I have been based in the Basque Country for over 30 years now, working as an English teacher, translator and writer. My first experience of travel writing was when I was commissioned to update the Basque Country chapter in the Rough Guide to Spain (1994 edition) (http://www.roughguides.com), after which I soon came to the conclusion that the region deserved an entire book in its own right. When Sunflower Books (http://www.sunflowerbooks.co.uk) asked me to write a guidebook on both the Spanish and French Basque Country as part of their Landscapes series, this plan finally came to fruition. The first edition was published in May 2004 and received positive reviews, including being selected as Travel Book of the Week in the Daily Mail. I then went on to edit the second edition in 2010 and the third, current edition which was published in spring 2016.
I have explored all corners of both the Spanish and French Basque Country over the years, and some of the most beautiful parts that have been incorporated into the guided and self-guided walking routes are described on this website. There is an extraordinary variety of landscapes in the Basque Country within a relatively small area, and this, combined with a wealth of ancient cultural and historical heritage, not to mention a world-renowned tradition of gastronomy, makes this surely one of the most unique and fascinating places in Europe.
Being a fluent speaker of the Basques’ ancient language, Euskara, has helped me gain a special insight into this most enigmatic part of Europe – to see the surprise, sometimes even shock, on people’s faces when they meet an Englishman who can converse with them in their native tongue makes the hard graft involved in learning it all the more worthwhile! The language and all things Basque are covered in the blog section The Basque World – the aim is to provide an informative and entertaining window into the Basque Country, which I hope you will enjoy and encourage you to visit!