La Bastide Clairance in Northern Basque Country

As suggested by the Eyewitness guide and other brochures, we visited this quaint village of La Bastide Clairance, northeast of Biarritz.

It is a very clean and quiet village, meant for tourism, photography, and a feel-good ambience. There is a small information center,  cafés and restaurants, some artisan shops, a forge museum, and much more.

around the market square

Based on what we saw, two to three hours are enough for walking around and stopping for a cup of coffee. Found some nice kitchen utensils in one of the shops right at the market square. For some reason, I always buy them in France, while on holiday.

La Bastide Clairance

Yes, there is some up and down walking as in most of the towns in Basque country. This little grandmother is not real, just an eye-catcher.

La Bastide Clairance

The tourism center also lets visitors see what the old Basque style classroom looked like.

Old classroom in La Bastide Clairance

We bought some sweet chili paste and powder. Most souvenirs carry the image, the name, the flavor, or the taste of the local sweet chili plant. The only thing we have not found yet – seeds to take back to grow our own.

Biarritz and Bayonne

These little tents are quite useful on a hot day at the beach (euro 9,70 for the day rental).

At the beach in Biarritz

There are many good restaurants in Biarritz, among them the Restaurant Des Terrasses, where they serve mussels for appetizer.

Another view overlooking the ocean just before sunset.

Just about 15 km northeast of Biarritz lies the city of Bayonne, which is also the cultural capital of the northern Pays Basque. We spent a couple of hours walking around the historic center, lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and a Subway Restaurant (our children were ecstatic at this point!)

Cathédrale Sainte-Marie, a.k.a. Notre-Dame-de-Bayonne

Half-timbered houses, traditionally with red or green shutters in the Basque style, face each other separated only by a narrow alley.

Bayonne Basque style houses

There are still many other towns to explore around here.

Check out DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Dordogne, Bordeaux & the Southwest Coast from, or DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Dordogne, Bordeaux & the Southwest Coast from

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