Our 70 mile continuous journey leads us through the rugged, ever changing scenery of Spain’s Basque Country. From the Holy sanctuary in Loiola to the medieval walled town of Laguardia, in the Rioja-Alavesa wine region, history and legend follows us with every step. We traverse mountain paths through limestone landscapes to oak forests and serene meadows, navigate the Biozkonia Pass at 1200m with spectacular views and cross the green Cantabrian mountains. In pastures, the indigenous Basque sheep graze, horses roam in the natural parks and cow bells can be heard in the distance.
Ignatius came from a noble Basque family and was once a great knight. Gravely wounded in a battle with the French, defending Pamplona, he experienced a religious conversion during his recovery which led him to found the Jesuits. In order to atone for his former life, and for his life to follow a different path, he took a pilgrimage to Montserrat in Catalonia, where he lay his sword and armour at the feet of a statue of the Virgin Mary. Our journey through the Basque Country not only recreates the route, but also the spirit of that journey.
There is plenty to discover following this path from the impressive sanctuaries at Zumarraga and Arantzazu to the extensive vineyards in Rioja-Alavesa. The Basque cuisine will add to the delight of this holiday with hearty peasant stews, grilled meats and tasty cheeses.