Spain from Basque Country to Albarracin

Most trips in the North of Spain run East – West or the other way round. This trip goes North – South, a  4×4 self-drive tour from Basque Country to Teruel through an area little frequented by overland tours or travellers. It is all the more impressive for that.

This is the area we cross:

We first drive through Basque Country, with its own language, culture and traditional houses. Then there is the un-European desert of the Bardenas Reales.

Further South we come to a long mountainous region culminating in the Sierra de Albarracin, before we end in the town of Albarracin, which, according to many Spaniards, is one of teh most beautiful in the country. Most of the time we will hardly seen any other travellers.

St. Jean Pied de Port, on the Pilgrim’s Way

The starting point for this journey is St. Jean Pied de Port in France, one of the most popular places for pilgrims to start their walk to Santiago de Compostella. The town is cut in two by the river Nive, with a beautiful  towered bridge. Its medieval centre is almost completely in tact. Well worth a visit.

We’ll be staying in a nice hotel near St. Jean Pied de Port:

Into the Bardenas Reales

From St. Jean Pied de Port we head South, traversing several interesting villages, with their remarkable red-roofed Basque houses. We stop at one of the stone circles dating back to the Bronze Age. These mark the place where the dead were cremated.

Basque country is green, sometimes wet and muddy:

Through the Forest and Valley of Iraty, we come to the Bardenas Reales, a desert that could have been in Arizona. It is a moon-like landscape with canyons, plains and steep rock formations where eagles and vultures have made their nests. We spend plenty of time here to let you take in this miracle.

Going further down South

The next highlight of the tour is of a different nature: the monastery of Veruela.  Walk around, take your time and stand in awe at its beauty.

The road continues to be stunning as we head further down South.

Sometime we find a place to relax near a lake.

We continue along the river Tage where we can have a dive to freshen up. From here we climb into the mountains of the Sierra de Albarracin to an altitude of 1800 mtrs, where it can be quite cool even in the middle of summer.

Albarracin and Teruel

Albarracin is a very nice medieval village, where it’s lovely to spend some time wandering around. As we approach it, the road takes one last turn and we see it in the valley. Just fantastic.

Practical information

The dates are the days on which we travel. We meet near St. Jean Pied de Port, from where we start our journey the next day. We arrive at our destination in the afternoon of our final day, which thus gives us seven full days for the trip.

This is a hotel based tour. Hotels are comfortable, usually family owned. The food is always good.

You will get all the information you need for a successful trip well before it starts. This contains a day-to-day description of the itinerary, list of hotels with addresses and all sorts of other practical information.

The trip is about 550 km, of which 60% is on tracks. These are interesting to drive and never challenging. Good ground clearance and all-terrain tyres are a must. A low range gear box is helpful, though not strictly necessary. No special preparation of your car is required.

If you want to take part in this trip and haven’t got a suitable vehicle, you can use our Defender at an additional cost, subject to availability.


  • Seven overnight stays during the trip in hotels, including breakfast
  • Welcome dinner
  • Seven days of travel
  • Researched itinerary
  • Tour description
  • Support car and two guides
  • Hand held radio in car

Not included

  • Any other meals
  • Fuel
  • Insurance
  • Overnight stays outside trip dates

More information or booking

If you want to know more about this journey, you can always contact us. You can book this journey via our booking form.