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Flavours of Bilbao, San Sebastián & Bordeaux with St Emilion

Mouthwatering pintxos & world-class wines
 
Round off your gastronomic rail journey along the Bay of Biscay with a visit to the celebrated vineyards of St Emilion. Along the way, you’ll have the chance to sample tasty Basque tapas and admire innovative architecture, while staying in three superbly located hotels.
Flavours of Bilbao, San Sebastián & Bordeaux with St Emilion. 7 nights
Flavours of Bilbao, San Sebastián & Bordeaux with St Emilion. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A journey by rail from Bilbao to St Emilion

Once the terror of all who sailed its stormy seas, the Bay of Biscay is today better known for its glorious beaches and picturesque coastal towns, and for the fascinating and highly gastronomic cities that line its shores.

Indeed, when it comes to Michelin-starred restaurants, there are very few places to rival San Sebastián – this beautiful Basque city has one of the highest densities of stars per capita anywhere on the planet – and Bilbao and Bordeaux both have a glut of fine eateries. But what is even more exciting, perhaps, is the thriving pintxos (Basque-style tapas) scene that can be enjoyed on the Spanish side of the border, and the superb red wines that grace the local bars and bistros of Bordeaux.
As you journey between the cities by train, you’ll also have the chance to admire their magnificent and contrasting architecture, and to visit their most iconic attractions as well as their secret corners. To finish, we include a day trip to the celebrated vineyards of St Emilion – the perfect place to round off your exploration of this highly gastronomic corner of Europe.
 
Gallery
 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights.
  • Arrival in Bilbao
    Night 1: at Hotel Tayko (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night’s accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of exploration.
  • Explore Bilbao
    Bilbao is a city that has shrugged off its industrial past to become one of Spain’s key cultural and gastronomic hubs, thanks in no small part to the transformational effect of the Guggenheim. A visit to this iconic museum is a must, as much to admire the impressive exterior as the works of modern and contemporary art inside. From here, it’s a pleasant stroll alongside the River Nervión to Bilbao’s medieval Casco Viejo (‘Old Town’), where sinuous streets are lined with atmospheric pintxos bars.

    We also recommend exploring the city’s much lesser-known outskirts: hop on a local train to the pretty medieval suburb of Portugalete, where you’ll find the Puente Colgante – the world’s oldest transporter bridge. Cross the 45-metre-high platform and enjoy the far-reaching river views before beginning a 4-kilometre sea-front stroll to tiny Getxo, a former fishing village characterised by its narrow, winding alleys and huddle of whitewashed fishermen’s cottages.

    Those with extra time may also like to take the local train to visit Guernica, the Basque town whose tragic past was immortalised in Picasso’s famous painting.
    Explore the old town
    Head to the pretty suburb of Portugalete
  • Bilbao to San Sebastián: 2.5hrs by train
    Leaving Bilbao, you journey by local train for two nights at the Hotel Niza in San Sebastián, a lovely seaside city with more Michelin stars per capita than just about anywhere else on the planet. You’ll need to book ahead for these outstanding eateries, or make like the locals and embark on a txititeo (pintxo ‘crawl’). Each bar has its own speciality and style – ranging from the rustic to the experimental – and we include a self-guided trail to help you navigate between them.
  • Explore San Sebastián
    On your full day here, you’ll no doubt want to try more of the famous pintxos bars, though we also provide notes for a city walk that takes in the absorbing San Telmo museum (closed Mondays), where different aspects of Basque life are showcased via a number of dynamic temporary exhibitions. It’s also well worth riding the city’s century-old funicular to the top of Monte Igueldo for fabulous views over the handsome Belle Epoque architecture, manicured gardens and waterfront promenades. However, nothing beats relaxing on the sweeping golden sands of San Sebastián’s three beaches, the most famous of which – the expansive Playa de la Concha – lies just in front of your hotel.
    Discover the Belle Epoque architecture
    Explore the famous pintxo quarter
  • San Sebastián to Bordeaux: 4hrs by train
    Back on the Slow train, you cross to Hendaye in France, from where a second, faster train whisks you north to Bordeaux, capital of the wine trade and one of Europe’s most elegant cities. Here you spend your final three nights at the centrally located Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre, or upgrade to the excellent Hotel Bayonne Etche-ona in the city’s prestigious ‘Golden Triangle’ district.
  • Explore Bordeaux
    Like Bilbao, Bordeaux has undergone a huge regeneration in recent years, and its graceful 18th-century mansions and boulevards are now complemented by a thriving riverside district and a new crop of restaurants and museums. Discover these on our self-guided city trail, which also leads you to the Musée des Beaux-Arts, home to works by Van Dyck, Matisse and Rubens, among many others. Further highlights include the spectacular Place de la Bourse and its ‘mirror’ water feature, and the highly acclaimed Cité du Vin, where you can learn all about world wines before relaxing with a glass of the city’s famous claret.
    Stroll beside the Garonne (C) Rémy Martineau
    Cafés near Port Cailhau (C) Bordeaux Tourism
  • Visit St Emilion
    Today provides the perfect finale to your gastronomic adventure: after a 40-minute rail journey (tickets provided), you arrive in the pretty, medieval village of St Emilion – the beating heart of the French wine scene. Here, you join a small-group guided tour by tuk-tuk which includes a tasting at one of the area’s prestigious châteaux. Before you board the return train to Bordeaux, it’s well worth taking the time to look around St Emilion itself. We particularly recommend a visit to the incredible Monolithic Church – this vast, part-subterranean structure was hewn from the surrounding limestone in the early 12th century and is the largest church of its kind in Europe. Interestingly, it also provided a hiding place for the stained glass from Paris’ famous Notre-Dame Cathedral during the Second World War.
    The town of St Emilion
    Visit the famous vineyards
 

Accommodation

Your three hotels have been hand-picked for their excellent, city-centre locations, and as such make ideal bases from which to explore.

We particularly recommend extra nights in Bilbao – to see the world’s oldest transporter bridge in the pretty suburb of Portugalete or to take the train to Guernica. However, there’s also plenty more to discover in both San Sebastián and Bordeaux.

We offer an upgrade option in Bordeaux. Please indicate your preference at the time of booking.

Occasionally, due to availability, we may offer an alternative hotel in Bilbao, as shown below. You will be informed of any change to the usual hotel (along with any price implication) prior to us confirming your holiday to you.
 

Options to shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter.
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  • 7 nights: 01 April 2020 - 21 July 2020 & 21 August 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 17 Apr 2020 # £925 £390
    18 - 27 Apr 2020 £940 £400
    28 Apr - 28 Jun 2020 £1035 £440
    29 Jun - 14 Jul 2020 £1080 £480
    21 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £1080 £480
    1 - 24 Oct 2020 £995 £425
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    # ADD £65pp/n (£85pn in a single room) if staying in San Sebastián 9-13 April 2020.
    § ADD £22pp/n (£64pn in a single room) if staying at Hotel Bayonne Etche-ona, Bordeaux 17-20 Jun & 15-17 Oct 2020.

    Included travel: Bilbao–San Sebastián–Bordeaux by rail
    Pay locally for travel arrangements between city stations and hotels

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • 7 nights, staying at Hotel Bayonne Etche-Ona: 01 April 2020 - 21 July 2020 & 21 August 2020 - 31 October 2020

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    1 - 27 Apr 2020 # £1290 £590
    28 Apr - 28 Jun 2020 § £1395 £640
    29 Jun - 4 Jul 2020 £1440 £680
    5 - 14 Jul 2020 £1400 £670
    21 - 25 Aug 2020 £1400 £670
    26 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £1440 £680
    1 - 11 Oct 2020 £1165 £625
    12 - 24 Oct 2020 § £1285 £610
    3rd & 4th person discount £0
    Single traveller supplement £0

    Includes accommodation, meals, travel between hotels and any other services integral to the holiday as described, plus a detailed information pack, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    # ADD £65pp/n (£85pn in a single room) if staying in San Sebastián 9-13 April 2020.
    § ADD £22pp/n (£64pn in a single room) if staying at Hotel Bayonne Etche-ona, Bordeaux 17-20 Jun & 15-17 Oct 2020.

    Included travel: Bilbao–San Sebastián–Bordeaux by rail
    Pay locally for travel arrangements between city stations and hotels

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Tayko, Bilbao
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2020 £25
    Superior: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2020 £12

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Tayko, Bilbao (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 16 Apr 2020 £65 £107
    17 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £70 £118
    01 Jul - 21 Jul 2020 £80 £135
    21 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £80 £135
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2020 £70 £118
    Hotel Niza, San Sebastián (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Apr 2020 # £90 £140
    01 May - 30 Jun 2020 £115 £175
    01 Jul - 21 Jul 2020 £145 £215
    21 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £145 £215
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2020 £115 £175
    # ADD £65pp/n (£85pn in a single room) if staying in San Sebastián 9-13 April 2020.
    Quality Hotel Bordeaux Centre, Bordeaux (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 21 Jul 2020 £84 £130
    21 Aug - 31 Oct 2020 £84 £130
  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel Tayko, Bilbao
    Junior suite: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2020 £25
    Superior: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2020 £12
    Hotel Bayonne Etche-ona, Bordeaux
    Deluxe: 01 Apr - 31 Oct 2020 £16

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Tayko, Bilbao (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 16 Apr 2020 £65 £107
    17 Apr - 30 Jun 2020 £70 £118
    01 Jul - 21 Jul 2020 £80 £135
    21 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £80 £135
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2020 £70 £118
    Hotel Niza, San Sebastián (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 30 Apr 2020 # £90 £140
    01 May - 30 Jun 2020 £115 £175
    01 Jul - 21 Jul 2020 £145 £215
    21 Aug - 30 Sep 2020 £145 £215
    01 Oct - 31 Oct 2020 £115 £175
    # ADD £65pp/n (£85pn in a single room) if staying in San Sebastián 9-13 April 2020.
    Hotel Bayonne Etche-ona, Bordeaux (B&B) Double room Single room
    01 Apr - 10 Jul 2020 # £130 £210
    11 Jul - 21 Jul 2020 £112 £190
    21 Aug - 31 Aug 2020 £112 £190
    01 Sep - 17 Oct 2020 # £130 £210
    18 Oct - 29 Oct 2020 £112 £190
    # ADD £22pp/n (£64pn in a single room) if staying at Hotel Bayonne Etche-ona, Bordeaux 17-20 Jun & 15-17 Oct 2020.
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Bilbao or Santander (return from Bordeaux or Bergerac)

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Bilbao easyJet 
    Return route Airline
    Bordeaux - Bristol easyJet 
    Bergerac - Bristol Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Bilbao easyJet 
    Edinburgh - Santander Ryanair 
    Return route Airline
    Bordeaux - Edinburgh Ryanair 
    Bordeaux - Edinburgh (via Paris) Air France 
    Bergerac - Edinburgh Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Bilbao British Airways,  Vueling 
    Return route Airline
    Bordeaux - Gatwick British Airways,  easyJet 
    Bergerac - Gatwick Flybe 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Bilbao British Airways,  Iberia,  Vueling 
    Heathrow - Bilbao (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Return route Airline
    Bordeaux - Heathrow (via Paris) Air France 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Bilbao easyJet 
    Stansted - Santander Ryanair 
    Return route Airline
    Bordeaux - Stansted Ryanair 
    Bergerac - Stansted Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Bilbao easyJet 
    Manchester - Bilbao (via Barcelona) Iberia 
    Manchester - Bilbao (via Heathrow) Iberia 
    Return route Airline
    Bordeaux - Manchester easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Bordeaux - Manchester (via Paris) Air France 
    Bergerac - Manchester Flybe,  jet2 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  you may need to fly to an airport not listed here. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service (£60 for India and Nepal). Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Unless otherwise stated, connecting travel by rail or bus tends to be from the city centre station, rather than from its airport, and connections between the two should be paid for locally.

    Connecting travel options - flying to Bilbao & back from Bordeaux

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    own bus (0h40) or taxi (0h25) from Bilbao airport to hotel pay locally flexible
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    own bus (0h45-1h15) or taxi (0h25) from hotel to Bordeaux airport pay locally flexible

    Connecting travel options - flying to Santander & back from Bergerac

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    coach Santander airport to Bilbao (1h30) £14 1700
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    own taxi hotel to Bordeaux St Jean (0h10, pay locally), rail Bordeaux St Jean to Bergerac (1h30) £20 1300
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 7 breakfasts
  • detailed cultural information
  • notes for city walking tours
  • rail travel Bilbao-San Sebastián-Bordeaux
  • rail excursion to St Emilion, plus guided tuk-tuk tour & wine-tasting
 
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FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help.
  • The information that we send to you 2-3 weeks before your holiday includes practical information about each stage of your journey so that you can travel confidently from one hotel to another, recommendations for places to visit and eat out in each place, plus cultural information about the area. Where applicable, we also provide notes for a self-guided walking tour of most cities, and some large towns. Sample travel pack >
  • We can book a wide range of airlines and routes from the UK. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. For Europe and Morocco, there’s a £35 booking fee per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). For India and Nepal, the booking fee is £60 per person. More information on flights >
  • Absolutely! We are experts in tailored rail travel. Making use of sleeper trains or stopovers in cities along the route, we can get you from London to virtually anywhere in mainland Europe. We can even make arrangements to Mallorca, Sicily and Norway with a combination of ferries and rail. Please contact Abi to discuss your plans.
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

    You don’t have to buy our policy (if you live outside Europe you’ll definitely need to make your own arrangements, as the policy is only for UK and EU residents), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; in Catalonia, for example, Catalan has equal status. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • The official language is French. The currency is the Euro. French time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to France, but not a visa (if you are travelling after 31 October 2019, see the Brexit question below for more information). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found through the following NHS link: www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/ You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). UK citizens should also obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) by applying at a Post Office or at www.ehic.org.uk. The EHIC allows reciprocal health care but should not be seen as a substitute for travel insurance. EHICs may cease to be valid in the event of a no-deal Brexit.
  • Even in the event of a no-deal Brexit, it’s been confirmed that flights will continue as normal and that you won’t need a visa to go on holiday (the limit on stays is 90 days). What you will need if there’s no deal is a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond the date of your arrival (extra months added because you renewed your passport early do not count) and adequate travel insurance to cover you for accidents and illness in case reciprocal health deals are suspended. If you are driving while on holiday, you will probably need an International Driving Permit (plus a Green Card if you are taking your own car to Europe). More information >
  • The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.
    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
Last fetch time is : 12/8/2019 7:41:22 AM