San Juan de GatzegulatxeIn the Northern most part of Spain lies Pais Vasco, bordered by the Pyrenees Mountain and a close neighbor to France. Pais Vasco AKA Euskadi Aka The Basque Country is mostly overshadowed by other popular tourist destinations in Spain. In this Basque Country Itinerary post, you are going to learn about the culture, food, language and a hidden gem in this region.

Basque cuisine has one of the best gastronomy in the world and is known for its Pintxos (Tapas). If you are a seafood lover, this is your paradise! The region’s close proximity to the Atlantic ocean allows locals and tourists alike to enjoy food, fresh from the sea. Besides the delicious food, the Basque culture is far from the stereotypical image of Spain.  Locals have their own distinct dance, attire and even language.

Basque Country Itinerary: Pintxos

Basque Country Itinerary- Yummy Pintxos


As if this region couldn’t be any cooler;  Basque, the language spoken in Pais Vasco is one of the oldest and one of the hardest known languages in the world.  The Basque people weren’t always able to freely speak their language. During the times of the Spanish Dictatorship; The Basque culture was suppressed. This affected the language which was banned in schools and other institutions.  From 1979, The Basque country gained regional autonomy allowing for the freedom of its culture and customs. See info

Basque Country Itinerary: Basque Women

Basque Country Itinerary- Basque Women preparing to dance

Armed with these cool facts, there was no way I could skip The Basque Country. My only worry was that I was visiting during its off-season (October) which usually consists of rain and cloudy skies.  Determined but prepared, I stuffed an umbrella in my backpack just in case.

My adventure was for 3 days, with a challenge. I brought only a 100€ in cash for my trip. I was not to spend over-the-budget. Here is an overview of the trip.

Day 1: Bilbao & Getxo

Favorite~ Pintxos, Museum, Super Clean city and Basque Dance

Least Favorite~  Metro Closes Early


Beaches: Plentzia,Arrigunaga, Ereaga, Arriatera-Artxabiribil

Ereaga Beach

Walk around the cute town of Getxo

Vizcaya Bridge

Shop in Gran Via “literally almost all Spanish cities have a Gran Via”

Go up the Artxanda Cable car to see the mountains

Visit a Museums or Gaze at an attraction: Guggenheim, Flower Puppy, Zubiziri Bridge,  Bellas Artes

Basque Country Itinerary: Flower Puppy

Basque Country Itinerary- The famous flower puppy


Basque Country Itinerary- Guggenheim

Go to Parque de los Patos ( Duck Park)

Walk through the Casco Viejo: It’s a classic neighborhood with medieval influences. Its intersection is connected by 7 streets.

Stop by  and watch one of their local  performance (I’m sure you will!)

Basque Country Itinerary- Dancers

Basque Country Itinerary- Basque Dancers




Beach  Free
Food  €    11.60
Transportation  €       5.80
Postcard  €       1.60
Activities  €       1.90
TOTAL  €    20.90

Day trips from Bilbao

  • San Sebastian– Has the best beaches in the country
  • San Juan de Gaztelugatxe– Cathedral in the clouds, one of the locations for the Game of Thrones
  • Castro Urdiales– Great for Roman and Medieval history buffs

Day 2: San Sebastian

Favorites~ Pintxos, Beaches and Peine del Viento

 Least Favorite~ A bit pricey


Basque beaches are the best in the country. Many locals and tourists come to San Sebastian to enjoy the beaches. There are two main ones here: Zurriola and La Concha (The seashell)

Basque Country Itinerary: Concha Beach

Basque Country Itinerary-Concha Beach

Go to the Anoeta Stadium to watch a match ( If soccer is your thing)

Shop in Plaza de Gipuzkoa

Surf on the Urumea river

Urumea River

Urumea River

Check out La Bretxa Market; where Michelin Star chefs shop


Walk around the old town

Check out the top view of the entire city from Mount Urgull or Monte Igueldo views

See the Basilica of St. Mary of the Chorus

Basilica Mary of the chorus

Basilica of Mary of the chorus

Enjoy the view of the Urumea river at night.


Get in on some Marilyn Monroe action in the Peine del Viento

Peine del viento Peine del viento

Fun times in Peine del Viento


There are a lot of good places to eat in San Sebastian. I suggest walking around the city to find what’s appealing to you. With that being said, locals recommend the restaurants on 31 de agosto street.

For Sweets I recommend: Argitan

31 de agosto


Pulpo Pintxos *Highly Recommend*


Beach  Free
Food  €    25.61
Transportation  €    28.84
Postcard  €       1.00
Activities  €       3.20
TOTAL  €    58.65


Day trips from San Sebastian

  • Bilbao– Great for arts, culture, and pintxos
  • Biarritz, France– Great for window shopping and stunning scenery
  • Getaria– A small fishing town and Foodie heaven

Day 3: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Favorite~ San Juan Gatzelugatxe

Least Favorite~ Hiking up to San Juan Gatzelugatxe, Transportation


Hike up to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

Basque Country Itinerary: San Juan de Gatzelugatxe

San Juan de Gatzelugatxe Crooked Steps of San Juan de Gatzelugatxe

This AMAZING islet at the tip of the Bay of Biscay is located in the small town of Bermeo just about 54 minutes from Bilbao.  It is connected by 237 crooked steps leading to a little church,  262 feet (80 meters) above sea level. It is said that the Game of Thrones’ new season would be shot here!  There are no restaurants up top, so you are limited to eating in Bermeo. I advise you to pack something to eat up there, if you please, or just eat in Bilbao.

Warning: Public Transportation to this site is not convenient, at least in the Fall/Winter seasons. Once you have gotten off bus A3527 from Bilbao to Bermeo,  you have two options.

  1. Hike from the bus stop to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe
  2. Take the taxi (2€) to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe: The taxi comes every 2 hours,  I had no idea of this prior to my arrival. I was lucky to have met two other French tourists who were as confused as I was about the logistics. So we figured out stuff together in the bitter morning cold.  Oh, and the taxi has a max capacity of 4 people in the vehicle (ugh!). So if it’s full, you have to wait another 2 hours hoping for a taxi with enough space to fit you or whoever is with you.

I also forgot to mention that the Bus to and from Bilbao arrives every 1 hour.  In total, your round trip to the Islet is 3 hours if everything goes right.  But it is all Worth it!

Happy Faces

Happy after hiking faces

To save you some hassle: Rent a car.


Food  €    11.60
Transportation  €       9.80
Postcard  €       1.00
Storage  €       1.00
Islet  Free
TOTAL  €    23.40


I spent about 104€ on this trip.  A little over the budget.  I blame it on gluttony and spending a bit too much on transportation (It could have been avoided with better planning and asking questions). I was financially saved by the 2€ (So valuable) leftover coins from my daily expenditures in Madrid.

Halal Tip: It is hard to find Halal Restaurants in the Basque Country, but you are in luck as Basque cuisine consists mostly of seafood. So you can get to eat like the locals

Best Time to  Visit

Between Summer and Early Fall; June – September

I honestly don’t know why The Basque Country is not on the top 5 places visited by tourist maybe it’s the hard to pronounce Basque words or it’s distance from the rest of Spain or it’s cultural distinction.  I would never know. However these reasons are what makes me love the Basque Country, which I consider a hidden a gem.

Wanna see what I’m talking about! Check out the beautiful Basque Country in the video below. Enjoy :)

I hope you this Basque country itinerary motived you.  Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments.

I hope you felt inspired! 

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Pinterest: Basque Country