When you think of the Basque Country, you immediately think of the elegant city of Biarritz and the authentic city of Bayonne. But whether for the weekend or for the holidays, the Basque Country is full of destinations.
The region is distinguished by its transversal culture, its heritage, its belonging. Situated between the Pyrenees, the Bearn and the Atlantic coast, it remains a land of traditions.
Famous, among other things, for Basque pelota, this destination also hosts countless activities. Perfect activities to get away and have a good time with family and friends, either in the city or in the middle of nature.
With its extensive and beautiful coastline and imposing mountains, the Basque Country is the ideal place for those seeking the thrill of adventure. On the agenda, new experiences among impressive landscapes, mountains, cliffs, exceptional fauna and flora. So, are you ready for thrills and adventures of all kinds? Go!
Whether you visit the Basque Coast during the holidays or the weekend, there is sure to be a surf school to welcome young and old. Do you want to be in communion with the elements?
Let yourself be tempted by the surf and ride on the waves, standing on your board. Surfing is the essential activity in this region that is its cradle. In fact, this sport has become the emblem of the Basque Country and has forged its reputation throughout the Atlantic coast of the world.
The Basque Country is a true paradise for lovers of water sports. In addition to its magnificent beaches, the impressive waves that break there have contributed to its fame. Surfers come from all over the world to practice this sport. Above all, for the unique sensations it provides, but also to enjoy the surrounding landscape from another angle.
From the ocean, the view is magnificent on the cliffs. In the background, the mountains of the Pyrenees indicate the proximity of Spain. It’s hard not to enjoy it. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, this outdoor activity gets your adrenaline pumping. And in the process, you work your abs and your back!
Where are the best surf spots in the Basque Country?
In fact, the entire French Basque coast is one of the best surfing spots in Europe and the world. The region is full of beaches accessible to all levels.
The crème de la crème is, without a doubt, Biarritz, a true land of surfing in which this discipline is not just a sport, but a true culture and a way of life. Between the Casino and the Hôtel du Palais, passing through the Villa Belza, it is undoubtedly the ideal place to put on your wetsuit.
Biarritz is a very lively city all year round and enjoys an international reputation. It hosts numerous competitions around surfing.
But it is also the most important seaside resort on the entire Atlantic coast. Distinguished for its glamor, Biarritz is very close to show business, thanks to the film festival that is held there every year.
For both beginners and advanced riders, the Basque Coast is an ideal place to catch a board. If you are in the initiation phase, the waves that form north of the beach are slower.
This makes it an ideal place to learn to surf. Those in the center of the beach are reserved for advanced surfers, as they are more intense and tend to be deeper.
Long on the Basque coast and further south of Biarritz, the beach of Marbella reveals itself. It has the particularity of being exposed to the waves accompanied by strong currents. The locals gather there to surf in a friendly atmosphere.
But for those who do not know the place, it invites you to be attentive before jumping into the water. This place is also the place to go if you want to attend the typical Biarritz events, such as the Wheels and the Waves.
It is located at the foot of the Hôtel du Palais. Although the place is sheltered, the regulars who frequent this beach are mostly experienced surfers. It is not really adapted to families, because with a high coefficient and a rough sea, one can very quickly find oneself on the high seas, carried away by a strong current.
That said, more experienced surfers will find an exceptional and above all more intimate setting to unleash their passion. Compared to other places, this one offers more tranquility, with fewer people in the water.
However, you have to be careful because the presence of a rocky bottom in the place requires a certain level of experience. Some areas, such as Roche Ronde, which is home to seabirds, or Bernain beach, with a high risk of landslides, are prohibited.
Less protected than Biarritz, Anglet is the ideal place for lovers of emotions. Of course, the beaches are supervised in season. The coastline is more extensive with its 11 beaches that follow one another along almost 4.5 km. Those near the Chambre d’Amour are the most popular. Surf schools have the opportunity to choose a site based on the wind and tides.
Among the most famous are Marinella Beach and Cavaliers Beach, which have large green areas and a children’s playground.
Sables d’or beach is the last beach in the famous Chambre d’Amour neighborhood. Along its banks you will find restaurants and bars for a short break between two sessions.
There are also shops to pamper yourself, for an original gift or to buy souvenirs at the end of your stay. This urban beach is also a meeting place where concerts, shows and night markets are frequently held.
In addition, a powerful lighting system has been installed in the place so that residents and vacationers can come to admire the impressive spectacle offered by the waves at dusk or dawn.
Do you want to vent to your family? Take possession of the field dedicated to the most popular beach sport on this very site: beach volleyball. The proximity of Anglet to Biarritz, just 4 km away, gives similar characteristics to this emblematic place and makes it a strategic place for surfing.
The atmosphere is very different in Bidart, with its picturesque surroundings and natural environment. Although the place is more frequented by locals, it is still a favorite place for vacationers and tourists who come throughout the year.
For families, swimming is supervised and surf schools are ubiquitous, offering introductory and advanced courses.
Further north, Ilbarritz beach stretches along 300 m of fine sand, under its iconic castle. In summer, this beach is supervised and is a good place to learn to surf. Much appreciated by lovers of surfing and waves, this family beach will also allow you to enjoy outdoor activities with your family with its children’s games.
Further south is Uhabia beach, a meeting place for families and surfers. This beach stands out for its particular charm. However, the shops and restaurants that line it contribute to its great appeal. The site is easily accessible.
During the season, they are available for people with reduced mobility at the first aid station. Whatever your level, any surfer can surf here, both at low and mid tide.
But when the tide is high, L’uhabia is a very popular beach for bodyboarders, as the waves tend to form a tube with the breaker. The Centro beach is located in the heart of the town. With the swell in the background, it also has something to satisfy surfers thirsty for invigorating waves. As in the entire Basque Coast, surf schools are there to help you get started or, why not, improve your skills.
The least we can say about Guéthary beach is that it does not lack charm, with its wild and village air, its spectacular landscape, its fine sands and its pebbles … Intimate, this atypical beach in the Basque Country is nestled in a beautiful rocky cove and enjoys a low influx, which guarantees its tranquility.
It offers longer waves that can be surfed in all directions. For families and groups looking for a bit of nature, this is the ideal place. However, you have to be careful, as the presence of many rocks makes it sometimes dangerous.
On the other hand, experienced surfers will appreciate its waves that come to break in great numbers and tube at their edges. The beauty of the place has made it one of the most beautiful beaches in the region.
This municipality offers not one, but 6 typical beaches of the seaside resorts. There are some that are more suitable for a family environment, as they are safer, and others that are more suitable for surfing. These are, respectively, Erromandie Beach, Mayarco Beach, Lafiténia Beach, Grande Plage Sud, Grande Plage Pergola and Senix Beach.
Most of them are nestled in a bay, well sheltered from the wind, while being anchored in nature so that the environment is idyllic. One way to enjoy this show is to go and admire it from the cliffs of the cornice.
If you want to spend some time with your family, there are plenty of surf schools to make you (and your kids) the next Kelly Slater. At the site, you can also enjoy many other activities, such as stand-up paddle tennis, trampoline park or a visit to the Maison Louis XIV.
Hendaye being the last of France on the Atlantic coast and on the Spanish border, it is logical that we end this tour of the Basque beaches with this site. If you are not one of those who sunbathe in lazy mode, on the beach of Hendaye and its surroundings you can practice a wide range of activities with family or friends.
Between sailing, diving, jet skis, fishing and boating, and surfing, of course, there is something for everyone. There are 3km of fine sand stretching as far as the eye can see and the place is a good place to hang back, as it offers affordable waves to be accessible to all levels.
Its sandy bottom makes it a good place for families. Whether you are curious, a beginner or an expert, now you know where the best places to see on the Basque Coast are!
Biarritz’s reputation as a world-class surf spot is reflected in the surroundings. Among them, Hossegor and Seignosse. Located further north, they are two essential stations, just 40 minutes by car from Biarritz. Here you can enjoy a fun family surf vacation. The place is ideally located in a green environment. These Landes destinations are also the favorite beaches of surfers, with their sites dedicated to different levels.
In Hossegor, you will find the Gravière, the Centrale, the Culs-nus, the Point d’Or, the Nord and the Sud. In Seignosse, there are the Estagnots, the Penon and the Bourdaines. Each place has numerous surf schools, supervised by qualified instructors from the French surf federation.
You can learn to surf or simply rent various equipment, such as a wetsuit and a gun. Besides surfing, there are other places that deserve to be visited in the area. These include the Atlantic Park water and leisure park, the Hossegor sea lake and the Black Pond nature reserve.
This activity, not to be missed if you are in the Basque Country, is halfway between surfing and kayaking. Kids will love it. In fact, the practice is carried out in a calm sea and in optimal conditions. However, to escape the mass of tourists, Ocean Adventure offers a leisurely ride with views of the mountains.
Standing on the board, you paddle with an oar to move it forward and ensure its stability. Paddle boarding is a balancing act that combines sport and relaxation outdoors. The current will guide your board and all you have to do is glide gently over the water as you take in the splendid view that awaits you.
As long as you know how to swim, this is the ideal activity to recharge your batteries and have fun with your family on the Basque Coast. Is your family made up of young and old adventurers? In that case, this stand-up paddle tour is made for you. A way to discover Hendaye and its surroundings in a different way. And if you’ve never practiced SUP, don’t panic!
The activity is accessible from 8 years old and classes are taught by qualified instructors.
Electric skateboard rides are easy and accessible for the whole family from 8 years old. You don’t have to be athletic, it’s 0% effort and 100% fun!
The electric skateboard is an individual means of transportation based on the classic skateboard model, but with a motor that does almost everything for you. Speed is controlled with a manual throttle and the direction of travel is adjusted by tilting the skateboard to one side or the other. No need to step or push.
Although it is one of the most classic activities, the acrobranche is a family activity par excellence . In the heart of the forest, the routes are adapted to all levels, between 1 meter for the little ones and more than 20 meters high for the older ones thirsty for adrenaline.
For children, it is a great opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of an adventurer. This activity consists of a kind of height climbing that consists of moving from one tree to another, from one platform to another. Accessible from 3 years of age, the games are dotted with sporting and playful challenges to combine balance and sensations.
If the acrobranche begins more easily by crossing suspension bridges, you will soon be faced with monkey bridges, barrels, zip lines, rocking bridges, tunnels, catwalks, flying carpets and many others.
One thing is for sure, between the old and the little ones, the sense of fun that this adventure in the trees provides will undoubtedly be shared. The other good news is that e he Basque Country is full of leisure parks and tree climbing places where you can have fun with your family while breathing fresh air.
To discover the architectural jewels of the Basque Country, nothing better than the trails or walks. Along the way, you will not be able to fail to admire the vestiges of the past and the beautiful landscapes from the summit of the Rhune or the ridges of Jaizkibel … Combining sport and relaxation, this activity allows you to kill two birds with one stone.
That said, you can also hike in other ways, on a quad bike, on a scooter, with the Rhune train or on horseback, for example, for a change of scenery in the middle of nature. With the children, explore the area for a walk or enjoy the scenery with a picnic outside. Be careful, you will be surprised!
The Basque coast along the coastal path
Walking the coastal path with the family for a few hours or several days is, without a doubt, the best way to appreciate the typical beauty of the Basque Country. The Talaia trail is 54 km long and has many surprises in store for you. But it is also possible to start from Bidart and go to Hendaye on a 25 km route. Take advantage of the well-deserved breaks to photograph the many unmissable viewpoints that will unfold before your eyes.
From Bidart to Saint Jean de Luz
Departure at Erretegia beach in Bidart. The dive view from the top of the Sainte-Madeleine chapel sets the tone and immediately announces the color of the journey. After visiting Parlementia beach and admiring its beautiful world-renowned waves, head to Guéthary and its picturesque harbor.
We like to stop at its beaches, which offer a very pleasant view, and we do not stop admiring the exploits of the surfers. Afterwards, we take the road back to the Corniche to climb the Cenitz hill. With an area of 1.2 hectares, this nature reserve belongs to the Conservatorio del Litoral.
Now we go to Sainte-Barbe, where the bay of Saint Jean de Luz begins, to admire the Nivelle, the Quai de l’Infante and the colorful fishing port. Continuation and end of the route: towards Hendaye.
Stage from Saint Jean de Luz to Hendaye
From Socoa, the Basque Corniche is traversed through ten kilometers of paths and cliffs. You are sure to experience a lot of excitement as you drive through green hills, wild coves and rocky shores.
When you arrive at the Crique des Viviers Basques, in Urrugne, it is essential to make a small detour to the village Haizabia. An opportunity to discover your seawater pool.
A few leagues away, we pass through the preserved natural park of Abbadia, where the green hills contrast nicely with the blue of the ocean. We go back in time with the Pointe Sainte Anne blockhouse and return to the observatory castle of Abbadia, for a quick stop at the mansion of the astronomer Antoine d’Abbadie.
Before this tour of the coastline ends at Hendaye’s main beach, you can make a short detour to the Maison de la Corniche, to satisfy the curiosity of young and old.
This expedition to discover the Basque Country ends at Hendaye beach, in the bay of Txingudi. To recover from all these emotions, the whole family can stay on the terrace of a restaurant or in a cafe with a breathtaking view of the sea for a well-deserved rest.
The walk of the Rhune
The rich natural heritage of the Basque Country is made up of perfectly preserved flora and fauna. It can also be discovered on the Rhune side. Between Navarra and Labourd, this mountain range rises to 905 m to mark the border between Spain and the Basque Country.
The climb is not the easiest, but it can be done on foot or aboard a small train. Once at the top, you can only admire the sublime 360 ° panorama offered by the rocks, the vegetation, the streams …
In addition, your effort will be rewarded with the purchase of some typical Basque products in the souvenir shops present in the place. If you are lucky, you will also be able to admire one of the local curiosities: the pottoks.
For the most resistant, it will be without the little train, but with technicality and a lot of unevenness. The outputs will be of 6 circuits, from the easiest level to the most sporty.
Whether a couple, a group of friends or a family, this category of visitors will be able to start from Sare, Ascain, Col de Saint-Ignace, Col de Lizuniaga or Olhette, to make a 2 to 3 hour climb before hugging the view of the Pyrenees.
For families with children, it is possible to take a train ride after driving to the Col de Saint-Ignace and park your car. Up there, your head will be in the clouds in every way. If the ascent was faster, the reverse path is on foot.
Do you have an adventurous spirit? Then it will be tempting to climb the Jaizkibel on the Spanish side. You take the path from Santiago by Hondarribia. Despite their 573 m altitude, these ridges can also be easily reached via Pasaia Donibane.
It is even possible, for those who are not afraid of the cold, to opt for a short but steep climb to reach the summit more quickly. Then they will pass by the Guadalupe oratory, in Fontarrabia. The views will be exceptionally impressive when you look out over the bay of Hendaya, Irún, Pasaia or Hondarribia.
The gorges of Kakuetta, in Haute Soule
Escape the summer heat for an excursion exploring the Kakuetta Gorges in Haute Soule. With the ticket in your pocket, leave Sainte-Engrâce at an altitude of 600 meters. This end of the world, full of nature, is nestled in the middle of the mountains.
Its lush vegetation has earned it the nickname of the Amazon of temperate latitudes, where diverse flora and fauna coexist, most of the time hidden under the vegetation. Taking advantage of the humidity, small bugs such as scolopendras are very frequent.
The most fortunate will see some birds of prey fly overhead, including the emblematic species of the Pyrenees: the bearded vulture. As for the vegetation, if you have a sharp eye, you will be able to distinguish between this density the elegance of the blue columbinas, which however you can only touch with your eyes.
And by the way, enjoy the impressive landscape offered by this interlacing of wet rocks. The route winds through cliffs that give vertigo and are between 30 and 350 meters deep.
Like in adventure movies, you make your way through two faults only a few meters apart. Here you can take a little break for a picnic. It is a pity that the bathroom is prohibited to preserve the tranquility of the place.
After this refreshing moment, we return to the road to enter a small tunnel in which we must provide the use of a sweater for the most chilly. The trail can be tough after 1.6 km. However, the reward is worth it: a spectacular waterfall (the Kakuetta) of about twenty meters.
You will get an idea of the power of nature. And to top off this excursion, you will be amazed to see the gigantic stalactites and stalagmites when you visit the cave.
A walk through the rabbit forest of Itxassou
This special place is located in an idyllic setting, and promises a good time for the whole family. The visit is pleasant and allows you to discover a multitude of rabbit breeds, from the smallest to the largest.
At the same time that you are told the story of rabbits from 400,000 years ago to the present, you will also discover our friends the guinea pigs. As the place is situated high up, you can enjoy a small picnic on a specially constructed wooden platform, or order a meal on the spot.
To cool off, you can enjoy an ice cream bought from the refreshment bar while appreciating the beauty of the mountains of the Basque Country. Pure happiness for children. For those who dream of adopting a pet, the Itxassou Rabbit Forest gives them the opportunity to acquire one on the spot. Furthermore, these animals are already vaccinated.
During your stay, it would be a shame to miss the thousand secrets of this Basque universe. It is not difficult to fall into the charm of these small typical villages with numerous traditional houses. From the architecture to the colors, everything has been designed in a traditional way. The icing on the cake is that these places are nestled in green surroundings or exceptional mountainous landscapes.
The village of Espelette
Espelette is an authentic and traditional town. In summer, the town is very lively. His specialty, pepper.
For centuries, red chili peppers have been picked to dry. They are displayed on the facades of houses as brightly colored garlands.
How to get Espelette pepper
To taste the chilli, Vincent Darritchon, producer of La Maison du piment and his famous Espelette chilli. Since 1996, he has grown and harvested the Espelette pepper himself, with his team of 15 people, to enable him to find in his shop a high-quality Espelette PDO pepper at direct producer prices.
He will be able to taste chocolates with Espelette pepper … It is a pleasure to reveal the sublime potential of the marriage between chocolate and Espelette pepper.
Chocolate tasting with Espelette pepper
Antton Chocolatier has fun with Espelette chilli and offers you online its artisan range of chocolates with the famous Basque spice: milk, dark, white, melting or crisp, subtle or chili-bodied, shake your …
La Bastide Clairence on a guided tour
The town of Bastide Clairence was founded in 1312. It is a port on the banks of the Joyeuse, a river that flows into the Adour and the Atlantic Ocean. The village is one of the bastides founded in the southwest by decision of the lords or local religious authorities. Its function was to develop a territory ensuring its population.
With its Basque-Gascon culture and traditions, this beautiful village in the Charnegou country is among the most beautiful in France. It is easy to get to, as it is only 20 minutes from Bayonne.
Visit the oldest ratchet in the world
A visit to the Bastide Clairence will take you through 700 years of history. During the visit, you will be explained the history of the Jewish church and cemetery, the history of the splendid half-timbered facades, and the history of the world’s oldest ratchet where paume was played. The latter is none other than the ancestor of the Basque pelota.
The town of Ainhoa
Located between the Nive valley and the Navarrese border, Ainhoa is classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France.
This Bastide street dates from the 12th century and was created to welcome pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela. The town combines the green of its hills with the white and red facades of its traditional houses. In the surroundings, beautiful walks offer you the opportunity to discover the chapel of the hawthorn and the many streams and bushes.
Visit to the church of Our Lady of the Assumption
You can visit the Louhossoa church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption and dating from the 17th century. Built in several stages between 1626 and 1674, the Labor architecture church has a square tower that serves as a bell tower and dominates the town. As in all Basque churches, the single nave is framed by one or more floors of carved wooden galleries. These spaces are traditionally reserved for men during mass.
The town of Zugarramurdi
Zugarramurdi is a town in the Foral Community of Navarra, in northern Spain, just 40 minutes from Biarritz. This town is very famous for its caves in which, according to the church, the “witches” met in ceremonies called “akelarre”, which means “moor of the goats” in Basque. In 1610 a trial took place in Logroño in which the Inquisition accused thirty-one inhabitants of Zugarramurdi of witchcraft and sentenced eleven to the stake.
Visit the Museum of Witchcraft
The most interesting visit is the museum, opened in July 2007, located in the building of an old hospital on the outskirts of the town, which exhibits informative artifacts, such as Kabbalistic books, dried mandrake roots, witch’s clothes, goat heads and cauldrons … But also formulas to learn to perform magical rituals and make potions. The museum also participates in the annual summer solstice celebration held in nearby caves, once considered sites of black magic rituals.
The caves of Zugarramurdi
You can’t talk about Zugarramurdi without mentioning its splendid caves … Little anecdote, sometimes they become the birthplace of concerts every year for Halloween, where everyone delights to dress up for decades!
The cave of Akelarre or Zugarramurdi or the cave of the witches is well known. The Olhabidea River, also known as the River of Hell (Infernuko erreka), which flows through a mass of limestone rock, has carved out a series of caves, the largest of which forms a 100 m long and 30 m tunnel Tall.
Hendaye is not only a good place for surfing. It is also the ideal place for all kinds of water activities, such as scuba diving or Hawaiian canoeing … When you are on the Basque Coast, sensational adventures await you to fully experience the ocean.
The Hawaiian canoe with the family
The Hawaiian canoe is the promise of a unique and exhilarating ride in Hendaye. It is practiced aboard a traditional Polynesian canoe, which is fun and offers a good glide.
Designed to sail in open spaces, in the heart of Bayonne or in the Adour and its tributaries, for example … The boat is equipped with a side float to ensure its stabilization.
You can go out with your family to spend a day of leisure in complete peace of mind.
On the program during your outings led by a guide, animations and water games. To liven things up a bit, you will also cross waves. If necessary, we can put 2 benches together for a larger group.
Among other places suitable for Hawaiian canoeing, the Bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz to admire its 3 protective dams, Biarritz from the lighthouse to the Côte des Basques. While navigating the Nive, it is difficult not to appreciate the spectacle offered by the typical half-timbered facades of the Basque Coast.
To discover the flora and fauna of the region, nothing better than an excursion around the bay, in calm waters. You can get into nature through the waterways. The surroundings can be seen even better from the ocean, from which you can only marvel at the splendor of the typical architecture. If time permits, you can even alternate navigating the river with a stop in a quiet and relaxing place, for a small tasting of local products.
The fundamentals of Hawaiian canoeing can be learned in one day. But despite this short learning period, the induction will benefit you in the long run and help make your vacation even more exceptional.
Kayak to discover the Basque Coast
Kayaking is also a very popular leisure activity on the Basque Coast. If your small group is used to swimming, kayaking is a supervised activity, perfect for the family.
There are several options for sea trips (organized or individual) that you will not soon forget. The kayak is ideal for sliding between the rocks, starting from the beach of Hendaye.
During the walk, the spills will give you strong sensations and you will not stop admiring this exceptional bay and its reliefs when you see it from the sea.
A kayak excursion on the Island of the Pheasants or a trip on the Bidasoa River
Another possible route is a walk to Saint Jean de Luz and the Socoa bay. A wild excursion near the rocks of Deux Jumeaux or at the foot of the cliffs of Abbadia awaits the family.
Dock in the deserted coves of Loya Bay and enjoy a quiet moment for a small picnic. But kayaking is also an opportunity to try sea fishing.
During the “mask breaks”, with masks provided by the club, a short bath can be included in the program. For this activity, you can board your kayak, alone or in a duo, to inspect the foot of the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
And for a bit of romance, a sunset kayak trip will promise an unusual moment. When the day fades, the ocean reveals itself under the amazing colored lights of the coastline between Biarritz and Spain. Between sunset and moonrise.
Diving in Hendaye
There’s nothing like a little seaside getaway when sunny days roll in. To shake things up a bit, would you dare to try scuba diving? In any case, the curious who want to discover what is hidden under the belly will have a great time.
The snorkeling excursion along the Basque Coast is an opportunity to conquer the seabed (or more exactly the coastal depths) of the Atlantic Coast. All you need is a good wetsuit, some fins, and a snorkel, and you’re on a water tourism trip that can last a few hours.
What do you think if we go to meet the sailors? Small fish, sea anemones and octopuses will be as surprised as you when they finally see this curious species in the flesh that has a habit of swimming above their heads. The chef’s suggestion would be to immortalize these magical moments by carrying a mini water camera.
Snorkeling, also known as underwater hiking or snorkeling, gives the feeling of an eternal vacation. Accessible, this popular activity can be enjoyed by all ages, in clear, shallow and warm waters with abundant marine life.
On the Basque Coast, diving is especially popular around the wild beaches, especially near Guéthary. A little extra for adults: they can relax and feel good in this natural environment.
The alternative to snorkeling: diving
This activity is similar to diving, except that it is practiced at greater depth. Young and old, beginners and experienced divers can participate. An instructor will give you a short theoretical briefing and will accompany you down to a depth of 6 meters.
The equipment consists of a wetsuit, a stabilizing vest, and air tanks. A great opportunity to see underwater life in the real world, with all the wonders that we are used to seeing in reports and movies.
Caves and unusual passages await you once you dive into the water. You will come face to face with Galatheas, Girelles, Crenilabras, Dalmatians … Be careful with your eyes, because the range of colors of the plants, corals and fish could dazzle you! Whether you decide to make your first dive at La Baie des Cochons, Cap Figuier, Le Mur, Saint Sunniva, or at Txotx if you have experience, as these environments are somewhat complex, you will inevitably develop in a resplendent environment.
And to get started in this activity if you are in Hendaye, you can find diving schools in the bay of Txingudi. At the end of the experience you will be awarded a diploma in your name.
The electric bicycle: an unmissable experience
Is cycling your passion? And if you like speed as much as exploring a region, there is an easy way to combine both: the electric bike. It is also a fun way to discover the Basque landscape and all its splendor, with your hair blowing in the wind.
With your family, your group or your lover, one for all to a specialized service provider. Once you have your bicycles, go out to discover the diversity of this territory, its maritime and mountainous landscapes, which unite ocean, beaches and high mountains. If you want to vary the pleasures a bit, think about alternating outings to the mountains with outings to the forest.
As he hurtles down the Basque slopes, he’s sure to get excited. However, the power assist will make the journey or climbs less painful.
From young children to the elderly, the electric mountain bike allows you to move freely and discover the region with ease. If you want to take a bike ride along the Basque Coast, you don’t have to force it, even if the area is somewhat bumpy!
How about traveling the mythical route from the Atlantic to Cerbère in the Mediterranean? With an itinerary marked by traffic signs, you can easily pass the 34 legendary ports of the Tour de France.
You can also pedal into the Pignada forest, or take the road that leads to the peaks of Hendaye, at your own pace. Whether on a family outing or on a tourist expedition, young and old will find something to satisfy their desire to escape.
Its proudly preserved cultural identity, together with its beautiful beaches and impressive waves, have made Biarritz one of the most popular tourist destinations.
This has led to the creation of endless ideas for excursions, which have allowed the pride that locals have in their Southwest heritage to shine. The city is thus revealed from all possible points of view.
A walk along the coast or a quad excursion will be the occasion to admire Espelette and its facades covered with peppers. An aerial getaway is also a way to get to know the Basque Country from the sky …
If it is impossible to come to Biarritz without practicing the cult activity in the country, that is, surfing, we reserve some privileged moments for small family excursions in the heart of the city. Still wondering what to do in Biarritz? Is here!
Along the beaches of Biarritz
As for the beaches, the offer is also wide in Biarritz. For a pleasant stroll along the seafront, with family or friends, the most popular is the Grande Plage, located between the Hôtel du Palais and the Bellevue, next to the municipal casino.
Its popularity is such that it appears on all postcards representing the region, with its beautiful and colorful striped shops. In the same spirit, the Barre beach in Anglet, the Uhabia beach in Bidart, which is a favorite playground for young and old, are family beaches.
Anglet, which has 11 beaches of its own, as well as chiringuitos to enjoy an aperitif, represents the young and very surfer spirit, with the tapas and party atmosphere that accompanies it. If you like calm or want to try crabbing when the tide is low, Carré in Ciboure is the right place. Easily accessible, Milady Beach attracts visitors and locals alike and offers plenty of parking. The picturesque part of the Port-Vieux beach or the one next to the Puerto de Pescadores is not without charm either.
All of them are suitable for surfing, but experienced surfers have a special preference for the Côte des Basques beach, the scene of numerous competitions throughout the year. Let’s not forget to mention Ilbarritz beach, on the border between Bidart and Biarritz. During the walk you will be able to reach the Rocher de la Vierge and not miss the aura of luxury of Biarritz that its Art Deco architecture, its villas and its casino give it.
The Halles de Biarritz market to discover local products
The Halles de Biarritz are one of Biarritz’s must-see markets and a true institution, illustrating the culture, gastronomy and local life. In a colorful environment, this market is organized around some forty merchants who share the same philosophy: Basque know-how combined with authentic products.
In the heart of Biarritz, two separate buildings make up the Halles market, with fishmongers on one side and food products on the other. Cheese makers, butchers, polleros, florists and fruit vendors, as well as delicatessens, invite you to visit the market in a cozy atmosphere to get acquainted with gastronomic culture and other authentic Basque products.
Between two surf sessions, take a few moments to deviate a bit and discover this very special environment, a true reflection of the identity of the city. In addition, there are many small cafes and local restaurants in the surrounding area for a gourmet interlude during which you can taste Basque specialties, made with local products.
Visit the Biarritz Aquarium: an impressive sight
If your family has not yet had a chance to see the seabed of the Atlantic coast, give them this pleasure with a visit to the aquarium of Biarritz. In the heart of the city, opposite the Rocher de la Vierge, the aquarium opens its doors to you for numerous activities and discoveries.
Both children and adults will be delighted to meet the little inhabitants of the Atlantic Ocean, such as jellyfish, seahorses and other octopuses …
Between visits, the little ones will surely not mind playing hide and seek at the Mangrove. Continue the visit with an immersion in the past discovering the history of fishing in the region through the collections on the different types of fishing practiced in the Basque Country.
In addition to a gallery of cetaceans, the aquarium has a seal tank where you can have a great time with these mischievous animals. Those who like to get excited will be able to experience a scene from “Jaws”, with a terrifying face-to-face encounter.
In a giant aquarium, 7 well-known species of sharks are exhibited, including the hammerhead shark. Be pleasantly surprised by the cave of turtles and rays, then you will head to the Gulf Stream of the Caribbean Sea and the Indo-Pacific Ocean and meet unlikely-looking fish and vibrant colors. More than one hundred species of fauna and flora of the Bay of Biscay are represented.
Have an aperitif at Bar de la Côte
Tinted with Spanish flavors and typical dishes from the Pyrenees, Basque gastronomy is an invitation to a journey into the heart of the country’s traditions. To taste the local flavors, Le Bar de la Côte is one of the favorite addresses.
The ideal place to eat or have an aperitif with the colors of the Basque Coast. You can taste local specialties such as pintos or legs, whole squid, seafood dishes.
The restaurant also offers dishes from around the world, such as Latin American beef picaña with bò bún from Southeast Asia. Nothing better than a good glass of wine from the house’s eclectic cellar to accompany your dishes or appetizers. Between Rioja, Bordeaux, Burgundy or some nuggets …, the choice is wide.
Visit to the Biarritz lighthouse
A visit to the lighthouse is a must in Biarritz. Ideally, leave your car in the city center and take a walk along the coast.
The impressive view at the top is well worth the 248 steps and 73 meters of the lighthouse, from sea level. On the Saint-Martin point and overlooking the city, overlooking the Hainsart cape, the Biarritz lighthouse is an old 19th century building, built in 1834.
Formerly surrounded by oak trees, this cape is named after the tamarisks that have replaced them. Cape Hainsart separates the rocky coast of the Basque Country from the sandy coast of the Landes. During the visit to the Biarritz lighthouse, its construction will be explained to you, while you enjoy the 360 ° view it offers over the city.
Visit the Cité de l’Océan in Biarritz
The Cité de l’Océan deals with the ocean in all its forms. Families will be able to take advantage of their edutainment space to learn more about the ocean. Innovative in its architecture and content, this structure allows visitors to be themselves actors of their discoveries through various interactive devices, allowing them to hear, touch and feel the marine world. A captivating odyssey that is sure to delight young and old thanks to the immersive 360 ° experiences on offer. Among them, virtual reality surf simulators, augmented reality, 3D animations …
Learn to surf
In Biarritz, surfing is practically a religion. And this can be verified with surfboard rental companies or the many surf clubs that are very present in the region. Not to mention the abundance of surf shops that sell products from the most famous surf brands, such as Billabong or Rip Curl.
And for good reason, you cannot come to Biarritz without thinking about practicing its emblematic sport. In fact, the whole world knows Biarritz, especially for this activity. The waves are suitable for all levels and allow you to slide or drift towards the shore. From April to November, the surf schools will be happy to welcome you for a course of a few hours, with courses that can last a few days. These courses are aimed at both beginners and experienced surfers.
In addition to Biarritz and its great reputation based on surfing, among other things, we also immediately think of Bayonne when we mention the Basque Country. If Biarritz is considered the glamorous city, Bayonne stands out for its authenticity.
In fact, the Basque and Gascon culture is so deeply rooted in the city of Bayonne that one would be tempted to say that it is a singular and plural city at the same time. In short, in Bayonne there is no lack of activities or gastronomic pleasures. How can you have fun with your family in Bayonne? Here are the answers.
A walk to orrilles of the Adour or in the Adour
At 307 kilometers long, the Adour is also a very popular attraction for Bayonne vacationers. This river has been classified as a site of the Natura 2000 Network and can be discovered by walking along its banks, either as a lover or in a more familiar way.
Passing over the Saint-Esprit bridge, you will reach the station district where a magnificent view of the other shore awaits you. In addition, this neighborhood leads to other beautiful places of attraction to visit in Bayonne. It is good to know that the source of the Adour comes from the Pic du Midi de Bigorre massif.
To have a certain angle of the city, you can also choose to walk along the Adour and Nive beds, renting a canoe, for example, to practice the Hawaiian canoe. If you especially fancy soft water activities, this activity is perfect. Of course, do not forget the photos to immortalize these moments of pure happiness.
Visit to the Basque Museum
For a cultural break, a visit to the Basque Museum will allow you to learn about the history of the region. The museum is located on the banks of the River Nive, in the Dagourette house, which dates back to the 16th century. In this nearly 3,000 square meter structure, you won’t have time to get bored. For example, collections of objects, works of art and documents, relics of its past and witnesses of the progressive evolution of Bayonne over time are exhibited.
Visiting the museum is also an interesting way to get to know the rural life of the country in ancient times, and to better understand its culture. In addition, conferences and temporary exhibitions are regularly organized to make the history of the city known to locals and visitors. The museum has its own shop, where you can take home souvenirs. A few steps away, at the end of Calle Port de Bertaco, where the museum is located, is the Cathedral of Santa María, which gives you the opportunity to make two essential visits at the same time, and on the same day.
Guided visit to the Cathedral of Santa María
Even if you don’t like pretty stones or history, the Cathedral of Santa María is worth a visit. In addition, the visit is free. Feel free to take your small group there after visiting the Basque Museum. Its sublime architecture makes this Roman Catholic cathedral unique.
Its appeal lies in its harmonious and slender finely sculpted curves, its ancient frescoes in vivid colors, an altar of rare beauty. The cathedral has a recently renovated apse, as well as a handcrafted nativity scene that is hard not to marvel at.
The Sainte-Marie Cathedral was built between the 13th and 14th centuries in the Gothic style. It is the episcopal seat of the diocese of Bayonne.
The guided tour lasts 1 hour and the guide explains its history, from its birth to the present, including the great fire of 1258 that destroyed not only the cathedral, but almost the entire city of Bayonne.
Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO on the Camino de Santiago, the cathedral has a cloister that is one of the largest in Europe.
It features 19th-century wall paintings, remarkable Renaissance stained glass windows, and an element usually inaccessible to the public: the sculpted medieval decoration of the south portal.
Visit the ham museum
In the heart of the old town of Bayonne, and for 3 generations, this family of Bayonne butchers has made ham their specialty. The Maison Aubard opens the doors to you of its Ham Museum.
Through this exhibition, discover the history of Aubard, the Basque pigs of Kintoa and the main stages in the production of Bayonne ham, Kintoa ham and our other specialties. You will know the whole process of ham treatment, from breeding to drying.
Since 1946, the Aubard butcher has produced its Bayonne ham, its Kintoa ham and its Basque specialties, such as sausages, pâtés, foie gras, etc. The guided tour is free throughout the year, from 9.30 am to 6.30 pm and from. It is the perfect place to taste a quality ham.
Walk through the botanical garden of Bayonne
With an area of almost 3,000 square meters, this botanical garden is a small corner of paradise with a considerable number of plant species. Most of them are endemic, like the katsura tree. It is a tree nicknamed the candy tree for its leaves that smell like candy mixed with gingerbread.
With its Japanese-style design, a true pleasure to behold, this activity will thrill all your senses. Waterfalls, bodies of water, bridges and small trails that can be traversed during the visit, constitute the overwhelming beauty of this place. A setting that seems straight out of a fairy tale. All these activities together make the Basque Country an ideal destination if you are traveling as a family or in a group.
Have the traditional hot chocolate in Cazenave
On a stormy or rainy day, one of the best things to do is go try the musseaux de Cazenave hot chocolate.
Cazenave is a traditional tea room and chocolate factory, founded in 1854. Sitting comfortably in a tea house adorned with mirrors and stained glass, enjoy thick and intense chocolate in traditional porcelain cups adorned with roses and topped with a cloud. sparkling handmade.
We recommend the Cazenave formula, the famous sparkling chocolate, the whipped cream and the toasted bread. There is nothing better to warm up.