The Basque Country, Gascony, and Hautes-Pyrénées: Places to Explore


  • Ainhoa

    The Basque village of Ainhoa, officially selected by the national tourist ministry as one of the prettiest in France, is a showcase for the Labourd region. Established in the 13th century, its...

  • Bayonne

    Located at the confluence of the Adour and Nive rivers, Bayonne was a Roman castrum (fort) in the 4th century and an English colony from 1151 to 1451: today it is the proud capital of the Pays...

  • Biarritz

    Biarritz may no longer lay claim to the title "the resort of kings and the king of resorts," but there's no shortage of deluxe hotel rooms or bow-tied gamblers ambling over to the casino. The city...

  • Cauterets

  • Eugénie-les-Bains

    Empress Eugénie popularized the region’s thermal baths at the end of the 19th century, and in return the villagers named this town after her. Then, in 1973, Michel and Christine Guérard made...

  • Gavarnie

    Geologists point to the natural wonder that is the Cirque de Gavarnie as one of the world's most formidable examples of the effects of glacial erosion; the cliffs were worn away by the advancing...

  • Lourdes

    The mountain town of Lourdes is probably the most famous Catholic pilgrimage site (and sight) in the world. Some 5 million visitors come each year from every corner of the globe—not all of them...

  • Pau

    The stunning views, mild climate, and elegance of Pau—the historic capital of Béarn, a state annexed to France in 1620—make it a lovely place to visit and a convenient gateway to the...

  • Sare

    The much-prized and picturesque village of Sare, described by author Pierre Loti in his Ramuntxo as a virtually autonomous Eden, is built around a large fronton, or backboard, where a permanent...

  • Sauveterre-de-Béarn

    Where to Stay

  • St-Jean-de-Luz

    Back in 1660, Louis XIV chose this tiny fishing village as the place to marry the Infanta Maria Teresa of Spain. Ever since, travelers have journeyed here to enjoy the unique charms of St-Jean....

  • St-Jean-Pied-de-Port

    St-Jean-Pied-de-Port, a fortified town on the Nive River, got its name from its position at the foot (pied) of the mountain pass (port) of Roncevaux (Roncesvalles). The pass was the setting for La...


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