Food and drink in the Basque Country and during your Camino del Norte.
Much has already been saying and writing about it. Because the Basque Country stands for: culture, nature, history, but mainly culinary enjoyment. This area in Northern Spain is known for its delicious cuisine. And a good reason to go on a discovery tour in this part of Northern Spain. A reason to walk or bike the Camino del Norte for sure…
The Basque Country is almost 21,000 km² (half the size of the Netherlands or 2⁄3 the surface of Belgium) and about 3 million people live there. About a quarter of the total population speak Basque or Euskara. Even if you speak a nice word of Spanish, but there is really nothing to do with Euskara´s. The sound is much louder than Spanish. Fortunately, for example, road signs show the place names in Spanish as well as in Euskara’s. So you don’t have to be afraid of getting lost during your Camino del Norte!
Experience the culture in Bilbao during your Camino del Norte
But first we pay a visit to Bilbao. Bilbao is, with over 345,000 inhabitants, the largest city in the Basque Country and lies on the River Nervion. And is one of the cities along Camino del Norte to Santiago. Since 1997, the city has been one of the four cities in the world with its own Guggenheim Museum, the main attraction of the city.
Giant spider Maman
The museum attracts more than 1 million visitors per year. The building by the American architect Frank Owen Gehry you just have to see it during your Camino del Norte. Even the exterior, which consists of a combination of shapes and the use of titanium, is already beautiful. Some of the art is free to admire, such as the 12-meter-high puppy covered in 70,000 flowers and the metal giant spider Maman that stands on the Nervión side of the museum.
San Sebastian: culinary capital of the world
San Sébastian is another city along the Camino del Norte. Although the city itself has less than two hundred thousand inhabitants, it is considerably busier in the warm summer months. San Sébastian is located along the Camino del Norte just across the French-Spanish border. The city is located on a bay surrounded by mountains. These are the foothills of the Pyrenees.
Most gastronomic place in the world
San Sébastian’s official name is Donostia-San Sébastian. That’s because the Basque name for the city is Donostia. The city is known as the most gastronomic place in the world. There is no city where so many Michelin stars are counted per square kilometre. It is not without reason that San Sébastian is a popular destination for lovers of good food and drink. The chefs here often start cooking at a high level from a young age with the proverbial spoon. Enjoying life by sharing beautiful dishes and delicious drinks is an important foundation of the community here.
Pintxos, pintxos and even more pintxos
Food and drink in the Basque Country during your Camino del Norte means pintxos, pintos and even more pintxos. These are small snacks that are displayed in bars. For these snacks, you pay an average of two to three euros each in San Sébastian. San Sebastián is known as the gastronomic capital of Spain. No fewer than three restaurants have three Michelin stars (the maximum score) and there are also six-star restaurants (one or two stars). This is also home to the world’s first gastronomic faculty, where talented chefs are trained. In the Basque Country you do not eat ‘tapas’ but ‘pintxos’. There is plenty of choices, but as a Basque, you only take one or two pintxos and each bar has its own speciality.
We are talking about food and drink in the Basque Country during your Camino del Norte. And of course, a glass of Txakolina, the white wine from this region, is part of it. Almost everyone in San Sebastián is a member of a ‘Sociedades gastronómica’. These are places, fully equipped with a kitchen, where you meet. Either with other members of the association or with their families or friends. The cooking is usually done by 2 or 3 of the members. After dinner, the costs are calculated and divided among everyone who eats at the table.
Beach, sea and surfing
The residents of San Sebastián (in Basque the city is called Donostia) are very proud of La Concha, the shell. That’s what the bay on which the city is located is called. Outsiders compare the beach to Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana. Take a bath after a walking day on the Camino del Norte.
Discover Camino del Norte and northern Spain with WAW.travel
Do you also want to discover the Camino del Norte and Northern Spain? During this 15-day tour in Northern Spain, you will discover the very best that Northern Spain has to offer. We provide the very best and most authentic locations, advise you on the route to drive and give you tips on where you can, for example, taste the most delicious dishes from the region. Of course also customizable. So contact us!