What to do in the Basque Country in autumn?

Ainhoa
What to do in the Bas ...

That's it, autumn is coming... On the program, a walk in the forest, picking mushrooms and the last days of relaxation on the beach, before winter. Autumn also offers calmer weather, after the frenzy of the summer tourist season. You will be able to take all your time to visit the beautiful natural sites of the Basque Country and immerse yourself in Basque culture. We offer you a selection of autumn outings in the Basque Country, to take advantage of the beautiful days of the late season.


Opening photo: Ainhoa © Lesley Williamson


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1) Visit Bayonne, the capital of Labourd

Bayonne is a very important city in the Basque Country. It is the capital of Labourd, which extends all along the Basque coast. It has been classified as a "city of art and history" because it retains a very rich medieval heritage. It also offers all kinds of leisure and water sports. It is located on the banks of the Adour and is surrounded by beautiful natural spaces.


The good idea The good idea: Bayonne Cathedral, a remarkable monument


The colorful city center of Bayonne / Photo Lesley Williamson

The colorful city center of Bayonne / Photo Lesley Williamson

2) Stroll through the picturesque villages of the Basque Country

The Basque architecture is very characteristic, with its houses with white facades and their half-timbering brightened up by the magnificent Basque red. Its small, well-preserved heritage, with a multitude of washhouses, chapels and the discoidal stelae that adorn the cemeteries. These small fishing ports along the coast and these charming towns in the Basque hinterland are imbued with Basque culture and have remained very authentic.


Learn more? Find out more: The Most Beautiful Villages of France in the Basque Country


The Village of Ainhoa / Photo Lesley Williamson

The Village of Ainhoa / Photo Lesley Williamson

3) Go back in time in the Basque castles

If there are few castles open to visitors in the Basque Country, they are all very atypical. The Castle-Observatory of Abbadia in Hendaye is very surprising. His visit is a true immersion in the world of 19th century science and a journey around the world. The Château d'Urtubie is a charming residence, of Renaissance and Classical inspiration. In short, each has its own atmosphere and is worth a visit.


Learn more? Find out more: Castles to visit in the Basque Country


Abbadia Castle / Photo Laurine45 AdobeStock

Abbadia Castle / Photo Laurine45 AdobeStock

4) Go wine tourism in the vineyards of the Basque Country

Autumn is the harvest season. There is no better time to learn about oenology and taste Basque wines. Beautiful surprises await you there: Irouléguy, Txakoli, Navarra, Rioja Alavesa. You will enjoy. And for a change, don't hesitate to go to a cider house to discover the Sagarnoa!


Learn more? Find out more: Wine tourism getaway in the village of Irouléguy

Discover the wines of Irouléguy / Photo Lesley Williamson

Discover the wines of Irouléguy / Photo Lesley Williamson

5) Hike in the Basque hinterland and discover Haute Soule

The Basque Country is a favorite place for hikers. Its coastline, cut between its steep cliffs and its fine sandy beaches, is absolutely beautiful. The Labourd, crossed by the Adour, offers beautiful walks along the banks. But do you know Haute-Soule? On the borders of the interior Basque Country, it is a territory of mountains, which extend the Pyrenean chain. La Soule is a rural land, with a very preserved natural environment, where mountain traditions are still deeply rooted.


The good idea The good idea: The footbridge of Holzarte: vertiginous discovery of the gorges of Olhadubi


The Footbridge of Holzarte / Photo Philipimage AdobeStock

The Footbridge of Holzarte / Photo Philipimage AdobeStock

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6) Along the Spanish coast, past the fishing villages of Guipuzcoa

Along the Basque coast, you cross the border with Spain, to enter Guipuzcoa. It is the northernmost region of Spain, at the foot of the Pyrenees. You will appreciate its wild coast, dotted with charming villages and small ports. This part of the Spanish Basque Country is very authentic. The atmosphere is very pleasant, lively and friendly.


The good idea The good idea: Discover Orio: authentic village of Guipuzcoa


Orio, a village in the Basque Country on the Spanish side / Photo Charline Prod’homme

Orio, a village in the Basque Country on the Spanish side / Photo Charline Prod'homme

7) Discover San Sebastian

The capital of Guipuzcoa is San Sebastian. It is a city steeped in history with beautiful monuments in its historic city center. The beach is integrated into the city, with all the urban comforts. It is a touristic and lively area. In addition, it offers interesting cultural spaces. It is impossible to get bored there whatever the season.


The good idea The good idea: Top 10 things to do in San Sebastian


San Sebastian between sea and cliff / Photo Charline Prod’homme

San Sebastian between sea and cliff / Photo Charline Prod'homme

8) Admire the Flyschs, a geological curiosity of the Spanish Basque coast

Before leaving Guipuzcoa, there is one last place that is one of the must-sees: the Flyschs. It is a geological curiosity, which gives a mysterious character to the coast. It is truly an exceptional site steeped in legend…


The good idea The good idea: The Flyschs: between geological particularity and medieval legend

Do you know the Flyschs? Photo Charline Prod'homme

Do you know the Flyschs? Photo Charline Prod'homme

9) Enjoy the seaside resorts of Biscay

By following the coast to the west, you arrive in a more touristy region, with a high population density, but also more activities, in the spirit of a seaside resort. However, as soon as you move away from the coast, you will find natural areas protected by fauna and flora reserves. And you are just a stone's throw from big cities, like Bilbao.


The good idea The good idea: 6 must-see places in Biscay


A movie set! San Juan de Gaztelugatxe / Photo Charline Prod’Homme

A movie set! San Juan de Gaztelugatxe / Photo Charline Prod'homme

10) Have fun and be cultured in Bilbao

Bilbao is a new city because it has been totally transformed, modern and even innovative. Artists and culture have settled there in every corner. It is also called the “museum city”. You will be surprised by this city, thought for the pleasure of the inhabitants, but also of the tourists and it is the perfect place to satisfy your curiosity.


The good idea The good idea: Getaway to Bilbao, the museum city


Bilbao, a colorful city / Photo Charline Prod’homme

Bilbao, a colorful city / Photo Charline Prod'homme

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We hope to have made you want to discover all the facets of the Basque Country during your next autumn stay.


Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog “Do it your way”. Follow us on the Guide du Pays Basque Facebook page and on Instagram @guidedupaysbasque


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