Tour departs from Bilbao
Arrival to Bilbao
BILBAO. HALF DAY CITY TOUR
Visit the old city center located on the right bank of the river Nervión, the Cathedral of Santiago with beautiful gothic cloister, the Plaza Nueva and the incredible Guggenheim museum, designed by the north American architect Frank O. Gehry and built on a 32.500 m2 site in the city center. The building itself is an extraordinary combination of interconnecting shapes. Orthogonal blocks in limestone contrast with curved and bent forms covered in titanium.
Excursion to Lekeitio, Bermeo & Guernica
Lekeitio is located on the shores of the Cantabrian Sea, it is a town of popular houses with a strong seafaring flavour, testimony to its origins as a fishing village. Standing next to these examples of traditional Basque architecture are Gothic gems such as the church of Santa María de la Asunción. The panels represent the life of Mary and the Passion of Christ. Placed around the church are the elegant mansions of the old Basque aristocracy.
Bermeo is a fishing town whose harbour preserves all its traditional local seafaring charm. The village have been declared to be of Historic-Artistic Interest. The cloister of the church of San Francisco, the gothic tower of Ercilla, the church of Santa María, the City Hall, the Casa Kinkubera. The arch of San Juan, the historic quarter, where fishermen's houses, medieval charming streets, squares and the old port.
Guernica town sits in the valley of the river Oka and very close to the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, which UNESCO has declared to be a Biosphere Reserve. The cave of Santimañe (Kortezubi) shows that the valley has been inhabited since prehistoric times. The Casa de Juntas del Señoría de Vizcaya with its symbolic tree. The church of Santa María, the Museum of Euskalerria and the Parque de la Paz (Park of Peace), with colossal sculptures by Eduardo Chillida and Henry Moore. In 1937, during the Civil War, the town was totally destroyed by German aircrafts. It was the inspiration of Picasso's legendary painting. Gernika has earned the title of “peace symbol city'.
Drive to Vitoria
VITORIA HALF DAY CITY TOUR
This city is the site of the Basque Government. Visit the Church of San Miguel with the White Virgin, the Santa Maria gothic Cathedral declared a Historic-Artistic Monument, the Palace of Ajuria Enea, the Urbina Zárate Palace, the old quarter with its ancient streets and the Casa del Cordón.
Drive to San Sebastián with stops in Oñate, Zarauz and Hernani.
Oñate means "place with plenty of hills". The painter Ignacio Zuloaga called it the "Basque Toledo" because it was so monumental. The monastery and the hospice of Bidaurreta, Plaza de los Fueros, the church of San Miguel, and the University with a Plateresque main front that has Renaissance elements. The Gothic church of San Miguel, with a Baroque tower; the beautiful 16th-century cloister crossed by the Ubao river, and the Neo-Gothic church of Lateranenses. In the outskirts of Oñate we find the monumental sanctuary of Virgen de Aranzazu.
Zarauz town combines its excellent beach with an interesting historic quarter. The local cuisine is one of the most exquisite and famous in the whole Basque Country. This ancient settlement of whale hunters became an important tourist village in the 19th century. The Gothic tower of Luzea, the medieval church of Santa María la Real, and the Renaissance Palace of Narros and Portu Palace from the 16th century, on the shore of the Cantabrian Sea.
Hernani, the Chillida-Leku museum is the result of one of the artist’s lifelong dreams: to create a space for his work where it could be on permanent display. In fact, Chillida-Leku is not only a place to admire art, but also a sculpture in itself, a work of art that lends itself perfectly to the artist’s vision of shape, space and time. The large-scale pieces, made mostly of iron and granite, are set amongst beech trees, oaks and magnolias, creating a magical natural wonderland.
SAN SEBASTIAN AND HONDARRIBIA. FULL DAY TOUR
Visit the San Sebastián (also known as Donostia) old quarter, the Urgull and Igueldo Mounts, the Cathedral el Buen Pastor built in Neogothic style, the Boulevard, la Concha Bay, the Miramar Palace, la Mota Castle, the church of Santa María and San Vicente, the Victoria Eugenia Theatre, the City Hall and the San Telmo museum with works of Goya, Ribera and el Greco.
Hondarribia is a walled old town, full of aristocratic buildings, has been declared a Historic Artistic Site. In the highest part of the town is the Plaza de Armas. On one of its side stands the Castle of the Emperor Carlos V, a stone fortification which today houses the Parador de Turismo. Very nearby is the parish church of Santa María de la Asunción in Gothic style with a Baroque tower. The Calle Mayor, the Casadevante Palace, the Zuloaga Palace and the Casa de los Guevara.
Departure from San Sebastián.