Bayonne sports a strong identity with its streets featuring characteristic Basque architecture. Well-known for its fine food and local specialities, this city is undoubtedly one of the region's must-sees. There are all sorts of places to explore !
Bayonne, emblem of the Basque Country
So do you prefer the idea of the Spanish Gate looking out over the hills of Bayonne or the drawbridge near Mousserolles? Built to protect the town, the ramparts of Bayonne are now used for pleasant walks. With its open greenery and playground for children, you really will enjoy a lovely time along these imposing stone walls.
Le Petit Bayonne
When it comes to areas which best symbolise the city, it has to be Le Petit Bayonne! Buzzing with life and with all sorts of shops and cafés, this is also somewhere you just have to have a look at if you're any kind of culture vulture! It's just the place if you feel like sipping something nice on a terrace shaded by the archways, doing a spot of shopping or strolling through the Basque Museum.
The Chocolate Academy
A word of advice to chocolate addicts and fans: Bayonne is deemed one of the chocolate capitals. Six master chocolatiers have got together to form the chocolate academy, and there's a delicious chocoholics' heritage awaiting you here! Stop off at one of the shops and just treat yourself to a tasty little morsel.
The Plaine d’Ansot Nature Reserve
Escape the city and head for nature. Very close to Bayonne, this hundred or so hectare nature reserve is just the place for a bit of peace and tranquillity. Head for the Maison des Barthes or to the museum of natural history. On foot or by bike, reward yourself with a stroll that's far from the hubbub of the city.
And how about somewhere that the cooks among you just can't miss? That'd be the Halles de Bayonne! With delicious-smelling local dishes, songs with a decidedly Basque-sounding lilt, regional produce to try and plenty more, you're bound to find the place that's meant for you! A feast for the eyes and palates guaranteed!
The Cathedral of Saint Mary of Bayonne
Up on the hills of the old town, you won't find it hard to make out the exceptionally fine architecture of this building. Gothic in style, the Cathedral of Saint Mary is a monument steeped in history. Come and see its cloister, which is one of France's largest.
The largest arenas of south-west France are found in Bayonne, with seating for more than 10,000. Built in 1893, they now form the pride and joy of the city's architectural heritage. Large-scale bullfighting events, shows and concerts bring the arenas to life year after year.
The Fêtes de Bayonne
Where would Bayonne be without its famous fêtes? Every year, the Fêtes de Bayonne form one of the most highly anticipated festive gatherings. Over 5 days, and at the height of summer, the city transforms itself into a place of traditions, music, song and joie de vivre around King Léon. An event you really mustn't miss!
Route: Labenne – Bayonne 20 mins - 13 km via D810 D85