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Travel to the Basque Country, for fine living

By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Travel guide

Originally a holiday destination for high society, the Basque Country is a region that exudes history and culture. Try the delicious 'pintxos' and wines, take part in all kinds of sports (surfing, cycling, walking, boat regattas, Basque pelota, etc.), participate in cultural events, get closer to nature... The possibilities are endless in the Spanish Basque Country.

Our Editorial team's advice

If you are travelling to the Basque Country by car, you will be able to access any part of the region's wonderful nature, from the coastlines to the forests and up into the mountains. Whichever province of the Spanish Basque Country you happen to find yourself in, you will always be able to eat well, whether your meal is prepared by an unassuming inn or a great restaurant. The most fun and traditional activities invariably involve enjoying 'pintxos' and tasting other delicious dishes (always prepared the same day) that can be found in all of the bars and inns in the Spanish Basque Country. Meat, fish, pulses, fresh vegetables... The exceptional quality of the ingredients is matched by the mouth-watering recipes in this paradise of good food. The same goes for the wine, as the region has a strong wine-growing culture. For this reason, it is important to choose the label carefully and only drink from bottles that have been opened on the same day. During your time in the Spanish Basque Country, you will most probably see references (paintings, lists of demands) to the ETA group, but none of this, nor the general atmosphere in the region, should detract from your holiday in the slightest.

pros

  • +Heaven on earth for nature and sports lovers
  • +The best chefs in Spain are to be found here
  • +The fantastic food served all over the region
  • +The towns and villages don't get too crowded

cons

  • -To see some of the landscapes, you will have to cross mountain passes
  • -The political situation is sensitive and there is pressure from radical nationalists

Food

The Basque Country is famous worldwide for the quality of its traditional food and for the concepts behind its nouvelle cuisine. The dishes seen most often are based on fish or meat, which may be braised or served in various kinds of salad, and are often accompanied by pulses, green vegetables, and side salads. Homemade desserts, pastries, dairy products, and cheeses often round of the meal. Rioja Alavesa wine is considered one of the finest in the world, and cider and 'txacoli' are other traditional drinks in the region.

Ideal Weather Search

Find weekly weather forecasts for Basque Country . Different criteria make it possible to predict with precision the best time of year to go to Basque Country . A comprehensive weather score, made up of temperature indicators, bad weather predictions, sunshine levels and wind speeds, will allow you to choose the activities best suited to the weather conditions and therefore make the most of your holiday in Basque Country .

July

  • Bilbao flecheStagne 74/100 Good
See the different areas

Souvenirs

There is a great variety and diversity to the products you can buy here, ranging from the antiques on sale in the three provincial capitals to crafts made according to Basque traditions. High quality food products are also available in abundance, and often display the 'K' label awarded by the Kalitatea foundation. The products to look out for include Idiazábal cheese, cured pork meats, pastries ('vasquitos', 'neskitas', filled fried croutons from Bergara, 'tejas de Tolosa', and 'canutillos de Bilbao'), and Rioja Alavesa wines, Astigarraga cider, and Guetaria or Bakio txacoli. The shops generally open from 9:00am to 1:30pm and from 4:00pm to 8:00pm, and lots of businesses are also open on Saturdays. VAT is included in the selling price and stated on receipts, but does not apply to all purchases.

What to see

Valleys of the Spanish Basque Country , The valleys of the Spanish Basque Country , Spain
Valleys of the Spanish Basque Country
The Enchanted Forest , Spain
The Enchanted Forest
Mountains of the Spanish Basque Country , The mountains of the Basque Country , Spain
Mountains of the Spanish Basque Country
Rioja Alavesa , Spain
Rioja Alavesa
The Añana salt ponds , Spain
The Añana salt ponds
Ullíbarri-Gamboa and Urrunaga Reservoirs , Spain
Ullíbarri-Gamboa and Urrunaga Reservoirs
Fuenterrabía , Spain
Fuenterrabía
La Concha , Spain
La Concha
Zarautz Beach , Zarrautz beach , Spain
Zarautz Beach
Ondarroa , Spain
Ondarroa
Mundaka , Spain
Mundaka
Bakio , Spain
Bakio
Valderejo Natural Park , A refuge for predatory birds , Spain
Valderejo Natural Park
The Urdaibai Nature Reserve, Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, The fauna and flora, Basque Country
Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve
The booted eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus), Izki National Park, The fauna and flora, Basque Country
Izki National Park
Basque Country : Explore