Salinas de Añana

10 Best Day Tours from Bilbao spain

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Bilbao, the vibrant heart of Spain’s Basque Country, makes an ideal base for discovering the region’s diverse charms. From the world-famous cuisine in San Sebastian to breathtaking coastal trails to medieval villages – there’s a day trip to suit every taste. I have personally been to San Sebastian, Bilbao, Victoria-Gastaiz, Rioja Wine Region and Salt Valley of Santana –– Northern Spain is worth exploring. Here are my top 10 recommendations of the best excursions within easy reach of Bilbao.

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10 Best Day Tours from Bilbao spain

San Sebastian

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San Sebastian is renowned as Spain’s culinary capital, with its charming Old Town packed with lively pintxos bars. Stroll along the famous La Concha beach promenade, visit the enlightening San Telmo Museum, and ride the vintage funicular up Mount Igeldo for sweeping bay views. San Sebastian’s strong Basque identity and relaxed resort atmosphere make it a must-visit. Book your day trip to San Sebastian .

Getaria

Getaria is a quaint fishing village located just 30 minutes from San Sebastian. It’s renowned for its delicious grilled fish and crisp local txakoli white wine. Wander the atmospheric old town streets and visit the striking Gothic church watching over the port. Fashion and history buffs won’t want to miss the Cristobal Balenciaga Museum, showcasing the work of Getaria’s most famous son. Book your day trip to Getaria .

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San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Aerial View of Gaztelugatxe on the Coast of Biscay, Bermeo, Basque Country, Spain

The tiny islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, topped by an ancient hermitage, is connected to the mainland by a scenic stone footbridge. You may recognize it as Daenerys’ Dragonstone from Game of Thrones. The hike up the 241 steps is challenging but the dramatic coastal views are ample reward. Ring the chapel bell three times for good luck! Book your day trip to San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

Vitoria-Gasteiz

Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of Spain’s Basque country, is a delightful city of medieval streets and leafy parks. Must-sees include the Cathedral of Santa Maria, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, and the 12th-century Church of San Miguel. Refuel at one of the many excellent pintxos bars lining the cobblestone alleys. Book your day trip to Vitoria-Gasteiz

The Basque Coast Geopark

The Basque Coast Geopark is a wild, wonderful stretch of coastline packed with natural wonders. The star attraction is the Flysch cliffs at Zumaia – millions of years of geological history are revealed in these dramatically striped rock formations. Take a boat trip to view them from the water then explore the charming seaside towns of Zumaia, Deba and Mutriku. Book your day trip to the Basque Coast Geopark

Santander

Mouro Island Lighthouse, Santander, Spain

The elegant port city of Santander boasts beautiful beaches like Playa del Sardinero plus cultural gems like the royal retreat of Magdalena Palace. Take a sailing trip along the rugged coastline to the Cabo Mayor lighthouse and explore the pretty gardens and coves of the Magdalena Peninsula. Santander’s fresh seafood and lively dining scene make it a foodie favorite too. Book your day trip to Santander

Guernica

The market town of Guernica (Gernika in Basque) was devastated by a Nazi bombing raid in 1937, an atrocity which inspired Picasso’s most famous painting. Today, the town has been beautifully rebuilt. Visit on a Monday to experience the bustling weekly market and stop by the Peace Museum to learn about the town’s tragic history. The nearby Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve offers lovely hiking trails through verdant valleys and a boat trip along the tranquil Urdaibai Estuary. Book your day trip to Guernica

Salt Valley of Añana

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Step back in time at the Salt Valley of Añana, where salt has been harvested for over 6,500 years. This fascinating open-air museum showcases the ancient techniques used to extract “white gold” from natural springs. Wander the wooden walkways above the terraced salt pans and learn how this precious commodity shaped the region’s history. The on-site spa even offers salt baths for a rejuvenating soak. Book your day trip to the Salt Valley of Añana

Salinas de Añana

Rioja Wine Region

Swap the seascapes for vineyards on a tasting tour in Spain’s most famous wine region. Rioja is renowned for its bold, elegant reds and visiting bodegas range from cutting-edge modern wineries to traditional cellars aging wine in underground caves. Pair your wine with regional specialties like lamb cutlets and patatas a la riojana. Book your day trip to the Rioja wine region

Laguardia

The walled medieval village of Laguardia is a highlight of the Rioja Alavesa wine subregion. Wander the cobblestone streets of the historic center, visit the striking Gothic church of Santa Maria de los Reyes and sample local wines in the ancient underground cellars. Just outside the village walls, prestigious bodegas like Ysios dazzle with cutting-edge architecture amid rolling vineyards. Book your day trip to Laguardia

Whether you seek beautiful beaches, world-class cuisine, medieval villages or dramatic natural wonders – the perfect day trip from Bilbao awaits. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to experience the best of the Basque Country!

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