The
essentials

carre_oneweek_essentiel

THE ESSENTIALS

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DAY 1: Bayonne, the Gateway to the Basque Country

Bayonne is the gateway to the Basque Country.
It’s both Basque and Gascon and a very charming city. Stroll along the narrow, colourful streets around the cathedral or along the quayside next to the Nive River.


You are bound to appreciate the white façades with their red or green half timbering: this very typical architecture has won the city the title of “Ville d’Art et d’Histoire” (City of Art and History).

 

DAY 2: Anglet and Biarritz

Get some fresh air on a bike, on foot or on a scooter in the pine forests or on the ocean! The more energetic among you can take surfing lessons, go and play golf on the links of Chiberta or enjoy an exceptional view over the ocean from the café terraces which border the “Anglet Surf Avenue”. In this surfing city with its high-society past, you can walk around near the covered market halls at lunch time or in the evening and crisscross La Côte des Basques as far as the Cité de l’Océan. For shopping-addicts, you will find whatever your heart desires in town: from the big names of luxury to young Basque designers.

DAYS 3 & 4: From the Nive Valley to St-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Take the Imperial mountain route from Bayonne to Cambo les Bains then continue along the Nive River to Itxassou, a charming Basque village, which is famous for its black cherries and is a departure point for bucolic rambles. At Ossès, stop off at the crafts village where a potter, a wrought iron craftsman, a sandal maker, cabinet makers and local producers showcase their products. Not far away, Irouléguy vineyard and the village of Saint-Etienne-de Baigorry are located on the hillside. This is the gateway to the Aldudes valley. Explore Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in the footsteps of the pilgrims. The town is the last stage in France on the way to Compostela before crossing the Pyrenees. Its market is one of the most popular in the Basque Country. You can also take a detour to the trinquet where you can enjoy the spectacle of a game of Basque pelota.

DAY 5: From Bidart to Hendaye, along the coast

The coastal trail to Hendaye starts at Erretegia Beach in Bidart, a charming, traditional village. Next you will pass through Guéthary with its little port, renowned surfing spots and fashionable cafés. Saint-Jean-de-Luz rhymes with the good life. There is a fishing port, a large marina, Michelin-starred tables and gourmet specialities. To reach Hendaye, walk along the bay and take the “Route de la Corniche” as far as Domaine d’Abbadia. At the southernmost tip, between sea and mountains, you will find Hendaye and its enormous beach. And not far away, the Spanish town of Hondarrabia where you can try a few pintxos (small finger foods similar to tapas).

DAY 6: Last day, soar to the heights!

From the top of its 905-metre summit, La Rhune offers a 360° panorama over the Basque Country, the Landes and the Atlantic Ocean. You can get to the summit by rack railway or on foot! Continue the day with the discovery of Sare and Ainhoa, listed among the most beautiful villages of France, and then stop off in Espelette, famous for its chili peppers.