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How to Spend 1 Week in Basque Country

How to Spend 1 Week in Basque Country

Basque Country, both culturally and linguistically distinct from the rest of Spain, is known for its mountain peaks, rocky Atlantic coast, and cosmopolitan cities serving some of Europe’s best food. With a week to spend in Basque Country, you’ll have ample time to discover what makes the region unique. Here’s how to plan your time.

Days 1 and 2: Bilbao

Kick off your trip with a couple of days in Bilbao, the largest city in Basque Country and one of Spain’s too often overlooked cultural treasures. Start your explorations with a guided tour of the Guggenheim Bilbao Museum, housed within a distinctive Frank Gehry–designed building on the shores of the Nervión River.

Take some time to wander the city center to see highlights such as the entertainment complex Azkuna Zentroa, Arriaga Theatre, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, and the Cathedral de Santiago. For a different perspective, take a guided kayak tour through town along the Nervión River, or tour at your own pace aboard the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus.

Don’t leave town without spending an evening nibbling your way through the old town (Casco Viejo) for your first taste of traditional Basque pintxos (a small snack, typically eaten in bars).

Days 3 to 5: San Sebastian

Continue on to the beautiful coastal city of San Sebastian, considered one of Spain’s great foodie cities and an excellent place to dive deeper into the local food culture. Find the best bites by joining a guided food hop to pintxos bars throughout the Old Town, or sign up for a cooking class to learn how to prepare your favorites for yourself.

Between meals, spend some time soaking up the sun on La Concha Beach, sipping cider, or relaxing aboard a sunset cruise along Basque Country’s coastline. If time permits, opt for an excursion into the nearby Rioja wine country to sip and sup at local wineries.

Days 6 and 7: Biarritz and the French Basque Region

Basque Country isn’t just limited to Spain; the region extends into Southern France as well. Head north across the border to Biarritz, part ritzy coastal resort and part surfer paradise. Overlooking the Bay of Biscay, this French Basque setting offers lovely belle époque and art deco architecture and lively beaches. Spend your final day in riverside Bayonne, which ranks among the prettiest towns in southwest France and serves as the capital of French Basque Country. Join a tour to uncover its half-timbered buildings, cobbled streets, and excellent waterside restaurants.

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6 Tours and Activities

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The Premier Bilbao Food & Wine Walking Tour

The Premier Bilbao Food & Wine Walking Tour

star-5
133
Learn all about traditional pintxos (the Basque version of Spanish tapas) on a guided walking tour of Bilbao's bars. At each stop, sample one or two of these delightful little bar snacks accompanied with a glass of wine, beer, or hard cider. Get an insider's perspective of the ancient part of the city that dates back to 1300. Consider booking this tour at the beginning of your Bilbao vacation so you can return to your favorite hotspots for more pintxo sampling.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$117.86
From
$117.86
Taking safety measures

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Private Tour

Guggenheim Bilbao Museum Private Tour

star-4.5
44
Immerse yourself in the artistic wonder of Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum with a private guide on this cultural tour. Accompanied by your accomplished guide, explore the enthralling exhibitions of the museum in order to discover contemporary and modern art masterpieces; see timeless masterworks like Joseph Beuy’s ‘Lightning with Stag in its Glare’ and gaze at Jeff Koons’ colossal sculpture ‘Puppy’. Gain fascinating insight into different art movements and hear tales of the intriguing lives of some of the artists during this culturally enriching exploration.
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  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Taking safety measures
From
$117.86
Price varies by group size
From
$117.86
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Basque Coast Tour: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika

Basque Coast Tour: Vizcaya Bridge, Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo and Gernika

star-4
47
Cruise the curvaceous coastline of Bilbao in a luxurious minivan on a guided tour of the city and its sights. See the intriguing industrial areas that propelled Bilbao into prosperity and visit significant landmarks like the Transporter Bridge of Bizkaia and the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe hermitage. Visit the quaint coastal villages that pepper the Basque Coast and absorb the tranquil ambiance of picturesque marinas on this enriching excursion.
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  • 5 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$70.72
From
$70.72
Taking safety measures

Basque Pintxos and traditional dishes cooking class

Basque Pintxos and traditional dishes cooking class

star-5
10
San Sebastian is known for its “pintxos”, the Basque Country’s answer to tapas. Feast on a wealth of Basque cuisine and learn to cook these regional signatures with a professional chef on this evening cooking class. Prepare and eat seven different dishes washed down with red wine and the signature local sparkling white, “txakoli”, and leave with newfound confidence in your cooking skills.
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  • 3 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$182.69
Price varies by group size
From
$182.69
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

French Basque Countryside Tour from San Sebastian

French Basque Countryside Tour from San Sebastian

star-5
18
Start your French Basque countryside tour in style with a hotel pickup. It’ll be the ultimate stress-free day, as you’ll be in a small-group, ensuring you have access to your guide if you have any questions. An ideal way to make the most of your time—you’ll visit many spots in a day including Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry, and Espelette, and Ainhoa.
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  • 8 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$271.09
Price varies by group size
From
$271.09
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

Txakoli Winery Tour through the Coast from San Sebastian

Txakoli Winery Tour through the Coast from San Sebastian

star-5
6
Visit vineyards overlooking the sea with this Txakoli winery tour along the coast from San Sebastian. Learn about how Txakoli white wine is made and taste it alongside classic Basque appetizers. Stroll through traditional fishing villages with a local guide sharing stories about the region’s history. Private transportation is included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$194.48
Price varies by group size
From
$194.48
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures


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