Bilbao and the Basque Country: Places to Explore


  • Axpe

    The village of Axpe, in the valley of Atxondo, nestles under the limestone heights of 4,777-foot Amboto—one of the highest peaks in the Basque Country outside the Pyrenees. Home of the legendary Basque... Read more

  • Bilbao

    Time in Bilbao (Bilbo, in Euskera) may be recorded as BG or AG (Before Guggenheim, After Guggenheim). Never has a single monument of art and architecture so radically changed a city. Frank Gehry's stunning... Read more

  • Elantxobe

    The tiny fishing village of Elantxobe (Elanchove in Spanish) is surrounded by huge, steep cliffs, with a small breakwater that protects its fleet from the storms of the Bay of Biscay. The view of the port... Read more

  • Estella

    Once the seat of the Royal Court of Navarra, Estella (Lizarra in Euskera) is an inspiring stop on the Camino de Santiago.... Read more

  • Getaria and Zumaia

    Zumaia and Getaria are connected along the coast road and by several good footpaths.... Read more

  • Haro

    Haro is the wine capital of La Rioja. Its Casco Viejo (Old Quarter) and best taverns are concentrated along the loop known as La Herradura (the Horseshoe), with the Santo Tomás church at the apex of its... Read more

  • The Highlands

    The rivers forming the seven main valleys of the Ebro basin originate in the Sierra de la Demanda, Sierra de Cameros, and Sierra de Alcarama. Ezcaray is La Rioja's skiing capital in the valley of the Rio... Read more

  • Hondarribia

    Hondarribia (Fuenterrabía in Spanish) is the last fishing port before the French border. Lined with fishermen's homes and small fishing boats, the harbor is a beautiful but touristy spot. If you have a... Read more

  • Laguardia

    Founded in 908 to stand guard—as its name suggests—over Navarra's southwestern flank, Laguardia is on a promontory overlooking the Ebro River and the vineyards of the Rioja Alavesa–La Rioja wine country... Read more

  • La Rioja Alta

    The Upper Rioja, the most prosperous part of La Rioja's wine country, extends from the Ebro River to the Sierra de la Demanda. La Rioja Alta has the most fertile soil, the best vineyards and agriculture... Read more

  • Logroño

    A busy industrial city of 152,000, Logroño has a lovely old quarter bordered by the Ebro and medieval walls, with Breton de los Herreros and Muro Francisco de la Mata the most characteristic streets.... Read more

  • Mundaka

    Tiny Mundaka, famous with surfers all over the world for its left-breaking roller at the mouth of the Ría de Gernika, has much to offer nonsurfers as well. The town's elegant summer homes and stately houses... Read more

  • Pamplona

    Pamplona (Iruña in Euskera) is known worldwide for its running of the bulls, made famous by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel The Sun Also Rises. The occasion is the festival of San Fermín, July 6–14... Read more

  • Pasajes de San Juan

    Generally marked as Pasai Donibane, in Euskera, there are actually three towns around the commercial port of Rentería: Pasajes Ancho, an industrial port; Pasajes de San Pedro, a large fishing harbor; and... Read more

  • San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

    This tiny, gemlike hermitage clinging to its rocky promontory over the Bay of Biscay is 231 steps up along a narrow corridor built into the top of a rocky ledge connecting what would otherwise be an island... Read more

  • San Sebastián

    San Sebastián (Donostia in Euskera) is a sophisticated city arched around one of the finest urban beaches in the world, La Concha (The Shell), so named for its resemblance to the shape of a scallop shell... Read more

  • Vitoria-Gasteiz

    Vitoria's standard of living is currently rated among the highest in Spain, based on such criteria as population (235,661), green space per inhabitant (31.3 square meters), sports and cultural facilities... Read more