BasqueMagazine Special: International Tourist Guide Day

Oksana Alentyeva, Steven Ekholm, Huang Yi and Emmi Declerck
Oksana Alentyeva, Steven Ekholm, Huang Yi and Emmi Declerck

The International Tourist Guide Day is celebrated every year on 21st February. To mark the occasion, we take a look at some interviews for BasqueMagazine with tourist guides of different nationalities from around the world.

Oksana Alentyeva, Russia

Native of St. Petersburg, Oksana is an incoming guide, specialised in accompanying tourists from Russia visiting our area.

What is your job based on with tourists from Russia?

I take care of everything during their stay. Excursions, I book the restaurants, transport, visits to wineries, cheese factories, gastronomic masterclasses...

What do you like most about being a guide?

The excitement. Seeing people discover Pamplona Cathedral for the first time, or the Guggenheim Museum, or trying an incredible pintxo in a bar in Donosti. It makes me relive my own experience.

> The full interview with Oksana here.

Oksana Alentyeva in Café Iruña in Pamplona
Oksana Alentyeva in Café Iruña in Pamplona

Steven Ekholm, Sweden

Steven Ekholm is a Swede in love with Euskadi, author of the Mitt Baskien guide and a renowned gastronome.

What is it about Euskadi that sets it apart from other places?

For example, something unique, impressive and with a great atmosphere is a Basque pelota match in a pelota court.

The 4 essential things that a visitor should not miss.

- Gastronomy in all its versions.
- The Sanfermines, the mother of all parties!
- The Basque coast by car (making stops).
- Hiking in the Irati forest in Navarre.

> The full interview with Steven here.

Steven Ekholm
Steven Ekholm

Huang Yi, China

Huang Yi is a Chinese writer who works for different tourist guides.

What is it about Euskadi that sets it apart from other places?

The gastronomy and the local culture that shows the identity of the Basques and their love for their land.

Your favourite place off the beaten tourist track.

The Abastos market in Vitoria-Gasteiz, among others.

> The full interview with Huang Yi here.

Huang Yi en Gaztelugatxe
Huang Yi en Gaztelugatxe

Emmi Declerck, Netherlands

A native of Flanders, she is a writer and tourist guide. She have published the first travel guide in Dutch on the Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarre and another in the most famous travel guide series in Holland and Belgium.

At what point did you decide to write these guides?

I have lived in San Sebastian since 2007 and have always wanted to write a travel guide about these territories. I had experience in writing about Spain when publishers contacted me to propose this work.

What do the Basque Country, La Rioja and Navarre have in common?

They are connected by culture, gastronomy, history and the Camino de Santiago. All three are triumphant in terms of food and wine and stand out for their landscape. They are also territories that are close to each other and can be visited in a short time.

> The full interview with Emmi here.

Emmi Declerck with one of her guides
Emmi Declerck with one of her guides

You can't lose:

Bizkaia Bridge

The contrasts of the metropolitan area of Bizkaia

The Nervión estuary is the backbone of the metropolitan area surrounding the capital of Bizkaia, Bilbao. Along its banks there are places full of contrasts where industrial heritage, stately homes, fishing ports, beaches and traditions are all within easy reach and also connected by the Metro Bilbao network.

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