The Basque Country is so unique and different from the rest of Spain. It's a little pocket of a very different culture and heritage. And the Basque people are proud of it! The landscape is breathtaking as well. Everything is so lush and green. You feel like you can actually breathe! And the hillsides are speckled with unique little country homes and sheep [Yes! Sheep! They are a Basque Country symbol!] Here are some things to note if/when you go to Northern Spain!
Language: Spanish + Basque
Time Zone: Western European Time Zone UTC+00:00
Exchange Rate: 0.93 EURO to 1 USD
Price of Gas: $1.37/Liter
We were lucky enough to stay with friends and didn't have to worry about accommodations or transportation [*one of the most important travel tips coming into play!!] We also had one of our really good friends from Hilo [who is currently living in Northern Ireland doing badass peace-conflict work] come down and experience the Basque Country with us! Ten days isn't nearly enough time to take in the area. But it was a good sampler. Here are a few stops we made while we were visiting.
PLACES OF INTEREST:
BILBAO: Bilbao is a great small, big city. Be sure to check out the Guggenheim Museum and have a late night drink with friends! Koon was a featured artist at the Guggenheim so you're sure to get a good exhibit while you're there! Go visit the old part of Bilbao and enjoy the colorful architecture and unique shopping! Oh, and if you're really into fashion go to Zara [the only budget fashion clothing store I'll shop at!] They are a Spanish-based company so it quantifies as an almost a must!
BEACH TOWN: If you can, drive a short ways out of the city and check out of couple of the beautiful beach towns including Mandaka, Bakio, and Laga! They are all cute little towns with great a great surf vibe! We also visited San Juan de Gaztelugatxe! A really beautiful church resting on a small island right outside of Bakio! A visual must!
SAN SEBASTIAN: San Sebastian is all about the Pintxos (small portion tapas eaten in high quantity throughout the day!) It is a foodies heaven! Hang out on a beach café, watch the surf, enjoy a beer, and have a couple of Pintxos! It is a divine little cultural experience you can only find in San Sebastian!
Northern Spain. Just a sample of the Spanish Basque Country.