“Travelling is a door through which one leaves reality to penetrate into an unexplored reality, which seems like a dream” GUY DE MAUPASSANT
Welcome to Basque Country
No matter where you’ve just come from, be it the hot, southern plains of Spain or gentle and pristine France, the Basque Country is different. Known to Basques as Euskadi or Euskal Herria (‘the land of Basque Speakers’) and called El Pais Vasco in Spanish, this is where mountain peaks reach for the sky and sublime rocky coves are battered by mighty Atlantic swells. It’s a place that demands exploration beyond the delightful and cosmopolitan main cities of Bilbao, Vitoria and San Sebastián. You travel through the Basque Country always curious and frequently rewarded.
Photo credit: Bermeo in Basque Country /Pixabay – garciabilboa1
Euskadi, a small country with a big identity
The Basque Country may be small but it has a big identity. With over 5,000 years of history, it conserves a unique culture and the oldest language in Europe
Today it's a modern country with a human development rating that places it in eighth place in the world, according to the United Nations (PNUD).
Bilbao, cutting-edge metropolis, San Sebastián, beautiful and refined, or Vitoria-Gasteiz, our “green capital”.
The sea looms large in our landscape and history. Discover San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, the Urdaibai biosphere reserve and the Geopark... Soak up the flavour of our fishing ports.
...and try some freshly-caught fish washed down with our white wine, txakoli!
Mountains and valleys
The Basque mountains and valleys are a green paradise. There are nature parks throughout the region. These are spectacular places which are close at hand and accessible for visitors.
Connect with nature, discover our villages and customs as well as caves, chapels and legends...!
Small family wineries and large, avant-garde buildings, vineyards through which to stroll and find peace and quiet. Beautiful villages filled with charm like Laguardia…
Rioja Alavesa: a full range of attractions for wine holidays!
Gastronomy Basque Country
If you have never come north, you have a pending subject. When you discover the Basque Country you will fall in love with its landscapes, its people, its smells and, of course, its delicious Basque cuisine, one of the most recognized and appreciated internationally.
The Basque Country is the birthplace of prestigious chefs recognized around the world such as Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui, Elena Arzak, Luis Irizar and many others. This is certified by all the Michelin stars and the Repsol Suns of the Basque Country.
Art and culture
From little chapels perched on mountain tops to towering basilicas... Megalithic monuments that rub shoulders with avant-garde titanium structures. Museums, palaces, bridges and caves.
Extensive wetlands that are a paradise for birds and a biosphere reserve, a Geopark made up of cliffs that tell the story of our planet…
These are just some of the treasures among the Basque Country’s rich natural heritage!
Top 5 things to do Basque Country - Travel Guide
After traveling through the Basque country for a few days, I would like to share with you my favorite things do in the awesome region of Spain.
This is a quick travel guide showing you what to see and do while visiting País Vasco/Euskadi as the locals call it.
Hear about travel to the Basque Region of Spain as the Amateur Traveler talks to David Bumstead about his adopted country and region.
David is originally from England but has lived in the Basque Country for 35 years. David says of this area of Northern Spain, “We are talking about [an area] on the border with France in the Northwest corner of Spain. It’s on the Bay of Biscay, near the Pyrenees. It’s a beautiful combination of all sorts of different things. It’s got the Pyrenees. It’s got 3-4 vibrant cities It’s got rolling hills. It’s got great food, great beaches, the highest concentration of Michelin star restaurants in the world per head of the population, a mixture of cultures as well.”
Rick Steves' Europe Travel Guide | The homeland of the proud and resilient Basque people is split between France and Spain. From our San Sebastián home base, we tour the ancient Basque capital of Guernica, the dazzling Guggenheim Bilbao, and then across into France for more Basque Country charms. From yummy tapa bars to lightning-fast jai alai games, we'll experience Basque culture at its most vivid.
We hit 9 of the best off-the-beaten-path local pintxo bars in San Sebastian. Learn where to eat amazing pintxos and the rules for eating pintxos like a local in the Gros neighbourhood of San Sebastian! Topa! (Find out what that means in the video!)
In this video, I travel Vitoria-Gasteiz, a relatively unknown gem in Spain and one of its greenest and most liveable cities. It also has a very high quality of life and definitely worth keeping in mind if you are coming to live in or visit Spain.
The Basque Country awaits you. Which of its many faces is your favourite? Its beaches and fishing villages? The towns that seem like they were built yesterday? The forests covered in morning fog? The hills carpeted with green meadows? The quiet, curving roads that will take you to the heart of the country? The spectacular vineyard landscape? All of these? We know it’s hard to choose. That’s why we’ve created The Basque Route (#thebasqueroute) to take you past all faces of the Basque Country, so that you can choose the one you like best.
You could easily spend days, weeks even, exploring the sprawling Ishak Pasha Palace. The Pasha family spent over a century building this spectacular structure, beginning in 1685. A unique combination of Armenian, Georgian and Ottoman architecture, the fortress in Doğubayazıt, Turkey, was abandoned when the Ottoman Empire fell. But it quietly stands guard over the remote hills of eastern Turkey to this day.
In 2013 we broadcast live from our blockbuster exhibition Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum. This 90 minute broadcast presented by Bettany Hughes and Peter Snow includes interviews with Rachel De Thame, Giorgio Locatelli and Mary Beard. Please be advised this recording is BBFC rated as 12A and contains some sexual imagery and swearing, viewer discretion is advised. Life and death in Pompeii and Herculaneum was sponsored by Goldman Sachs. The exhibition was a collaboration with Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei. During this challenging time, we’re bringing inspiring stories of humanity’s shared histories and cultural achievements to millions of people online. Your support ensures that we can continue to make the collection and programmes like this one available to as many people as possible. If you can, please donate today: https://ow.ly/1e1Y30qHebG
From TAKE ME TO THE WORLD: A SONDHEIM 90TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION, a tribute to Broadway songwriting icon Stephen Sondheim created during the COVID-19 epidemic as a benefit for ASTEP (Artists Striving to End Poverty).
Any destination and other content featured which is not specific to JWH tours provided in this newsletter is for general information and knowledge purposes only and not an endorsement. The information is gathered through various sources and is subject to change at any time without notice. It is the sole responsibility of the traveller to check with the proper authorities regarding travel to all past, current and future JWH newsletter featured destinations.