For friendly, expert advice call: +44 (0) 1962 733051

Spain - Best of the Basque Country

Tour Code: ESP48

A varied 9 day holiday to enjoy the birds, botany, gastronomy and historical sites of this most diverse region.

9 days from £1595(inc flights) Land Only Price: £1445 SRS: £160


This 9-day tour brings together culture and gentle birding: here is a place that differentiates itself with ease from neighbouring France and the rest of northern Spain, with its own rugged coastline and coastal paths, craggy mountains and lush, verdant valleys with their complementary plethora of wildlife, and a proud history.

  • Six species of Woodpecker
  • Nesting Osprey, Hen Harrier, Eurasian Spoonbill,
  • White Stork & other wetland birds
  • Belearic Shearwater & Peregrine Falcon along the coastline of ancient San Juan Gaztelugatxe hermitage
  • ”Days of Wine and Birds” experience at Casa Primicia’s vineyards
  • Golden Eagle, Bearded Vulture & Egyptian Vulture in the Sierra de Cantabria and Aralar Natural Park
  • World-renowned gastronomy in San Sebastian
  • Rare orchids on Azkorri Beach and further inland

Food

All included in the price except for excursion day in Zumaia and day 8 in San Sebastian

Accommodation

3 centred holiday on a circular route 2 nights on the coast in UNESCO site of Urdaibai, 3 nights inland near Vitoria (Green capital of 2012) 3 nights in Goierri, the Basque Highlands

Outline Itinerary Download

Situated on the elbow-crook of the Bay of Biscay, and in an area barely larger than Northern Ireland, the autonomous region of the Spanish Basque Country offers the visitor a spectacular and diverse range of habitats, a bounty of wildlife, and a unique cuisine and culture.

This 9-day tour brings together culture and gentle birding: here is a place that differentiates itself with ease from neighbouring France and the rest of northern Spain, with its own rugged coastline and coastal paths, craggy mountains and lush, verdant valleys with their complementary plethora of wildlife, and a proud history incorporating a long fight for independence and autonomy, an ancient autochthonous language, and long established historical pilgrimage routes. In addition, here are five UNESCO world heritage sites. The Basque Country is indeed one of the jewels of Iberia.

Otherwise known as ‘Euskadi’ (The land of the Basque Speakers), a diverse array of habitats paves the way for an abundance of birdlife. Spread across three centres in Bizkaia, Arava and Gipuzkoa this new tour offers an opportunity to look for six species of woodpecker in sheltered Pyrenean Oak forests, colourful European Bee-eaters feeding along ravines and Egyptian Vulture, Hobby and Bearded Vulture circling the mountains.

There is also opportunity to look for Peregrine Falcon, Little Owl, Cetti’s Warbler and orchids and other interesting plants nestled by the sands of Azkorri beach. Eurasian Spoonbill, Stork, Black –winged Stilt, Hen Harrier, Garganey, Black Kite and Osprey can be found in the great expanse of wetlands in Urdaibai and Salburua. Higher up, raptors such as Golden Eagle, Short-toed Eagle and Booted Eagle soar around the peaks and cliffs of the majestic Sierra de Cantabria where the occasional Blue Rock Thrush can be seen amongst the boulders, whilst the streams and alpine meadows of Goierri provide a home for Citril Finch, Dippers, Alpine Accentors, Crossbill and Wryneck.

Not only does Euskadi’s landscape provide a paradise for birds and a haven for botanists but Basque cuisine also boasts a reputation of supreme excellence. With more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in the world and the Basque belief that good food can be perceived as a reflection of good character, you are sure to feel welcomed and indulged in the picturesque towns of San Sebastián - the 2016 European Capital of Culture, and the quirky riverside landscapes of Bilbao where we will sample traditional pinxos (Basque country tapas) and txacoli (local slightly sparkling dry white wine).

From the roaring swells of the Atlantic that batter the jagged coastline of the UNESCO Flysch Trail and the quintessentially Basque landmark of Gaztelugatxe (the castle on the crag), to the melodic cow bells that roll across the alpine hills of the Goierri Highlands; from the sociable sounds, sights and delicacies of Donostia to the vineyards and crumbling medieval villages of Rioja Alavesa - this is a place that commands exploration.

Atxarte, Urkiola Mountain RangeBasque CoastlineWinery in CarravalsecaRed Deer, Salburua WetlandsElantxobeHorses, AizkorriLapaul, LaguardiaHimantoglossum hircinum, AlavaOgoño Cliff & Laga BeachOrchis purpurea, AzkorriBird hide, UrdaibaiPeregrine Falcon on the Aizkorri massifSan Juan de GaztelugatxeSerapia orchidUrkiolaWhite StorksLa Ruta del Flysch, Zumaia GeoparkGriffon VultureGaztelugatxe IsletElantxobeBasque WineryAizkorri, Aratz Natural Park

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DeparturesAvailableCost

Sun 20th May 2018 - Mon 28th May 2018

YES

£1595

more details

Flights: Flights are included in the tour costMore info

Regional Departures: Regional Departures are available. Call 01962 733051 for detailsMore info

Land only cost: £1445 More info

Room sharing options: More info

Visiting: Spain

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Andy Tucker
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01962 733051

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