This autonomous community covers an area of 7234 km² and has a population of 2,184,606. The country is made up of the provinces of Álava, Guipúzcoa and Vizcaya. Vitoria (whose name in Basque is ‘Gasteiz’) is the capital city of Álava and is home to the Basque Government and Parliament.
The two provinces on the coast are Guipúzcoa, whose capital city is San Sebastián, and Vizcaya, whose capital city is Bilbao. The Basque coast has many towns and villages whose main trade is cabotage and deep-sea fishing. It also has whaling villages such as Zarautz and Getaria. Large ports, such as that of Bermeo, the most important coastal fishing port on the Cantabrian, mark out a coast with a large number of beaches that have attracted tourists over the years for their summer holidays or to surf the spectacular waves of Mundaka, Mutriku and Sopelana.
San Sebastián (whose name in Basque is ‘Donostia’) is flanked by the Urgull and Igeldo Mountains and stands as the capital city of Guipúzcoa. The Bay of La Concha is its most charismatic area and its most important events include the Semana Grande Donostiarra (second week of August), the small fishing boat regattas in La Concha and the glamorous international film festival in the second fortnight of September. San Sebastián was European Capital of Culture in 2016.