A Foodie's Dream: 10-Day Itinerary to Basque Country by Train

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Advisor - Chelsea Reherman
Curated By

Chelsea Reherman

  • Arts & Culture

  • Beaches

  • City Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Spain

  • France

  • Coastal

  • Shopping

  • Local Culture

A landscape of buildings and trees near the seashore
Curator’s statement

Basque Country is one of Europe's oldest and most unique cultures. It straddles the western border of Spain and France. Basque Country has beautiful beaches, the most delicious food and, of course, the wine and cider are among some of the best in Europe. This is a trip for people who want to experience food, culture, beaches and friendly locals.

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Day 1: Arrive in Bordeaux

A building picture at nighttime

Bordeaux isn't technically in Basque Country, but it's a great starting point for your trip.
Start by checking into your hotel for the night, the InterContinental Bordeaux. This hotel is right in town and near the river and is the perfect spot for a quick trip to Bordeaux.

Next, head out for a bike tour of the city. Biking in Bordeaux is an easy way to experience the town.

Stop for lunch and a glass of wine at La Brasserie Bordelaise. If you're up for it, Bordeaux has an activity for every person in your group. Museums, art, architecture, shopping, wine tasting, etc.

After you're done exploring, head back to the InterContinental for sunset watching and a drink at their amazing rooftop bar and then head down for dinner at Le Bordeaux. This restaurant specializes in local cuisines and ingredients.

Rest up for tomorrow's travel day to Biarritz.

Day 2: Arrive in Biarritz

An aerial view of a village landscape

Grab a two-hour train from Bordeaux to Biarritz. If you haven't traveled by train in Europe, you're in for a treat. It's easy, the trains are clean and most have WiFi.

After arriving, check-in to your hotel, the Hotel du Palais. Overlooking the sea in Biarritz, the stunning hotel is the perfect home base.

After you check-in, head to the beach for an easy, relaxing day. Biarritz has beautiful beaches. If you're feeling adventurous, take some surf lessons.

Head back to your hotel and enjoy dinner at La Table d'Aurélien Largeau, a 1-star Michelin restaurant with a stunning ocean view.

Day 3: Explore Biarritz

People enjoying near seashore during the daytime.

Today's the day to take in all the sights. Consider renting a bike and exploring or hopping on a private walking tour. Make sure to visit the famous Virgin Mary statue at Rocher de la Vierge and see the stunning Sainte-Eugénie Church, located in the heart of Biarritz.

Stop by Les Halles and sample all the fresh produce, meats and cheeses.

Day 4: Arrive in San Sebastián

An aerial of seashore with a city

Take the train from Biarritz to San Sebastián. You'll have to switch trains at the border of Spain, but it's easy and quick!

Check into your hotel Hotel Maria Cristina. This stunning hotel is located in old town and provides a great location for exploring this wonderful city. You're going to want to hop on the Pintxos trail. You can either do a guided tour or wander through the streets on your own and sample all the wonderful Basque-style tapas. Stop by the Mercado de la Brexta for shopping and even more delicious food. While you're wandering, make sure you view the Basilica de Santa María del Coro — it's simply beautiful.

Day 5: San Sebastián

An aerial view of a river running through a city next to a bridge.

After grabbing breakfast at your hotel, you're going to head out for a guided cider tour. You'll be viewing how cider is made, eating lots of Basque food and tasting the delicious cider that is made in this region.

For dinner, you're heading to Bar Nestor. If you eat at one place in San Sebastián, make it Bar Nestor. You should get there before they open but be prepared for a long line, it's a tiny place. Don't worry, you can sip on wine while you wait.

Day 6: San Sebastián

A body of water with boats in it and buildings near it

Today is a full-on beach day. San Sebastián has some of the most beautiful beaches. Pick your favorite and enjoy the day. Pro tip: Stock up on your favorites from the mercado and have a picnic for lunch but save your appetite because, for dinner, you're visiting one of the top restaurants in the region, three-star Michelin restaurant Arzak. (Or have your pick from any of the numerous Michelin-starred restaurants in San Sebastián.)

Day 7: Arrive in Vitoria-Gasteiz

An aerial view of the white and brown concrete buildings during daytime.

Take the 1 hr 40 min train to Vitoria-Gasteiz. Check into the Nirea Hotel. Spend the day wandering through the medieval buildings and visiting the numerous art museums. Make sure you stop and marvel at the Catedral de Santa María. For dinner, you're headed to Zaldiaran, a one Michelin star restaurant.

Day 8: Rioja

An outdoor picture of pink & blue buildings

Today is a full day wine tour in the Rioja region. Visit an old medieval town, view how wine in this region is made and eat delicious food while overlooking the vineyard.

Day 9: Arrive in Bilbao

Brown concrete building during daytime

Take the train to Bilbao which takes roughly 2.5 hours and requires 1 train change. When you arrive, check into your hotel the Gran Hotel Domine and grab a drink at the beautiful rooftop terrace. Since you're right next door, your first stop should be the Guggenheim Museum to view wonderful works of art and have lunch or dinner at the bistró inside the museum.

Day 10: Depart

A photo of building during the daytime.

Grab breakfast at your hotel before heading to the airport to catch a plane home...or to your next destination!

Need to Know

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Experience the Emerald Coast of Nicaragua.

Advisor - Chelsea Reherman

Travel Advisor

Chelsea Reherman

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Spain and France.