País Vasco

Basque Country - Euskadi

Euskadi or País Vasco is the Basque Country, the official name is actually Basque Autonomous Community. They have their own culture, traditions, and even language. It is one of the most decentralized regions in the world, The Economist said it had "more autonomy than just about any other in Europe". Obviously they are not autonomous enough, the region is infamous for the terror of the separatist group ETA. Fortunately this ended with a ceasefire in 2010 and its dissolution in 2018. So there is actually no reason at all, not to travel to the Basque Country.

The region has a lot of karst areas, with numerous caves, and several spectacular show caves, including some painted caves. There is also some mining, but actually only a single show mine. So far, we have not listed any other underground sites.

The region has three distinct basins which are separated by two parallel mountain ranges. The mountains are called Montes vascos (Basque Mountains) with the two subranges, the coastal range, and the inner range. The northern coastal plains are called the Atlantic Basin, however they are not as low as this name suggests. Numerous valleys with short rivers flow from the mountains to the Bay of Biscay. The coast is mostly rough with high cliffs. Between the two subranges is a high plateau called Llanada Alavesa (Álava Plains). The northern subrange is the watershed between the Atlantic and Mediterranean basins. The rivers flow south from the mountains to the Ebro River. South of the inner subrange lies the Ebro Valley, which also belongs to the Mediterranean basin. The three different regions also have different climates. Humid and cool in the north, warm, dry summers and cold, snowy winters on the Álava Plains, and finally continental climate, hot in summer, cold in winter, and generally quite dry in the Ebro Valley.