Looking for an outdoor holiday in a preserved area of the Basque Country? At the crossroads of the Landes, Béarn and Basque Country regions, Charnegou Country is an ensemble of quaint villages nestled in a rolling green landscape along the banks of the River Adour. Just 20 minutes from Bayonne, but away from the hustle and bustle of the coast, the shaded riverbanks and former inland harbours (Urt, Guiche and Bidache) of the River Adour are a cyclist’s dream.
‘Slow Toki’ the slow-life guest house of the Basque Country is the ideal place to stay. Slow Toki means ‘a place where you take your time’ in anglo-basque.
Lionel and Manu welcome you to their Slow Toki, a fully-renovated 18th-century farm. In the heart of this natural landscape in the hills of Bidache, your hosts have just one watchword for you: take your time! How? By taking advantage of the yoga and creative activity areas on offer, by enjoying a book in the garden, exploring the permaculture vegetable garden or the ‘Poules House’ chicken coop, and by savouring the home-made breakfast of fresh, local and seasonal produce.
Combine tourism and soft mobility, climb on a bicycle and follow the famous Véloroute V81 cycle trail along the River Adour, or cycle from Bidache to Urt via Guiche. The circuit will take you past the former harbours that testify to the river trade of bygone times, and to the Barthes de l’Adour where you can spot numerous migratory birds such as herons, egrets, swans and even storks.
Travel back in time at the Château de Gramont in Bidache. These majestic castle ruins, a listed Historical Monument, are the keepers of six hundred years of history, brought to life by guides and local story-tellers.
Climb on foot to the belvedere of the Butte Miremont in Bardos. From the top of this water tower, admire one of the most beautiful views the Basque Country has to offer of the Pyrenees, the Adour Valley and the Atlantic Ocean. Take a stroll through the old town centre of Bastide-Clairence, one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages, with its typical Basque architecture and numerous art & crafts workshops. The Tourist Office offers a guided tour to share with you the secrets of this superb Navarre fortress dating from the 14th century.
Interested in sampling local produce? There’s plenty of opportunity here to taste local specialities and buy directly from producers. Stock up on beer (in moderation) and learn all about the brewing process at the Brasserie du Pays Basque, taste Bayonne and Ibaiama cured ham at the Maison Montauzer, try the delicious yoghurt of the Bastidarra dairy or the Kiwis de Dani!
If you’re holidaying with kids, there are plenty of fun activities for all ages on offer, such as the Base de Pop on the Guiche lake for fans of water slides, waterjump and other water activities; the Sames water park; a cruise along the Adour on Michel’s riverboat, or a day with the donkeys of the Asinerie de Pierretoun.
TO GET EVEN MORE OUT OF YOUR HOLIDAY:
- You can also enjoy a swim in the pool at Slow Toki
- Stop off at Lahonce to visit the abbey
- Discover an impressive viewpoint at the Bec des Gaves in Sames
- Base de Pop and the Lac de Sames (lake) are open up to mid-September
BOOK YOUR ACCOMMODATION
Slow Toki, the slow-life guesthouse of the Basque Country is ideally located in the Bidache hills, 30 minutes from the Atlantic coast and Bayonne/Biarritz. A magical atmosphere in an authentic setting.
BOOK YOUR SLOW ACTIVITIES
Explore the charming village of La Bastide Clairence, just 20 minutes from Bayonne in Charnègou Country, a Gascony term for this intersection of local cultures.
A listed Historical Monument, this site is an outstanding testimony to the architectural evolution of castles since Medieval times. Burnt down in 1523, it was rebuilt and transformed in to a splendid castle.
MEET LOCAL PRODUCERS
30 minutes from the Basque Coast and Saint Palais, in the Sames area, visit this farm on the banks of the Gaves Réunis. Welcome to Les Barthes.
ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
7km from the village centre of La Bastide Clairence, in the Pessarou district, Frédéric awaits you for family walks and treks with a donkey. Advance booking required. Circuits adapted to all ages.
Located in the Bas Adour Valley, Urt lies 17km from Bayonne and 13 minutes from La Bastide Clairence. A riverboat cruise in Charnégou Country.