Montserrat Monastery in Barcelona, Spain

Catalonia & Basque Vacation: Barcelona, Bilbao, San Sebastian

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited


Places Visited

Barcelona, Bilbao, Guernica, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe...

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Suggested Duration

10 Days

Barcelona and Basque are icons of Europe and the most enchanting of travel destinations. Home to distinctive art, historic cities, golden beaches, and legendary cuisine, Barcelona is home to an atmosphere that will carry you away. This private luxury tour celebrates the best of both destinations with local excursions including La Rioja wine tasting and a Montserrat choir song. So, indulge in the food, feast on the architecture, and go off the beaten trail with expert, local guides.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Marvel at Barcelona’s art nouveau from Gaudi’s unfinished La Sagrada Familia to Palau de la Musica Catalana
  • Explore the futuristic art in Bilbao’s Guggenheim before dinner in its internationally revered restaurant
  • Discover the mazy lanes of old Barcelona, including Barri Gotic and La Boqueria
  • Relax along the coast in San Sebastian, which is a glamorous, Basque seaside town
  • Listen to the Montserrat choir song as you visit a monastery high above Catalonia
  • Make a day trip to La Rioja from Bilbao, visiting vineyards and the Laguardia wine cellars
  • Tour the iconic tapas bars of El Born, which are Barcelona’s most atmospheric nighttime neighborhood
  • Uncover the Basque culinary secret of pintxos with a local guide that shows you many fine dining, yet informal treats
  • Spend an afternoon lounging on the beach in Sitges, which is a charming Catalan town that is so different from Barcelona
  • Discover the best of the Basque region, including a seafood lunch in Hondarribia and the towering pinnacle of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

Detailed Description

Take one glimpse at Basque or Barcelona, and it is easy to see the quintessence of Spain. Languid city plazas are always full of cobblestone and chatter, and sultry evening atmospheres encourage everyone to leave their stresses behind. Basque and Barcelona are not merely Spanish. They are proudly unique and distinctive in their history, language, and style. So, on this vacation, you will get a real glimpse of Spain with all those promises of great food, laid-back evenings, and relaxing days on the coast. You will also get much more as you will also experience the intimate highlights of two inimitable regions.

Barcelona and Basque are an excellent combination for first-time visitors to Spain. They are easily connected by direct flights and are relatively compact travel destinations, so you do not lose much time through travel nor must you continually change hotels. Day trips are abundant, such as Montserrat and Sitges from Barcelona, or La Rioja from Bilbao. Every day is spent exploring and is followed by a leisurely evening in a city where guides show you the best plazas and restaurants, along with neighborhoods that come alive after dark. Empty hours are usually filled by the coast with both Barcelona and Basque having some of Europe’s finest urban beaches, and San Sebastian’s La Concha is particularly memorable.

Start this private, luxury tour with five nights in Barcelona. The surreal works of Gaudi and Montaner are the focus of your guided tour on day two, from the unfinished cathedral to private residences and the sublime Catalan music hall. Dive into the heart of old Barcelona on day three where markets provide lively color, and the stories stretch back to Roman occupation. On day four, you explore more of Catalonia, first the Benedictine monastery and choir song in Montserrat and then the charming coastal town of Sitges. Day five is left free, and there are many potential options to further customize your tour.

Fly to Bilbao, and the Guggenheim provides an evocative, Basque introduction, not only of the art but also a dinner in the museum’s restaurant, which was on the world’s top 100 list. Descend into city wine cellars and go tasting at vineyards on day seven’s trip to Rioja with Bilbao’s old town proving to be a relaxing place to return. Following the coast, you travel onwards to San Sebastian on day eight, stopping to hear history in Guernica and wild nature at San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

Your final two nights are in San Sebastian, which is a glamorous, seaside town where the food is particularly memorable. The culinary experience starts with a private pintxostour, showcasing both the cuisine and the culture. Your final day trip heads into French Basque with a stop for seafood in Hondarribia. Just like in Barcelona, you will be carried off on the local atmosphere in Basque, finding that the vacation takes your feet in two directions. One half of you is engulfed with classical images of Spain, while the other is experiencing regions that are fiercely and proudly unique. Don’t take just our word for it - consider reading some of our travelers’ reviews of Spain.

Starting Price

$3,115 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

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4.92 stars based on 2264 reviews.

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