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BASQUE COUNTRY

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Capital: Vitoria-Gasteiz
Provinces: Alava (capital: Vitoria-Gasteiz), Guip˙zcoa (capital: San Sebastian) and Vizcaya (capital: Bilbao)

Baskland is of particular interest for its completely autoctonous culture, including a language of its own (Euskera) of quite mysterious origins. Its folklore is autotoctonous too, and you may even watch particular sports like the so-called Basqueball ("pelota vasca").

Today it is one of the most industrialized regions of Spain. Despite of that there are still many areas of almost untouched nature, notably the natural parks of Valderejo, Urkiola, Urdaibai and the magical landscapes along Guernica river. It is a great region for hiking, riding, golf and all sorts of mountain sports. Another atttraction is the steep Basque Coast, but don't forget to bring your raincoat to protect yourself of the "txirimiri", the typical very fine rain.


The Cities:

San Sebastian (basque: Donostia)
The famous aristocratic beach resort of great reputation during the 19th century conserves its exclusive and cosmopolitan ambience. Its beautiful buildings and excellent beaches (with somewhat cool water temperatures, though) make it also today a privileged holiday destination.

Bilbao
Although the region's largest city is specially recognized as an important industrial and economic center, it conserves a beautiful historic quarter with the Gothic cathedral among its major attractions. Bilbao's greatest sight however is the Guggenheim Museum, built in 1997. This spectacular building with a facade of glass, titanium and lime stone was designed by american architect Frank O. Gehry and is one of the most outstanding examples of the avantgarde architecture of the 20th century.

Vitoria-Gasteiz
The capital of Euskadi is worth a visit due to its well-preserved historical center and its active cultural life with several festivals of international importance.


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