I am doing a 6-part series of the six regions of Spain you must visit. This is the first part of the series, Basque Country.
The Baque Country autonomous community in Spain is part of a greater Basque Country region that spans parts of northern Spain and southern France and is the ancestral home to the Basque People. The Basque People are characterized by the Basque language, common culture and shared genetic ancestry.
Bilbao, founded in 1300 by Diego López V de Haro, is the largest city in the Basque Country autonomous community. It is home to the modern and iconic Bilbao Guggenheim Museum as well as a rich, historic centre, pedestrian streets, shopping areas and a wide variety of restaurants and cafes.
Bilbao has been nominated for and won awards for urbanism for its infrastructure investments, including the modern rapid transit system and tram line.
Getxo, founded in 1075, is a town north of Bilbao on the coast of Spain and centred on the little fishing village of Algorta.
Some of the historical monuments in Getxo include the Andra Mari Church, La Galea Fort, and the Puente Colgante connecting Getxo with Portugalete.
Portugalete, founded in 1322, is located next to Getxo on the left bank of the Estuary of Bilbao and connected by the Puente Colgante.
It was the main port for greater Bilbao until 1511 when it lost that position to the city of Bilbao.
Monuments in Portugalete include the 15th-century Basílica of Santa María, Salazar’s Tower, and the town hall in addition to the old medieval arches and streets in the older part of the city.
San Sebastián, founded in 1180 and located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, is one of the most famous tourist destinations in Spain and was the European Capital of Culture in 2016.
San Sebastián is the perfect destination for hanging out at the beach, hiking, long shopping promenades, old churches and some of the best restaurants Spain has to offer.
It is a pricier destination, but worth it for a night or two just to experience the city’s ambience.
Stay tuned for part two of the six regions of Spain you must visit, Andalusia. Until then, happy travels and keep wandering.