The Basque Coast Cycling Holiday
- Self-Guided 6 Nights
- Arrival - Bilbao
- Departure - San Sebastian
- Difficulty - Medium
- Price - From €1080
- Dates - April to October
This self guided cycling holiday around the Basque Country crosses some of the most spectacular scenery in Spain. Starting from Bilbao, the tour follows a coastal route through picturesque fishing villages, past vast, empty beaches and visits the most iconic sights in the region.
The Basque Country is the gastronomic capital of Spain and you will be able to sample incredible food and wine throughout the tour. The holiday also visits the iconic cities of Bilbao and San Sebastian, as well as historically important towns, such as Guernica and Hondarribia.
The route follows rolling roads and has short minimum daily distances, but with the option to do more challenging extensions, making it an ideal cycling tour for riders of all abilites.
Day 1 - BilbaoThe tour begins in Bilbao; the largest city in the Basque country and one that combines modernity with historic culture.
We will transfer you from Bilbao airport or train station to the hotel, from where you can explore the impressive Guggenheim Museum, or wander around the narrow streets of the Old Town - home to many great pintxos bars.
Day 2 – Urdaibai Natural Park (24-50km)The first day in the saddle follows the coast to the north of Bilbao. The scenic route offers great sea views and passes many beaches, some of them almost completely untouched by development.
The highlight of the day is the visit to Gaztelugatze. The islet here, which is reached by a long path which snakes over the rocks, is home to an idyllic 9th century hermitage.
The route finishes in the Urdaibai Natural Park, a popular place for bird watchers.
Day 3 – Lekeitio (50-72km)The cycling holiday continues by heading into Gernika; a small town immortalised by Picasso's depiction of the Spanish Civil War.
From Gernika, you head back to the coast, passing the fantastic beach at Laida, before following a quiet road overlooking the coast into Lekeitio.
Lekeitio is a lively fishing town with many excellent restaurants serving the catch of the day.
Day 4 – Getaria (45-58km)You continue along the coast, passing through the charming towns of Ondarroa and Deba along a rolling route.
There is the option to extend the route inland to the Caves of Ekain - home to some of the best preserved cave paintings in Spain.
The destination for the evening is Getaria, where you will stay in a traditional vineyard overlooking the sea. Here you can undertake a tasting session of the locally produced txakoli wine.
Day 5 – San Sebastian (28-56km)From Getaria you will cycle along one route of the Camino de Santiago, passing through the popular surfing town of Zarautz.
From Zarautz there is a short climb up to Monte Igeldo, home to what the Basque people claim is the 'best view in the world'.
The day finishes in San Sebastian - undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Spain. Aside from its superb beaches and charming old town, San Sebastian also contains some of the finest restaurants in the world.
Day 6 – Hondarribia (26-55km)The last day of the cycle tour leaves San Sebastian to the east, heading towards the border with France. There is the option to extend the route to Astigarraga - home of traditional Basque cider - before looping back towards the coast.
Today you will cycle Jaizkibel - one of the most famous mountains in the Basque Country due to its prominent position in the San Sebastian Classic race. It is not particularly long or difficult though, and the views make the effort well worth it.
The final evening is spent in Hondarribia, an historic town right on the border with France
Day 7The holiday comes to an end after breakfast, and we will transfer you to one of the departure points.
If you wish to extend the holiday further, we would be happy to arrange for extra nights in San Sebastian, Bilbao, or another destination in the area.
Prices & Dates
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement||Bike Hire (Optional)|
|April, May, June, September, October||€1080||€350||€100|
|July / August||€1170||€410||€100|
*Based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
Guided TourGroups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.
The following is included in the tour:
- Six nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite. Please see price list for details of single supplement.
- Transfer to and from the arrival/departure point
- Continental breakfast every day
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
- Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
The following is not included in the tour
- Lunches and Dinners
- Any transfers not stated above
- Travel Insurance
- Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
How far do I cycle each day on this tour?
There are two options on each day, one shorter route and one which is more challenging. The shorter route averages around 35km, although there are a couple of days which are over 40km.
The longer route is over 50km each day and also contains more climbing. Both options start and finish in the same place, so it is possible to choose each day which route you prefer to take.
In addition, there are optional extensions available each day in case you wish to cycle further.
How difficult is this tour?
This is rated as medium difficulty. That means that it is suitable for a first time cycling holiday, but is slightly more challenging than our easiest tours. The minimum daily distances are fairly low and the route is mostly undulating.
Apart from on the final day, there are no hills longer than around 2km, and there are no steep sections. A reasonable level of cycling fitness is required; however, a few weekend rides in the weeks before the holiday should be enough to allow most cyclists to comfortably complete the route.
The tour, however, can be made more challenging by including the daily route extensions. These are entirely optional, but include more sustained and difficult climbing inland from the coast.
How busy are the roads?
The vast majority of this tour is on narrow country lanes and quiet routes through Natural Parks.
There are short transition sections on slightly busier roads, but these do not last long and cars in this region are extremely respectful of cyclists (the Basque country is, by a distance, the cycling capital of Spain).
Can I personalize or change aspects of this tour?
Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour
for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.
What is a single supplement?
Our prices are based on two people sharing a hotel room (in a double or twin room). For cyclists that wish to stay in their own room, the single supplement is payable.
The cost is made up of the extra cost of accommodation when the room is single occupancy and also the greater cost of the transfers (luggage and people) when it is not split between two or more cyclists. We have made every effort to keep this to a minimum wherever possible.
What are the arrival and departure points?
The tour begins in Bilbao, the largest city in the Basque region. Bilbao has an international airport and is also accessible by train from both Madrid and Barcelona.
Departure is from Hondarribia or San Sebastian. There are two airports very close to Hondarribia (San Sebastian Airport and Biarritz/Bayonne Airport); we can transfer you to either of these, or to the train station in Irun.
Irun is part of both the French and Spanish train network, and has regular direct trains to Barcelona, Madrid and Paris.
As part of the holiday, we will transfer you to and from the required airport or train station at the start and end of the tour.
What type of bikes do you provide?
For this tour we recommend hybrid bikes, although we can also provide road bikes. The fairly low distances and lack of steep hills make hybrid bikes a good choice, allowing you to go at a leisurely pace and fully appreciate the surroundings.
Please see our bicycles page for further details.
When can I do this tour?
This tour is available starting on any date from the April to November.
If you wish to do the tour in late July and August, we recommend booking as early as possible as availability of accommodation is limited during this period.
What is the weather like on this tour?
The Basque Country is on the Cantabrian Sea and has its weather heavily influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. This generally means wet winters and early spring, with warm and sunny summers. This is the main reason why we run the tour only in the summer months.
The north coast of Spain is the coolest region, with average daily temperatures of around 25 degrees celsius in the summer, which makes it almost perfect conditions for cycling.
Rain is a possibility, although it is less likely in the summer when it normally comes in occasional showers, rather than persisting throughout the day.
What are the altitude profiles for each day?
Below are the altitide profiles for both the shorter and longer route each day (the shorter one is always first). In addition to this there are optional extensions, with a lot more climbing available!
Please don't be put off by these profiles. Although they may look like something out of the Tour de France, the scale on the left is low and so the routes are not as steep or challenging as they may seem.
Please click on a profile to see it in more detail
We believe that the hotels that you stay in are just as important as the towns that you visit and the scenery that you ride through. On this tour we have chosen accommodation that
is of a high quality and is typical to the area.
In the larger towns, these are luxurious hotels set in a prime location for exploring the city. In the smaller villages we use high quality independent hotels with charm and local character.
BilbaoIn Bilbao you stay in a excellent **** hotel which is less than a ten minute walk from both the historic old town and the Guggenheim Museum. It is a comfortable, modern building with excellent facilities and is a perfect base for exploring the city.
BakioIn Bakio you stay in a traditional Basque etxe; a beautiful country cottage set amidst a vineyard producing the local txakoli wine. This locally run, boutique hotel gives you a real flavour of life in the Basque Country.
LekeitioHere you stay in a small boutique hotel, situated close to the beach. It is traditionally styled and decorated and offers good facilities, including an excellent restaurant.
GetariaIn Getaria you stay in another locally run Boutique hotel. The small hotel is set in a 15th century tower and offers incredibly picturesque views of the coast.
San SebastianIn San Sebastian you stay in a comfortable **** hotel situated just five minutes from the cathedral and within easy walking distance of the beach and the old town (where you can find the hundreds of pintxos bars for which the city is famous).
HondarribiaFor the last night you stay in a fantastic **** hotel in the heart of the cobbled streets of the old town. Set in the grounds of a 10th century castle, this is a truly special place to end the holiday.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.
To reserve a place on the tour, please follow the link below to continue to our reservation form.
Once we have received the form, we will be in contact to confirm the booking and to arrange for the payment of the deposit.
If you would like to do this tour in a group of more than six people as a guided tour, please contact us and we can arrange a private guided cycling holiday.