The perfect union between France and Spain comes to life in the area of the French Basque Country, where the beauty of its landscapes, nature and a culture that combines the Basque with the French essence, make this territory in the southern part of France one of the most beautiful and popular every year.
The French Basque Country is a place you must visit at least once in your life, and although it is known for the influx of surfers eager to ride the waves, especially on the beach of Cénitz in Guéthary, it has much more to offer in any of the three provinces that make it up (Labort, Sola and Basse Navarre).
With a territory in the banks of which the Bidasoa River stands out, the nature of this region offers contrasts between its coastal areas, with magnificent beaches to take your surfboard to, and inland villages with mountains and nature, this mixture of cultures shows you magic in all its corners.
What not to miss on your visit to the French Basque Country?
The first thing you should do is visit Bayonne, the capital and most populated city in the whole area. Its skyline is undoubtedly dominated by the Cathedral of Ste Marie and the two castles. Some narrow and pictoresque streets will take you to them.
For beach lovers, on the coast you will find culture, history and nature in villages that will also welcome you with the best views. Starting in Hendaye is a perfect place to begin, where you will surely want to enjoy a swim at the beach or a stroll through its colourful streets, although if there is one thing that stands out it is Domaine d'Abbadia, which is simply spectacular.
Saint Jean de Luz is another interesting place to visit in the French Basque Country, a place known for its beaches, the port and the colour that will stick in your mind as you walk through its beautiful streets. The Higer Lighthouse is another impressive view of the sea, as is Biarritz, one of the star destinations then for the bourgeoisie, and nowadays, for all kinds of travellers who are looking out for beach spots like the Grande Plage or the Plage de Milady.
Going deepr inland, we find some gems waiting to be discovered. Sare and Ainhoa are two of them, both of them villages where the calm, the beauty of its typically Basque buildings with colour.
Espelette is another of the inland villages of the French Basque Country that is worth a visit. It is particularly well known for its red peppers, known as the Ezpeletako Biperrak. In fact, the peppers were traditionally hung on the façades to dry. A picture that has become an emblem that identifies this region.
Saint Jean Pied de Port could be a good finishing touch. A town where it is not unusual to see pilgrims, as the French of the Way of Saint James crosses here. You can enjoy its walls and citadel, one of the main attractions for tourists.
As for what you can eat in the French Basque Country, as we have already mentioned, peppers are one of the mainstays of its recipes, as well as the Ossau-Irati cheeses and, for those with a sweet tooth, a slice of gâteau basque will put the very icing on the cake to this meal.
A real treat for the palate and the senses!