Surrounded by green and blue, in perfect harmony between the mountains and the Cantabrian Sea, the villages and beaches along the Basque Coast are a treasure waiting to be discovered.
Villages from where you can walk to an island at low tide. Delicious grilled fish straight from the sea, washed down with a good txakoli. The taste of salt on your lips. The Cantabrian Sea in front of you, and green mountains behind. Broadly speaking, this is the Basque Country, which stretches from the French Basque Country to the end of Bizkaia at the frontier with Cantabria. This area, more than 176 kilometres long, contains some of the most beautiful villages and towns in Euskadi and a rich artistic heritage. But that is not all. There are beaches, each with its own personality, to suit all tastes, from family atmospheres to romantic corners for couples or with the perfect waves for surfers. There is also an excellent choice of nautical sports and golf on offer, attracting much tourism.
The impressive scenery starts at Txingudi bay, at the mouth of the river Bidasoa. This is one of the most beautiful spots in the country, with Hondarribia and Irún on one side, Hendaia on the other, forming an impressive triangle and providing the basis for what is to come during the journey. Pretty, well-kept villages with their peculiar nautical-style architecture. Top cuisine, with fresh seafood and good wine. Streets to get lost in and discover artistic gems on every corner. Pilgrimage sites where the devotion and simple affection of the people fill you with a special type of energy. Festivities where you can see the most distinctive features of an ancient culture. Expressions of the close bonds between people and the sea, seen not only in a variety of interesting museums and interpretation centres, but also in conversations at the bar over a pintxo. Discover Getaria, birthplace of Juan Sebastián Elkano, the first sailor to circumnavigate the world, or the master of fashion, Cristóbal Balenciaga, with his museum featuring 1600 of his creations.
Visit the hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe in Bermeo, one of the most visited sites in Euskadi. Or admire Elantxobe, a fishing village that looks as though it is hanging off the cliffs. There are many places to visit, so be sure to plan enough time to do it all. For example, the Basque Coast Geopark, where you can see Flysch beaches and cliffs formed by limestone and sandstone sedimentation, offering an open book on the history of the land.
Mundaka, famous for its left-hand barrel wave, is on the left bank of the mouth of the river Mundaka, in the heart of the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. The coastline should be seen under different skies. The climate, shaped by the Cantabrian Sea, is variable. A day might start off sunny, and at mid-day the thermometers drop with the spectacular arrival of a storm that dramatically paints the sky. These are the times when it is possible to appreciate the raw beauty and mystery of this ancient land. The hidden treasures are within everyone's reach. Given time and interest, they are just waiting to be discovered.