In the last years, there has been a deep renewal of the concept of a wine cellar; these are being rebuilt and enhanced for boosting Enotourism (the tourism of wine).
Wine culture has created an interesting link with food, art, natural environment and body care. There are a wide range of activities: from a visit to the cellar, wine tasting or sophisticated beauty treatment, based on vinotherapy.
For those passionate about wine culture, many of the most important cellars have carried out ambitious architectural projects to continue providing high-quality wines and bring them closer to general public. There are cellars with a long history behind them who combine wisely tradition and modernity.
Marques de Riscal winery was founded in 1858 and a new building designed by the Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry (who also designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao) host a luxury hotel, two restaurants and a Vinotherapy Spa.
It is an spectacular marriage of traditional and avant-garde design, attracts visitors from all over the world and boost the image of Rioja.
It is an avant-garde wine-cellar fully integrated into the landscape in an idyllic enclave in the Sierra de Cantabria. Designed by the architect Santiago Calatraba, the impressive design reminds some of the buildings in Gaudi’s Parc Güell in Barcelona.
Ysios Winery has become in the pioneer of author wine in Rioja and develops expressive and delicious reserve wines from singular coupages.
The exclusive SPA Vinothérapie® Caudalie Marqués de Riscal possesses extensive facilities dedicated to your wellbeing, in the best imaginable environment. Allow yourself to be pampered by the hands of our expert vinotherapists who will carry out outstanding treatments with Caudalie products; products whose extraordinary antioxidant properties have been recognised by doctors and surgeons all over the world.
In the heart of Rioja Alavesa, the exclusive Wine & Oil Spa offers a health and beauty centre that bases its treatments on wine and olive oil. The centre has nearly 1000 sq m and it is divided in two areas, the large one dedicate to the spa circuit and another one with 15 cabins for treatments. The Wine Oil Spa Villa de la Guardia has awards such as "Best off" wine tourist services.
The Spa of Cestona is settling in a building of the late 19th century and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens that can be considered a botanical garden. Its waters of strong mineralization are particularly suitable for treating digestive and locomotive problems, and the Spa also offers Relax and Wellness treatments and Beauty treatments.
Located in an incomparable environment, The Karrantza Valley, the Spa offer to visitors the chance to benefit from the water's therapeutic properties in a rural and quiet place. Its mineral waters are specially recommended for treating rheumatism, respiratory problems and nervous system alterations.
La Perla Thalassotherapy Centre is one of the landmarks that still remains in San Sebastian from the city’s Belle Époque. Over a century ago, Queen María Cristina established her summer residence here.
It is now one of the biggest and best urban thalassotherapy centres in Europe, with a central location at the very heart of La Concha Bay. A unique setting, where seawater is used to achieve true relaxation therapy and body toning.
In the Basque Country local Fiestas take place all year long and they offer the possibility to have a good time as well as know the old Basque traditions.
We would like to highlight the Fiesta of the three capitals: Vitoria, San Sebastian and Bilbao.
The party begins in Vitoria-Gasteiz with the Blanca's Fiesta (1st week of August). It takes place in honour of the Snow's Virgin.
It continues with La Semana Grande Donostiarra (San Sebastián), it is organized around the festivity of the Virgin Day (15th August). To highlight the gastronomic competitions and the fireworks that takes place in the lovely Bahía de La Concha.
The Aste Nagusia or Semana Grande of Bilbao begins on first Saturday after 15th of August. There are characteristic characters as Gargantúa and Marijaia (cardboard giant Queen of the party) processions, music and txoznas are the protagonist.
Important festivals to highlight:
There are many festivals with great success in their long history, such as Blues and Jazz festivals, The San Sebastian International Film Festival, but there are others. Look at information below.
As usual if you need further information, please visit the Tourism Offices.
|In the middle of June||Blues International Festival||Getxo|
|1st week of July||Jazz International Festival||Getxo|
|1st week of September||Folk International Festival||Getxo|
|September to April||Opera of A.B.A.O||Bilbao|
|November||International Cycle of Underwater Film||Donostia-San Sebastián|
|End of July||Jazz Festival||Donostia-San Sebastián|
|August||Quincena Musical||Donostia-San Sebastián|
|September||San Sebastián Film Festival||Donostia-San Sebastián|
|3rd week of July||International Jazz Festival||Vitoria-Gasteiz|
|October-November||International Comic Theater Festival||Araia|
|October-November||International Theater Festival||Vitoria-Gasteiz|
In the Basque Country survive many old traditions as markets where baserritarras (farmers) have sold their products for centuries.
These farming markets have a great tradition and some of them taking place for centuries, like The Tolosa Market that takes place every Saturday since 1253. The Ordizia market is held on Wednesdays, from the 16th century, and has an exciting competition of Idiazabal cheese; people pay thousands of Euros for the winning cheese. The Gernika market is also noteworthy and takes place on Mondays, especially important is the market of last Monday of October.
Especially recommended visit the markets to enjoy the great atmosphere and to know the typical products of the Basque country such as: talo (corn tortilla) with chorizo, Basque Cake, honey, fruits, vegetables, Txakoli (white wine) Kalimotxo (red wine with coke) as well as, sale of livestock..... Endless possibilities.
There are several golf courses in The Basque Country. Some of the golf courses were designed by top Spanish names in golf like Severiano Ballesteros and Jose María Olazabal and some of them have beautiful see views.
For further information, please contact the Basque Golf Federation www.fvgolf.com
|R.S. de Golf de Neguri||Getxo||18|
|Meaztegi Golf||La Arboleda||18|
|Laukariz Club de Campo||Laukariz||18|
|Real Club Golf San Sebastián||Hondarribia||18|
|Real Golf Club Zarauz||Zarautz||9|
|Zuia Club Golf||Altube||9|
Basque Country has 200 km of coast and a lot of beaches where practise surf.
Zarautz and Mundaka are the best beaches to practise surf for the perfection of their waves. Every year a lot of national and international visitors arrive to practise surf here.
|Federación Vasca de Surf||www.euskalsurf.com|
|Escuela de surf de Zarautz||www.laescueladelsurf.com|
Basque history has always been closely linked to sea and Basques have a great fishing and seafaring tradition. Currently there are several marinas where you can do all kind of water sports or where you will be provide of all necessary services if you decide bring your boat.
In summer there are many sailing tours between towns like Getxo-Castro, Getxo-Bermeo, Getxo-San Juan de Luz.
For further information, please visit the Tourism Offices.
|Name||Situated||Nº tie up||Draught|
|Puerto Deportivo de Getxo||Bizkaia||827||4 mts|
|Puerto Deportivo de Getaria||Gipuzkoa||300||2 mts|
|RCN Donostia-San Sebastián||Gipuzkoa||400||2-5 mts|
For those who like to shake off tedium of urban life and doing some adventure sports like: bungee jumping, tubing, hang-gliding, para-gliding, etc., there are some companies that offer a day excursions for practising your favourite activity.
Besides, mountaineering is deeply rooted in the Basque Country and there are beautiful mountains to practice it.For further information, please visit the Tourism Offices.
|Federación Vasca de Montaña||www.aventalia.com|
Basque rural sports are an important ethnography testimony about the singularity of the Basque culture. There were connecting to the everyday activities of farmers and fishers that becoming obsolete at the beginning of the 20th century. Nowadays, Basque rural sports have managed to transform themselves into very popular sports, a display of force, ability and elegance with a strong competition.
It is a very popular rowing competition and there is a regatta in almost every coastal town between July and October. The craft (Trainera) is made up of thirteen rowers and a skipper and is derived from 19th century fishing boats.
The most important competition in the Basque Country takes place in the first two Sundays of September: the Kontxako Bandera (San Sebastian) where the best teams compete really hard to win, following a tradition of more than hundred years.
This sport is praticed since long in the Basque Country and in others neighbouring regions such as Navarra, Rioja and Burgos. But also is paying in others countries like France, Mexico, USA and even in Philippines.
There are several variations: Pelota a mano, Pelota a Pala, Pelota a Remonte, Cesta a Punta, Trinquete, Share.
Betting both by the competitors and the audience is very popular in the most important sporting events.
Fur further information, please contact:
|Federación de Euskadi de Pelota Vasca||www.euskalpilota.com|
There are several Rural sport competitions throughout the year, but one of the best time to enjoy rural sports is during village festivals.
Here there is a brief description of the most representative rural sports.
If you need further information, please contact the Tourism Offices.
It is a type of wood-chopping competition; where they cut trunks with their axes in record time.
Lifting of stones in different shapes and weights. The stones are traditionally made of granite, with different shapes and with a weigh ranging from 100 kg to 212 kg.
There is the most popular form of Basque dragging games, where oxen drag stones of more than 3,000kg from one side of the square to another.
The Tug-of-war is very popular and usually two teams take the same rope and they try to take the opponent team to their land.