5 Cities to Visit on the Côte Basque

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1) Anglet

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This small surf town is located in the northern part of the Côte Basque region of France. One of the things that makes the city so beautiful is its pine forest that makes up 10% of the city’s territory. The coast of Anglet contains 11 beautiful beaches that stretch 4.5 kms. The beaches are a top spot for local surfers and even members of the international surfing community. This summer, the first ever #ProAnglet surf competition was held Sables d’or beach, an WSL Qualification event. On the Anglet beachfront, you will find a variety of cute little shops, cafés and restaurants.

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Downtown Anglet is also incredibly cute. You can feel the small-town relaxed vibe in this city but you’ll find everything you need. Anglet is where you’ll find the headquarters of local surf brand Oxbow, who are celebrating their 30th anniversary this year. This rad brand once sponsored surfing greats like Laird Hamilton and now work with local groms.

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If you like biking, you’ll be able to take their multipurpose path up and down the coast and the entire Basque region of France.

This little city is definitely a surfer’s paradise!

2) Bayonne

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This city located just north and east of Anglet and is a cultural and historical haven. You may have heard of this place before due to its annual Fêtes de Bayonne, a 5-day celebration that starts on the first Wednesday of August and attracts people from all over Europe. People flock to the city to watch parades, dance, music, eat food and drink.

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Bayonne is also where the famous “Bayonne Ham” originated from. The city also has a famous rugby team.

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What makes the city so special, is its 17th century fortification and historic buildings. Some of the sights you’ll find in the city date back to the 12th century, such as their castle and their church. You’ll also see traditional Basque homes, with half-timbering and shutters in either red or green.

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If you’re looking to learn about the local history, this will be your go-to spot!

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3) Biarritz

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This is probably the most famous and internationally recognized town of the Côte Basque. It’s renown for its surf and also its luxury. Many people compare this city to the Cannes of the southwest.

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There is plenty to see and do in Biarritz. They’ve got a beautiful Museum of the Sea, they have two large casinos on the waterfront by the Grande Plage, the annual Biarritz Surf Festival, great shops and also fantastic restaurants like Le Clos Basque, that offers local Basque specialties.

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There is also a real sense of community and youthfulness in Biarritz. There are many great up and coming local designer shops and businesses that can be found throughout the city.

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4) Guéthary

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This is a small fishing village that has been around since the 12th century. The arrival of the train in 1884 brought a lot of families and tourists area, looking to build secondary homes along the coast. A lot of these homes remain visible to this day. The village is now a destination for French surfers and also a great spot for longboarding. The marina still remains to this day and so does a lot of the local agriculture.

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5) Saint-Jean-de-Luz

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The village of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is located just a few minutes away from the Spanish border. The city’s wealth originated from its port but it also became well-known as a result of the wedding of Louix XIV and Maria Theresa, the Infanta of Spain in 1660 in the city’s church.

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Today, it is a great spot to visit for those looking for great cuisine, sandy beach and traditional architecture. The Spanish influence can definitely be felt in this town, it’s a great place to get eat tapas. That said, it is also a great place to grab a traditional Gâteau Basque, which can be found in all the bakeries around town.

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2 Comments

    1. Thanks so much! I love Lyon, I went there on that trip as well. I’Ll be posting about it soon. I also posted about Lyon in the winter time. It’s a lovely city!

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