Where to go?

Bilbao

Bilbao

Old town:

  • Arriaga Theater was inspired by the Opera House in Paris.

  • San Nicolás Church is of Baroque style.

  • La Plaza Nueva a closed colonnaded square built in the 18th century.

  • Santos Juanes Church antique Jusuits church of classical style.

  • San Antón Church is mixture of Gothic and Renaissance style.

  • San Antón Bridge dates from 1878.

  • The wonderful Rivera Market.

  • The popular Dog fountain dates from 1800.

teatroarriaga                           puentesananton

Enlargement and Modern City:

  • The Bilbao-Santander Railway Station was build in modernist style in 1902.

  • Sociedad Bilbaína the most important private club in the city.

  • Spain Square or also called Circular Square where there is a statue in memory of Don Diego López de Haro who founded the city in 1300.

  • San Vicente Church is of Gothic style and Renaissance façade.

  • City Hall from 1892.

 

Main street Gran Vía:

  • Bizkaia Regional Council Palace with eclectic style was built in the early 20th century.

  • Chávarri Palace with fanciful forms and Renaissance taste. It is the Spanish Government headquarters in Bizkaia. Just opposite is the lovely Elliptical square.

 

It is also interesting to see Bilbao Underground. It was designed by Norman Foster and has received many international awards for the design and cleanliness of its facilities.

 

The city has many bridges of different styles but the latest are:

  • Calatraba Bridge or Zubi Zuri (White Bridge) designed by the renowed architec Santiago Calatraba.

  • Euskalduna Bridge the only one with a covered pavement.

puppy   abandoibarra   metrobilbao
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Donostia-San Sebastian

Donostia-San Sebastián

Old Town:

  • Constitution Square neoclassic style.

  • Trinidad Square with his characteristic pediment.

  • Sarriegui Memorial situed in San Jerónimo street. He was the composer of San Sebastián symphony.

  • San Vicente Church Gothic style from 16th century .

  • The Seaport really picturesque and ideal to eat a delicious fresh fish.

ayuntamientodesansebastian

In the Urgull mountain:

  • The Santa Cruz de la Mota Castle and the Cristo de la Mota Chapel. The whole mountain is a pedestrian area.

 

Next to the sea:

  • Peine del Viento beautiful sculptures of Eduardo Chillida.

  • The wonderful Bahía de la Concha where Queen María Cristina and her court spend their vacation at the early 19th century.

bahiadelaconcha                           peinedelviento

 

Enlargement and Modern City:

  • The Boulevard starts at Kursaal Bridge and ends at the City Hall.

  • Close to the beach there is the Yacht club that was founded in 1896.

  • There are several bridges over the Urumea river but, the nicer is María Cristina Bridge.

  • Buen Pastor Cathedral neogotic style.

  • Miramar Palace was summer royal residence during the 19th century.

playadelaconcha                           palaciomiramar
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Vitoria-Gasteiz

Vitoria-Gasteiz

The Old Town was built in the 12th century:

  • Santa María Cathedral the old plant was built in 12th century and finish in successive works in 14th and 15th centuries.

  • La Torre de Hurtado Anda this tower is the oldest construction in the city.

  • El Portalón built in wood and brick in the 15th century was an important inn. Nowadays it is a famous restaurant.

  • La Torre de Doña Otxanda this construction was built with the old wall.

  • San Pedro Church has a Gothic façada and inside Renaissance works.

  • La Casa de Cordón fron the 15th century.

plazavirgenblanca                           portalon

Neoclassical city:

  • Plaza Nueva neoclassical square whose plan is a perfect square.

  • Fueros Square designed by the famous sculptor Eduardo Chillida and the architect Peña Ganchegui.

  • San Antonio Convent and Church. In front of then there are two sculptures of Agustín Ibarrola.

  • Basque Parliament that dates from 1851-1853.

  • New Cathedral neogothic style of the 20th century.

muralla                           catedral nueva
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Basque Coast

Getxo

puentecolgante

The Bizkaia Bridge or Hanging Bridge It was built in 1893 by a pupil of Eiffel and it is UNESCO World Heritage Site from 2006. It is the oldest running transporter bridge in the world and you may enjoy wonderful panoramic views crossing the river along its uppermost span.

The Aixerrota Windmill 17th century. Nowadays it is a restaurant. Old Port in Algorta with their fishermen's white houses. The Neguri district different for its palaces and mansions that are along a boulevard close to the sea. The Seaport with nautical-sport facilities and leisure area with restaurants, pubs, cinemas, etc

Plentzia

plentzia

The village was founded in 1236 and conserves part of its picturesque medieval old town. It is located about 30 km from Bilbao and its beautiful beach and bay are the most popular tourist attractions.

Close to Plentzia in Gatika, is Butrón Castle that was built in the late 19th century over an ald Tower House. Located in the middle of a forest offers medieval meals.

Bermeo

gaztelugatxe

Bermeo is an important fishing village. It is interesting to walk along the port and attend the arrival of the ships loaded with fish. At 7 or 8 in the morning and 6 in the afternoon, there is a very interesting fish auction. Bermeo's main attraction is The Old Town where you can visit the Fishermen Museum and also Santa Eufemia Chuch were Kings of Castile swore privileges of Biscay.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe there are more than 200 steps scultured in the rock and on the top there is a little chapel, with breathtaking views.

Lekeitio

lekeitio

Nice fishing village located between mountains. In the old town is Santa María de la Asunción Church from 15th century. It is a late Gothic style and has some beautiful Gothic-flamenco altarpiece.

Hondarribia

hondarribia

Located in the Bidasoa river mouth. It is interesting to visit The Old Town with his typical houses. Balconies are of wooden beams with happy colours: green red or blue. Walls were built in the 16th century. Inside them it is the Carlos V Castle nowadays transformed in a Parador de Turismo ( Inn of Tourism). The fisermen district is called Marina. Guadalupe Sanctuary is located in the nice Jaizkibel mountain.

Orio

orio

Orio has a popular beach and it is a common holiday destination. It has the biggest campsite in Gipuzkoa. Remember visit The Old Town and walking through its narrow streets. It is one of the best places to taste a good sea bream.

Zarautz

playazarautz

It has the largest beach in Gipuzkoa and it is a paradise for surf lovers. There are a lot of buildings with great architectural interest like Torre Luzea 15th century. Santa María la Real Church that has a plateresco and Renaissance altarpiece.

Getaria

puertogetaria

Important celebrities were born in Getaria as the international fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga or the entrepid explored Juan Sebastián Elcano. Also, it is the best place to taste txakoli, because they are great producers. Totally recommendable visit San Salvador Church 15th century that is one of the best examples of Gothic architecture in the Basque Country.

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Inland Villages

Gernika

casadejuntasgernika

Gernika is an important town for Basque people. It is well-known due to the destruction suffered in a bombing during the Spanish civil war in 1937. Pablo Picasso immortalised the town in his magnificent painting Gernika. You can also visit Gernika Tree, a millennial oak, symbol of the Basque people and that was the seat of former parliament of Bizkaia.

You can know about the history of Bizkaia in the Euskal Herria Museum and The Assembly House (Casa de Juntas). In the park that surrounds the building you can see El Arbol de Gernika (The Gernika Tree) and sculptures of Chillida and Moore.

Balmaseda

balmaseda

This town has a great and beauty architecture. San Severino Church dates from 14th century. San Juan Baturista Church Renaissance style from 15th century. Bridge of Muza the old one was built for Romans but now it is one from 12th century building on the ruins of the previous one.

Loiola (Loyola)

santuariodeloiola

It is a great religious Baroque set built next to San Ignacio of Loiola Natal House. He was the founder of Compañia de Jesus (Jesuits). This set is surrounded by big gardens and a wide square. The basilica was designed by a pupil of Bernini and has a Baroque façade and a dome of 65 meters.

Oñati (Oñate)

universidadsantispiritus

It was a majestic village in the 12th century. It is highly recommended see Sancti Spiritus University beautiful Renaissance building with a plateresque façade and an inner patio decorate with a original Mudejar coffered. Bidaurreta Monastery is a singular building built at the beginning of the 16th century.

santuarioarantzazu

Arantzazu Sanctuary (Aránzazu): it is 10 Km away from Oñati. It is situed in the same place where according to the leyend, a shepherd found a small effigy of the Virgin that you can see in the altar.

The architectural set is governed by the Franciscans and it is the most important modern work in the Basque Country. Important architects and sculptors taken part in the construction as: Sainz de Oiza, Lagorla, Jorge Oteiza, Eduardo Chillida, Néstor Basterretxea and Lucio Muñoz.

Tolosa

alubiasdetolosa

It was one of the first villages fortified by Castilian Kings. It is interesting visit some Churches as Santa María ,San Francisco and Santa Clara from the 16th and 17th centuries. The City Hall with Baroque style. Idiaquez Palace from the 17th century, now it is a casino.

Moreover, Tolosa has an enormous gastronomic attraction. In december takes place the Large Steak Festival (Txuleton Festival) Tolosa beans are famous for their delicious taste and it is recommended to visit the original Gorrotxategi Chocolate Museum.

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Rioja Alavesa

Laguardia

laguardia

Poblado de la Hoya is a prehistoric town close to Laguardia, dates from 15th century B.C.

In the heart of the town we find the old wall with his archs and narrow streets with their houses and emblazoned mansions.

San Juan Church romanesque style. Santa María de los Reyes Church which has a beautiful portico, jewel of the Gothic art.

Oion (Oyón)

oion

Santa María Church was built in the 18th century. Can highlight its façade and tower to Isabelline style. The tower is known as La Giralda.

Labranza is a village with great artistic-historical interest. It was an important military position during the Navarre Kingdom.

Bastida (Labastida)

labastida

Arch of Larrazuria and the remains of The Toloño Castle are vestiges of its older history. Santo Cristo Hermitage gothic style and façade from the end of 11th century. Inside there are an unusual Christ that dates from 1300.

The City Hall from the 17th century and Graeco-Roman Renaissance style.

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Natural Spaces

pagasarri

Although, Basque Country is an industrialized region you will find some interesting natural spaces and ecosystems that still conserve their natural state.

There are many natural spaces but we want to suggest some of them to you. Basques are great lovers of mountains, trekking is widely practiced both summer and winter.

Notice that here, each mountain has its own name.

For further information contact with Tourist Offices

Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve (Bizkaia)

urdaibai

It was declared Biosphere Reserve of Unesco in 1984. These 12 Km of sand forms the Gernika estuary. It has a great interest because it is a place where hibernate many migratory birds as: la graza real, el cormorán, el charrán, anátidas, espátulas, etc.

They are also interesting archaeological deposit like Santimamiñe where there are interesting cave painting.

Gorbeia-Gorbea (Araba y Bizkaia)

parquedelgorbeia

Somewhere between Alava and Bizkaia was declared a natural park in 1994 and it is the bigger one of the Basque Country. The park takes his name for the highest peak of 1,482 meters, The Gorbeia.

 

There are 3 different areas:

 

 

  • Southern slope: there are primitive forests of hague and here live big mammals like the deer, the roe deer, the wild boar, and birds like the eagle, the sparrowhawk, etc. In the clear water of Berries, Zubialde and Arratia rivers live the protected otter in extinction danger.

  • Northern slope: the main attraction is the small villages where you can find nice landscapes with a great cultural valour. There are old mills, foundries,house-tower.

  • High area: on the top we find interesting places like the Supelegor cave and see predatory birds.

Urkiola (Bizkaia)

urkiola

The Urkiola charm resides in its rocky summits, its splendid forests and legends of witches (lamiak) that these places have inspired. There are species as: the dormouse and the fox.

Aiako Harria (Gipuzkoa)

aiako

It has a great geologic interest because, it is the only one granitic massif in the Basque Country.

There are interesting fauna as: Atlantic salmon, desmán, European mink, vulture, alimoche, real eagle, picogordo, wildcat, etc.

It has 16 recreational areas with refuge tables and sources spit roasters and other services.

Aralar (Gipuzkoa)

parquearalar

There are fantastic forests like the Akaitz-Sastarri's beech grove, forests of oak as Itaundieta and the oakwood of the north face of the Txindoki. This area is mainly dedicate to the shepherd (sheep latxa) and there are a great concentration of dolmens. It has also recreational areas and a youth hostel.

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Copyright © 2016 Arantza Pascual-Bilbao & Alfonso Fernandez-Barandiaran