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The 8 Best Basque Country Hideaways for Nature Lovers

Daniel Hogan | July 24, 2018

From pristine national parks to fairytale forests to secluded beaches, the Basque Country is a nature lover’s paradise. In fact, the natural surroundings of the Basque Country are so diverse that travelers here could ski and surf in the same day. The culture has a deep connection to this ancient and rugged land, and with a population of just two and a half million, escaping from civilization is practically a national pastime. Here are the best rural houses, inns, and hotels for finding your own little slice of paradise in the Basque Country.

#8

Mendi Goikoa

Why it made the list

The Urkiolako National Park towers over this cluster of traditional Basque rural houses in a beautiful part of the countryside halfway between Durango and Vitoria-Gasteiz. It is green as far as the eye can see here, with charming terraces and outdoor dining areas that overlook the landscape and the pictorial hamlet of Axpe in the valley below.

This cluster of centuries-old rural houses hidden away in th Read More

#7

Casa Rural Arboliz

Why it made the list

The simple family-run homestay is hidden away on the steep and winding coastal mountains that isolate this stretch of ocean from the rest of the country. The rural house is on the outskirts of the unspoiled Urdaibai biosphere reserve, home to some of the best bird watching, hiking, kayaking, and surfing in the region.

This traditional Basque country house nestled in the coastil Read More

#6

Hostería San Millan

Why it made the list

Pilgrims have been trekking up the steep green valley to the magnificent and imposing San Millán de Yuso Monastery for millennia and we can see why. It is hard not to feel close to some higher power surrounded by such striking geography. Lush forest grows between the steep sides of the valley all the way up to the snow-capped peaks of San Lorenzo that towers over the monastery in the distance.

Hostería San Millán gives travelers the chance Read More

#5

Hotel Iturregi

Why it made the list

Surrounded by rolling vineyards and coastal forests, this gorgeous designer lodge is nestled up on the quiet hillsides above an unspoiled stretch of coast between Lekeitio and San Sebastián with wonderful views of the sea. Behind the hotel are winding trails for hiking and there is a cool swimming pool and floral garden overlooking the lodge. This is a hotel for those who don’t want to have to sacrifice luxury in exchange for proximity to the wild outdoors.

Nestled among the rolling vineyards above the picturesque se Read More

#4

Castillo de Arteaga

Why it made the list

Napolean III picked a pretty damn beautiful place to rebuild a mediaeval castle into its now immaculate neo-Gothic state. Surrounded by the Urdaibai biosphere reserve, now a UNESCO site, the castle is an ultra luxury oasis with green marshes and mountains in every direction. Hiking and kayaking excursions are available and the sheltered beaches of Laida, Bakio, and Bermio are short drives away.

This immaculate Neo-Gothic castle, which was restored by Nap Read More

#3

Hotel La Venta de Goyo

Why it made the list

If you really want to get way out there, look no further. Burrowed up a breathtaking mountain valley at the confluence of the Urbión and Najerilla rivers in La Rioja, Hotel La Venta de Goyo specifically caters to the outdoor lover. The mountain lodge is a favorite among anglers, hunters, hikers, and trekkers with sensational trails and fishing streams right at the hotel’s doorstep.

Nestled away up a river valley of the Sierra de la Demanda i Read More

#2

Echaurren Hotel Gastronómico

Why it made the list

The mountain town of Ezcaray is nothing short of a playground for outdoor enthusiasts, and the super-chic Echaurren Hotel Gastronómico has the best location in town, right on the picturesque central square. Mountains loom in every direction, where world-class hiking and mountain biking trails await. The ski resort Valdezcaray is just fifteen minutes up the valley by car. The hotel offers mountain bikes in the summer and ski rentals in the winter.

This modern gastrohotel in the idyllic mountain town of Ezca Read More

#1

Hotel & Spa Etxegana

Why it made the list

Hotel & Spa Etxegana is the ultimate natural escape, providing rest and relaxation amidst some of the most enchanting and well-preserved wilderness in all the Basque Country. The hotel is perched atop a mountain in the Gorbeia National Park and provides mesmerizing vistas everywhere you turn, from the rooms to the spa to the wonderful restaurant. Visitors can stroll through thee magical forest of Otzarreta, hike the remarkable granite mountains, or simply lie back and soak it all in from the comfort of the elegant mountain lodge.

Hotel & Spa Etxegana is a relaxing romantic getaway outs Read More

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