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Basque Country

<span>Bilbao - the Plaza Nueva</span>Bilbao - the Plaza Nueva
<span>Bilbao - Guggenheim Museum</span>Bilbao - Guggenheim Museum
<span>Bilbao - Old Quarter</span>Bilbao - Old Quarter
<span>Bilbao - Zubi Zuru Bridge, Santiago Calatrava</span>Bilbao - Zubi Zuru Bridge, Santiago Calatrava
<span>San Sebastian - Old Quarter</span>San Sebastian - Old Quarter
<span>San Sebastian - Town Hall</span>San Sebastian - Town Hall
<span>San Sebastian - Maria Cristina Bridge</span>San Sebastian - Maria Cristina Bridge
<span>Vitoria - Santa Maria cathedral</span>Vitoria - Santa Maria cathedral
<span>Vitoria - Plaza de Espana</span>Vitoria - Plaza de Espana
<span>Vitoria - Plaza de la Virgin Blanca</span>Vitoria - Plaza de la Virgin Blanca
<span>Laguardia - Medieval Riojan Town</span>Laguardia - Medieval Riojan Town
<span>Hondarribia - Old Town</span>Hondarribia - Old Town
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Basque Country - "Little valleys among mountains"; this is one of the best definitions of the Basque Country given by the famous writer Unamuno, who also added, "in the Basque countryside, everything seems to be at your fingertips, made to order for the people who reside here and give it life; it is a domestic landscape, homelike, where more earth than sky can be seen; it is a nest".

 

Monumental Cities and Towns

  • Bilbao: among its many monuments the Guggenheim Museum is the most famous. Also remarkable are the Basilica of Begona, Church of San Anton, the gothic Santiago Cathedral, the old town, Fine Arts Museum, Dona Casilda Park.
  • San Sebastian: City overlooking the superb La Concha Bay.  Delightful Old Quarter with excellent `pinchos´ bars.  Fine monumental buildings including the Miramar Palace. Paseo de la Concha, the Town Hall, Mount Urgull Castle, San Telmo Museum.
  • Vitoria: Capital of the Basque Country with remarkable monumental buildings such as the Gothic Santa Maria Cathedral, the Churches of San Pedro and San Miguel. Also the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, Palaces of Escoriaza-Esquibel and Montehermoso.
  • Gernika: symbolic home of all Basques and the Caja de Juntas, with the Oak Tree. Inspiration for Picasso´s `Gernika painting´. Also worth seeing are the Museum and Church of Santa Maria la Antigua.
  • Laguardia: medieval walled town with superb gothic Church of Santa Maria de los Reyes and dozens of subterranean wine cellars below it´s atmospheric, cobbled streets.
  • Hondarribia: picturesque fishing town with a walled old quarter and ancestral homes. Charming maritime area also.

History and Geography

The Cantabrian sea and the Atlantic Pyrenees provide the backdrop for an emerald green landscape with gentle mountains and valleys, a craggy coastline, highlands of beech and oak trees, and to the south, the Mediterranean-like landscape of Rioja. For centuries its inhabitants have been sailors, farmers, and shepherds, who speak an ancient language the origin of which must be sought in legends rather than history.

The Basque Country stands in the North part of Spain. It occupies an area of 7,261 square kilometres and has a population of approximately 2,500,000 inhabitants.  It is constituted as an Autonomous Community whose capital is Vitoria, and it is divided into three provinces: Alava, Bizkaia y Gipuzkoa. The climate is humid and warm, being milder and wetter on the Atlantic coast, while inland there are bigger temperature changes.

There are signs of the dawning of human life in the Basque Country from the end of the Early Stone Ages, some 100,000 years ago. The Basque of today descends, through slow evolution, from Cro-Magnon man, the earliest proof of which dates back 7000 years. For centuries, the Basques have been sailors, farmers, and shepherds who speak an ancient language, bearing no relationship to any other known language.  Their origin must be sought in legends rather than history.  One thing is certain though, the Basques are the oldest and purest ethnic group on the Iberian Peninsula.

 

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Cuisine

Basque cuisine, without a doubt, is the finest in Spain. It consists primarily of products from the sea: baked sea bream, spider crab, salted cod, baby eels, marmitako (a stew made from tuna and potatoes) and sardines. Other typical dishes include dried beans from Tolosa, green peppers from Gernika, truffles from Campezo, sardines from Hondarribia, cheese from Idiazabal and marmitako from Bermeo and Lekeitio. Wines from Rioja Alavesa are outstanding as are liqueurs such as pacharan (made from anise and sloe berries), txakoli white wine and traditional apple cider.

There is an extremely high concentration of Michelin 1*, 2** & 3*** star restaurants in the Basque Country.  These include the following restaurants at which we would be happy to make reservations for you in conjunction with your holiday:

VITORIA - Restaurante Zaldiaran (*) Restaurante Andra (*)

BILBAO - Restaurante Zortziko (*) Restaurante Goizeko Kabi (*) Restaurante Etxanobe (*)

SAN SEBASTIAN - Restaurante Arzak (***) Restaurante Miramon Arbelaitz  (*) Restaurante Akelare  (**) Restaurante Martin Berasategui  (***) Restaurante Fagollaga  (*)

HONDARRIBIA - Restaurante Alameda (*)

Festivals

  • January: La Tamborrada, San Sebastian.
  • February: Carnival in Vitoria, Bilbao & San Sebastian
  • May: International Dance Festival, San Sebastian.
  • June: International Blues Festival in Getxo (mid-June).
  • July: International Jazz Festivals in Getxo (1st week July), Vitoria (3rd week July), San Sebastian (end July).
  • August: Annual Fiestas in Vitoria (1st week), San Sebastian (2nd week), Bilbao (3rd week).
  • September: International Film Festival-San Sebastian, International Folk Festival-Getxo.

Others

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See below a selection of suggested itineraries on this website which feature the Basque Country.

Accommodation

Please click on the symbol to see the Spanish Hotels in this area and obtain information about each.



Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in San Sebastian TBC120 Central Hotel
TBC57 Central Hotel
TBC58 Central Hotel
TBC59 Central Hotel
TBC60 Central Hotel
TBC61 Central Hotel
TBC73 Central Hotel
TBC88 Country Hotel
TBC89 Central Hotel
TBC98 Central Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in HONDARRIBIA PAR09 PARADOR Paradors
TBC02 Country House
TBC62 Self Catering
TBC74 Central Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Zarautz TBC18 Central Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Bilbao TBC19 Central Hotel
TBC46 Central Hotel
TBC47 Central Hotel
TBC48 Central Hotel
TBC49 Central Hotel
TBC51 Central Hotel
TBC53 Central Hotel
TBC91 Central Hotel
TBC99 Central Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Lekeitio TBC28 Central Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Lezama TBC31 Country House

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Vitoria TBC42 Central Hotel
TBC55 Central Hotel
TBC56 Central Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Mungia TBC103 Country Hotel

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in ARGOMANIZ PAR39 PARADOR Paradors

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Orio TBC111 Country Hotel w/ pool

Below please find a selection of the accommodation we offer in this area. Click on the Hotel Code or information symbol for photographs and detailed information about each property.

Hotel Location Hotel Ref. Classification Information Planner
Accommodation in Getaria TBC114 Country Hotel w/ pool
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