Jon Rahm and Jose Maria Olazabal are both from the Spanish Basque Country. These two UFOs of world golf have entrusted us with their passion for gastronomy and their best addresses to play and to taste without moderation ...

  • Jon Rahm, the Gourmet of the Spanish Basque Country
    Photo: DR

Jon Rahm:

On the gastronomy of the Spanish Basque Country

“It's hard to explain what makes this region so attractive when it comes to gastronomy. But, I would say it's the abundance of fresh produce that makes all the difference. Most of the fish or products found there are caught or grown locally, or at least not far away. And of course I'm not talking about supermarket products!

In my opinion, the smaller the village, the more it is removed, the more the food will be excellent. Most of the time, growers grow their produce in their own gardens. We really go from the ground to the table without any intermediary.

The topography of the region and the quality of the soil make such an overall quality of products possible in the North of Spain. And if you combine that with the variety of specialties and the very social side of the meals, that makes the whole thing awesome.

If you go to Bilbao, one of the best fish restaurants in town is hands down Le Zapirain. I also ate one of the best fish of my life in Elkano in the town of Getaria. It was a grilled turbo that literally came from the boat when I ate it. The fish are prepared on the grill, simply served with olive oil and garlic, and have that little smoky taste that makes all the difference. It's both super healthy and really delicious.

When it comes to meat, there are so many places to recommend… There is this restaurant, located a bit in the middle of nowhere, called Etxebarri. It's pretty crazy, given its location, to say that it is undoubtedly one of the best tables in the world. They serve the best meats you can ever taste.

There are also quite a few restaurants offering very modern molecular cuisine. They prepare very special dishes there, with very modern looks but which keep a traditional taste. For example, I had dinner at Eneko Atxa, in Bilbao. I had eaten oysters there with seaweed, and when fried, they made it look like we were on the coast with mist. The effect was startling. This kind of restaurant is able to tell stories and go beyond traditional cuisine.

For most Basques, eating is above all a moment of sharing and an experience. Of course the food is excellent, but above all it is a way to get together with family or friends over a long meal. Eating there is truly an art of living in its own right.

Love the food. It's that simple. Like all Basques, I am proud to be Basque and of what this region has to offer. It's fun, but most of the time we try to keep our good places a secret. As if we wanted to keep them just for us. "

  • Jon Rahm and José Maria Olazabal the Gourmets of the Spanish Basque Country
    Zarautz Golf - Photo: DR

On the golf courses of the Spanish Basque Country

“My favorite course in the Spanish Basque Country is the one I grew up on: the Larrabea Golf Club. It's a complicated route. There is a lot of vertical drop and a lot of undulations of the ground. Not a single stroke, nor even a single putt is played flat. And all the greens are full of slopes that quickly bring the balls out into the rough.

My favorite hole? The first ! It is arguably the best hole on the course. There are trees on both sides of the fairway and it leans from right to left. The green is big, but it's complicated.

To be completely honest, the best course around Bilbao is the Neguri Golf Club. It is much closer to where I grew up and is nestled by the ocean. It was built on an ancient pine forest. Holes 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 run along the coast and the rest of the course winds through the forest in a really cool atmosphere. The sequence of holes 10 to 13 is for me the best sequence of holes I have ever played, I love it. "

Jose-maria olazabal

About the gastronomy and golf courses of the Spanish Basque Country

“The whole of the Spanish Basque Country offers a very interesting combination for those who love golf and gastronomy. Between the sea and the mountains, the region is sublime. And the food there is amazing. You can find a few 3-star restaurants in the Michelin guide, and if that weren't enough, we also have 2 and 1 stars. All this without counting of course on the traditional restaurants, offering delicious local cuisine. It is also absolutely essential to discover the typical tapas restaurants of the historic center of San Sebastián.

The Spanish Basque Country is also ideal for combining a golf and gastronomy stay. The San Sebastian region offers three completely different routes. Two of them are of the parkland type and then there is also a little gem… A 9 hole course close to the ocean (Zarauz), a real little links. I believe the region is capable of meeting the expectations of any golfer. "

About us

In a small area (7 km234), we find the largest concentration of establishments classified in the Michelin guide on the planet: 2. Numerous events celebrate local culinary gastronomy through markets, fairs or nearly 19 gastronomic associations private rooms where only men cook.

Rioja Alavesa is a land of old vines, producing a unique wine from the tempranillo grape. Irrigated by the Ebro river and surrounded by the Sierra Cantabria, this region is home to the most spectacular vineyards: Ysios, Baigorri, Riscal, Viñarreal. The Rioja Alavesa wine route also contains many small villages where modest family farms rub shoulders with more imposing vineyards.

Two colors will accompany you during your stay in the Spanish Basque Country. The incomparable green of its mountains and valleys, but also the blue of the ocean. You will quickly realize that the Basques have very strong ties to these two natural environments of land and sea.

Eating well and drinking well is an affordable luxury in the Spanish Basque Country. Seasonal products placed on pintxo (typical slice of bread) accompanied by a good cuvée from Rioja Alavesa, txakoli (sour white wine) or cider, are a must.

Bilbao is the capital of Biscay, this province forming the north-western part of the Spanish Basque Country. But it is also the largest city in the Spanish Basque Country (1 million inhabitants) and the central economic and financial metropolis of the region. It is also a renowned university town.

Donostia, or San Sebastian, is the capital of the province of Guipuscoa and the most important coastal town in the Spanish Basque Country (180 inhabitants). It is a city facing the sea which is historically considered to be the tourist capital of the Spanish Basque Country. It is the closest town to the French border.

The coast of the Spanish Basque Country is very varied. There are small fishing villages and large maritime towns. Some beaches tucked away in town or hidden between two coves will take your breath away. Along the coast are linked marinas, marshes and estuaries majestically wedged between immense cliffs and the open sea.

Address book: restaurants and golf courses mentioned