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Mountains, plains and coast-cliffs

Since 2013, the cultural association BASKALE organizes guided visits in Bilbao, Gernika and San Sebastian, with a cultural-historical caracter. Beside, BASKALE offers one-day-trips to places in the whole Basque Country. For 2018 the list of possibilities has been expanded. All activities have an ecologic and social responsible caracter, far away from mass tourism. Visitors decide the destinies or landscapes to go. The following lines tell you something about the conditions and proposals for getaways with personal profile.

Guided visits and personally organized trips are part of the cultural and histroical activities that offers the cultural association BASKALE with seat in Bilbao. See the list of ideas and the conditions (below).

In the last years, the Basque Country, especially the capitals Bilbao and San Sebastian, have been converted in destinies of mass tourism. As a consecuence, some places are not attractive any more or simply impossible to go there. The BASKALE concept goes to the opposite direction: trips with small groups, if possible with public transport.

The programm is directed to tourists, that want to know the Basque Country beside the famous hits. The trips are associated with information about Basque history and culture. So the time in the train, car or bus is no lost time, it is a possibility to know more about the country. Our languages are German, English, Basque and Spanish. We lead you into the nature, if possible far from mad rushes and superficiality. Some ideas:

MARKETS, COMPETITIONS AND WINE
Provincial agriculture and cattle markets, the well-liked sheepdog competitions (Artzai Eguna), cheese or rural sports competitions, or the feast of the three-cows-oath in Navarre can also be destinies of one-day-trips. Or visits to the Rioja wine region: wineries, museums, visits to bodegas, wine tasting, dolmens and prehistoric excavations. Or getaways to the middle-age markets in Artziniega, Balmaseda, Plentzia or Mutriku, villages with ancient centres.

PYRENEES AND MOUNTAINS
Mountain rambles, gorges, the Zuriza camping, waterfalls, caves. Rambles to the emblematical mountains in the Basque Country: Txindoki, Aizkorri, Gorbeia, Anboto, Mesa de los Tres Reyes.

SAGARDOTEGI-MEALS
Between January and May, people in the Basque Country traditionally celebrate the new cider (sagardo). In rural properties families join for a common meal and the new cider. Nowadays, it is a gastronomy sector; cider-restaurants offer the typical cider meal with fish omelets, steaks, cheese and walnuts, everybody takes the cider directly from the wooden barrels. Not suited for vegetarians and vegans.

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HISTORICAL MEMORY

Trips to the memory places of the war of 1936: Eskaba/Pamplona, Sartaguda Memory Park, Elgeta: museum and trenches, Bilbao: bunkers of the Iron Wall, Lemoa/Bizkaia: trenches and fascist crucifix. Getaways to the places of the conquest of Navarre in 1512: Noain, Amaiur, Pamplona.

FIESTAS
Accompanied visits to the big fiestas in the Basque Country: Pamplona/Iruña (Sanfermines July), Bayonne/Baiona (July), Vitoria/Gasteiz (August), San Sebastián/Donostia (August), Bilbao (August). Visits to the solidarity festivals for the Basque schools to finance new buildings. These festivals with thousands of visitors offer a great variety in gastronomy and music: an ideal possibility to get know the Basque language and culture: Iparralde (Herri Urrats in Senpere: May), Bizkaia (Ibilaldia: May), Araba (Araba Euzkaraz: June), Gipuzkoa (Kilometroak: October), Navarre (Nafarroa Oinez: October). In February, visits to the traditional carnival in Iparralde (Maskarada), Navarre and Tolosa, Gipuzkoa.

PHOTO-REPORTAGES
BASKALE offers a broad selection of photos to almost all destinies. You can find it in „Foto-Archiv-Txeng“ and FlickR. The photo-series are open, the images can be downloaded. (Link).

See more proposals, alfabetically and province by province.

BIZKAIA – TRIPS


Arboleda

Near Bilbao. Former miner area. Ruins of industrialization. Walk to the village, museum, sculpture park, minery-museum, funicular. (voyage public or private) (time 5-6h).

Areeta-Santurtzi
Walk or bicycle. Colgante bridge, Portugalete, harbour, history of industrialization, Santurtzi. (time 4-5h).

Areeta-Algorta-Barrika-Plentzia
Coast walk 12 km. Easy and entertaining. (voyage public transport) (time 5-6h).

Arrola Prehistoric Settlement
Urdaibai-biosphere, hills close to Gernika. Prehistoric Celtic settlement. (private voyage 1h). (walk 1h, DF-1) (time 5-6h). Possible connection to Gernika, bird sanctuary, biosphere (+1-2h).

Bakio
Coast village, Txakoli wine-museum, wine-tasting in Txakoli-Bodega. (private or public transport) (time 4h). Possible connection with Gaztelugatxe, Bermeo, Mundaka, Gernika.

Bermeo
Fishertown in Urdaibai-biosphere. Walk through the town. Fisher-museum, historical old town. (voyage in bus or train 50min, recommendable for the beautiful itinerary). (time 5h).

Bilbao by the River
Bicycle tour along the river, old industry quarters: Zorrotzaurre, Olabeaga, Zorrotza. (time 4h).

Bilbao Workers Quarters
Marginal Bilbao districts: Kobeta, Altamira, Karamelo. Walk. (time 4-5h).

Bilbao Literature
Guided visit along Bilbao literature. (time 2-3h).

Bilbao War History
Walk from the old town to the Guggenheim: histories from war and dictaroship. (time 3h).

Bilbao Womens' histories
Guided walk with histories about women. (time 3h).

Ereñozahar mountain-chapel
Walk 1h (DF-1). View to Urdaibai-biosphere from Gernika to Mundaka. Former quarry of red marble. (private voyage 1h) (time 5h). Possible connection with Gernika, Urdaibai.

Ganekogorta mountain
Ramble to the mountain directly from Bilbao, from zero to 998m. Sight over Bilbao and the neighbour cities. (DF-2) (time 5-6h).

Gernika
The mythical town, destroyed by nazi Legion Condor, Picassos painting, parliament, peace-museum. (voyage in train 40min) (time 5h).

Gorliz-Armintza ramble
Across cliffs and a mountain 10km (easy DF). (private voyage, return by taxi or bus) (time 6-7).

Gorliz lighthouse
Old coast village. Across cliffst to the lighthouse and the old bunkers from the war. (voyage Metro 1h) (time 5h).

Kolitza mountain ramble
Mountain ramble (from 240 to 880m, SDF-2), summit chapel. Visit to Balmaseda (eldest town in Bizkaia). (time 6h). Option: Beret museum Balmaseda (+1h).

Lanestosa, village of caves
Historical old town, ramble to the mountains (from 298m to 730m), walk to the Kobenkoba cave, visit to Covalanas cave with paintings, visit Cullalvera cave in Ramales. (time 8h).

Lekeitio
Coast village, old town, harbour, lighthouse (view, visit), mountain ramble to the whale platform Atalaya (DF-2) and a mountain summit (350m). Low-tide-walk to small island (time 6h).

Malmasin mountain ramble
Mountain beside Bilbao (360m, DF-1). View across the town, without transport. (time 4h).

Nervion Waterfall
Ramble to the waterfall (222m, flat way, 1,5h), small nature museum, wolf trap, sight. (arrive over Urduña 1h) (time 5h). Option: visit Urduña town (+1h).

Plentzia
Old harbour village, old town along the river, small ship museum. (voyage Metro 1h) (time 5h).

Portugalete-Algorta
Walk or bike in harbour area, town between workers and oligarchy. Cultural heritage Colgante bridge. Bike or walk, bike rent Colgante. (voyage in Metro) (time 5h)

Pozalagua cave, Karrantza
Cave with special stalactites (voyage 1h, visit 1h) (time 6h). Option: mountain ramble Ranero (DF2 +1,5h). Option: visit Karpin animal-park (+1h). Option: visit Balmaseda (+1h).

Prehistorical Dolmen-Tour Busturialdea
Walk across the hills to prehistorical sites. Mundaka, Busturialdea. Forua: Roman settlement. (time 5h).

San Pedro Mountain-chapel
Walk 1h (DF-1), view to Urdaibai-biosfere from Gernika to Mundaka. (private voyage 1h) (time 5h). Possible visit to Gernika, Urdaibai. Or Laga-beach.

Santander in train
By Feve-train over West-Bizkaia. Guided walk Santander, Cantabria (time 9-10h).

Santimamiñe Cave
Urdaibai-biosphere. Cave visit (private voyage 1h) (time 3h). Option: walk to the painted Oma-wood (+3h).

Urdaibai Bike-Tour
From Gernika to Mundaka, birding-places, small island visit, Madariaga nature museum, old brickworks factory. (voyage train or bus) (time 6-7h).

Urduña
Historical old town, the stork village, former concentration camp, war history. Wine-tasting Txakoli-Bodega. (time 5h).

Uriola-Saibigain-mountain
Mountain ramble from the Urkiola-Pass to Saibigain mountain (730 to 950m, 4,5km, DF-2), good sight, war history. (private voyage 1h) (time 5h).

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GIPUZKOA – TRIPS


Arantzazu monastery

In the hills beside Oñati, sculptor Oteizas history. (voyage 1,5h) (time 5h). Option: short mountain ramble (DF-1, +1h); Arrikrutz cave visit (+1,5h); Oñati village visit (+1h).

Donostia – San Sebastian
Options: bike-tour or walk from beach to beach: Ondarreta-Zuriola, funicular Igeldo, Chillida-skulpture, old town, Kursaal, palaces. (voyage private or bus 80min) (time 6h).

Elgeta
Small village in the mountains, 1936 war history, visit to bunkers and trenches, monument, Argiñeta necropolis Elorrio. (voyage 1h) (time 5h). Option: visit to Elorrio old town (+1h).

 

ARABA-ALAVA – TRIPS


Agurain – Gebara-Ruin

Walk through old town. Visit to Gebara castle ruin on a hill. (private voyage 70min) (DF-0) (time 5-6h). Option: visit to prehistorical dolmens (+1h).

Gesaltza
Salt production, salt museum, walk around the village. (not on weekends, private voyage 1h). (time 5h). Option: Roman settlement Iruña-Veleia (+1,5h).

Labastida - Rioja
Village visit, wine-tasting (voyage 70min), visit wine museum Vivanco in Haro, Roman settlement. (voyage 70min) (time 6h). Option: visit to Haro town (+1,5h).

Laguardia - Rioja
Historical old town, viniculture, Ysios-bodega (Calatrava), bodega visit, prehistorical dolmen El Villar (voyage 70min) (time: 6h).

Prehistory: Dolmen-tour
Sorginetxe dolmen, Eguren dolmen, Etxarri-dolmen-itinerary. (voyage 80min) (time 6-7h) Option: visit to Agurain town (+1h)

Urbasa, Cromlech
Opakua-Pass, walk on high-plain to prehistoric Mendiluze-Cromlech. (voyage 90min) (time 6h). Option: prehistoric dolmen Sorginetxe (+1h); visit Agurain village (+1h).

 

NAVARRA - TRIPS


Ezkaba-Prison-Fortress

Memory-trip: mountain-fortress close to Pamplona, used as prison, partly walkable (voyage 1,5h, walk 2h) (time 5h). Options: visit to Pamplona old town (+2h); visit to sculptor Oteizas museum in Alzuza (+1,5h).

Urederra waterfall
Walk to beautiful waterfall coming down from Urbasa, near Lizarra-Estella town (voyage 1,5h, walk 1h) (time 5h). Options: historical town Lizarra; walk on Urbasa plateau (+1h, +1h).

 

CONDITIONS


BASKALE 
All offered activities are accompanied by experienced persons. The activities have no commercial character, they are part of the cultural BASKALE programme. Their purpose is the promotion of social responsible tourism and international cultural exchange. During the activities, the participants are guest-members of the organization BASKALE.

GROUPS The excursion concept is for small groups. 6 persons in case of public transport, 4 persons in case of private transport.

SEASONS In summer, some places are impossible to be visited because of the masses that go there (July and August, as well June and September). In general, visits during the week are recommendable for the reduced number of visitors.

COST The cost estimate depends on the time and real costs (service, vehicles, distance, motorway toll, meals, entries, overnight stay) and less on the number of participants. The cost for the accompanying person is 40 euros an hour. For the one-day-trips we calculate a 5 to 10-hour duration, depending on the distance to the destiny. Dinner can be included. Ask for the cost estimate at: baskultur.info @ gmail.com. Prices and offers valid through 2018. You help us defining your wishes as well as you can.

TECHNICAL DETAILS For some activities we have to do forward planning, to buy entries for small museums or caves with a restricted number of visitors. (*) In excursions to mountains and caves, for safety reasons it is imperative to have appropriate boots and clothes, in order to avoid accidents. The difficulty is marked with (DF). (*) It is not posible to get bicycles at any place, so transport may be necessary. (*) As organizers of the activities we are willing to change the programme taking into account the weather conditions, always in accordance with the participants of the activity.

CONTACT BASKALEbaskultur.info @ gmail.com

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