On the south-western border of France, where the slate stones of the Pyrenees fall into the ocean, the Basque country spreads its evergreen hills, its villages clustered around churches and typical red and white houses: Ascain, Ainhoa, Saint Jean de Port on the route to St. Jacques de Compostela.
On the coast: Biarritz, famous since the Empress Eugenia and Napoleon III. Here you can find beautiful beaches and promenades along the ocean. Bayonne, important harbour on the Adour river has a picturesque historic old town around its cathedral Sainte Marie.
Saint Jean de Luz, fishing port in a beautiful surrounding, place where the wedding of Louis XIV and Maria-Theresa was celebrated, is today the capital of the Basque Country. It is a real pleasure to stroll along the pedestrian streets of the city centre where numerous shops offer a wide choice of local crafts. The Basque country is a land of traditions and festivals: the mysterious Basque language jealously guarded, the traditional ball game “Basque Pelota”, the Basque houses “l’extea”, the polyphonic songs, the goat cheese, the Espelette pepper, the Bayonne’s ham, all have their secrets which we will discover.
THE HIGLIGHTS OF THE TOUR
- Visit of Biarritz and Bayonne
- Visit of Saint Jean de Luz
- Visit of the picturesque villages of the hinterland: Espelette, Ascain …
- Basque dinner
- Excursion to Arcachon or Lourdes
- Excursion to San Sebastien (Spain)
THE TOUR in detail
step by step
DAY 1 : Arrival in Biarritz, welcome at the hotel.
DAY 2 : Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz
After breakfast, we start a discovery guided tour of the famous city of Biarritz, prestigious seaside resort on the Atlantic coast since the 19th century. Napoleon III. and his wife Eugenie fall in love with this place and had a palace built, where they spend time regularly. Biarritz then became a high point for social events where celebrities came from all over Europe. Thanks to its charm, the town keeps its legendary appeal up to today.
Visit of the Russian Orthodox church with its blue dome, discovery of the seafront promenade, the old harbour, the “Rocher de la Vierge” and the “Musée de la Mer” with several seawater aquariums and a museum dedicated to commercial fish and whale fishing in the area. Continue to Saint Jean de Luz picturesque harbour and popular seaside resort. Lunch at leisure.
After lunch, visit of Saint Jean Baptiste church where in 1660 French King Louis XIV married the Spanish Infant Marie Thérèse. Then stroll through the old town streets lined with beautiful half-timbered houses in Basque style and numerous craft and pastry shops. On the way back to Biarritz, short stop in Guétary, a “postcard village” facing the ocean. Overnight in Biarritz.
DAY 3 : Saint Jean Pied de Port
Full day guided excursion to Saint Jean Pied de Port, former capital of the Basse Navarre region and picturesque small town with a citadel at the foot of the Pyrenees mountain, on the road to Saint Jacques de Compostela. The narrow streets and the typical houses are specially to discover on Mondays when the local market takes place.
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