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Travel the Basque Country – from brilliant beaches to ‘The Bilbao Effect’ and bar counters crammed with pintxos

It’s no bigger than Co Cork, but Spain’s Basque Country feels like it has all the cities, mountains and cultures of a continent

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A view over La Concha bay in San Sebastián. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

A view over La Concha bay in San Sebastián. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

The vineyards of Laguardia

The vineyards of Laguardia

Winemaking at Bodegas Baigorri

Winemaking at Bodegas Baigorri

Sunset drinks in Vitoria-Gasteiz

Sunset drinks in Vitoria-Gasteiz

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa

Cristóbal Balenciaga Museoa

Museo Chillida Leku

Museo Chillida Leku

Basque cider

Basque cider

The Guggenheim Bilbao. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

The Guggenheim Bilbao. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

Pintxos at Bar Ganbara, San Sebastian. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

Pintxos at Bar Ganbara, San Sebastian. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

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A view over La Concha bay in San Sebastián. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile

What is the best wine?

It’s a question winemakers in Spain’s Rioja region get asked a lot. And Carlos Sampedro Yanguela, who is giving us a tour of his family cellars beneath the streets of Laguardia, has the answer: “The best wine is the wine you like the most.”


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