Last year during Carnival in Spain, I packed up my carry-on and headed to the North of Spain with my friend Ingrid for a relaxing getaway in Pais Vasco (aka Basque Country or Euskadi). Let me tell you, if you are planning a trip to Spain and want to try something different from your typical tourist spots (i.e. Madrid and Barcelona), you should consider Pais Vasco. The region is an upcoming hotspot for a vacation but not wildly overrun with tourists so it is definitely enjoyable. For me, Pais Vasco was like a Scandinavian Spain because it was very idyllic and impressively cosmopolitan and modern, which you don’t witness very much in Spain.
Fun Fact: We went into this trip with very little planned and it turned out to be the most ideal girls getaway.
Because we were interested in a more calm excursion we opted for an Airbnb so that we could cook our own meals and avoid the fun, but hectic, social life that comes with booking a hostel.
Our Airbnb was owned by the most friendly guy in Pais Vasco! His name was Joseba and he was local architect and owned a lavender farm close by. He offered my friend and I his organic face masks every night. He fed us organic breakfasts, pizzas, and made us homemade teas with herbal infusions. He was fantastic and we could not have gotten a better host!
I really wish I had more sightseeing information available for you but…I don’t. This trip was meant to be time to literally escape from work and real life for awhile and it was just that. What I can tell you though about Pais Vasco is this:
Eat Some Pinxtos (pronunication: pinchos) – Pais Vasco is famous for their “pinxtos” not to be confused with tapas. Pinxtos are small, snack-like appetizers that are meant to be enjoyed with drinks but not serve as a full meal. However, this didn’t stop us from going to bars, eating a plate full, and then calling that our dinner. Most bars in Bilbao have pinxtos and there are a huge variety to choose from so take advantage of all of the flavors!
For Bilbao’s top pinxto bars, click here.
Discover Bilbao – Bilbao is the main hub of Pais Vasco and it’s where you will find most of the sites. The city is filled with beautiful, local shops and bars. The shopping in Bilbao was AMAZING. We loved it and went shopping almost everyday. Plus, they have some great thrift shops that we really enjoyed. Our favorite was Arizona Vintage. In Bilbao, you can also visit the Guggenheim Museum, see a giant dog and spider, visit many different plazas and parks, and take a relaxing walk along the river to Bilbao’s old town (highly recommend).
Spend a Day in San Sebastian – San Sebastian is a beautiful coastal city in Pais Vasco where Ingrid and I took a day trip to visit. It’s full of typical Spanish architecture and the streets are full of people. Mostly what we did here was shop (lol) but we also took some time to relax on the beach and have a coffee close to Playa de la Concha.
Shop Until You Drop – You’ve already figured this out I’m sure, but there is great shopping to be done around Pais Vasco. There are so many local shops that have great quality clothing. If you have spare time during your trip there, I recommend checking some of them out!
Thank you guys as always for reading! ♥ Molly
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Have you been to Pais Vasco? What do you recommend on doing there? Tell me about it below!