Basque Country is becoming one of our most requested destinations for this coming year. Local food traditions and excellent restaurants are two of the many reasons that our clients travel to Mediterranean Europe and Morocco. All of our destinations offer incredible culinary experiences, from simple bar food to three-star Michelin restaurants.
One area in particular though is a true ‘foodie’ destination. The northeastern-most corner of Spain, the Basque Country, is known for its extraordinary food scene. For that, along with everything else it offers, it’s high on the list of our clients’ ‘must-dos’ for 2022.
Why Basque Country?
Located on the Northern coast of Spain, bordering France, the Basque Country has a little bit of everything. The food is outstanding (the Basque Country has almost 40 stars within it’s little region). The scenery is breathtaking – the Basque coastline was the set for Game of Thrones ‘Dragonstone’. The wines are amongst the best in Spain as the Rioja region is just south of Bilbao.
The art! Bilbao is home to the spectacular Guggenheim museum. Designed by American Frank Ghery, this beautiful titanium and glass structure helped revive the city’s sluggish economy. Now, Bilbao is a destination on its own. Above all, the people and the culture of the Basque Country. It’s Spain, but with a twist.
To get to the Basque Country, the easiest ways are through a private transfer from Madrid, or taking a direct train to Bilbao. Bilbao and San Sebastian also have airports, where you can catch flights to other airports within Spain. We recommend taking a transfer as it will allow you to spend an afternoon (or a couple of days!) exploring the wine region of La Rioja en route.
The gastronomy of Basque Country
The main attraction of the Spanish Basque country is obviously the food and wine. The La Rioja wine region is one of the most prestigious of Spain. However, the region contains other, less famous wines such as the fun, fizzy Txakoli. This fruity white is a lightly sparkling wine perfect to wash down a seafood lunch by the coast.
San Sebastian is particularly famous for its pintxos culture. These Basque tapas (small appetizers) can be as simple as a slice of tortilla española (spanish omelette) to elaborate sweet or savory dishes, and can easily take the place of a full dinner. A favorite night out for locals and visitors alike is to make a number of stops at different pintxos bars and sample different dishes accompanied by local beer or wines.
Bilbao is most famous for the incredible Guggenheim museum, but it also has a wonderful (and free!) fine arts museum and beautiful historic city center. Being so close to San Sebastian, these two cities are perfect to combine into the same itinerary.
For active travelers…
The Basque Country is not just all about wine and food! Outdoor enthusiasts will love the hiking along the coast and inland. The famous Camino di Santiago di Compostela (Saint James path) which passes from the south of France to Portugal along the coast runs through the Basque country.
For the most adventurous, the running of the bulls in the Basque town of Pamplona is not to be missed.
Always tailor made!
For more inspiration about how we can help you create a perfect Spanish experience which includes the Basque country, please look at our sample itinerary. For a taste of a unique and exciting corner of Spain, the Basque country does not disappoint!