The Basques are one of the oldest people in Europe. Their roots are lost in time past and no one really knows their origin and their ancient history. It is known that several tribes inhabited the area that, today, are the Spanish provinces of Gipuzkoa, Bizkaia, Alava and Navarra before the arrival of the Romans (1st century BC). The first three provinces form the Basque Country, while Navarra is a different Autonomous Community. At that time, Navarra was inhabited by the Vascones, a tribe that gradually amplified its presence and dominion over the other provinces, extending its language and customs throughout this territory, settling it and giving rise to what would later, in the Middle Ages, become the Kingdom of Navarra and what is now known as Euskal Herria (the country of the Basques). Today, therefore, this whole area has its own identity and a culture and customs that are very different from those of the surrounding areas. Special mention should be made of Euskera, an ancient pre-Indo-European language that is unique and exclusive to the Basques and whose origin is unknown, even to specialists.
In addition to enjoying some of the area’s innumerable and beautiful hiking routes, the client will get to know the interesting and curious characteristics that the Basque people offer. To this end, two different places have been chosen for the overnight stays, both located in characteristic areas of this land, so that the traveller can discover and obtain a broad knowledge of this very interesting corner of Europe.
The first days of the trip take place in the province of Gipuzkoa, from where three beautiful excursions to the surrounding mountains are made. Halfway through the week, a short transfer is made to a second place, located in the province of Navarra, taking advantage of this rest day for some very interesting visits along the way. From this second location, another two hiking routes are made, enjoying the green mountains of this area.
Whenever possible, these excursions can be completed with a visit to a place of interest such as a farmhouse, cider maker, cheese factory, cave, forge, water mill, etc..., so that the visitor has more direct contact with the rural world of the Basques. And always enjoying the beautiful green landscape of this land, its charming villages and, of course, its fantastic gastronomy.
We hope you find this beautiful plan interesting and attractive for your hiking holiday, so the best we can say is... Laster Arte! (Hope to see you soon, in Basque).
This is the summary of the programme:
Day 1: Arrival to San Sebastián and transfer to the first rural house in Gipuzkoa
Days 2 to 4: Three mountain hikes around this area of Gipuzkoa
Day 5: Rest day and transfer to the second rural house in Navarra
Days 6 and 7: Two mountain hikes in Northern Navarra
Day 8: Departure day
The order of this programme could be changed for different reasons, such as the availability of accommodation or weather forecasts. Any change would be communicated to customers in advance.
This trip takes place in two different areas so we use two different accommodations, one in the province of Gipuzkoa and the other in Northern Navarra.
In both cases, the accommodation will be made in comfortable and welcoming rural houses, where we will be able to really feel and live the authentic rustic atmosphere of this territory. These accommodations have everything necessary to make the stay truly comfortable and pleasant since they are part of a wide network of rural establishments, that obliges them to offer high levels of quality and comfort to all their customers.
The fact that we are a local travel agency allows us to select accommodation directly. We choose them in person, not on the Internet, visiting them frequently with direct contact with the owners. Thanks to this, it is possible to guarantee that these are quality accommodations with high standards of service and that they are the ideal places for our trips.
The dates for this trip are flexible and depend on two factors:
The procedure to arrange the trip is as follows:
|SEASON||DATES||Price per person||Single supplement|
|Low||October to May||1,275 €||100 €|
|Mid||June and September||1,295 €||125 €|
|High||July and August (**)||1,325 €||150 €|
(*) Prices are per person and based on two people sharing a twin or double room
(**) Easter, weekends and other special days are also considered high season.
This is an ALL INCLUDED trip:
(*) Possibility to order private transfers from/to Biarritz or Bilbao, at an additional charge.
(**) Possibility to organize additional nights of accommodation. Please contact us if you are interested.
Do I have to make any reservation or do anything myself?
The only thing you have to look after is your round trip to and from San Sebastian (remember that we can advise and help you with the arrangements). Everything else is included so you don't have to worry about anything, We look after everything else. You just have to worry about coming here and enjoying your trip to the fullest.
How can I get to the area?
Today, the Basque Country is a highly developed area that has very good communications by land, sea and air making it easy to get to San Sebastian. There are several options to fly to our different airports and our cities are connected by modern motorways. You also have the option of coming by bus, train and even by boat if you come from Great Britain. For more information, see the "How to get here" section of the "Information" tab.
What currency and language is used in the area? As in the other countries of the European Union, the currency used is the euro. With regard to languages, this is one of the many attractions of this region because, apart from Spanish, one of the oldest and most mysterious languages in the world is spoken in the Basque Country: Basque. While you are here, you will often hear and see Basque and we will tell you some curious facts about this ancient language. With regard to English, San Sebastian is a popular tourist city and, as such, it is quite easy to find people who speak it. However, it is less common in the interior of the province of Gipuzkoa and in the villages of northern Navarra. In any case, a bilingual guide will be with you at all times, so you won't have any problem in understanding the locals.
Is it a safe area? Yes, fortunately, this area is very safe and visitors do not usually have any problems on their trip. However, we recommend taking the usual common sense precautions against theft.
Can I book a single person trip?? Yes, as long as there are other people on that same trip. Walking North Spain cannot offer guided trips for a single person. There will be an individual supplement for single reservations.
What is the best time of year to make this trip? This trip can be made at any time of the year although the best dates are probably from May to October
What are the routes like? Are they very long or difficult? Both the mountains of Gipuzkoa and Navarra offer many different routes of different lengths and levels of effort. In general, the selected routes for this trip are between 9 and 15 kilometres, with a height gain of between 450 and 800 metres, so that everybody accustomed to hill-walking and is reasonable fit can hike our routes without any difficulty. Walking North Spain is also able to choose those routes that best suit the preferences and characteristics of the group.
Will it be possible to shorten some routes? The group will be led by a single guide if there are 8 or fewer clients. With just one guide the group cannot be divided and everyone will have to follow the same itinerary. There will be 2 guides leading if there are 9 or more clients in the group making it possible to shorten the routes for part of the group.
I have some dietary restrictions, is it possible to take this into account? Of course, although one of the main attractions of this area is its gastronomy, every year we welcome people who have dietary restrictions. In these cases, we inform all the accommodations and restaurants we visit so that this is taken into account.
If you have any other questions, please click here and send us an email with your query. Thank you very much.