Self-guided holidays
4 nights, 3 walking days
Level :
Itinerary : Hotel to Hotel
Holiday code : FP2PUBI
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Culture and "Camino" : Guernica, Guggenheim & much more

Coastal walking holiday in Green Spain, partly following the historic Camino de Santiago. You will see dinosaur fossils, cave paintings, a medieval island hermitage, Guernica, the Balenciaga fashion museum, and the Guggenheim in Bilbao.

A summary of your journey

We have packed a lot into this itinerary, though there is still plenty of time for gentle walking and relaxing. There will be typical Spanish hotels, parts of the Camino de Santiago, superb tapas and seafood, as you are never more than a few miles from the coast. Each day there are highlights: Getaria and the Balenciaga museum on your arrival day; dinosaur fossils and 14,000 year-old cave paintings the next day; the Guernica museum and UNESCO wetlands the next; and finally a magical island hermitage and the Guggenheim - plus an evening of tapas in Bilbao !

The Plus Points

  • Transfers from and to Bilbao (other transfers available)
  • Luggage transfers every day so you only carry a daysack
  • High quality, original hotels with dinner usually included
  • 24/7 customer service

Day 1

Arrival at Getaria

Standard option: You make your own way to Getaria.

With extra airport pick-up: We pick you up from Bilbao airport (or port or railway station) and take you to Getaria.

Getaria is a marvellous place. It is a thriving fishing port with 2 lovely beaches, an island (now linked to the mainland), and a traditional quarter on a cliff above a beach. It is famous for the local wine, Txakoli, as well as being the birth town of the famous fashion designer Balenciaga (museum ticket not included). If time allows, you can walk through vineyards and along the coast to the next village, Zarautz, which is renowned for its historic streets surrounding Queen Isabelle II's palace (founded when Zarautz became a prestige resort in the 19th century). It is now more well-known for its long beach, a favourite with surfers.
This itinerary includes daily transfers, adding considerably to the quality, enjoyment and price, so this break cannot be directly compared to apparently similar ones.
You stay at the two star boutique hotel called Pension Katrapona with smart stylish rooms, all with balconies and sea views, and a perfect location overlooking the fishing port. It's always a pleasure to stay here. You can choose from the portside fish oriented restaurants, not forgetting to try Txakoli, of course.
Walking time : 2h or 3h. Distance : 4km. Transfer time : 1 hour.

Day 2

Getaria - Zumaia - Lekeitio
After a leisurely breakfast, you start by walking through the Txakoli vineyards, and then descend to the attractive seaside village of Zumaia where you can walk through 50 million years of history as the remarkable and dramatic Flysch cliffs here are famous for their dinosaur and other fossil remains. Your walk combines both this surprising coast, and the joys of Green Spain as you walk inland among wildflower meadows and woods. Your walking destination is the tiny hamlet of Elorriaga, and from here you can choose to be transferred directly to the hotel, or visit the Ekainberri museum, which includes an actual size, walk through replica of the cave famous for the prehistoric (14,000 year old) paintings of horses, which have made this a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Please let us know when you book if you would like to add this option.
You stay in the fishing village of Lekeitio, in the charming and historic three star Hôtel Zubieta close the old town, beach and port. Each room is individually styled, and has a balcony. The bar and outdoor terrace are spacious and delightful. A truly relaxing place to stay. You can dine at a portside restaurant of your choice just a short stroll away.
Walking time : 5h30. Distance : 14,5km. Elevation : + 550m / - 550m. Transfer time : 1 hour.

Day 3

Lekeittio - Elantxobe - Ogoño - Urdabaï
You start your day with a transfer for a magnificent cliff top walk to the summit of Ogono with a 1,000 foot plunge straight down to the ocean. From here, you enjoy a wonderful view above the tiny and characterful port of Elantxobe (walk down to it if you wish), and from there you walk through oak forests to the 15th century hermitage of San Pedro of Atxarre. The final section is a panoramic decent down to the Urdabai estuary and bird sanctuary before a short transfer to the hotel.
You stay at the superb, four star Castillo de Arteaga - a truly luxurious hotel set in its own historic and spacious grounds with superb gastronomic meals that will stay in your memory as long as the place itself.
Walking time : 4h Distance : 9km. Elevation : + 450m / - 450m. Transfer time : 10 minutes.

Day 4

Urdabaï - Guernica - Gaztelugatxe - Bilbao
This morning you have a magnificent walk down the middle of the estuary on a man-made raised trail with estuary flora and fauna all around you until you arrive in Guernica itself where you visit the fascinating Museum of Peace in Guernica ( entry price included). We then take you to begin a decent stroll to the amazing island hermitage of Gaztelugatxe - ideal for your picnic. In the early afternoon we transfer you to Bilbao, so you have plenty of time to visit the Guggenheim (entry price included), and explore the historic quarter.
For your last night, you stay in the modern Bilbao Plaza Hotel, superbly located right next to the town hall and the river. Sculptures, paintings and photographs as well as all the usual commodoties will make your stay very comfortable. Just a 10 minute walk from all the major sites in the city centre: the Guggenheim Museum, the cathedral, the theatre and the fantastic tapas bars and restaurants around the Plaza Nueva and the historic centre. A great place for a last night.
Walking time : 2h 30 minutes. Distance : 6km. Elevation : + 200m / - 200m. Transfer time : 1h30.

Day 5

End of stay

Standard option: After breakfast, you have a transfer back to Getaria to collect your car.

With extra airport transfer: After breakfast, you have a transfer back to Bilbao aiport (or port or railway station).
Transfer time : 15 minutes. Or 1 hour if heading back to Getaria.
  • Practical details
  • Equipment
  • Formalities, Health
  • Informations COVID-19


1 May to 31 October


Standard option: You make your own way to Getaria.

With extra airport pick-up: We pick you up from Bilbao airport (or port or railway station) and take you to Getaria.


Standard option: After breakfast, you have a transfer back to Getaria to collect your car.

With extra airport transfer: After breakfast, you have a transfer back to Bilbao aiport (or port or railway station).


This holiday features comfortable rather than challenging walking, and is suitable for anybody who is reasonably fit and enjoys "a good walk". It can get hot in July and August, as well as more crowded, but the temperatures are moderated by the mountains and sea breezes. We would recommend May, June and September as the best months.




We will transfer your luggage between each hotel, so all you need to carry when walking is a daysack with whatever you regard as essentials.


This is an independent, self-guided holiday with transfers as described.


You stay in double or twin rooms for one night in a very good 2 star pension, one night in a three star hotel, one night in a four star hotel, and one in the "maison d'hôtes de charme" in Bilbao.


Breakfast is included every morning, but picnics, lunches and dinners are not leaving you free to make choices that suit you. The only exception is dinner at the Castillo de Arteaga which is included. There are shops and cafes/restaurants en route - and you can always ask the hotel the night before to make a picnic, which you can pay for locally.


Usually transfers are in people carriers, mini-buses, cars or taxis. Often they will be exclusively for you.


When we have received your balance of payment for your holiday, and in the month before departure, we send you all the documentation you need: detailed itinerary showing dates, times, contact details etc; a detailed guide to your walking route (with options) and lots of cultural, historical and nature background information; formal documents (invoices, contracts etc); luggage labels etc. If you book at the last minute, we can send this information to your first night hotel.

To make the right choice

Have a look at our detailed explanations on the types of hiking, the standards of accommodation, and understand baggage transport... How to choose your trip ?


  • A soft travel bag, avoid suitcases, which are more cumbersome and limit the weight of your belongings to 10 kg if possible.
  • A small backpack of 30 litres minimum for your daytime requirements.


    • Waterproof and breathable anorak (Gore-Tex type)
    • Fleece or a sweater (depending on the location and season)
    • Waterproof over-trousers
    • Pair of gloves (depending on the location and season)
    • Sun hat (with all round brim)
    • Shorts
    • Swimming costume + packaway towel
    • Several pairs of proper walking socks
    • Underwear
    • Pair of trainers or light evening shoes
    • Comfortable clothing for the evening


      • Walking boots (with ankle protection)
      • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip protection
      • Water bottle or backpack container (allow 2 litres per person per day)
      • Tupperware type container for the picnic + cutlery
      • Compass
      • Waterproof cover for walking instructions and map
      • Head torch
      • Survival blanket
      • Mobile phone (signal strength is often surprisingly good, but cannot be relied on)
      • Your identity documents (including driving licence - you never know when...)


        You need to keep your passport with you at all times, and ideally insurance information. You need to make your own arrangements to claim local healthcare. There are requirements in France and Spain for all vehicles to carry safety equipment.

        VISA Espagne

        No need for a visa.


        No vaccine is mandatory, but it is best to be up to date with your tetanus booster.


        Because of the added health precautions relating to COVID, you must be equipped from the start of your trip with:
        * a sufficient quantity of masks (at a rate of 2 per day minimum). Wearing a mask will be compulsory during any transport, in certain accommodation, crowded places etc.
        * zipped pockets for masks and other items such as used tissues
        * hydro-alcoholic gel
        * a thermometre to take your temperature in case of symptoms appearing during your stay
        * a pen (sometimes necessary to sign an agreement in certain accommodation).

        The hosts who will welcome you (hoteliers, refuge guards, restaurateurs, transporters, local teams ...) are the people who will help to guarantee the smooth running of your stay and will ask you to conform with certain health related protocols. Out of respect for them and other people who frequent the same places, we ask you to commit to respecting the instructions given to you. Be reassured and optimistic, because as you know, hiking is an activity that will allow you long and enjoyable periods of time during which the wearing of a mask is not mandatory!

        So breathe fresh air and smile!


        4 nights bed and breakfast; the evening meal on day 3 (Castillo de Arteaga); people transfers as described; luggage transfers; detailed walking instructions; entry to the Museum of Peace, Guernica; entry to the Guggenheim, Bilbao; bespoke walking maps and guides; 24/7 customer phone service.


        The journey to the start point, and from the finish point, except as specified; lunches or dinners (except for the dinner on day 3 in the Castillo de Arteaga) ; entry fees except as specified; personal and travel insurance.

        Prolongez votre séjour

        "John walked from Getaria to Bilbao with Purely Pyrenees in early July, he tells us about his experience."
        Traveller of the month
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