French Basque Country
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended French Basque Country History & Heritage

Bilbao: Small-Group St. Ignatius Three-Temple Tour

1. Bilbao: Small-Group St. Ignatius Three-Temple Tour

This tour is focused on the path of St. Ignatius, from his birth to the founding of the Society of Jesus. You will begin with a visit to the spectacular Basilica of Loiola, which was built in the 18th century. You'll then visit Saint Ignatius' family house and birthplace (in Loiola, Azpeitia), the hermitage of La Antigua in Zumarraga (where Saint Ignatius made a stop during his pilgrimage), and the Sanctuary of Arantzazu, which is located in a spectacular spot in a gorge and was rebuilt in the 1950s. It is also a showcase of modern religious art at its finest, having been awarded with several international prizes. This is a day full of spirituality which is bound to leave both faithful and non-religious tourists alike awed by the sheer beauty of its sights.

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From Bilbao: French Basque Coast Day Tour

2. From Bilbao: French Basque Coast Day Tour

Get picked up from your hotel in Bilbao and enjoy a private transfer to the French Basque country. Revel in the delights of the French coast as you explore quaint villages with your local guide. Visit tiny and adorable fishing villages like Saint Jean de Luz, where time seems to stand still, and experience the Basque gastronomy and surfing in the beachside village of Biarritz. Be amazed by Bayonne, a charming little city full of historic buildings with a quaint downtown area. Enjoy a complimentary lunch before heading to your final stop, Hendaye, a town on the border between France and Spain. Here, learn about the many historical events that have taken place in this area throughout the last 200 years. Once the tour has ended, get dropped off back at your hotel in Bilbao.

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Saint Jean de Luz: Private Walking Tour

3. Saint Jean de Luz: Private Walking Tour

Meet your guide at the Quiosque of the main square of Saint Jean de Luz (Place Louis XIV). Then set off on your tour to explore the beauty and the secrets of the most famous attractions of this beautiful and picturesque town. You will start by discovering the charming fisherman's port of Saint Jean de Luz. From there you will be able to enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Pyrenees. You continue with a visit to some of the most famous ship-owner palaces of the city, like the "Maison Louis XIV", a XVII Century palace that hosted the 'Sun King' during his wedding celebrations, and the "Maison de l'Infante", a Venetian style palace used by the Spanish Infanta, "Maria Teresa". You will then head to Saint Jean de Luz's Bay, with its immaculate sandy beach and the Belle Époque architecture from the time when the town was a holiday resort for the European aristocracy. You end the tour by walking along the bustling street of "Rue Gambetta", where you will learn about local gastronomy. You also visit the beautiful Saint John the Baptist Church, where your guide will tell you the fascinating story of the Sun King's wedding and the secrets of Basque religious traditions. At the end of the tour, your guide will be glad to dedicate some time to answer your questions, give you directions and restaurant recommendations, and make sure you know where to buy the local delicacy: the famous "macarons", so you can continue a memorable visit on your own.

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From San Sebastián: Basque-France Coastline Private Tour

4. From San Sebastián: Basque-France Coastline Private Tour

Travel the Basque French Coastline, skipping from town to town stopping for the highlights of each township. Spend time exploring each unique feature of beauty that differentiates each township from the next. Visit the town that inspired the writings for Victor Hugo, in Pasajes San Juan. Visit the famous town of Biarritz, known as the pearl of the coast. This tour will make sure to travel along the way through the highlights of Saint Jean de Luz and Hendaya for their French Basque qualities. Find the Basque Spanish influenced settlements as a unique twist from the French.  Experience a turn in time, in Hondarribia a Spanish down known for the best preserved medieval architecture. Visit too the 16th century attributions that have been well preserved as a quaint sight to see. From Jaizibel mountain see the best sights of the region. Looking at both the Spanish countryside in one direction, the French countryside in one direction and the second largest bay in the world open to beautiful Atlantic Sea in the next direction. 

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Biarritz, Bayonne, and Basque Country: Private Driving Tour

5. Biarritz, Bayonne, and Basque Country: Private Driving Tour

Enjoy a private trip with a driver-guide explore the Basque Country. Visit lovely villages and areas including Saint Jean de Luz, Ciboure, Socoa, the Corniche Basque, Ainhoa, Espellette, Saint Jean Pied-de-Port and Biarritz. Saint Jean de Luz  is a lovely little fishing port on the Basque coast just South of Biarritz. First, drive to Ciboure, Socoa, and along the Corniche Basque. The road is on top of this magnificent stretch of cliffs and coastline and leads south from the Vauban Fort of Socoa to Hendaye on the Spanish border. Next, veer away from the coast and up into the foothills of the Pyrenees, towards the lovely French Basque mountain town of Ainhoa. After Ainhoa, head to Espellette, a Basque town with traditional colors and architecture. The houses have a special decoration, they’re covered with garlands of red peppers. Then it's time to leave Espelltte and drive to Saint Jean Pied-de-Port. This medieval fortified city is still surrounded by a parapet wall, and plays an important role for pilgrims. It’s the last stop in France along the Camino de Santiago de Compostella. After visiting these mountain towns, return to the Atlantic coast to visit Biarritz; before returning to Saint Jean de Luz or the point of departure.

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Other Sightseeing Options in French Basque Country

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