Spain basque inn to inn camino del norte zumaia cliffs trail

Basque Country Holidays

Platinum Trusted Service Award 2023 Whiteout Landscape

Camino del Norte trails

Spain basque inn to inn camino del norte zumaia cliffs trail

The Basque have always had a strong relation with the sea.

Hemmed in by powerful neighbours Castile and Aragon inland, the region looked outwards to expand its horizons in the high Middle Ages. Early whaling expeditions took them as far as Newfoundland. Basque sailor Juan Sebastián Elcano went further, finishing the first circumnavigation of the globe in 1522, having taken command from Ferdinand Magellan when the Portuguese was killed en route.

You need only visit Bilbao's modern port or lively fishing villages like Getaria or Pasai Donibane to see this connection remains strong. And looking down over San Sebastian's La Concha beach offers one of the most spectacular urban panoramas in Spain.

But just looking at the sea and reading the history is one thing - walking along clifftop trails and tucking into fresh seafood in those village harbours are much better ways to truly enjoy everything this beautifully unpsoilt coastline has to offer.

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San Sebastián's beautiful La Concha Bay
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Hiking along the Camino del Norte in the Basque Country

Many of the spectacular coastal walks coincide with the Camino del Norte pilgrimage path, which threads its way across the top of the region.

There are some sweet spots we’ll share with you, such as the walk from Zumaia to Deba, where you can see the striking rock strata known as ‘flysch’, their origins dated to around 100 million years ago. The walk ends near the fishing port of Getaria, birthplace of Elcano and where you can find some of the best fish restaurants in the Basque Country and one of the best examples of Basque gothic architecture in its San Salvador parish church.

If you're a keen walker, you can kick of our unique combination of Camino routes in these very clifftop pastures, as part of our Three Caminos Inn to Inn Walking Holiday.

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Grilled fish in Getaria
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Fishing nets are a common sight in coastal villages

The Basque coast also offers up prime opportunities for kayaking and birdwatching in the Natural reserve of Urdaibai or learning how to surf in Mundaka or Sopelana. It's also certainly somewhere we'd recommend for an active family holiday or for more seasoned active explorers, perhaps in concert with the Pyrenees or the Picos de Europa.

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Spain viszcaya panoramic view of urdaibai and cantabrian coast

Northern Spain Signature Drive

  • £3,600 pp
  • 18 days

Travel with Pura Aventura

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