Unique in its own right, the Basque Country is like no other vacation destination. Straddling the border between Spain and France, this age-old territory is bristling with history that pre-dates both of its neighbours, and even has its own ancestral language to differentiate itself. With a gorgeous Atlantic coastline offering some of the world’s best surfing, as well as beautiful forested countryside, trendy cities and sumptuous cuisine, a vacation to Spain’s Basque Country comes with all the trimmings.
The cosy city of San Sebastián is tucked away on the coast of the Bay of Biscay. Foodies take note: the city has no fewer than six Michelin-starred restaurants and hundreds of tapas bars - or pintxos as they are known in the region. Spend your vacation exploring the city’s many treasures, which saw it named the European Capital of Culture in 2016, and enjoy what are widely regarded as some of the finest city beaches in Europe.
Once a thriving industrial centre, Bilbao reinvented itself at the turn of the century, blossoming into a cultural gem. Branding the city like a futuristic centrepiece, the arrival of the Guggenheim Museum gave the city a whole new breath of life, transforming Bilbao into an arts hub packed with galleries and progressive architecture. Meanwhile, a vibrant and bustling old town retains the city’s traditional character in an alluring juxtaposition of old and new.
A taste of La Rioja can be found across the globe, but nothing beats the real thing. For the wino, a vacation to northern Spain is incomplete without a stop in this illustrious viticulture region. La Rioja is the province sitting just below Basque Country, and its 500-plus vineyards produce some of the world’s finest quality wines. In addition to this, you’ll discover the famous Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route weaving through the region, which snakes its way across traditional towns, ancient settlements and forested hillsides.