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4 Ways to Discover the Basque Country, Spain

The Basque Country is a beautiful and unique region in Northern Spain. Despite being small, it has everything a traveler could want. From a breathtaking coastline with lovely beaches by an evergreen mountainside to international tourist attractions that showcase a rich local culture. And world-renowned chefs that give a new perspective to delicious traditional dishes. However, there are many different ways to discover the Basque Country; here we’re going to mention 4 of those.

TAKEAWAY: You may believe that you hadn’t heard of the Basque Country before. But you probably know more things about it than you think. For example, you have probably heard of the Guggenheim museum designed by Frank Gehry, the delectable pintxos in San Sebastian’s old quarter or Dragonstone, seat to Daenerys Targaryen from TV series Game of Thrones (which was actually filmed on the Basque islet of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe).

Have Fun on a Cycling Tour

 

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Una publicación compartida de Montefusco Cycling (@montefusco_cycling) el

If you are a sportsperson, this option might be a fun way for you to explore this Spanish region and its surrounding provinces. Montefusco Cycling organizes a 5-day cycling tour to discover the Basque Country. The trip starts in Hondarribia, a coastal Basque town by the French border. This will allow you to spend the day learning a bit about Basque culture and its language. And to enjoy the night tasting typical pintxos in San Sebastian.

The following days, you will be able to explore from your bike the French Basque Country, and the Spanish provinces of Navarre and La Rioja. During this trip, you will also have a chance to eat a typical Basque dinner or to visit a winery and try local white wines like txakoli. As you can see, this cycling tour will not only offer you the chance of exploring the beautiful mountainside of the Basque Country, but it will also allow you to taste local foods that you will not soon forget.

Touch The Sky on a Balloon Trip

 

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Una publicación compartida de Jorge (@instanjorge) el

For a once in a lifetime experience, opt for a balloon trip of the Basque Country. This activity is not for the faint of heart but will allow you to touch the sky and capture privileged views of the area. You can choose to take off from the capital of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz, for an overview of the city and the surrounding wine territories. Or you may prefer to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Salto del Nervión and the valley below. This waterfall, with over 220 meters, is the highest of the Iberian Peninsula, and it’s the birthing place of Bilbao’s tidal river. The balloon trip takes around an hour, and you will have the chance to toast with cava and have a well-deserved breakfast afterward.

Explore Bilbao’s Metropolitan Area Through The Way of St. James

 

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Una publicación compartida de Lalla’s Milano (@lallasmilano) el

The section of the Way of St. James that passes through the Basque Country is a beautiful tour for nature and culture lovers alike. However, the stage between Bilbao and Portugalete might be one of the most interesting ones. Bilbao has changed a lot in the last few decades. What once was an industrialized grey town, it has now become a modern, colorful, cosmopolitan city. And walking by the river, you will find lots of structures that will reference this industrial past. Starting at San Antón‘s church, the center of medieval Bilbao, walk towards the sea to find the Mercado de la Rivera market, the Guggenheim Museum, the remnants of old factories, etc.

Finally, you will get to Portugalete’s suspension transporter bridge, which connects the two sides of the estuary. This bridge, designed by one of Gustave Eiffel’s disciples in the 1890s, is one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. Cross in the suspended gondolas or take the elevator to get to the top of the bridge, at 50 meters high, to get the best views of the Abra Bay. If you are an adrenaline junkie, you can even book an appointment to do bungee jumping from the Biscay bridge.

Taste Wine From The World’s First Underwater Wine Cellar

 

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Una publicación compartida de Bodega Crusoe Treasure (@crusoetreasure) el

“Crusoe Treasure” is the world’s first underwater wine cellar/artificial reef. Located in the spectacular bay of Plentzia, the winery preserves white and red wines for 6, 9 or 12 months underwater. To taste their unique products, they organize boat trips to the cellar while they explain the history of “Crusoe Treasure” and show you pictures of the reef. Once there, you will have the chance of trying some of their best wines along with a selection of the most representative and tasty Basque pintxos. This is a unique experience for wine lovers, who will discover the Basque Country and the influence the Cantabric Sea has on it and its flavors.

These are just a few ways to discover the Basque Country, but there are many more options that will adapt to each traveler’s needs or desires. Whether you are a biker, a nature or art lover, a surfer, a foodie, an architecture fan, a wine aficionado, a speleologist or simply a travel enthusiast, the Basque Country has you covered. Would you choose any of these plans or would you prepare your own customized tour? Tell us in the comments!

About Maite Aja

Maite Aja is our Content Editor and Graphic Designer. She has recently graduated in Advertising and Public Relations and is specializing in an area that she loves: digital marketing. She's curious and passionate and enjoys spending her free time reading or watching TV series.

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