Northern Spanish souvenirs – what to buy
If you’re going on vacation or already traveling, we often wonder what to bring from one place or another. You always want to buy something for yourself as a souvenir or to please friends and relatives with something interesting. So what can you take away from northern Spain, even if you take a free walking tour Bilbao and beyond have so many great gifts.
Let’s take a look at each region separately.
What to Bring From the Basque Country?
What do you need to “hunt” in the Basque Country? Well, firstly, behind the traditional Basque beret, which is called “chapela” (txapela) here. It can be bought both in souvenir shops and in shops specializing in national costumes. You can complement the image with the Basque flag, which also has its own name – Ikuriña.
There are two very popular symbols depicted on all sorts of souvenirs – lauburu and eguskilor. Lauburu is a cross formed by four petals in the form of commas. This symbol is very ancient and, although it is of non-Basque origin, it has become widespread in the Basque Country. Here, since ancient times, the labura has been considered a talisman and was often depicted above the front door.
The image of another popular symbol, eguzkilore, can be seen on many souvenirs and not only. Its name in Basque means “sunny flower”. Since time immemorial, it has been believed that eguskilore has magical powers and is able to scare away evil spirits. Especially beautiful look jewelry in the form of a flower eguskilore.
Now let’s move away from magical and national symbols and return to more prosaic things, such as food, that is, gastronomic gifts. In this regard, as you will have time to notice during your stay on Basque soil, this region is not deprived and there is something to bring home.
The main thing is to pull yourself together in time, so as not to pay for the advantage later. Perhaps you need to start with wine, since the part of DO Rioja, Rioja Alavesa, belongs administratively to the Basque Country. Therefore, be sure to bring along a couple of bottles of excellent red wine. In addition, the Basques have another famous wine called txakoli. So don’t forget to buy this wonderful young white wine with the scent of the Cantabrian Sea.
In addition to wines, the Basque country also produces excellent natural cider (sidra). Cheese lovers can bring as a gift Basque smoked sheep’s cheese Idiazabal and those with a sweet tooth should buy magnificent local handmade chocolate truffles or a box of Vasquitos y Nesquitas chocolates. Wonderful cookies “Tejas de Tolosa” can also sweeten life not only for you but also for your loved ones.
What to Bring From Navarra?
Pacharannueva. From Navarra, you need to bring excellent local wines. They are here for every taste: from exclusive “vinos de pago” to world-famous roses. Pacharan, a blackthorn berry-based liqueur with a slight anise flavour, should be a must on your shopping list and is the perfect digestif. Don’t forget to buy the famous hard sheep’s cheese Roncal, which has been produced for over a thousand years.
It is Pamplona that is the birthplace of the brand with the strange name Kukuxumusu (Bask. flea kiss), which has become famous far beyond the borders of Navarra. T-shirts and other products of this brand with the image of funny bulls and sheep can be wonderful and original gifts.
The souvenir shops are full of all kinds of goods dedicated to the famous San Fermin holiday. As a keepsake, you can also buy a traditional red scarf, which is tied around the neck on this holiday. Navarre is also famous for its wood carvings.
What to Bring From Rioja?
Fardalejos. It is clear that it is impossible to leave Rioja without wine. The choice is simply colossal. But there are other noteworthy products here as well. For example, delicious Camerano cheese (Camerano), Rioja sausage (chorizo riojano), fardelejos macaroons (fardelejos) and marzipan (mazapán) from Soto de Cameros.
In Rioja, you should not limit yourself to gastronomic shopping. An interesting souvenir can also be a traditional bot – a small wine skin for wine.