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Best of the Basque Country

With Spanish and French parts, the Basque Country is a diverse territory whose people speak the oldest-surviving language in Europe. This list highlights the region’s top spots, and pinxtos get special mention.

SIGHTS

Basque Coast Geopark

(geoparkea.com)

Running from Zumaia west to Deb and Mutriku, this narrow coastal strip takes in meadows, forests and the highlight - eight miles of dramatic cliffs. Layered formations show 60 million years of Earth's history. Paths you can take include the mile-long Algorri route that takes you along the cliffs outside of Zumaia, and the seven-mile Talaia trail, going from Zumaia to Itxaspe. Guided walking tours and boat trips are on offer. Book online or through the tourist office well in advance.

Casco Histórico

(hondarribia.eus; Hondarribia)

Much of the walled Old Town of Hondarribia – right on Spain’s river border with France – dates from the 15th and 16th centuries. Its graceful plazas and cobbled lanes are adorned with woodcarved eaves and iron balconies.

Playa de la Concha in San Sebastián
COMPILED BY CATRIONA GREW AND RORY GOULDING, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM BRIDGET GLEESON AND OLIVER BERRY. PHOTOGRAPHS: PATRICIA SERRANO/AGE FOTOSTOCK, PEOPLE/ALAMY

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa £

(cristobalbalenciagamuseoa.com)

Don't miss a visit to the Cristobal Balenciaga Museoa in the beachside village of Getaria. Local boy Cristobal became a giant in the fashion world in the 1950s and '60s, and this impressive museum showcases some of his best works

Église St-Jean Baptiste

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About Lonely Planet Traveller (UK)

In the June issue… discover the variety that can exist within one small country on a Great Escape to Slovenia; follow in Napoleon's footsteps on a drive from the French Riviera to the Alps; take one of Europe's most curious train rides through the forests of northern Sweden; try out yurts, vintage caravans and more at great glamping locations across Britain; go on a coffee-lover's tour of four countries that make a good cup; and much more