The Basque Country may belong to Spain, but its distinct cultural traditions, cuisine and even language make it seem like a different nation. This northern region of Spain boasts diverse natural landscapes ranging from dramatic clifftops to scenic vineyards. More interested in architectural masterpieces? Head to the otherworldly Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, which has revitalized what was previously an industrial wasteland.

    While you’re here, enjoy authentically local bites, such as marmitako, lamb stews and fish grilled over hot coals. Watch the sunset over a seaside resort while sampling Basque cider and txakoli (sparkling white wine). If you want to relish the unique identity of the Basque Country, plan a road trip from Bilboa to San Sebastian, during which you’ll pass historic villages, port towns and the beautiful Basque coastline.

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