BASQUE COUNTRY COAST
Self-Guided Cycling Holiday
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 Gernika and Getaria.
The route follows rolling country lanes 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 abilities. Check out the itinerary and the other tabs below for the full details of this tour.
We also run a guided tour in the Basque Country.
Day 1 - Bilbao
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.
Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao
Day 2 - Gernika & Urdaibai Natural Park
On the shorter route, we transfer you out of Bilbao, avoiding the steep climb out of the city. This option is gently rolling throughout, as you ride around beautiful orchards and through charming villages, all with the impressive Oiz Mountain providing a scenic backdrop.
The destination is Gernika, a small town immortalised by a painting by Pablo Picasso which depicted the horrors of the Spanish Civil War.
Gernika was the historic capital of the Basque region, which was a center of resistance against Franco - the fascist dictator - during the war. In Gernika you can also visit some Roman remains and explore the fine tapas bars that line the pedestrianized streets of the old town.
Short Route: 30km (19 miles)
Long Route: 50km (31 miles)
Vibrant Green Countryside
Day 3 - Lekeitio & Basque Coast
The rolling route follows the quiet coastal road, passing through small villages before reaching the fishing town of Lekeitio. Your hotel here is right next to the beach and the charming old town, with plenty of excellent restaurants serving the catch of the day.
Short Route: 25km (16 miles)
Long Route: 41km (26 miles)
Day 4 - Getaria
There is the option to extend the route inland with a climb of the Azurki mountain, where you can visit the Caves of Ekain - home to some of the best preserved cave paintings in Spain.
The destination for the evening is in the stunning village of Getaria, situated on a striking small peninsula. Here you will stay in a beautiful boutique hotel in the heart of the old town and can try some of the local txakoli wine, produced on the surrounding hillsides.
Getaria has been inhabited since Roman times, and was the home village of Juan Sebastian Elcano - the first man to circumnavigate the world (completing the voyage begun by Ferdinand Magellan). Fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga is also from Getaria, and there is a large museum dedicated to his works in the town.
Short Route: 32km (19 miles)
Long Route: 61km (38 miles)
Cycling alongside the beach
Day 5 - Wine Tasting & Pagoeta Natural Park
If you would prefer to cycle, however, there is the possibility of riding an excellent circular ride. It begins by heading inland through the charming vineyards which line the slopes around Getaria; you then enter the Pagoeta Natural Park, a picturesque rural area with vibrant green countryside. The ride returns to Getaria through the town of Zarautz, home to one of the largest and most impressive beaches in Northern Spain, and an excellent lunch stop!
Short Route: 25km (16 miles)
Long Route: 44km (27 miles)
Day 6 - San Sebastian & Basque Cider House
The scenery here is really stunning, with bright green fields, golden beaches and the blue sea all combining to make for an idyllic setting.
For lunch we recommend stopping in a traditional sidrería (cider house), a type of restaurant and meeting place, which has an important place in Basque culture.
After lunch you are free to explore the charms and beauty of San Sebastian.
Short Route: 25km (16 miles)
Long Route: 42km (26 miles)
A Hearty Lunch!
Day 7 - Departure or Extension
Another popular option is to extend the stay in Bilbao.
If you choose not to extend your stay, we will transfer you to San Sebastian train station or airport in time for your onward journey.
To find out more information about this holiday; including practical information, prices, dates and more tour highlights; return to the top of the page and click on the various tabs.
San Sebastian view from Monte Igeldo
You ride through the Basque country's finest natural scenery both on the coast and inland, and will learn about the key role that the sea has played in the development of the region. Best of all, you will also have ample opportunity to enjoy the famous Basque gastronomy; from pintxos and the cider house, to fine dining restaurants. We show you the real Basque country!
Check out just a few of the many highlights in our tour photo album below.
- ✔ Six Nights Accommodation (see the Hotels section for more details)
- ✔ Continental breakfast each day in the hotel
- ✔ Bicycle Hire (Hybrid, road or e-bike).
- ✔ Transfers to and from the arrival / departure point (see below for more information)
- ✔ Luggage transferred between hotels
- ✔ GPS tracks and mobile app to follow the routes stress free
- ✔ Detailed information pack
- ❌ Other Meals not detailed above
- ❌ Flights
- ❌ Tour Extensions (optional extra)
- ❌ Travel Insurance
E-bikes are a good option if you are unsure about the distance or about tackling some of the short hills that are common in the Basque Country.
More details about our bikes can be found on our bicycles page. The exact model depends on availability, so please get in touch if you would like more information.
All of our bikes come with helmets and handlebar bags if required.
Difficulty Level & Roads
The routes involve some short climbs, and a couple of slightly longer ones, but the gradients are mostly gentle and are enjoyable to ride, rather than being a real challenge. The short daily distances mean you can take your time and this is suitable for riders of all levels.
The longer routes tend to go more inland into the hillier parts of the Basque country and so have more climbing.
The routes are on paved roads and cycle paths throughout. We hate riding alongside cars and so avoid it as much as possible!
Find out more about our tour difficulty levels.
Arrival and Departure
If you can not get a direct flight to Bilbao, there are also regular trains running there from San Sebastian, Madrid and Barcelona. We will collect you from the airport, train station or another hotel in Bilbao at the start of the tour.
The departure point is San Sebastian. We will transfer you to the train station or airport. Please let us know if you would prefer to be transferred to another destination nearby (e.g. Bilbao, Biarritz) and we can help to arrange it for you.
Please contact us if you would like any advice or more information regarding getting to and from Bilbao or San Sebastian.
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.
Should I do the longer or shorter routes?
This depends entirely on you! The longer and shorter routes all start and finish at the same place, and so you can decide on any given day which you would prefer to do. There is no need to commit until the day of the ride itself.
On the longer routes you see more and are able to visit more places, while the shorter routes are more relaxing and ideal if you like to take your time and go at a slower pace.
If you would like to visit the extra towns and monuments on the longer routes, but are worried about the distances, then we recommend hiring an e-bike, which will give you more flexibility.
What is the weather like?
In the Basque Country the weather is a bit less reliable than in most of Spain. More often than not it is bright and sunny, but cloudy days with some rain are not uncommon.
It is a good idea to bring a light jacket for cycling in case we get caught in a shower. But even if it does rain, the temperatures usually remain warm, and it's not long before the sun reappears.
Can I extend the tour?
Yes, we would be happy to arrange any tour extensions for you. Popular options are to stay extra nights in
or San Sebastian.
But it's also possible to stay extra nights in the French Basque country (Biarritz), the Pyrenees, or several other great places nearby. Please contact us if you would like to know more about the different options.
Can I do this as a private guided tour?
Yes, we can run this as a private tour for groups of six or more people. Please get in contact with us to discuss dates and any changes you would like to make.
You can also check out our guided version of the tour.
What is your cancellation policy?
The full cancellation policy can be found in our terms and conditions.
Why book with us?
We are a small and independent company who are locally based, which offers several advantages:
- We have a lot personal experience of all of our tours, which have been refined over many years. We believe we are genuine experts in the regions where we run tours, and we are also close at hand to offer support and a personalized service.
- We are flexible and can tailor our itineraries to suit your requirements.
- We have low overheads. We don't spend money on advertising and don't use third party agents. We only sell our tours through this website.
By cutting out the middle man, you can be sure that more of what you pay is being spent on the important things: like hotels, equipment and other services.
- We are a registered and fully bonded tour operator in accordance with EU regulations.
Where can I find more information about the region?
It's ideally situated on the edge of the old quarter and just a ten minute walk from the Guggenheim Museum.
Situated in the center of Lekeitio right next to the delightful beach, this is a great place to relax on the terrace or to explore the narrow streets of the old town.
It is stunningly decorated and has impressive views looking out over the ocean.
Hotel Sercotel Europa
It's ideal for exploring the city and has comfortable and well equipped rooms.
|Tour Starting Date||Price (per person)¹||Single Supplement||Bike Hire|
|1st July - 17th September||€1,620 EUR||€660 EUR||Included|
|All other Dates||€1,470 EUR||€580 EUR||Included|
To reserve a place on the tour, click the button above and complete the reservation form. We will then get back to you within 24 hours to confirm the reservation, and to arrange for payment of the deposit.
For more details on the booking process, please check out our Reservations page.