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Ferry from Portsmouth to Bilbao



Route: Ferry from Portsmouth (Southern England) to Bilbao (Northern Spain)
Journey time: 1.5 days
Journey highlights:

If you want to experience the wonderful coastline of northern Spain, but you don't want to fly or endure a long drive through France, this is the trip for you. Brittany Ferries' luxurious ferry is like going on a mini-cruise, and you may see whales and dolphin on the crossing - the Bay of Biscay is one of the best places in Europe to spot these magnificent marine animals.

Northern Spain's largest city may be most famous for the stunning architecture and fine art collection of the Guggenheim Museum, but there's far more to see and do in the city, from exploring the atmospheric streets of the Casco Viejo (old town) to eating traditional Basque pintxos (tapas). The last couple of decades have seen what was formerly a principally industrial metropolis undergo a renaissance, becoming a model for European urban design and infastructure. The Guggenheim aside, Bilbao has a rich cultural offer, with a wonderful fine arts museum, state of the art maritime museum, and the Alhondiga performing arts culture and leisure centre amongst numerous other museums, galleries and attractions. The city also has a sleek and stylish, ultra rapid metro system to help you get about: though the centre, and particularly the Casco Viejo, is very walkable.

With an elegant Gran Via lined with tempting shops and graceful parks and squares, Bilbao offers sophistication at a relaxed pace: in the evening it comes alive with bustling pintxos bars, as well as national and international restaurants, theatre and trendy nightspots. And if city life gets too hectic for you then head for the hills: verdant and easily accessible, Bilbao sprawls along the valley of the Nervion, with the lush landscapes of the Basque Country rising up on either side; and it has some wonderful sandy beaches accessible by metro, plus many quieter bays a little further afield.



Sample itinerary: Take a ferry at 2115 from Portsmouth (remember to check-in at least an hour in advance), and you'll be in Bilbao on the third day at 0800.
Price: From £115 each way
Book a ferry ticket from Portsmouth to Bilbao with Brittany Ferries
How to travel to the port:

The easiest way for foot passengers to reach the harbour is to take a National Express coach which stops right outside the ferry departure building. You can also take the train to Portsmouth Harbour from where it's a short 10-minute taxi ride (about £5) to the ferry departure building. NB between May and September, there is a shuttle bus from Portsmouth & Southsea railway station to the harbour.

Portsmouth Harbour facilities: Bar, café, shop, bureau de change, internet access point.

Transfer time: Allow 40 minutes
Book a hotel in Portsmouth or Southsea
Book a hotel in Portsmouth or Southsea
The Ferry Crossing:

Portsmouth to Bilbao (until end of September)

Ferries depart Portsmouth at 2115, arriving in Bilbao on the third day at 0800 (Spanish time), on the following dates:
July 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, 30
August 2, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20, 23, 26, 29
September 1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16, 19, 22, 25

Frequency of service: Every 3 days


Journey time: 1.5 days
Onward travel from the port:

Bienvenido a Bilbao

The port of Bilbao is located around 10 miles north-west of Bilbao-Abando station - you can take a taxi from the port. Bilbao-Abando station in the city centre has regular services to major centres across Spain, including Madrid and Barcelona. Unfortunately there is no public transport direct from/to the ferry terminal, however you could choose to make a shorter hop by taxi (or long walk) to Santurtzi metro station to continue your journey to Abando station or the centre of town. Bilbao’s ultra-modern, sleek metro system has two lines: you can view a metro map on their website (with other information in English). The city is also served by trams and buses, however once in the city centre, most of the main sights, including the old town and Guggenheim, are within reasonable walking distance. Bus services for the city of Bilbao are run by Bilbobus (network maps), with Bizkaibus (limited information in English) serving the rest of the province, including the Atlantic beaches (some are also accessible by metro).


Your route to Bilbao (Northern Spain)

The lines on the map are for illustrative purposes only - they don't show the exact route taken by the ferry.