Visit Bayonne in the French Basque Country

Discover this amazing town

Bayonne is a city located in the French Basque Country, and it is very near Biatrriz. This area of France is really beautiful, and I really recommend everybody to visit it. It is a special place, it is green, has a beautiful nature, rivers, and a great culture. The French Basque Country will be a surprise for your senses.

Bayonne in Basque is located between the Errobi and Adur rivers and has a population of 46,000 inhabitants. This town is really close to Biarritz, only about 8 km from the city, and also very near other cities such as Saint Jean de Luz, Hendaye, Sare and many more. A sightseeing trip is recommended in this part of France, where there are many nice places to see and discover.


The city

Due to its commercial importance and its proximity to Spain (approx. 30 km), Bayonne has many fortified structures. Although most of the original wall that once surrounded the city no longer exists, but it is still possible to see some remains when you walk through its streets of Bayonne. Other examples of defensive structures in the city are the Porte d'Espagne (gate of Spain), the Château-Neuf (new castle), the Château-Vieux (old castle) and the citadel. Even though most of these fortifications are unfortunately not open to the public, it is possible to observe them from the outside.


In the city of Bayonne you can also visit The Moulis house.The Moulis house presents a typical structure of a Bayonne house. This house has architectural features and a typical décor of the Renaissance. It has a stone roof with typical late 16th century windows and sculpted wooden panels. It was named in honour to Mateo Moulis, a pharmacist owner of the house since 1815. It is located on Poissonnerie street. More houses of this style can be seen  on the banks of the Nive river or, as is the case of the Moulis house, in the different neighbourhoods of the city.


The walk along the banks of the River Nive that separates the two main districts of the city, Grand Bayonne (large Bayonne) and Petit Bayonne (small Bayonne). A walk around it is beautiful and relaxing. The buildings are decorated in a beautiful mix of Basque and French architecture, each adorned with colorful wooden shutters. Both banks of the river are lined with bars and restaurants, making it the perfect place to stop for a drink and enjoy the best views of the city.

Don’t forget to enjoy some of its pintxos and gastronomy in this beautiful town.  This town is also known for its production of chocolate. There are many chocolate shops here and also a chocolate museum, called as the L´Atelier du Chocolate.The tradition of making chocolate in the city comes from the XVII century. Another product that is famous is the ham. The brand with which this typical Bayonne ham is sold is Ibaiona. So much is the fame of ham that at Easter they celebrate the ham fair in Bayonne near the Nive river.

The Basque Country is also neighboring Spain: San Sebastián and its Old Town, Hondarribia and its wonderful tapas, Pamplona the twin city or Bilbao and its famous Guggenheim museum. A good option for your stay in the Spanish Basque Country is in apartments San Sebastián. Precisely because of its proximity to the Basque Country and because the old historical region covered currently French territory, Bayonne is a city halfway between French and Basque culture that you cannot miss.  

You can get to Bayonne by airport where you can get to the Biarritz airport or by train from Paris and other parts of France. From Spain the best way to arrive to Biarritz is by crossing the border in Irún in the border with France.

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