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Basque countries, Portugal and Spain

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Seeking input:
My Wife and I are planning a two to three week October trip...hoping to fly into Lisbon and out of Barcelona. I am contemplating renting a car and driving through Northern Portugal, Northwestern Spain, the Basque countries, Pyrennes and on to Barcelona. We are both 60+ , love to hike and bike. Wife wants to run the half marathon in Bilbao 10/19/13. I want to take terabytes of photos.
We would love to stay at a couple of pousadas and paradores, bed and breakfasts would be preferable to huge hotels, we need wifi but not 5 stars. We are also considering renting an apartment in Barcelona for 5-7 days as a base for exploring the area.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

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