8 Family Day Trips in Basque Country / Pays du Basque
We recently spent a week exploring Basque Country whilst we stayed in a fantastic Glamping dome with Glisten Camping. We were really surprised at just how much there is to see and do for families in this region of South West France and Northern Spain….here’s just a taster of what’s on offer for families in Basque Country.
If you’re visiting this region you MUST visit San Sebastián. It’s a stunning city set with a luscious mountainous backdrop sprawling along a golden coastline…and this city really does have something for everyone. We spent the day pottering around the cobbled streets exploring the shops, trying pinxos (the Basque version of tapas) in the numerous bars and cafes, listening to live music, playing on the urban playgrounds, walking around the picturesque harbour and finally…relaxing on the sandy beach.
Tip: Try the bars and restaurants off the main streets for great prices on pinxos. We managed to have lunch for all 6 of us for under €40 including drinks!
Tip: Park at Parking de la Concha for a really central parking spot. This under ground multi story had a lift that pops up right in the centre of town on the seafront.
Although Hossegor is officially just outside of the Basque region we loved it so much here we couldn’t miss it off the list. Hossegor is a laid back surf town with a distinctly Australian feel about the place. There are no high buildings and the streets are all wide and tree lined. The surf can get quite big here so we decided to spend the day at the Lac…just set back from the main beach..where the children could paddle without any concerns about rip tides or currents. We spent several hours on a very quiet strip of beach feeling like we had just discovered our own desert island. The water was shallow and warm and vibrant with small fish, crabs and birdlife and the children were happy to explore and splash for the whole day.
Tip: The beachside of the Lac is quieter than the town side. We were able to park in a small car park right next to the beach and lake side for easy access.
Tip: Try lunch at La Plage Blanche for the opportunity to dine with the sand on your toes.
Bayonne is a traditionally French cathedral city with pretty wooden houses and cobbled streets. The city is largely pedestrianised in the centre making it a relaxing and charming place to potter around the shops even with children. We loved exploring the oasis of the Botanical Gardens right in the heart of the city.
Tip: Bayonne is particularly famous for it’s chocolate. Visit L’Artelier du Chocolat for a tour of their chocolate shop where children can watch chocolate being made before trying some for themselves.
Just North of Biarittz, Anglet offers long stretches of sandy beaches and long promenades of cafes and bars beside the sea. The sea can be quite rough so is great for surfers but children will need to be watched closely if you’re looking for somewhere to paddle. The long promenade is great for scooting, cycling and skateboarding.
Tip: For great lunch time food and beach side drinks try Lagunak beachside bar on the Southside of the beach. Free parking to the rear!
Grotte de Sare
Enjoy a one-hour guided tour through the deep caverns of the Sare mountain range learning about the history of the caves as well as discovering their geological features. The caves are hugely impressive and a good value day out at just €27 for a family with up to 3 children. Sadly our tour was only given in French so the children found a lot of it hard to understand but well worth a visit all the same.
Saint Jean de Luz
Unlike some of the surf resorts Saint Jean de Luz is a quiet, sheltered bay safe for swimming and paddling. There is a lovely covered promenade with a range of seaside shops and cafes where you can also take in views of the ocean.
And here are a couple of great family day trips we didn’t manage to pack in this time…but have planned for our next trip:
This little mountain train offers views of stunning scenery and wildlife as it travels to the summit of La Rhune mountain. The little train takes about half an hour to reach the top where you can take in panoramic views of the Pyrenees and Basque Country.
Tip: Parking for the train can be VERY difficult, especially in the Summer months. Try to catch the first train of the day to guarantee a space and a quiet summit experience.
Tip: The train IS expensive. Check prices online before hand and book in advance to ensure you get a place.
Image courtesy of Rhune.com
If you like GoApe then you’ll love WowPark. This outdoor park offers 18 hectares of botanical gardens where children can enter a magical world where sprites, fairies and gnomes are a reality. The park also has a luge track, high ropes course including a network of tree top huts to explore. The perfect day out for active families.
Images courtesy of WowPark