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The Basque Country, Gascony, and Hautes-Pyrénées Travel Guide


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 pelota game rages around the clock. Not surprisingly, the Hôtel de Ville offers a permanent exhibition on Pelote Basque (July and Aug., daily 9–1 and 2–6:30; Sept.–June, daily

3–6). Sare was a busy smuggling hub throughout the 19th century, but today’s visitors are drawn by lovely sights, not illicit activities: chief among them are a collection of wood-beam and whitewashed Basque houses, and the 16th-century late-Romanesque church with its triple-decker interior.

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