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Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Euskadi (Pais Vasco), Spain
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Basque Cuisine and the Cantabrian Coast On this culinary trip we will be based in San Sebastian, one of the most elegant cities of Spain, centre of the new Basque cuisine. From In nearby Bilbao we visit the impressive Guggenheim museum…more...
A Taste of Spain This culinary tour gives the gourmet traveler a first glance at the mosaic of cultures & cuisines that Spain represents: Basque Country and Andalusia, completed with a visit to Madrid…more...
Bilbao Weekend Hotel City Break and Guggenheim Artistic TourBilbao Weekend City Break and Guggenheim Artistic Tour On this weekend getaway to Bilbao you will be staying in a city centre hotel only a short distance away from the world famous Guggenheim Museum...more...
The Basque Coast and Txakoli Winery Tour On this chauffeur driven tour you will explore the picturesque Basque coastline and visit a Taxacoli winery…more...
Private Driver Chauffeur Car Service and Transfers in the Basque Country During your stay in the Basque Country have a private English-speaking chauffeur at your disposal to take you around the city...more...
Short Break Basque Cuisine Cooking Tour Enjoy an unforgettable Cooking Holiday of The Basque Country, situated in the green and wet northern Spain. Its gastronomy is source of inspiration and influence for the high-standing Spanish cuisine...more...
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Featured Basque Country Hotels  /  Basque Country Private Tours
Basque Country Travel Guide

Best Places to Visit in Vitoria Spain
Bilbao, Spain - the Top-10 reasons why I love this city
Guggenheim Museum Bilbao
San Sebastian Travel
The Mysteries of the Basque Country

The Mysteries of the Basque Country   by Nick

The Basque country - otherwise known as Euskadi lies in the north of Spain. It spans both sides of the French and Spanish borders, but culturally the Basque country is very different from both of its neighbours.  The country's size and diversity makes it an ideal location for touring holidays and short breaks. The three major cities; Vitoria, Bilbao and Sans Sebastian each provide their own unique charm, while the coast has quaint towns and small villages that are a joy to explore.

It is a country with its own unique identity, beginning with its climate, which is wonderfully mild all year round. It has managed to remain unspoilt from tourism and its age-old cultural traditions have survived unchanged for centuries.

The Basque people have their own language, Euskara, which is reported to be the oldest language in Europe, although the majority speak Spanish.

Old Port at Getxo, an Atlantic Resort at the Mouth of the Bilbao River, Pais Vasco, Spain, Europe
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The country is a place of mystery with little being known of the Basque people's origins. They have different ancestry to that of their Spanish neighbours and they have blood group characteristics that distinguish them from the rest of Europe. They share many characteristics with the Cro-Magnons, and they are thought to be direct descendents of this ancient race who lived 40,000 years ago.

The Basque people take great pride in their cuisine and it's considered by many to be the best in Spain. It is renowned for its freshness and simplicity; no visit to the Basque country is complete without sampling the tapas bars of San Sebastian.

Another place of interest in the Basque country is the city of Bilbao. This is Spain's sixth largest city and it serves as a great place to begin your exploration of the Basque country. Many holidays to the Bilbao are inspired by the controversial design of the Guggenheim Museum designed by American architect Frank Gehry.

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About the Author: Nick is a UK based writer

Best Places to Visit in Vitoria Spain   by Michael Lee

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Vitoria in northern Spain is less visited by British travellers than some of the Southern cities. It's true the weather here is not as good as the South but with average temperatures in the mid twenties during summer it is still a fantastic place to consider visiting whilst you are in Spain. So if the sun doesn't shine every day I would suggest hiring a car and seeing some of the fabulous historic centers which make the Alava region so special.
Vitoria is the capital of the Alava province and of the autonomous region of the Basque Country. In fact Vitoria has two names it is officially Vitoria-Gasteiz. The Name Nuevo Victoria was given to the city by King Sancho VI of Navarre, who founded the modern city of Vitoria in 1181. Before this Vitoria as it stands today didn't really exist, the closest inhabited area was the hamlet of Gasteiz which stood on the hill around which Vitoria grew. Vitoria was little more than a walled defensive outpost which belonged to the kingdom of Navarre.

Vitoria grew to the city we know today mainly because of its strategic position between the table lands of Castile and Northern Europe. The huge number of passing travellers meant it became an important trade center. In the 13th century three weekly markets took place and two very important annual fairs were held.

One of Vitoria's most interesting historical elements was that the city held its own individual principals that became laws. All inhabitants of Vitoria were declared equal, there was no distinction between nobility and the general public.

Vitoria has a small airport but you will find it difficult to get cheap flights into the city. Most travellers fly to Bilbao airport. Bilbao is only 66 kilometres away from Vitoria and is a relatively easy drive on good roads. If you arrive at Bilbao airport I would definitely suggest hiring a car. This kind of service is a lot cheaper than in the UK. In fact you can often save money during your stay by hiring a car because you will avoid transfer costs and transport costs during your stay.
A short distance away is the town of Mendoza where you can visit the medieval tower and the dungeons below. The medieval tower discovered in Donana is now known to have been a dungeon used for prisoners and perhaps lovers in the Palace. The latter possibility has been strengthened with the discovery of two bodies. A legend says that courtesans kept their lovers there until death.

If you have had enough of narrow cobbled winding streets and this city steeped in history an escape to Garaio will come as a welcome escape. Your hire car will be perfect for a day trip Garaio it is only 15 kilometres away, here you'll find all of the activities which you can't enjoy in the city. Cycling, mountain biking, hill walking, sailing and canoeing are all possible in the park.

For any serious twitchers out there make sure you visit the Mendixur Bird Observatory.

These outdoor parks have facilities for swimming, out door bars, picnics and space to enjoy the beautiful countryside in this area of Spain.

Ensure you pre book your hire car as far in advance as possible before your trip. Remember to take into account the luggage you will be taking with you when you book the car. If you're taking sports equipment make sure it will fit in with your luggage. A smaller car will undoubtedly be cheaper if you are not planning to use you car very much this will be best; but there's nothing quite like travelling around Spain in the luxury of a convertible hire car.

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Parador de Hondarribia, Hondarribia, Guipúzcoa
Founded by the Navarrese king Sancho Abarca in the 10th c., this Parador rises up in a beautiful castle which maintains the structure of a medieval fortress in a monumental, coastal setting. Its defensive appearance, with thick walls, conceals an interior recovered with mastery.  The immense, naked stone of the courtyard stands out, as do the beautiful views of the French coast and the sea, which the guest can contemplate from the splendid terrace or from some bedrooms. Beautiful nooks and crannies, spaces adorned with arches, wrought iron and coffered ceilings envelop the traveller in an atmosphere of indescribable beauty. Lances, cannons and armour make up the interior decoration, offering an air of elegance in a most comfortable atmosphere.


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AC General Alava Hotel, Vitoria
AC General Alava is located in the town of Vitoria, Spain, 800 metres from the historic old town and the Cathedral of Santa Maria. Bilbao is 50 kilometres away. AC General Alava is a 10-storey high-rise hotel featuring contemporary architecture. Multilingual staff at the 24-hour front desk can offer currency exchange, tour assistance, and the use of a safe-deposit box.  The public areas have wireless Internet access, and there is limited-hours room service. Restaurant El Figon serves regional specialities and Spanish dishes in a contemporary setting, and features show cooking.  The old town of Vitoria-Gasteiz, 800 metres from the hotel, centres on the Cathedral of Santa Maria. The winding streets offer an authentic taste of old Spain.
Barceló Hotel Gasteiz, Vitoria
Explore the city's 400 historic buildings including the Santa Maria Cathedral, the Casa del Cordón, and the Playing Card Museum in an old Basque home. In Vitoria-Gasteiz, the sounds of jazz wrap themselves around medieval architecture and echo through the old quarter during the week long international jazz festival in July. End your day with a beautiful meal in the hotel restaurant where the chefs pride themselves in their traditional, dishes made with only fresh, local seasonal ingredients. The Barcelo Hotel Gasteiz features a restaurant, piano bar, and disco. Artagan - Savor Basque and international specialties in the hotel's restaurant. The Barcelo Hotel Gasteiz features 150 guestrooms; rooms can accommodate a maximum of three people.
Holiday Inn Express Vitoria
Just 6 km from the centre of Vitoria Gasteiz, this modern hotel helps you begin the day with a wholesome complimentary breakfast and has stylish rooms. Sleep well in the sleek rooms of the Holiday Inn Express Vitoria which have smart, en-suite bathrooms and cheerful additions of bold colour in the modern prints which hang on the bedroom walls. Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and wake up with an invigorating power shower. Located close to the village of Ariñez and with excellent communications to surrounding cities, the Holiday Express Vitoria is perfect for exploring the Basque region or passing through to the rest of Spain. In 6 minutes, you can browse the charming centre of Vitoria Gasteiz. In addition, you can easily access the Jundiz industrial park
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