A mysterious land to indulge your inner gourmet
The Basque Country is a territory that will satisfy those who wish to feed the spirit as well as the body. This is a region with its own language, culture, and traditions. Known to locals as Euskadi, this is a place which demands exploration beyond the cosmopolitan and revamped Bilbao, or San Sebastian, an elegant seaside resort near the border of France that is the gastronomic capital of the region. Traveling through the area is a delightful foodie experience, no wonder the Basque Country features the largest number of Michelin starred restaurants in Spain.
As we leave the green and rugged fields of the north behind we enter La Rioja, worldwide famous for the quality of its vineyards, wine is indeed at the heart of La Rioja´s identity. But this region has many more charms than the various wine cellars that bear its international PDO. La Rioja showcases more than 500 wineries nestled in vast vineyards. While you’re here, you can discover tiny family owned and operated bodegas alongside massive industrial producers.
From industrial hub to cosmopolitan city. Bilbao is the entrance to the Basque cultural universe and a remarkable example of urban evolution.
BORN FROM ASHES
Bilbao is particularly famous for the spectacular Guggenheim Museum, and the cultural and architectural renaissance the city is experiencing. However, there is much more to see and learn about the city. Settled along the Nervion River in the early 14th century, this city has some serious history, indeed their presence here in the peninsula is believed date earlier than the first known migrations in Europe. The famous 7 Calles or 7 Streets of the old quarter of Bilbao contain some of the oldest architecture found in the city. Many of the structures that make up the Old quarter date back to the 1300s. Specifically, the Church of San Anton along the Nervion is one of the oldest religious buildings in Bilbao.
Known as the pearl of the Cantabrian Sea, this coastal cosmopolitan city delight visitors with its incomparable beauty.
San Sebastian is one of Spain’s loveliest cities and also quite the Gourmet Mecca, no wonder it boasts more Michelin stars than anywhere else in the world. It’s also within easy distance to the wine country, with the vineyards of Txakoli less than half an hour away and the mythical wine region of Rioja less than a two-hour drive. San Sebastian has one of the most glorious settings you could imagine- a small, pretty Belle Époque city nestled between the Bay of Biscay and the lush green hills of the Basque Country. The half moon bay of La Concha (meaning the shell, as this beach looks like a scallop shell) is one of Spain’s most beautiful urban beaches and leads into the Casco Viejo (Old Town). The old quarter is jammed pack with quaint tapas and pintxos bars, Basque cider houses and traditional restaurants.
Rich ochre soil and vast blue skies, medieval castles, Michelin starred restaurants, and modern architecture: La Rioja offers way beyond the best red wines in the country.
IN VINO VERITAS
La Rioja is without a doubt Spanish wine’s heartland, an absolute treat for the foodie, but specially for the wine lover! It is the sort of place where you could spend weeks wandering along quiet roads in search of hidden villages that shelter amazing wine museums. The region is world known for its red wines, which are matured with a vanilla mellowness. Aside from the wine attraction, among its many interesting historical spots in the northern area stands out the Cathedral of Santo Domingo de la Calzada, or the San Millan monastery. While heading to the south, you can cross endless vineyards, medieval villages, and little towns placed around venerable romanic churches and benedictine monasteries.