Basque country, Spain

Yulia Chernykh
10 min read · 20 Jun 23


1 review

The Basque Country is amazing not only for its history, language and cuisine but also for its fabulous hikes. It was a surprisingly subtle combination of urban, bohemian, and relaxed holidays.

  • Days
  • Distance
    579 km
  • Spots
  • Intensity

Full route

  1. Bilbao - Playa de Bakio - San Juan De Gaztelugatxe - Bermeo - Guernica
  2. San Anton - Flysch Rocks - San Sebastian
  3. San Sebastian
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Our to-do list

  • Try pintxos at the Erribera market in Bilbao
  • Ring the bell three times on the summit of San Juan De Gaztelugatxe
  • Meet cows and horses on the trail to Flysch Rocks
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Day 1: Bilbao - San Anton
  • Distance
    72 km
  • Spots


Bilbao is a rather unusual city with its architecture and atmosphere.

The first thing that strikes a tourist at first sight, is that almost all the signs in the city are written in at least two languages - Basque, Spanish and English (sometimes). It is enjoyable to walk along the embankment past the Guggenheim Museum, turning into a beautiful park and along the city’s central streets.

We also visited the Guggenheim Museum on our last day in Bilbao, and if you are a fan of art, it is a good place for you. However, do not anticipate the most up-to-date exhibits; their collection consists of many different art pieces from other times.

But the main reason why people go to the Basque country is the food. You MUST try the local pintxos at the Erribera market.

Make a quick stop at Playa de Bakio…

…and plan your next surf holiday there.

San Juan De Gaztelugatxe

I can speak with no stop about this place. Maybe you will recognize San Juan de Gaztelugatxe as the fortress of “Dragonstone” from Game of Thrones. There are many legends around the island. It is assumed that it had not only religious but also strategic importance. In any case, you must go through 241 steps and enjoy the waves crashing against the walls. Do not forget to ring the bell three times and make a wish.

Have lunch in Bermeo

The city is relatively small but cosy to have lunch and warm up before the road. On the embankment, we found a colossal globe depicting the route of the first round-the-world trip, which ended under the command of Juan Sebastian Elcano, born in the Basque country.


The city became famous worldwide after the bombardment (in 1937) that was depicted by Pablo Picasso and became one of the well-known anti-war paintings. We saw the original painting in Madrid and wanted to see the rebuilt city. People tried to recreate the town based on pictures, and nothing besides monuments reminded me of that time. And since the Middle Ages, there have been the Tree of Guernica, under which the Basques were granted autonomy, and where since then, meetings important for the whole region have been held.

Accommodation in San Anton

I still fondly remember this place. The owners split the house into two parts, and guests live in one wing, so you feel like visiting your relatives. The house is almost in the forest, guaranteeing a calm and relaxing atmosphere.

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A map showing the route across Basque country in Spain.
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