Espelette Campsite

Road trip through the 7 provinces of the Basque Country!
An incredible cultural experience to share…
Day 1
Let the unique adventure begin!

The sun has barely risen, but you’re already fully prepared to set off! First stop: Soule. Indeed, you’ve decided to visit the 7 provinces of the Basque Country during a week of vacation. A few days ago, Pierre called Camping Zelaia to find out what time you could arrive at the mobile home you’ve reserved. On the phone, Elise, the receptionist, announced 3:00 PM! That’s perfect, it gives you just the right amount of time for a visit in the morning and lunch at the campsite!

Camping Zelaia - Holzarte Footbridge
Feeling so small in front of nature…

After 3 hours of driving, you’re eager to stretch your legs! This works out well, as you’ve arrived at your first destination: the Holzarte footbridge. Confronted by the grandeur of nature, your heart races slightly at the sight of this suspended bridge hanging 150 meters above gorges that were carved more than 80 million years ago! Hand in hand, you finally decide to take the plunge. “This is just incredible!” The panorama is amazing, breathtaking.

Camping Zelaia - Holzarte footbridge view
Camping Zelaia - Hiking on Holzarte footbridge
Day 2
Second step : Lower Navarre!

For lunch, you head to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in Lower Navarre, the second leg of your journey. After a short hour of driving, you’ve finally arrived in this charming little fortified town! Lunch menu: “axoa,” a veal sauté with Espelette pepper. At the restaurant, you struck up a conversation with a waiter who recommended visiting Saint-Palais. Right now, they’re having the Basque strength festival, a cultural and sports event that highlights Basque traditions and culture!

Camping Zelaia - Visit of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port
A completely crazy afternoon in Saint-Palais!

You’re here! The teams have already gone through some challenges, including tug-of-war and the sack race, but you’ve arrived just in time for the woodcutters’ competition, known as “Segari” in the local language. The atmosphere is absolutely amazing, and on top of that, you get to witness some fantastic Basque dance performances between the different events. “It’s a good thing we crossed paths with that waiter; we’ll remember this, honey!”

Camping Zelaia - Traditional danse in Basque country
Day 3
« On egin » (Enjoy your meal!)

The night was quite restorative! You’re all set to embark on a new day toward your third destination: Labourd. Elise, the receptionist, specifically recommended starting by visiting the market in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, one of the largest in the Basque Country! Upon arrival, the stalls make you want to buy everything. Bayonne ham, Espelette pepper, Basque cake… plenty to fill your suitcase with!

Camping Zelaia - Typical streets of Basque country
Camping Zelaia - Selling of Espelette pepper at the Saint-Jean-de-Luz market
Hat, sunscreen, book, and towel!

Great, the sun is shining at lunchtime, and you can enjoy what you bought at the market market on the terrace of your mobile home. While discussing the afternoon’s plans, you eventually agree on just wanting to do nothing except lounge on the beach… Decision made, you’re going to make the most of the beautiful Biarritz beach all afternoon!

Camping Zelaia - Sky view of Biarritz beach
Day 4
4th day, 4th stage: Gipuzkoa

Your exploration of the 7 provinces is going wonderfully well, and now it’s time to venture on to the 4th destination: Gipuzkoa! This morning, you hit the road for San Sebastian, a gorgeous seaside resort located in Spain. You’re lucky this week, as the sun is especially generous. The morning’s plan includes a stroll through the old town, shopping, lunch at a famous tapas bar, and a nap on the beach!

Camping Zelaia - Sky view of Guipuzcoa city
Fortunately, the days are longer in summer!

On the way back, it’s a must to stop in Irun, a Spanish city facing Hendaye. Through friends, you’d heard about its archaeological museum, which displays numerous objects from the Roman era. As you leave the museum, the sun is still shining… “It would be a shame not to visit Hondarribia Beach; apparently, it’s stunning!” It’s true, it would be a shame, and it’s only a short 15-minute drive away!

Camping Zelaia - Traditional Hendaye street
Camping Zelaia - Typical Basque Countryside
Day 5
Bilbao, one of your dreams!

It’s 8:00 AM, and you’re enjoying a delightful breakfast on the terrace. Indeed, your partner went to the campsite’s grocery store to get pastriessetting you up for the best possible start to the day ahead. Today, you’ll have to drive a few more kilometers than usual to reach one of the Spanish cities you’ve been dreaming of discovering: Bilbao!

Camping Zelaia - Sky view of Bilbao
Perhaps the most delicious fish of your life!

There you are! After a good hour and a half of driving, you’ve arrived. You can already see the Guggenheim Museum in the distance, one of the main activities you wanted to do while coming here. This morning will be dedicated to exploring it. As you exit the museum, your stomach is growling, and since you anticipated your visit, you know how to get to La Brexta Market Hall, a must for local food. The setting is extremely authentic, the aroma of oil in the air… Pure bliss!

Camping Zelaia - Guggenheim museum in Bilbao
Day 6
Vitoria-Gasteiz, a city perfect for strolling…

You slept wonderfully last night. It’s probably the fact that you visited Bilbao yesterday that led to those pleasant dreams. This morning, you’re up early again because today marks the penultimate day of your journey through the 7 provinces of the Basque Country. The day’s plan includes exploring Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Alava province, in the morning, and discovering the Salinas de Añana in the afternoon.

Camping Zelaia - Vitoria-Gasteiz
Camping Zelaia - Salinas of Añana
And another Pintxos bar!

One great thing about Vitoria is that you can almost do everything on foot! Your walk begins in the old town with its beautiful churches, the incredible Santa Maria Cathedral, and its grand palace. Of course, by 1:30 PM, you’re obliged to stop at one of the city’s tapas bars to enjoy wine and purely regional dishes. Finally, in the afternoon, you hit the road again toward the “Salinas de Añana,” one of the oldest and most important salt production complexes in Europe.

Camping Zelaia - Pintxos
Day 7
Thank you for everything!

Today is Saturday, unfortunately, it’s the day of departure from Camping Zelaia. “We truly felt at home!” you say while closing the suitcases. You’re sad to leave, of course, but also very excited to explore the 7thand final province of your journey: Navarre. “It was the perfect campsite for visiting the provinces of the Basque Country, we’ll definitely recommend it to our friends, right sweetheart?”

Camping Zelaia - Hiking in the Rhune with view on the sea
Visiting the 7 provinces of the Basque Country: mission accomplished!

The suitcases are in the car, and goodbyes have been said to the reception staff, who, with their extensive knowledge of the region, were able to advise you perfectly on the ideal itinerary to visit the 7 provinces. The adventure thus ends in Pamplona, famous for its “Les San Fermin” festivals, a city you were eager to discover! And for this last stop, you want to go with the flow. No Google Maps in hand or guidebook, you’ve booked a guided tour!

Camping Zelaia - Pampelune
Camping Zelaia - General view of Pampelune city