Basque Country

Bayonne ham fair

In the south-western corner of France where the oblique shale slabs of the Pyrenees rise straight up out of the ocean, the Basque country shows off its eternally green hills and quaint villages of red and white houses centred around the church or fronton : namely, Ascain, Ainhoa and Saint Jean Pied-de-Port on the St-Jacques de Compostelle route.

 

On the coast : Biarritz, which became famous after the Empress Eugenia and Napoleon III stayed there, offers a superb site complete with beaches and promontory walkways along the coast.

 

Bayonne, historic city clustered around the cathedral, is also a port on the Adour River.

 

Saint Jean de Luz, a tuna fishing port in a superb setting, was witness to Louis XIV's wedding to the infanta, Marie Therese. Today, it is the capital of the Basque country and its tiny streets are enchanting.

 

The Basque country is a land of traditions and festivities : the mysterious Basque language is jealously preserved, "Pelote Basque", a traditional ball game, the Basque house, the "extea" Polyphonic melodies, sheep cheese, Espelette hot peppers, jambon de Bayonne, fish specialities The famous festivals of Bayonne and Dax make this small region one of unending discoveries.

 

From the Basque country, our transglobe tours offer the possibility of visiting neighbouring regions which hold delightful surprises: to the north, the forest and beaches of the Landes region, to the east, the Béarn, and to the south, the Spanish Basque country including the city, San Sebastian, and the famous museum in Bilbao.

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