Roadtrip in the French Basque Country: travel guide

Roadtrip in the French Basque Country: travel guide

Rate this post

The French Basque Country is full of experiences and places to discover. Whether it’s in the ocean or inland, the region will seduce you, no matter your profile. There is no shortage of things to do in the Basque Country, from seaside resorts to cultural visits to water activities. As you can see, touring this region in just a few days can be a real challenge.


With cool winds and a view of pretty sailboats plying the harbor, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a true cultural crossroads. The city has small public squares with trees, as well as cobblestone alleys. You can discover Saint-Jean-de-Luz through the historical signs that explain its history.

If you walk half an hour north of the city center, along the coastline, you will see the famous Pointe-de-Sainte-Barbe. The walk is easy and ends on a grassy hill with a breathtaking view of the crescent-shaped city. From here you can see the ocean, the beaches and the stone walls, which were built to break the fury of the Biscayan waves.

Photos gratuites de Saint jean de luz


Hendaye is located a few kilometers below Saint-Jean-de-Luz. The city is bordered by the sea and overhung by the mountains. A winning combo to take in the view.

The Corniche of Hendaye

The corniche is a must-see in Hendaye!

It is the most preserved coast of the Basque country. It is strewn with small creeks, beautiful beaches and meadows on top of the cliffs. The Sentier du Littoral (Coastal Path) offers you a breathtaking panorama of the ocean and the coast. On the Domaine d’Abbadia, the Maison de la Corniche allows you to better understand this picturesque environment.

Surfing session

The Basque coast is famous for its surf spots which attract surfers from all over the world every year. Its small waves are ideal for beginners who want to learn how to surf.


Leave from the port of Hendaye to reach Hondarribia, this pretty fishing village in the Spanish Basque country, 20 km from San Sebastian. The change of scenery is guaranteed! In its heart is a medieval city center, charming cobbled streets, houses with colorful facades and flowered balconies and excellent tapas bars. You can also relax on its large sandy beach.


Ciboure and Saint-Jean-de-Luz are two inseparable towns as they have several common points: a fishing port and beautiful Basque half-timbered houses.

The most interesting part of Ciboure is the Socoa district with its small family beach, its port and its fort. Along the promenade leading to the fort, you will find colorful restaurants. The local food is strongly present in Socoa and is honored during the local festivities of La Trinité, which normally take place in June and end with a big dinner under a big tent.

Photos gratuites de Pays basque

Mount Ursuya

Mount Ursuya is a massif located in the surroundings of Cambo, Mendionde, and Macaye. With a low altitude of 681 meters, it is a simple massif that can be climbed without great difficulty. The hike we recommend starts in Hasparren and has an average duration of 3h55 for 9km.




One of the most authentic fishing ports of the French Basque Coast can be discovered in Guéthary, a small town steeped in time and in history. A small picturesque port and an old wooden fishing boats line the quay. There are also four small beaches that can be inaccessible at high tide.

For those with a sweet tooth, we can only recommend eating an ice cream at Chez Kutsu, a limited choice but compensated by the high quality of the ice cream.

people walking on street near white concrete building during daytime Basque Country


Bayonne, the largest city in the French Basque Country, is as charming as it is picturesque and is a must-see in southwestern France. It benefits from timber-framed architecture, a Gothic cathedral and many charming places to have a drink or a bite to eat.

A good restaurant we suggest is Cafe Moka, ideal to taste typical dishes of the Basque region. During your stay, you can also visit the Haïtia store, specialized in local products and located in the heart of the city center.

Basque Country

Where to see the most beautiful Basque sunsets?


Bidart is a charming village that has kept its Basque soul through the years.

To admire the sunset, you can park in the nearby parking lot, but it is often full during the high season. It is recommended to take a bicycle to enjoy the quietness of the streets of Bidart.

Coucher de soleil plage de Bidart : image de Office de Tourisme de Bidart -  Tripadvisor Basque Country

© Office de Tourisme de Bidart

Milady, Biarritz

The Milady beach in Biarritz offers an incredible setting to watch the sun set. It is surrounded by restaurants and bars facing the ocean. It is located at the exit of the city center with parking spaces.

Le coucher de soleil : image de Milady Beach By Bokado Biarritz -  Tripadvisor Basque Country

© Bokado Biarritz


Erromardie is an outlying district of Saint-Jean-de-Luz which has its own sand and pebble beach. Its location makes it quiet and less touristy. Don’t forget to bring your bucket and your net to look for crabs and other shellfish hidden in the rocks!

Erromardie et Acotz : la côte sauvage de Saint-Jean-de-Luz | Basque Country

© Yoni