The Basque Autonomous Community (Euskal Autonomia Erkidegoa; Comunidad Autónoma Vasca), or Basque Country, is situated in northern Spain. It has the status of nationality given by the Spanish Constitution of 1978. It is composed of the provinces of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, and has a distinctive ancient language and solid cultural traditions.
The multicultural and magnificent city of Vitoria-Gasteiz, the de facto capital of the Basque Autonomous Community, is frequently ranked the best city to live in Spain as well as the first city in the country to be awarded the title of European Green Capital. The largest city, Bilbao, has its centre around the estuary of the Nervión river, just south of the Bay of Biscay, and it is surrounded by mountains. Bilbao is a popular tourist destination in the Basque Country, where the main attraction is the exquisite Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, a wonder of contemporary architecture, with exhibits of works by Spanish and international artists. The coastal city of San Sebastián is a well known tourist destination in Spain, with famous events such as the San Sebastián International Film Festival, and featuring wonderful sceneries of sand beaches, green hillsides and architecture. Basque Country offers numerous remarkable landscapes and landmarks such as the islet of Gaztelugatxe with a small medieval church dating from the 10th century, the wonderful Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve and magnificent buildings including the Good Shepherd of San Sebastián Cathedral and Butrón Castle, in Gatika.
Population: over 2 million inhabitants
Capital: Vitoria-Gasteiz (de facto)
Other major cities: Bilbao, San Sebastián, Barakaldo, Getxo, Irun, Portugalete, Santurtzi
Main attractions: Vitoria-Gasteiz, beaches of San Sebastián, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Casco Viejo (medieval quarter in Bilbao), Cathedral of Santa María de Vitoria (Vitoria-Gasteiz), Butrón Castle (Gatika), Hermitage of San Juan de Gaztelugatxe, Bizkaia Bridge (Portugalete and Las Arenas), Sanctuary of Loiola (Azpeitia), The Assembly House of Gernika (one of the oldest parliaments in Europe), Laguardia wineries and vineyards, Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa (museum in Gipuzkoa), Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve
Nearest Airports: Bilbao Airport (BIO - Bilboko aireportua Aeropuerto de Bilbao), San Sebastián Airport (EAS), Vitoria Airport (VIT)