Office de Tourisme***
Avenue des Lacs - BP 11
Tel. 0033 (0)5 58 43 32 15
Fax 0033 (0)5 58 43 32 66
Year-round : Mondays to Saturdays: 9:00 - 12:00 and 14:00 - 18:00
July and August: 9:00 - 19:00, on Sundays 10:00 - 14:00 and 16:00 - 19:00
This land of plenty with various landscapes tempts numerous visitors with its spectacular scenery, its local cooking and culture. Impressive cliffs, fine sand beaches and the ocean as far as the eye can see form a glorious mix of elements !
In the far south west France, the French Basque Country belongs to the departement of Pyrenees Atlantiques including as well Bearn. This part covers the occidental side of the departement. The Basque Coast begins at the south of the river Adour with fine sand beaches corresponding to the continuation of Les Landes coast .
In Anglet, at the « Chambre d’Amour » long beaches are ending and give place to cliffs of 30 to 50 m height and to small beaches in creeks. This rocky forming comes from the Pyrenees meeting the Gulf of Gascogne at the border with Spain. The vegetation of the Basque Country is different according to the altitude.
The Basque Country has numerous sites : castles, churches, caves, museums, natural sites…
With its traditional agriculture and small farms, its exceptional climate, the Basque Country has a wide range of local produce (cheese, lamb, chilli pepper, wines…).
Among the most famous :
- sea food,
- ewe’s-milk cheese,
- Espelette chilli pepper,
- Bayonne ham,
- Irouleguy wine, cider, patxaran liqueur,
- chocolate, the Basque cake stuffed with pastry cream flavoured with almonds or stuffed with black cherries.
The Basque Country is particularly famous for the diversity of the ewe’s-milk cheese either on the north or on the south of the Basque Country with official certification such as Ossau-Iraty, Roncal or Idiazabal. An important number of local producers but as well big industrial groups have set up in the French Basque Country such as Lactalis or Bongrain. Espelette chilli pepper is labelled AOC (official certification guaranteeing the quality of French produce) since 1st June 2000 and with the European label AOP on 22nd August 2002. You can find it in the form of puree, canned, in olive oil, in vinegar, in jelly for foie gras toasts and to prepare sauce.
Thanks to traditional fishing in the Basque Country, you can find on the market and at the restaurant a great variety of sea food (anchovy, sea breams, sea bass, crabs, sea spider…).
We can notice a complete mastery of fish cooking and setting up of tapas bars. You can find many good restaurants in the Basque Country, don’t hesitate to stop and savour the local cooking !
During your short break in the Basque Country, you will have numerous opportunities to discover the Basque Country, walks along the Basque Corniche or in the mountain footpaths, watersports, surfing, parasailing, fishing and sea excursions, mountain bike, climbing, rafting and other whitewater sports.
You will take part as well to various activities which belong to the culture of the Basque Country, the different plays of Basque Pelota, Cesta Punta, Bare Hand, Chistera, Force Basque (the local version of the Highland Games), corrida, golf and rugby of course ! Basque Pelota is a very old sport with different kinds of plays. The basic type of play is Bare Hand.
The Basque Country is as well very famous for its feasts and festivals which take place all year. Refreshment stalls, restaurants, cafés and small shops will certainly tempt you.
Bayonne feria banner - photo credit : CDT64