What to do in the Basque Country in winter ?

Biarritz
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The Basque Country is prized for its beaches and its aquatic activities, especially surfing... We tend to choose this nature destination rather in the summer, yet this authentic and warm country has no shortage of assets to charm you, even in winter. Whether on its coast or in its hinterland, you can practice many sports there all year round. Inhabited since prehistoric times, you have a rich architectural heritage to admire in its charming villages and you can soak up its culture in its museums. Are you tempted ? So here is our program of cool activities to make your winter stay in the Basque Country unforgettable !


Opening : © LabbePhotography / Adobe Stock

Practice a sport in nature

In winter, we tend to lock ourselves inside, whether for work or for leisure. The days are short and our opportunities to see the sun or just appreciate the daylight are scarce. So on vacation, let's take advantage of our free time to get some fresh air… In addition, many sports are practiced in all seasons : hiking, cycling, climbing, and even surfing !

The Basque Country is crisscrossed with hiking and cycling trails and paths. We show you some routes to explore the Basque territories :  





Hiking

A hike on the coastal corniche in winter is also very beautiful !

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Why not take advantage of the holidays to learn a new sport :


  • Finding an indoor sport is not always easy. Have you thought about indoor climbing ?

  • Surf ! Despite what we imagine, there is no season to get started and with a good combination, it goes very well. In addition, there will be more availability for private lessons in surf schools. And if you're still unsure, try virtual surfing at the Cité de l'Océan in Biarritz.

Golf

It's time to play golf, here the Golf d'Ilbarritz

Explore the picturesque villages of the Basque hinterland

Are you a fan of old stones ? The Basque Country has a very typical architectural heritage, with its "Etxe", these beautiful white and red half-timbered houses, but also beautiful religious buildings, due to its position on the "Chemins de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle". To get off the beaten track, we suggest you explore its hinterland, thanks to our selection of the 10 most beautiful inland villages in the Basque Country.  

If you are more of a city dweller, the Basque towns are among the must-see visits :


  • Biarritz is the most popular seaside resort in the Basque Country.




Saint Jean foot of port

In winter too, the region of Saint-Jean-pied-de-Port is worth a detour !

Satisfy your curiosity and immerse yourself in Basque culture in the museums

The Basque museums take you on a journey between tradition and modernity. Basque culture, with Béarn influences, is deeply rooted in the hearts of the inhabitants. It permeates daily life, gastronomy, trades and crafts, and influences the arts. But it is also a country open to the world and modern. Museums are a reflection of this duality. They will show you the customs of yesteryear which have forged this strong identity, yet constantly evolving, thanks to technology and innovation.  

To select the museum to visit according to your tastes and your current desire, here is our full article on all the museums in the Basque Country and a small selection by category :  






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Taste local products and regional specialties

For the gourmands, we give you some ideas to discover the gastronomy of this country, which offers many local products, a warm and friendly cuisine and spicy and colorful specialties.



  • To accompany all these sweets, we offer you a little-known and yet emblematic specialty of the Basque Country : Sagarnoa, Basque cider. Our blogger will take you to Atelier Etzigar, for a tasting and to Fronton, to discover the Txotx tradition.



Gastronomy

We are hungry, just thinking about it ! Basque charcuterie, yum !

Relax in the wellness centers

What if we extended relaxation in a wellness center… It's winter, it's cold, we miss the sun… It's high time to take care of yourself and recharge your batteries to fill up on energy ! Here are the addresses of balneotherapy areas, hammams, saunas, etc.



  • One last unusual idea : Try a new experience at the Poisson du Bien-Être, in Biarritz. These are small fish that will take good care of your feet...

Grand hotel

At the Grand Hôtel Thalasso et Spa in Saint-Jean-de-Luz, you can enjoy an almost magical place to relax… Photo @ Grand Hotel Thalasso et Spa

Bonus : How to keep children busy in winter in the Basque Country

In winter, keeping children occupied requires a little more imagination... Here are some ideas to please the whole family with playful, educational and fun activities :  

  • Help our children discover the oceans and the animals that inhabit them at the Biarritz Aquarium.




  • Play a game of Basque pelota with the family and learn Cesta Punta thanks to Ona Pilota, in Bidart.


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We hope that these few ideas have inspired you for the next winter vacation in the Basque Country.

Each territory has its charm and its assets, to choose your destination, we tell you its history, its geography, its culture... in our discovery section of the Basque Country...

Did you like our article ? Find more on our Blog. Follow us on the Guide du Pays Basque Facebook page and on Instagram @guidedupaysbasque.

 

Article written by Stéphanie Tempier for the Guide du Pays Basque.


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