The Best of Basque

The 10 best hiking trails in the Basque Country

Hiking is a popular activity in the basque Country, with a wide variety of trails to suit all levels of ability
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The Basque Country is a region of outstanding natural beauty, with a diverse landscape that includes mountains, forests, beaches, and coastal cliffs. Hiking is a popular activity here, with a wide variety of trails to suit all levels of ability. In this article, we’ll take a look at the 10 best hiking trails in the Basque Country, from easy walks to challenging mountain hikes.

Mount Ernio

Altitude (m): 1078
Coordinates: 43° 10′ 12.98″N 2° 09′ 9.91″W

Mount Ernio

Mount Ernio is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Basque Country, located in the province of Gipuzkoa. The trail starts in the town of Aia and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and coast. It’s a moderate-level hike that takes about 3-4 hours to complete, with a total distance of 9 km. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, with plenty of opportunities to rest and take in the scenery.

Flysch Route

Coordinates: 43°17’50.1″N 2°15’20.4″W
Difficulty: Low-Medium
Distance: 16.8km
Approximate duration: 5-6h
Total ascent: 724m
Total descent: 738m
Maximum altitude : 147m

The Flysch Route is a relatively easy coastal hike that takes you along the rugged cliffs of the Basque Coast Geopark, from the town of Zumaia to the village of Deba. The trail offers incredible views of the sea and the geological formations that make this area famous. The hike takes about 3-4 hours to complete, with a total distance of 8 km. The trail is well-signposted and easy to follow, with plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos.

Gorbeia

Coordinates: 43°01’50.9″N 2°49’29.5″W

Gorbea

Gorbeia is the second highest mountain in the Basque Country, located in the province of Araba. The hike to the summit is challenging but rewarding, with panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The trail starts in the town of Pagomakurre and takes about 5-6 hours to complete, with a total distance of 11 km. The hike is best suited for experienced hikers, as there are some steep sections and rocky terrain.

Mount Txindoki

Coordinates: 43°01’29.4″N 2°05’12.2″W

Txindoki

Mount Txindoki, also known as the “Cathedral of the Mountain”, is one of the most iconic mountains in the Basque Country. The hike to the summit is challenging but well worth it, with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The trail starts in the town of Larraitz and takes about 4-5 hours to complete, with a total distance of 7 km. The hike is best suited for experienced hikers, as there are some steep sections and rocky terrain.

Aralar

Coordinates: 42°58’49.2″N 2°03’08.3″W

Aralar

Aralar is a mountain range located on the border of Gipuzkoa and Navarra, with a variety of hiking trails to suit all levels of ability. One of the most popular hikes is the trail that leads to the summit of Txindoki, which takes about 4-5 hours to complete, with a total distance of 7 km. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, with stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

 

Urkiola Natural Park

Coordinates: 43°05’45.0″N 2°38’55.4″W

Urkiola Santuary

Urkiola Natural Park is located in the province of Bizkaia and offers a variety of hiking trails to suit all levels of ability. One of the most popular hikes is the trail that leads to the summit of Mount Anboto, which takes about 6-7 hours to complete, with a total distance of 14 km. The trail is well-marked and easy to follow, with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

 
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Pagoeta

Coordinates: 43°14’59.6″N 2°09’20.7″W

Pagoeta

Pagoeta is a nature park located in the province of Gipuzkoa, with a variety of hiking trails to suit all levels of ability. One of the most popular hikes is the trail that leads to the summit of Mount Adarra, which takes about 3-4 hours to complete, with a total distance of 9 km. The trail is well-signposted and easy to follow, with stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

 

Oiartzun to Pasai Donibane

Coordinates: 43°19’29.6″N 1°54’52.2″W

Pasai Donibane

The hike from the town of Oiartzun to the village of Pasai Donibane is a relatively easy coastal hike that offers stunning views of the sea and the surrounding landscape. The trail takes about 2-3 hours to complete, with a total distance of 8 km. The trail is well-signposted and easy to follow, with plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos.

 

Lekeitio to Kalamua

Coordinates: 43°22’02.1″N 2°30’28.2″W

Lekeitio

The hike from the town of Lekeitio to the summit of Kalamua is a challenging but rewarding hike that offers stunning views of the coast and surrounding mountains. The trail takes about 5-6 hours to complete, with a total distance of 14 km. The hike is best suited for experienced hikers, as there are some steep sections and rocky terrain.

 

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Coordinates: 43°26’43.6″N 2°47’02.4″W

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a small island located off the coast of Bizkaia, with a winding stairway that leads to a chapel on the summit. The hike takes about 1-2 hours to complete, with a total distance of 2 km. The trail is relatively easy, but there are some steep sections and uneven terrain. The views from the top are well worth the effort, with panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding coastline.

 

 

In conclusion, the Basque Country offers a wide variety of hiking trails to suit all levels of ability, from easy coastal walks to challenging mountain hikes. When planning your hike, be sure to check the weather forecast and bring appropriate clothing and footwear. It’s also a good idea to carry water and snacks, as some of the hikes can be quite strenuous. With its stunning natural beauty and diverse landscape, the Basque Country is a hiker’s paradise that should not be missed.

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References

Monte Ernio. Subida desde Iturrioz. (s. f.). Rutas por Gipuzkoa. https://www.rutasporgipuzkoa.com/ruta-29/monte-ernio-subida-desde-iturrioz

Aralar Natural Park  | Top 10 | Gipuzkoa Turismoa – Gipuzkoa Turismoa. (s. f.). Gipuzkoa Turismoa. https://www.gipuzkoaturismoa.eus/en/things-to-do/gipuzkoa-top-ten/aralar-parque-natural

Gorbeia Euskadi. (s. f.). gorbeia. https://www.gorbeiaeuskadi.com/

Iparmedia. (s. f.). Flysch Bizkaia. https://www.flyschbizkaia.eus/es/lugares-de-interes/lugares-de-interes-geologico/armintza-flysch-negro

Gaztelugatxe – Bizkaia.eus. (s. f.). https://www.bizkaia.eus/es/gaztelugatxe

Ramis, S. (2022, 21 marzo). Pasaia, el encanto de las poblaciones gemelas del río Oiartzun. La Vanguardia. https://www.lavanguardia.com/ocio/viajes/20220321/8122831/pasajes-poblaciones-gemelas-rio-oiartzun.html

Vasco, E. J.-. G. (s. f.). Urkiola Natural Park | Basque Country Natural Areas | Tourism Euskadi – Tourism in the Basque Country. Basque Administration Web Portal. https://tourism.euskadi.eus/en/natural-areas/urkiola-natural-park/aa30-12375/en/

Author Profile

Irene was born and raised in Bilbao. She has a deep rooted passion for her country and culture. She has a Bachelors degree in education and has traveled to over 85 countries throughout the world.
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Zachary was born in Michigan, USA. He has lived in the Basque Country for over 10 years, and fell in love with the natural beauty and quality of life found here. He earned a Bachelors degree in economics from DePaul University in Chicago.

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