route Basque Country

7 Routes to visit in the Basque Country that you will love

Euskadi, the Basque Country, is a territory full of diverse landscapes, history and cultural heritage. The best way to know entirely and really get filled with the spirit of its people is walking its roads and breathing the pure air of its countryside.

This region is privileged by a well-marked network of routes and trails, which includes GR (Long Distance), PR (Small Route) and SL (Local Path) trajectories. Therefore, you can visit on foot its most picturesque villages,  museums, enjoy Basque cuisine and be delighted with wonderful views.

To discover Euskadi, from Walkaholic we propose you 7 hiking routes in the Basque Country, taking into account different degrees of difficulty and terrains.

🌿Green itineraries of Álava (Vitoria-Gasteiz)

The capital of Álava is also the starting point for the Green Itineraries, a road network of 978 km to enjoy and know more about the cultural heritage of the municipalities and counties, which makes it perfect for hikers.

Travelling in those Green Itineraries you can enjoy the rural nature of the region and its beautiful landscape, in addition to its great biological biodiversity. 68% of Álava are protected areas in different ways, so its network of Ecological Corridors is worthy of applauses.

In such an extension of roads, there is plenty of room to create your perfect route. We recommend the route of Vía Verde del Vasco-Navarro, with a length of 85 km with moderate difficulty, from Alto Deba to Estella (Navarra).

🌿 The Laguardia Lake Complex (Rioja Alavesa)

Composed by 3 natural wetlands and an artificial lake, this Lake Complex was declared a Protected Biotope due to its biological and ecological value, very close to the walled core of Laguardia.

Hiking routes Basque country Lagunar de Laguardia (Argazkiak)
The Laguardia Lake Complex/Photo by Gobierno Vasco, License (CC BY 3.0 ES)

Located in a wine region and with many archaeological sites, it is also worth visiting the town of La Hoya and the Dolmen of the Sorceress, among others.

For a short walk with the whole family, we recommend the path that borders the Prao de la Paul, of 2.5 km long.

You will surely run into many of the beautiful birds that seek refuge in the wetlands, such as the ardeidae, the reedbirds and the marsh harrier.

🌿 Greenway of Bidasoa (Gipuzkoa – Navarra)

The Basque Country has taken advantage of the out-of-service railway tracks as trails in its Greenways program, of which the territory has 9 that cover more than 180 km.

Salto de Bidasoa/ Photo by benigl, License (CC0 1.0)

The Bidasoa Greenway runs along the river of the same name, recovering much of the route of the Txikito Train (Elizondo-Irun). The region and the villages that the road traverses are very picturesque due to their character as a border point, which promises an unforgettable journey through the 39 km in length of the greenway.

🌿 Camino de Santiago through Euskadi

There are as many Ways to Santiago as pilgrims, so why not take the road that crosses the Basque Country?

This route is divided into 7 stages with beautiful landscapes where mountains, forests, orchards, plains and drylands are in contrast along its 250 kilometers of length.

Going through them, you will be able to marvel at the historical, artistic and cultural richness of the towns you visit in your journey to the north of the peninsula.

Stage 1Irun / Hernani26,2Km
Stage 2aHernani / Tolosa19,3Km
Stage 2bHernani / Bidania28,8Km
Stage 3aTolosa / Zerain31,2Km
Stage 3bBidania / Zerain25,4Km
Stage 4Zerain / Agurain25,9Km
Stage 5Agurain / Vitoria-Gasteiz27,4Km
Stage 6Vitoria-Gasteiz / La Puebla de Arganzón22,0Km
Stage 7aLa Puebla de Arganzón / Briñas27,0Km
Stage 7bLa Puebla de Arganzón/ Miranda de Ebro16,5Km

🌿 Hondarribia-Pasaia (Gipuzkoa)

This is the first stage of the Talaia trail, which with 80 km runs along the Basque coast and ends in Saturraran. But this first 22 km route between the towns of Hondarribia and Pasai Donibane is enough to give us a good taste.

Within these 7 hours-walk road, the main protagonist of the adventure is without a doubt the famous Mount Jaizkibel, the highest of the Cantabrian coast. However, along this route there is no shortage of small coves and beautiful vertical walls on the Bay of Biscay, with cliffs of up to 240 m, or the largest lattices in the world.

Monte de Jaizkibel, hiking trails in the Basque Country
Monte de Jaizkibel / Photo by Zubitarra, License (CC BY-SA 2.0)

But it is also an excellent opportunity to get closer to the history of the region, visiting the Fort of Guadalupe and its hermitage, the Cape Higuer Lighthouse, the Lord John Hay´s fort and other relics of the Gipuzkoa coast.

🌿 Donostia – Orio (GR-121, Gipuzkoa)

With a length of 15.6 km, which can be overcome in a 4 hours-walk, this route is the first of the 21 stages of the Gipuzkoa Tour, with a total of 301 km.

Ipiñarrieta (Urretxu, Gipuzkoa) routes through the Basque country
Ipiñarrieta (Urretxu, Gipuzkoa) / Photo by Asier Sarasua Aranberri, License (CC BY-SA 2.0)

It starts at San Sebastian and ascends Mount Igueldo through the beach of Ondarreta. Then it goes along the Cristóbal Balenciaga promenade and then follows the road to Tximistarri, to go jumping from cove to cove along a narrow path next to the coast. Then arrive at the Lapabide road and ends at Agiti, where we recommend taking a well-deserved rest in the restaurant to enjoy the local cuisine.

From here, the road will become more demanding in the remaining kilometers, to reach the east side of Orio beach. Then, the Oria River is bordered until the hike ends just at the first bridge.

🌿 Natural Park of the Gorbea (Álava – Vizcaya)

We could not end this list without mentioning the Gorbea Natural Park, one of the prides of Euskadi with its more than 20,000 hectares.

Gorbea Natural Park, routes of the Basque country
Parque Natural Gorbeia/ Photo by EGIZU, License (CC BY 2.0)

It takes its name from its highest peak, with 1,481 meters above sea level, and being photographed next to the 18 meter cross that crowns it is one of the climbers’ favorite challenges.

One of the most used routes to conquer it is the one that begins in Ubide in the Arratia valley, a 10.5 kilometers trail with a slope of 490 meters.

But there is much more to see in this path. You cannot miss the village of Areatza, declared a Monumental Complex due to its layout in the shape of a medieval village; and the hermitage of Garrastatxu.

Hiking routes through Areatza País Vasco
Areatza / Photo by Uraren Euskal Agentzia, License (CC BY 2.0)

What do you think about our recommendations for hiking in the Basque Country? Your favorite route may not be on our list, but you are welcome to mention it in a comment.

Then we can all take it into account for our next adventure. And, who knows? Maybe we will meet soon, traveling and getting to know more about the Basque Country. 

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