The Basque Country is a destination that is committed to ethical and responsible tourism; a place where gastronomy is culture, and culture is identity. The region welcomes visitors with open arms and minds. In return, it asks those who visit please respect both its culture and its people, and that they take care of the land and the sea so that they continue to be the postcards from the Basque Country.
With sustainability being paramount, the e-Basque Route is here: the first national tourist route by road prepared for electric vehicles. It features a fully equipped network of electric charging stations that allow travelers to visit and explore the Basque Country in its entirety along the 950-kilometer route in a more comfortable and sustainable way.
The e-Basque Route is divided into eight sections: Bilbao – Lekeitio, Lekeitio – Zarautz, Zarautz – San Sebastián, San Sebastián – Vitoria-Gasteiz, Vitoria-Gasteiz – Laguardia, Laguardia – Orduña, Orduña – Bilbao, and Lekeitio – Vitoria-Gasteiz. But which is your ideal plan? Visiting beaches and fishing towns? Getting to know modern cities? Walking in forests covered in early-morning mist? Enjoying vineyards tucked inside spectacular landscapes? Or perhaps all of them combined?
Following in the footsteps of great routes traced out in other countries (Route 66, Great Ocean Road, Grand Tour of Switzerland, Nasjonale Turistveger, Wild Atlantic Way, Pyrenees Road Trip, Grand Tour of Catalonia), the Basque Route is not only limited to electric cars. The itineraries also seek to offer all the destination’s points of touristic interest to those who drive combustion cars, doing so with the route known as the “Basque Route;” a unique experience designed to surprise and captivate locals and visitors alike, giving them the chance to visit the “great classics” like the Guggenheim Museum of Bilbao, the elegant and stately San Sebastián, the fishing villages of the Basque Coast, and the medieval historic center of the capital of the Basque Country: Vitoria-Gasteiz. Likewise, the Route also includes the region’s valleys and mountains, the striking inland towns, the rural areas covered in vineyards… and so many other less-known places that are well worth discovering.
The Basque Route proposes a travel itinerary that, instead of taking the fastest highways, opts for the more scenic and picturesque ones – and in the Basque Country, there are a lot of those to choose from. For example, near Vitoria-Gasteiz, at the Opakua mountain pass, to the south of the charming municipality of Agurain/Salvatierra, one of the Route’s travel itineraries ventures into the lushness of the Montaña Alavesa and the majesty of the Rioja Alavesa’s vineyards. Also, along the section of the Route between Laguardia and Orduña, travelers cross the Valles Alaveses region, ending up next to the largest waterfall of the Iberian Peninsula. And if you decide to take the highway between San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz, the journey will delight you with the most spectacular mountain landscapes. On the other side, in the north, travelers can enjoy the vast horizons of the Cantabrian Sea while following the Route’s winding coastal stretches.
In any case, all are sure to discover that the important thing here is not the car trip but exploring the many hidden gems, all of which are very close to one another. Along the itinerary you will find modest yet generous people who will help you to experience the best of the Basque Country “in few words” and through many images. These are the municipalities that can be visited on each of the routes:
Bilbao – Lekeitio: Bilbao, Getxo, Sopela, Barrika, Plentzia, Gorliz, Lemoiz, Bakio, Bermeo, Mundaka, Sukarrieta, Busturia, Murueta, Forua, Gernika-Lumo, Kortezubi, Gautegiz Arteaga, Ibarrangelu, Elantxobe, Ea, and Lekeitio.
Lekeitio – Zarautz: Lekeitio, Ondarroa, Mutriku, Deba, Azkoitia, Azpeitia, Zestoa, Zumaia, Getaria, and Zarautz.
Zarautz – San Sebastián: Zarautz, Orio, Hernani, Astigarraga, Oiartzun, Irun, Hondarribia, Pasaia, and San Sebastián.
San Sebastián – Vitoria-Gasteiz: San Sebastián, Tolosa, Lazkao, Ordizia, Idiazabal, Segura, Zegama, Zerain, Mutiloa, Ormaiztegi, Zumarraga, Legazpi, Oñati, Leintz Gatzaga, and Vitoria-Gasteiz.
Vitoria-Gasteiz – Laguardia: Vitoria-Gasteiz, Agurain/Salvatierra, Campezo, Elvillar, Lapuebla de Labarca, Elciego, and Laguardia.
Laguardia – Orduña: Laguardia, Leza, Peñacerrada-Urizaharra, Añana, Urkabustaiz, and Orduña.
Orduña – Bilbao: Orduña, Amurrio, Artziniega, Balmaseda, Karrantza, Galdames, Muskiz, Santurtzi, Portugalete, Barakaldo, and Bilbao.
Lekeitio – Vitoria-Gasteiz: Lekeitio, Markina-Xemein, Ziortza-Bolibar, Elorrio, Abadiño, Durango, Otxandio, Legutio, and Vitoria-Gasteiz.
The e-Basque Route