In May, I backpacked by walking and train through northern Spain. Why Spain? Well, I wanted…
- to hike in the countryside with a couples small towns
- hike some elevation along a coast
- to get to know a new culture
- improve my Spanish
- and most importantly (which didn’t affect the where but the why) time for myself
So, the decision was quickly made to backpack through the Basque Country.
I could get there easily by bus, train or plane and check all my wishes for the trip. San Sebastian in the east and Bilbao in the west, are the two major cities in Basque and easy to arrive to/leave from. I planned to take the bus to San Sebastian via Lyon (France), where I would be also able to visit some family for a day. Flying back from Bilbao to Munich was quite cheap and I wanted, on one way, saving some travel time. My parents happen to travel to France around the same time and they took me with them to Lyon.
Backpacking in this area is in many ways really pleasant. The weather is stable, the countryside beautiful, distances between towns ideal to resupply day by day. Although you are in Europe, some Spanish skills would be necessary to communicate with the locals, especially in the countryside. Everything else, perfect and easy conditions for your first multi day trip. For me, it was because I wanted to live day by day and be present.
One last point: You won’t be by yourself since one of the “less” busy trails to Santiago de Compostela, the Camino del Norte, goes along the coast. Less in quotation marks due the increasing amount of pilgrims. This makes it even more convenient with harborage/ pilgrim hostels in every town and a signed trail to follow.