their lowest.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Bilbao offers a highly visual feast and is full of surprises, with old and new Bilbao thriving side by side.  An award-winning beach of la Concha, voted the best beach in the world stands in the centre of San Sebastian, coupled with unpralled foodie delights, what is there not to fall in love with?

For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Price Excluding Flights £Flight cost from 
£ 2845 £ 150

Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Fly London to Bilbao


Bilbao, an industrial port city in northern Spain, is surrounded by green mountains. It is the de facto capital of Basque Country, with a skyscraper-filled downtown. It’s famed for the Frank Gehry designed Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, which sparked revitalisation when it opened in 1997. The museum houses prominent modern and contemporary works, but it’s the curvy, titanium-clad building that receives the most attention.


Please request a table reservation in our suggested restaurants during your stay in Bilbao


You will be staying at Grand Hotel Domine, Bed & Breakfast

Day 2

Half day Guggenheim and Bilbao City Tour
Explore the city of Bilbao with your guide, discovering well kept secrets of the local way of life. Visit the Guggenheim Museum.


This afternoon explore Bilbao in your own time


You will be staying at Grand Hotel Domine, Bed & Breakfast

Day 3

Drive from Bilbao to Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Road Journey)


You are met this morning by your driver and trek guide.


Walking in Urdaibia (600 m)
This morning you are met by your trek guide to start your walk at Laida Beach, in Urdaibai. The surrounding marshes and wetlands harbour numerous ecosystems with a vast diversity of flora and fauna. From Laida Beach you'll hike to the San Pedro Atxarre chapel (XVth Century) and from there reach Laga beach. Here you may like to have a swim before heading up to Mount Ogoño and Elantxobe, a beautiful fishing town. The town is characterised by rows of buildings on terraces, all facing the sea and the harbour, from any point the views are impressive. It is worth stopping to look inside the church of San Nicolas de Bari, home to a beautiful Baroque altarpiece made of gilded wood.

The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, as it was declared by UNESCO in 1984, extends over an area of 23,000 hectares of 22 municipalities in the Busturialdea district, with the Mundaka estuary at its axis. This environment includes the Antzoras Cliffs, the beaches of Laga and Laida, forests such as Oma, rivers like the Oka, marshes and riverside meadows, as well as the islands of Txatxarramendi and Izaro.

The 12 kilometres of sand, which form the mouth of the Mundaka estuary, are considered the most important wetland area in the Basque Country. This region becomes a resting and wintering site for many species of migratory birds, which are rare in the Iberian Peninsula, such as the grey heron, cormorant, common tern, Eurasian spoonbill and a large number of wading birds, along with fish, amphibians and reptiles. This landscape and ecological diversity is completed with prehistoric sites such as the Santimamiñe cave and the necropolis at the Roman settlement in Forua.


Visit Urdaibai Bird Centre
If you want to learn more about the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, a visit to the Urdaibai Bird Centre is a must. Besides being an excellent museum and a scientific research centre for birds, the centre is located in a privileged position within the reserve, showcasing incredible views of the surrounding marshland. The centre is the compulsory stop off point for migratory birds, so visitors are rewarded with incredible views of different species coming to nest and land.


You will be staying at Castillo de Arteaga, Bed & Breakfast

Day 4

Walking in Urkiola Sanctuary
Your guide will meet you this morning for a walk through the stunning landscapes of Urkiola Natural Park, the name Urkiola means "the place of the birch trees". Surrounded by stunning landscapes, in contrast to its rugged limestone peaks, the park is a place of continuous pilgrimage and a favourite of those who want to withdraw to a wonderful natural environment. The mountains are a great attraction for mountaineers of all sorts as well as ramblers. Anboto, the highest peak, is very popular, giving the more adventurous the chance to visit, on the north face, the Cave of Mari, the dwelling of The Lady of Anboto, as recounted in Basque mythology.



There are many trails, on foot or on mountain bike, which start off in Durango and traverse the greater Durango area.


You will be staying at Castillo de Arteaga, Bed & Breakfast

Day 5

Drive from Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve to Getaria (Road Journey)


Getaria is a charming fishing village where you can have fresh-caught fish accompanied by the local white wine, txakoli. The village is wedged between two beautiful beaches with a small islet, a short walk away. Moreover, it is the birth town of the famous fashion designer Balenciaga and you can visit the museum devoted to him.

Getaria is situated on the Bay of Biscay and is about 25km west of San Sebastian. The views surrounding Getaria are amazing. The combination of the old town and port, the graceful beaches (Gaztetape and Malkorbe), the ocean and the rolling green hills of the getariako txakoli wine region, make this area one of our favourite parts of the Basque Region.


Walking around Zumaia
This morning you'll be met by your guide and taken to the historical town of Deba on the Cantabrian Coast. From here you walk to Zumaia, a walk taking in some of the most beautiful and interesting parts of the Basque Coast. In just a few hours, you walk along the unbroken sequence of strata, which layer by layer make up more than 50 million years of history. There are a number of routes to navigate to Zumaia, taking in vantage points, which give you the chance to enjoy the incredible views of a wide variety of different landscapes. If the tide allows, go to the edge of the impressive cliffs where you can walk along the spectacular sea cut platform where flysh outcrops have given rise to beautiful cliffs.


A table reservation can be made this evening at a local restaurant of your choice


You will be staying at Hotel Iturregi, Bed & Breakfast

Day 6

Day at leisure


You will be staying at Hotel Iturregi, Bed & Breakfast

Day 7

Drive from Getaria to San Sebastian (Road Journey)


San Sebastián is a resort town on the Bay of Biscay in Spain’s mountainous Basque Country. It’s known for Playa de la Concha and Playa de Ondarreta, beaches framed by a picturesque bayfront promenade, and world-renowned restaurants helmed by innovative chefs. In its cobblestoned old town (Parte Vieja), upscale shops neighbour vibrant pintxo bars pairing local wines with bite-size regional specialties.


You will be staying at Hotel de Londres, Bed & Breakfast

Day 8

Spend time exploring San Sebastian, at leisure


You will be staying at Hotel de Londres, Bed & Breakfast

Day 9

Drive from San Sebastian to Bilbao (Road Journey)

Fly Bilbao to London

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Spain

Katie Benden, Travel Expert

"Katie was brilliant and very helpful. Helped to put together the itinerary I was dreaming of for my honeymoon and she was excellent with communication."

"Very happy with Katie Benden. Great service – always prompt reply to queries and always polite, attentive and informative. A wonderful holiday."

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Thomas Frost, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

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