Incredible journey into the depths of Basque identity: mountain peaks, valleys, farmhouses vs rocky coast and rough waters of Cantabrian Sea. Discover back country roads, dramatic landscapes & vibrant Basque culture during this off the beaten track day adventure.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Meet your guide in the morning and embark on a cultural day out to explore the Basque countryside and coast. On the way to our first stop, your guide will give you an introduction on the history of the area, and what to expect throughout the day.
We will head to the village of Tolosa, from there drive up the mountain and continue through lovely, small villages, green fields scattered with old farmhouses and ‘latxa’ sheep. You will learn about the Basquetraditional farms and local architecture while admiring some of the best examples of it like ‘Indianos’ – houses built by returning home colonists. We will stop in one of the villages to challenge your skills at the local ‘fronton’ playing the basque ball – are you ready to challenge our guide?
Next, we’ll take a narrow back road which will take us to the foothills of Mount Ernio called ‘the balcony of Gipuzkoa’. We will take a short walk here to enjoy the magnificent views of the valley, surrounding peaks and the ocean on the other side. From there, we will start the descent to a squeezed between the mountains village, called Errezil.
From Errezil there is a short drive to the Sanctuary of Loyola, our next stop. It’s a monumental and religious complex built around the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits. We will take half an hour to discover the Sanctuary and the fascinating history of this religious order.
Time to head towards the coast, through the meadows of Mount Izarraitz, enjoying an incredibly rich landscape, a natural environment that continues to captivate all the travellers who come to the area.
In no time we’ll have arrived in Zumaia. The village is one of the main entrances to the UNESCO geopark. It’s a perfect place to admire incredible, vertical rock strata cutting into the ocean. We’ll stop next to the picturesque San Telmo chapel located right on the edge of a cliff and talk about flysch and karst. The experience wouldn’t be complete without walking to the lookout located on the very tip of the cliff – take a deep breath and follow the guide!
Afterwards we will visit Getaria, a charming fishing village and the birthplace of Juan Sebastián Elcano, the first man who sailed around the world in the 16th century. Getaria is an important fishing port and also has one of the best preserved medieval old quarters in the area.
Lunch time! Do you prefer to enjoy a meal in the countryside or you’d rather eat with ocean views? The choice is yours. We can adapt to your preferences. Both options are excellent with traditional & seasonal choices.
To finish the day we will drive to Donostia, saying goodbye to the coast through the valley of Aia, in a magnificent combination of mountains and sea.