Spain
Basque Country

Here you’ll find travel reports about Basque Country. Discover travel destinations in Spain of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

228 travelers at this place:

  • Day120

    112. Etappe: Pozueta

    October 30 in Spain

    Sonne! 🌞 Jippie 🎉
    Und was noch besser ist: Bis auf ein paar Tröpfchen zum Ende blieb es den ganzen Tag trocken.
    Nach einer ruhigen Nacht im Kloster ging es direkt weiter durch den Wald. Schnell waren wir unterwegs, so dass wir uns in Gernika ein Mittagsmenü gönnten. Gut gestärkt gings weiter und früher als gedacht erreichten wir die heutige Herberge in einem Privathaus - direkt auf dem Weg, aber sehr abgelegen.Read more

  • Day118

    110. Etappe: Deba

    October 28 in Spain

    Ganz entspannt starteten wir heute zu Dritt in den Tag. Uns erwartete eine kleine, aber lt. Wanderfiebel eine der wohl schönsten Etappen des Camino del Norte, wenn man etwas vom ausgeschildertem Weg abweicht. Das taten wir und genossen so manch tolle Aussicht mit Käffchen (super, jemanden mit vollständiger Campingausrüstung dabei zu haben 👍☕).
    Gut, dass die heutige Pilgerherberge eine Waschmaschine und nen Trockner hat - denn dank so manchem Regen- und Hagelschauer waren die Wege ziemlich matschig und unsere Hosen hatten am Ende des Tages die selbe Farbe wie der Weg. 😅
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  • Day115

    107. Etappe: Irun

    October 25 in Spain

    Gut geschlafen hab ich! Anscheinend hab ich bei der Zimmerwahl alles richtig gemacht, denn mein Mitpilger klagte am Morgen über eine durchgelegene Matratze 😅
    Wir liefen uns am Vormittag noch häufiger über den Weg, so dass ich mal wieder ein Landschaftbild mit Pilger einstellen kann 🎉 Die Wegmarkierung war aber wieder nicht besonders gut oder irreführend, so dass ich ihn später nicht mehr in der tollen Landschaft entdecken konnte.
    Mein letztes Stück in Frankreich gab dafür noch mal alles! Wunderschön ging es durchs Baskenland, vorbei an zahlreichen Schafen, Eseln, Pferden, sogar eine Schweinefarm kreuzte ich. Dabei begegneten mir jede Menge Wanderer und Mountainbiker - denn in Frankreich sind gerade Herbstferien!
    Die Kilometer vergingen wie im Flug und schwuppdiwupp war das Meer ganz nah und Spanien nicht mehr weit. Um so verwunderter war ich, dass auf einmal wieder über 30 km auf der Uhr standen als ich die Herberge erreichte!
    In der Pilgerherge ist heut wieder etwas mehr los, meine erste Nacht im gemischten Schlafsaal mit mehr als 10 Doppelstockbetten (aber nicht alle belegt) wird interessant. 😅
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  • Day118

    109. Etappe: Askizu

    October 28 in Spain

    So spät bin ich bisher noch nicht gestartet! Aber wir hatten wohl das Langschläfer-Zimmer im Hostel erwischt, denn vor 9 rührte sich niemand und so war es keine gute Idee, keinen Wecker zu stellen. 😅
    Der Weg war dann wieder sehr abwechslungsreich, die Küste fast immer in Sichtweite. Aber auch der Wetterbericht hielt leider was er versprach, es regnete immer mal wieder.
    Auf der Hälfte des Weges begegneten wir dann einer weiteren Pilgerin aus Kroatien, die uns den restlichen Weg bis zur heutigen Herberge begleitete.
    Kurz vorm Ziel kamen wir noch einmal so richtig in den Regen, sogar mit Hagel und wurden pitschenass. Die eigentlich angepeielte Herberge war leider entgegen aller Auskünfte zu, so dass wir noch 2 km weiterwanderten und pünktlich zum Abendbrot in der Herberge ankamen.
    Morgen gehts in eine kleine Etappe und Dank Zeitumstellung ist Ausschlafen angesagt. 🎉
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  • Day122

    114. Etappe: Portugalete

    November 1 in Spain

    Heute erwartete mich eine kurze Etappe. Ich startete gemeinsam mit Gal etwas spät entlang des Flusses raus aus Bilbao, über mehrere Orte nach Portugalete. Der Übergang zwischen den Orten war überhaupt nicht spürbar, ein Ort reihte sich an den anderen. Somit war es heut auch nicht besonders malerisch, sondern eher eintönig. Doch zum Ende erwartete uns noch ein Highlight: Wir überquerten den Nervion mit einer Hängebrücke.
    Gal brachte mich noch zur Herberge und nach einem gemeinsamen Instant-Käffchen aus seinem Camping-Survival-Bestand, hieß es wieder einmal Abschied nehmen für mich von einem Weggefährten. Er hat leider einen engen Zeitplan und muss ab jetzt im Durchschnitt 32 km laufen und ich kann mir Zeit lassen für die letzten knapp 700 km.
    Morgen erwartet mich dann wieder mehr Natur 😊
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  • Day116

    108. Etappe: San Sebastian

    October 26 in Spain

    Bei spanischen Klängen gab es heut morgen Frühstück - daran musste ich mich erst noch gewöhnen! Um 8 hieß es dann los gehts, noch im Dunklen 🙈
    An der ersten großen Kreuzung traf ich direkt einen anderen Pilger, der nach den Zeichen suchte - gemeinsam fanden wir mehr oder weniger gut irgendwann den Weg raus aus der Stadt und rein in die Berge. Der Weg ging etwas steil, aber schön entlang der Küste mit einer tollen Aussicht - ab und zu - denn der Nebel ließ uns Pilger nicht immer so weit blicken. Viele Wanderer und Mountainbiker begegnete ich auf dem Weg und leider auch wieder so manchem Jäger.
    Nach San Sebastian ging es dann mit der kleinen Fähre für noch nicht einmal eine Minute zum anderen Ufer. Nach dem letzten Anstieg und einen Spaziergang am Strand erreichten wir heute die Jugendherberge.
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  • Day119

    111. Etappe: Ziortza

    October 29 in Spain

    Ich gebe nicht viel auf Wetterberichte, aber der heutige behielt leider Recht: 95% Regenwahrscheinlichkeit 🌧
    Regen und Hagel waren die ständigen Begleiter der heutigen Etappe und auf einem nicht ganz so fernen Berggipfel konnte ich sogar Schnee entdecken. Jetzt bin ich froh, dass ich auch ein paar Thermo-Sachen eingepackt habe, denn das Thermometer klettert im Moment nicht über 10 Grad.
    Es ging über viele kleine Pfade durch Wälder weiter Richtung Inland, aber das Meer war noch ab und zu in Sichtweite.
    Die heutige Herberge befindet sich in einem Kloster, in dem sogar noch Mönche leben.
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  • Day121

    113. Etappe: Bilbao

    October 31 in Spain

    Ein Regentag erwartete uns Pilger heute. Nach einem guten Frühstück mit selbstgebackenem Kuchen in der privaten Herberge starteten alle so nach und nach und auf dem Weg sah ich dann fast alle wieder.
    Der Weg nach Bilbao führte erst schön über kleine Orte, aber die letzten Kilometer leider fast ausschließlich entlang vielbefahrener Straßen oder über kleinere Asphaltstraßen - aber so ist das halt, wenn man eine große Stadt durchwandert. Die Jugendherberge ist heute direkt gegenüber des Guggenheims, das ich schon letztes Jahr bei meinem Kurztripp besucht habe. Für einen Stadtrundgang wäre Zeit, aber aufgrund des Dauerregens ist es leider nicht sehr gemütlich draußen. Für morgen hoffe ich auf ein wenig Sonne, auch wenn mich dann nur eine Mini-Etappe erwartet.Read more

  • Day668

    Adios España!

    April 25 in Spain

    We toured Spain for just over 100 days from January to April. For a fortnight we volunteered at an organic farm in the Sierra Nevada and for a week we stayed in a villa near Ronda with our friends Cath and Paul.

    Vicky, having spent less than 24 hours here previously, was particularly dubious about what we'd find. Neither of us liked the idea of spending much time in high rise resorts occupied predominantly by sun seeking brits who demand full English breakfasts and a good chippy. Whilst we did find areas like this, they were easy to avoid and we discovered so much more in this beautiful and characterful country.

    We are very fortunate to have been able to spend so much time in one country, but Spain is a big place with very different areas and so we'll just have to do our best to summarise our thoughts on it succinctly!

    So, how will we remember Spain?

    🗑 Things we'll be happy to leave behind:

    Scary speedbumps and huge kerbs - we don't like speedbumps at the best of times but the ones in Spain seemed gargantuan. Unless we slowed down to about 10kph they would scrape the underside of van and flip the back end up, so anything that wasn't bolted down would find itself in mid air!

    Lunch time shutting - although things seemed to get better the longer we spent in the country, Spain's shops has the longest lunch time closing of any we'd so far found in Europe. From noon or just before, the town centre shops remain closed until 5:30pm or later. The large out of town supermarkets are open but we missed the interactions with small shop keepers, because we found it difficult to adjust.

    Parking vs camping - Spain has campsites and it has aires and wild camping spots. You are allowed to camp in campsites and but only park in the others, meaning that in the vast majority of places we stayed, we weren't allowed to leave anything outside, such as chairs, drying clothes, mats, the bike or canoe. It was our choice to avail ourselves of the free accomodation and we can see the sense in the regulations, so did adhere to them (many didn't), but it meant we felt more restricted than in some other countries.

    👍 What got a thumbs up?

    Great bins and recycling - All domestic refuge and recycling is disposed of via communal bins so we were never far from a place we could empty our rubbish. There are also standard bin colours throughout the country, which made things easier for us.

    Free places to stay with free services - we spent a grand total of €74 on parking and services and 60 of this was for 2 nights secure parking in central Barcelona. There were some beautiful wild camping spots and plenty of free areas de autocaravanas whose services remained accessible throught the winter. There were only a few urban areas that were struggling to cope and had 'no van' signs up.

    Good quality roads - having spent last winter in Italy, we were super impressed by the quality of the roads. On the whole they had smooth surfaces, were well layed out and other drivers were reasonable. The low population density meant we often had the highway to ourselves. The only difficulties we encountered were the pull offs used to cross the carriageway (like roundabouts with the main road running through the centre), these were fine once we got used to them. Torrential rain in March also caused road closures and meant you needed to keep your wits about you.

    Eating out - we really enjoyed the tapas culture and it was cheap enough for us to eat and drink out regularly. The food wasn't spectacular like it had been in Italy, but it was tasty and changed with the regions, so there were often new dishes to try. Bars would open from 12noon or 1pm and everywhere gave the option of alcohol free beer, sometimes on tap. Excellent for when you are keeping an eye on your weight and health.

    Access to Nature - Spain has a huge number of national parks, regional parks and natural parks, all with good parking and walking trails. The countryside was beautiful and often stunning. We loved watching the numerous Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, as well as spotting more birds we'd never seen before, including a Wallcreeper and Iberian Magpies.

    Cleanliness - on the whole we found only small amounts of litter and rubbish. Some areas had a problem with dog mess, but we saw a lot of street cleaners and litter pickers in towns and cities and they made a big difference.

    Open throughout winter - in other countries, many shops, attractions and services shut down out of season, but apart from a few hyper touristed areas such as the Costa Brava resorts, places remained open.

    Low population density - where the UK ranks 10th highest of all European countries in terms of population density, Spain comes in at number 34. Sure, there were places like Madrid and along the south coast where the high rises seemed endless, but for the most part it was sparsely populated and very easy to find some rural patch of peace and quiet, even at the beach.

    Fuel costs - we travelled several thousand kilometres in Spain, but it didn't break the bank because on average we paid €1.19 for a litre of diesel. We could have bought it for less, but chose to pay extra at stations with van facilities and those that employed people at the pumps. Spain's youth unemployment is high at 36% and this was one of the ways we contributed to the economy.

    Horse culture - ok, so this was more a thumbs up from Vicky than from Will, but we may well have seen more horses in Spain than in all the other countries we've visited put together! We saw a lot of men riding, as opposed to just women and girls we'd expect to see in other places and many of the horses were of arab descent, making them a joy to watch.

    👀 Overall observations:

    》The weather was mixed while we were in Spain. Although undeniably warmer than in the UK, we had our share of snow, sleet and ice, even experiencing one night at -12.3°C; the coldest temperature of our trip. In March it warmed, but the rains came, causing landslides and road closures. This being said, we still got our fill of southern sun!

    》Before we entered Spain, Will had learned a good amount of Spanish on Duolingo. However, this was Mexican Spanish and the language it is most similar to, Castilian Spanish, wasn't the first language in the regions of Catalonia or Galicia, nor was it the only language in Basque. It was interesting to see the changes, but they often made communication and comprehension more difficult for us.

    》As we left Northern Spain and entered the central band, we were shocked by the vast areas of exposed, dry earth that seemed, to our eyes, almost like desert. Many of the reservoirs we'd seen were well below expected levels and had been for some time. We feared the further south we went the worse it would get, but to our relief the mountains and the change from sea to land brought about more precipitation. The soil type also changed and plants were able to get a foothold. We found the these changes fascinating and thought provoking.

    》The police had more of a presence on motorhome aires here, than in any other country we've visited. The Guardia Civil would often drive by on a morning and evening, noting down number plates and checking on the state of the aire. They were friendly enough and we were never made to feel unwelcome.

    🤔 Our Treasured Memories:
    (In no particular order)

    ☆ City visits: bar nights in Barcelona and Madrid and spontaneous street dancing in the latter. Will fulfilled his ambition of visiting the remarkable Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and we were both captivated by Seville's Alcázar.

    ☆ Stunning Sierra Nevada mountain landscapes covered in almond blossom. Vicky will always remember riding through it!

    ☆ Charming Alpujarran white villages

    ☆ Tapas culture

    ☆ Sand, Sea and yes, Sun. Will got in plenty of swimmimg, snorkelling and even a little surfing.

    ☆ Countryside walks and the wildlife we discovered on them

    If you've managed to get to the end of this lengthy outpouring, well done! As you can probably tell, we think Spain is brilliant. Sure, it has some drawbacks, but these are outnumbered and outweighed by the huge list of wonderful experiences the country has to offer. We felt very relaxed living in the van here and if it wasn't for the impending heat, we would have found ourselves very tempted to stay!
    Gracias España!
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  • Day7

    We hired a car to drive across the north of Spain for the next five days. Three of those will be in San Sebastian and surrounding areas, and the other two will be in Santiago de Compostela.

    The drive from Barcelona to San Sebastian takes about five hours. It is across a range of different territory, from dry flat plains, lush agricultural land, to green forests closer to the northern coast.

    We took a diversion early in the trip to visit the famous monastery in Montserrat. It is located high on the mountains about an hour from Barcelona. The original monastery was founded about 1000AD, but it has been added to and restored ever since. The basilica here houses the famous Black Madonna, which is an icon to which many pilgrimages are made for religious purposes.

    The real attraction of the place is the extraordinary location, perched as it is on the side of a rocky mountain with amazing views all the way to the outskirts of Barcelona. It is a peaceful and awe-inspiring place, no doubt the reason for the monastery being built there in the first place. There are still 70 monks living there, as there has been for centuries, although they were outnumbered by the tourists by 50 to 1 easily when we were there. We could have spent more time there, but the drive was still largely ahead of us so we left after about an hour or so.

    The rest of the drive was only interrupted by a stop for a late lunch. The route took us through Pamplona, where the running of the bulls festival (San Fermino) starts tomorrow.

    We arrived in San Sebastian, located in Basque territory, about 7pm to be greeted by our kind Airbnb host, Gloria, who is a young Spanish girl who owns a very nice apartment in the centre of town, right near the magnificent beach. The beach here in San Sebastian is known to be one of Europe's best and very well patronised by French and British tourists in the summertime.

    Gloria has given us a list of Pixtos (a Basque word for Tapas) to try and which restaurants to find the best ones. They look delicious and we look forward to trying them all.

    The drive through northern Spain took us through some high country, just alongside the Pyrennees mountain range. It was challenging to get used to the left hand drive. On one occasion I instinctively took off into the left lane rather than the right lane and gave some innocent Spanish driver a near-death experience. But generally it was fine. Sam kept his head down most of the time. The speed limit was 120 on most of the freeways and the traffic was travelling at about 130. The roads were fantastic, although they were many toll roads and I had to pay a toll on at least five occasions, which added up to about 30 euros.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa, Baskenland, Basque Country, País Basc, País Vasco, Euskadi, Pays Basque, Paesi Baschi, パイス・バスコ, 바스크 지방, Baskarland, Baskerland, Страна Басков, Baskien

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