Vitoria Spain: Tourist information
Information about Vitoria Basque Country, Spaim
Vitoria, the Basque capital, is situated on a vast plain surrounded by mountains; 60 km from the coast, 30 km from the vineyards and old wine cellars of the La Rioja region, and 50 km from the monasteries where the first texts in Spanish appeared.
The city's award-winning urban design and its environment make Vitoria a city with one of the highest standards of living in Spain.
“Discover Vitoria in the Basque Country region of Spain: the perfect blend of old Spanish history with young and modern development”.
“Vitoria: Ancient, modern, green and sustainable city”
Located in the North of Spain, Vitoria is 351 km from Madrid, 66 km from Bilbao, 110 km from San Sebastian, 112 km from Burgos and 90 km from Pamplona.
Vitoria-Gasteiz, founded towards the end of the 12th century, today is a city of exceptional urban design, a city in which green dominates pavement and architectural history lives in harmony with the present.
Places to visit in Vitoria
The entire old town of Vitoria, with its narrow streets and unique architecture, has been named
a monumental group.
It is worth seeing the gothic churches of Santa Maria, San Vicente, San Pedro and San Miguel as well as the renaissance palaces of Montehermoso and Villa Suso.
Afterwards, you can stroll through the Arquillos, an arcaded walk that leads to the two main squares: the Plaza de España, and the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca. This central area perfectly links the medieval quarter to the modern the town-centre.
This bustling area is filled with people strolling, shopping or sitting at the countless outdoor cafés, which line the streets. Time flies as you sit and watch people coming and going and children trading their card collections on Sunday mornings...
The parks, pedestrian-only streets and wide avenues are an open invitation to walk to the Museum of Fine Arts or the Romanesque church of San Prudencio. You can also go jogging around the Prado or San Juan de Arriaga parks.
Charming and colorful festivities and events
Various artistic and cultural events are celebrated the year round: concerts, lectures, theatre, an open air market held in the old town on the first Saturday of each month, soccer, basketball, pelota(traditional Basque Jai-alai game)…
The most important events include: the Dance Month, the Spring Craftsman’s Fair, the International Folklore Festival, one of Europe’s most important Jazz festivals in mid July, a medieval market held on the last weekend of September, the Wine Fair in early November, where numerous wine cellars of the La Rioja region present their wines, the week of the “pintxo” (tapas), where the city’s bars and restaurants offer their best “mini” culinary creations… and a great many more things to discover.
One of the most important celebrations is the festivities dedicated to patron saint of the city, the Virgen Blanca, held from the 4th to the 9th of August. There are bullfights, pilgrimages, processions, fireworks and all sorts of popular celebrations for all ages.
Learn Spanish and taste the Basque cuisine
In the Basque Country, eating means much more than just satisfying a basic need. Cooking and eating are vital parts of every day life for the Basque people, who argue, do business and make long lasting friendships around a tablecloth.
Basque cuisine, based on products from both land and sea, is famous in the rest of Spain and abroad.
Here you can try both the most traditional as well as the most innovative cuisine, as well as one of the most famous wines in the world - the Rioja wine.
Fish, be it from the Basque coast or the remote fishing-grounds, exploited for centuries by the arrantzales (Basque fishermen), is the star of Basque cuisine. Hake, red bream, tuna and salted cod, prepared in a number of ways, are the foundations of most recipes. You can also find the more modest species such as sardines or anchovies, as well as turbot, anglerfish or sea bass.
In addition, the tapas, called “pintxos” in the Basque Country, are real miniature pleasures in and of themselves.
In the Basque Country, you do not necessarily need to sit down if you want to eat a good meal. The ritual of the “txikiteo”, that is, groups of friends who go from bar to bar drinking txikitos (small glasses of wine) or zuritos (small glasses of beer), has been extended to food: the tempting “pintxos”. While some of these small portions are quite simple, others have reached such a level of sophistication that they are already being called a miniature cuisine. Many bars proudly exhibit their own unique creations and specialties. We are sure you will succumb to them.
If you want to do more than just read, read the typical recipes of the Basque cuisine and try some of the typical recipes for yours...
and enjoy your meal!
The province of Álava: Basque Country, Spain
- The Alava of the green valleys in the North and that of the vineyards in the South.
- The Alava of the calm lakes and that of the spectacular cascades.
- The Alava of the ideal city, Vitoria, and that of the tiny and remote villages.
Álava is a land of contrasts: there are many Alavas in one.
Most of the province is dotted with small towns and villages of rural character with few inhabitants.
Thanks to that, it has important and well conserved natural spaces: the Valderejo Natural Park to the west, the Izki Natural Park, with a golf course surrounded by mountains, the Gorbea Natural Park, the Urkiola, Aizkorri or Entzia mountain ranges or the three lakes located near the city.
Most of Alava’s inhabitants live in Vitoria, a city surrounded by hills and lakes.
There are wonderful places for biking, horseback riding or practising all sorts of water sports. One may also play golf on one of the three courses.
The Rioja region is located about 30 Km from Vitoria. It is famous for its vineyards and fortified villages such as Laguardia, where one can visit wine cellars and taste excellent wines.
- The biggest city is Bilbao, with a medieval origin but a strong and modern industrial and commercial tradition. Ever since the city embarked on its ambitious urban reform, it has become famous all over the world, with Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum, the most modern subway system in Europe designed by Norman Foster, the Euskalduna Congress Hall...
- San Sebastian has its most extraordinary natural landscape, right in the middle of the city: the mountains meet the sea to form the beautiful bay of La Concha.
Beyond the sun and beach, the city offers various possibilities: museums, concerts, sports, popular festivities and cultural events of international renown –the Jazz Festival in July, “The Semana Grande” in August, the International Film Festival in September… The lively atmosphere on the streets of the Old Town should not be forgotten on this list. Here one can savour the wonderful Basque cuisine: from the exquisite “pintxos” (tapas) to the menus of the prestigious restaurants featuring the Basque “nouvelle cuisine”.
- Just an hour or an hour and a half’s drive from Vitoria you can visit the world-famous festivities of San Fermin in Pamplona in July, the impressive cathedral in Burgos, the alternative festivals in Logroño and the wonderful Sardinero beach in Santander.