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For some travelers, Basque Country is a place where nature poetry rhymes with delights of a culture valuing both the land and the sea. For some others, it is a vibrant crossover for cultures, foods, sports and well-being practices to meet to craft unique experiences.
With its mild temperatures, Biarritz is for instance one of the most famous places Basque Country can be proud of. A rich and memorable experience is indeed made possible owing to spots that are the joy of surf enthusiasts and high standard relaxation sessions in luxury spa centers. Traditions have also successfully kept thalassotherapy practices alive right there. Espelette, in Labourd, is another great jewel of Basque Country, where a creative cuisine, seasoned with the mythical pepper “Piment d’Espelette”, figured out how to contribute to the savory signature of the region. Finally, let History guide you through the secrets of fallen empires by discovering the roman steles Hasparren neatly keeps.
A great deal of relics is awaiting for you to be revealed such as the breathtaking landscapes of a countryside that can be found in Bidache. Those features are the witnesses of a great variety of possibilities, suiting the most demanding needs. Set your inner explorer free as you will board on a quest for authenticity to unveil, along with other features, a regional interpretation of the French “art de vivre”. Basque Country: “the nation within a nation” that never fails to mark souls of wanderers is known for celebrating the marriage of mountains and seas, offering an untouched nature in countryside and a set of lively cities. Discover a passion for trekking that Basque people keep alive for centuries as you will roam the breathtaking peaks of Imparla. Visit inspiring painters ateliers in Saint-Etienne-de-Baigorry. Entertain your soul with craftsmen exhibitions such as Fabrika Garazi in Saint-jean-Pied-de-Port. Be amazed by the lasting architecture of medieval villages such as Mauléon.
You might also be surprised by the way Basque people traditionally relax: food clubs, where men gather to cook and enjoy their own food, is just an example of how Basque society traditionally sees, by opposition to most of nations, what hobbies should be. Sports will amaze you, offering a wide range of typical Basque activities such as the Basque Pelota, which seems to be creative enough to have no actual comparison with common sports. Do not miss contests of Stone-lifting, wood-chopping and sega jokoa (literally “cutting grass with a scythe”) for those are very popular too. Singing improviser poets might also hum a tune as you will be enjoying a Tartine Basque to start celebrating the evening. Your feast will then be populated with generous achievements of Basque cuisine such as Poulet Basquaise, Thon Marmitako and Pain de poisson basquaise. Unveil the savory plum magic crafted by traditional beverage experts thanks to a cocktail of locally found fruits: the Patxaran. End up your degustation with a sweet traditional Koka pudding or a Cherry Basque Cake and go for a walk in the fresh air.
Wander in the famous forest harbored by the Landes of Gascony, where an Aquitaine flora will be a refreshment to your sight. After notes of Gascon dialects, open your hears and your heart to the nature songs, as the wind will whistle through branches of oaks, alders, willows, holly and birch. This oasis for pines will know how to provide a moment out-of-time for your mind to be at ease.
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