Atlantic Coast

The Basque country has some of the finest sandy beaches, interesting cities and distinctive gourmet culture in Europe.

Biarritz (above) is a very smart resort reflected in the buildings, which underwrite the town's prominence in the 19th/early 20th centuries. In more recent years, its Atlantic rollers have attracted well-heeled surfers to the area.

Bayonne, built around the Adour river estuary, has a delightful historical centre with cathedral and castle ramparts.

St. Jean de Luz is smaller and more compact but very 'chic'.

Hendaye is a modern resort with an excellent beach. A fun trip is to take the 5/10 minute small ferry across the river to Hondarrabia, which, whilst still in the "Basque Country", is in Spain.

San Sebastian is the largest cosmopolitan centre in the entire Basque Country and can be reached by motorway in 30 minutes from Biarritz. The bay is spectacular and the old quarter of the town, full of history, tapas bars and restaurants, is not to be missed. The local cuisine is proudly considered to be the best and most vibrant in Spain.

En route to or from the Atlantic Coast, do stop at the "Aire de Hastingues" on the Autoroute du Sud where an interesting and informative mini-museum will give some history of the St Jacques Pilgrimage and its routes.

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