Bilbao, Spain cruise holidays
The Basque city and cruise port of Bilbao in northern Spain has become one of the hottest destinations in Europe following the opening of the imaginatively-designed Guggenheim modern art gallery.
Bilbao was very much a working city but it has always boasted a lively old town dating from the 14th century. Through the winding alleyways of the Casco Viejo you can stop to sample tapas at the many exceptional local bars and restaurants. Other sights include the arcaded Plaza Nueva and the Gothic Cathedral de Santiago. One of Spain's most important art collections is housed across the city at the Museo de Bellas Artes. This features works dating from the 12th century through to contemporary art by Cezanne, Gauguin and Francis Bacon.
Whilst in Bilbao, you can visit the elegant town of San Sebastian, set on the crescent-shaped Bay of La Concha and surrounded by lush hillsides, is one of Spain’s most fashionable beach resorts. With more Michelin-starred restaurants per metre than any other city on the planet, it’s known as one of the world’s great dining destinations. Once a favourite with Spanish royalty, the town oozes grandeur with Art Nouveau buildings, ornate bridges and beautifully manicured plazas and parks to explore. Amble along the terraced seaside promenade, visit the exquisite 18th-century Baroque Basilica de Santa Maria del Coro and explore the Miramar Royal Palace with its magnificent gardens leading down to the seafront. Learn about the fascinating culture and heritage of the Basque country in the Museo de San Telmo, housed in the Renaissance-era buildings of a 16th-century convent. And when you need a break, take a stroll along the cobblestoned streets of the vibrant Parte Vieja (old town) in search of some traditional pintxos (Basque tapas).