The Basques of northern Spain and southern France have a language and culture that are among the oldest in all of Europe. This mysterious corner of the earth has not been widely explorer by tourists, but thanks to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, this is all starting to change. However, most visitors of the Basque Country go to see Bilbao and possible San Sebastian, while totally neglecting the rest of the region. Why? Probably because they have no idea where else to go and what the Basque Country has to offer. This is why I have put together this list of insider information to help make you stay more complete and enjoyable.
Every year Vitoria is rated as one of the top cities in Spain to live in and last year was the winner of the European Union’s Green Capital award for its massive amount of parks and green areas. Vitoria also proudly boasts one of the most intact medieval centers of the entire region. This down to earth city should not be overlooked and makes a great between stop for those on their way to the Rioja wine region.
This world famous wine region is home to the best wine of Spain. One of the best villages to check out is Laguardia in the Rioja Alavesa. It is a walled town where no cars are allowed to drive. This is because there are tunnels under the entire village and the weight of cars can not be supported. These tunnels have been used for hundreds of years for the production of wine and many can still be toured. This is a great chance to get away from the mass produced wine facilities of today and see how the production has been done manually over the centuries.
This small town just south of Pamplona is home to a fairy tale castle. In reality, it is not actually a castle but a palace, since King Charles III did not use it for military purposes but rather as a residence. It is non the less impressive and has numerous towers that can be climbed, each giving a unique perspective of the town and surrounding countryside below.
Getaria is situated on the coast halfway between Bilbao and San Sebastian. It is in the heart of the Txakoli wine growing region and gives visitors the opportunity to try this unique white wine found only in the Basque Country. In addition, there are numerous restaurants serving fresh caught fish straight from the grill. Several beaches can also be found nearby for those in search of fun in the sun.