/Basque Country, The Highlights

Basque Country, The Highlights

Well I don’t even know where to start. The trip through Basque Country was phenomenal. Thank you so much for sending me there! And thanks to everyone for your advice and comments along the way. The biggest thank you goes out to Mamma Parla who was so calm even though I am a terrible navigator and got us lost literally every time we got in the car (really sorry Mom!).

There were so many trip highlights, it’s difficult to narrow them down, but I shall do my best. Here are the places, meals and experiences that really made my trip to Basque Country:

Basque Coast

The drive along the Basque Coast. The sea was beautiful, the coastal towns were lovely and Lekeitio and Getaria ended up being two of our favorite places in the region.

Donostia-San Sebastian

Grazing through Donostia-San Sebastian. The city is one of the foremost food capitals in the world. Take advantage of its many pintxos bars and Michelin starred restaurants (we focused on the former since we planned nothing in advance, but be sure to book the top rated restaurants weeks or months ahead). Be sure to make a stop at La Cuchara de San Telmo!

Ea, Euskadi

Staying at Ermintxo in Natxitus. If we had more time, I would have loved to spend a few nights there. We would pass the days at the nearby beaches, have cocktails on the patio overlooking cow pastures, and eat in the restaurant every evening. Next time…

Snails in Lekeitio, Euskadi

Eating snails in Lekeitio. There is something so satisfying about passing the late afternoon in a dive bar digging snails out of their shells while locals knock back beers and watch tennis.


Eating suckling pig. You can barely turn around without running into a fat juicy hunk of suckling pig. I never turned one down. They were all pretty good, but the slice I had at lunch at Zuberoa was spectacular. In fact everything at Zuberoa was amazing.

Pintxos in Bilbao

Eating pintxos in Bilbao. This city should be just as renowned for its pintxos as it is for its Guggenheim. We loved the tortilla at Kepa Landa and everything at Bar Gatz.

Eating “The Garden” at Azurmendi. Chef Eneko Atxa’s dish represents the abundance, fertility and biodiversity of the Basque territory and features miniature vegetables and edible “dirt” (charred beetroot).

But the absolute highlight was experiencing such an extraordinary place and culture with Mamma Parla.


  1. Marti July 15, 2011 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    glad you liked it! another convert.

  2. Lucinda Keller July 16, 2011 at 10:58 pm - Reply

    Amazing post! I want to jump on a plane (even more than usual!)
    What an incredible place!

  3. Kerrin @ MyKugelhopf July 19, 2011 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    so glad hande of vinoroma pointed me this way. so exciting to read about your basque highlights, as i just wrote about my own – all sweet, as usual. 😉 we definitely shared a lot of favorite places and moments during our trips. for one, i was also in the basque country with mama kugelhopf (papa kugelhopf too). and we loved getaria, san sebastian, snails and even watching some wimbledon while there. looking forward to reading your other euskadi posts – and taking notes for my next trip there. which will hopefully be soon !

  4. Katie July 19, 2011 at 10:37 pm - Reply

    @marti i really really liked it and am already plotting my return!

    @lucinda i cant recommend Euskadi enough. be sure to check out kerrin’s wonderful post on her trip here

    @kerrin i love your sweets report. i need to get back and eat all those things asap!!

  5. Mamma Parla July 22, 2011 at 4:19 am - Reply

    It was such an awesome trip….and thank you for including me and sharing the experience. A BIG thank you to all who sent Katie recommendations — they were all spot on. And you did a really great job navigating — it was the poor signage and my slow reflexes that got us turned around and around and around…which always seemed to happen when we just paid a toll AND when we were really hungry:-) I know that I owe you a blogpost….coming soon, I promise. Next stop in Spain, Andalucia? XXOO

  6. Katie September 3, 2011 at 5:01 pm - Reply

    ha! thanks for covering for me mom. yeah it was the signage…:) miss you! let’s talk about Andalucia soon xo

  7. Coral June 29, 2015 at 12:20 am - Reply

    Hi Katie! I know this is an older post but I came across it in my research for the area. May I ask- how did you arrive in the Basque Country from Italy? I have been searching for direct flights and no such luck- thought I’d ask someone who has already been:)Maybe you know a trick or 2


    • Katie June 29, 2015 at 12:23 am - Reply

      hi! i flew to barcelona and then drove. if i remember correctly there are flights from rome to santander?

  8. Coral June 29, 2015 at 12:25 am - Reply

    Whoops! I spoke too soon- Venice looks like it does direct flights to Bilbao! Again- if you have any travel tricks/wisdom to share- I’d love to know:)

  9. Coral June 29, 2015 at 9:12 am - Reply

    Thanks, Katie! I’ll check that out. And that sounds like it was an epic road trip!

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