August festivities in the Basque Country


País Vasco

The good weather is here and the main cities in the Basque Country are holding festivals in August: "Semana Grande" Festival in Bilbao and San Sebastián, and the Festivities of the Virgen Blanca in Vitoria. A perfect excuse to discover this part of northern Spain.

The Basque Country is always a great holiday destination thanks to its culture, gastronomy and nature. And in August, you also have festivities in its three main cities. Take note, plan a trip and be sure not to miss a thing. Festivities of the Virgen Blanca in Vitoria The beginning of the festivities is a good example of what you'll find. A great crowd fills the Plaza de la Virgen Blanca square, and people sing, dance and drink while they wait for the 'Celedón' (a doll that comes down from the sky with an open umbrella). This event kicks off a week of fun and festivities in the city of Vitoria (Álava). It lasts six days and includes concerts, a bull festival, religious events and a cultural programme bursting with activities for everyone. If you come and enjoy the fun you'll get the chance to discover the city at its best, and also taste, for example, the delicious Rioja Alavesa wine, or go for 'pintxos' or tapas.

San Sebastián's 'Semana Grande' festivities San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa) holds its main festival, the 'Semana Grande', in August every year. Many people take part and it is great fun. It begins with the traditional canon shot and the city's most important sites become venues for all kinds of competitions. One of the events not to be missed is the international fireworks competition, one of the oldest in the world. In addition, there are many concerts, the classic swim from Getaria to San Sebastián, horse races, the beach volleyball tournament and 'herri-kirolak' demonstrations (a traditional rural Basque sport). All this in a coastal city with renowned cuisine that gives you the chance to enjoy the sea in summer alongside delicious food and the local Basque wine 'txacolí'. 'Semana Grande' Festival in Bilbao The streets of Bilbao (Vizcaya) get ready to party during its 'Semana Grande' Festival. There are concerts, street entertainment, activities for young people and children, and especially, lots of people who want to have fun. Most of the activities take place in the area surrounding the Nervión estuary, where stalls ('txosnas') are put up, which, together with the many bars in the area, are a must if you want to taste Bilbao's delicious food - especially 'pintxos' or tapas. A bull festival, a regatta, a Basque 'pelota' competition, a gastronomy competition, etc. are also organised.

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