Discover the Basque Country

France

Into the Basque Country
Into the Basque Country

Into the Basque Country

Yesterday I landed in Madrid Airport.  The scorching heat of Spain’s interior only relented after five hot hours in the car, finally crossing the threshold into the vivid green Basque Country then as if in a dream drifting around an ocean road bend to see the beauty of our Gipuzkoan coastal fishing town. The south wind off the Cantabrian and the scent of the Txakoli grapes blended beautifully, welcoming me, it seemed, back home.  Unlike the sizzling blue skies of the Iberian plains, today is cloudy in Euskadi, and it is so good to feel the lush grass damp from the morning dew, to breathe the briny air, and to hear the sound the the trikitixa and the music of people in the plaza.  Holding my camera in one hand and my daughter’s hand in the other, we look towards the sea and set out walking along the northern route of St James’s Way.  To share a glimpse, here are four photos from today and some favourites from when I first landed here, moving into and embracing this culture that has been so good for and to my family and me.

Biarritz’s Coastal Charm
Biarritz’s Coastal Charm

Biarritz’s Coastal Charm

For those that have visited Biarritz, a longing to return or dwell there is often the sentiment expressed.  One of the most delightful ways to relax, eat and enjoy the sweet atmosphere of Biarritz’s coastal charm is at Miremont (see my other post here about the 1872 tearoom and patisserie).

Miremont's Sweet Atmosphere

Miremont’s Sweet Atmosphere

Donibane Exploring
Donibane Exploring

Donibane Exploring

If you are visiting the Basque Country, Donibane Lohitzune captures the beauty of the Basque coast where the Nivelle River empties into a beautiful bay. The charming town’s shops offer everything from high end clothing to gourmet chocolate and Basque souvenirs, and on Friday mornings catch the open-air market with dozens of stalls selling homemade cheeses, sausages, breads, jams and more.  Chatting to the friendly staff at “Hôtel de la Plage“, they tell me that most visitors have heard of Biarritz yet not of Donibane Lohizune – St Jean de Luz. In some ways I like it like that, a bit of the untouched quaintness.