Basque Pyrenees Walking Holiday Itinerary
DAY 1: Arrival in Ziga
Welcome to the pretty Ziga, a small village with nice rural hotels and wonderful views of the Baztan valley. If you are not able to book in Ziga your holiday will start in lively Elizondo, where you should not stroll to enjoy its ancient houses and restaurants. And Elizondo would be the place to start for the hardy walkers who will enjoy a wonderful circular walk on Day 2.
DAY 2: Ziga to Elizondo (13.2 km, 4-5h ↑ 400m ↓ 540m Elizondo circular walks: 11, 15 or 19 km)
Today’s walk starts with a gentle uphill walk to enjoy brilliant views of the Baztan valley, descending later to pretty Irurita, the perfect place to have a coffee and taste some chocolate at the local atelier. The route continues to pretty villages of Gartzain and Aristegui, and the day’s walk ends in lively Elizondo, the capital town of Baztán valley. If you started in Elizondo, instead of in Ziga: enjoy a great circular with views to peaks like Abartan or Auza and visiting the pretty villages of Gartzain and Aristegui.
DAY 3: Elizondo to Erratzu (16.5 km, 6h ↑ 630m ↓ 530m or 12km, 4h ↑ 500m ↓ 420m)
Walk up to the beautiful Beartzun valley heights to descend later to the remote and lonely valley of Iñarbegui, with views to the impressive Auza peak. Walk to pretty gorge and take a short walk to visit the Xorrokin waterfall before continuing to Erratzu, where you will stay. There is an alternative route available for those who prefer an easier day, enjoying lovely views of meadows, farms and hills of the Baztan valley, and a stop in Arizkun, one of the most beautiful villages of the area.
NOTE: Depending on the availability, this stage may end in nearby Arizkun (guesthouse Zilbetinea) or Amaiur (Hotel Palacio Borda).
DAY 4: Erratzu to Etxalar (22 or19 km, 6-7h ↑ 660m ↓ 800m or 16 km, 5h ↑ 400m ↓ 800m)
Walk up to the ridges, visiting pretty Urrasun and Zuaztoi, to join the GR 11 route, which you will follow for 8 km, crossing meadows, farm scenery oaks and beech forest and views for miles. Leave the GR to descend gently to Etxalar, probably the most beautiful village of the whole trip. If you prefer a more gentle day, take a taxi lift (paid locally – € 10) to Otsondo pass and join the GR 11 after a gentle climb. Hardy walkers can also start with a short lift (included) to skip the first 3km.
DAY 5: Etxalar to Bera (15.3 km, 6h ↑ 650m ↓ 750m or 14 km, 5h ↑ 400m ↓ 480m)
Start ascending along spur, first between the oaks and later enjoying views from two valleys, to reach Lizaieta pass, on the border between Spain and France. If you want to harder day, climb up the beautiful Ibantelli peak, and if you prefer gentle walk just keep walking along the GR-11. Descend to lively Bera, where you will stay.
DAY 6: Bera to Fuenterrabia (18 km, 7h ↑ 850 m ↓ 900m or 15 km, 5-6h ↑ 400m ↓ 900m)
Walk up from Bera to the Ibardin pass, where you join the French route GR 10. Enjoy the views until you reach the charming coastal town of Hendaye, to take the boat to Fuenterrabia, without doubt one of the most beautiful places to visit in Spain, also famous for its restaurants and bars
DAY 7: Fuenterrabia to San Sebastian (Choice of 24, 16 or 8 km with ↑ 900, ↑ 500 or ↑ 400m)
Walk up to the Guadalupe sanctuary and then further up to the impressive Jaizkibel coastal ridge, with views for miles for almost 10 kms, to later descend to Pasaia, an authentic sailing and fishing village from the Middle Ages, the ideal place for a coffee or beer stop Take a short boat trip to the other side of the harbor and continue the pleasant coastal walk to beautiful San Sebastian. Congratulations!
DAY 8: Departure from San Sebastian
Departure…or stay in San Sebastian for a few more days if you wish! We highly recommend that you book a second night as it is definitely one the most charming places to visit: its architecture, the beaches, the tapas…NOTE: depending on the season, some hotels may request 2 night minimum stays.