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Where the blue of the sea and the green of the mountains come together to create dreamlike spaces. Where the cliffs and the saltpetre embrace each other magically; there, right there, is the Basque Coast. A coastline of more than 176 kilometres to explore. But the Basque coast cannot be understood without first discovering its seafaring culture, which has characterised the make-up of its villages and the way of being of its people, with a strong character and that special spark.
In this post, we offer you 5 suggestions to get to know the Basque Coast in its entirety, from its landscapes to its most authentic flavours. Embark on this adventure and taste its historical legacy!
1. With txakoli flavour
Txakoli, our traditional white wine with a fruity flavour and slight acidity. In this first proposal, we will get to know it in depth, are you up for it?
The first contact with this elixir will take place in the coastal town of Bakio, a reference for its close relationship with this wine, as its microclimate and its land have historically facilitated the production of this drink.
We will visit the Txakolingunea Txakoli Museum, where we will learn all the secrets of this wine. Afterwards, we will go to the Doniene Gorrondona winery for a complete guided tour, as in addition to seeing the winery, we will be able to taste txakoli, buy bottles and even taste a traditional menu.
From Bakio we will depart to one of the most beautiful places in the Basque Country, the Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve. There we will visit another winery specialising in txakoli, the Berroja winery, with spectacular vineyards where, in addition to visits, all kinds of activities and events can be organised. Taste their wines and take some of the harvest home with you!
From Bizkaia to Gipuzkoa, we will land at the Talai Berri winery in Zarautz, to see if you notice the difference in txakoli from one province to another! In Talai Berri you can enjoy all kinds of plans: guided tours, wine tasting with live cooking, and even plans to do with the kids.
To end the day, we will drive to the medieval village of Hondarribia to visit the Hiruzta winery, a spectacular place that houses a barbecue among its vineyards, perfect to end the day with a good dinner. Take a guided tour, taste their wines in the Wine Bar area, and enjoy a good barbecue.
2. Cider culture
Cider is directly related to seafaring culture. In ancient times, on long transoceanic crossings, it was used to combat scurvy on the high seas. Sailors and arrantzales (fishermen) would fill the ship's holds with barrels of cider before setting sail. Do you want to know more about this drink?
To do so, we will start our journey in Astigarraga, the birthplace of cider. First, we will visit Sagardoetxea, the Basque Cider Museum, where, in addition to the museum, we will be able to see its apple orchard and the tasting and sampling centre. We will learn first-hand about the culture of the apple.
After the visit with a tasting, we will also go on a bicycle tour of Astigarraga. Sagar Cycling, is the name of the beautiful electric bicycle tour designed to learn about the history of cider. We will ride through beautiful landscapes to the Bay of Donostia, and we will accompany it with a cider tasting and pintxos.
To finish off the day, we will go to Itziar, specifically to the Txindurri cider house, where while we taste their tasty cider, they will explain how they make it, the importance of their own apples, and what the traditional "txotx" is.
3. The Arrantzale tradition
The Basque Coast is well known for its arrantzale tradition, a trade that has left such a legacy, especially in the character of its people. In this third proposal, you will have the opportunity to get to know in depth the life of the fishermen and their wives, who also played a very important role in this arduous work.
To do so, we will visit Albaola, the Basque Maritime Factory located in Pasaia, whose main activity is the construction of historic boats. At Albaola you will be able to see live the artisan work of the shipwrights and learn more about this trade.
We will then depart for Bermeo to take a boat trip into the Urdaibai estuary, see the rock of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe from the sea or visit the beautiful town of Elantxobe. When we return to port, we will visit the Fishermen's Museum located in the historic Ercilla Tower above the Old Port of Bermeo. There you will learn all about the arts and crafts of fishing, the traditions, and the way of life of the fishing communities.
If you visit us before 29 August, you will be able to discover the Tuna Pintxo Tour initiative, where a total of 21 establishments in the Arrantzale municipality will take part in the pintxo competition. You will be able to taste the best tuna and bonito cooked in a wide variety of ways. You cannot miss it!
To round off the coastal experience, you can sail around the Bay of Plentzia aboard the Crusoe Treasure boat to the point where the world's first underwater winery is located, where, as well as telling you its history, you can taste these unique wines.
4. Adventure and gastronomy
This fourth suggestion is the most active, as, in addition to learning and tasting the best of the coast, you will practice water sports, and if it is rowing season, you can enjoy a day of regattas. Will you join this adventure?
We will start with a kayak or paddle surfing route along the Lea river, in the fishing village of Lekeitio. You can go along the mouth of the Lea and enter its marshes, or head out to sea and go around the island of Garraitz or San Nicolás. Refuel at the Axpe cider house, take a guided tour, and prepare something traditional in their kitchen, and they will provide the drinks.
You can also learn to surf the Basque waves in Bakio, take a surfing baptism, and have a blast. After spending enough energy, it is time to recover, so we suggest that you embark on a sailing boat from Getxo. You will have a gastronomic tasting on board, and you'll also get to know a good part of the Bizkaia Coast.
5. Gastronomic workshops
And to round off this series of recommendations, what could be better than learning how to cook the typical recipes of the Basque Coast? Let's go there!
At the Mater Eco-Active Museum Ship, you can take part in a very interesting activity: a traditional canning workshop. As well as finding out more about the peculiar life of an arrantzale, you will make your own traditional Cantabrian anchovy preserve, and best of all, you will take it home with you.
Also in Pasaia, you can learn how to prepare the most traditional recipes of the Basque coast. Come to the Ziaboga restaurant and learn how to cook with the freshest local products from a professional chef. After a presentation, you will cook recipes such as kokotxas al pil pil, squid in its own ink, and hake in green sauce.
But if creativity is your thing, at the Tamarises restaurant in Getxo you will have the opportunity to give it free rein. You will be able to prepare the most innovative recipes of our gastronomy, you will use the techniques of modern and avant-garde cuisine with the help of the chef of Tamarises and his team.
The Kursaal in Donostia-San Sebastián is also a good option for learning how to cook different recipes from our gastronomy. Among others, they offer pintxos workshops, dessert workshops, and even a gastronomic innovation workshop.
Finally, you cannot leave the Basque Country without learning how to make a good talo. The Geopark gives you the chance to take part in a workshop to make homemade talos, perfect for the little ones. Admire the famous flysch, characteristic of our coast, and enjoy a cooking workshop: a perfect plan!
History, adventure, sport, cooking workshops, pintxo tours, txakoli wineries... On the Basque Coast, you will not have time to get bored. Learn while you taste the best of the sea. There is no plan that can beat it.
* You may also like: The basque route zapore handiko ibilbidea
La excelencia de los productos y el buen hacer de nuestros cocineros son señas de identidad de Euskadi. Para potenciar esta forma de entender la gastronomía hemos creado Euskadi Gastronomika, una red formada por restaurantes, bares, tiendas y otros establecimientos gastronómicos que cumplen una serie de criterios de exigencia y compromiso.
¡Si buscas calidad, busca el sello de Euskadi Gastronomika!