Bicycle the Basque Country: France and Spain Plus! Bilbao

Basque Country
  • Length 11 days
  • From USD$5550
  • Style/Level Classic 3.5
  • Countries France
  • Begin/End Bayonne/Bilbao
See related tours

Immerse yourself in the language, culture and traditions of the ancient Basque people and the remarkable landscapes, colorful villages, vibrant port cities, and exceptional cuisine that define the Basque Country. Straddling the border of France and Spain in the western Pyrenees, the Basque Country is regionally composed of seven traditional provinces – three in France and four in Spain. Starting in Bayonne, France, on the banks of what was once considered the chocolate capital of Europe, we’ll embark on exceptional coastal and interior riding through lush and hilly countryside, which trends more steeply once as we cross into Spain. Witness how traditional seafaring, pastoral and industrial ways of life are finding new expression throughout the Basque Country even as you indulge in the rich history of place, people and “pintxos” you encounter while pedaling west to Bilbao along the Bay of Biscay.

If this sounds great but you don’t have time for the full 11 days, check out our Bicycle the Basque Country: France and Spain tour, which features the first 7 days of this itinerary.


  • Bayonne, Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz

  • Rolling Basque countryside

  • Underwater winery visit

  • Breathtaking coastal riding

  • Colorful village of Espelette

  • Vibrant Donostia-San Sebastian

  • Famous Basque gastronomy

  • Getaria and its wines

  • Saint Nicolas Island

  • San Juan de Gaztelugatxe Hermitage

  • World Heritage Bizcaya Bridge

  • Bilbao


  • 11 days, 10 nights accommodation

  • Meals as noted in itinerary

  • Underwater winery visit

  • Special meal in San Sebastian

  • All Classic tour inclusions

Date Price Private room fee Note
Jun 16-26, 2025 USD$5550 USD$650 Book now and save $200!
Sep 8-18, 2025 USD$5550 USD$650 Book now and save $200!
Sep 29-Oct 9, 2025 USD$5550 USD$650 Book now and save $200!
DateJun 16-26, 2025
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteBook now and save $200!
DateSep 8-18, 2025
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteBook now and save $200!
DateSep 29-Oct 9, 2025
Private room feeUSD$650
NoteBook now and save $200!

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  • Total distance 512km (318 miles)
  • Average daily distance 56km (35 miles)
  • Tour style Classic
  • Tour level 3.5

Highlights: Bayonne, Basque Cultural Museum, Jambon de Bayonne, Bayonne chocolate, and the Gateau Basque

Built at the confluence of the Audour and the Nive rivers, Bayonne served as an important hub for trade between the 12th and 17th centuries, exporting wine, salt and wool, and importing spices, textiles, and other luxury goods from distant lands. For instance, Portuguese Jews, who had fled the inquisition, imported the art of chocolate-making to Bayonne – the first city in France to produce the delicacy. Take time before our bike fitting to learn about the subsequent and controversial history of chocolate-making in Bayonne , or dip your toes into the region’s rich culture and history with a visit to the Basque Museum. We’ll kick off our tour with dinner together.

Meals : Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Villa Koegui

Highlights: Rolling Basque countryside, La Bastide and typical Basque villages.

Today we immerse ourselves in the lush pasture lands, evergreen forests and villages of the Basque countryside. Enjoy La Bastide Clairance – designated one of the most beautiful villages in France. Its well-preserved buildings, including half-timbered houses and stone churches, offer a glimpse into the town’s medieval past. At the local trinquet – the playing court for the typical Basque game, jai alai, or pelota Basca – you might enjoy some action before heading back to Bayonne.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Villa Koegui

Highlights: The Atlantic coast, Biarritz, and the French villas on the Riviera, the port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Leave beautiful Bayonne and head inland for more rolling Basque countryside as you cycle towards Biarritz, one of the most prized towns of coastal Atlantic France. This seaside destination in southwestern France has been a popular vacation spot for the well-to-do since the 19th century, thanks to a mild climate and beautiful, sprawling beaches and scenic cliffs atop which French and international aristocracy built luxurious villas overlooking the ocean. Continue along the coast for dramatic views all the way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, our destination for the next two days.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Madison Saint Jean De Luz

Highlights: Spectacular hills and farmland, colorful Espelette, Sare and the witches of Zugarramundi, underwater winery.

Today’s loop ride through the French Basque countryside – with a brief dip into Spain – features colorful farms, black-headed “latxa” sheep, lush meadows, and small villages. The long tentacles of the Inquisition reached Zugarramundi where one of the largest witch trials in the history of Spain occurred. On the way to back Sant-Jean-de-Luz, take a walk in Espelette, famous for the “piment d’Espelette” a staple ingredient of Basque cuisine that was introduced from the Americas. This afternoon we’ll visit a unique local winery that incorporates the power of the ocean in its vinification process.

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Madison Saint Jean De Luz

Highlights: Corniche Basque and Jaizkibel coastal riding, entering Spain’s Pais Vasco, Hondarribia and Pasaia Basque ports. Vibrant Donostia-San Sebastian

Spectacular coastal ride today as we pedal into Spain. Great views over the ocean along the Chamin de la Corniche all the way to Hendaye, the last town in France. Enter Spain and take a rest in the fortress town of Hondarribia before an exciting ride over the Jaizkibel ridge. Tonight we’ll be in beautiful Donostia-San Sebastian. Uniquely set in a bay protected from the ocean by a peninsula, the city thrived as a fishing and industrial port that attracted architects and artists from across Europe. Today, Donostia-San Sebastian is revered for exceptional restaurants and its extraordinary, gourmet “pinxtos,” a tapas-like delight. Dinner tonight is a special gastronomic experience.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Abba San Sebastian

Highlights: Explore Donostia-San Sebastian, La Concha Beach. Optional ride in the hills.

Choose your own adventure today. Stroll the cobblestoned streets of old town, relax beside the crystal-clear waters of the crescent-shaped La Concha Beach, or take an invigorating ride into the surrounding hills. Immediately you will notice a change in the terrain from France, as the Spanish Basque territory is more challenging, but very rewarding. Back in Donostia-San Sebastian, you’ll embark on a once-in-a-lifetime tour de “pinxtos.”

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Abba San Sebastian

Highlights: Coastal riding, Getaria and its wines, Zarautz beach, Cantabrian anchovies

Follow the coast today as you depart San Sebastian for Zarautz. As the route climbs over Mendizorrotz peak and the first ridges of the Cordillera Cantabrica, you’ll gain views of the ocean and rugged interior. You’ll stay tonight in Zarautz, home to some gorgeous golden sand beaches, but continue riding a few kilometers to medieval Getaria, whose name derives from the Latin “cetaria” – a place where fish is stocked, cured and packaged. The bay still hosts fish industries and a cannery, while the surrounding hills nourish vines for Txacoli, a uniquely local white wine. Enjoy the view and circle back to Zarautz. Dinner together this evening.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Karlos

Highlights: Ocean views & alpine meadows, beach walk to San Nicolas Island

As we leave Zarautz along the coast, more views open over the scenic, rugged geology of the Cantabrian Ridges and the wide, golden beaches of Zumaia contained within the Basque Coast Geopark. Here you’ll head south for a taste of the interior. Enjoy the forested mountains and alpine meadows of Lastur before gliding back down toward the ocean. Take in the beach in Lekeitio, and if the tide is low, walk to the island of San Nicolas, located in front of the bay. Just be sure you return to the mainland before the tide rises!

Meals : Breakfast
Lodging : Hotel Zubieta

Highlights: Laga Beach, Urdabai bay, Gernika Picasso and the Spanish Civil War.

An undulating departure from Lekeitio leads us toward Guernica, located on the birdwatching paradise of the Urdabai natural reserve. Don’t miss the Peace Museum where you can learn about the Spanish Civil war and particularly about the bombing warfare introduced here in 1937 testing by German and Italian airbombers. This technology will terrorize Europe for the next eight years. Picasso painted one of his most-known masterpieces right after the bombing as a manifesto against the brutality of the war.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Luruna

Highlights: World Heritage Bizcaya Bridge, Vibrant Bilbao

Today we climb over a spectacular stretch of Basque coast that peers down on San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Used as movie setting multiple times, the hermitage is perched on a rocky island off the coast, connected to the mainland by a picturesque bridge. We continue inland toward the UNESCO World Heritage Bridge of Portugalete, which marks the entrance to the Bilbao riverport. As we cycle upstream, the remains of the great shipyard industries that characterized the Basque history are slowly being converted into a vibrant cultural and architectural museum district. The Guggenheim Museum, with its peculiar shape and titanium surface, stands as testament to Bilbao’s urban renewal. Enjoy a stroll in this rich city before our farewell dinner tonight.

Meals : Breakfast, Dinner
Lodging : Hotel Abando

Highlights: Farewell

Your tour ends after breakfast.

Meals : Breakfast

Visit our Tour Level page to learn more about terrain levels and how we determine day and tour levels.

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