Green, rugged and with a cliff-ringed Atlantic coastline, the autonomous community of the Basques sits pretty in the western Pyrenees, stretching for about 100 miles from Bilbao in Spain to Bayonne in France. Here you’ll find characterful cities, sunny beaches, amazing landscapes, jagged sierras, and of course, the ancient, unique culture of the Basques.
Industrious, financial hub Bilbao sparkles with daring modern architecture such as the Guggenheim modern-art museum. Holidaymakers and weekenders flock to the charming upscale resort of Sebastian with its dramatic moon-shaped beach. The traditional small towns of Lekeitio and Hondarribia colour the region in bright, welcoming hues.
The region is renowned for its beauty, from villages adorned with white-walled, red-and-green-shuttered homes, to lush, rolling hills and the peaks of the Pyrenees soaring high above the Atlantic. Surfers brave the waves while sun worshippers soak up the rays on golden sands.
You’ll find that the special nature of Basque cultural identity is one of the region’s greatest draws. Considering themselves separate from Spain, the Basque people speak an ancient language, “Euskara”, guard their own traditions and have developed a cuisine that alone is reason enough to pay a visit to the region – San Sebastian’s restaurant scene has been heralded by world-renowned chefs as among the ‘best in the world’ and while you’re here, you can look forward to enjoying the freshest seafood, delicious Basque tapas known as “pinxtxos” and internationally acclaimed wines.
What to do
- Lounge on sunny beaches
- Hike in the Pyrenees Mountains
- Vists the Guggenheim Bilbao modern-art museum
- Stay at the glittering resort of San Sebastian
- Take a trip to beautiful traditional small towns, such as Lekeitio and Hondarribia
- Enjoy "pintxos", Basque tapas