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Golfing in Spain’s Basque Country and La Rioja


The Basque Country in northern Spain beckons with 11 highly varied golf courses. In the same way, the La Rioja area just to the south casts its spell over golfers. This makes it altogether a fascinating destination that combines golfing, wine, and gourmet food.

Golf Basozabal bei San Sebastián

Green with lake at the Basozabal golf course just above San Sebastián

The best way to do a golfing trip is to go on a road trip (check out our review here) through Spanish Basque Country and tack on a side-trip to the Rioja wine growing region.

Lovers of wine and gourmet cuisine (more from our gourmet tour) will get their money’s worth here.

Not least because Basque Country also rates as a gourmet paradise. Golf, wine & gourmandise, it doesn’t get any better than this  ;-)

Bilbao (here is my review) and San Sebastián (click here for Katja’s pintxos review) are ideal base locations from which to explore Basque Country.

Both offer an infinite variety of pintxos, the legendary Basque version of Spanish tapas.

And, not to forget: they also feature the following attractive golf courses:

Meaztegi Golf Club above Bilbao

The Meaztegi golf course is one of Basque Country’s oldest courses.

Although designed by the legendary Severiano Ballesteros, the tee-offs are of “normal” length and not, as they are on other of his courses, “brutally” long.

Meaztegi Golf course Bilbao

Meaztegi Golf course lake with green

Meaztegi Golf

Walter and Katja on a sunny golf round

Hugging a former ore mine, the fairways follow the topography in highly varied fashion.

When teeing off on the upper fairways, it’s easy to get distracted by the view of Bilbao’s port around Portugalete and Getxo.

Meaztegi Golf

View all the way to the port of Bilbao

Meaztegi Golf Club
Ctra. Triano – La Arboleda, s/n
48530 Ortuella, nähe Bilbao

Tel.: +34 946 36 43 70
E-Mail: [email protected]

Real Nuevo Club de Golf in San Sebastián Basozábal

The Basozábal golf course is laid out above San Sebastián in a mountainous area.

We get caught here in the txirimiri (chirimiri) drizzle. It falls so often in this region that it gets its own name…

Golf Basozabal bei San Sebastián

Fairway tree in the txirimiri drizzle

If you nevertheless get lucky with the view, you’ll enjoy the 360-degree panorama of the best-known mountains in the vicinity, the Peñas de Aya, Jaizkibel, Adarra and more.

But, ok, better not let the view distract you, because some of the fairways are very narrow…

Golf Basozabal

The golf course fairway layout

Dogleg Golf Basozabal

Tricky dogleg across a ravine on the fairway for 12

From the yellow tee, you are asked to drive some 170 meters across a ravine. Depending on your lie after that, it’s another 170 meters past a thick stand of trees to the green.

Not entirely trivial, and therefore this is the third most challenging hole on the course with a 3 handicap.

Immediately after teeing off on 13, be sure to manage a lie to the right of the trees. Otherwise, it gets “complicated”….

13th fairway Basozabal Golf

Hardly any easier right afterward: trees and water hazard on the 13th fairway

Golf Basozabal bei San Sebastián

Fairway and club house of the Basozábal Golf Course

Golf Basozabal San Sebastián

Hilly Basozábal golf course above San Sebastián

Real Nuevo Club de Golf de San Sebastián Basozábal
Camino de Goyaz Txiki 41
20014 San Sebastian

Phone: +34 943 46 76 42
E-Mail: [email protected]

For staying nearby, the Arima design hotel offers suitable accommodations.

The hotel is outside San Sebastián, but it operates a shuttle to the town.

A rental car will do just as well, the local traffic presenting no problems whatsoever.

Arima Hotel

Spacious Arima Hotel room

Izki Golf in Alava

The Izki Golf course is located in Basque Country’s Álava province close by the famous La Rioja wine growing region.

The 18-hole Campo Urturi facility was also designed by the renowned Severiano Ballesteros and therefore is fairly demanding.

Izki Golf

The golf course fairway layout

Izki Golf

Tricky fairway 13

As it turns out, I’d just as soon forget about my round…

Izki Golf

A forgettable round…

Izki Golf
01119 Urturi, Alava

Tel.: +34 945 37 82 62
E-Mail: [email protected]

Golf Logroño – La Rioja

Logroño is located farther south, in the heart of the La Rioja wine region in northern Spain. We found it to be considerably warmer and sunnier here:

Logroño Golfplatz Review

Logroño Golf and the “crouching lion” rock formation in the background

The golf course lies just outside town, surrounded by the 1,100 acres of La Grajera Nature Reserve.

Fairways of the Logroño golf course

Fairways of the Logroño golf course

At 619 meters, the 4th hole is Spain’s longest  – actually one of the longest in the world!

Logroño Golfplatz Review

Katja on the first green of the Logroño Golf course

Logroño Golfplatz Review

Logroño Golf Course

Logroño Golfplatz Review

Walter’s rented driver has a pleasing swing ;-)

Logroño Golfplatz Review

The 17th green at Logroño Golf

The Logroño Golf course was awarded IAGTO’s prestigious “Undiscovered Golf Destination of the Year 2019” award at this year’s International Golf Travel Market (IGTM).

And, indeed, the place has the aura of the undiscovered: it may be very beautiful but somehow it avoids being touristic.

The club house is also highly popular with the locals. It appears to be a favorite meeting place for the Basques. Or are they already Spaniards here? ;-)

In any event, the region, rimmed by vineyards, is ideal for a combined wine and golf trip.

El Campo de Logroño
Parque de la Grajera s/n
Carretera de Burgos km 2
26008 Logroño, Spanien

Tel.: +34 941 51 13 60
E-Mail: [email protected]

Additional Basque 18-hole courses are


About Author

Walter Schaerer’s extensive background in the travel industry, passionate enthusiasm for photography and a firm belief that luxury destinations can also be affordable; were some of the main factors that motivated him to create the travel blog In his day job Walter is an online marketing manager based out of Zurich, Switzerland.

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