Gipuzkoa and the rest of the San Sebastian area seem to be an area encapsulated in time. It is a place for writers, free-spirits, and high achievers to congregate. Moreover, it seems to be an area all too it’s own, unlike the rest of Spain and not entirely like neighboring France either. In a nutshell, if you think you know Gipuzkoa, you don’t.
Here are five unique facts about this area:
Knowing Spanish or English won’t help you very much in this locale.
This is because most people in the Gipuzkoa and San Sebastian area are ethnically Basque, which means they speak the Basque language. Interestingly enough, Basque is not only a language that is known as the only language isolate within Europe. Additionally, about 27% of the Basque people on this Spanish side speak this language. Add that to the fact that this language has at least eight different dialects and you know this is one particularly unique area.
Many artists and famous individuals have found their inspiration in this area.
Indeed. On July 5, 1923, Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Hadley Richardson, made what would be the first of many trips for the world-renowned author to Gipuzkoa and the Spanish Basque Country. He found an immense amount of inspiration from this area, and he even made references to the area in many of his novels, including “The Sun Also Rises.” Mountain climber Edurne Pasaban Lizarraban is from this area as well.
Gipuzkoa has some unique geography.
The geography in Gipuzkoa is quite a bit different than the rest of the Spanish countryside. First of all, most of Spain is very dry and arid. However, in their Basque portion, you will lush greenish valleys dotting the landscape. Moreover, the rain here is different than the rest of Spain too! It seems you can even get wet holding an umbrella. The best way to describe the precipitation here is that it seems to “float” rather than just drop straight down.
The Basque people of Gipuzkoa are some of the most family-oriented people that you will ever meet.
Although there is no question that tourism is a huge business in San Sebastian and the rest of the towns in Gipuzkoa, family time probably comes a close second. It’s not uncommon for family and friends to enjoy some leisure time on the beach with their young children even into the late hours.
The Gipuzkoa city of San Sebastian also has more “Michelin Star” restaurants per square meter than any other locality in the entire world.
Some of the best restaurants you will ever find will be in this Basque country location. Depending on your budget, the restaurants will range from $100 a plate to $250 per plate, but there are one, two, and even three-star restaurants dotted throughout this famous area.
If these interesting facts about Gipuzkoa do not inspire you to come to visit this place, then truly nothing will. The unique architecture, culture, and traditions of this place make it truly a unique place to behold, and one that you will have to see to appreciate.