Guipúzcoa (Spanish) or Gipuzkoa (Basque and official) 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.
Its area of makes it the smallest province in Spain. The province numbers 88 municipalities and a population of 682,977 (2002), 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).
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 a especial 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 renown and iconic mountains to mention but a few are Aiako Harria, Hernio, Txindoki, Aizkorri, Izarraitz, etc.
Gipuzkera is a dialect of the Basque language spoken in most of the region as well as neighbouring areas of Navarre, which shows a considerable vitality and holds a prominent position among other dialects. The province's patron saints are Ignatius of Loyola, who was born in the neighborhood of Loyola in the town of Azpeitia, and Our Lady of Arantzazu.