Basque Country

The best thing to see in the Basque Country. The essential places to visit

If you are thinking about the essential places to see in the Basque Country, here we are going to make a list of what you should visit if you are traveling in this beautiful region of northern Spain where you can enjoy incredible cities, Charming towns, fantastic beaches, nature and many more places.

The Basque Country is a perfect destination to visit during the summer because the temperatures are usually more pleasant than in the rest of Spain, but any time is good to enjoy its wonders and its gastronomy.

In order to be able to visit the Basque Country in a more organized way and not to miss anything, we are going to divide the visits that you can make by province. Also remember that the Basque Country is also called Euskadi as it is a bilingual autonomous community. Many of the destinations that we will talk about here will be written in Spanish and others in Basque or even both.

What to see in the Basque Country

What to see in the province of Vizcaya

Bilbao, the largest city

Bilbao - San Anton ChurchThe main city to visit in the Basque Country is Bilbao, the largest and most industrial and also one of the cities in Spain that offers you the most cultural offer together with its incredible gastronomy and also its architecture.

Perhaps the best-known place in Bilbao is the Guggenheim Museum, built in an area that has undergone a great transformation in recent years, recovering an enviable part of the city for Bilbao residents and tourists. But it is not the only thing you can visit. Strolling through the Casco Viejo, where the Cathedral is located, is another great option.

And of course, do not miss the Ensanche de Bilbao or stop approaching the Vizcaya Bridge, located very close to the mouth of the Nervión.

The Basque Coast of Biscay

The Basque Country is full of fishing villages along its entire coast that will not leave you indifferent and where you can enjoy a typical seafaring atmosphere and an enviable gastronomy.

One of those towns that you must visit is without a doubt Bermeo, which became the main city of the Señorío de Vizcaya and is one of the most important fishing villages in Spain. In addition to strolling through its port or through its squares and streets, you can also visit one of the most visited places in the Basque Country, such as San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, a hermitage on top of a rock that is accessed via 241 steps.

But Bermeo is not the only town you should visit on the Costa de Vizcaya. There are also other very beautiful ones such as Plentzia, Bakio, Lekeitio or almost on the border with Guipuzcoa, the beautiful Ondarroa. A wonderful route along cliffs and fishing villages.

Gernika and the most famous tree in the Basque Country

We can say little about Gernika that you don’t already know. It is one of the places with the most history in the Basque Country and best known even outside of Spain.

The most famous place in Gernika is the Casa de Juntas, where the meetings of the old Señoría de Vizcaya were held. It is a monumental complex with a neoclassical building, of which the Plenary Hall stands out, next to which is the famous Tree of Gernika, under which those meetings were held.

Undoubtedly, a political and historical symbol for the Basques that is still used today as the place where the Lehendakari is sworn in.

Durango and its region

One of the most beautiful cities to see in the Basque Country, in the interior of the province of Biscay, is undoubtedly Durango, a town with a great historical legacy and also with a great industrial activity that makes it one of the most advanced cities of the community.

Strolling through Durango is a unique experience in which you can enjoy places as interesting as the Church of San Pedro de Tabira or the Basilica of Santa María de Uribarri, as well as several palaces and stately homes.

The region where Durango is located is called Duranguesado, Durangaldea in Euskera, where you can visit towns such as Elorrio or the Urkiola Natural Park, one of the best natural areas in the Basque Country.

Balmaseda and the Kadagua Route

The Kadagua River is one of the rivers that crosses the Basque Country on its way to its mouth in the Cantabrian Sea. And along it we find beautiful villages that we want to recommend to you on a very interesting route to do by car.

The main of those towns that you will find along the river is Balmaseda where we can admire its Old Town presided over by the Old Bridge, the most famous monument in this town.

Other towns that you can visit along the Kadagua River are Zalla or Güeñes. And although it is not directly bathed by the river, Abellaneda is very close, another historical place in the region.

What to see in the province of Guipúzcoa

San Sebastián, the Pearl of the Bay of Biscay

San Sebastian - La Concha Beach

San Sebastian and Asturias

Bilbao is the biggest city, but for us and for many, San Sebastián is the most beautiful city. Located between 2 mountains in the Bahía de la Concha, strolling through the streets of San Sebastián is an experience that you will not be able to forget and that you will want to repeat every time you are near here.

Playa de la Concha is one of the most beautiful in Spain, although it is not the only one in the city. The Old Town of San Sebastián is another great wonder with a network of streets and squares in which you will want to get lost.

And to all this we must add palaces and stately homes that you can only find here, a neo-Gothic Cathedral and an enviable gastronomy. In addition, with several of the most beautiful beaches in the Basque Country.

The Flysch Route. The western coast of Guipúzcoa

The Guipúzcoa coast is also full of fishing villages and dreamlike landscapes along the Cantabrian Sea. And if we go to the west, to the west of San Sebastian we find the Ruta del Flysch, an area of ​​cliffs and beaches that you cannot miss, being considered one of the most important flysch on the Spanish coast.

Along the Flysch Route we are going to find different charming towns that will leave you speechless, as will the views you will have from the road that joins them. The westernmost of all is Mutriku, possibly the prettiest of all. But we must also highlight Deba and Zumaia.

On the western coast of Guipúzcoa we also find 2 other relevant towns, such as Getaria and its famous Ratón and, of course, Zarautz, which is probably the most touristic town on the Basque coast.

The eastern coast of Guipúzcoa

If, on the other hand, we move to the east of San Sebastián, we will also find beautiful fishing villages, some with a lot of history and wonderful landscapes.

The most beautiful of all is surely Hondarribia, located next to the French border and very close to Irún, another very important town in the Basque Country. We can continue towards the rest of the towns by climbing Mount Jaizkibel and have very nice views of the coast.

The other great hidden gem on the eastern coast of Guipúzcoa is Pasaia, a seaside town with great charm that you will have to walk around and enjoy.

The Route of the 3 Temples

Another of the fantastic routes to do in the Basque Country is the so-called Route of the 3 Temples, a route that takes you through some of the most important religious temples in the Basque Country.

The first of these is the Sanctuary of Loyola, located in Azpeitia. It is a monumental complex built around the birthplace of San Ignacio de Loyola, the founder of the Society of Jesus, being one of the most visited places in the Basque Country.

Along with it, the Hermitage of Santa María, in Zumárraga, also known as the Hermitage of La Antigua, a place of legends, and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu, in Oñati, a place of pilgrimage to which to go at least once in the life.

What to see in Alava

Vitoria, the capital of the Basque Country

Álava is the least known province of the Basque Country and that Vitoria is its capital. Not being bathed by the sea is a disadvantage, but the truth is that both the province and Vitoria have much to offer the visitor.

The beautiful city of Vitoria is built around the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca, next to which is the Plaza de España. Touring the Historic Center of Vitoria will take you through some dreamy alleys to its Cathedral, the most important monument in the city.

Vitoria also offers other attractions such as the Green Belt or the museums that can be found in the city.

The guard

Another of the essential towns to see in the Basque Country is Laguardia, located in the Rioja Alavesa region, of which it is the capital, and where we can enjoy some streets with a spectacular medieval layout.

The city of Laguardia was key to the Kingdom of Navarre from the 10th century onwards and in it we can find important churches accompanied by incredible medieval, baroque, Renaissance and neoclassical buildings, among which the Casa de la Primicia stands out.

It is also a perfect destination if you are a wine lover thanks to its wineries, many of which you can enjoy in a guided way.

The Rioja Alavesa

We said that Laguardia is the capital of the Rioja Alavesa. But this is not the only interesting town that we can visit in this region so linked to wine.

In addition, we can also visit others such as Labastida, with its Old Town and its underground cellars, or Elciego, where, in addition to the streets and squares of its Old Town, we can admire the Bodega Marqués de Riscal, an incredible architectural work by Frank Ghery.

Other interesting towns in the Rioja Alavesa are Lanciego, Salinillas de Buradón or Samaniego, all with a beautiful medieval touch.

You can find more information on the official tourism page of the Basque Country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button