What to do?

Wine Tour

vino

Today around the ancient wine industry it has been created new infrastructures which have boosted Enotourism.

Wine culture has created an interesting link with food, art, natural envionment and body care. Wine cellars offer a wide range of activities such as: wine tasting, cellars guided tours or sophisticated beauty treatment, based on vinotherapy.

 

For those passionate and keen on 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 Wine Cellar

marquesderiscal

It is a complex consisting of old cellar founded in 1858 and a new building designed by the Canadian architect Frank O. Gehry. It is called The Spanish Chateau of 21st century which houses a luxury hotel, two restaurants and a Vinotherapy Spa.

Ysios Wine Cellar

Ysios

It is an avant-garde wine-cellar, designed by the architect Santiago Calatraba, it is well fitted with landscape. It was inaugurated in 2001 and became the pioneer of author wine in Rioja. One of its strengths is that only produce Reserva wines and singular coupages.

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Health & Beauty

Marqués de Riscal Spa Vinotherapie

Spa Vinoterapia

It has spacious facilities in the best imaginable environment, where you can be pampered by expert hands of wine-therapist. The Spa is run by Caudalie who is piooner in Vinotherapie treatment. Vinotherapie combines beneficts from thermal water rich in minerals with grape and wine extracts rich in polyphenols.

Villa de Laguardia Wine Oil Spa

Spa Vinoterapia

The Wine Oil Spa use the therapeutic of wine and olive from Rioja Alavesa to treat body and mind. 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.

Cestona Spa Hotel

balneariocestona

The Spa of Cestona is a bulding of the late 19th century and it is surronded by beautiful gardens that can be considered a botanical garden. Its waters of strong mineralization are particulary suitable for treating digestive and locomotive problems.

Molinar Thermal Baths

thermasdelmolinar

Located in the nice Carranza Valley. The centre 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

talasoterapialaperla

Located in a unique setting on The Bay of La Concha, in the beautiful San Sebastián. The centre has the latest technology in Thalassothereapy and is one of the reference centres in Europe.

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Local Fiesta & Festivals

fiestasvitoria

Local Fiestas take place all year long and they offer you the possibility to have a good time as well as know the old Basque traditions.

We would like to emphasize Fiestas of the three capitals three Semanas Grandes in August. The party begins in Vitoria-Gasteiz with the Blanca's Fiesta (1st week of August). It takes place in honor 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 fireworks that take 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) it is very important the bullfighting, processions and txoznas.

 

Important festivals to highlight:

Bizkaia

  • 2nd February.San Blas. Abadiño.
  • 4th February. Choirs of Santa Agueda. Several towns.
  • Carnivals. Markina-Xemein.
  • Holy Week Semana Santa. Balmaseda.
  • 22th July. Marine Pilgrimage to the island of Izaro. Bermeo.
  • 16th July. Carmen Virgin. Marine Pilgrimage. Bilbao.
  • August.Semana Grande. Bilbao.
  • 4th September. Gooses Party. Lekeitio.
  • 9th September. Fisherman Party. Bermeo.

Gipuzkoa

  • 20th January. San Sebastián Day. Donostia-San Sebastián and Azpeitia.
  • 4th February. Choirs of Santa Agueda. Several towns.
  • Carnivals. Carnival of Tolosa.
  • Holy Week Semana Santa. Hodarribia.
  • 24th June. Tolosa Festival. Tolosa.
  • 30th June. San Martial Show. Irún
  • 2nd July. Ezpatadantza de la Antigua. Zumárraga.
  • 31st July. San Ignacio of Loyola. Azpeitia.
  • August. Semana Grande. Donostia-San Sebastián.
  • 9th September. Euskal Jaia Basque Festival. Zarautz.

Araba

  • 4th February. Choirs of Santa Agueda. Several towns.
  • Holy Week Semana Santa. Vitoria-Gasteiz.
  • 28th April.San Prudencio Pilgrimage. Armentia.
  • 4th August.Virgen Blanca Parties. Vitoria-Gasteiz.
  • 24th December. Shepherds Dance. Labastida.
festivaljazzgetxo

There are famous festivals and cultural events such as Blues and Jazz festivals, The International festival of Theate and The San Sebastián's International Festival of Cinema, but there are many others.

 

As usual if you need more information go to Tourism Offices.

 

Bizkaia
Date Name Town
February Week Coral Vizcaína Bilbao
Mai/June International Market of Handicrafts Bilbao
In the middle of June Blues International Festival Getxo
1st week of July Jazz International Festival Getxo
End of July Folklore International Festival Portugalete
End of August Havanan Song Festival Getxo
1st week of September Folk International Festival Getxo
September to April Opera of A.B.A.O Bilbao
November Marionettes International Festival Bilbao
December Documentary Cinema and Short Cinema International Festival Bilbao

 

Gipuzkoa
Date Name Town
April Submarine Cinema International Festival 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
End of october Concurso Internacional de Masas Corales Tolosa
October-November Fantastic and Horror Film Festival Donostia-San Sebastián
November Baroque Music Festival Donostia-San Sebastián
End of november Internacional Marionettes Festival Tolosa

 

Araba
Date Name Zone
June International Folklore Festival Vitoria-Gasteiz
3 nd week of july International Jazz Festival Vitoria-Gasteiz
October-November International Comic Theater Festival. Araia
September Week of Old Music of Alava Vitoria-Gasteiz
September-December International Theater Festival Vitoria-Gasteiz
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Markets

ferias

In the Basque Country survives many old traditions as markets, where baserritarras (fermers) have sold their products for centuries.

These farming markets have a great tradition and some of them taking place for very early times. The Tolosa Market (Gipuzkoa) takes place every saturday since 1253. Ordizia market on wednesdays, takes place from the 16th century and has an important competition of Idiazabal cheese. People pay thousands of Euros for the winning cheese.

It is also traditional the Gernika market on Mondays especially important the last Monday of October.

Moreover, in these markets we can find more than fruits and vegetables. It is usual find sale of livestock or traditional Basque cuisine as: cheese talo (a kind of bread) with chorizo, Basque cake and wines like txakolí (white young wine) kalimotxo (red wine with coke) or whatever you like.

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Sport

Golf

golf

You can practise golf in the Basque Country. Some of the golf courses were designed by top Spanish names in golf as Severiano Ballesteros and Jose María Olazabal.

 

For further information contact with the Basque Golf Federation: www.fvgolf.com

 

Alava
Name Town Holes
Izkigolf Urturi 18
Golf Larrabea Legutiano 18
Zuia Club Golf Altube 9

 

Bizkaia
Name Town Holes
R.S. de Golf de Neguri Getxo 18
Dima Golf Center Dima 18
Meaztegi Golf La Arboleda 18
Laukariz Club de Campo Laukariz 18
Artxanda Golf Larrabetxu 18

 

Gipuzkoa
Name Town Holes
Basosabal Golf Donostia 18
Real Club Golf San Sebastián Hondarribia 18
Real Golf Club Zarauz Zarautz 9

Surf

surf

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 international visitors arrive to practise surf here.

Federación Vasca de Surf
www.euskalsurf.com
Surf Mundaka
www.mundakasurfshop.com
Escuela de Surf de Zarautz
www.laescueladelsurf.com

Seaports

puerto

Basques have always been closely linked to sea and have a great fishing and seafaring tradition. Curretly there are several marinas where you can do all kind of water sports or where you will be provide of all necesary services if you decide bring your yacht.

In summer there are many sailing tours between towns like: Getxo-Castro, Getxo-Bermeo, Getxo-San Juan de Luz.

 

For further information contact with: Tourism Offices

 

Name Situated Nº tie up Draught
Puerto Deportivo de Getxo Bizkaia 827 4 mts
Pentzia Bizkaia 150 1 mts
Bermeo Bizkaia Buoy 2 mts
Lekeitio Bizkaia 360 3,5 mts
Puerto Deportivo de Getaria Gipuzkoa 300 2 mts
RCN Donostia-San Sebastián Gipuzkoa 400 2-5 mts
Hondarribia Gipuzkoa 490 2,1 mts
Real Club Maritimo del Abra
www.rcmarsc.es
Real Club Maritimo de San Sebastián
www.rcnss.com

Adventure Sports

montaña

Some people like to shake off tedium of urban life they practise some adventure sports as: bungee jumping, tubing, hang-gliding, para-gliding, etc. Some companies offer to you day excursions for doing your favorite activity.

Deeply rooted in the Basque Country is mountaineering and there are beautiful mountains to practice.

Further information on Tourism Offices.

Federación Vasca de Montaña
www.aventalia.com
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Basque Sport

Native sports and language are important ethnography testimony about the singularity of the Basque culture. Most of the Basque sports were connecting with the farmer and sea life and they are a demonstration of force, ability and elegance.

Race of Traineras

traineras

The craft is made up of thirteen rowers and a skipper. Races take place on the coast towns from end of June until September every Sunday and bank holiday.

 

Here there are some of the main Race of Traineras.

 

Date Name Place
2 de agosto Getxoko Estropaden XXXI Ikurriña Getxo
23 de agosto Kofradiaren XV Ikurriña Paisaia
Mediados de agosto Hondarribiko XXII Ikurriña Hondarribia
Mediados de agosto Zarautzko XXXII Etropadak Zarautz
Finales de agosto Bandera de la Concha Donostia-San Sebastián
3 er. domingo de septiembre Bandera El Corte Inglés Portugalete

Basque Ball

pelotavasca

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 game modes: Pelota a mano, Pelota a Pala, Pelota a Remonte, Cesta a Punta, Trinquete, Share.

Bets are tradition in the most important ball court, for example in Bilbao, Gernika, Durango, Vitoria, Donostia, Eibar, Bergara.

Fur further information:

Federación de Euskadi de Pelota Vasca
www.euskalpilota.com

Rural Sports

Best moment to enjoy rural sports is during village festivals.

Here there are a brief description of different kinds of rural sports.

If you need further information, please ask Tourism Offices

aizkolari

Aizkolariak:

They cut trunks of Hague with their axes, in record time.

harrijasotzaileak

Harrijasotzaileak:

Weight Lifting of stones in different sizes shapes and weights.

idiprobak

Idi-Probak:

Oxen that drag stones of more than 3.000 Kg.

sokatira

Soka-Tira:

Two teams take the same string and they try to take the opponent team to their land.

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Bullfighting

toros

Bilbao and Donostia-San Sebastián have a bullring but there are a lot of small towns that also have one as Azpeitia, Tolosa and Eibar.

I am not keen on bullfighting but I know the "corridas" take place in summer, usually during village festivals.

If you want further information here you have bullring websites.

Plaza de Toros de Vista Alegre en Bilbao
www.plazatorosbilbao.com
Plaza Toros Illumbe San Sebastián
www.illumbe.es
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Copyright © 2016 Arantza Pascual-Bilbao & Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran