The northern Atlantic cities of Spain are known for their sedate, solid gracious style. Out in San Sebastian’s old quarter, bound by its bay, the mythic La Concha, the pintxo tradition is gastro bliss offered up elegantly arrayed down the length of the bar. Don’t be surprised to rub shoulders with world famous chefs. This is the university of gastronomy with its feet firmly on the ground. Where better than to feast than in a private club, closed to many and open to the select few. For ‘high’ culture museums abound. But, for the ultimate experience Bilbao’s Guggenheim is a passport to the novel and the avant-garde. Lesser known but equally impressive is the Museo de Bellas Artes a key to the understanding of the true Basque identity and its sea born adventurers that made the Atlantic their home.