The Southern Basque Country or Hegoalde, is an autonomous community of northern Spain (attributed by the Spanish Constitution of 1978). It includes the Basque provinces of Alava or Araba (capital is Vitoria-Gasteiz) Biscay or Bizkaia (capital is Bilbao) and Gipuzkoa (capital: Donostia-San Sebastian).
DONOSTIA - SAN SEBASTIAN
Beautiful town called "The pearl of the Cantabrian sea", with La Concha promenade, its amazing views from mounts Igeldo and Urgull, its pintxos and a highly reputated gastronomy.
What to see: the promenade of La Concha, the breathtaking views of the Igeldo and Urgull mountains.
What to do:
· For gourmets: take a pintxo tour in the old town or in the trendy neighborhood of "Gros" or enjoy a gastronomic experience in one of the world famous establishments.
· For sports lovers: rent a bike and discover the city by cycling (excellent cycle lanes), if the weather is good enough for that. Rent a kayak and paddle around he beautiful bay.
· In case of bad weather and especially strong storm, do not miss the maritime show at the "Peine de los Vientos" or at the "Paseo Nuevo" ... do not forget your raincoats (preferably with hood) and your rain boots, your umbrella will not be very useful ...!
· For a retro experience, take the funicular to Igeldo Amusement Park, you will feel that the time has stopped a few years ago ... Once there, go to the lounge bar of the hotel and have a drink while admiring the breathtaking views through the large windows.
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FOT. COPYRIGHT BASQUETOUR
Located about twenty km from San Sebastián, this colorful cross-border city of Txingudi Bay is well worth a visit, for its picturesque atmosphere but also for its gastronomy.
What to see: the historic area, the citadel, the friendly "Marina" and its tapas bar.
What to do: walk around the streets of the old quarter, admire the typical architecture. Stroll around the pedestrian "Marina" and take some tapas or "pintxos" in one of the establishments, gourmets will be in their element!
Tel. + 34 943 64 27 89
Tel. + 34 943 646 309
Tel. + 34 943 10 40 60
Small fishermen village with a strong Basque character, located 10 km from San Sebastián, built on the slope of a hill in front of the sea and the port. This village inspired Victor Hugo, where he lived in 1843.
What to see: the house of Victor Hugo and the church.
What to do: stroll around the tiny streets, enjoy a meal at Cámara (fish and seafood specialties) and walk to the cliffs.
Tel. + 34 943 52 36 99
ZARAUTZ - GETARIA - ZUMAIA
The municipalities of Zumaia, Getaria, and Zarautz, are part of the coast of Gipuzkoa known as Urola Kosta. A blue + green beautiful postcard!
What to see: The coastline and the beaches of Zarautz (large and wild) and Zumaia (between two cliffs), the charming port of Getaria and the "Mouse of Getaria" (a mouse shaped promontory). A famous navigator, Elkano, and a reknowned fashion designer, Balenciaga, were born in this small village.
What to do: For sports lovers, hiking (Talaia GR-121 trail) will allow you to discover the coastline in a pleasant way. Start from Zarautz, passing through Getaria and its txakoli vineyards, until reaching Zumaia. Between Getaria and Zumaia, you will borrow the way of Saint-Jacques de Compostele. It is 9 km and 350 m altitude. Easy!
For food lovers: lunch at Elkano (grilled fish) and small tour of the Balenciaga Museum, both in Getaria. Visit a txakoli vineyard, local white wine slightly acid and sparkling. The Geopark also offers outings to discover the flysch. The details here.
Tel. + 34 943 14 00 24
Tel. + 34 943 13 00 00
Tel. + 34 943 14 07 02
Nicknamed the "Botxo", meaning the "hole" in Basque, Bilbao is a lively, dynamic and cosmopolitan city that never ceases to surprise. A city of many facets, full of contrasts, traditional and avant-garde, big and small at the same time. Bilbao was elected by The Urbanism Awards, the Best European City 2018.
What to see: The Old Town, the Ensanche and the Guggenheim Museum, but also the Bellas Artes Museum and the Cathedral.
What to do: Stroll through the small streets of Casco Viejo, the old quarter, visit the food market (Mercado de la Ribera) and nearby, take a walk to the Marzana, on the banks of the "Ría", the estuary of Bilbao. Admire the diverse architecture, a mix of styles that characterizes Bilbao: the Teatro Arriaga, the Guggenheim Museum (Franck Ghery), the Alhóndiga (Philippe Stark) ... As for gastronomy, go to the Ensanche district: every corner of the streets invites you to stop and enjoy the local cuisine, which is an art form in Bilbao. So do not leave without tasting pintxos and drink "txikitos" (originally, a "txikito" is a glass with a very thick bottom, to avoid the trembling of the pulse and has a small capacity, to avoid getting drunk...). For a touch of greenery, do not miss the visit of the gardens of Albia, the lungs of the city.
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Mundaka is a small picturesque village within the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, known to surfers for its left wave, the largest in the world.
What to see & do: its small fishing port; in the fall season, you may have one of the best waves in the world. Located in the heart of the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, do not miss the beautiful landscapes of Izaro Island and Mount Ogoño.
Tel. + 34 946 87 60 50
SAN JUAN DE GAZTELUGATXE
Between the coastal villages of the Gulf of Biscay there is a breathtaking vantage point: San Juan de Gaztelugatxe. Erosion has created an exceptional landscape that leaves no one indifferent.
What to see & do: climb the 231 steps that lead to the small chapel on the rock 80 m above the sea.
Tel. + 34 946 19 40 65
Getxo-Puerto Viejo de Algorta, is an old fishing port, charged of history, now converted into a bucolic setting.
What to see: the ancient Hermitage of San Nicolás, the sculptures of the sardine and the fisherman, the Etxetxu (building of the eighteenth century, former townhall of the village), the small square Asuerka and the Bizkaia Bridge, or hanging bridge, declared Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2006 by the Unesco.
What to do: Stroll along the seafront, from the Bizkaia bridge to the port, you will walk along beautiful houses to reach the old port and the hubbub of pintxos bars.
Tel. + 34 944 91 00 09
GERNIKA - LEKEITIO
Famous throughout the world by the painting of Pablo Picasso (which reflects the tragedy of the bombardments suffered by the city in 1937), Gernika also houses the Tree of Gernika,
which is undoubtedly one of the most universal symbols of the Basques. It symbolizes the traditional freedoms of Bizkaia and the Biscayans, and by extension those of the Basques.
What to see & do: Because it was almost completely destroyed in 1937, Gernika does not offer visitors a nice content to see, but it does offer many other experiences, about the history and the culture of Basque people (sites & museums). If you are visiting it on a Monday, take the opportunity to visit the weekly food market, one of the most important in the Southern Basque Country. The road from Gernika to the small picturesque fishing village of Lekeitio, will allow you to know the coastline, its impressive cliffs and its beautiful beaches (Laida and Laga). You are also in the area of the Urdaibai Nature Reserve, click here for more info.
Tel. + 34 946 75 48 32
VITORIA - GASTEIZ
Capital of the Southern Basque Country, city of art and history, European Green Capital (2012) and Spanish Capital of Gastronomy (2014), Biosphère Responsible Tourism Destination (2016). Vitoria encloses a historic district, declared monumental complex in 1997, which preserves intact its medieval layout.
What to see: The district of El Ensanche, with its Plaza de los Fueros, the park of La Florida, the Basque Parliament, the Plaza de España and the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, patron saint of the city. The unmissable medieval quarter, nicknamed the Almendra, the almond, because of its shape, with the Plaza del Matxete, gateway to the neighborhood, the Palacio Escoriaza Esquível, one of the best examples of renaissance-style architecture of the area, the imposing Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Casa del Cordón (15th century) ... Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and neoclassical buildings await you.
What to do: stroll through the narrow streets of the medieval district, observe the architecture and originality of its urbanism, taste pintxos, many establishments await you in every corner! A tour around the food market, the Mercado de Abastos is interesting, for local food and wine lovers, you will find an area (panoramic terrace of 1000m2) of "gastrobars", tastings, showcookings ... that well worth the detour. For contemporary art lovers, go to Artium.
Nearby visits ... the Añana salt valley, the Urkiola Nature Park.
Tel. + 34 945 14 27 55
LA RIOJA ALAVESA
A land of vineyards, a Mediterranean microclima, gastronomic traditions, charming villages, hiking and cycling trails, the joie de vivre of its inhabitants ... Without a doubt, to visit absolutely!
Places to visit:
• Elciego: Marqués de Riscal, the spectacular building of Franck Ghery
• Laguardia: ranked among the 25 most beautiful villages in Spain, medieval architecture and wine bars and pintxos on every street corner. At the Plaza Mayor, watch the clock: at 12h, 14h, 17h and 20h, the little characters do a little dance :). Visit the Santa María de los Reyes church and its magnificent portico.
• Labraza: 100% medieval, voted as the best fortified city in the world.
Tel. + 34 945 60 01 65