Pre tour ideas for the best of Basque region
We stayed in Hondarribia, Spain near the French border, for a week. We enjoyed visiting the charming French Basque villages nearby in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Saré, Ainhoa, Ascain, Espelette and more. They all have the Basque white houses with red trim, pelota courts in town center, , interesting shops. I bought a lot of linens in Saré, placemats and more. We would like to return and stay in one of these villages. Don’t miss them!
How much time do you have? Car or train/bus only? What time of year? Will you fly in or travel from Madrid or elsewhere?
We flew non-stop from Oakland to Paris (Norwegian Air - sadly, no longer serving the west coast) stayed three days then took the TGV train from Montparnasse to Bayonne (which was the start point when took the tour in 2019). It is a wonderful tour and the RS guides are first rate!
After the tour, we flew from Bilbao to Lisbon.
We wanted to do this RS tour last year but it didn’t work out. We planned to fly into Paris for a few days, then take the train to Lourdes for 2 nights before beginning the tour. Looks like a great itinerary. Hope you have a wonderful trip!
We're doing this tour in 2023, but will be coming from Portugal, fresh off the RSE Portugal tour. I'd rather do the Basque tour first, but we couldn't make the dates work.
When I took this tour, I started with 4 days in Madrid (including a day trip to Toledo). I was particularly glad that I had the chance to see Picasso's "Guernica" and the accompanying exhibit at the Reina Sofia art museum before visiting Guernica itself on the tour.
I took the train from Madrid to Bayonne with a single change in Hendaye at the border. It's been about 8 years so I'm not sure what might be available now for train connections.
I did enjoy the Basque tour very much. Have a great time!
We have stayed in Anglet twice. Both times we were following the Tour de France. Anglet is near Bayonne and Biarritz and close to the Spanish border. We spent one day exploring French side: small Basque towns and another on the Spanish side, including Bilbao, San Sebastián and Guernica. A third day, we drove to Pau, a common rest stop for the Tour. Anglet is known for surfing. Bayonne was a sweet small town, easy to explore. Lots of great seafood restaurants.