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Gipuzkoa (in Basque and officially; ) is a province of the Basque Country, in Spain. It is bordered by the provinces of Biscay and Álava (on the W and SW respectively), the Autonomous Community of Navarre (SE), the province of Labourd in the French Department of Pyrénées-Atlantiques (E) and the Bay of Biscay.

Demography and urban landscape

Its area of makes it the smallest province in Spain. The province numbers 88 municipalities and a population of 705,698 inhabitants (2009), of whom about a quarter live in the capital, San Sebastián. Other important towns are Irun, Errenteria, Zarautz, Arrasate, Oñati (with an old university), Eibar, Tolosa (during a short time capital of the province), Beasain, Pasaia (the main port), Hondarribia (an old fort town opposite to France).

Physical geography

Gipuzkoa stands out as a region of hilly and green landscape linking mountain and sea, besides being heavily populated with numerous urban nuclei that dot the whole territory. The conspicuous presence of hills and rugged terrain has added to an special leaning towards hiking, nature and mountains on the part of Gipuzkoans. Some mountains steeped in tradition hold an iconic and emblematic significance, their summits being often topped with crosses, memorials and mountaineer postboxes. In addition, pilgrimages (which have gradually lost their former religious zeal and taken on a more secular slant) are sometimes held to their summits. Some renowned and iconic mountains to mention...
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