Bilbao and the Guggenheim Effect

3 nights starting from
£899

  • Frank Gehry’s amazing Guggenheim Museum

  • Bilbao’s superb modern architecture – Calatrava, Gehry, Foster, Zaha Hadid

  • Old Bilbao and the excellent Museum of Fine Arts

  • A tasty “pinxtos” tour of the old town’s famous bars

  • Two lectures from Dr Peter Higginson

Bilbao is a city reborn, thanks largely to a single building that kickstarted the revival – Frank Gehry’s 1997 Guggenheim Museum, built in a rundown port area – that was hailed as a masterpiece of the 20th century. It has led to a series of buildings by world-famous architects, some of which we will see on this superb  tour in the company of Dr Peter Higginson, not forgetting the city’s older artistic, architectural and culinary heritage.

Available Departures

From

11 - November - 2020 £ 899.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 11th November 2020 at 07:20

Returning: 14th November 2020 at 19:40

17 - March - 2021 £ 945.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 17th March 2021 at 07:20

Returning: 20th March 2021 at 19:40

ITINERARY

Day 1: Guernika
Fly from London Gatwick to Bilbao and transfer by coach to the town of Guernika, destroyed by relentless bombing in the Spanish Civil War, which inspired Picasso’s renowned painting of the same name. Time for lunch, a guided tour and the Peace Museum before heading to Bilbao to check in to your hotel. Welcome drink, lecture “Bilbao: from its origins to the Guggenheim effect.” and dinner with wine at the hotel.

Day 2: Casco Viejo and Guggenheim
A morning walking tour to see the Casco Viejo (old town) and La Ribera food market before an afternoon to see inside the shimmering Guggenheim Museum with its permanent and temporary exhibitions, though the building is the star attraction for most visitors. Second lecture, “Picasso’s Guernica and its legacy” and dinner with wine at the hotel.

Day 3: Museum of Fine Arts, Ensanch-Abandoibarra neighbourhood and Modern Architecture tour
A morning visit to the excellent Museum of Fine Arts (including works by El Greco, Goya and Gauguin), before a walk of the 19th century Ensanch-Abandoibarra neighbourhood. This afternoon we will have a coach tour to see the exteriors of some of Bilbao’s stunning modern architecture with work by Calatrava, Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Norman Foster. Evening free.

Day 4: Maritime Museum, Pinxtos tour and home
A morning visit to the Maritime Museum which puts Bilbao’s history into context, before a “pinxtos” guided tour of the old town including three drinks and snacks. Pinxtos are the Basque form of tapas and the bars a Bilbao institution that no visit to the city is complete without experiencing. Transfer to the airport for return evening flight to London Gatwick.

NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.

INCLUDED

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Bilbao
  • Three nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Barcelo Nervion Hotel, Bilbao, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Welcome reception
  • Two dinners with wine at the hotel
  • Two lectures at the hotel
  • Transfers, tours and entrance fees
  • Peter Higginson throughout


NOT INCLUDED

  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Holiday insurance 
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTEL

Barcelo Nervion Hotel, Bilbao

The Nervion Hotel enjoys a superb location right on the river of the same name on the edge of the old town. Facilities at this modern four-star hotel include bar, Ibaizabal restaurant and very comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Website

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Overall Impression

An exciting programme packed with action and stimulation and led with enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment. Terrible weather intervened but didn't halt the success. A friendly group created a good atmosphere for solo travellers. It was just a pity that an awkward virus has held me back from filling in this form till now!

Review by Grimshaw who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

A wonderful holiday in spite of heavy rain and a hail storm. We braved the elements to stand outside to look at buildings. Peter was once again superb in his dual role as tour manager and cultural guide. He is so caring and thoughtful about everybody's needs, and he shares his knowledge and incites in an inspiring and captivating way. The local guides were also excellent.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

Abundant rain did nothing to dim the pleasure of being introduced to the vision and creativity that has produced the C21 st. reincarnation of Bilbao. Our tour was well-paced from an excellent location and Dr. Peter Higginbottom shared his wonderful knowledge with passion, patience and pizazz. I learned so much and was wowed by the intellectual spirit of Bilbao , and was humbled by Guernica. On a lighter note, the Pintzos bar crawl was a genius idea as an end to the tour. I would recommend that everyone should take the fuernicula ride from just behind the hotel as it reinforced all we had learned. We had visited so much! Thank you.

Review by Cooper who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

Rain was persistent which meant that spare time was more difficult to fill. This gave the overall impression that the tour did not have quite enough content. More time at Azkuna Zentroa would have been welcome and perhaps less time at Guernica where the local guide was charming but rather dull.

Review by Pickup who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

Bilbao exceeded our expectations and this was in no small part due to Peter's enthusiasm and tour management skills. The sightseeing tours would have warranted an excellent if it were not for a couple of minor points. The visit to the Maritime museum, which focussed largely on the historic development of Bilbao would have been better earlier on the programme. It was important background information but Peter had already covered it in one of his evening lectures. We loved the scenery around Guernica (we may return for a walking trip) and found Javier's information fascinating but could the next tour have the lunch break earlier - with the early flight many were in dire need of food before we visited the Peace Museum. We would have preferred to make our own way around the latter - the guide was clearly more used to taking school children round. Shame about the weather the last 2 days, I found the organised lunch on the last day a bit of an ordeal because of the cramped conditions and the noise - my own fault - I should have opted out and gone somewhere quieter. Overall a very good holiday which I will recommend to others.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

This was a very interesting trip and I have good impressions of Bilbao and it's wonderful buildings. My only criticism would be of the Peace Museum in Gernica where the guide was very preachy. Bilbao is an easy city to walk around and so clean.

Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-November-2019


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Review by Jones who travelled 13-November-2019


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Review by Anonymous who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

Only my second Travel Editions tour, but this was even better than the first. Even the heavy rain did not dampen our enthusiasm for a splendid, and particularly well paced, tour. I doubt the tour would be as good without Peter Higginson as our leader. Terrific enthusiasm, charming personality and so knowledgeable and happy to share it.

Review by Caws who travelled 13-November-2019


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Overall Impression

Brilliant tour.Peter was superb and itinerary was perfect. Local guide excellent. Everything went like clockwork. Addition of Guernica was a bonus. Hotel food was not brilliant especially considering the reputation of the area for food.

Review by arnott who travelled 13-November-2019


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