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A former whaling port, this town in the French Basque Country is a must not to be missed. The village has become urbanized, becoming a charming seaside resort. With its neo-Basque architectural style, it is very popular with tourists but preserves its Maraicha heritage. It has also hosted many artists such as Saint John Perse or Debussy.



The Basque Country is a festive region. The traditional festivals also make the region an essential destination for culture lovers. During the high season, parties and festivals bring life to its towns and villages. But there are also carnivals, village festivals taking place at different times of the year. Whatever the season, the Basque Country invites to a joyful discovery of its culture with performances, concerts, parades, theaters and many more. Each is intended to promote its traditions, its languages and its way of life. Discover some of the most famous festivals not to be missed for your next vacation in the region.

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Bayonne festivals

Besides its famous ham, Bayonne is famous for its festivals. Every year, from the Wednesday preceding the first week of August until Sunday, hundreds of festayres invade the streets of Bayonne. The whole city and the participants are dressed in white and red. To participate, we dress in a white outfit and a red scarf.Bayonne festivalsstart at 8 p.m. on Place de la Liberté to progress through the neighborhoods and streets. On the program: there are cow races, dances, songs, concerts, games, bandas and many more. This tradition has been going on since 1932. During these 5 days and 5 nights, the atmosphere is one of joy and good humor.

The Espelette pepper festival

The village of Espelette is known for itspepper, classified AOC-AOP. It is therefore no surprise that he is dedicating a party in honor of this exceptional condiment. Every autumn, or more precisely on the last weekend of October, the local inhabitants and the surrounding villages: Ainhoa, Cambo-les-Bains and many others come to

DuringEspelette festival, everyone can buy peppers and regional products. The local restaurants will make you discover the delicious flavors of Basque gastronomy during this gourmet rendezvous. But the Chili Festival is also an opportunity for everyone, Basques and tourists, to have fun by attending Basque dance performances, traditional concerts, bandas, pelota games and other entertainment.

Bayonne ham festival

Bayonne also celebrates its famous ham every year. For more than 5 centuries, the city has organized theHam Fairfor lovers of gastronomy and fine gourmets. The fair brings together all the artisans, exhibiting and presenting their best hams with their manufacturing secrets. This is a unique opportunity to taste the specialty of local producers in one place. Not to mention the traditional entertainment and culinary and sports competitions. It takes place during Holy Week until Easter Sunday on Mail Chaho Pelletier. The Bayonne ham festival is the first festival not to be missed for the season.


Basque Country week

Basque Country Week is a celebration dedicated to all Basques, whether they live in the Basque Country or elsewhere such as Argentina, where there is a large Basque population. In general, this festival takes place every July.

During this week many events take place: musical shows, traditional dances, culinary specialties, bullfights, Basque pelota competitions and many more. The purpose of this cultural event is to commemorate the very origin and identity of the Basque Country.

Semana Grande in San Sebastian

San Sebastian is an unmissable city on the Spanish Basque coast. It is best known for its popular festival: La Semana Grande. It takes place in mid-August in the old quarter. The main attraction of this festival is the International Fireworks Competition, a real magical spectacle to be admired from the beaches. Other entertainment like horse racing, outdoor concerts, theaters, sports competitions and many more take place on the beaches and streets of its old quarter to learn more about the history and culture of San Sebastian.

The San Martial festival in Irun

The San Martial festival in Irun is one of the unmissable events in the Spanish Basque country. As a commemoration of the victory of the soldiers of Irun against the invaders on June 30, 1522, the city has organized this festival since that date. A tradition that has endured over the centuries. From 6 o'clock in the morning sound the first notes of Diana de Villarrobledo on the San Juan Harri square. At this precise moment, the spectators shout in unison following the rhythm of the music.

During this festival, the streets of Irun are invaded by the companies of Irun who parade in red, black and white to reach Mount San Marcial. In addition to the procession, brass bands, bandas and many other activities delight participants and spectators.


Further west of the footbridge, the Kakuetta gorges, located between Sainte-Engrâce and Larrau, are a natural site not to be missed when visiting the French Basque Country. For caving enthusiasts, visit the gorges on platforms that run along the vertiginous walls of the canyon. The walk will then take you to the cave of Lake Kakuetta to admire its gigantic stalactites and stalagmites.


Fully prepared hike
     Deniv: +180m – (1h00+1h00)= 4 km LevelWalker
      Date: 23.05.2018 – Basque Country – Departure: Parking Pont d'Enfer (480 StemEngrace)


For the bravest or to cure your fear of heights, cross the Holzarte footbridge during a forest hike. In the town of Larrau, this wooded rope bridge overlooks the Olhadubi gorges at a height of 180m. A spectacular panorama awaits you from the top of the platform over the wild canyon.

Fully prepared hike

     Deniv: +350m – 2h00 – 4.5 km – Level:Walker
     Date: 21.05.2006 – Basque Country – Departure: Logibar (380m)




Basque pelota

Popular game of the Basque Country,Basque pelotais an emblematic sport of the region. It is practiced on the pediments, playgrounds present in each of its villages. Dressed all in white, the players must catch and return a ball or hit it against a wall with the appropriate accessories. For this, the player must equip himself with a wicker basket for his hands and with a xistera to hit the ball. There are several Basque pelota disciplines. It can be practiced on a pediment in the open air, on a wall to the left or on a trinquet. It all depends on the specialty being played.

Basque Strength

The Basque force was born from the challenges that the peasants launched to test their strength. When they got to the end of the hard work in the fields, they had fun challenging each other with competitions inspired by the work of the fields and the farm. The Basque force, which has become a real official competition, now includes several disciplines. There is in particular the tug of war or soka tira, the sawyers or arparnariak, the woodcutters or aizkolariak, the stone lifters or harri jazotzaleak, the lifting of carts or orga joko, the carriers of bags or cans, and many more. It can oppose two villages, two teams or two individuals.


If at one time the toros de corridas had to join the arenas with the cowherds and the oxen, the young people had fun challenging them. From there was born a unique tradition in the Basque Country:bullfights. Today, this sport consists of running as close as possible to the bulls along the marked routes leading to the arenas. The seasons dedicated to the bullfights take place every year in several regions of the Basque Country. They are accompanied by parties, music and songs. But it often happens that the ancierros cause many injuries. It is a spectacle to be avoided for the most sensitive.

The drag races

Trainières are fishing boats specific to the Basque country. Each boat has several rowers and a "chief" directing the boat and the speed. This race takes place at sea.


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