What makes Basques unique? The Basque recipe to longevity

What makes Basques unique? The Basque recipe to longevity

Written by Leyre Ínigo Lázaro

The Basque Country is special. It may be for its culture, for its people, for its gastronomy, for its beautiful landscapes and cities, its beaches… Every year more tourists are attracted to the Basque Country, and more people like to rent apartments in San Sebastian, Bilbao or other cities to experience the Basque life-style. The Basque Country is becoming one of the main touristic capitals of Spain.

The Basque Country is different from the rest of Spain. Moreover, this beautiful area has something that makes that every person that travels there, falls in love with it. More specifically, many people love the Basque life-style, and it must be good, because the Basque population are one of the longest-lived populations in the world.

In this article, we present you some keys of the Basque life-style, that are related to the longevity of this people. If you have travelled to the Basque Country, these keys will be familiar to you, and if you haven’t travelled there… You should book your flights right now to go!


Basque people are very active, and the physic activity prolongs your life-time. Historically, Basque people have been very hard-working people, and they still are! A lot of Basque people, traditionally, have worked in the agriculture and cattle areas, in the industry, as fishermen… And all these jobs need a strong physical effort, and that physical activity have prolonged the life expectancy of the Basque people.

Moreover, let’s mention how Basque people love sports, and have their own sports that are typical from the region, such as the Estropadak, Sokatira or Eskupilota.


The Atlantic diet is very similar to the Mediterranean diet, but with the difference, that it includes more proteins. As you might know, the Mediterranean diet is based on the local ingredients along the Mediterranean Sea. As the Basque Country is located in the Atlantic or Cantabric Sea, they consume ingredients localised in the Atlantic area (that are very similar to the Mediterranean ones).

However, maybe because of the climate of the area, which is colder than in the rest of Spain, they consume more proteins, but proteins of the highest quality, they consume a lot of fish, like tuna, and a lot of meat.

Finally, there is some people that produce their own food. There are some people that live in farms or orchards, and they eat what they produce. Some decades ago, there was a lot of people producing their own food, now, this has changed a lot, but there’s still people that produces its food.

This Atlantic diet is key for the longevity of the Basque people. Moreover, as a curiosity, you will have the best food in the Basque Country if you travel there, they are authentic chefs, and some of the best Spanish restaurants are located in this area!


Genetics are very important, because, centuries ago, geography used to isolate people, which made that people’s genetics were different between different villages or areas. However, due to globalisation, this differences between genetics are disappearing.

But what is true, is that Basque people is known for being very strong and having good genes!


And finally, this is very important: Basque people are very good people and have a very positive attitude towards life. And it is true, personally, some of the best people I know are from the Basque Country. Apart from being very friendly and kind, Basque people know how to have fun!

This is really important, as happiness is also key for longevity and a good quality of life, and being kind, friendly and having fun, help people to be happier and as a consequence, to live more.

The author of this article is Leyre Ínigo Lázaro. She studied a double degree in International Relations and a bachelor in Global Communication at the University Of Comillas in Madrid. Leyre is a very creative and determined person. She always has new projects in mind and love to overcome challenges.