Charmed by the Basque Country

The Basque Country situated on the Atlantic Coast is famous for it’s language that not only predates the Romans but is under great debate of where it actually derives from, the cuisine and the surf. The famous surfer (and Hollywood star) Miki Dora spent much of his time in Biarritz, Quiksilver France was born on the coast with headquarters still based in Saint Juan de Luz and San Sebastian has more Michelin stars per capita than anywhere else in the world. It is safe to say that all of this combined certainly piqued my interest but it wasn’t until I actually visited that I realised the extent of it’s charm.

On arrival it San Sebastian it was clear that school holidays were in full swing yet,  you couldn’t help but feel captivated by the beauty of San Sebastian. It had a feeling of “old glamour” and the sunset was exquisite. San Sebastian is famous for it’s Pintxos; tapa style snacks that are usually spiked with a toothpick adorn the bars in the Old Town with patrons spilling out onto the narrow streets throughout the evenings. Pintxos fuel the social vibrance in the early evening and are deemed as a “bite to eat” before the famously late night Spanish dinners.

Only 50km around the coast in Biarritz we were still in Basque country yet everything was inherently French. The same relaxed coastal feeling was prevalent but there were less British tourists and it was Escargot, Confit Canard and Steak Frites on the menu. Whilst I loved the Pintxos in Spain it is the French cuisine and wine that I have loved most travelling across Europe. Timed perfectly, a big swell hit the Atlantic Coast on our arrival to Biarritz and we were entertained by some explosive surfing at the Le Grande Plage.

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