The Basque Country is renowned for its sunny destinations and pleasant climate, but when winter is here, it can also be cold. How to spend your days? Which activity should you turn to? Rest assured, in the Basque Country, cold does not mean boring. We have put together a list of things to do while sheltering from the cold, or wrapped up in your winter clothes.
Opening photo: AdobeStock jon chica
With friends or family, a trip to a restaurant often means a good time. But when the season brings little frosty winds, it's all the more pleasant to sit down at a table for a warm and comforting meal. We remove gloves, scarves and hats to entertain our taste buds with sweet winter flavors with seasonal and quality products. Depending on the gourmet address you have chosen, it will even be possible to discover Spanish cuisine for a taste journey if not to a warm country.
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Watching a film at the cinema is a good idea to isolate yourself in peace with a pot of popcorn to snack on. Comfortably installed in your seat, the cold disappears and gives way to a gentle sensation of well-being for a few hours without shivering. The advantage with the cinema is that you can reserve your seat in advance to avoid the queue. Parked near the entrance, the cold will not have time to attack you, you will have already entered.
With museums, it’s hard to go wrong. Most of them open all year round, they protect you from bad weather and take up a few hours of your day. Exhibition, art gallery or discovery of heritage, museums are a good way to occupy the mind and avoid the cold. In the Basque Country, you will find museums of all kinds and even gourmet museums like that of chocolate or Basque cake which make you want to curl up on your sofa with a hot chocolate and a slice of cake.
Face the cold only for the duration of the journey to join passionate producers, ready to introduce you to their profession. Espelette peppers, wines, cheeses or black pork from the Basque Country, plan a few weekends in winter to meet them all. Combine pleasure with pleasure by reserving a table in a local cider house. A traditional and very old drink, it is a must in the region to discover as close as possible to the producers. Cod omelette or txulet (rib of beef cooked over a wood fire), the meal will also be typical of the Basque Country .
And yes, even in winter, the markets are established to offer seasonal products. Fruits, vegetables, meats or fish, it's difficult to choose among all these quality ingredients. Don't hesitate to chat with the producers, bundled up in their down jackets behind the stalls, they will be delighted to warm up and chat. Axoa, Garbure, Basquaise chicken, Ttoro (fish soup) or chipirones, your taste buds will delight with these simmered recipes. You don't stay cold for long in the Basque Country with all these comforting dishes.
You don't have to stay outside when the weather cools down. Many indoor activities are accessible all year round, with particular appeal when the cold sets in. Bowling, trampoline, billiards, climbing wall or escape game, you can easily spend the day having fun without seeing the time pass. Once all the games have been won, think about the incredible aquarium of Biarritz or the fantastic city of the Ocean for a few exciting hours away from the cold and frozen noses.
What a pleasure to dive into warm water for a peaceful moment away from freezing temperatures. In the Basque Country, alone Cambo-les-Bains offers a spa treatment in a luxurious and renowned center. No need to take a treatment lasting several days, you can take advantage of the vitality area and the spa to warm up your muscles weakened by the shivering of winter. Hydrotherapy treatments or hydromassage baths, well-being is immediate and the cold is quickly forgotten.
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It's impossible to miss the essential mulled wine at the Christmas market when the delicious, slightly spicy smells reach your nostrils. Once warmed up, you can wander the aisles to discover the new products of the year and the first gifts. Light, music, atmosphere, conviviality, everything comes together for a good time between November and December at the Christmas markets. No need to turn around for a second mulled wine, many stands offer this traditional drink.
What's better than window shopping to fill your days when the cold freezes your toes and fingertips? Keeping warm in the galleries, you can forget your scarf, gloves and hat and wander the aisles in search of the best deals. Clothing boutiques, decoration stores, delicatessens or jewelry stores , it's difficult to choose which one to start with. Restaurants and tea rooms allow you to take a well-deserved break and, above all, avoid the cold at lunchtime.
If there is one place where you are peaceful when it is cold in the Basque Country, it is on the beachfront. And yet what a pleasure to observe the movement of the waves when you have the impression of being alone in the world. The coastal path made up of coves and cliffs offers an exceptional panorama in winter. You can also walk towards the Jaizkibel ridges or the Virgin Rock for an invigorating and refreshing walk. The key to enjoying it is to cover up well with a down jacket, a scarf, gloves and a hat.
And there you have it, winter is over and no one was bored! Next year, you will no longer have to think about what to do in the Basque Country when it's cold , you will already have all the ideas.