When planning a trip to France everyone’s favorite place to visit, including us, is Paris or the French Riviera. However, there are much more unforgettable destinations throughout the country that are way underrated and not to miss. One of those is the French Basque Country that we highly suggest putting on your radar.
Most of the people when you say Basque Country, they immediately think of Spain. Yet there are seven provinces that a part of the Basque Country and three of them are in southwestern France. There, you will be amazed by the history, culture, great food, charming villages and the endless beautiful beaches.
Road Trip to the Basque Country of France
Our trip in France started in Paris of course, from there we took a quick train ride to Bordeaux where we rented a car for the rest of our journey. The first stop on our road trip to the Basque Country was the European capital of surfing, Hossegor. Since we arrived a bit late we spent the night in the most charming French farmhouse just outside of town and we couldn’t recommend it enough. If you go that, way make sure you stay at least one night there and meet the best host Claudine.
If you are looking for a European beach getaway but away from the crowds, flashy glamour and overpriced Côte d’Azur with more of an authentic and dramatic Atlantic ocean coastline, we have the best places for you.
Enjoy our top favorite places that we visited in the French Basque Country.
Hossegor is considered as one of the best surfing locations in Europe. Every year in Septembers the best surfers from all over the world come together as part of the Quicksilver Pro France contest. Well, not only that Hossegor provides world class waves but also has some of the most beautiful and wide Atlantic Ocean beaches. Although the majority of people are there for surfing, there is so much to see and do, the vibe reminds us of Hawaii but less tropical. You will fall in love with this charming surf town with its, French bakeries, bike paths, cute beach boutiques, surf shops and are very friendly people. Everyone there is very happy, laid-back and enjoys life. Our favorite place to stay is Simon’s wonderful Airbnb.
This charismatic seaside town is a must visit when visiting the Basque country. Located only 35km south of Hossegor, Biarritz has dazzling beaches, great surfing, intriguing architecture and low-key bohemian vibes. Like in every French town you can find great bakeries, cute coffee shops, and local hip boutiques.
Here a few things not to miss while in Biarritz. Plage Miramar, Grand Plage, Plage Port Vieux, Hôtel du Palais, Casino Municipal, The Fishermen Port, The Rock of the Virgin, The Old Port and Rue du Port-Vieux, The Lighthouse and The Orthodox Church.
Bayonne is a melting pot of amazing artistic and architectural heritage. It’s like an open-air museum and the best way to experience it is to stroll down the streets and let yourself be overwhelmed by its diversity. Admire the pretty Basque houses with their colorful wooden beams and shutters. Also, make sure you visit the Cathedral of Sainte Marie, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We hope you enjoyed the highlights of our trip to the French Basque country and you would want visit one day.
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