Euskadi

 

Euskadi, or the Basque Country, is an Autonomous Community located in the north of Spain, bordering to the north the Bay of Biscay and France (Aquitaine region), to the south La Rioja, to the west Cantabria and Burgos and to the east Navarra. It has 3 provinces, Álava, Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa, and its capital is Vitoria-Gasteiz, which is the seat of the common institutions of the Basque Parliament and Government.

It has a total area of 7,234 km² and a population of 2,199,088 inhabitants (INE 2018), with Bilbao its most populated urban area.

Euskadi is a small country with a great identity that has more than 5,000 years of history, in fact there is evidence that the territory was inhabited from the Palaeolithic times. This long history is reflected in its unique culture and its own language, Euskera, the oldest language in all of Europe and of unknown origin.

In general, Euskadi enjoys a temperate, humid and rainy climate in the coastal area which becomes drier the more inland it goes, mainly after crossing the threshold of the plateau of the Plain of Alava. This climatic variety offers a diverse landscape consisting of plains, mountainous massifs and green forests and impressive cliffs and beaches, with waves up to 10 metres in height. 

Thus, nature lovers have plenty to discover in this territory, but visitors can also enjoy a rich historical and artistic heritage, which goes from cave paintings to contemporary buildings with avant-garde architecture, not forgetting the peculiarities of the local culture and traditions, such as the rural sports, the local fairs and festivals or the spectacular Basque gastronomy.

Check here the 10 reasons for coming to the Basque Country. 

Take a close look to the Responsible Tourist Guidewhich includes tips designed to help your trip to be an enriching and sustainable experience.

 

Points of Interest

*Images provided are under license from the Department of Tourism, Commerce and Consumption of the Basque Government

The Basque Coast

The sea is a great protagonist of the Basque landscape and history. The fact is that the Basque Country has more than 250 kilometres of coast where you can visit beautiful fishing villages, beaches surrounded by nature where you can do water activities such as surfing, impressive cliffs and natural spaces of singular value either due to their biodiversity or geology. 

Along the coast there are several seafaring towns worthy of being visited, that invite you to stroll through the narrow streets and admire their pretty ports at the same time as delighting the palate tasting fresh products from the sea accompanied by a nice glass of txakoli. 

We can also discover great monuments such as the suspension bridge of Bizkaia, declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2006, and the enclave San Juan de Gaztelugatxe that, away from the city centres, has been a setting in the famous television series Game of Thrones.

Regarding natural spaces, mention should be made of the Geopark of the Basque Coast with its 13 kilometres of cliffs that thanks to the Flysch, a formation of layers of rock, tells us, as if it were a book, the history of more than 60 million consecutive years of our planet. Finally, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve has a landscape of marshes full of life, with an spectacular observatory with privileged views, a must for bird lovers.

Montes

Mountains and Valleys

The humid climate that prevails in the Basque Country offers us a few spots of undeniable beauty, a green paradise where there are several natural parks, not very far from the big cities and that are easy to access, which allow us to get in touch with nature while we disconnect from the urban environment.

A good number of hiking trails of varying length and difficulty, MTB centre mountain bike fans, greenways, reservoirs and wetlands, caves, prehistoric remains such as dolmens, interpretation centres, spaces for bird watchers and small rural villages for soaking up the Basque culture and traditions, such as livestock grazing, are some of the options that await visitors in inland Euskadi.

There are nine natural parks in the Basque territory, each with its particular landscape, flora and fauna. All of them have Parketxes, or visitor centres, and they offer us the chance to do numerous outdoor activities.

Given its uniqueness, mention should be made of the Oma Forest, which the artist Agustín Ibarrola used as a canvas combining nature and art, or the Añana Salt Valley, an architectural, archaeological and historical landscape unique in the world formed by this salt works that is over 7,000 years old. 

Turismo Religioso

Pilgrimage: St. James Way and Ignatian Way

The St. James Way is a consolidated pilgrimage route of medieval origin that has various alternative routes. In the Basque Country we find both the Coast Way, one of the most primitive routes, which runs along the coast of Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia, but also delves into some of the inland areas, combining coastal and rural spaces. We can also find the Inland Way, which, crosses Gipuzkoa and Álava offering the pilgrim a great contrast of landscapes.

With a tour that starts in his birthplace in Azpeitia and ends in Manresa, the Ignatian Way recreates the journey made by Saint Ignatius of Loyola in his route to Jerusalem in 1522 and offers us a pilgrimage route that allows us, in addition to living an experience of personal development, to enjoy the varied landscapes and flavours in the approximately 150 kilometres that run through the Basque Country.

Facebook

Contact us

{emailcloak=off}