In this section you will find different information about Bilbao, highlights for touring in Biscay and from the nearest towns, which we consider very important for people who visit.
Its stunning landscapes, unique heritage, rich traditional culture, well-known and prestigious cuisine make this one of Spain's major tourist destinations, and one to consider when it comes choosing your holiday. The city is surrounded by a fertile landscape, with woods, mountains and wonderful beaches that transform Bilbao into a truly magical city.
Bilbao stands out in Europe as one the most important reference points of architecture and contemporary art. Let yourself be seduced by the art of the Guggenheim Museum, the Congress Palace or Calatrava Airport, and take time to savour a miniature art, presented as "pintxos" (tapas).
Fish is a Bilbao speciality, and is used in many popular dishes: hake in green sauce, hake "a la koskera", "a la ondarresa" or simply fried and battered. Cod al pil-pil, or "al ajo arriero"; and tuna "a la laqueitia", fried, or with tomatoes.
Some traditional dishes are T-bone steaks and young lamb, and "porrusalda" (a sauce made from leeks).
ther typical specialities of the region include "marmitako", a delicious combination of garlic, olive oil, onions, peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes; "txangurro", or spider crab meat; a stew made from vegetables, tomatoes, wine and brandy. "Pintxos" (tapas) are also very popular: works of art in small portions.
Txacolí, an acidic wine with either a fruity aroma, is an excellent way to accompany any typical Bilbao meal.
The most popular desserts are fresh "cuajada" (a yoghurt-like dessert), the famous "cake of Carolina", rice pudding, San Marco cake, and delicious "canutillos" from Bilbao.
Bilbao offers an irresistible variety of cultural activities. Once there, you should visit:
The noble and loyal town of Lekeitio is a municipality belonging to the region of Lea Artibai, it has a population of 7307 according to the National Statistics Institute data for 2006. The municipality covers 1.9 km², so the population density is 3845.78 inhabitants per km2.
Located on the shore of the Bay of Biscay on the Cantabrian coast, Lekeitio is a major tourist destination. An exceptional landscape adorned with the island of San Nicolás and the Lea estuary and with two wide beaches has resulted in the traditional source of income, fishing, being replaced by tourism.
The town was founded in 1322 by Dª María Díaz de Haro "La Buena" on a village that had been documented for many centuries before, it is integrated into Las Encartaciones and is inhabited by people of the sea settled in the shelter of its natural port.
The main tourist attraction of Portugalete is the Vizcaya Bridge. Popularly known as the hanging bridge, it was constructed in 1893, and is the oldest transporter bridge in the world. In spite of its presence, tourism in Portugalete was not very important until it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Santurtzi is a municipality belonging to the region of Greater Bilbao. Historically, however, up to the beginning of the 19th century it formed part of "Los Tres Consejos" (the three councils) of the Valle de Somorrostro in Las Encartaciones.
It is located on the coast of the Bay of Biscay, on the Left Bank of the mouth of the Estuary of Bilbao and at the foot of the Serantes mountain (452 m). It is bounded to the south by Ortuella, to the east by Portugalete and to the west by Abanto and Ciérvana.
The beauty of the countryside and the quality of the gastronomy are just two of the attractions which the visitor can enjoy. Santurtzi is a maritime town that has been able to preserve its customs in spite of its large growth. Life in this Council area is dominated by the sea, which inspires its work and leisure. The fish and the trawler regattas and the Mariana fiestas of the "Virgen del Carmen" keep their roots alive. And what to say about the gastronomy, everyone knows how well the fish is prepared in Santurtzi, especially the sea bream and the sardines in places such as the Mandanga restaurant or the internationally known Currito.
The noble and loyal town of Gernika-Lumo is a municipality belonging to the Busturialdea region and is surrounded by the natural area of Urdaibai.
The municipality of Gernika-Lumo originated in the 19th century after the administrative merging of the elizate of Lumo and the town of Gernika, in turn founded on land belonging to Lumo, although each entity preserved its own rights: the elizate the derecho foral (set of rights) of the Tierra Llana, (old administrative area); and the town, the Castilian derecho común (common right).
The town is located at 10 m of altitude in the valley of the Oca River, which forms the Gernika Estuary.
Gernika-Lumo contains the place where the representative assemblies, the so-called Juntas Generales, of Vizcaya met under the oak known as the Árbol de Gernika (tree of Gernika), symbol of the freedom of the Vizcaya people and where in the past, the ladies of Vizcaya, after receiving their title, came to swear their respect to the fuero de Vizcaya (forum of Vizcaya).
On 26 April 1937, during the Spanish Civil War, the city was bombed by the Condor Legion, a squadron of the Luftwaffe at the service of the Francoist cause. Inspired by this, Pablo Picasso painted his work Guernica which was presented at the Paris International Exhibition of 1937. In the Second World War, the Basque volunteers that participated in the Carnot Brigade of the French forces of the Interior took the name Batallón Guernica.
The elizate of Sopelana is located in the region of Plentzia-Mungia and belongs to Uribe-Kosta. It has an area of 8.42 Km² and a population of 12,359.
The dolmens of Munarrikolanda and the settlement at Kurtzio are evidence that the history of Sopelana dates back to prehistory, as on both sites the archaeological remains of a settlement used by man since prehistoric times can be seen.
The traces of the Roman presence in Sopelana are mainly found around San Pedro church, where various ceramic materials have been found. Near the cliff at Atxabiribil beach a fragment of terra sigillata was discovered, possibly from the third century AD.
In the urban area, sculptures of different styles can be seen. The oldest is Munarri, on the Fraidemendi mountain, where sacrifices were made to the fertility of the earth in the 8th century. Among the contemporary ones, the following stand out: El Surfista, on the Iberre bridge, the emblematic Cola de la Ballena in Iturrieta park, and El Guitarrista, a homage to the mythical Angus Young, guitarist with the group AC/DC (special mention of the commemorative plaque - A. Young, gazte bat, which is a play on words, as gazte bat in Basque means "A Young")..
The old port of Placencia de Butron was created as a shelter from the storms in the Bay of Biscay. It was awarded the category of "Villa" (town) by charter given by Don Diego López de Haro in 1299.
Any visit to the municipality of Plentzia must include a walk along the narrow streets of the old town that, in spite of major transformations undertaken in the last century, preserve their historical charm.
The legend that attributes the name Mundaka to the Latin expression munda aqua (clean water) is very well known. This legend appears in the Vizcaya Chronicle written by Lope García de Salazar in the 15th century.
According to this story a ship from Scotland arrived on the coast of Mundaka, which carried a princess who had been exiled from her land. The Scottish called the place Munda aqua in their Latin language as they found a source of very clean water that was a contrast to the cloudy waters of the Urdaibai estuary. This princess had a son who was to be called Jaun Zuria and who became, according to the legend, the first Señor de Vizcaya (Lord of Vizcaya). This legend also explains why Mundaka occupies prime position among the elizates of Vizcaya.
The town of Bermeo was founded in 1236, it is a municipality in the Busturialdea region, and it is the most populated town in the Urdaibai region with around 17,000 inhabitants.
It is a town with a deeply rooted maritime tradition, its economy is mainly based on fishing and preserved fish.
In addition, it has various tourist attractions such as the San Juan de Gaztelugatxe hermitage, the Ercilla tower (Museum of the Fisherman), the San Juan gate and its friendly port, among others.
Located near France, Donostia-San Sebastiánis the capital city of the province of Guipuzcoa.
Among its sights, the most important places are "La Bahia de la Concha", as well as its buildings dating from the 19th century, that contributed to the development of the tourist activity in Europe
All this joined to its prestigious restaurants and international events like the San Sebastian International Film Festival (held in September) and "La quincena musical donostiarra" highlight the city as an interesting destination.
Vitoria is the capital city of the province of Alava, as well as of the Basque Country.It has been an important military, commercial and cultural strategic point. It has also been a linking place between Spain and Europe, in fact, it was a match point between Astorga and Bordeaux in Roman times.
Nowadays Vitoria is a model of quality urban development which emphasises social cohesion, habitability and respect for the environment. It is a city with an intense history based on a valuable cultural heritage.
Pamplona is the capital city of Navarra. It was founded in 74 B.C. by the Roman general Pompeyo in a place called Iruña or Bengoda. It is the administrative, financial and commercial centre of Navarra.
It is also an important point of industrial activity, particularly in the automobile industry, wind power, metalworking and graphic arts. The second economic activity of the community relates to education and health. The city is famous worldwide for the San Fermín festival (July 7th-14th).
Logroño is the capital of the autonomous community of La Rioja. Its population represents half of the whole of the community, and the city is a centre of the trade in Rioja wine as well as an economic, cultural and services centre.
Historically Logroño has been a crossing way for the famous Camino de Santiago (Way of St James).
In the last century, the city has experienced / faced a demographic slow-down but it never has decreased. Walking around its streets and tasting its extraordinary wines is a delight for the senses.
Santander is a port city and the capital of the autonomous community of Cantabria.
During the second half of the 19th century Santander gained great popularity from the Victorian enthusiasm for sea-bathing and spa-stations due to its beaches and beneficial waters. The Sardinero resort was built to meet the demand of wealthy tourists, and consolidated as a summer destination for the high Spanish society at the beginning of the 20th century.
Nowadays it continues being a popular tourist destination in the north of Spain, with beaches that attract a fair number of visitors. Santander is also full of tradition and cultural activity. It is the home of the most important international summer university (UIMP), and many renowned music and dance festivals are organized here, such us the International Festival of Santander (I) (Shrivel).
Burgos as a green landscape and a wide variety of monuments, for instance the Gothic Cathedral of Santa Maria.
Nowadays the city has one of the most powerful economic populations thanks to the industrialization during the 20th century. Its activity focuses on the car sector and on the food industry because of its excellent road connections with other capitals, such as Valladolid or Vitoria.
Biarritz is a city in south-western France, placed in the Atlantic Pyrenees, in the region of Aquitaine.
Bathed by the Cantabrian sea ((gulf of Biscay), it is adjacent to Bayonne and it is 20 kilometres far from the frontier with Spain. It is only 40 km far from San Sebastian and 140 km from Bilbao.
It belongs to one of the most important urban areas in the region together with Bayonne and Anglet.
Its sandy beaches make the town really interesting and attractive for tourists. Surfing is part of the local culture and Biarritz is often referred to as the European capital of surf..
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