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“4 great hours with Mikel!”

ToursByBasques Private Guided Tours
Ranked #4 of 18 Food & Drink in Bilbao
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Private guided tours for those that look for something different in their visit to the Basque Country, based on an Off-The-Beaten-Path philosophy. I focus on small groups, interested in our culture and way of life, and I love to show the Basque way of life and my favorite places (and of course, the "can't miss places" as well)
Useful Information: Wheelchair access, Activities for older children, Activities for young children
Reviewed 1 August 2014

Me and by boyfriend wanted to see the best in Bilbao and because we only had two days we needed help. Thanks to Mikel we felt like we didn´t miss a thing in this beautiful city. He showed us the best sites and where to find really good food. And also took us away from the most typically and we got some nice views over the city. He really made sure that we got what we wanted and we learn a lot about the basque country and culture. He also was really helpful and called the airport to get information about my bag that was missing.
Thanks for all Mikel! Wish you all the best!

Mia and Alex

2  Thank Mia S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (115)
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93 - 97 of 115 reviews

Reviewed 29 June 2014

Our group of four picked Mikel for an excursion from a cruise. We wanted interesting sites that wouldn't be filled with tourists getting on and off buses. Mikel hit the mark perfectly. The day was fascinating - included a hidden, empty castle, a walk through old town, and the best view of the Guggenheim. He was knowledgeable without being pushy, and flexible with what we saw. Highly recommend!

2  Thank JKD-LA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014

We hesitated over taking the tour, in spite of strong recommendation from a friend: it was going to cost more than we would normally spend on a day excursion for two. But we went ahead. In retrospect we are very glad we did. It was the last of our six days in the Basque country and was a real high point, bringing us experiences we could not otherwise easily have had: quality time with an engaging and very well-informed local (not to speak of his nice car...) and visits to some remote but lovely spots, both coastal and inland. Strongly recommended.

Mikel looked after my wife and myself from 10 am pickup at our hotel outside Bilbao until 6 pm, both exactly as booked. Lunch was in the kind of beautiful 5-star sea-front hotel which to me spells high prices and uncertain quality. Not so if you go with Mikel: four delicious courses, just under 17 euros a head, wine and water included. The morning had taken us to a romantic abandoned castle at Butros, the superb viewpoint above the peninsula monastery of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, and the attractive sleepy fish in port of Mundaka. The scenery combined elements from the finest we have seen anywhere: coasts of NW Scotland, SW Ireland, Cornwall. Afternoon westwards on coast road giving us some time at Ea, to my mind the most delightful place of our whole week in the area.
It was not just the tour.

We weren't able to assess how well Mikel communicates in Spanish and Basque, but in English he is perfectly fluent and an excellent communicator. We might one day be able to retrace that day's itinerary under our own steam, but only Mikel can convey a real insight into the Basque way of thinking. Worth mentioning too: Mikel handled the entire pre-trip correspondence impeccably, from first enquiry to final details. Replies unfailingly prompt and full.

All in all, Bilbao and the surrounding country to north and north-east gave us one of the most welcoming, most scenic and most interesting holidays of our (quite long) lives, and we are grateful to Mikel Mugalari for enhancing and deepening the whole experience. We could have done with more of him!

Michael, Fife, Scotland

2  Thank Michael L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2014

My family and I spent a wonderful day with Mikel in Bilbao and San Sebastian earlier this month. I can highly recommend him as passionate about the Basque country, knowledgeable about the region and it's attractions, professional in all dealings, flexible with last minute changes and plans and an absolute pleasure to spend the day with. Of all our travels in Spain, Mikel was our favorite guide and definitely worth booking if you are visiting this region. Mikel is awesome! Thanks so much for making our day in the Basque country so memorable.

1  Thank Jeffrey G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Mikel was our guide (party of 4) in Bilbao last Sept for the one day we were in port. Outstanding pre-tour email communication, waiting for us when we disembarked, and showed us more of his wonderful city and the surrounding area than we could have seen by booking an on board tour--Guggenheim, hanging bridge, castle, fish market, Churches and a wonderful lunch a Basque restaurant. I would highly recommend him and only wish we could have spent another day or two with him futher exploring this wonderful region. As has been said before--Mikel is simply the Best!!!! Book him now!
John and Katie from Las Vegas NV, USA

2  Thank DcnCol
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MikelBasque, Propietario at ToursByBasques Private Guided Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Thank you, John and Katie. I keep great memories of that day we spent together, you were wonderful guests. Yes, the meal at the restaurant was certainly good!!

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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