Some of the best villages in the Basque Country to experience tranquillity at close quarters
One of the reasons the villages of the Basque Country are so popular is their wonderful location, whether for the coastal towns or the charming inland villages. Towns that are far away from the noise of the city, the traffic jams and the worries of everyday life in the metropolis. Perhaps, if you are visiting the Basque Country in search of peace and quiet, what you need is an escape to the inland villages. Places with old quarters full of history (and stories), quiet cobbled streets that open out onto wide meadows, balconies from which colourful flowerpots hang... Would you like to visit some of these villages?
Salinillas de Buradón (Álava)
This small walled village of around 100 inhabitants is located very close to the Conchas de Haro nature reserve. Beyond its medieval walls, you can see nothing but nature, making its interior a secluded place to discover without haste and break with routine. The old quarter of Salinillas de Buradón contains a large part of the town's historical heritage, with the remains of the Torre de los Sarmientos, Ayalas and Guevaras, the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception and the former Hospital of Santa Ana.
Situated in a mountainous landscape, Balmaseda is the oldest town in Bizkaia. The famous three-arched Old Bridge over the Kadagua River gives a special charm to a stroll through the old town. During the tour of the area, you can see the cultural legacy of Balmaseda through its beautiful palaces, the Gothic style of the Church of San Severino and others from the 15th century, such as the Church of San Juan Bautista and the Church of the Sagrado Corazón de María. The latter two are important cultural points in the town, as inside you can visit the History Museum and the Balmaseda Theatre. And on Balmaseda's best-known mountain, Kolitza, lies the San Roque Chapel, a place where you can enjoy the views of the town after a good hike.
Laguardia and Labraza (Álava)
Among vast fields of vineyards in La Rioja Alavesa, a 13th-century wall encloses Laguardia, a village of no more than 1,500 people where it seems as if time has not passed since the Middle Ages (you will also find Renaissance and Baroque buildings). One of Laguardia's greatest icons is the 17th-century altarpiece in the portico of the Church of Santa María, but it also offers a dreamy natural setting for nature and history lovers. If you are one of them, get your camera ready, because walking around the area you will find the archaeological site of La Hoya and the route of the dolmens.Half an hour's drive from Laguardia lies its neighbour: Labraza. Another cosy village with a medieval air, protected by a wall that has earned it recognition as one of the best preserved walled villages in Europe. Its secluded hilltop location invites you to get away from it all and enjoy a leisurely stroll through its narrow streets.
A valley of green meadows with orange tones, surrounded by high mountains from which a mist often descends, blurring the colourful landscape of the village. Aramaio is a village in Alava in the middle of a valley, located between the borders of Bizkaia and Gipuzkoa. There are many mountains that surround it, so if you have an adventurous soul, Aramaio is the ideal destination to lose yourself in the beautiful natural landscapes of northern Spain. Elorrio, Orduña, Antoñana, Otxandio, Labastida... The Basque Country has a wealth of villages lost among meadows, valleys and mountain ranges where you can relax in peace and quiet.