General Information

Introduction

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The Basque Country is one of the seventeen autonomous regions that make up Spain. From 1979 the Basque Country has a Statute of Autonomy that means, that we have a self-government. The Basque Country is located in the eastern Cantabrian coast, near the French border.

 

The Basque Country is a small region that has an area of 7,234.8 Km² and a population of 2,174,033 inhabitants. We have three major cities that are capitals of the three regions that make up the Basque Country.


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Bilbao

has 355,000 inhabitants but its metropolitan area is bigger with around 1,200,000 citizens. It is the industrial and financial capital of the region. For the last years, Bilbao is becoming a modern business city with many toutist attractions and an amaizing gastronomy.

Donostia-San Sebastián

with a population of 185,000 takes profit of its privileged location and its breathtaking beaches. Donostia-San Sebastián has one of the most beautiful natural landscapes of the country "The Concha bay".

Vitoria-Gasteiz

with 240,580 inhabitants it is the capital of the Basque Country and here there is the Basque Parliament. The town is renowned for its sustainable development and has won prestigious national and international prizes.

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Weather

Basque Country´s climate is wet on the coast and continental inland. Temperatures are moderate during the year but in spring and autumn it rains frequently. Winters are mild and summers are not excessively hot.

The average temperature in winter is 8ºC and 18ºC in summer.

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Languages

euskera

The Basque Country has two official languages Basque and Spanish. Basque (Euskera) is one of the oldest languages in Europe whose origins are unknown. Of course, all signals in highways, airports, ports and official centers are in both languages.

Many people can also speak some English or French.

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Gastronomy

pintxos

The Basque Country is known in the entire world for the quality of its traditional cuisine, as well as, for the imagination of its nouvelle cuisine. So, it is very usual that Basque chefs win gastronomic competitions and Donostia-San Sebastián is foodie paradise, with more Michelin stars per capita than any city in the world.

Fish and shellfish are the stars in Basque cuisine. It can be grilled or in sauces of differents types like "cod al pil-pil" "cod a la vizcaina" (tomato sauce) "baby squid in its sauce" (black sauce) "hake in green sauce"(with olive oil, parsley and garlic) "hake donostiarra" etc. But if you prefer meat, also there are an excellent choice, for instance; grilled T-bone steak (txuleton) grilled lamp chops, etc.

In addition, you can find "pintxos" (tapas in Basque) and casseroles, highly elaborated and ready for you at any time of the day. If you are a sweet-toothed person please taste "homemade desserts" cakes, ice creams or cheeses.

Quality of raw material is the big the secret of Basque cuisine. Food products that have been grown in a traditional way in the Basque Country, have a Basque label "k" (kalitatea) quality in Basque, in their label.

Wine from Rioja, Basque Cider and Txakoli (Basque white wine) go well with Basque Gastronomy.

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Shopping

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There is great variety and diversity of products to buy. We have reputation for dressing well and Basque Fashion has very original designs specially for women.

Also, there are excellent antique shops.

It can be quite interesting to buy Basque handicrafts such as: ceramic, glass, leather, articles of Basque ball, iron and wood handicrafts, etc.

There are a wide range of gastronomic products of high quality like traditional cheeses (Idiazabal), sausages, typical sweets like "Vasquitos" and "Neskitas" "Tejas de Tolosa" Basque cake or drinks like txakoli, cider or wines of Rioja Alavesa.

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Tourism Offices

informacion turistica
Bilbao Tourism Office
www.bilbao.net
Getxo Tourism Office
www.getxo.net
Basque Government Tourism Office
www.euskadi.net
Donostia-San Sebastián Tourism Office
www.sansebastianturismo.com
Bidasoa Tourism
www.bidasoaturismo.com
Vitoria-Gasteiz Tourism Office
www.vitoria-gasteiz.org
Salvatierra-Agurain Tourism Office
www.agurain.com
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Copyright © 2016 Arantza Pascual-Bilbao & Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran