Mountains, the sea and the countryside, strong cultural traditions, renowned cuisine and an ancestral language : welcome to Pays Basque !
While the towns of Saint Jean de Luz, Biarritz and Bayonne bring to mind the prestige of the Basque coast, villages like Espelette, Saint Jean Pied de Port, Sare, Sainte Engrace and Guethary represent the traditions and wealth of the people who built the Pays Basque region.
On the border with Spain, the Basque coast is a popular destination for its beaches, waves, surfing and also gourmet specialities like Bayonne ham, Espelette pepper, piperade, hake ‘koskera’ and tuna Basque-style. However, for many people tapas and pintxos (Basque tapas) epitomize the simplicity, tradition and conviviality of Basque culinary art.
The Pyrenees are a large part of the landscape and history of Pays Basque. There are many easily accessible places to visit and walks ranging from La Rhune to the Irati Forest, from the Holzarte footbridge to the Gorges de Kakouetta. For sporting enthusiasts, trail running, mountain biking, rafting and canyoning are on the programme.
If you prefer watching sport to taking part, then pelota and rugby matches are for you !
Finally, the peaceful countryside of bastides (medieval fortified villages), châteaux and rivers for trout fishing show another facet of the region and it is at the heart of these traditional half-timbered houses, meadows and forests that you are sure to find a gite or B&B for your holiday base to explore Pays Basque."