Option 1: Spain Camino del Norte Walking Holiday (SELF-GUIDED OPTION: 12 day Spain Camino del Norte travel adventure including 7 day trek, guided local touring and rest days)
Option 2: Special Interest Groups and Private Wellness Adventures (GUIDED OPTION: 12 day Spain Camino del Norte adventure with guided 7 day trek, guided local touring and rest days)

12 day / 11 night Camino walking holiday and cultural experience from seaside to countryside walking through the Basque Region of the North Coastal Region, Spain.

Destination: Walk  part of the Camino del Norte from the French / Spanish border to Bilbao, Northern Spain

Travel style: Trek part of the Camino del Norte pilgrim walk trail with supported travel options and enjoy local, authentic Spanish touring, food and culture.

Highlights

  • Walking holiday covering 160km by foot of the ancient pilgrimage trail ‘Camino del Norte’  from the beginning at the French / Spanish border to Bilbao, Northern Spain. Tailored options for self-guided walking (recommended min. 2 people) with guide book, daily recommendations along the way and selected touring days with local guide/s. Walk guides and support van with guide are available for special interest groups.
  • Staying in authentic Spanish boutique seaside accommodation and country guesthouses along the way.
  • Rest days by the seaside and charming villages to embrace the local lifestyle and relaxation with local recommendations.
  • Cooking / Food lovers class: outstanding gastronomic experience of San Sebastián with cooking class or local food lovers Pintos experience through Old Town.
  • Selected regional and food experiences with local guide: to take you off the tourist route for authentic visits to experience local fresh produce from farm to seafood, sightseeing, cider and wine.
  • Your bags are transported between accommodation so just trek with your day pack only.
  • Selection of wellness activities and recommendations including thermal seawater detoxifying bathing, sea kayak, learn to surf and more…
  • All planning preparations are pre-organsied with local contacts and support , just bring an open mind and heart to enjoy the journey. If you decide to take on the walking challenge, you will need to train yourself, to prepare for the daily walk targets and be fit to do so.
  • Immerse yourself in the Spanish terrain with rolling scenery contrasting from coastal fishing villages, historical towns, countryside to modern cities.
  • Art and culture: Marvelling at the art and architecture of the Guggenheim in Bilbao.
  • Embrace the Spanish life, food and local people.

So much more … a journey of a lifetime. Perfect for those wanting a taste of the Camino and Pilgrim experience but with the added comfort, support and exploring the local life along the way. If thats YOU then read on …

About

HOLA! Get ready for a soulful adventure of a lifetime, over 12 days and  enjoy a taste of the Camino del Norte.
Explore and discover Northern Spain walking through the ‘Basque’ region, no better way than on foot, walking part of the first stage of the ancient pilgrimage trail ‘ Camino del Norte.’  You will start from Hondarribia through to San Sebastian, possibly the greatest city in the world for food! Followed by daily immersion in the Spanish life visiting coastal villages and historic, charming towns dotted along the route bound towards Bilbao.

Your journey will cover 160km of the route (or for private groups shorter distance options may be available) for a genuine taster of the Camino with support by us and our travel partners with added comforts staying in authentic, boutique accommodation and extended stays to enjoy the area more.

If you have the time and ready for the personal challenge then there are options to continue on to meet with other pilgrimage routes, and ends in the famous Santiago. Along the way, you will use all our senses to really make the most of this Spanish experience. This would mean consecutive walk days without any rest days.

The itinerary is balanced with enjoying seaside villages, exploring San Sebastian and a few of our favourite villages along the way, 7 full trek days and sightseeing with our local partners. You will be supported by have a pre-organised trek program and holiday planned based on our experience, knowledge and local travel partner connections to just allow for your own journey to unfold. This is ideal for those wanting to trial the Camino, that may be more time sensitive, who would like a trek holiday blended with Spanish culture and perfect for private groups, as we will share our previous planning and experience with you.

As we are a supported for wellness travel. We will offer recommendations and inclusions to have a wellness focus and program to include thermal seawater detox experiences bathing waters from the Bay of Biscay, body treatments, private yoga classes, ocean activities and much more.

We will pre-book and organise your accommodation including some of our favourite hot spots with ocean views and  a variety of 3 to 4 star accommodation styles from authentic Spanish village guesthouses, seaside boutique hotels and modern hotels in the cities, this will make it a comfortable stay throughout your trekking holiday.

All is organised for you, even your bags will be transported between daily destination and you will still have your own freedom and make choices along the way.

You will be guided by our local travel partners, with either a self-guided trek with partial touring or fully guided option for small groups, depending on your trek preference and each option includes our tips, recommendations fro our previous experience touring with fellow Australians and your personal tour guide to show you the best of the region from a local perspective.

We encourage you to attempt the full trail, however there are options should you not be able to walk the all the daily targets. With walking training and trek preparations this will support you through enjoying this experience the more your body is prepared. It will cover rugged coastal terrain, which is well worth it for the scenery it is all manageable with pre-training.

The rest days, allows for additional time to really soak up the experience and to connect to this unique, authentic destination, balanced with your own leisure time. Your package includes breakfast daily, to give you the freedom to explore your surroundings and dine at your leisure for the other meal. The included tours includes food tasting and may include meals also. For guided small groups, then other options may be available with picnics on trek days and other pre-arranged dinners.

The accommodation is of high quality and standard selecting where possible the better options available ion the areas exploring, hand picked by us based on previous experience and as we LOVE the ocean making the most of our seaside locations selecting the beachfront, sensational views and fresh ocean air to help revitalise and relax after your trek days.

If you go with the flow of the Spanish life,  tap into the natural joy of just being in the moment and living day to day, this journey will take you beyond the imaginable.

This is a once in a lifetime must do for yourself a walking holiday and see how your journey unfolds…
BOOK NOW.

Standard Package Inclusions

  • 11 nights accommodation* in authentic Spanish boutique hotels and guesthouses. All pre-booked with location maps and directions to find your accommodation.
  • Welcome personalised greeting and dinner at coastal village Hondarribia – where France meets Spain by your local guide.
  • Trek Program: includes 7 x full trek days on the Camino, this includes self-guided or guided options. For self-guided option includes suggested daily program with recommendations for stops based from our previous trek experience, distances and guide book with maps ( 1 between 2 guests).
  • Tour Program: includes 2 x guided private tours on your rest days with local guide to experience an authentic, local perceptive to enjoy and understand more about the Basque region you are exploring, with food tastings of the region’s produce from seaside to country life.
  • San Sebastian Food Experience: Five star cooking class experience in San Sebastian OR local guided pintoxs tour experience  in Old Town – the greatest gastronomic city in the world! (depends on your arrival day).
  • Breakfast included daily with other upgrade meal options on guided tours with picnic lunches, break snacks and local dining options.
  • Daily bag transfer service between accommodation.
  • Recommendations and support travel information during your program based on previous tours visiting from Australia and our local knowledge.
  • Local Basque guide on tour days and emergency / on the ground support required during your holiday (speaks Spanish, Euraski and English).
  • Personalised service and pre-travel support by your Australian organiser Wholesome Life and local travel partners, to help plan and make your bookings.
  • Wholesome Life travel amenities and trek pack.
  • Optional recommendations and upgrades for health and wellness experiences including local thermal seawater bath experience from the Bay of Biscay, body and spa treatments, yoga, ocean activities and more.
  • Optional upgrades for group transfers between trek locations – for lower intensity route are available at additional cost.

BONUS!

  • Pre-travel pack with all information to get you trek ready and travel ready to Spain. All you need to know in one handy information pack including packing list and things to be aware of.
  • Meet us on Skype for your private Q&A session to help get you prepared and self-training.

* Recommended accommodation is based on twin / double share. Private upgrade supplement available.

Optional add on’s:

  • Private Tour Guide with support van and picnics on walk days – ideal for groups.
  • Private Walk Guide for trek days – ideal for groups.
  • Low intensity package – if you prefer to walk the half day program than the full 7 day trek program, then our tour operator can drive you after lunch to the next town and hotel – ideal for groups.
  • Private upgrade supplement (subject to availability).

Itinerary

Start your journey in Spanish coastal village Hondarribia (the French / Spanish border – nearby San Sebasitan airport and Irun train station).

This will be followed walking on day 2 to San Sebastian where you will enjoy a little longer time to explore for 2 nights staying on the beachfront with view of the bay of San Sebastian, and take your time wondering through old town of San Sebastian and enjoy a a five-star cooking class or local foodies experience (depending on your arrival day) in the greatest gastronomic city in the world!

 You will continue the trek program along the coast,  take in the seaside landscape and pass through the seaside villages. This terrain if a little more rugged in parts before you head inland, into the lush green hills of Basque Country with charming coastal villages and historic towns dotted along the route. The walking program will conclude in Bilbao.

The program includes a wellbeing and local culture focus, a foodies delight!  With recommendations on activities to support your body and nourish your soul along the way. On the recommended rest days there allow time to explore the local life, relax, optional sightseeing excursions and authentic Spanish dining recommendations.

Concludes in Bilbao after a half day trek, you may to choose to stroll through Old Town enjoy a tapas and celebration drink and the must-visit of the architectural wonder of the Guggenheim museum. Guests will make their own travel arrangements from here. Choose to stay on and enjoy Bilbao…. or continue to trek the Camino.

Feel empowered  by being part of the Camino! Meet other adventurous pilgrim’s along the way and extended over the 10 days you will be able to pace yourself, soak in the culture of the Basque country and be amazed by your own personal achievement walking a taster of the Camino del Norte.

Wholesome Life is aligned with a local travel operator to assist with the on the ground knowledge and support.

Make the commitment to yourself for this unique wellness holiday while still enjoying the food, wine, amazing landscape and beautiful Spanish life!

Walking and touring program – 

DAY 1: Welcome and first night in Hondarribia ( 1 night)

DAY 2:Walk to San Sebastian  – 26km (recommended 2 nights)

DAY 3: Day exploring  San Sebastian

DAY 4: Walk to Getaria – 28 km (recommended 2 nights)

Day 5:  Day in Getaria

Day 6: Walk to Deba – 23km ( 1 night)

Day 7:  Walk to Markina – 26km (recommended 2 nights)

Day 8: Day in Markina

Day 9: Walk to Gernika – 25 km ( 1 night)

Day 10: Walk to Lezama – 22km ( 1 night )

Day 11: Walk to Bilbao – 12km (enjoy a morning walk and arrive in time for the afternoon exploring Bilbao, stay 1 night).

Day 12: Stay on in or depart Bilbao. (Recommend staying on for at least 2 nights in Bilbao).

Travel Package Cost

2018 Travel Package coming soon! Express your interest here

For further details please email for custom tour quote :     info@wholesomelife.com.au

Please send through at inquiry your preferred dates ready and if planning for private solo / twin or small group travel.
Best time over Europe Spring to Autumn, April to October.

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Note, the package is priced in EURO due to the currency differences. The exchange rate is to be calculated by date of payment, conversion charges and can be paid in AUD.

BOOK EARLY to ensure you get the best of the accommodation on offer (we have hand picked these spots for a reason, you will see!) and this increases the chance for group bookings to stay in the one location. For later bookings, there may be a possibility of not all staying in the same hotel at every destination however, will make sure where possible within short reach.

Flights not included in standard packages. However, we have a travel partner able to quote and plan your flights and further travel arrangements.

See below, HOW TO GET THERE plus useful links to start planning your Spain holiday.

Upgrade to private room

Private room upgrade is available for additional fee.

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MORE INFORMATION READ ON …

About the Camino del Norte

The Camino del Norte takes you from San Sebastián along the north coast of Spain, to Santiago de Compostela. This is a dramatic and sometimes challenging route to Santiago and one which more accurately reflects the true pilgrim experience.

The Camino del Norte is a tougher route than its sister walk, the Camino Frances, but it is arguably laden with more interesting highlights and represents a totally different kind of pilgrimage. A quieter route that alternates between dramatic coast, rugged Galician Mountains and some of the best cities in Spain.

This walking route covers the first stage from San Sebastian to Bilbao, covering 160km of the 612km’s  Camino Del Norte trail with rest days to really embrace the Spanish experience and take it at our own pace. It is a great taster experience of the Pilgrim walk with added comfort and enjoyment along the way, and for those more time sensitive.

San Sebastián is arguably the greatest gastronomic city in the world, which is a perfect place to have a longer stopover (this can be increased longer) spend min two night and soak up the vibes of this food mecca, include local food and cooking experiences. From there you head along the coast visiting villages, and then start to journey inland to Bilbao, famous for the Guggenheim Museum where your 160km journey will conclude here as part our itinerary. On this sacred pilgrimage trek you will spend time looking down at the clear green Atlantic from coastal cliffs or looking up at outstanding architecture that ranges from the ancient to the ultra-modern. Amazing!!

For the dedicated trekkers for the full Camino del Norte experience this can be divided into other sections of roughly a week each of consecutive walk days with no rest days. You can choose to walk sections in stages or altogether, the last section to Santiago which you must complete to earn your compostela. The full Camino del Norte is a magnificent achievement and one that not many pilgrims arriving in Santiago can lay claim to.

If you are seeking more adventure, continue to the walk on to Santander and Oviedo. From Oviedo it heads away from the coast and into the glorious mountains of Galicia continuing to Santiago.  We can help you plan this with further support for you to continue to self-guide yourself including pre-booked accommodation in comfortable hotels and guesthouses, a detailed guidebook and maps, bag transfer and emergency on the ground support. Ask us more!

Best time to visit and weather

The Camino can be throughout the year however the best time is over the European Summer. July to September are typically the most popular times to walk the Camino. We happen to be walking the less populated route although arguable the most authentic of the trails and can be a little more challenging. There will be other fellow pilgrimi’s all with the same purpose…. in saying this the secret is getting out for this magnificent scenic trek.

Food and wine

This walking holiday is all about balance… for mind, body and  Spain would not be complete without its food and wine culture. Along the way there will be plenty of tastings and choice of local dishes to try.

As part of your experience, you will have breakfast included daily and on the touring days select meals will be included.  This allow you the freedom to explore the local regions restaurants and taverna’s as you like and suggest to pack a picnic on your walk days is in some areas. For the guided support options, included picnics may be possible for walk days.

Bag transfer

Your bags will be transported between overnight destinations and included in the package. Baggage allowance is 18kg, if this exceeds this without any prior arrangements additional transport may be required and oncosts for this service will need to be taken care of by yourself.

On the trek days, you will be required to carry your own personal day backpack with water and daily refreshments.  More information will be provided closer to your departure.

Transport

If  for some reason you really feel are unable to walk the entire way, there may be transport alternatives with a private driver transfer or bus between towns, this is at the travellers expense. Any additional changes to the program, may incur additional charges and penalties issued by the third party travel partners.

Fitness level

Travellers are to be in general good health, fitness and positive attitude to achieve a trek of this nature. Travellers are responsible for their own training prior to the trek with alternative terrain. This trail is considered slightly more strenuous in some areas compared to other pilgrimage trails such as Camino Frances, however with this comes with an advantage with a mix of terrain and breath-taking scenery! The rest days are designed to help re-energise and enjoy the journey, its not always just about the destination.

How to get there

Make your own way to Spain. Major connections from Australia include Barcelona, London, Frankfurt then fly or train to San Sebastian.

Barcelona is likely to be the best connection with regular flights daily to San Sebastian it all depends on your time and where you are travelling from.

San Sebastian and Bilbao, both have airports and connected to the high speed rail network (see the map below).

TRAINS

For train services within Spain and other European links view here

FLIGHTS

A useful link to use is SkyScanner to work out your flight route and economical flights view here.

If you have any further queries we are happy to help and recommend a friendly travel agent should you want any further booking advice.

FLIGHT SPECIALS:

Book early and take advantage of fare specials from Australia to Spain (Barcelona) return.

If you have any further queries we are happy to help and recommend a friendly travel agent should you want any further travel advice

Exchange rates

A great reference for exchange rates conversion calculator is www.xe.com

This package has been priced for EURO.

Terms and conditions

Wholesome Life is working with an authorised local tour operator to assist with this tour experience. The following  terms apply to this tour. Please read the following before booking:

TRAVEL INSURANCE:

All travelling guests are required to take out personal travel insurance for this trip. We highly recommend this is purchased in advance before travel should any unforeseeable circumstances restrict you from travelling to cover your expenses. While on this private group experience please note that in your free time, taxi transfers and on excursions, you are not covered by the tour operators policy.

PAYMENT PLANS:

Payment plans may be available, please inquire on booking. If the deposit, instalments  and/or balance are not paid in time, we have the right to cancel your travel arrangements. If the balance is not paid in time we shall retain your deposit and monies paid based on the below cancelation policy.

CANCELATIONS:

If the rare cases of cancelations please note the following terms. We encourage you to make sure your personal travel insurance covers you for cancelations for your booking costs, this is your responsibility to check your policy. If we are unable fill your place or this can be transferred to another with name change then the below cost structure is based on the amount of notice given and investment to book your place with our suppliers. A cancelation admin fee of $150 will apply. Where possible we will make this fair and reasonable.

The cancellation policy for this trip as followed is based on Wholesome Life’s commitment to the third party travel and accommodation providers terms and conditions as well as Wholesome Life’s liabilities. You will be notified of payment plans relevant at the time to your particular tour.

Deposit:  is required to secure your place and booking, this is non-refundable.

If you choose to cancel your holiday then the following non-refundable monies may apply.

ITINERARY:

Wholesome Life has the right to change the program as need along the way if required however,  similar alternatives will be put in place.

By submitting the online booking form you have agreed to the above terms and conditions for this trip.

TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE BOOK NOW

Any questions? Happy to answer to talk more about this experience …  contact us  info@wholesomelife.com.au

Once in a lifetime experience …

TO RESERVE YOUR PLACE BOOK NOW HERE

Walk the Camino del Norte inland across countryside through historical pilgrimage villages

Rest in seaside boutique hotels to country guesthouses in comfort and authentic Spanish style …

Discover San Sebastian and Bilbao …

From city life to food expereinces to Old Town, art, history, architecture, coast and more..

Highlight photos below from our escorted Australian 2015 Spain Yoga Trek, images by our travel photographer Off Track Travels and Wholesome Life. We can arrange the trip for you and you can bring your own Yoga Tour Guide if you wish, with suggested yoga and well-being program along the way. Recommended min. 5 to 7 guests plus Yoga leader and walking guide is available at additional cost if required.


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