When to Go

Relatively clear skies and warm temperatures last from mid-April to mid-October, making the warm-weather months the best time of year to visit. Some shops and restaurants close in August.

Pamplona in July is bedlam, though for hard-core party animals it's heaven.

The Basque Country is rainy in the winter, but the bracing Atlantic weather can be invigorating if you're in the right mindset. Basque cuisine's heartiest, richest dishes taste their best when it's cold and damp outside.

The September film festival in San Sebastián coincides with the spectacular whaleboat regattas, while the beaches are still ideal and mostly uncrowded.

When looking for a place to stay, remember that the north is an expensive, well-to-do part of Spain, which is reflected in room rates—though some steals can be found in the off-season (and on Airbnb). San Sebastián is particularly pricey, and Pamplona rates triple during San Fermín in July. Be sure to book far ahead for summer travel.

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