Ongi etorri is a Basque greeting. Our language, Basque or “Euskara,” has an uncertain origin, but it is clear that it is one of the oldest European languages. Our sports and traditional occupations (fishing, whaling, and sheepherding) and the hospitable Basque personality have drawn travelers to us. Discover them with our Basque Coast & Countryside luxury tours!!
Our Basque culture was born of our land, sea, mountains, and valleys. So visiting our coastal villages, fields or mountains is a wonderful way to understand and enjoy our history and exotic life.
We have more than eight nature parks and two UNESCO reserves: Urdaibai and Geoparkea. The latter is a geology textbook brought to life, showing shocking moments in the planet’s history, such as the disappearance of the dinosaurs.
Would you be surprised to learn that Loyola is a neighborhood in the Basque Country? The founder of the Jesuits was from that part of Azpeitia. Another famous citizen was the fashion designer Balenciaga. And our countryman Elcano was the first to sail around the world. He and Balenciaga were from the small fishing village, Getaria. Wtriter Victor Hugo lived in Pasaia, a town close to San Sebastian, which was also the birthplace of fashion designer Paco Rabanne.
Other things will be even more amazing, like seeing the oldest hanging bridge in the world still working in Getxo. Or learning that Guernica is not only a painting by Picasso, but a town that is a symbol of Basque identity and Biscay old law.
We have “Olentxero” instead of Father Christmas and we play unique instruments like “txalaparta“. Rowing competitions of “traineras” are incredibly popular and lifting stones is a sport for us. “Jai Alai” — the sport with the fastest ball in the world — was originated by Basques as a version of Basque pelota. We can play Basque pelota with our hands, a wooden racket or the famous xistera.
We love good food, good drinking and good living. Tours of the coast or countryside of the Basque Country can be done from Bilbao, San Sebastian, Rioja, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Guernica, Biarritz, … On our private tours, we enjoy all these things and much more. So come and discover them with me.
Gero arte! –See you soon!.