Top 10 of the most beautiful villages in the French Basque Country, for those who love surfing and…

This morning, a Basque friend wrote to me on Facebook and I haven’t replied to her yet. From there to think that this top came to remind me that I was a bad person, there is only one step. Nevertheless, I think this top is mainly intended to make you travel through a 12, 13 or 14 inch computer screen to the French Basque Country because it’s pretty there.

1. Sare

Classified as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Sare faces the top of the Rhune which can be reached thanks to the train worthy of Tintin which conveys there. The village is also home to some treasures of Basque architecture, in particular the Ortillopitz farm, as well as prehistoric caves logically less crowded than those of Lascaux.

2. Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

And not pig’s foot, even if we would like to call it that. Between the small town and the large village, this stage of the Camino de Santiago is particularly known for its medieval finery, its citadel and its Basque houses. You can go around the fortifications to have a crazy panorama on the mountainside. It is also, here again, one of the most beautiful villages in France.

3. Espelette

If the Espelette pepper is not very strong, it is not the same for the feelings that inhabit the traveler when he walks in the streets of the village which gave its name to this slightly aggressive pepper. Small typical houses, highlighting the local glory (the pepper, therefore) through garlands suspended in the city, as well as several buildings listed as historical monuments, in particular the church and the castle. You should like it if you like chilli and red and white facades.

4. Saint-Pee sur Nivelle

I don’t know what a Saint-Pée ​​or a Nivelle is, but I know that the Saint-Pée ​​sur Nivelle lake is very pleasant to visit. Well, it has been semi-converted into a leisure center where you can quietly nab mycosis galore, but a whole part remains quite wild and the village also offers a museum dedicated to the history of Basque pelota.

5. Ainhoa

Even if the name of this village contains our first department and a rather Maori hoa, we are indeed in the Basque Country in Aïnhoa, as evidenced by the typical houses, the stalls selling Basque gastronomy and the signs written in Basque with lots of x everywhere.

6. Ustaritz

We don’t know if that’s where she was born, but that’s where she’s most celebrated: she’s Basque pelota, and certainly not your first cousin, which may have been born in Ustaritz but I wonder why you are telling me this. Lota Castle is also worth a visit.

Top 10 of the most beautiful villages in the french basque country, for those who love surfing and...
Photo credits (CC BY 2.5): No machine-readable author provided. Harrieta171 assumed (based on copyright claims).

7. Birling Gap

If there is ONE village name that sounds Basque, it’s Urrugne, and you can’t be wrong. Urrugne is a great base from which to multiply hikes (being careful not to end up in China because we have multiplied them too much). The 16th century church is also quite remarkable and the Château d’Urtubie is too classy.

8. Arcangues

Arcangues is not just something that vaguely resembles the first person imperative of the verb arcander whose meaning is absolutely unknown: it is also a pretty little Basque village in which it is no longer possible to get married for non-residents, her church being so beautiful that it was endangered by the too many weddings taking place there.

9. Ciboure

This small seaside resort which adjoins Saint-Jean de Luz is a must see, with the house of Maurice Ravel, a very beautiful cloister and above all pretty alleys with a beautiful view of the bay.

10. Itxassou

“Itxassou, it’s pretty”, according to my editor-in-chief. That’s how it starts, self-censorship, we put villages in order to please our editor-in-chief who is in the pay of the big industrialists. But after seeing the photos, I realized that it was indeed pretty, Itxassou.

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