General Information
Basque Country

Basque Country Introduction


The Basque Country is one of the seventeen autonomous regions that make up Spain. Since 1979 the Basque Country has a Statute of Autonomy that makes possible to own its own on institutions: the Basque Government and the Basque Parliament.

Geographically it is located in the eastern part of the Cantabrian Cornice, next to the French border. The Basque Country is a small region with an area of 7,234.8 Km² and a population of 2,174,033 inhabitants, and has three major cities (Bilbao, San Sebastian and Vitoria) that also are capitals of the three regions that make up the Basque Country.


With a population of 355,000 inhabitants and a metropolitan area that exceeds one million inhabitants, it is the industrial and financial capital of the Basque Country. During the last years Bilbao has become a beautiful modern city and services, with an interesting cultural, tourist and gastronomic offer.

Donostia-San Sebastián

Has a population of 185,000 inhabitants, it is a modern and elegant city, that takes advantage of its privileged location, with one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the world, "La Bahía de la Concha".


It has 244,634 inhabitants and is the capital of the Autonomous Community, seat of the Basque Parliament and Government. Vitoria is an excellent example to follow with regard to its model of sustainable development, which has been awarded on several occasions nationally and internationally.



The Basque Country has two official languages: Basque (Euskera) and Spanish.

Basque is one of the oldest languages in Europe, whose origin is unknown and which does not seem to be related to any of the neighbouring languages. The visitor will have the opportunity to be in contact with the Basque language since the signs on roads, airports, ports, official centres are bilingual.

In addition, many Basques can also speak French or English.


Basque Country´s climate is wet oceanic type on the coast and continental inland. Temperatures are mild throughout the year, with more frequent rains in spring and autumn. Winters are mild and summers are not excessively hot.

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



The Basque Country is well known all over the world, for the quality of its traditional cuisine, as well as, for the imagination of its nouvelle cuisine. Not surprisingly, Basque chefs are often awarded prizes in gastronomic competitions and Donostia-San Sebastián is the city with the highest number of Michelin stars per square kilometre.

Fish and shellfish are the stars in Basque cuisine. It can be grilled or in sauces of different 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 is an excellent choice, for instance: "Txuleton" (grilled T-bone steak) grilled lamb chops.

In addition, there is a very elaborate and exquisite cuisine in miniature: "pintxos" ready for you at any time. And if you are a sweet-toothed person please taste "homemade desserts", cakes, ice creams or cheeses.

But what makes Basque cuisine really different is the quality of the raw material used, top quality products. Currently there is a badge for the products grown in a traditional way in the Basque Country "The Basque Quality Label" distinguished by having a "K" of kalitatea (quality)

A good pairing of these delicious suggestions could be a wine of Rioja Alavesa or traditional drinks such as Txacoli (Basque white wine) or Cider.


There is great variety and diversity of products to buy. We have reputation for dressing well and "Basque Fashion" has very original designs especially for women.In the three capitals, also you can find excellent antique stores.

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.

Basque fashion

Tourism Offices

Tourist Information
Bilbao Tourism Office
Getxo Tourism Office
Basque Government Tourism Office
Donostia-San Sebastián Tourism Office
Bidasoa Tourism
Vitoria-Gasteiz Tourism Office