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Basque Country

Basque, Rioja to Biscay | CLASSIC

With its pristine coastline dotted with quaint seaside villages, rolling hills blanketed in emerald forests, and imposing mountain ranges, the Spanish Basque Country is a natural wonder.

But it’s the region’s cultural and culinary heritage that truly sets it apart. The Basque people have proudly maintained their traditions and customs to preserve a destination that is captivating, unforgettable and home to some of the finest food in Spain and Europe.

When to go

May - Oct

Price from

£3,295

What's included?

From the moment you touch down in Spain, everything is included so that while you are with us you can forget about your wallet, relax and enjoy your time in the Basque Country.

Duration

5 nights

Scheduled Journeys

Private Journeys

Journey highlights

  • Journey off the beaten track, by bike, and on foot from Rioja Alavesa to the shores of the Bay of Biscay.
  • Discover the region’s much lauded gastronomy, meeting the producers of fine wines and cheeses, sharing plates of pintxos.
  • Visit ‘Pais Vasco’, a unique and resilient community who have maintained their own distinct language and culture.
  • Stay in unique guest houses, often entertained by fascinating hosts.
  • Accompanied by expert guides enjoy our customary attention to detail. You will never be better cared for on holiday.
Slow Cyclist picnic in Spain
ON THE MOVE

On hybrid e-bikes, we will cover between 20 - 60 kms per day. The cycling, suitable for almost all levels of cyclist, consists mainly of very quiet tarmac backroads, with the occasional gravel road.

Walks will be no more than 3 hours and are not generally technical. However, you should be comfortable walking on uneven ground up and downhill. There will always be someone travelling at your pace; this is a journey to take time over.
The Slow Cyclist guide Virginia Berasategui in the Spanish Basque Country
MEET virginia, YOUR guide

Charming Virginia is one of the best Spanish female triathletes of all time. But she has recently retired, slowed down and now loves using her bike to seek out the very best food & wine experiences for our guests. 

Delicious local food on an adventure cycling holiday with The Slow Cyclist in the Spanish Basque Country.

Rioja to Biscay

We designed our Spanish Basque Country experience to be a 5-night immersion in northern Spain. Below is the itinerary, although it can easily be offered as a 6-night journey too. 

Day 1 - Arrival
Transfer 1hr 20 minutes
 
After landing in Bilbao, you will be picked up and driven to Ábalos, a town perched at the foot of the Cantabrian mountains. Here we will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and spend the afternoon walking along quiet tracks overlooking Rioja’s vineyards. Our walk will lead us to our accommodation at Bodegas Puelles where local family winemakers will host a delicious wine tasting and dinner for us.
Day 2 - Abalos to Virgala Mayor
Morning cycle 26km – Afternoon cycle 29km
 
In the morning we ride through vineyards in the foothills of the Sierra de Cantabria mountains, stopping to admire some prehistoric megaliths. After lunch in a small village, we climb a pass over the ridge and descend towards and then through the delightful and forested Izki Natural Park, before we arrive at our accommodation for the night in the charming rural village of Virgala Mayor.
Day 3 - Virgala Mayor to Axpe
Morning cycle 42km – Afternoon cycle 19km
 
We begin with a short bus transfer to the quaint town of Dallo, where we jump on our bikes and head towards Ullibarri-Gamboa lake, skirting around it before stopping for a drink at a lakeside cafe. Starting our gradual climb towards the mountains, we reach the small town of Olaeta, where we will take lunch and visit a shepherdess, who makes Idiazabal, a Basque sheep’s cheese. In the afternoon our ride climbs further, towards the impressive jagged peaks of Urkiola Natural Park and then drops down into the picturesque village of Axpe, nestling on the verdant valley slopes, where we spend the night at the renowned Mendi Goikoa hotel.
Day 4 - Axpe to Munitibar
Morning walk 9km – Afternoon cycle 15km & walk 2km
 
After breakfast, we set off on a hearty walk in the Arrazola valley, travelling past fields of grazing sheep and admiring the towering peaks of Urkiola Natural Park surrounding us. We’ll then transfer to the gloriously situated Bodega Berroja, close to the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, with its panoramic views of the surrounding hills, mountains and the sea. We’ll have lunch here and taste a traditional Basque white, Txakoli. After a busy morning, we benefit from a relatively short cycle with incredible views before we hop off the bikes and walk a very short section of the Camino de Santiago to our rather special little guest house, owned by a local and international sculptor, where we dine and spend the night.
Day 5 - Munitibar to Ea

Morning cycle 30km – Afternoon cycle 7km

We start the day on the bikes, meandering along the River Lea towards the sea. After negotiating a few climbs and descents along the undulating hills of the Basque coastline, we arrive at the small seaside town of Ea. We’ll have a celebratory drink at a lookout point overlooking the sea, nestled between the rugged cliffs, before walking back into town to enjoy a well deserved lunch and a leisurely afternoon, enjoying the beach and swimming in the sea. Late in the afternoon we get back on the bikes one last time to make the short journey to our guest house, a special place with very special hosts.

Day 6 - Departure
After breakfast there is the option to go for a short walk or to relax by the pool. Then we’ll say our goodbyes and head to the airport.
HOW TO BOOK

There are two ways to travel with us. You can either travel on a set-date Scheduled Journey or put together your own private party.

MAKE NEW FRIENDS

Scheduled Journeys

A wonderful opportunity to explore a fascinating part of the world, to meet like-minded travellers and make new friends in a group of Slow Cyclists assembled by us.

TRAVEL WITH FRIENDS

Private Journeys

If you love the look of the Spanish Basque Country and would like to experience it in a small group of family or friends, get in touch and we will explain how we can make it happen.

Upcoming Scheduled Journeys

Rioja to Biscay
June 16, 2024
5 Nights
£3,495.00
Rioja to Biscay
September 8, 2024
5 Nights
£3,495.00

Enquire Now