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Bilbao is steeped in the independent spirit of Basque culture and serves as the region’s political centre. Take the time to visit the Kafe Antzokia in the Plaza San Vicente and the Basque Museum to learn more about the history of the surrounding territory. The museum is a puzzling, frustrating but utterly fascinating place to soak up the region’s rich and complex background. One of Bilbao’s most famous attractions is the gargantuan Guggenheim Museum. Designed by American architect Frank Gehry, this unique, imposing structure attracts stunned admiration and dismay in equal measure. Whatever your reaction, visiting the Guggenheim is certainly a memorable experience. The Funicular de Artxanda, where a magnificent old cable car struggles up the hill to the vantage point of Artxanda is another Bilbao highlight.
Around Bilbao, there are plenty of attractions worth driving to. Nature lovers are spoilt for choice. Monte Gorbea is a rocky mountainous terrain inhabited by deer, boar and foxes. The air teems with birds of prey, including majestic harrier eagles numerous buzzards. Of particular interest, for their scenery and plant life are the Sierra de Orduna, Duranguesado, Monte Barzar and Monte Ochandiano, as well as almost the entire coastline.