The green Pyrenean foothills of Navarra and the wide bays and sandy beaches of the Atlantic Coast come together to create a simply wonderful, diverse holiday. This heartland, with its language, cuisine, fiestas and scenery are the epitome of a more ‘hidden’ Spain.
See what's planned
- Guided visit of Bilbao's Guggenheim Museum
- Sweeping bay of San Sebastian's waterfront
- Walking sections of the Camino de Santiago
- Wine tasting and lunch in the medieval town of Olite
- Winding streets of Pamplona
- Coastal walk in the French Basque Country
The northern coastline of Spain’s Basque Country, bordering the Bay of Biscay, and the captivating countryside of the Kingdom of Navarra, offer a quite unique flavour to this otherwise familiar country. Dramatic cliffs, rocky coves and rias, lush green valleys, striking architecture, fascinating culture and traditions and celebrated cuisine & wines are just the start of what this region has to offer.
The wide bays and sandy beaches of the Atlantic Coast and the green Pyrenean foothills of Navarra all come together to create a simply wonderful, diverse holiday. There are many pilgrimage paths that criss-cross the region en route to Santiago de Compostela, a couple of which we’ll discover, and across the border we’ll find French Basque country, where we’ll follow a coastal path and relax in St Jean de Luz.
This heartland, with its unique language, mouthwatering cuisine and stunning scenery is the epitome of a more ‘hidden’ Spain.
- Flights from London Gatwick to Bilbao with British Airways
- Airport and centre transfers
- En suite accommodation at both hotels with breakfast
- Dinner at a mix of our hotels and local restaurants on six nights
- All local transport costs, entrance fees and tipping to local suppliers
- Lunch at a seaside restuarant on one of our walk days
- Guided visit of the Guggenheim Museum
- Local on the spot guides on some of the days
What's not included?
- Personal Expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary Tips
- Optional Excursions
- Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)
All Adagio holidays are expertly designed to allow you to immerse yourself in the destination. Leisurely exploration of the must-see, as well as lesser known, highlights together with relaxed enjoyment of local food and wines is what we have in mind.
There may be days of sightseeing on foot around a spectacular city or unchallenging strolls on easy terrain in open countryside interspersed with winery visits, guided tours, boat trips, cafe stops and traditional restaurants.
Our itinerary is expected to follow the daily schedule outlined below but please bear in mind that the order of the days may be amended, or walks substituted, due to weather conditions or changes beyond our control. Distances, ascent/descent and timings are all approximate and refer only to the countryside walking element of each day.
San Sebastian (BQ)
We fly to Bilbao for a guided visit of the Guggenheim Museum before reaching the elegant resort of San Sebastian, surrounded by green hills and fronted by a sweeping promenade and wide, sandy beach. Dinner is at a restaurant close to the hotel this evening.
We meet our local guide for a walking visit of San Sebastian this morning and a stop in the fascinating San Telmo museum in the afternoon. You will also find a wonderful covered market, an old historic quarter for exploring and there is a funicular to Mt Igueldo, which offers wonderful views of the sweeping bay, plus you can expore an amusement park from 1912!
St Jean de Luz, France
We travel into the French Basque Country today to enjoy a coastal walk (approx 5km, 1.5 hourss), which ends in the sea-side town of St Jean de Luz, where we have time for lunch and exploration before returning to San Sebastian, where you may want to enjoy the Old Town before dinner
Taking the train to the seaside village of Orio, we take a breath-taking coastal walk (approx. 6.5kms; ascent/descent 250m; 2.5-3 hours) along the Camino Norte, which takes us to Zarautz, with its sweeping bay and where we enjoy a traditional Basque seafood lunch paired with the locally produced white wine called Txakoli. To drop down from the path into Zarautz, there are over 400 steps, but they are well built and we take our time. We’ll return to San Sebastian by train, where we spend the evening in the Old Town sampling local, delicious Pintxos dishes.
Saying goodbye to the Bay of Biscay, we travel inland, through captivating landscape, to the ancient Roman city of Pamplona, in the Kingdom of Navarra. Dominated by the cathedral of Santa Maria, the winding streets and old city walls, much loved by Hemingway, are best explored on foot, which we will do with our local guide. We’ll enjoy a lovely traditional dinner this evening at our hotel’s restaurant, which is well known for its wonderful dishes.
Travelling to the magnificent town of Olite today, home of Navarra’s wine region and once a royal residence of the Kings of Navarra, we’ll have a stroll around the town, visit a winery, and explore the Royal Palace which has magnificent views over the town and countryside. A highlight of today is our included lunch at a traditional restaurant in Olite, wine included. Back in Pamplona, you have time to explore the city and dinner is on your own this evening.
Camino de Santiago
After a visit to the tiny Romanesque Ermita of Santa Maria de Eunate, we’ll walk with our guide on part of the “Camino de Santiago”(approx. 6.5kms; ascent 100m/descent 150m; 1.5-2 hours) which takes us to the pilgrimage town of Puente La Reina with time to visit the town and see the famous bridge. There will be time to further explore Pamplona before our farewell dinner.
We transfer to Bilbao airport for our flight to London.
Walks & Excursions
We use a mix of privately hired vehicles, taxis, and public transport which gives us some flexibility in our itinerary. We have a wonderful programme of walking, sightseeing and visits planned to let you fully experience the area along with opportunities to relax at our wonderful hotel and enjoy your surroundings.
Local transport costs, entrance fees and tips to local providers are included in your holiday price. You may wish to budget for any meals and drinks not included in the holiday arrangements, non-included entrance fees and any optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
The currency in Spain is the euro. ATMs are widely available in the larger towns and villages and most establishments accept credit/debit cards. You may wish to take some euro in cash with you for the first day or so until you locate a bank.
We include tips in the holiday cost and your Adagio Leader will take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. If you feel that someone has gone out of their way to make your holiday enjoyable or help you in anyway, please feel free to give a personal tip to the person should you wish. If you are having an independent lunch or other service not included in the holiday arrangements, tipping is at your own discretion.
We believe that the best things come in small packages, and our Adagio holidays prove just that. We limit our groups to a maximum of 18 persons, plus the Adagio Leader, so that everyone has the opportunity to mix, share their love of travel and return home with new friendships. Small groups also have less detrimental local impact, allows us to use public transport on some days, eat at small local restaurants and, we believe, offers a better experience.
An Adagio Leader will accompany you throughout the holiday. They are all experienced travellers with a love for exploring and will help capture the true essence of the destination with their stories, knowledge and insights. They are well-organised, pay great attention to detail and enjoy being with people. They are there to help make your holiday as enjoyable and stress free as possible.
Leaders Evening Briefing
Your Adagio Leader will discuss the programme for the following day with the group at each evening briefing. This will be your opportunity to find out more details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. Also, if you have any questions or concerns on clothing or lunch arrangements, this can be discussed then. If you wish to opt out of the organised group programme, this is fine, just let your Leader know.
Visiting historical sites, churches or museums are much more rewarding with a local guide. They give an insight to the local culture, language and traditions and can bring a destination alive. Many of our Adagio holidays include a knowledgeable English speaking guide on at least one of the days. Please refer to your daily itinerary to see where a guide is included.
Getting to your Holiday
We fly from London Gatwick to Bilbao airport and return with British Airways. The flight takes approx. 2 hours.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements
If you wish to organise your own flights from either a non-UK or UK regional airport, or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. If you choose to do this, before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at the hotel. Although airport/train station transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport/train station, depending on your flight/train arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight/train must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight/train to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight/train number, arrival time and departure point so that your Adagio Leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Tickets
When booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday with us, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
Please ensure that the personal details we have on file for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements.
Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to accurately manage your holiday booking are correct at the time of booking (including health and dietry requirements). You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.adagio.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 386700. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport page (with your photo on). Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country. Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
We have breakfast in our hotels and dinner at a mix of local restaurants and our hotels. Noted as the “food of the people” Basque dishes include meats, stews, grilled fish, beans, sheep’s cheese and of course Pintxos – Basque tapas. Pintxos can be eaten for lunch, as small plates accompanied by a small beer or small glass of wine, or for dinner, where you have the chance to taste many delicious flavours with numerous larger dishes - racionnes. We include lunch on two days, one at a traditional seaside restaurant and the other in the medieval town of Olite. Lunches are not included on other days. We may choose to picnic or our day may allow for a stop at a local restaurant. As our lunch in Olite is substantial, we do not include dinner that evening. You will find plenty on our doorstep in Pamplona if you are still hungry! Your Adagio leader will give you more information at the daily briefings.
Footwear & Kit List
Comfortable, broken in, walking boots or shoes with a good sole are recommended for this holiday. Walking shoes or other comfortable footwear will be suitable for sightseeing days.
General Kit List
We recommend you bring the following items with you:
- Walking boots or shoes with a good sole and waterproof uppers.
- Waterproof jacket and trousers. It does rain sometimes!
- A sunhat, fleece hat and gloves… to cover all weather eventualities.
- Sun cream.
- Hand sanitiser
- Swimwear in case there is time for swimming if the hotel has a pool
- A water bottle. (see Water-to-Go below)
- A picnic knife, fork and spoon, as required.
- A simple basic first aid kit.
- A daypack to hold all the above.
- Trekking poles (if you usually walk with poles)
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Travel Document Checklist
To ensure your holiday gets off to a good start, please make sure that you bring the following documents and information with you:
- Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
- Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
- Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
- Holiday currency
- Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
- Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
- Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
- Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
- Your travel insurance details
- Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
- Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
- A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
- Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about
Electricity in Spain
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Maps & Guidebooks
The DK Eyewitness travel guide to Northern Spain and Sunflower’s Basque Country of Spain and France - Walks and Car Tours are a good accompaniment to this holiday.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.
Find out more
UTC +02:00, UTC +01:00
2.5hrs from UK
Visas and Passports
No Visa Required
Avg. Rain: 59mm
Avg. Rain: 51mm
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Avg. Rain: 49mm
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Avg. Rain: 69mm
Avg. Rain: 69mm
Staying Healthy on Holiday
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Spain
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
Further Health Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
Please make sure you are insured for guided walking. It is important that you bring your travel insurance documents with you on holiday, including your policy number and 24-hour assistance telephone number.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking upto 1000m.
We're committed to operating responsible tours in all our destinations as best we can. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel Ltd’s (inc Adagio) profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public.
In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for future holidays. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your attention to any significant change.
We suggest that you may want to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.