A Taste of the Basque Country
Duration: 3 hours
Tour Code: SJL-004
Enjoy discovering the charm of some typical Basque villages on this delightful half-day excursion into the countryside surrounding Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
Starting off from the pier, you will travel for approximately 30-minutes into the beautiful landscape of the famous Basque area of France. Your first stop will be at the village of Ainhoa, which was nearly totally destroyed by the Spanish in 1629. The houses you see here today were rebuilt during the 17th and 18th centuries. Your guided tour down the town's main street showcases some of the finest homes built in the Labourd style, with the dates of construction and owner's name engraved on the lintels above the doorways. An interesting feature of the homes found on the main street is that those on one side of the street appear to be less decorative than those on the other side. The reason being, it is local tradition to build homes with their backs to the sea, in order to protect them from the wind and rain.
From here, you will next travel to the lovely hilltop village of Sare. Surrounded by superb Basque farmhouses, this pastoral and peaceful setting rests in the shadow of the Rhune Mountain and in the heart of what was once known as the old smuggling region. A stop here at Sare's preserved, typical Basque House, gives an opportunity to view the interior of a traditional Basque home as well as enjoy a tasting of local treats that have been produced from the surrounding farms. This may include cheeses, apple marmalade, cider and wine.
Leaving Sare behind, you will transfer back to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and have a brief orientation drive of the historic town before being returned to the pier.
Please note: This tour includes limited walking. As the sites are not wheelchair accessible, it is not available to wheelchair guests. Those guests with mobility concerns are cautioned to evaluate their personal level of ability and stamina. Flat, comfortable walking shoes, a hat and sunglasses are recommended. The order of the sites visited may vary.