Our Basque character is unique. We are preceded by a unique history and economy, and deep cultural and social roots, which make the traditions, folklore and mythology of our land especially authentic. Like our people and our language, Euskera. A country with a rich mosaic of realities, landscape contrasts, and people in which the traditional and the modern coexist in harmony.
Euskadi maintains a strong link with the natural environment: the sea that has forged the maritime character of the Basque people and the essence of the coastal municipalities, nowadays important tourist enclaves. The interior with valleys and mountains where the green is its mark of identity. Villages and rural centres that take care of and proudly teach the authentic essence of Basque Style. Its three capitals, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Bilbao and San Sebastian, each with a strong personality and very complementary, form a modern and current Euskadi.
In this small country there are no distances and the good communications and means of transport prevail between our municipalities and with the rest of Europe, as it is strategically located on the way to the north of Europe. A modern and safe road network and railway, as well as air connections through its three airports in the three Basque capitals make this possible.
In Bilbao, what surprises us is the impressive transformation of an industrial city to avant-garde metropolis that brings together the great figures of international architecture. Vitoria-Gasteiz Green Capital 2012, friendly, cared for. In addition to green, it has a rich heritage and urban planning that is a reference worldwide. San Sebastian, elegant and stately with its incomparable Bay de La Concha in the middle of the urban environment, the fishing port and the enogastronomic, commercial and cultural offer of its Old Part. All of them are clear exponents of urban tourism.
Euskadi is visited in order to enjoy it and to carry the suitcase full of good experiences such as those provided by leisure and sports activities related to ecotourism. A network of nature trails and other protected areas such as the Basque Coast Geopark, the Talaia trail that runs along the Guipuzcoan coast from Hondarribia to Mutriku and the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve, where you can meet nature again.
And also to listen to it and watch it carefully. You can practice birding in the spaces enabled for the silent observation of the birds. Or feel it with all its braveness, catching waves on beaches like Zarautz, which celebrates one of the tests of the world surf circuit. We like cycling and have a great cycling hobby. Euskadi has different levels, not forgetting the Greenways conditioned to enjoy a unique landscape without difficulty, as well as reliving the history and culture that hide the paths that once traveled the railway.
Although you may also find it a unique destination to celebrate your event. Business tourism has a quality offer in Euskadi with its three Palaces of Congresses in the capitals (Europe, Euskalduna and Kursaal) and Ficoba in Irun and Itsas Etxea Auditoriuma in Hondarribia, equipped with the latest technologies and benefits as well as with social programmes allowing for professional meetings to serve as a prelude for an upcoming visit.
But if there is something that makes us truly unique is our gastronomy. The Basque village was born to cook among the stoves and to be enjoyed around the table. Euskadi has the highest concentration per capita of Michelin Stars, in particular 28 stars in 19 restaurants. The innovation and culinary excellence are also found in restaurants and bars of tapas and ‘pintxos’ without stars. Sidra, txakoli with Denomination of Origin and Rioja Alavesa wine are the best companions.
A gastronomy of quality, with good raw material and adapted to all pockets. You can go for pintxos and try the gilda (one of our pintxos with chilli, olive and anchovy from the Bay of Biscay), eat in a cider house, savour the creations of the Michelin Stars, whatever you choose, we assure you that it will be an experience. And you will also be able to see the whole value chain, that is to say, lose yourself between local markets, wine and food fairs, appointments where the good products of the sea and the land are honoured and in direct contact with our producers and key parts of our gastronomy .
And as we said at the beginning, we come from a strong past with illustrious characters who have been making us what we are. Like Ignacio de Loiola, founder of the Society of Jesus; The sailor Elcano, who completed the first ship launch on Earth; And the rest of characters linked to the sea as Churruca, Gaztañeta. Artists of the stature of Zuloaga, Chillida, Oteiza. Writers like Pío Baroja, Gabriel Celaya, Blas de Otero, Bernardo Atxaga. The designer Cristóbal Balenciaga. The nun Alférez Catalina de Erauso. Musicians as Sebastian Iradier, composer of the La Paloma habanera, which is said to be one of the most versioned songs.
Every Basque carries a bit of this character. To understand us, to know us and to live Euskadi we invite you to visit its cities, its coast and the monumental, rural and natural interior and to enjoy its traditions, festivals, gastronomy and wines with its people.