Culture & Travel

29 March 2024

Located on the northern coast of Spain, the Basque Country is one of Europe's most captivating destinations, boasting both natural beauty and cultural richness. With its border with France, the Basque Country's capital is Vitoria-Gasteiz. In this region dominated by Basque culture, Basque is frequently spoken alongside Spanish. The unique features of Basque culture never fail to enchant visitors, offering a completely different experience to explore with its folklore, cuisine, dances, stories, and music. In this article, we aim to explain in 10 points why you should visit the Basque Country, one of Europe's favorite regions with its natural beauty.

Culture

Undoubtedly, the first attraction of the country is Basque culture. Basque culture is a colorful and deep-rooted culture maintained by the Basque people living in the northern region of Spain. One of the best reflections of their culture is the Basque language. The linguistic origins of Basque are unknown. It is a language spoken by an average of 750,000 people. Festivals with different themes, which play an important role in Basque culture, are organized every year. Those curious about Basque culture can familiarize themselves with the region by reading a few articles before visiting.

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Cuisine

The cuisine, an integral part of Basque culture, is undoubtedly one of the factors that make it attractive. In Basque cuisine, fish and seafood, as well as vegetables, meat, spices, and nuts, stand out. If you are considering visiting the Basque Country, you can try traditional dishes such as Marmitako, Bacalao al pil pil, Txangurro, Pintxos, Cheesecake, among others. In the traditional cuisine dominated by seafood, it is possible to find a different dish suitable for every taste.

Tourist Attractions

The Basque Country is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Spain. You can find many details that will add color to your visit with its natural areas, beaches, and cultural heritage. Those interested in the country's historical and cultural values can visit the Guggenheim Museum, the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, and the Artium Museum. You can also visit iconic landmarks of the city like the Peine del Viento Sculpture and the Santa Maria Cathedral. Additionally, surf enthusiasts can enjoy spending time at La Concha Beach and Zarautz, two of Europe's most beautiful beaches.

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Coastal Views

You can witness magnificent sunset views in the Basque Country. There are many special spots in the country for this. Especially those who love photography will greatly appreciate these views. From rugged cliffs to sandy beaches, there is a coastline that will captivate anyone. In addition to coastal views, you can also sunbathe, swim, and surf along the coast, visiting popular destinations such as San Sebastian and Biarritz.

Historical Cities

Due to the country's rich history, there are many cities in the region that may interest you and enchant you with their historical atmosphere. One of these cities is Bilbao. The Santiago Cathedral, dating back to the 14th century, is one of the most visited spots in Bilbao. Bilbao is the richest city in terms of museums and cultural centers. San Sebastian, on the other hand, is more famous for summer tourism. Its colorful beaches, restaurants, and cafes promise tourists a memorable vacation. Vitoria-Gasteiz is another important historical city in the country. It is home to historical structures such as the Santa Maria Cathedral from the 12th century and the Palacio de Escoriaza-Esquivel from the 16th century.

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Natural Beauties

In the Basque Country, renowned for its natural areas, parks, valleys, and mountains, there are plenty of places you should see. For instance, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List, has enchanting tidal pools and seabirds, creating a captivating atmosphere. Aizkorri-Aratz National Park, with its dense forests, lush valleys, and limestone cliffs, is also among the country's most remarkable places. Gaztelugatxe Island, with its ancient monastery and stunning sea views, truly mesmerizes visitors.

Vineyards

The Rioja region, located in the Basque Country, is famous for wine production. You might want to see the sprawling vineyards and charming towns in Txakoli. Additionally, it's known for producing some of the world's finest wines. If you're interested, you can join wine tasting tours organized in this region. You can also explore the vineyards and learn some fascinating facts during these tours.

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Festivals

Basque festivals are not only well-known in Spain but also across Europe, attracting participants from far and wide. If your schedule allows, you might want to experience the Basque culture, entertainment, and enthusiasm up close by attending these festivals. Every year, Tamborrada takes place on January 20th, San Fermín runs from July 6th to 14th, and Virgen Blanca festivals are held from August 4th to 9th. If you plan to attend any of these festivals, it might be wise to familiarize yourself with the festival's content and concept beforehand to actively participate.

Warm-hearted People

The Basque people are generally warm-hearted and friendly individuals. Hence, during your visit to the Basque Country, you'll witness firsthand how hospitable they are. You don't need a reason to strike up a conversation with the locals. These people are extremely courteous to tourists and will assist you in every way possible throughout your visit.

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Reasonable Prices

Compared to other European regions, the Basque Country is relatively more affordable in terms of accommodation, dining, and activities. You can consider booking your accommodation in advance before visiting the country to avail of more budget-friendly options. However, since there are accommodation and dining options to suit every budget in the country, it's possible to have an economical holiday.

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