Spain: The Best of the Basque Country

The very same day I finished teaching my last class at the university, I jetted off to the airport to spend five glorious days in sunny Spain. My friend Itsaso and I were assistants together in Toulon, so I was very excited to see her again in Bilbao and experience the best of the Basque Country!


Bilbao is a thriving, industrial city in the Basque Country. It is home to the famous Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a modern and contemporary art museum designed by architect Frank Gehry. Today, it is admired as a work of contemporary architecture, representing “one of those rare moments when critics, academics, and the general public were all completely united about something.” While I was in Bilbao, the work of artist Jeff Koons was on display.






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San Juan de Gaztelugatxe:

On the hottest day, we took the bus north to Gaztelugatxe, an islet on the coast of Biscay. From there we hiked to the hermitage, a small church dating back to the 10th century. Afterwards, we spent the afternoon catching waves at the beach.







San Sebastian: 

I have been wanting to visit San Sebastian for the longest time, and I finally got to go during this trip! The famous Concha Beach was just as beautiful as it looks in the photos. We spent the afternoon wandering the streets of the Old City, walking along the beach/port, riding the cable car and enjoying the spectacular views over a glass of sangria.




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If you’re looking for a bit of sunshine and culture without the high prices and abundance of tourists, I recommend the Basque Country in northern Spain.



11 thoughts on “Spain: The Best of the Basque Country

  1. I’m swooning! Basque country is my favourite part of my adopted country, and Donostia (S. Sebastian) is the most beautiful of Spanish cities. Looks like you had a great time!

  2. It looks amazing!! I’m dying to go there – maybe in August! Was it easy to get around by train/bus? And was it as hot as it is in France, or did the coastal breezes cool things down?

    1. It’s incredibly easy to travel by bus in Spain– it’s the most popular mode of transport! It was hot but the Basque Country is much cooler and temperatures can randomly drop during the day, so bring a light jacket/scarf and jeans for the evenings, just in case! 🙂

      1. That sounds fantastic! I’m so tired of the heat we’ve been having in Lyon. I hope it won’t be prohibitively expensive in August. It looks so gorgeous in your photos!

  3. Never thought about going there! Did you pick up any of their mysterious language? Apparently historical linguists still haven’t figured out its origins (I know, nerrrrrd aleerrrrrt).

    1. I heard a lot of basque but I couldn’t say hing, although my friend coached me on saying ‘Hello’ ‘Goodbye’ and ‘Thank you.’ 🙂 couldn’t regurgitate them now however!

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