|Basque Country, Bilbao Semana Grande Aste Nagusia|
Bilbao Semana Grande Aste Nagusia18 - 26 August BilbaoBilbao celebrates its Basque heritage with one of the most vibrant fiestas in Spain. Over 100,000 people take part in the Aste Nagusia celebrations, which include the famous Strongman games, as well as nightly firework displays, with a different nation invited to stage the show each night.|
The best places to view the display are the city's bridges, from where the fireworks appear thunderously over the top of buildings, lighting up the night sky.
Music is key to the celebrations and there are free performances of all kinds on stages in squares and churches throughout the city. Two are particularly worth a visit; the stage in the Plaza Nueva (where you can also eat some fantastic tapas at the Café Bar Bilbao) and the quarry amphitheatre behind the town hall. Every night there is a major concert starting here at 12am and continuing well into the small hours.
Don't miss out on the daily gastronomic contests either, as the Basques take their food extremely seriously.
The festival runs right through the night for nine days and come the weekend it is not unusual to still see people weaving through the throng as the sun rises. The streets are lined with marquees from the various bars and societies and many are accompanied by booming sound systems. Shoppers be warned, many of the stores close down for the fiesta, so browsing boutiques is not really an option.
Bilbao Iniciativas Turisticas (Vizcaya Province)
Location:BilbaoAddress:1 Paseo del Arenal Phone:+34 94 4795 770Fax:+34 94 4795 761 CantabriaSan SebastianSantander