As stated in the presentation tweet of this French luxury hypercar company, the “Basque regions – home to one of Europe’s oldest and richest cultures – is the starting point to this year’s BUGATTI Grand Tour Europe.”

There was so much to enjoy about all this, especially how it’s the “grand départ” for the Bugatti Grand Tour of Europe this year.  Of course, we love the fact that it’s starting here, just like the 2023 Tour de France did.  Even cooler, is that they did it in the opposite direction: the Tour left from Bilbao to go to Bayonne, and the Bugattis started off in Bayonne before coming to Bilbao.

But there was some things we loved even more.  For example, we loved the fact that these incredible driving machines passed through six of the seven Basque territories: Labourd, Gipuzkoa, Lower Navarre, Navarre, Alava, and Biscay.  We do wish they could also have traveled through Soule, but still, they hit up two more provinces than the Tour did!

Ediicion 2023 European Grand Tour de Bugatti en Legasa (Bertiz-Arana) Navarra
2023 European Grand Tour of Bugatti in Legasa (Bertiz-Arana) Navarre

Cuisine, culture, landscapes, traditions, big cities, small towns hidden in the Pyrenees: our visitors have gotten deeply immersed in who we are as a country and as a culture.

The shadow of some great Basque creators has also overlooked this route.  Balenciaga and Chillida are just two of the many Basque names that were highlighted on this trip, but there are so many more than could also have been included, such as Paco Rabanne, Luis Mariano, and Rene Cassin), though one missing name does hurt us a bit more than the others.

Ediicion 2023 European Grand Tour de Bugatti a orillas del Golfo de Bizkaia
2023 European Grand Tour of Bugatti along the Bay of Biscay coast

We’re of course referring to Maurice Ravel, the most universal Basque musician and a role model of French symphony.  What’s more, his birthplace in Ciboure would have been right on the path between Biarritz and the Chillida Museum.  But, you may have noticed, we do have to admit that we tend to never be completely satisfied.

Ediicion 2023 European Grand Tour de Bugatti Comarca de Rioja alavesa
2023 European Grand Tour of Bugatti in the Rioja alavesa

Actually, we really can only thank this manufacturer of automotive jewels for having drawn up a rout that covers such a vast part of the Basque Country, all while visiting some of the most emblematic locations and driving down so many miles.  We’re sad we didn’t find out in time, because we would have loved to see them crossing Ronceveaux Pass on their way from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port to Pamplona, visiting some of the same towns Hemingway did.

This event was a huge window onto the Basque Country, especially for tourists, opening us up to the world.  This is true not only culturally, but also more and more politically, especially in this United Europe that the Basque helped create no longer offers those barriers drawn with a drawing pen (or cannonball) which, as Orson Welles explained at the beginning of his “The Land of the Basques,” never managed to stop the Basques.

This excellent trip highlighting the Basque Country has been well documented in media all around the world.

Thank you, Buguatti, even if you called us the “Basque Region” and not “Basque Country!

Bugatti – 11/2023 – France


Abritant l’un des héritages culturels les plus anciens et les plus riches d’Europe, le Pays basque se distingue par son histoire, sa langue et ses traditions. S’étendant de Bayonne à Bilbao le long de la côte atlantique, la région dévoile des paysages époustouflants, une architecture spectaculaire à la fois moderne et traditionnelle et jouit d’une renommée mondiale en termes de gastronomie et de vin.

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Last Updated on Feb 12, 2024 by About Basque Country

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