The Basque Country enjoys a landscape as diverse. The rugged Atlantic coastline, luscious green forests and meadows dotted with typical Basque farmhouses, a succession of mountain ranges and the Rioja plains to the South.
The Atlantic coastline of the Gipuzkoa region provides a mix of dramatic sheer cliffs, long sandy beaches and traditional fishing ports. Stroll through Hondarribia’s old quarter near the French frontier, take a boat across the bay of Pasaia, enjoy the old and new charms of Spain’s quintessential summer resort San Sebastian , surf internationally renowned breaks at Zarautz or marvel at 50 million years of history in the sea cliffs of Zumaia.
Moving west along the coast you reach the rugged coastline of Bizkaia, softened by the beauty of interspersed beaches, idyllic fishing villages and river estuaries. Bizkaia’s capital is the one-time grey, polluted industrial mass of Bilbao which has successfully re-invented itself as a European city of culture. It houses the inspiring Guggenheim Museum of modern art, which has achieved international renown and a beautiful Old Quarter to explore.
Separating Gipuzkoa and Bizkaia you will find Debabarrena . Set around the Deba river estuary it is a mix of fine coastal paths holding unique geological interest, uncrowded beaches and water sports to enjoy such as surfing and sailing.
Moving inland the Basque hills of Gipuzkoa are dotted with large Basque farmhouses and surrounded by traditions largely unchanged for centuries. Amongst the spectacular rolling hillsides are traditional towns full of charm and character such as Tolosa (known for the pure Basque spoken), Bergera with its delightfully preserved old quarter, Azpeitia - the birthplace of Ingatius Loyala, founder of the Jesuits) and Onati with its splendid architecture and dramatic setting hidden between the Aralart and Arantzazu mountains.
This area is known as País Vasco in Spanish and Euskadi in Basque. The Basque people have preserved a unique culture, the jewel of which is its language, Euskera, a pre-Indoeuropean tongue whose mysterious origin has never been established.
For those looking for an active holiday you will be spoilt in the Basque Country. Hill walking, rock climbing, potholing, mountain biking, horse riding, paragliding and the whole range of water sports provide an almost endless selection of ways for you to enjoy the Basque Country.