THE BASQUE COUNTRY
is a short introduction to the Basque Country, its cuisine and
culture and also some of our favourite towns to visit while you
are here. For restaurants, please take a look at our home
page for a list of our favourites in the area.
cooking enjoys a reputation for being one of the best cuisines
in the world. Mugaritz & Arzak are both in San Sebastian and were voted number 3 and 8 repectively in the San Pellegrino Top 100 restaurants in the world list.
This statement is corroborated by everyone who visits this region
and eats at a bar, restaurant, steakhouse or cider farm - the
food is excellent in the Basque Country. Another of the curiosities
of Basque cooking are the "pinchos" or "tapas",
small portions served in most bars and restaurants and which represent
another opportunity to try the delicacies of the region.
casco viejo in Bilbao vies with the parte vieja in San Sebastian
as the gastronomic epicentre of Spain and here was born the practise
of 'txikito' , the ultimate bar crawl. A group of friends move
from bar to bar, taking a small glass of wine or beer at each
- a txikito or chiquito - combined with a few mouthfuls of pintxos,
the Basque equivalent of tapas.
is a link about Basque Gastronomy!
Pelote is the name for a variety of court sports played with a ball using
one's hand, a racket, a wooden bat (pala), or a basket propulsor,
against a wall (fronton) or, more traditionally, with two teams
face to face separated by a line on the ground or a net. There
is no Basque village without an outside Pelote court – the
larger Basque cities also have a huge indoor court named a ‘Jai
pelota has been an exhibition olympic sport in Mexico '68
and Barcelona '92 and could be an exhibition sport in London
2012. International competitions are dominated by Basques
playing in either the Spanish or the French national teams. Professional
games are open to betting on the results.
is the jewel in the crown of Basque urban heritage. The white
houses with red or green timber standing on the banks of the Nive,
the narrow streets of Petit Bayonne and their lively night-time
activity, the shopping streets where you can find THE chocolate,
not forgetting the Bonnat Museum and the recently opened Basque
Museum … these are a few things not to be missed.
Lying between Bayonne and Biarritz, Anglet, the
nearest beach to Bayonne, is a resort that lives all year round.
Golf, surfing, thalassotherapy, traditional fetes and a variety
of sightseeing attractions are on the menu. Finally, Bidart, Guethary,
Ciboure, Socoa and Hendaye all provide welcoming resorts, botanical
gardens, fishing ports, boating harbours and sites to visit.
is an elegant city which was heavily influenced by the British
and is now capital of the Pyrenees Atlantiques. Although not in
the Basque country, it has very strong links and even a Basque
association. The city has excellent shops, restaurants and a beautiful
Jean de Luz
Saint-Jean-de-Luz like in Biarritz, fishing is a thriving tradition.
Obviously, sailors no longer hunt whales or sail to Newfoundland,
but the ports are still full of colour and activity… Saint-Jean-de-Luz
has some beautiful architectural pieces, notably the Maison Louis
XIV and the Maison de l’Infante, which provide a reminder
of the period spent by the Sun King.
Jean Pied de Port
was an important town, cross-roads of the route to Saint Jacques
de Compostelle, at the foot of the mountain pass, the Col de Ronceveaux.
For these reasons Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port has a rich history and
architecture. Well worth visiting are the ancient town houses
by the river Nive, the narrow streets, the church and the roman
Sebastian is the true gem of Basque resorts. With its blend of
cosmopolitan chic and delightful old-world feel, it’s the
quintessential summer getaway. The area invites tourists with
three beaches: the laid-back Ondaretta, the informal Playa de
Gros, and the famous Playa de la Concha, which looks out onto
a sparkling bay and is surrounded by a green, rolling countryside.
To complement the beaches, San Sebastian’s charming old
quarter is abuzz with cafes, bars, clubs and restaurants - be
sure to sample the tasty Pintxos (Basque tapas). For the best
views of the bay and town, climb atop Mount Urgull and Mount Igueldo.
this link about San Sebastian.
is the capital of Biscay Province, which is located in the Basque
Region of Spain. This coastal city has a shipbuilding history
and used to be known only as an industrial and economic power
within Spain. It is currently shedding that industrial skin and
is becoming an internationally renowned city, with such famous
attractions as the Guggenheim Art Museum. Since the construction
of this new age architectural masterpiece, which overlooks the
Nervión River, Bilbao has worked diligently to improve
the appearance of the riverfront area. In this growing city of
one million people, you can stroll along the walkways that parallel
the river, shop at stores like DKNY and Calvin Klein on the Gran
Vía, or explore the Old Town where you’ll discover
gothic churches, beautiful plazas, and some of Spain’s finest
restaurants and most popular nightlife locales.
this link about Bilbao