Video & Photo Story: Trail Riding in Basque Country with Iago Garay in Episode 2 of 'Not Far From Home'

Aug 6, 2020
by iago Garay  





We go North!

Two months of lockdown gave us plenty of time to plan for our next adventure. We were eager to jump on our bikes again and ride some trails, and if there is a place that has plenty of trails to ride is the Basque Country!

We got in touch with the guys at Basque MTB and asked them if they would be able to give us a small tour. Luckily for us, the Corona Virus had cleared their schedules, so the first week travel was allowed between provinces in Spain we loaded the vans and headed their way!

Basque MTB has to be one of the first MTB-Enduro guiding companies ever created in Spain and you can tell they have a lot of experience organizing awesome trips!

Doug and Igor welcomed us into their backyard with open arms and we had an awesome time riding a great mix of trails around Hondarribia, right on the border with France.

The first day delivered a classic Basque vibe, we were taken to a one of the tallest mountains around there. These mountains have a lot of history and we used a mix of hiking trails and old mountain railroads to make our way down the mountain. The rain and the fog had left the trails with a good moisture, just what you would expect to find up north during the spring, making for a pretty good time sliding around the wet roots and shiny rocks. All the way down you can find remains of other times, when the mountain was booming with the mine. Old beautiful stone houses and tunnels dug through the rock connecting the top to the city and the port.

Any good trip where Sergio Layos comes along will have a stop at a skatepark. Since I know Sergio I have been riding more and more skatepark, but my progression is pretty slow because I spend most of the time just mesmerized with Sergio’s riding.

After the skatepark sesh we tried to find a spot where it wasn’t raining so we could shoot. We have heard about this cool trail near Zarautz so we had to check it out. It ended up being some of the most perfect and fun corners we had hit in a while, it was like they were made for synchronized biking!

The end of the day was spent riding the iconic Jaizkibel mountain, between Hondarribia and San Sebastian. Full of hiking trails that turn out to be really fun on a bike!

The trip continued on some magical woods near Oiartzun and a big day on the bike. The beech forest offered some beautiful views and flowy trails covered in leaves where thanks to our guide Igor we found the best spots to play around!

Any trip to the Basque country needs to have Pintxos and Txakoli. That turned out to be the perfect end to our trip, reminiscing on the good times had and already planning the next trip back to ride with the Basque MTB guys!

We would like to say a huge thanks to Basque MTB for all the help guiding and with the logistics.

And thanks to our sponsors SMITH optics, DYEDbro, Santa Cruz Bicycles and questionmarkMTB.

All photos by Kike Abelleira
Video by Nacho Trueba
Words by iago Garay

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
bigquotesBasque MTB has to be one of the first MTB-Enduro guiding companies ever created in Spain and you can tell they have a lot of experience creating awesome trips!”.Iago Garay



Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Man of the match. Our good friend Igor Eskudero is the best host and mtb guide you can ask for. Fun fact: we estimate he knows 20 percent of the people in the Basque Country and 50 percent of the people knows Igor.


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country
BasqueMTB planned a cool ride in Penas de Aia, a three peaks mountain range near Irun. Three wild horses.


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country
We followed the route of the old mining industry located in the mountain, along the way the mining train used back in the days.


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country
Together with Doug from BasqueMTB, two local friends, Unai Aramburu and Andima Errazti, joined us.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Locals name this trail as Champery. Go figure...


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Sergio leads Doug on Penas de Aia.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Down on Penas, Iago throwing some shapes.

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
On the second day, having Sergio on board, we obviously paid a visit to some skateparks. Iago tables at Irun skatepark.


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country
Tres amigos.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country

Can't quite choose between regular Layos and #enduroLayos, we take them both.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Right after the Bikepark we went to Zarautz, well known as a surf spot and also for its triathlon race. It happens that also has some rad trails with the stamp of Bikingo trail builder. Iago leads Sergio and Igor at one of the most fun trails we rode all week.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
The afternoon plan... Roadies race this mountain that lies next to the sea on Donostia Klasikoa aka Clasica de San Sebastian.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Riding Jaizkibel slopes down to Lezo.

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country



Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country




Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
This was just the start of one of those days for the books. Sergio, Iago and Igor entering Navarra territory.



Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
There is no shortage of epic views in the Basque Country and Navarra.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Magic light and woods right at the border that separates Guipuzkoa and Navarra provinces.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Sergio leading the trio on this barely ridden trail.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Beech woods are a thing in the Basque Country.

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Iago warming up.



Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country


Hard to find a deep carpet of leaves in Summer, but we did. Iago and Igor on drifting duties.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Sergio adding some style to the wall.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
bmx riders.... #enduroLayos


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Woods that dreams are made of.


Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Let him loose...

Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country
Without beers available, can't beat free spring water at the end of a full day ride. Oiartzun delivered.

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
This spot in Bera was as top notch as any mtb trail we rode that week. Sergio proving that right.


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country

Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country

Having a local friend we couldn't avoid the touristic thing. Pasajes is a must... and take the boat that crosses the bay.


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country

Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country


Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country

Not Far From Home ep2 Basque Country

Pasajes is an old fishing town where tuna fishing still runs in a sustainable way.

Not Far From Home ep 2 Basque Country
Txakoli cheers for the win. Traditional Basque white wine to celebrate a week of friendship and bikes.


Stay tuned for the next episode of Not Far From Home and subscribe to my YouTube channel for more videos.



Powered by Smith Optics, DYEDbro, Santa Cruz Bicyles, questionmarkMTB.
Film and edit: Nacho Trueba @nacho_trueba
Photography: Kike Abelleira @kikeabelleira
Riders: iago Garay, Sergio Layos, Igor Eskudero
Production: iago Garay @iagogaray
Locations: Hondarribia, Irún, Lezo, Oiartzun, Zarautz (Basque Country) and Bera (Navarra)
Logo Design: Victor Brousseaud



Posted In:
Videos Iago Garay



18 Comments

  • 5 0
 Guys, I went on a trip with Basque MTB, it was f*cking incredible, ludicrously well priced, and is an amazing place to visit off the bike too (food/surf/culture/everything). Look them up and go on a trip with them.
  • 2 0
 Thanks a lot!
  • 3 0
 I was lucky enough to visit the Basque country for a few days in February, before the world shut down. After hiking a fair bit I decided I needed to come back with a bike, there is an incredible depth of history and awesome steep terrain! The food on the coast is killer, best fresh sea food I've had in years.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the kind words! We also have one of oldest and special lenguages in Europe. I’m from Zarautz, if you ever come, I will show you cool places Wink hahah
  • 1 0
 Thanks for this great report. Igor really had some great playmates at his side. The basque country is indeed a magical place. The mountains, the sea, great people, the best food and of course fantastic singletrack. I have been to Basque MTB twice in a row and I can only say that they are the real deal. See you guys next year!!!
  • 2 0
 Basque country? One of the best places in Spain. Simply remarkable. Closed followed by / equal to Cantabria and Asturias. The north is the best.
  • 1 0
 @DougBasqueMTB: thanks for the link, those prices are amazing! Hoping to treat myself/family to the 7 day trip in the Pyrenees for my 40th b-day, figure this worldwide insanity will have been tamped down in two years, no?
  • 2 0
 Thanks! Surely it will all be calmed down next year? If not the trails are going to be mint because I’m doing nothing apart from trail building just now!!
  • 2 0
 Loving the footage guys!! I rode out there with Doug and Borja the 2 weeks ago and had a blast..!!
  • 2 0
 Thanks a lot Iago. It was great fun hanging out and riding those days. Hopefully it's not too long before we do it again!
  • 1 0
 Do they have a website? Looks top notch and I’m just down the road in Hossegor
  • 2 0
 We do! www.basquemtb.com
  • 1 0
 @DougBasqueMTB: nice work fella looks mint
  • 2 0
 The Basque Country is amazing and the people are too
  • 2 0
 Sergio Layos is in a league of his own...I could watch that dude all day
  • 1 0
 Doug’s trips are amazing. I joined BasqueMTB for a trip last October and it was brilliant! Can’t recommend enough!
  • 1 0
 Such a fun series in an epic location!
  • 1 0
 Welp, add another spot to the bucket list...

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