Victor Hugo said, “Everyone who has visited the Basque country longs to return; it is a blessed land.”
A few weeks ago our kuadrila of friends surprised us with a trip into Lapurdi, Basque Country to celebrate our first year of living in this blessed land. From San Sebastián, the base of La Rhûne Mountain is just under an hour through the lush foothills spotted with sheep and classic farmhouses. Then, on a clear day, the funicular train chugs to the top, offering spectacular views of St. Jean de Luz and Biarritz—picturesque Basque coastal landscape. After lunch in the charming Sara village, there are ancient caves to explore, local livestock to meet up close, and local cheese and honey to savour. Then, if time allows, town hop your way back to San Sebastián, tasting the heart of the Basque Country.
Of the seven Basque provinces, Gipuzkoa and Lapurdi are coastal neighbours between Spain and France, and if you like the sea, mountains, great food and small explorable towns, we recommend staying several days or a week in this charming area.
Would you like more suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below or drop into San Sebastián shop to ask the friendly staff about day trips, and have a taste of local cheese or a beltza wine while you’re there.
Photos & words by Jonathan McCallum