The history and culture of the Pays Basque make it a bold and creative region. It draws its inspiration from its heritage and contrasts, between the ocean and mountain. The preserved natural spaces of this region, its charm, its character and its identity, make it a small paradise which is known across the world. Visitors come here for its authentic and cultural charm, between the heritage of the old and contemporary creations. The architectural and ethnographic heritage is rich and diversified: houses, churches, traditional festivities and games, music and dance; many museums, including the Museum of the Sea and the Cité de l’Océan, enabling one and all to learn about the ocean and its flora and fauna.
SUBTLE ELEGANCE AND A HARMONY OF CONTRASTS
With a strong identity, the Pays Basque has everything: the ocean, mountains, countryside, renowned seaside resorts and authentic villages. A range of holidays are possible, such as lazing on fine sandy beaches or exploring the great outdoors, or enjoying culinary experiences. The range of possibilities is almost infinite, with one common denominator: well-being.
THE ESSENCE OF THE PARTY
Visitors should come to the Pays Basque and spend time celebrating. Tourists should participate in at least once in a village festival to feel all the love that the Basque region brings with culture and history.
The Pays Basque is a gourmet paradise of flavours and chefs. The Atlantic has spoiled this little corner of the Bay of Biscay and the interior of the country where the products of the earth abound. From Bayonne to San Sebastián, there are numerous good restaurants, with many Michelin starred establishments.
Popular for more than 60 years is surfing with the adventurous taking on 30km of waves. From Anglet to Hendaye, you can practice surfing and celebrate. In terms of hiking, there are hundreds of trails across the Pays Basque with a range of views. The Pays Basque also has eight tailormade golf courses.
WAVES AND FINE SAND
Anglet is known as ‘Little California’ for its 11 distinctive beaches spread over 4.5 km of fine sand, from the cool cosmopolitan hang-out of Marinella beach, via les Cavaliers, home to the surfing pros, to the calm La Barre beach, great for kids.
The five-day Bayonne Festival sees almost a million people dressed in white uniforms, red scarves and belts as they take to the streets for one of the major events in France. The Basque gourmet walk allows you to discover Basque specialties such as Espelette pepper, Kintoa ham, Banka trout, foie gras, sheep cheese, Basque cake and chocolate.
There are 79,927 beds in the region – 46% in campings, 17% in hotels, 16% in holiday villages and tourist residences.
Biarritz, a seaside town
Biarritz is the most urban of the seaside resorts on the Basque Coast. “Launched” in the 19th century by Empress Eugenie, the town stands out with its original architecture and its casino. After the beach, head to the boutiques, art galleries and trendy bars! From the top of the Rocher de la Vierge, there is an unrestricted view of the bay and its history, from whalers to the “tonton surfers”.
- The Pays Basque offers many treasures: castles, churches, priories, caves, museums and beautiful countryside
- Sports and leisure activities: strolls along the Basque Coastal Road or the mountain trails, seaside and all whitewater activities, golf …
- Richness of local product, local dishes and Basque cuisine
Biarritz Pays Basque (BIQ) Many international links, including:
- Berlin: 2hrs 30 mins
- Brussels: 1hr 45 mins
- London: 1hr 45 mins
- Paris: 1hr 30 mins
- Bayonne TGV Paris: 3hrs 55mins
- Biarritz TGV
- Paris: 4hrs 10mins
- Dax TGV Paris: 3hrs 20mins