LivingTravelTravel to and from Bilbao and Pamplona

Travel to and from Bilbao and Pamplona

If you’re trying to go from Basque tapas in Bilbao to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, ​​your best option is a set of wheels. You decide if it is a car or a bus. The mysteries of the Basque Country can be yours to understand at your own pace if you are in your own car.

If time is a factor and you are in a difficult situation, then depending on whether you have your own car or the time of day, the trip can be done in an hour and a half. Add another hour if you are on a bus making stops.

Travel by bus

The most effective and least expensive way to travel between Bilbao and Pamplona is by bus. For reference, in 2017, the cost of a one-way ticket is 15 euros and the average travel time is two and a half hours.

Additionally, you can join a tour group, which can offer you a guided bus or train tour throughout northern Spain, including popular stops in Pamplona and San Sebastián, although neither of the itineraries includes Pamplona and Bilbao.

Train ride

There is no direct train to and from Bilbao and Pamplona. You can take trains from Bilbao to Miranda de Ebro and then transfer to Pamplona from there, but the train gets out of the way, and the waiting time between trains generally adds several hours to the journey.

Travel by airplane

There are regional airports in Bilbao and Pamplona, ​​but there are no commercial flights to and from Bilbao and Pamplona.

Traveling by car

You can drive your own car or rent a car. The journey is approximately 100 miles. If you drive your own car, this will be the fastest way to get from point A to point B, unless you want to immerse yourself in the culture and beauty of the Basque Country.

Views by car

The most popular driving route between Bilbao and Pamplona will probably go through Vitoria-Gasteiz, the capital of the Basque Country. If you have time, check out the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria. More than a million visitors enjoy exploring its halls, atrium and walls. The famous novelist Ken Follett has been inspired by this cathedral for his books. Old Gasteiz also has the status of a historic site. The names of its streets —Cuchillería, Herrería, Pintorería, Correría— recall the trades of the guilds of cutters, blacksmiths, painters and harness manufacturers, respectively, in which they were found.

In this capital city, you can find good food and wine, both in the old town and in the center there are “pintxo trails”. Pintxo is the Basque way of saying tapas, where you can sample the flavors of haute cuisine in miniature dishes, washed down with some of the best wines from nearby Rioja Alavesa.

Side trip for wine

Before heading to Bilbao, perhaps take an excursion to Rioja Alavesa. Just south of Vitoria-Gasteiz, you can combine a visit to the city with the pleasure of discovering some of the famous wineries of the Riojan country.

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