It may be one of the most visited countries in the world, but Spain still has a couple of surprises up its sleeve. And with a laundry list of reasons-to-go that includes revered regional cuisine and culture, distinct modern art and architecture, and impossibly beautiful cities like San Sebastian, The Basque Country may just be ready to take its place amongst the destinations in Europe you just don’t dare to miss.
The Basque Country retains an independent feel, noticeably different from the rest of Spain. And not just in the language, food and dewy climate but in the physical land itself. Gone are Mediterranean-scented meadows and the sunbaked landscapes of Andalucía, an in their place a wild, mountainous northern realm on the fringes of the Pyrenees and large reaches of rocky, untouched coastline battered by Atlantic swells.
Nowhere captures this more than San Sebastian – one of Lightfoot Travel’s favourite European hideaways – an utterly stunning bayside enclave with magnificent sweeping beaches and hotchpotch old town, framed by misty green hills. The seemingly never-ending number of Michelin-star restaurant sprouting up pay testament to San Sebastian’s world-famous reputation for eating. It’s probably the best place in region to dine on Basque tapas, pintxo, and amongst Spanish foodies, San Sebastian is often considered the gourmet capital of Spain.
Cosmopolitan and friendly, we always recommend stopping in Bilbao as part of your trip. While the Basque capital can’t compete with San Sebastian in the looks department, in personality and character it’s in a league of its own. Since the Guggenheim planted itself on the banks of the Nervion, this formerly down-at-the-heel industrial city has transformed into one of the hippest, urban art centres in Europe. Don’t skip it!
Enquire with your Lightfoot Travel Designer to learn more about expertly crafted holidays to Spain’s Basque Country.