Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

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


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 Chanson de Roland (The Song of Roland), the anonymous 11th-century epic poem considered the true beginning of French literature; and the town itself remains a major

stop for pilgrims en route to Santiago de Compostela. After a tour through the quiet villages of the Bearn countryside, it feels like a frenzied metropolitan center—even in winter. In summer, the bustling center is filled to the gills and the tone is something between exciting and unbearable.

Read More

Explore St-Jean-Pied-de-Port



Trip Finder
Travel Phrases

Learn French Phrases before or while you're on the go!

Download Now