Spain’s north-western corner, pounded by the Atlantic Ocean and separated from France by the ramparts of the Pyrenees, is off the beaten track. During medieval times the town of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral attracted throngs of pilgrims, drawn to the tomb of St James the Apostle, which even today is regarded as the third most important Christian site after Rome and Jerusalem.
This region, including the capital of San Sebastián, 2016 City of Culture, is the gateway to the Basque country. Many Basques still speak their Euskara language, and La Rioja is a landscape of vineyards and its very famous Rioja wines. Bilbao is home to the Guggenheim Museum, a fascinating building, housing a 20th century art collection including works by Picasso and Warhol.