An eight day, self-guided holiday, cycling the Basque Coast, starting in Hondarribia and ending in Bilbao. The Basque Country in Spain is a beauty, with many cultural highlights unique to the region, and no shortage of natural wonders either. Cycle through fishing villages and forests, alongside massive beaches or through the metropolis of San Sebastián. Visit Bilbao’s spectacular Guggenheim and enjoy a wealth of natural sculptures and visual splendour everyday cycling along the Basque Coast’s cliffs, coves and estuaries.
We also offer the possibility of renting an e-bike on this tour.
- The well-preserved walled town of Hondarribia
- The elegant city of San Sebastián, world-renowned for its cuisine and urban beaches
- Charming fishing villages such as Getaria, Lekeitio, Mundaka and Plentzia
- San Juan de Gaztelugatxe Castle
- Bilbao – one of the great treasures of the Basque Country
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive in Hondarribia
The picturesque village of Hondarribia, looking out across the estuary to France, has a heavy Gallic fragrance, a characterful old centre and a buzzing beach scene.
- Accommodation: Hotel Palacio Obispo or similar
Day 2: Hondarribia – San Sebastián | 32km
This first stage of today’s cycle links two large bays of breathtaking beauty via a demanding ascent of Mount Jaizkibel. Once you leave the mountain behind, visit the old town of Pasaia and, after crossing the estuary by boat, cycle to Spain’s culinary capital – San Sebastián. Once a favourite destination for Spanish royalty, the town boasts an extraordinary coastline with some superb viewpoints.
- Cycling for the day: 32km, total ascent 550m
- Accommodation: Hotel Arrizul Catedral or similar
Day 3: San Sebastián– Getaria | 30km
Today, after the first couple of kilometres, it is worth taking a short detour to see San Sebastián and La Concha Bay from the hilltop heights of Monte Urgull and Monte Igueldo. The second part of the route is much more comfortable and gentle, along the coast. Visit the historic town of Zarautz and finish today’s route in the traditional fishing village of Getaria, located next to Mount San Antón, a natural park known by the locals as the “mouse of Getaria” because of its shape.
- Cycling for the day: 30km, total ascent 550m
- Accommodation: Hotel Saiaz Getaria or similar
Day 4: Getaria – Lekeitio | 32km
Continue cycling the coast road until you get to Zumaia, where we recommend taking the train to the next town, Deba, to avoid the traffic. After crossing the bridge over the river, you will continue along a pleasant cycle path, also passing a gorgeous beach. You will reach Lekeitio – one of the most beautiful towns in the Basque Country. Visit its harbour, church and mansions and enjoy some chillout time at one of the many waterfront bars and cafes.
- Cycling for the day: 32km, total ascent 300m
- Accommodation: Hotel Silken Palacio or similar
Day 5: Lekeitio – Mundaka | 50km
During the first few kilometres of today’s route, you will ride through an impressive inland landscape, mostly off-road, following the Lea River. You will then pass through Guernica, made famous by the infamous bombing of 1937, as depicted by Pablo Picasso in his anti-war painting of the same name. Pass the UNESCO Urdaibai Biosphere Natural Park, known for its vast, empty beaches, and also popular with birdwatchers for the range of permanent and migrating species that can be seen there. Your final destination is Mundaka – an international surfing destination which boasts the longest left-hand break wave in Europe.
- Cycling for the day: 50km, total ascent 450m
- Accommodation: Branka Hotel or similar
Day 6: Mundaka – Plencia | 38km
Today’s stage is the most physically demanding, but the reward will be the view of one of the most magical places on this adventure: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Game of Thrones fans will recognise it as the location of Dragonstone Castle. You will then pass by Bakio beach, another superb surfing beach.The day ends in the elegant seaside town of Plencia.
- Cycling for the day: 38km, total ascent 900m
- Accommodation: Hotel Bahía or similar
Day 7: Plencia – Bilbao | 35km
Today’s cycle has one last climb to give you great clifftop views of Sopelana beach. Explore the world famous Guggenheim Museum, or wander around the narrow streets of the Old Town – home to many great pintxos bars.
- Cycling for the day: 35km, total ascent 200m
- Accommodation: Hotel Bilbao Plaza or similar
Day 8: Departure
Departure, or stay for a few more days in Bilbao (available upon request).
What to expect
On this cycling holiday, you will stay in private en-suite rooms in charming hotels. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel Palacio Obispo
- Hotel Arrizul Catedral
- Hotel Saiaz Getaria
- Hotel Silken Palacio
- Branka Hotel
- Hotel Bahía
- Hotel Bilbao Plaza
Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all mornings. Along the way, you will pass through plenty of restaurants offering many possibilities for lunch and dinner. Once you book, you will also receive the best food advice from our local experts.
Difficulty and terrain
The average cycling distance per day is between 30-50km, with a daily altitude gain ranging between 200m and 900m (read more about difficulty grades). Terrain types: Secondary road 55%, cycle lane 25%, service road 10%, nature path 10%. We recommend this itinerary to intermediate cyclists, with previous experience. Note that following GPS navigation and knowing how to change a tube to repair a puncture is mandatory for this trip. We also offer the possibility of renting an e-bike.
When to go
This trip is available from April to June, and from September to November.
The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.
Click to view travel options
Our recommended airports for this holiday are Bilbao and Biarritz.
By train or bus
- From Bilbao airport, take a 1h 15mins bus to San Sebastián and then a 40mins transfer bus to Hondarribia. Timetables for the bus from Bilbao airport to San Sebastián are available here. From San Sebastián to Hondarribia – here.
- From Biarritz airport, you can take a train or a bus to Hendaye, and then a short taxi to Hondarribia. Train schedules are available at: sncf.com, bus schedules from the airport to Hendaye Gare SCNF: chronoplus.eu.
- By train: You can catch a fast train from Paris to Hendaye (on the French border), and take a taxi to Hondarribia.
- 7 nights as indicated in the itinerary
- 7 breakfasts
- Luggage transport on the cycling days
- Detailed holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route descriptions, road notes and maps
- GPS tracks
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
- Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme
- Entrance fees for attractions and museums
Options, extras and supplements
- A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Bike rental
- E-bike rental
- Extra nights in Bilbao at the end of the holiday
We offer to rent aluminium 29″ hardtail mountain bikes with front suspension and hydraulic brakes. We also offer powerful e-bikes with an efficient crank drive motor and battery that will provide you with a boost when pedalling on hilly terrain. Each bike has a toolkit, puncture repair kit, pump, spare inner tube, lock, water bottle, mobile holder and pannier. In the case of renting two bikes, we provide one set of panniers and one phone holder on one of the bikes. We suggest you bring your own helmet for hygienic and safety reasons. Alternatively, helmets can be rented.