North of Spain, Coast to coast
From Barcelona to Bilbao (A1)
Just 45 minutes from OrsonRent, our motorhome adventure begins with a visit to the mythical mountain of Montserrat, topped by the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria de Montserrat. The approximately 1,200-meter-high mountain is beautiful to see from afar and on the mountain you have a magnificent overview of the Catalan landscape. Many visitors come to Montserrat to see the Black Madonna, the patron saint of Cataluña, and to listen to the Gregorian songs performed by the famous boys’ choir “Escolania de Montserrat” who reside there. The monastery can be reached by car and cable car. We recommend that you park the motorhome at the station and use the cable car. It is faster, easier and much cheaper than parking at the monastery. After visiting Montserrat, you can continue to Andorra or continue your way to Espot and skip Andorra.
Andorra is located in the Pyrenees and offers excellent skiing and hiking areas. It is a well-known tax haven, and the capital Andorra la Vella has become a tourist attraction with mainly department stores with designer clothes and expensive watches. Spending the night in Andorra la Vella with a camper is unfortunately not allowed and people are therefore dependent on campsites and camper pitches outside the city. If you want to add a country to your bucket list or go shopping for a day, we recommend consulting the camper app where you can spend the night with your motorhome in the area.
National Park Aigüastortes, Espot
We stay in the Pyrenees with our motorhome and drive back to Catalonia to one of the most beautiful mountain areas in Cataluña right on the border with Huesca. We recommend driving up from the village by 4×4 Taxi, walking around the lake to the falls and then walking back to the village. The route is easy. Of course, it is possible for experienced hikers to walk longer and more technical routes in the nature park.
Embalse de Mediano, Huesca
The reservoir Embalse de Mediano in Huesca submerged the village of Mediano in 1974. It is one of many examples of the hydro-energetic policy in Aragon. In the spring only the top of the church tower of the old village can be seen, which rises from the lake. At the end of the summer, the level of the reservoir has often dropped to such an extent that the church is completely on land and the remains of the old Mediano stand in a mud puddle. This produces beautiful images from your camper or bus camper.
Surrounded by reservoirs and with Monte Perdido (3355m) in the background, one of the highest peaks in the Pyrenees, lies Ainsa. The old town is located on top of a mountain and is a medieval walled town with a castle. It has wonderful authentic restaurants and a beautiful motorhome where you can enjoy the panoramic view. Once you have arrived in Ainsa, you drive up with your RV, where you will find an overnight stay for motorhomes which provides direct access to the old town.
Alquézar, Huesca village frozen in time
With the Pyrenees in the background, we drive the camper to the medieval village of Alquézar. Another village that is invariably in the top of the most beautiful villages in Spain. The picturesque village has been declared an art-historical monument and is located on a rocky hill next to the gorge of the river Vero and in the Sierra de Guara National Park. Originally Alquézar Moors but in the year 1065 it was reconquered by the king Sancho Ramirez. The old village centre takes us back to the Middle Ages with its narrow, steep streets. The houses are mainly from the 16th century. Later in that century, the traditional architectural style that is characteristic of the Somontano area also emerged here. To visit the village, the camper can be parked within walking distance. Keep in mind that the village is difficult to visit for people with walking difficulties.
Castillo de Loarre, 1000 years old Roman fortress in Huesca
An hour’s drive by camper from Alquézar, close to the village of Loarre, lies this majestic fortress at an altitude of 1,071 metres. Castillo de Loarre is considered the best-preserved Roman castle in Europe. The building was built at the end of the 11th Century by order of King Sancho Ramírez I. The fortress is chosen for its beauty and excellent location in many places as a location for feature films and documentaries. Some of them world famous, like “Kingdom of Heaven” directed by Ridley Scott.
After a short journey, you can park the motorhome at the motorhome area near the centre of town. Jaca is the capital of the Jacetania region and has considerable monumental value. In Jaca you will find the country’s first Romanesque cathedral from the 11th century, built to strengthen the city’s position as a strategic enclave on the Camino de Santiago. Due to its natural boundaries, Jaca was a defensive place for centuries. This is clearly reflected in the Ciudadela Castle, pentagonal fortress from the 16th century, and the only Ciudadela in Spain that still has its original pentagonal structure with a bastion at each corner.
Monastery of San Juan de la Peña
A bit hidden but easily accessible by RV is a unique monastery with enormous historical value. The ‘Monasterio de San Juan de la Peña’ is located near Jaca in a semi-open cave and is part of the Aragonese part of the pilgrimage to Santiago. It is a place full of legends, some of them more than 1000 years old, and where several monarchs of the kingdom of Aragon and Navarra have found their final resting place.
Pamplona is world famous for the ‘Encierros’ or Bull runs. These are part of the annual San Fermín city festival. This festival attracts more than a million visitors every year, all of whom wear a white t-shirt and a red handkerchief. There are concerts, traditional Basque music, costumes, local sports activities, and fireworks displays. During the bull runs from July 7 to 14 at 8:00 am, runners will be chased for 800 meters by 6 bulls on their way to the bullring, where they will be killed during the bullfights. Unfortunately, every year there are injuries and sometimes even deaths during the races. Since 1924, 15 people have already died, so don’t be tempted to participate. Of course, Pamplona is also without San Fermin, a beautiful city to visit by motorhome. An authentic, traditional Spanish town with beautiful houses and a delicious gastronomy.
Tip: During the festivities Pamplona has a local ordinance for motorhomes. It is allowed to park within the spaces but not to sleep in the vehicle. It is recommended to stay at campsites or camper pitches. However, these will fill up quickly during the festivities. We therefore recommend looking for a nearby village for motorhome pitches with a good connection to Pamplona.
Nacedero del Urederra
We leave “busy” Pamplona behind us and within an hour we find ourselves with our RV in the quiet Urbasa-Andía natural park with numerous remains of megaliths and villages that have managed to maintain the atmosphere of the past perfectly. In this park we find the Nacedero del Urederra, located north of Estella-Lizarra. This is the natural exit of the Aquifer River which is formed in the karst massif of Urbasa. Starting with an impressive waterfall of more than 100 meters, followed by smaller waterfalls and numerous turquoise colored water holes. A not too difficult hiking trail of a total of 5.3 kilometres runs along the river and ends at the beautiful source. The route, which is signposted, starts at the car park at the entrance to the village of Baquedano. Once on the forest path and after passing a barrier, the road splits. It is recommended to take the path on the left closest to the river on the way there and the higher path to the east on the way back. In high season it is recommended to book on the website: https://urederra.amescoa.com/
País Vasco/Spanish Basque Country
We leave Navarre and drive into the green Basque Country side to one of the most attractive villages on the Basque coast, Hondarribia. It used to be an important fortress against France and a fishing village. Today it is a seaside resort with picturesque streets, old, coloured houses with wooden balconies and a nice little harbour. In high season, however, it can be difficult to find a spot with a motorhome in this popular seaside resort.
San Sebastian (or Donostia as the city is called in Basque) is a majestic city with beautiful beaches and a culinary scene that is unparalleled. The town first became known in the Belle Epoque when Queen Maria Cristina established her summer residence here. Since then, San Sebastian has attracted the nobility and High Society in search of sun, beach, and elegance. And that is not surprising because the beach ‘La Concha’ (the Shell) is also seen as the most beautiful city beach in Europe. Beautiful mansions as well as the famous spa ‘La Perla’ tower above the beach. Besides La Concha there are two other beaches including a popular wave surfing beach. San Sebastian is home to 15 Michelin stars, making it the city with the highest density of Michelin stars per capita after Tokyo. In addition, San Sebastian is famous for its Pintxos (tapas). The best Pintxos bars can be found in the old quarter of the city. In San Sebastian there are several camper stops, but we recommend looking for a campsite nearby, to enjoy the city in peace.
The next stop in our motorhome journey is another famous city, Bilbao. The largest city and the beating heart of the Spanish Basque Country. The main attraction is of course the Guggenheim Museum. This impressive building was designed by Frank Gehry and is widely regarded as one of the most important designs of modern architecture in the world. The construction of the museum is also a turning point in Bilbao’s history, as it marked the pinnacle of the transformation of this industrial city in recent decades. World-renowned architects have since left their mark on the city, including Sir Norman Foster (metro), Santiago Calatrava (airport and bridge) and Philippe Starck (cultural centre). Although the city embraces the future, it also preserves the old and there is still a lot of authentic Bilbao to discover. A wonderful city to taste culture, to shop and to enjoy the Basque cuisine.
Most Bodegas (wineries) of Txakoli in Getaria are open for direct sales. Often you can just park your motorhome in front of the door. Some offer wine tasting and a guided tour, but to really enjoy your Txakoli, we recommend visiting one of the many restaurants in the port of Getaria. Order a bottle of Txakoli in combination with a delicious freshly grilled fish on the spot and enjoy the good life.
Txakoli is a white fruity and slightly sparkling wine made on the unique seaside vineyards of the Spanish Basque Country. Although this wine has been around for centuries, it has only recently become popular among the Basques and is becoming more and more famous in the rest of the world.
The Spanish Basque Country has its own unique culture, language and gastronomy that often takes place around the cafes. The most important element in this are the Pintxos that you can find in almost every bar. Normally the bar is full of plates full of pintxos ranging from the traditional variants to the most experimental delights. It is customary to go from bar to bar to taste the house specialty in combination with a glass of Txakoli/wine, beer or cider. Often the locals have a pintxos or two before sitting down for lunch in a restaurant.
The sidrerías (sagardotegi in Basque) is another unique tradition. These are restaurants, normally located inland, that specialize in cider. These restaurants serve traditional dishes including a huge chuletón (rib steak) up to several kilos which, like the rest of the dishes, are shared by those present at the table. This is washed down with unlimited Cider that can be tapped from the giant wooden barrels without limit. A visit to a sidreria is a great opportunity to experience something uniquely Basque.
Route A2: From Bilbao we continue westwards with our motorhome from the Spanish Basque Country to Galicia.
Route B1: we drive our camper via the Rioja and Huesca back to the Mediterranean Sea (Route B1)
Need help with your request?
If you need help making a reservation request for your camper rental with ORSONRENT? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We are happy to help you and make your next holiday a great holiday experience!
t: +34 639 820 130