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The Beautiful Basque Country

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Explore the beautiful Basque coast of Spain and France

8 days From £1,099 per person

2023 Tour code: 23BHS

About the tour

Explore the beautiful Basque coast of Spain and France from your base in medieval Hondarribia, visiting coastal fishing towns and stylish cities, and discovering the unique cuisine, art and culture of this fascinating region.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Day 1 - London & Hondarribia

Meet at London St Pancras and join the Eurostar to Paris, then continue by rail to Hendaye. You are transferred to the coastal town of Hondarribia, and check into your hotel for seven nights. A three-course dinner is served at your hotel. Based in the centre of Hondarribia, this attractive walled medieval city is made up of cobbled lanes and historic plazas of brightly painted Basque-style houses and flower-filled balconies.

Includes
  • Dinner
Day 2 - Hondarribia

Today is free to explore Hondarribia at your own pace. Considered to be one of the most beautiful Basque country towns, this colourful fishing village has a lot of character and plenty to offer. The medieval Old Town or Casco Histórico is inside the walled area - which once protected the castle of Charles V - just a ten-minute walk from your hotel. In the main plaza, you'll find the unusual Gothic church, La Iglesia de Santa María de la Asunción, built in the 15th century with an 18th-century Baroque tower.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 3 - San Sebastián

This morning you have a guided tour of the historic sights of San Sebastián followed by free time to get to know this enchanting city independently. Regarded as Spain's culinary capital, San Sebastián is renowned across the world for its great cuisine. Set in the fabulous La Concha Bay the city is celebrated for its pintxos, a Basque-style tapas. With the beach easily accessible on foot, you could have a refreshing dip in the sea, or take a boat trip out to the nearby island of Santa Clara. Later you return to your hotel for a three-course dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 - Free day in Hondarribia

Today you are free to continue exploring Hondarribia and its surrounding area. The town is just across the estuary from France and the sea is known as the calmest in the Basque region. The beach has a choice of bars and restaurants and you may like to explore Hondarribia's 'foodie' scene. Although it's much smaller than San Sebastián, Hondarribia has a reputation for good cuisine and is a mecca for upcoming chefs who come here to make a name for themselves. In the evening the Old Town opens up its inviting eateries where you can sample typical Basque fare.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 5 - St Jean de la Luz, Petit Train de la Rhune

You travel by coach to the nearby coastal town of St Jean de la Luz, a lively fishing port in France's Aquitaine province. Right on the ocean, St Jean is known for its beautiful beach and excellent seafood. You're free to look around before joining the Petit Train de la Rhune to Col de St Ignace, the summit of La Rhune. Travelling in a vintage carriage you enjoy panoramic views of the Pyrenees, from the coastal cities of San Sebastián to Biarritz, across the Atlantic Ocean and beyond. After this scenic trip, the coach takes you back to your hotel for dinner.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 6 - Hondarribia

With another free day to explore at your leisure, you may like to spend some time on the seafront. Outside the city walls is the pretty district of La Marina, a popular seaside quarter where the main street is lined with colourful fishermen's houses. There's an inviting sandy beach that's perfect for relaxing in the sun and dipping your toes in the sea. Or maybe enjoy a stroll along the seafront, before or after dinner. If you prefer, you could spend some time in Casco, Hondarribia's centre which dates back to the 15th century. You'll find elegant plazas, cobbled streets, and charming balconies.

Includes
  • Breakfast
Day 7 - Bilbao

Today you visit Bilbao, a modern city with a charming Old Quarter, to see the Guggenheim Museum. Devoted to contemporary art by artists including Jeff Koons and Louise Bourgeois, it's the museum building - with its curvy, titanium-clad exterior designed by Frank Gehry - which often gets the most attention. After time to view the exhibitions you're free in Bilbao, maybe look around the Old Town where you will find many tempting pintxos bars, serving typical Basque tapas for lunch. Or, you could visit the Doña Casilda Iturrizar Park which is filled with beautiful gardens, architecture, and fountains. Later, enjoy a final three-course dinner at your hotel.

Includes
  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8 - Hondarribia & London

After breakfast travel by train to Paris where you join the Eurostar service to London St Pancras.

Includes
  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We will write to you around 10 weeks before your departure date with the precise meeting times for your tour group.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.

Hotel

Sercotel Jauregui, Hondarribia

Sercotel Jauregui, Hondarribia

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Trains

Eurostar
La Rhune Mountain Railway

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UK rail connections
London hotels
European and UK Escorted Holidays by Rail 2023

European and UK Escorted Holidays by Rail 2023

The definitive guide to Europe and UK 2023 rail holidays.

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The Beautiful Basque Country

Explore the beautiful Basque coast of Spain and France

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Ashleigh Howe
Ashleigh
Simon Laverack
Simon
Lynne Broadley
Lynne