Basque Country

Area: 7089 km²
Population: 2.08 million
Capital: Vitoria

Basque Country or Euskadi—they both mean the same thing in this region, where two languages co-exist, Spanish and Basque, or Euskera.  The Basque Country testifies to the fact that industry and beautiful landscapes are not necessarily mutually exclusive.  Indeed, both share equal billing in a region where one needs both hands to count the Natural Parks (no less than seven), and the most important economic sector is the steel industry.  Its coast is famous, as well, above all La Concha beach in San Sebastian, said to be the most beautiful stretch of sand in Europe, and which Spain’s Queen Isabel II popularised by spending her summer holidays there.

Its cuisine has spread around the world, led by such top names as Juan Mari Arzak, Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui, and Karlos Arguiñano.  Bite-size samplers of most of its local specialities can be tasted in the pinchos which, at the pre-luncheon aperitif hour, are piled up on the bars of cafes around the Basque Country.

And let’s not forget the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, situated on the shores of the estuary running through the city, which has revitalised the entire surrounding district and become a worldwide referent for modern art.

For more information:
Basque Country tourism website