Getting Oriented

Note: The Basque Country, known as "Euskadi" in the Basque language, spills over the French border with two provinces located outside Spain. For ease of reading, we chose not to use qualfiers like "Spanish" when mentioning Spain's autonomous region as the French Basque Country is not covered in this guide.

  • Bilbao and Inland Basque Country. Starring Frank Gehry's titanium brainchild—the Museo Guggenheim Bilbao—Bilbao has established itself as one of Spain's 21st-century magnets. Medieval Vitoria is the capital of Álava and the whole Basque Country, and is relatively undiscovered by tourists.
  • San Sebastián and the Basque Coast. San Sebastián lures travelers with its sophistication, a wide crescent beach, and endless pintxos (tapas). Along the coast are fishing villages, scenic ports, beautiful beaches, and sylvan hillsides.
  • Navarra and Pamplona. Navarra offers much more than Pamplona's running-with-the-bulls blowout party. The green Pyrenean hills to the north contrast with the lunar Bárdenas Reales to the southeast, and the wine country south of Pamplona leads to lovely Camino de Santiago way stations like Estella.
  • La Rioja. La Rioja may be Spain's most renowned wine region, but there are culinary jewels to uncover in the Sierra de la Demanda mountain range and in the charming towns of Logroño, Haro, and Laguardia.

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