The Basque Country and Navarre

by Murray Stewart

The Basque Country and Navarre

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About this book

This new, thoroughly updated edition of Bradt's award-winning guide to the Basque Country and Navarre remains the most comprehensive and in-depth guide available to this multi-lingual, multi-cultural borderland encompassing parts of southern France and northern Spain. This fully revised second edition includes all the elements required for an enjoyable holiday and also the unique aspects of Basque culture and traditions which make this such a fascinating part of the world. Bradt's The Basque Country and Navarre seeks to give a real insight into what is a strong regional identity, uncovering the peculiarities which imbue the area with its aura of intrigue and taking you way beyond the delightful, well-known cities and into the heart of the beautiful Basque countryside. When it comes to food, discover not just what to eat, but also how to eat it, for many Basque eating rituals apply!
In this, the most complete guidebook to the Spanish and French Basque Country and Navarre, Murray Stewart covers the principal cities - rejuvenated Bilbao with its famous Guggenheim Museum, beautiful San Sebastián, verdant Vitoria and lively Pamplona - and also delves deeper into the region's interior, capturing the quirkiness that make it so special. With 35 maps, 16 walks, advice on where to cycle, horse-ride and surf, he guides travellers through an area whose profile is firmly 'on the up.' Find the best pintxos (Basque tapas) and txakoli wine, the finest chuletón (beef chop) and the freshest fish. From elegant Biarritz, via the French Basque Pyrénées, to the Navarran 'badlands' of Bardenas Reales, travel to fascinating, less-visited places. Here are the best festivals, including Pamplona's famous, bull-running Sanfermines. Learn how the handing-over of three cows has kept the peace for centuries, or where you can see the annual 'Benediction of the Red Pepper'. Join the walkers on the Caminos de Santiago, the pilgrim routes which still sustain the local economy, 1,000 years after they began. Find information on the unique Basque and Navarran wines, top birdwatching sites, history, music, sports and culture - and when to visit. Bradt's The Basque Country and Navarre is the ideal companion.

About the author

Murray Stewart lived in the Basque Country and Navarre for several months while writing this book. An excellent French and Spanish-speaker, he has also worked in Northern Spain as a business consultant and taught English in Chile and Mexico. A diehard pilgrim, he has spent many weeks and covered hundreds of kilometres slowly trekking through both the French and Spanish Basque regions, as well as Navarre, on his way to Santiago de Compostela. He has also extensively toured the western Pyrenees and Navarre by bicycle. Recently pursuing a more sedate passion for classic cars, in 2014 he bought a 1970s Seat 600 in San Sebastián.

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Contents

PART 1 GENERAL INFORMATION
Chapter 1 Background Information
Geography, Climate, Fauna, History, Government and politics, Economy, People, Language, Religion, Education, Culture, Sport
Chapter 2 Practical Information
When to visit, Highlights, Suggested itineraries, Tourist information, Tour operators, Red tape, Getting there and away, Health, Safety, Women travellers, Senior travellers, Travellers with disabilities, Ethnic minority travellers, Gay and lesbian travellers, Travelling with kids, What to take, Money, Costs and budgeting, Getting around, Accommodation, Eating and drinking, Public holidays and festivals, Shopping, Sightseeing and entertainment, Sports and other activities, Media and communications, Cultural etiquette, Buying property

PART 2 THE BASQUE AUTONOMOUS COMMUNITY
Chapter 3 Bilbao and Bizkaia Province
History, Getting there and away, Getting around, Tourist information, Bilbao, Around Bilbao, West of Bilbao: Las Encartaciones, West Encartaciones: the Karrantza Valley, Inland from Bilbao: Durango and around, The coast east of Bilbao
Chapter 4 San Sebastián and Gipuzkoa Province
San Sebastián, Inland from San Sebastián, East to France, West of San Sebastián, Further west: Deba and Mutriku
Chapter 5 Vitoria-Gasteiz and Álava Province
Vitoria-Gasteiz, East of Vitoria: Llanada Alavesa, Southeast of Vitoria: La Montaña Alavesa, West of Vitoria: Añana and surroundings, La Rioja Alavesa

PART 3 NAVARRE
Chapter 6 Navarre
History, Northern Navarre, Navarre's western sierras: Andía, Urbasa and Aralar, Southern Navarre: La Zona Media and La Ribera, La Ribera: Bardenas Reales and Tudela

PART 4 THE FRENCH BASQUE COUNTRY
Chapter 7 Biarritz, the French Basque Coast and Inland Labourd
Biarritz, Anglet, Bayonne, Bidart, Guéthary, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and Ciboure, Urrugne and around, Hendaye, Inland Labourd, Northern Labourd
Chapter 8 Basse-Navarre
History, Uharte-Cize Commune, Saint Martin de Arberoue Commune, Uharte-Mixte Commune
Chapter 9 La Soule
History, Getting there and around, Mauléon-Licharre, Hôpital Saint-Blaise, Tardets-Sorholus, Sainte-Engrâce, Soule's southwest

Appendices
Language
Further info
Index