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Tourism
 

The main tourist attraction of the Basque Country is perhaps its hugely varied natural beauty, with tree-lined mountains, rocky cliffs and plains whose colour shifts as the hours of the day tick by. The 252 km of coastline offers breathtaking views, fishing villages where time seems to have stood still, endless clean beaches ideal for swimming and water sports, and mysterious river estuaries. There are also exceptional hiking and cycling routes. The Basque Country has eight nature reserves, with beauty spots ranging from charming woods to idyllic waterfalls. But all this is just part of what the Basque Country has to offer visitors looking for peace, quiet and enjoyment. The infrastructure is exceptional, with a full and varied range of comfortable hotels and rural guest-houses where visitors can enjoy the natural landscape, the leafy woods and the sea.

One of the advantages of visiting the Basque Country is that it is small and easy to travel through. There is an extensive network of roads, with motorways linking the three provincial capitals, and efficient, attractive airports, e.g. that of Bilbao.

The Basque Country also offers a full range of leisure activities including surfing, golf, rowing, pelota and the races at the Lasarte racetrack.

This unique range of attractions is completed by a number of major cultural events such as international jazz festivals in summer, symphony concerts and stage shows. Museums include the beautiful Artium in Vitoria, the San Telmo in Donostia and the Fine Arts and Guggenheim museums in Bilbao, where a whole new focal point for culture and leisure has grown up.
World-renowned architects have put their names to new features in the city, including Argentina’s Cesar Pelli and Iraq’s Zaha Hadid in the Abandoibarra and Zorrozaurre areas. With a total area of 600,000 m2, this latter area beside the river Nervión blends reminiscences of the city’s industrial past with works by Chillida, Dalí, Bourgeois, Lüpertz, Tucker, Rückriem, Garraza and Zugasti. Other significant buildings include the Zubiarte centre by Robert Stern, the Uribitarte Towers, designed by Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, the Zubizuri bridge by Santiago Calatrava, the Palacio Euskalduna conference centre and concert hall with its ochre walls built to look like an upturned ship, the Metro underground railway by Sir Norman Foster and the glass building designed by Rafael Moneo to house the library of the University of Deusto.

But the feature of the Basque Country of which visitors carry away the fondest memories is its cuisine. The exquisite, loving care with which the Basques cook is one of the keys to their character. There are around a thousand gastronomic societies and clubs, whose members meet regularly to prepare meals that are veritable works of art of culinary imagination. Cooking is deeply rooted in Basque culture: the area has produced world-renowned chefs such as Arzak, Berasategi and Subijana, and schools that have revolutionised the concept of fine cuisine. The Basque Country has one of the highest concentrations of haute cuisine restaurants in the world, and is a host of other small eateries that serve traditional recipes in uniquely attractive settings. The open, hospitable nature of the Basques means that these are just some of the pleasures visitors can find here.

 


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Source: Presidency of the Government - General Secretariat for Communication

Fecha de la última modificación: 27/05/2008