For this first back-to-work post, I suggest you to extend the holidays a bit with a weekend in the Basque Country. You know, I usually go on vacation when it’s more calm. I like having fewer people when I travel, having more flexibility…In short, being free !
Why discover the Basque Country ?
The Basque Country allows you to combine the pleasures of the seaside and the mountains. And even depending on the beaches you go to, you will not have the same water (you will understand that I am more beach than mountain !). For example, Saint Jean de Luz is more protected from the waves than Biarritz or Hendaye, for example. If you love to surf, these are surfer’s paradise !
You have a great gastronomy to discover – besides the very famous Basque cake, you have Espelette pepper, meats if you eat them, cheese, etc.
For road trip enthusiasts, you can take the car from your point of departure. For others, it will be the train or the plane. From Paris, count a little more than 4 hours to Biarritz. By plane, the flight lasts about 1h15. Personally, I made the trip Paris-Biarritz by Easyjet for around a hundred euros.
When you are in the Basque Country, the car is essential if you want to roam. However, from the airport, you have buses that take you to Biarritz, Anglet, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, etc.
As you may know, with COVID, accommodation in France has been taken by storm. Usually, I always look up at Airbnbs first, but a month before departure, there were only accommodations over €200 a night. So I opted for a hotel which was still over €100 per night – admittedly, I had a view of the beach but still !
In Biarritz, I therefore slept at the Hôtel de la Plage which is really well located. Not being with a car, I really wanted to have shops and restaurants within walking distance. The establishment is clean and relatively simply decorated. Some elements deserve a little refreshment but the comfort is there.
In terms of breakfast, I did not take it because it was the traditional French breakfast so with a lot (only even) of sugary food.
For the rest of the weekend, I was in a lodge in Sare. I was invited so I did not choose the place. Nevertheless, many lodgings in the region are referenced – especially on the Gîtes de France site.
In Biarritz, I had only one meal to plan and I wanted to eat Breton galettes. You are going to tell me “Sarah, are you kidding us? You are in the Basque Country and you want to eat crepes…” And yes, what do you want !
In short, I had dinner at the crêperie Bleue de Toi. Already her name is just adorable, the decor and friendly and the food fresh and tasty ! As a main course, I took the vegetarian galette (which I validate !) And for dessert, a salted butter caramel crêpe (yes !). A good address for gourmets !
The next day, there was a change of scenery with the gourmet restaurant “Les Frères Ibarboure” to which I am dedicating an article this week. To find out more, I invite you to come back to the blog !
For the rest, it was home cooking at the lodge.
On the other hand, if you are looking for some treat, there is an obligatory passage to make either in Biarritz or in Saint-Jean-de-Luz : the maison Adam. Known for its Basque cakes but especially its macaroons…to taste at least once in a lifetime !
Weekend in the Basque Country : the program
In Biarritz, I took a tour including: the Rocher de la Vierge, the Sainte Eugénie church, the Grande Plage, the Plage de la Côte Basque to tame the surfers (never lose sight of the North!), The Plage du Port Old (my room overlooked), the hundred steps if you want to challenge yourself … and the pedestrian streets which are quite charming.
In Saint-Jean-de-Luz, I loved swimming at the Grande Plage, which also overlooks the mostly pedestrianized city center. You can also take a tour of the Saint John the Baptist church.
If you have time, I invite you to stop by Espelette, to visit the typical houses covered with peppers that dry in the sun. Sare and the little Rhune train – which I still haven’t done! Next time will be good !
And you, have you ever spent a weekend in the Basque Country ?
Other cityguides posts :
- The Ibarboure bothers : gourmet cuisine in the Basque Country
- Visiting the Amalfi Coast : what to do in 3 days ?