French Basque Country
Straddling two nations on the Atlantic Coast — stretching about 100 miles from Bayonne, France, south to Bilbao, Spain — lies the ancient, free-spirited land of the Basques. The Basque Country is famous for its sunny beaches and scintillating modern architecture...and for its feisty, industrious natives. It's also simply beautiful: Bright white chalet-style homes with deep-red and green shutters scatter across lush, rolling hills; the Pyrenees Mountains soar high above the Atlantic; and surfers and sardines share the waves.
At a Glance
The Basque Country
▲▲ San Sebastián (Spain) Relaxing upscale city with beachfront promenade wrapped around chic shopping neighborhood and tasty tapas bars.
▲▲ Bilbao (Spain) Revitalized regional capital with architectural gem — Guggenheim Bilbao — and atmospheric Old Town.
▲▲ St-Jean-de-Luz (France) Sleepy seaside retreat in the French Pays Basque that serves as home base for countryside exploration.
▲▲ Pamplona (Spain) Thriving town along the Camino de Santiago with atmospheric narrow lanes, fine churches, and world-famous Running of the Bulls.
▲ Guernica (Spain) Village at the heart of Basque culture that was devastated by bombs during the Spanish Civil War — later immortalized by Picasso masterpiece.
▲ Bayonne (France) Urban French scene with a Basque twist, home to impressive cultural museum, scenic ramparts, and lots of ham.
▲ St-Jean-Pied-de-Port (France) Tranquil French mountain village clustered along a babbling stream — the perfect springboard for the Camino de Santiago.
Biarritz (France) Beach resort known for its mix of international glitz and surfer dudes.