The town of Bayonne an ancient, fortified town, situated just south of Landes. Its old town centre is full of charm and the locals have a strong sense of pride in their Basque heritage. Many events and festivities take place throughout the year, the most popular being the self-titled Bayonne festival (Fetes de Bayonne), which draws thousands of visitors each year to participate in the celebrations in downtown Bayonne. This includes music concerts, fireworks, bullfighting, street parades and animations. The town itself has plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars as well as all the necessary amenities such as a post office, ATM and medical facilities.
There are plenty of artisanal arts and crafts shops, restaurants and shopping centres, which also attract many tourists throughout the year. This is a dynamic city, with gourmet festivals and sporting events such as Basque pelota, rugby, rowing and surfing. It is known as the economic, academic and administrative capital of the Basque Country and famed for its chocolate products and of course, Bayonne ham. There is the botanical garden that is lovely to work around and explore, as well as a Basque museum with more than 3,000 objects on display. You could visit one of the artisanal chocolatiers, where you will learn about the production process and sample the delicious products at the end. Bayonne Cathedral dates back to 1213 and is on the UNESCO world heritage list. Its cloister dates back to 1240 and is one of the largest in France, holding cultural exhibitions and even concerts in the summer months. If you feel like a short day trip, then visiting Biarritz with its markets, famous casino, la Grande Plage and famous “Rock of the Virgin” will not disappoint.
Bayonne is only 20 minutes from the Basque Country Biarritz airport, and also served by the motorway just 30 minutes from the Spanish border.
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