Make sure to put aside enough time for a drive out to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, to discover what is known locally as “the heartland of Basque Country”. Stop in front of one of the large traditional farmhouses of the region, which usually has a lauburu, the Basque cross, above the entrance door. These very singular white and red facade buildings, passed from generation to generation, are picturesque hallmarks of Basque village life.
Here is a small selection of our three favourite villages:
Ainhoa, which was voted among the most beautiful villages in France. Its streets and architecture are absolutely unique.
Espelette is known around the world for its “red gold”: each year at the end of summer, the facades of the village houses are adorned with dozens of strings of peppers which, when dried and powdered, become Espelette pepper.
Itxassou is famous for its cherries and cherry jam. The specialty of the region, the Gateau Basque, is served with custard or jam, the choice is yours.