Food Pilgrimage: the Basque Country, Spain

Thu, 30 April 2015
Church Gaztelugatxe Basque Country

Two friends on a road trip across the Basque Country – six days, three destinations and countless tasting menus. We began our journey in Bilbao, where the gritty remains of an industrial port brush shoulders with modern architectural innovation. Passing misty green hills we headed for the sea, arriving at what looked like a Games of Thrones set; in reality, an enchanting 10th-century hermitage. In San Sebastián we collected our thoughts, getting lost in the colourful web of Old Town pintxos bars and the rugged beauty of the coast. Finally, we drove to wine country, spending our last days in two unique design hotels and enjoying the rich pickings of the Rioja vineyards nearby.

Visitors today might find that the quiet beauty of the Basque Country belies its own fractious past. Having lived through a history marked by cycles of oppression and dissent, the region is fiercely independent both in spirit and in mind. This political autonomy translates to the unique culinary culture that has developed here.

Thanks to the region’s privileged geographic position, local chefs have access to the freshest raw materials from land and sea. With more Michelin stars per capita than any other region in the world, a journey across the Basque Country is the ultimate epicurean pilgrimage.

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