Basque Spain – Episode 611

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What to Do, See and Eat in the Basque Region of Spain - Bilbao, Pamplona and San Sebastian (Podcast)

Hear about travel to the Basque Region of Spain as the Amateur Traveler talks to David Bumstead about his adopted country and region.

David is originally from England but has lived in the Basque Country for 35 years. David says of this area of Northern Spain, “We are talking about [an area] on the border with France in the Northwest corner of Spain. It’s on the Bay of Biscay, near the Pyrenees. It’s a beautiful combination of all sorts of different things. It’s got the Pyrenees. It’s got 3-4 vibrant cities It’s got rolling hills. It’s got great food, great beaches, the highest concentration of Michelin star restaurants in the world per head of the population, a mixture of cultures as well.”

The Basque people are a different people with one of the original languages, one of the oldest languages in Spain. They are a culture that gave us such things as Jai alai and the beret.

We start with a tour of the major cities in the Basque region: San Sebastián, Bilbao, Vitoria, and Pamplona.

David lives in San Sebastián which sits on the north coast of Spain on a beautiful crescent bay with a series of beautiful beaches. The area is quite green as it gets 3 times more rain in a year than it does in London. But if you don’t like the weather in San Sebastián “wait 5 minutes”. We talk about favorite beaches and hikes, pinchos and Basque wine.

In recent years the Guggenheim Bilbao designed by Frank Gerry helped not only put this formerly gritty industrial city on the map but helped transform it. “It was almost Dickensian when I first came here”, David says. Bilbao is just inland from the coast, with beach towns nearby.

We talk about the smaller capital of Vitoria as well as the better-known city of Pamplona where they do the running of the bulls.

We also stop at a small town with a memorial to the first navigator to circumnavigate the globe… who is not Magellan… but a Basque captain named Juan Sebastian Elcano who unlike Magellan survived the entire trip.

Hear about this green region of Spain with a different cultural mix from the rest of the country.

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World Nomads

This episode is sponsored by the World Nomads Podcast

Show Notes

Basque Country
10 Reasons to Visit Basque Country
San Sebastian
San Sebastian Film Festival
The Beach of La Concha
Zurriola Beach
San Telmo Museoa
Naval Museum
Bar Sport
Basque Country Wines
San Sebastian Hills
Guggenheim Bilbao
San Mamés Stadium
Game of Thrones in the Basque Country
Guernica Museum of Peace
Pamplona, Spain
French Basque Country
Basque pelota
Cider Houses


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What to Do, See and Eat in the Basque Region of Spain - Bilbao, Pamplona and San Sebastian (Podcast) #spain #travel #basque

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

5 Responses to “Basque Spain – Episode 611”



Hi There – just a note to let you know that on Google Pay Music, this episode loads as EP610 – Guna Yala, which was the previous episode #610 – so both 610 and 611 play as Guna Yala.



huh, that’s a new problem… not sure how to fix it



Had the same exact problem on Spotify too, FYI.



Hi there – is there any way to acquire a transcript of this episode of the podcast for the hard of hearing? I would like to cite some of it for a research paper I am writing on the history of the Basque costume – the info about the industrialism in Bilboa is very helpful. Thanks!

Chris Christensen


Sorry but I do not have a transcript of that episode.

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