A cultural connection of walkers to landscapes and local life.
Self Guided Tour
You choose your departure date!
10 Days - 9 Nights
Connect with culture, history, community, and yourself.
Call Us. +1 623.561.0846
per person, double occupancy
$1000 USD Deposit Due With Registration
Walk quiet paths leading you through ever changing and colorful landscapes, from the rolling fields and Mediterranean forests of Navarre to the mountains and vineyards of La Rioja. Soak up centuries of history as you pass the churches of the Camino de Santiago and the hilltop villages of Basque Rioja's heartland. The beautiful surroundings are complemented by premium, small hotels and unique gastronomic experiences giving you a taste of a genuinely unspoiled part of Spain.
Complete this dive into the rural beauty of Rioja with two of the most vibrant Basque cities, Bilbao and Pamplona.
Although this is a self-guided walk, to be sure that you have the best possible trip, our Spanish coordinator is on call to help out at any stage. For the walking, we provide you with not only a GPS device pre-loaded with the maps and routes but also physical notes and maps for you to navigate with. A guide meets you in Pamplona before you start walking to talk you through the trip, the walking directions and operating the GPS device.
This route takes you to the Spanish Toscana, a landscape of colorful, rolling fields, hilltop villages, vineyards and mountains. The area's rich historical past is marked by the Basque culture, the pilgrim’s way to Santiago de Compostela, and the medieval kingdom of Navarre.
This area is also home to some of the best wines in the world, great vegetables and meats, and some of the finest examples of modern Spanish cuisine. Our varied collection of tasteful small hotels make for a walking holiday where the exertions of your hiking are carefully balanced with time to relax in comfort.
The itinerary includes the vibrant city of Bilbao where you can visit the Guggenheim Museum and get an introduction to the Basque culture, that you will enjoy even more in Pamplona with our local guide taking you on a pintxos hopping dinner along the itinerary of the famous "running of the bulls".
Basque Country & Rioja Highlights
Connect with your travel companion over a glass of wine and delicious regional fare. Take in the iconic architecture of the Basque Country and the delicious wines of the Rioja Region. This is known as the Land of Wine.
THIS IS WHAT ORGANIC LOOKS LIKE!
Fresh vegetables grown in this area are the ones that Spaniards consider to be the very best, especially the asparagus, peppers and artichokes. Traditional dishes include the gorrín (roasted pig) in Estella or a fresh menestra (vegetable stew) are but two local favorites you'll enjoy.
BETTER WALKS, BETTER LIFE
Enjoy Basque Country and Rioja at a walking pace. This allows you to connect with the history and culture of the region, delve into the community and spend time alone!
Level of Activity
Although you will cover a good distance every day the walks are not very hilly, being mostly flat walks with some rolling hills. There are a couple of longer hills on two of the days, with a maximum 350m (1150') gain in one go, 650m (2130') accumulated height gain over the day.
The paths are mainly wide trails used as agricultural and forest tracks, which makes it easier to admire the landscapes and enjoy the walk throughout.
Plan to cover an average of four kilometers per hour as you hike, explore and experience each day. Build your endurance so you are comfortable with the distance.
Based upon our experience we have paced the time and distance so you have a full experience throughout your entire holiday. At your option, on many days you can reduce some of the walks without missing on the best sections and we can arrange to give you a lift to the next destination.
Level of Comfort
The sleeping accommodations on this journey are "Countryside Luxury", always en suite, and always with lots of personality. Although star ratings are not particularly helpful when it comes to remote small properties, expect 3/4 star accommodations and excellent services along the way.
Most of the hotels are historical buildings that have been renovated, maintaining the cultural heritage of the area. We blend a variety of traditional properties that are in dramatic contrast to the modern architectural hotels. La Rioja is a blend of old and new.
Spring and autumn in Spain. Where is the weather better for walking and hiking?. May and June bring showers that are key to keeping the region so green. It is also one of the most beautiful times to visit. September is the dryest month and the harvest begins toward the end of the month. As the autumn colors kick in, October is also a fantastic time to hike!
Level of Culture
This whole area is a living cultural experience rooted many centuries ago. The pilgrimage route to Santiago originated in the IXth century, but is very much alive today with many tens of thousands of people from all around the world making their way to Santiago across the same bridges and under the same church towers as their medieval counterparts.
Equally, the wine culture essential to the Iberian Peninsula dates back millennia, but is still thriving today with the quality of the wines and the whole world that moves around it (tastings, gastronomy, tourism, modern architecture…)
Aside from the wine, agriculture in general is very evidently the cornerstone of the economy here, and its products are justly renowned in Spain. For the majority of the trip, you are very much in the heart of rural Spain, a great thing in our view.
Please note that the details of this itinerary are subject to change. Many of the planned activities are organized according to availability, events or seasonal dates, appropriate weather conditions or the discretion of our guides. We make every effort to provide the experience described in the itinerary with the understanding that some things may change.
Where We Sleep
Quaint village luxury. The accommodations on this Spanish walking tour were carefully selected by Jo Ann Taylor and are in the style she has created and the Walking Connection has become known for. The lodges. With luxurious amenities and unique local flavor, you will rest comfortably night after night. Your luggage will be transferred between locations and be waiting for you upon arrival.
El Viura wells up like a volcanic eruption next to the village church. Whimsically stacked cubes embedded in the hillside stone make first-time visitors feel like they're standing before a sculpture and not a building.
Luxury accommodations in the "Land of Wine" leave nothing to be desired.
This cozy bed and breakfast in the little village of Genevilla dates back to the second half of the 19th century and was completely renovated preserving its original charm. By principle mainly natural and ecological materials were used for the reconstruction.
Hotel Palacio Guendulain
Built in the 18th century by D. Sebastian de Eslava, Viceroy of New Granada (1685 – 1759), Palacio Guendulain is one of the most prominent buildings in Pamplona, located in the old part of town.
Palacio Guendulain offers guests a unique balance between the comfort of a modern luxury hotel and the history and charm of an emblematic 18th century building.
People Love Traveling
with Walking Connection
"Everything was first class all the way and far exceeded my expectations. Each day I kept thinking how can this get any better and each day it did! I know you can't control the weather or animals, but everything seemed to fall into place as if you planned it. The guides, the food, the service, and most of all our fellow travellers made this a trip of a lifetime. I look forward to seeing everyone's pictures posted on your web site. Looking forward to another trip!"
- Cindy R
"Its the places you go and the people I meet, that's why I have traveled with you for the last 30 years."
- Larry D., Arizona
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