7 Day Trips from Bilbao – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Are you looking to explore beyond the vibrant city of Bilbao? Embark on exciting day trips from Bilbao to discover the diverse beauty of the Basque Country and beyond. From charming coastal towns to picturesque mountain landscapes, there are plenty of options for unforgettable day excursions just a short distance away from Bilbao. Join us as we uncover the best day trips from Bilbao that will enrich your travel experience and leave you with lasting memories.

San Sebastian

Travel tips

  • Distance of San Sebastian from Bilbao: Approximately 62 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 to 2 hours by bus or train
  • How to get there from Bilbao: You can take a bus from Bilbao Termibus station or a train from Abando Indalecio Prieto station to San Sebastian.
  • Click for Google maps directions: San Sebastian

Exploring San Sebastian: Things to do

San Sebastian, a coastal city in Spain’s Basque Country, is a must-see destination for travelers seeking a perfect blend of culture, cuisine, and natural beauty. The city is renowned for its stunning beaches, including La Concha Beach, where visitors can relax on the golden sands and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters.

Food enthusiasts will be delighted by the culinary scene in San Sebastian, known for its pintxos (small snacks) and Michelin-starred restaurants. Don’t miss the opportunity to indulge in a gastronomic adventure by hopping from one pintxos bar to another, sampling a variety of delicious bites paired with local wines.

For those interested in history and architecture, a visit to the Old Town (Parte Vieja) is a must. Wander through its narrow streets lined with charming buildings, visit the San Telmo Museum to learn about the region’s history, and explore the iconic Basilica of Santa Maria del Coro.

Nature lovers can take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque La Concha Promenade, offering panoramic views of the bay and the city skyline. Alternatively, hike up Mount Urgull for breathtaking vistas of San Sebastian and the surrounding landscape.

Art aficionados should not miss the chance to visit the San Telmo Art Museum, showcasing a diverse collection of Basque art and artifacts. The museum’s exhibitions provide insight into the region’s rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions.

Whether you’re seeking relaxation on the beach, culinary delights, cultural experiences, or outdoor adventures, San Sebastian offers something for every traveler, making it a must-visit destination in the Basque Country.

Rioja Wine Region

Travel tips

  • Distance from Bilbao: Approximately 80 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 to 2 hours
  • How to get there: You can take a direct bus from Bilbao to Logroño, the capital of the Rioja region. The bus station in Bilbao is Termibus, and in Logroño, it’s the Logroño Bus Station. Alternatively, you can take a train from Bilbao to Logroño, with the journey taking about 2 hours.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Rioja Wine Region

Exploring Rioja Wine Region: Things to do

The Rioja Wine Region is a must-see destination for wine enthusiasts and those looking to experience the rich culture and history of Spain. The region is renowned for its world-class wineries, where you can indulge in wine tastings and tours to learn about the winemaking process.

Apart from wine-related activities, you can explore charming villages like Haro and Laguardia, known for their picturesque streets and historic architecture. Don’t miss the chance to visit the Vivanco Museum of Wine Culture, which offers a fascinating insight into the history of winemaking in the region.

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Rioja region also offers hiking and cycling opportunities amidst stunning vineyard landscapes. You can take leisurely walks through the vineyards or embark on more challenging trails in the Sierra de Cantabria mountains.

Indulge in the local gastronomy by sampling traditional dishes like Riojan-style potatoes and chorizo, paired perfectly with a glass of Rioja wine. The region’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of traditional flavors and innovative techniques.

Overall, the Rioja Wine Region offers a unique blend of wine, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for anyone looking to experience the best of Spain’s wine country.

Santander

Travel tips

  • Distance from Bilbao to Santander: Approximately 65 miles
  • Time to get there: Around 1.5 to 2 hours by car
  • How to get there from Bilbao: You can take a direct ALSA bus from Bilbao to Santander, with the journey taking about 1.5 to 2 hours. Alternatively, you can opt for the Renfe Cercanias train service from Bilbao Abando station to Santander station.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Santander

Exploring Santander: Things to do

Santander, a charming coastal city in northern Spain, is a must-see destination for travelers seeking a perfect blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. One of the top attractions in Santander is the Palacio de la Magdalena, a stunning palace overlooking the Bay of Santander. Visitors can explore the palace grounds, enjoy scenic views, and even attend cultural events hosted here.

For those interested in history, a visit to the Santander Cathedral is a must. This Gothic-style cathedral dates back to the 12th century and showcases intricate architecture and religious artifacts. Stroll through the historic streets of the city center to discover quaint cafes, local shops, and vibrant markets.

Nature lovers will appreciate the picturesque beaches of Santander, such as Playa de la Magdalena and Playa del Sardinero. Relax on the sandy shores, take a dip in the crystal-clear waters, or enjoy a leisurely seaside stroll. The Jardines de Pereda, a beautiful waterfront park, offers a peaceful retreat with lush greenery and scenic views of the bay.

Don’t miss the chance to savor delicious seafood dishes at the local restaurants along the waterfront promenade. Try traditional Cantabrian specialties like fresh fish, seafood paella, and pintxos paired with local wines.

Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or gastronomy, Santander has something to offer every traveler. Plan a day trip to this captivating city and immerse yourself in its unique charm and attractions.

Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Travel tips

  • Distance from Bilbao: 1.5 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 15 minutes
  • How to get there: You can take the Bilbao Metro Line 1 to the San Mamés station, which is a short walk from the museum. Alternatively, you can take bus number 71 from the city center to the Guggenheim Museum stop.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao

Exploring Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao: Things to do

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is a must-see destination for art enthusiasts and architecture lovers alike. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the museum’s iconic titanium-clad structure is a masterpiece in itself.

Upon entering the museum, visitors are greeted by a stunning collection of contemporary art, including works by artists such as Jeff Koons, Yayoi Kusama, and Richard Serra. The museum’s permanent collection showcases a diverse range of art forms, from sculptures and paintings to installations and multimedia pieces.

One of the top things to do at the Guggenheim Museum is to take a leisurely stroll along the exterior of the building, admiring its unique curves and reflective surfaces. Inside, be sure to explore the various galleries and exhibitions, each offering a different perspective on modern art.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the museum’s iconic Puppy sculpture, a giant floral creation by artist Jeff Koons that sits proudly outside the entrance. Additionally, the museum’s rooftop terrace provides panoramic views of the city and the Nervión River, making it a perfect spot for photos and relaxation.

Overall, a visit to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao promises a captivating experience that combines art, architecture, and culture in a truly unique setting.

Vitoria-Gasteiz

Travel tips

  • Distance from Bilbao: 62 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1 hour by car
  • How to get there: You can take a direct bus from Bilbao to Vitoria-Gasteiz from the Termibus station. Alternatively, you can also take a train from Bilbao-Abando station to Vitoria-Gasteiz station.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Vitoria-Gasteiz

Exploring Vitoria-Gasteiz: Things to do

Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country, is a charming city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. One of the main reasons why Vitoria-Gasteiz is a must-see place is its well-preserved medieval old town, which boasts narrow cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and picturesque squares.

A visit to Vitoria-Gasteiz would not be complete without exploring the stunning Santa Maria Cathedral, a Gothic masterpiece that dates back to the 13th century. The cathedral’s intricate architecture and beautiful stained glass windows are sure to impress history and architecture enthusiasts alike.

For nature lovers, a stroll through the lush Parque de la Florida is a must. This peaceful park offers a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and is the perfect spot for a leisurely picnic or a relaxing afternoon walk.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the Artium Museum, which houses an impressive collection of contemporary art by both local and international artists. The museum’s striking architecture and thought-provoking exhibitions make it a cultural highlight of Vitoria-Gasteiz.

To immerse yourself in the local culture, be sure to wander through the bustling Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, a vibrant square lined with charming cafes and bars where you can sample delicious Basque pintxos and sip on a glass of local wine.

Overall, Vitoria-Gasteiz is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-see destination for any traveler exploring the Basque Country.

Zarautz

Travel tips

  • Distance from Bilbao to Zarautz: 65 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • To get to Zarautz from Bilbao, you can take a bus from Bilbao Bus Station to San Pelaio Zarautz Bus Station. Alternatively, you can take a train from Bilbao Abando Indalecio Prieto Train Station to Zarautz Train Station.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Zarautz

Exploring Zarautz: Things to do

Zarautz, a charming coastal town in the Basque Country, is a must-see destination for those seeking a perfect blend of sun, sea, and culture. With its long sandy beach stretching for over 2.5 kilometers, Zarautz is a paradise for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts alike. The town is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions, attracting surfers from around the world.

Apart from its beautiful beach, Zarautz offers a rich cultural experience. Explore the historic old town with its narrow streets lined with traditional Basque houses and charming cafes. Visit the impressive Santa Maria la Real Parish Church, a symbol of Zarautz’s history and architectural heritage.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Zarautz provides opportunities for hiking along the stunning coastal cliffs, offering breathtaking views of the Bay of Biscay. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in delicious Basque cuisine at the local restaurants, where you can savor fresh seafood dishes and pintxos, the region’s famous small plates.

Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, catch some waves, or immerse yourself in Basque culture, Zarautz has something for everyone. Plan a day trip to this picturesque town and experience the beauty and charm of the Basque Coast.

Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

Travel tips

  • Distance from Bilbao: 30 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1 hour by car
  • How to get there: You can take a bus from Bilbao to Gernika-Lumo and then transfer to another bus that will take you to the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. Alternatively, you can take a train from Bilbao to Gernika-Lumo and then take a taxi or a local bus to reach the reserve.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve

Exploring Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve: Things to do

The Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is a must-see destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts visiting Bilbao. This unique ecosystem offers a diverse range of activities that showcase the beauty and biodiversity of the Basque Country.

One of the top things to do in the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is birdwatching. With over 250 species of birds, including the iconic Eurasian Spoonbill and the colorful European Bee-eater, birdwatchers will be in paradise exploring the marshes and wetlands of the reserve.

Hiking is another popular activity in Urdaibai, with numerous trails that wind through lush forests, rugged cliffs, and picturesque coastal landscapes. The views from the cliffs overlooking the Bay of Biscay are simply breathtaking, making it a perfect spot for nature photography enthusiasts.

For those interested in history and culture, a visit to the charming town of Gernika-Lumo is a must. Known for its historic oak tree and the Assembly House, where the Basque Parliament meets, Gernika-Lumo offers a glimpse into the rich heritage of the Basque people.

Overall, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve is a hidden gem that offers a perfect blend of nature, culture, and adventure, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the Basque Country.

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