Visit the Basque Country : 3 unmissable places
The Basque country belongs to the Administrative Region of New Aquitaine. It designates a cultural and linguistic reality on the border of two countries, France and Spain. The inhabitants have kept their traditions which are very noticeable through clothing, food and the practice of various sports such as the Basque Pelota or the Cesta Punta. Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Basque Country enjoys a milder climate than that of the Mediterranean Coast: there are not many temperature gaps and the rainfall can sometimes be much heavier. In order to enjoy a visit to the Basque Country and make the most of your stay, the Guides of France have selected 3 must-see places: Biarritz, Bayonne and Saint Jean de Luz.
Biarritz is one of the most peaceful seaside resorts in the Basque Country: it enjoys a mild climate and a tempestuous coastline allowing for the practice of a variety of nautical sports, especially surfing. The reputation of the city was gained in the second half of the Nineteenth Century by the Empress Eugenie, Napoleon III’s wife, while he himself was at the time the Emperor of the French from 1852 to 1870.
The City bears the mark of the numerous trips made by the Imperial Couple: the former Villa Eugenie having been made into a hotel with its coastal walks and religious heritage, in conformity with the devotion of the Empress. The halls of the city are unmissable for any person who can claim to be a gourmet. All visitors would find a large choice of Deli meats and Basque cakes. One of the pastries that we recommend is the Miremont.
The architecture of the Villa Eugenie will surely appeal to all history lovers. The Empress also chose Marseille as a worthy place of leisure in the South of France, with its Pharo’s Palace. To learn more about the stories of the Imperial Couple in Biarritz, book a visit with a Tour Guide.
Bayonne is a town which enjoys a rich cultural life. Its name is spontaneously associated with the Bayonne festivities, which take place once a year and attract a large number of visitors, mostly from New Aquitaine and elsewhere.
Besides the festive atmosphere, the place is characterized by the presence of an impressive collection of buildings built along the Adour and the Nive rivers: their unusual architecture will brighten up your visit. Food lovers will find happiness in the various restaurants and the city Tapas bars where they will find ham, country wines, Pintxos, Etorki cheese, Espelette pepper and Basque Cake.
Book your tour of Bayonne to learn more about the city’s secrets.
Saint Jean de Luz
Saint Jean De Luz is a charming fishing port which has known how to stick to its secular traditions. The Heart of Socoa Bay is well protected from the gusts of wind which allowed for the early settlement of some populations. The city was at the heart of rivalries between France and Spain for a long time before the signature in 1569 of the Treaty of the Pyrenees, which then determined the political frontier between the two countries.
In 1660, Saint-Jean-de-Luz hosted the wedding of Louis XIV and Maria Theresa of Austria. It was celebrated in the Church of Saint-Jean Baptiste, which is one of the main architectural curiosities of the city, other than the Infanta’s House. In order to learn more about the region through its long history, book a tour with the Guides of France.
The Basque gastronomy
Basque Cuisine is rich, and will delight you, whether with the condiments and tiny morsels such as Pinchos, which are usually eaten as an aperitif, or whether with the gastronomic meals. Among the essentials that we recommend are the following; Tapas or Pinchos, Espelette Pepper, Etorki Basque cheese, olives, Croquettes, Basque Cake and Bayonne ham.
To know all the best places to visit, you can book a Gourmet Tour to Bayonne !