6 day plan for visiting Basque country.
You can easily delete or add days to this plan, based on your interest. The highlights that make up the Basque Country are:
Bilbao and Biscay
San Sebastian and French Basque Country
A glamorous coastal town, San Sebastian is one of the world’s best places to eat. The pretty, French Basque towns are nearby.
Day wise itinerary Basque Country
Each day is practical, and not rushed.
Day 1 : Visit the La Rioja Alavesa wine belt.
- The one place you must not miss is Laguardia town on top of a hill with the vineyards below.
- Also visit a winery, Marques de Riscal is the most famous for wine and the Frank Gehry hotel complex.
- And if you have time to spare swing by Haro the wine capital town.
Day 2: Bilbao
Budget for a full and long day to start with the Guggenheim museum and finish up late in the historic Casco Viejo old quarter of Bilbao.
- During the afternoon, take the funicular up to the Artxanda viewpoint and come back to Casco Viejo for pintxo bar hopping in the streets.
- You can also squeeze in a pintxo making class during lunch.
Day 3: Biscay coast
Plan a day trip to the beaches up north from Bilbao, accessible by metro.
- Las Arenas (Getxo), Plentzia, and Sopelana have nice beaches and a cliff walk.
- Or on the other side of the estuary, go to the fishing and surfing village of Mundaka on your way to hike the bridge to the beautiful island of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.
Day 4: Flysch route-Getaria-Zarautz
Set out towards San Sebastian and spend the day in coastal towns along the way.
- You can take a boat to the dramatic coastline landscape of Flysch in Zumaia where the sedimented rock cliffs are 50 million years old. You can rent bikes and kayaks, spending a slow day.
- Getaria is an ancient whaling town now famous for the Txakoli wine. Zarautz is for surfing and food.
Day 5: San Sebastian
- Take a morning funicular up to Mount Igueldo for panoramic views of the town.
- Come down and spend a relaxed day on the beach Playa Ondaretta or Playa Concha. Walk around the designer shopping streets in the old city or the centre of San Sebastian.
- Get ready for a gourmet dinner later or go pintxo bar hopping in the Parte Vieja old part of San Sebastian.
Day 6: French Basque country
- Visit Fuenterrabia village on the Spanish side of the border and have lunch at a traditional cider house around the area.
- Make your way to the French Basque country visiting St. Jean de Luz and Biarritz. Everything is close by so you can be back for dinner to San Sebastian.
- If you have time, take the LaRhune train (ancient rack railway), to the summit of LaRhune mountain with breathtaking views of Spanish and French Basque Countries.
Tips and Tricks for Basque Country visit
It is practical to make a base in either Bilbao or San Sebastian and see the entire Basque region from there.
- Six days is adequate to experience Basque region. You need at least four full days to get the best of the Basque region.
- If you plan to see French Basque country, plan to spend at least a night in San Sebastian.
- La Rioja is as much about the wine as it is about the beautiful towns and winery architecture. Make sure to visit a winery, ideally Marques de Riscal or Isis.
- The Basque region is small and very well connected by public transport. Travel by buses between cities and in the city you can walk or take the efficient metro or bus systems.
- Taxis are easily available and more convenient to travel between Basque country towns. If you are in a group, taxis become more affordable to take.
- No attractions need to be booked in advance, the only one that will take a few hours is Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.
- In Basque country, it is either rainy or cloudy for nearly 200 days in a year. The best time to visit Basque country would be Mid-April to August