Insider's Guide to Basque Country

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Basque Country RECOMMENDATIONS See all

Villages of Basque Country

By Viator, May 2014

4.5 14 Reviews | Add your review

Spain’s Basque Country is filled with Michelin star-rated cuisine, surf-able coastlines, and sweet little pueblos worth a wander. Whether you head east or west along the Bay of Biscay coast, or south and inland toward La Rioja wine country, here are a few of the region’s most visit-able villages.


This seaside border town (the French border, to be exact) captures a vibrant side of Spain like none other, with its rainbow-colored homes decorated with ornate wooden facades and flowerpot-bedecked balconies. Above the city, explore the fortressed old town with its still-standing medieval walls. Once inside, you can visit the Castle of Charles V (which now houses a Parador Hotel) and the 15th-century Gothic-style cathedral Santa Maria de la Asunción. After checking out the city, head for the coast: Hondarribia boasts a lengthy beach with waters suitable (when the moody northern weather permits) for surfing, swimming and jet skiing.


In the opposite direction, heading away from France, you’ll come upon another coastal town, Getaria. This fishing village is proudly the birthplace of historical figures like Juan Sebastián Elcano, who was Magellan’s second-in-command on his trip around the world, and, more recently, world-renowned fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga. Apart from a stop at Balenciaga’s namesake museum, a trip to the village should include abundant sampling of local delights like pescado a la brasa -- a barbequed fish -- and txakolí, the Basque dry white wine for which the region is especially renowned.


Steering away from the coast, venture inland to Spanish wine country and the Rioja region. For a particularly vino-filled experience, set your sights on the village of Laguardia. This walled-in town sits atop a maze of bodegas, so much so that sometimes the whole pueblo smells of grape and barrel. Wander the town’s narrow streets, snack on local cuisine (like pinchos, Basque Country’s answer to the tapa), or even venture underground to experience the Laguardia underworld for yourself.

Tours & Tickets

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San Sebastian and Biarritz

4.5 star rating: Recommended 44 Reviews

Admire the beauty of San Sebastian on a walking tour of the Old Quarter, before enjoying the food at the typical fishing village of Hondarribia. Delight ...  Read more

Location: Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 10 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.06

Vitoria and the Rioja Wine Region

4.5 star rating: Recommended 24 Reviews

The famous Rioja Wine region is a must for wine lovers visiting Spain. Located in the south of the Basque country, you will visit the village of Haro, the ...  Read more

Location: Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 9 hours (approx.)

From USD $99.06

Explore the Basque Coast

4.5 star rating: Recommended 12 Reviews

Follow the river road of Bilbao towards the coast and admire the old industrial areas that once powered Bilbao. You will visit the Transporter Bridge of ...  Read more

Location: Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $87.41

Elorrio, Oinati and Arantzazu

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

Discover the most inner areas of the Basque Country - rural villages, palaces, historical buildings and a breathtaking landscape. The essence of the unique ...  Read more

Location: Bilbao, Spain
Duration: 5 hours (approx.)

From USD $87.41

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