Basque Country and Spain

THE BASQUE COUNTRY

The Basque Country is one of the autonomous communities in Spain, and it has its own institutions such as the Government and the Parliament. It is well known for its vast business capacity which has allowed it to excel as the source of attraction for business.

Well-communicated, with daily connections to the main international airports of the world (Frankfurt, London, Munich, Paris, Istanbul…), a strategic and transborder location that further reduces the distances of this small region, a mild climate which contributes to making your stay even more pleasant and, all of this, along with the most modern resources… The Basque Country presents itself as the ideal platform for organising meetings and events of all kinds… and for getting a taste of the many appealing features it has on offer.

La Concha beach in San Sebastian

SAN SEBASTIAN

One of the most romantic cities in the world, famed for its beauty and fine food. You’ll feel as if you’re revisiting the Belle Époque when you pass in front of the Victoria Eugenia theatre, the Hotel Maria Cristina or the spa hotel of La Perla, frequented by the cream of the aristocracy in the early 20th century.

Every September San Sebastián becomes a setting for film. International stars fly in daily for the city’s International Film Festival. As the European Capital of Culture 2016, San Sebastián is rich in culture and the arts, with jazz and classical music festivals as well as a range of up to the minute museums such as that of San Telmo.

Cathedral of Vitoria-Gasteiz

VITORIA-GASTEIZ

Vitoria-Gasteiz, home of the Basque parliament and capital of the Basque Country, is a green city, rich in natural areas and a just short distance from Rioja Alavesa, a world-class wine tourism area.

Vitoria-Gasteiz was designated by the European Commission as European Green Capital 2012. The award was the highest recognition of more than thirty years of proposals and initiatives respectful of the environment and a commitment to sustainable development policies.

Plus, the city gets international certification as a destination for sustainable tourism, Biosphere Responsible Tourism.

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe

SAN JUAN DE GAZTELUGATXE

San Juan de Gaztelugatxe is a tiny island on the coast of Biscay. The long, steep stairway that connects the island to the mainland is a real challenge. There are different versions as to the real number of steps, but everybody agrees that it is worth the climb. At the top you will find a picturesque chapel and, above all, spectacular views over the stormy Bay of Biscay.

Gaztelugatxe has seen pirates, witches and legends and it is not for nothing that it has repeatedly been voted most popular sight by travellers from all over the world. Nowadays, it is famous for appearing in Game of Thrones, being Dragonstone, the home of Daenerys Targaryen.

Information on tours prepared by the organisation coming soon

SPAIN

47 million people live and coexist in Spain, constituting a multicultural, open, tolerant, and cosmopolitan society. Its culture is the result of a historical mixture of many peoples and civilisations.

It has a vast and exciting cultural, natural and gastronomic herit-age. It’s a place where you can wander around modern cities, and cities that will take you back in time to a different age. You’ll fall in love with its climate and its people. Marvel at the wildlife in its protected natural spaces or enjoy your favourite outdoor sport. Go partying or shopping. Lounge on the beach or go ski-ing in the mountains. Whatever you like doing, you’ll find it here.

Immerse yourself in a culture with an ancient history. From the archaeologi-cal sites at Atapuerca in Burgos to the Alhambra in Granada. Spain is the country with the third largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

La Alhambra in Granada

GENERAL INFO

LANGUAGE

Spanish is spoken all over the Spanish territory. However, in Bilbao and in the rest of the Basque Country is also spoken Euskera, a language with no direct links to any other known on the continent, leading some to think it may be the oldest in Europe.

WEATHER

Spain has a predominantly warm Mediterranean climate, with dry summers and winters with balanced temperatures. Bilbao is located in the North of Spain, in the Cantabrian coast, where you will find a mild climate with high rainfall. Winters are mild and in summer temperatures rarely exceed 25ºC.

TIME ZONE

Bilbao operates on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) + 1 hour.

ELECTRICITY

Electricity supply in Spain is AC 220 volts, 50 Hertz. Sockets meet European regulations and use the round pin system. However, most hotels have adaptors for different plugs. Make sure that the electrical appliances you are going to use (computers, mobile phone chargers, shavers…) work at this voltage.

CURRENCY

The currency in Spain is the euro, the same as in other European Union countries. There are eight different coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents, and 1 and 2 euros. There are seven different bank notes, for the following amounts: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 euros. You can change currencies in bureaux de change and some banks. This service is also available in many hotels and travel agencies.

BUSINESS HOURS, PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

The most usual business hours are from Monday-Saturday, from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm, and 4:30 to 8 pm. Major shopping centres and department stores are open all day from 10 am to 9 or 10 pm. The main department stores and shopping centres also open their doors to the public on some Sundays in the year.

Information about the national public holidays in Spain

INSURANCE

Registration fees do not include insurance of any kind. It is strongly recommended that all delegates take out their own travel and medical insurance prior to coming to the Conference. The policy should include loss of fees/ deposit through cancellation of your participation in the meeting, or through cancellation of the meeting itself, loss of airfares for any reason, medical expenses, loss or damage to personal property, additional expenses and repatriation should travel arrangements have to be altered. Neither the meeting secretariat nor the organising committee will take any responsibility for any participant failing to insure. Please speak to your travel agent or airline in regard to this matter.

LUNCH/DINNER TIMES

Lunch, at restaurants, is served between 13.00 to 15.30 h. Dinner is served from 20.30 to 23.00 h. Many establishments are open continuously throughout the day, especially bars and cafeterias; there you can have pintxos or tapas, appetisers, and combo meals.  Tipping is not mandatory, service is included with the price of the meal or drink. However, tipping is a common practice at bars and restaurants, hotels, and taxis, depending on the total price for the service, and on the generosity of the client. It is usually around five to ten percent of the total price.

GET IN TOUCH WITH THE
TECHNICAL SECRETARIAT

E-mail: secretariat@iswa2019.org
Telephone: +(00)34 94 662 01 78

Las Mercedes, 8-1ºA
Getxo – 48930
Bizkaia (Spain)