For a region surrounded by cultural powerhouses, stretching over Southern France and Northern Spain, Basque Country skillfully holds its own. The semi-autonomous region boasts a language, cuisine and atmosphere all its own. Visitors travel to Basque Country for its spectacular coastline, its quaint mountain villages, its vibrant urban centers such as San Sebastian and Bilbao and a host of sights and experiences in between. Let Travel + Leisure’s Basque Country travel guide take you there.
Things Not to Miss in Basque Country
Basque Country travel wouldn’t be complete without:
• A funicular ride from Bilbao’s city center to the summit of Mount Artxanda
• A day spent sunbathing on San Sebastian’s picturesque beaches
• A glimpse at the masterpieces on display at Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum
• A taste of authentic Basque Country cuisine at one of the region’s award-winning restaurants
When to Go to Basque Country
Tourist season peaks in August, when crowds swarm to the region’s coastline for sandy beaches and warm weather. But many travelers instead choose to visit Basque Country during the shoulder months of September and October and April and June. The weather is warm and dry during the spring and fall—before and after rainy winters—and off-season there is more breathing room. For an authentic taste of the region, travel in August for the San Sebastian Film Festival and the city’s famed whaleboat regatta.