From Hondarribia (Gipuzkoa) to Bilbao (Bizkaia)
8 days / 7 nights
Hermitage of San Telmo in Zumaia. Photo Javier Carballo
Walking with a friend
The old town of Donibane
A typical path arriving in Orio
The ancien way
Day 1: Welcome to Hondarribia
From 17:00, travellers’ reception. Dinner, briefing and presentation of the route.
Day 2: from Hondarribia to Donostia-San Sebastián (22 kms – 6h00)
Walking on the Jaizkibel and Ulia mountains, not very high mountains but with a breathtaking landscape, we will cross forests and fields enjoying the sea to our right and the most populated areas of Gipuzkoa to our left. This strong contrast between rural and urban areas with the presence of the sea permanently with us will be the general trend of our trip.
After walking down to the port of Pasaia, we will cross the channel on a motorboat and follow our trip walking along Ulia Mountain’s paths. The arrival to the beautiful, welcoming and cosmopolitan city of San Sebastian walking down the mountain towards La Zurriola beach will offer the walkers a spectacular experience which embraces nature and city.
Day 3: From Donostia-San Sebastián to Zarautz (22 kms – 6h00)
In this stage we will meet local walkers and Jacobean pilgrims. The amazing valleys almost hanging above the sea at our feet, the farm houses, or caserios, and some ancient remains of a paved road add up to the diversity of the route. After crossing Orio, a town with a strong fishing tradition, we gently climb up through the vineyards where the renowned txakoli wine is produced before reaching Zarautz. We will cross Zarautz walking along its beach and feeling the sea caressing our feet.
Day 4: From Zarautz to Deba across the flysch route (24 kms – 6h30)
We have decided to leave the official route of the Way and follow a different route across the Basque Coast’s Geopark. The first part crosses Zarautz, Getaria and Zumaia,after a gentle walk following the coastline the path heads inland crossing vineyards, grand wine cellars and Atlantic farming land. Once in Zumaia, the route reaches one of the best preserved and most impressive natural spots of the Basque Coast. We can find endless cliffs and little coves and in some of them we can even have a swim. We can also admire here one of the stratotypes, a unique referential geochronological limit. This stage comes to an end in Deba, a quiet coastal town in Gipukoa.
Day 5: From Deba to Markina (22 kms – 5h30)
This is a beautiful, mountainous and lonely stage across forests and mountain passes that takes us away from the sea and into the mountainous massif of Arno, full of caves and chasms.
Day 6: Markina to Gernika (27 kms – 6h15)
Crossing pine forests, mountain passes and small towns, this stage has a great historical and ethnographic interest: the town of Bolivar, where the great American Liberator was born; the Cenarruza or Ziortza Collegiate, a temple with many centuries of history; the isolated and cosy towns of Munitibar and Gerrikaitz; or the open landscape of Ajangiz. All this precedes our arrival to Gernika, a town which is the symbol of Basque traditional freedoms.
Day 7: Gernika to Lezama (24 kms – 6h00)
Our day begins crossing the real Basque rural world and little by little, mainly after going pass Larrabetxu, we come close to the big urban centres. The contrast between the rural and urban environment will give you a more complete picture of the real country.
Día 8: Lezama to Bilbao (14 kms – 3h15)
This is a short stage that will take us down to the city of Bilbao crossing Mount’s Ganguren west mountainside. The walk down the long although not very high hill range will take us to the old quarter of the bustling city known as the “Casco Viejo” and the “Seven Streets”.
What should you take with you when walking?
- A small backpack.
- A light folding umbrella.
- A baseball type cap.
- A pair of shorts and a pair of long trousers, one to be worn and the other one in the backpack.
- Sunglasses, even in the winter.
- Light polar jacket.
- Anorak or rain coat.
- Band-aids for blisters.
- Telescopic walking sticks (highly recommended).
- Mobile Phone.
- Personal documentation.
And in the suitcase that will wait for you in your room every afternoon....
- Spare underwear.
- Special walking socks, at least three pairs.
- 2 shorts (you’ll wear one, the other one will go in the small backpack).
- 2 pairs of long trousers (you’ll wear one, the other will go in the small backpack).
- Sunscreen, even in the winter.
- Items of personal hygiene.
- Casual clothes to be at home or in the hotel.
- Comfortable footwear, for the hotel or to go on a town visit or dinner in the evening.
- Pyjama or sleep wear.
- Swimming suit and towel.
- Wear a pair of good walking boots. If you are inexperienced, ask for advice at a specialist retailer. Make sure you “break in” new walking boots before you start the Way. Use them as much as you can before starting your route. Make them yours. Get used to them.
- Do not take with you unnecessary things “just in case”, you will be able to buy whatever you need along the way if you need something you have forgotten.
- At the end of the fall, winter and early spring you will need to take with you enough warm clothes (woollen hat, thermal underwear, gloves..).
All the accommodations as well as the restaurants have been chosen by us after interviewing their owners. Along the Way you will find very different types of accommodation: hostels, rural houses or pensions which will always meet our quality and comfort standards. For those who would rather stay in a different type of accommodation we can offer the possibility, unfortunately not in all the stages, to choose a higher standard accommodation which will require a small surcharge.
The restaurants and the menus have been personally chosen by us with the intention to provide an added value to the travelling experience. We will eat local products and will learn about the local gastronomy while, step by step, we reach the sea.
At noon or early afternoon, we will always enjoy a lunch around a table to relax and enjoy fresh local products or high quality canned fish and vegetables made by local canneries with local products.
- Hondarribia: Hotel boutique *
- Donostia: Hotel boutique **
- Zarautz/Getaria: Hotel boutique **
- Deba: Country house
- Markina: Country hotel ***
- Gernika: Hotel ***
- Lezama: Country hotel **
- Bilbao: Hotel ** (optional, it has additional extra cost)
Base price: € 795 / person. (guided)
Single supplement: €180 /person.
Consult for high season supplement (from Juny to October)
What is included in the price?
- Accommodation as specified
- Full board, except for the self-guided tour
- Water and wine in all the dinners
- Guide Assistance
- Support vehicle
- Luggage transport from lodging to lodging
What is not included in the price?
- Transfer the first day to Hondarribia*
- Transfer the last day from Bilbao*
- Drinks, except water, for lunch **
- Travel Assistance Insurance (optional)
* This service has a surcharge based on the departure and/or destination place.
** If you wish to have a drink for your lunch, for instance a cold beer, let us know and we will provide it at cost price.
First service: Dinner in Hondarribia
Last service: Breakfast in Lezama