Portugal and the Basque Country – Part 1

Another great trip wrapped up, this time headed Southwest. This trip focused on a new area for me (Basque country) and a return to a country that I visited 13 years ago, Portugal. Both distinctly different countries but each having their own charm. Here is a map of the route that I took. It ended up being 4,334 km (2,693 miles), almost completely on backroads as the toll roads were very expensive and you just don’t get to see much when the world is going by at 120 km per hour. 



Here is the out and back route that I took for Basque country and Portugal.


I started off visiting the French part of Basque country (Pays Basque) but do to a lot of rain, I decided to move on and visit it another time. I then ventured on into northwest Spain with my first stop being San Sebastian. Having heard a lot of this town, I ended up staying two nights and it met all my expectations. A great city that I would like to return to. Tapas, seashore, mountains, and nice people. 


San Sebastian

A panorama of San Sebastian from Playa De La Concha


Following a couple of days there, I ventured further west stopping of at Bilbao. I was not expecting to like Bilboa much since I’m not a fan of going into big cities (especially with the VW camper), however this city had a charm and would warrant a return in the future. Top of the list for me to see was the amazing Gugenheim museum. It was fun just walking around the exterior and checking out all the angles. 


The curves of the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao.

Another must see in Bilbao is the Puente Colgante (literally “hanging bridge”).  It was fun to just sit and watch is it made it’s way across the river  with only six cars at a time. 


Vizcaya Bridge

The Vizcaya Bridge, also known as the Puente Colgante (literally “hanging bridge”)


The last thing that I saw in Bilbao was a good surprise. I noticed that there were police everywhere, covering every intersection on a route through the city. When it was time to leave, to my surprise, I found out it was the King of Spain, King Felipe VI!


King Felipe VI

The King of Spain, King Felipe VI, making a visit to Bilbao.


Well, having had my fill of cities, it was time to head to the mountains and I wasn’t disappointed. The Picos de Europa mountains are beautiful, reminding me a bit of the Dolomites in Italy. I spent a couple of days hiking here with a vow to return again. This was actually my favorite part of the trip and was extremely beautiful. 



The Naranjo de Bulnes is probably the best known mountaineering peak in Spain.



The morning view from my camper door of the Picos De Europa mountains.



A snowy hike above the Fuente De Cable Car.



That wraps up Part 1 in the Basque Country of Northwest Spain. In Part 2, I’ll take you down to the beautiful country of Portugal. Cheers!

This entry was posted in Basque, Portugal, Uncategorized and tagged , .


  1. Bob Bishop June 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

    A nice way for me to see country that I likely will never get to see. Please continue to take me to new places.


    • laurentfox June 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

      Will do Bob, glad to share the adventures! On On Laurent

  2. Catherine d Abrigeon June 8, 2017 at 10:33 pm #

    Très belles photos mon lolo. Jolies couleurs.
    Et j adoooore le royaume.

    • laurentfox June 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm #

      Merci Catherine! Et oui, le royaume toujours! Bisous!

  3. Tom Dorsz June 9, 2017 at 12:36 pm #

    Wonderful photos Laurent! Got to get there one of these days!!

    • laurentfox June 9, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

      Thanks Tom, you should go. Lots to see, especially in Lisbon, and inexpensive! Cheers!

  4. Mike Jones June 10, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Very cool! Now that I am living in Germany, maybe we can get together some time. On on!

    • laurentfox June 13, 2017 at 8:34 am #

      Mike, currently on the road in Spain, I’ll give you a call when I get back to France. On On!

  5. Litwiller, Nancy June 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm #

    Oh, what a beautiful area. Yes, especially the mountains, the colors, the seaside, etc. Enjoyed it all. Your trips around here and there sound interesting and facinating. Susan and Dan are going to Portugal later this year so have forwarded this onward. Thanks, I really enjoy seeing so many parts of Europe through your lens.

    • laurentfox June 13, 2017 at 8:35 am #

      Thanks Nancy, I’m glad you are enjoying the posts and sharing! Hopefully Susan and Dan will enjoy Portugal as well. Another post on Portugal coming soon! Take care!

  6. Peter Duijndam June 13, 2017 at 10:30 am #

    Hello Laurent,

    I got the link of your trip via our daughter Sanne who runs on The Hague Hash House Harriers, what we used to do as well.
    We are going to Portugal this year with our camper and your trip covers most of what we wanted to do. So this is very useful information. I noticed that you drove up Portugal, our plan is to continue along the Spanish coast. I have a brother living in the border area between France and Spain on the east side.
    Anyway if you have some tips that would be nice.
    Kind regards,
    Peter Duijndam

    • laurentfox June 14, 2017 at 9:13 am #

      Hi Peter, I sent you an email response. Cheers Laurent

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