Winner of the National Cinematography Award and six Goya awards for Best Photography, Javier Aguirresarobe (Eibar, 1948) is one of the world’s leading cinematographers today. His first Goya came in 1991 for Beltenebros directed by Pilar Miró. He has also left his mark and his light in the box-office hits The Others and The Sea Inside, both directed by Alejandro Amenábar. In Hollywood he has worked with Woody Allen on the director’s highly-acclaimed Blue Jasmine, The Road, based on the eponymous novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy, and two of the Twilight Saga movies: New Moon and Eclipse. He is now waiting for the upcoming release of Poltergeist, a remake directed by Gil Kenan.

Javier Aguirresarobe
I'm new to Euskadi. What's the first thing I should visit?

On a clear evening, visitors will find a walk along La Concha in Donostia unforgettable. It's an experience that stays with you.

The best Basque dish is...

I remember the day I eat a plate of red beans in Albistur. There was nothing better. And of course some of our extraordinary signature dishes are cod in “pil pil” sauce or hate in green sauce.

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

I'm a nostalgic addict and I always go back to the traditional “Gilda”, or the classic hard-boiled egg, anchovy and shrimp with a dollop of mayonnaise.

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

I've always loved Mikel Laboa , and the classics of traditional Basque music.

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

The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, of course, although we shouldn't leave out the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu.

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

Since I'm from Eibar, if I'm going to go off somewhere to wander it would be to Kalamua, at the foot of Mt Urko, and from there, enjoy the views over the valley of Markina. You can even see the ocean from there on a clear day.

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

Children love fantasy. I remember playing with my children in Mt Urgull or Mt Ulía, where I would tell them stories about pirates and sailors. Euskadi is full of wide-open spaces. A children's world of fantasy and adventure is not limited to an amusement park. Kids can have a great time at the beach, in the mountains…

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

Enjoy the outdoors, life in the small towns, traditional food. Feel free. In Euskadi you don't necessarily have to follow the tourist route. There are a lot of interesting places for the curious traveller.

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

What I miss most is the food. It's hard to find such good quality fresh foods outside of Euskadi. Naturally, I also miss my friends and all of the places where I enjoy strolling. I miss the street life.

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

The coast of Bizkaia has fascinating places such as Urdaibai, San Juan de Gaztelugatxe and Matxitxako, Lekeitio, the port of Bermeo… Donostia, Hondarribia, Oñati. There are so many places…

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

I'd show them the heart of Gipúzkoa. Oñati, Arantzazu. And also Urdaibai, Gernika…

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

For me the best season and the best temperatures are in autumn. September and October are to exceptional months in our country.

What is your favourite fiesta or event in Euskadi?

September in Donostia. The regatta fiesta. The Bandera de La Concha rowing competition. Ever since I was a child, I've been fascinated by this event.