From France to Spain: Hiking in the Basque Country

Pilgrim Trails, Pintxo Hopping, and stunning Bilbao


With its own language, culture, cuisine, and some of the most gorgeous hiking trails in Europe, Basque Country is a world apart. We’ll hike the coast, the mountains, and iconic stretches of the pilgrim trail to Santiago de Compostela on this insider’s journey into Basque life. Eating well is the second religion of the Basques, and we’ll have classic lunches among farmers and fishermen, taste local mountain cheeses, go pintxo-hopping in the foodie capital of San Sebastián, and enjoy a festive meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-2
Biarritz, France / Ainhoa

From the flower-bedecked Basque village of Ainhoa, our hikes bring us along an ancient riverside pilgrim path and right up to the French-Spanish border amid fascinating megalithic tombs and standing stones.

Hotel Argi Eder
Ainhoa, France
Days 1 to 2 (2 nights)
Days 3-4
Camino de Santiago / Roncesvalles, Spain / Pamplona

At Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the French gate of the Camino de Santiago, we have our “pilgrim passports” stamped, then hike an evocative stretch of the Camino to Roncesvalles, where the Basques defeated Charlemagne’s army in 778 AD. This ancient pilgrim town will welcome us with its history and legends. After an overnight in Pamplona, we’ll make the classic pilgrimage hike to Puente la Reina, where the Camino Frances and Camino Aragones meet. Our historic hotel in Pamplona is the same one Hemingway stayed in!

Gran Hotel la Perla
Pamplona, Spain
Days 3 to 4 (2 nights)
Days 5-6
The Bandits Trail / San Sebastián / Hondarribia

A mountain trail brings us through central Basque Country, with a local lunch among farmers, hunters, and herders. In San Sebastián, the views are fabulous as we hike down from Mt. Igueldo to the magnificent bay of La Concha, then go pintxo-hopping—a foodie “pub crawl” to taste the best tapas. A local professor will give us a talk on Basque history as we sip a Basque wine called Txakoli at our seaside parador in Hondarribia.

Parador de Hondarribia
Hondarribia, Spain
Days 5 to 6 (2 nights)
Days 7-8
Getaria / Bilbao

Our hike on a coastal pilgrim trail brings us to Getaria, a charming fishing village nestled into one of the most beautiful harbors on the Basque coast, and in Bilbao, we enjoy a guided visit to the celebrated Guggenheim Museum. Depart on Day 8.

Hotel Carlton
Bilbao, Spain
Day 7 (1 night)



Experience Basque country with Trip Leaders who have a passion for sharing their unique culture and cuisine
Hike from France to Spain on the classic pilgrim trail to Puente la Reina
Enjoy delicious picnics and meals in local Basque gathering spots
Learn about the fascinating heritage of El Camino de Santiago
Savor a special Basque dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant


Length: 8 days
Cost From: $5995  
Arrive: Biarritz, France
Depart: Bilbao, Spain
Lodging: 7 nights historic hotels and inns
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners as indicated in the Detailed Itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Culinary
Trip Level:

6 hiking days on moderate trails, some steep sections, 2-5 hours a day, van support

Recent Travel Blog Posts

Hiking in the Basque Country

Recent Travel Blog Posts

Hiking in the Basque Country

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