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Across the Pyrenees: Coasts, Culture & Cuisine - by Ferry
Straddling the border between France and Spain, the Basque Country is a compact but vibrant region, home to some of the Iberian Peninsula’s best preserved natural and historic sights. Start this adventure by ferry and explore this beautiful area at your leisure, from pristine coastlines to chic surf spots, star studded cities and medieval fortifications.
- Style: No Fly Holiday
- Duration: 10 days/9 nights
- Starts in: Bilbao
- San Sebastian
Day 1 Portsmouth, UK to Bilbao, Spain
Board your ferry and head for the Basque Country! Take advantage of the many facilities on board, or simply retreat to your cabin to relax for the adventure really starts.
Day 2 Bilbao
After enjoying a peaceful night on board, perhaps explore the shops before heading to one of the restaurants for a delicious breakfast! Later, arrive into Bilbao and head along the coast to the grandeur of San Sebastian. This city is known to be the premier dining location in Spain, whether you’re looking for Michelin star gastronomy or the iconic Pinxos (tapas) bars, San Sebastian has a wealth of local delicacies.
Day 3 San Sebastian
Home to one of the best beaches in Europe, San Sebastian offers an idyllic starting point for your Basque discovery. Walk the length of La Concha beach promenade to elegant Miramar Palace - once the summer residence of the Spanish royal family. Soak up the far reaching views of the beach below before heading back to the old town to join your included Grab your Pinxos’ group tour, let your guide teach you to dine like a local as they introduce the sights of this enthralling city.
Day 4 San Sebastian
Today is free to explore as you wish. With renowned gastronomy decide to snack on fresh oysters for lunch at a seaside café or find one of the many Basque tapas bars which line the streets to delight in local ingredients in this sublime setting.
Day 5 San Sebastian, Spain to Biarritz, France
Today take the slow, relaxed drive following the Atlantic coast from San Sebastian up into France to glitzy Biarritz. Perhaps stop off en-route to watch surfers ride the waves at Hendaye and enjoy lunch in the fishing town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, home to some spectacular 17th and 18th Century architecture.
Day 6 Biarritz
This unique city has been a popular beach resort since the early 19th Century when it became a favourite escape of Napoleon III. Now half laid back surf town, half glamorous celebrity hang out; Biarritz offers something special for every visitor. Just 15 minutes’ drive away the medieval town of Bayonne boasts a wealth of historic monuments to explore.
Day 7 Biarritz, France to Pamplona, Spain
Take the highway through the mountains back into Spain and drive south to the well preserved medieval city of Pamplona; Capital of Spain’s Navarre region and home to dramatic Gothic churches, an impressive medieval citadel and imposing fortress. The town is also a major stop on the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route giving it a wonderful festive feel year around.
Day 8 Pamplona to Bilbao
Make your way back north towards the coast with a stop for a gentle walk in Gorbeiako Natural Park, a charming mountainous landscape with a number of short hikes to scenic viewpoints. On arrival into Bilbao find somewhere to park and take a wander through the medieval streets of the city’s old town to visit traditional Pinxos bars.
Day 9 Bilbao, Spain
Enjoy your final day in the Basque Country exploring Bilbao’s contemporary art scene. Start with a walk along the riverside, admiring the breath taking statues such as ‘Puppy’ made of flowers, Tulips and the powerful ‘Mama’ giant bronze spider. Later visit the world renowned Guggenheim Museum before driving to the ferry port for your onward journey this evening.
Day 10 Bilbao, Spain to Portsmouth, UK
Enjoy your last day on board, why not take a dip in the swimming pool, sample the various restaurants or explore the shops. Disembark at Portsmouth this evening, before completing your journey home.
per person (based on 2 adults sharing)
- Return ferry journey from Portsmouth to Bilbao with Brittany Ferries
- 2 nights cabin accommodation on board Brittany Ferries
- 7 nights 3 to 4 accommodation in Spain and France
- Grab Your Pintxo, San Sebastián day tour
- International flights
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