Are these the luckiest 40 kilometers of coastline in Spain and France? They are the luckiest 40 kilometers of coastline in Spain and France. The Côte Basque is world-famous for its quality of life, beaches, landscapes, idyllic houses and amazing gastronomy. A tour with stories from the Belle Epoque, pirates, surfers from 1950s Hollywood, cheese, chocolate, pintxos recommended by the New York Times… Need I say more? REALLY?
Beautiful (and posh) Biarritz
Biarritz is many things: Europe’s gateway to surfing in the mid-50s, a pioneer of beach tourism (they started promoting it 200 years ago!), and one of the most coveted places to see and be seen. We’ll walk along its promenade admiring the sea and its sumptuous hotels until we reach its 44-meter-high lighthouse.
We’ll visit the colorful market Les Halles to take the pulse of daily life and get in touch with the greatest that France has to offer: its cheeses, its charcuterie and its bakeries / patisseries. Bon Apetit!
Like a Virgin in Guethary
An anecdote: the legendary pop star Madonna once spent a vacation in Guethary and was so captivated by what she experienced that, on her next tour, she took a txalaparta group (a typically Basque percussion instrument) as har opening act, and even sang in Basque. How did Guethary seduce the Queen of Pop? Very simply: white houses, red shutters, trees and meadows that reach down to the sea, rocky cliffs, hidden beaches and a surfy atmosphere.
Pirates of the Cantabrian Sea
Protected by a bay, Saint Jean de Luz is a peaceful summer fishing village where we we’ll visit the Maison Adam patisserie where, in 1660 (!) they created the famous ‘macaron’. At that same time, a certain Johannès de Suhigaraychipi, a French corsair who captured more than 100 British, Dutch and Spanish ships, was sailing through the area.
Road to Heaven
They call it ‘La route de la Corniche’ and it is one (yet another!) of the most beautiful roads in the Basque Country. The section between Ciboure and Hendaye is only 8 kilometers long, but you’ll never want it to end. Well, actually, you will, because when it's over, it will mean that you've reached...
Hondarribia (the Glorious)
The last (or first, depending on how you look at it) city on the Spanish coast is a privileged place with sea, river, bay, mountains, a fishing district at the forefront of world cuisine (says the New York Times!), and a walled medieval neighborhood (with streets not suitable for heels) at the top.
We’ve planned the itinerary to have lunch in Hondarribia, with a choice of either pintxos or a fixed menu in a Michelin-starred traditional grill house. You decide (it's not easy, we know).
There is no better way to get to San Sebastián than through the road that runs along the crest of Mount Jaizkibel, and from which you can see the Basque coast to Bizkaia.