Two-time Olympic medallist and three-time World and European champion. The accomplishments of sailor Iker Martínez de Lizarduy Lizarribar (San Sebastián, 1977) would impress anyone. As a child he spent his leisure time learning to sail in his grandparents’ sailboat and ever since has chocked up successes. As early as 1992 he won the World Sailing Championship, Optimist class. His brilliant career had just begun. Noteworthy among his many awards is the 2011 ISAF World Sailor of the Year, the highest award granted by the International sailing Federation. In 2004 he won the gold medal at the Athens Olympics and in 2008, he took the silver in Beijing. Presently he is captain of Team Campos for the Volvo Ocean Race 2014-2015 and takes part in the Olympic campaign in mixed catamaran class.

Iker Martínez
I'm new to Euskadi. What's the first thing I should visit?

Donostia. Paseo de la Concha, the Kursaal building, the Wind Comb, the old town, Mount Igueldo.

The best Basque dish is...

I’m a steak person. I also like tuna with caramelised onions.

What's your favourite pintxo? Maybe even one that you make at home?

The little serrano ham and cheese sandwiches at La Cepa (a bar in San Sebastián). I don't usually make pintxos at home; I'd rather go out. But maybe the potato omelette with peppers.

Of the wide variety of Basque music, what is your favourite song and/or singer?

The band Sorotan Bele made an impression on me when I was young. As for the big-name bands, Fito y los Fitipaldis and their song Acabo de llegar.

What places in the world of art (churches, museums, sculpture…) should I be sure and see if I visit Euskadi?

The Guggenheim, the Wind Comb, the chapel of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe.

Name a place in Euskadi that is very special for you, a place you go to just wander and unwind.

Jaizkibel, with my mountain bike.

If I go with children, where should I take them and what sorts of activities could I do with them?

To Mount Igeldo. And surfing in Zarautz!

What advice would you give to somebody visiting Euskadi for the first time?

Take the time to get to know Euskadi because it's worth it.

What do you miss the most when you are far from home?

The food, the people at the scenery.

The most beautiful thing in the Basque Country to you is...

The coast.

When friends come to visit from out of town, what do you always make sure and show them?

The lighthouse in Hondarribia.

Is Euskadi better to visit in spring, autumn, winter or summer?

The winter is a little bit hard for me, but there are good waves. I prefer autumn and spring.

What is your favourite fiesta or event in Euskadi?

The annual fiestas in Hondarribia.