Our Top 5 of the most beautiful markets in the Basque Country!

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Our Top 5 of the most ...
The market is the heart of a village or a city district. It is a place of life, where you can soak up the atmosphere of the country, meet producers and artisans and taste good local products.

Today, traditional markets are being reinvented to adapt to all your desires: farmers' and craft market, gourmet, night-time, organic, urban or village market… The Basque Country is a fertile land which generously supplies its markets. Its agriculture and breeding provide many local products. Its frontage on the Atlantic gives it its famous seafood and fish. Its wine-growing region is interesting. Its culture, traditions and ancestral know-how are rich and craftsmanship is well developed. Here is our Top 5 of the most beautiful markets in the Basque Country to penetrate the soul of this beautiful territory.


Opening photo: The Bayonne Market / Photo © Yvann-K | Adobe Stock


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1) The market hall of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

The Saint-Jean-de-Luz market has been classified among the “ most beautiful markets in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques ”. It takes place every day, since 1884, in the heart of the city. The halls are emblematic places in towns or villages. The atmosphere is authentic and warm, up to the reputation of Basque producers. It is a food market, where you can taste good local products. On Tuesday and Friday, it spills over onto Boulevard Victor Hugo, with crafts and textiles.

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If you are looking for an open-air market, it takes place at Place des Basques, on Fridays all year round and, in addition, on Saturdays during the summer.


port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

The port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz where the auction is famous throughout the southwest region. Photo © Lecreusois | Pixabay

2) The Quintaou d'Anglet market

The Quintaou d'Anglet market is the largest in the Basque Country. Some even say it's the largest in the South West! What is certain is that you will find everything there… Local and world products, food or not, organic or traditional, … you have something for everyone. This colorful and lively market is held on Thursday and Sunday on the Quintaou esplanade.

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A free shuttle system has been set up by the town hall from the Union district to the market.


The other markets of the city:

  • The market in the Halles des 5 cantons, every morning from Tuesday to Sunday.
  • Biocéan market, on avenue de l'Adour, on Saturday morning.

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Read our full report on the Quintaou market ! Come and walk with us along its colorful alleys...


Quintaou market

The Quintaou Market and its flavors of the Basque Country. Photo © Lesley Williamson

3) The typical market of Espelette, the city of chili

The Espelette market is an institution. It is one of the oldest markets in the Basque Country. Since the 17th century, he settled on the place that eventually take its name: the Merkatu Plaza. It is the ideal place to stock up on spices. Espelette pepper producers take up residence there, every Wednesday, of course. But you will also find many other Basque specialties there, in particular Axoa. It's a covered and shimmering market, which will brighten up your day, whatever the weather!

did you know Axoa is a typical Basque dish. It is a veal stew, spiced with Espelette pepper, which has been brought up to date by a restaurateur in Espelette. Tasting an axoa after the Wednesday market is one of the unmissable traditions in Espelette.


The other markets of the city:

  • At the exit of the covered market, non-food stalls are set up in the open air.
  • In July and August, the Place du Jeu de Paume welcomes producers and craftsmen, exclusively local.

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Don't miss the Pepper Festival (fr) in October


Espelette pepper   espelette

The famous Espelette peppers, to taste fresh or dried, in powder or in delicious preparations in jars and preserves, on the Espelette market. Photos © labordebrana and © lecreusois | Pixabay


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4) The historic market of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

The Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port market is renowned for its exceptional setting. Since the 18th century, it faces the ramparts of the walled city of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port. Every Monday and throughout the day, the food market occupies a long building on the Place des Remparts. Non-food stalls surround the covered market, outdoors. From May to September, an outdoor farmer's market is also held there on Thursdays.

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A Basque pelota game is organized at the Garat trinquet at the end of the day (except in summer).


Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port

Discover the charming village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, in the heart of the mountains of the Basque Country and its pretty traditional market. Photo: © MAEKFOTO | Adobestock

5) The traditional market of Bayonne

The Halls of Bayonne host a covered food market every day. The Saturday morning farmers' market and the Friday flea market are held on the Carreau des Halles. On the banks of the Nive, this complex is one of the must-see sites to visit in Bayonne. If you are lucky, some Saturday markets are done to music!

The other markets of the city:

  • The Marquisat market takes place every Friday at the Marquisat square.
  • On the Place des Gascons, on Wednesdays.
  • The Polo Beyris market, on Fridays.
  • A professional fishermen's market can be found at the Pêcherie des Allées Marines every morning (except Sunday).

    halls of Bayonne

    The Halles de Bayonne on the left, on the banks of the Nive. Photo © Rostislav Ageev | Adobestock

    As a bonus, the nightly gourmet markets in the summer!

    In summer, Basque towns and villages offer evenings in gourmet or craft markets. These night markets are often lively and you will appreciate the famous friendliness of the Basques.

    • In Hendaye, meet at the gourmet market on Place Sokobu, on Thursdays from 8 p.m. There is also a craft market on Boulevard de la Mer on Monday evenings.
    • In Biarritz, the Halls market opens on Wednesday evenings.
    • In Bidart, the night takes place on Thursdays from 6 p.m.

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    To prolong the pleasure, the Gourmet Route of the Basques (fr) takes you over 160 km, discovering 10 specialties directly from producers and artisans.


    We hope that this selection of Basque markets has inspired you for the next gourmet getaway in the Basque Country.


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