This route will take you through the best itinerary to visit Basque Country in 4 days along the shores of the Cantabrian Sea.
The Spanish Basque Country is surprising for its coastal towns with a great seafaring tradition, the two large cities and their wide range of cultural and gastronomic offerings with their pintxos (tapas), and dream landscapes such as San Juan de Gaztelugatzxe.
While it’s worth spending more days exploring the border area with France and even going deeper into the French Basque Country to the charming town of Biarritz, in 4 days you can see many places and visit the main attractions to see in the Basque Country.
That’s why we have prepared this recommended itinerary so that you don’t miss anything in 4 days.
Map to visit Basque Country in 4 days
Day 1: Bilbao, Portugalete and Getxo. Night in Bilbao.
Day 2: San Juan de Gaztelugatzxe, Bermeo, Mundaca. Night in the vicinity of Mundaka.
Day 3: Flysch cliff, Zarauz, San Sebastian. Night in San Sebastian
Day 4: San Sebastian and Pasaia. Night in San Sebastian.
Day 1 – Bilbao and surroundings
We start our road trip through the Basque Country in 4 days with the largest city, Bilbao. The former industrial city has been reconverted and today is one of the main Spanish cities in terms of tourist visits. The Nervión estuary is the watercourse that divides the city into two areas: the older part and the reconverted area.
The historic centre is a network of streets with ancient walls and plenty of places to stop and have a beer and a delicious pintxo. On the other side of the estuary, the main attraction is the imposing and modern Guggenheim Museum with the presence of the famous Puppy dog at the entrance.
📷 Game of Thrones fan? Book this tour around the places where the series was filmed in the vicinity of Bilbao.
🔝 If you visit the city, we recommend you these free tours to do in Bilbao.
But not everything is centred on Bilbao, as the surrounding areas also have their own reasons to visit them. Following the course of the Nervión estuary towards the sea we come across the well-known Vizcaya Bridge in Portugalete, an old hanging ferry that is still in operation and where you can cross from one bank to the other.
Finally, at the mouth of the estuary into the Bay of Biscay, the quiet town of Getxo is the summer residence of many locals. Here you can enjoy a swim at the beach, walks by the sea and fish-based gastronomy.
🔝 Check out this article on things to do in Bilbao and surroundings.
– Where to stay in Bilbao
We have made an exclusive article with recommendations on where to stay in Bilbao, whether you go as a couple or with your family. You can read the article here.
Day 2 – San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, what to visit in the Basque Country in 4 days
The first stop on the second day is San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a setting made famous by Game of Thrones and Rocadragon. It is actually a hermitage located on a small island in the sea and is connected to the cliffs on the shore by a stone bridge. Whether you are climbing the steps of the bridge or once you reach the top where the hermitage is located, the scenery is spectacular. Remember to book before you go because in high season there is limited capacity and predetermined opening hours.
📷 Book the tour of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe here, which also takes in the rest of the coastal towns and Guernica..
🔝 See all the tips for visit San Juan de Gaztelugatxe: opening times, tickets, bookings and parking.
We continue on our way to the fishing village of Bermeo, a charming town where everything to do with the sea is the main attraction. Here you can eat good food based on fresh fish and visit the Fishermen’s Museum which tells the story of these workers.
Finally, Mundaca is another attraction to visit in the Basque Country in 4 days. This small town on the shores of the Bay of Biscay and on the estuary of the Urdaibai Reserve, stands out for its waves, which makes it an ideal destination for surfing. But it is also worth visiting its historic centre where you will find the port, the hermitage of Santa Catalina and more.
📷 In the mood for adventure? Book your Surfing Course in Mundaca here.
– Where to stay in the vicinity of Bermeo
Near Bermeo there are many rural houses to spend the night and relax amidst the green landscape and mountains. We recommend two places to sleep:
- Casa Rural Iturbe: 15 minutes drive from the sea and in a dream location. Rustic furniture, swimming pool and excellent service.
- EcoHotel Rural Angiz: 16th century country house only 500 metres from the coast where you can breathe fresh air and relax completely.
Day 3 – Cliffs on the road trip in the Basque Country in 4 days
On the third day, the coastal route between Mundaca and Zarautz is worth a stop at the Flysch Cliff in the Geopark. Its characteristic photo is the folded stones that go into the sea next to the high cliffs, a landscape that will leave you with your mouth open. From a geological point of view, they are formations with millions of years of history.
The second stop of the day is in Zarautz, another seaside town by the sea. The walk is sure not to leave you indifferent due to the length of the beach and the beauty of the surrounding environment.
In the afternoon and evening, in San Sebastian you should go into the historic centre, where the bars and restaurants await you for a pincho route and discover the different flavours of Basque gastronomy.
🔝 Check out this article on the best free tours to do in San Sebastian.
– Where to stay in San Sebastian
We have prepared an exclusive article with recommendations on where to stay in San Sebastian, whether you are travelling as a couple or with your family. You can read the article here.
Day 4 – Visit San Sebastian and surroundings
The last day is reserved for visiting the places to see in San Sebastian outside the historic centre. You should take a stroll around the Bay of La Concha, with the mythical beach of the same name and its well-known sculpture of the Peine del Viento (Wind Comb). On either side of the bay are the Igueldo and Urgull mountains, from either of which there are spectacular views of both the beach and the city of San Sebastian.
Furthermore, if you like to surf the waves, the other most popular beach in the city is Zurriola, which is located across the Urumea River, a perfect place to practise this sport with a youthful atmosphere.
📷 Book here check out the guided tour in San Sebastián.
🔝 Check out this article on things to do in San Sebastian.
Close to San Sebastian, Pasaia is one of the places to visit in the Basque Country in 4 days, four villages in one on the estuary which then flows into the sea. Here you can eat good fresh fish, discover historic buildings by the sea and even stroll through streets carved out of the mountain in the village of San Juan.
In addition, there are hiking trails and paths along the cliffs that border the estuary and reach the mouth of the estuary into the sea, and boat trips to see the villages from the water. And don’t leave without watching the sunset in this place, a dream.
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