Is touring the Basque region in Spain safe by bike? I see some of the greenway routes, but they are limited. For instance, I am considering cycling from Bilbao to Vitoria-Gasteiz, to Pamplona, then to San Sebastien, but I want to avoid fast motor vehicles. It doesn't look promising.

My main priority is to ideally keep to quiet roads or dedicated cycle paths away from motor traffic. I understand that the Basque region is generally safe from crime etc

  • Aside: have you seen Spain’s top 10 bike routes? Commented Apr 3 at 23:42
  • Can't speak for Basque Country, but I did a cycling trip in Rioja (just south of B.C.) which almost exclusively followed quiet roads. The route was provided by a local company.
    – Berend
    Commented Apr 4 at 6:09
  • 3
    This is not an Outdoors Stack Exchange question, it can be a Bicycle Stack Exchange question but I feel it might be more on topic here.
    – Willeke
    Commented Apr 4 at 8:10

3 Answers 3


Cycling in Basque Country is about as safe as anywhere else in Europe. Segregated roads / paths for bicycles are not as common as in the Benelux countries, but they do exist. And there are lots of local roads with not many motor vehicles. You can use the following map to plan your trips: https://en.mapy.cz/turisticka?x=-1.8428571&y=43.2872819&z=14

  • Solid pink lines - segregated cycling paths
  • Dotted pink lines - ordinary roads with little motorized traffic, recommended for cycling

FYI, mapy.cz is also available as a mobile app.

  • 5
    It's a Czech-based map provider that provides maps for the entire world. Maps with highlighted cycling routes are not so easy to find. If it was an American company (such as Google or Apple), would that be better? Commented Apr 4 at 8:50
  • 4
    Never mind, I have deleted my comment, whach wasn't fair (sorry). Looks like mapy.cz is (one of many) Openstreetmap-based map providers, which should be pretty good, although in Spain I would combine it with visorign. I would not touch Google or Apple Maps with a yardstick.
    – gerrit
    Commented Apr 4 at 9:29

I have cycled for vacation in Spain last year. Even though the infrastructure for cyclists is not always top notch, and often one has to share road with cars, I have seen that the drivers are generally very respectful of cyclists and do not use an aggressive driving style when close to them, even when the road is steep/narrow or is it raining.


As a cyclist from the Basque Country who frequently tours both on mountain and road bikes, I can assure you that cycling in our region is exceptionally safe. We have robust laws in place to protect cyclists on the road, including a requirement for a minimum overtaking distance of 1.5 meters, with substantial fines for violators.

In terms of safety from crime, touring the Basque region by bike is generally very secure. Additionally, our region boasts an extensive network of secondary roads, providing cyclists with scenic routes away from heavy motor traffic. While these roads may not allow for high speeds, they offer a more relaxed and enjoyable cycling experience.

Regarding your proposed route from Bilbao to Vitoria-Gasteiz, Pamplona, and San Sebastián, it's worth noting that these cities are indeed the capitals of their respective provinces. Cycling between them is entirely feasible, with options to navigate quieter roads and paths, thus minimizing encounters with fast motor vehicles.

Furthermore, if you have gravel bikes, you'll find even more opportunities to explore our region. Gravel paths offer a unique and adventurous cycling experience, allowing you to traverse varied terrain, including gravel roads and trails, which adds to the diversity of your journey.

Overall, I encourage you to embark on your cycling adventure through the Basque Country with confidence. With its safe roads, stunning landscapes, and cycling-friendly infrastructure, you're sure to have a memorable and enjoyable experience.

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