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Exploring Bordeaux’s extensive wine region is a dream for many, but without access to a car, navigating the countless châteaux can seem daunting. Having spent years visiting Bordeaux’s wineries, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the region’s top destinations that are easily accessible by public transport. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast or simply eager to explore Bordeaux’s vinicultural heritage, this guide promises an unforgettable journey through some of the finest wineries accessible by bus, tram, or train.

To make it easier for you to understand the region, I divided the article into subregions, with a list of wineries you can visit without a car. So whether you want to learn how Saint Emilion wine is produced or visit an ancient winery without actually leaving Bordeaux, I have you covered. If you’re looking for more organized options such as private or semi-private tours to the vineyards, check out my articles about wine tours from Bordeaux and visiting the Bordeaux wine region without a car.

Here are the best wineries in Bordeaux you can visit by public transport!

Visit wineries in Bordeaux by bus or tram 

You’d be surprised to learn that some of Bordeaux’s wineries lie within the city limits and are accessible by tram or bus. These conveniently located options are the first ones on my list for precisely that reason.

Château Pape Clément in Pessac

Chateau pape Clement Pessac
Château pape Clement by Lost in Bordeaux

A simple bus ride from the center of Bordeaux will bring you to one of the most gorgeous châteaux in Bordeaux. Château Pape Clément is a Grand Cru Classé wine labeled under the Pessac Leognan appellation. The vineyards of Château Pape Clément were planted at the request of the Archbishop of Bordeaux, the future Pope Clement V. The castle itself was built much later and has beautiful Neo-Gothic embellishments.

Today apart from producing wine, it’s also one of the most beautiful luxury hotels in Bordeaux. The château offers daily visits in both French and English as well as winemaking workshops where you can assemble your own wine. You can book the tour online – just click here.

Address: 216 Av. Dr. Nancel Penard, 33600 Pessac / Opening hours: Mon to Sat 10:00 to 19:00 and Sun 10:00 to 18:00

How to get there:
You can take a direct bus (line 4) from Place de Tourny in the center of Bordeaux. The second option is to take Tram B to the Pessac Centre station and then continue by foot for about 20 minutes until you reach the château. See more info here.

Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc

Château du Taillan is a beautiful Bordeaux wine estate dating back to the 19th century. Today it’s owned by five sisters who all contribute in some form to their wine-making business. The winery produces red, white, and rosé wines and is labeled as “Médoc Cru bourgeois”. 

Château du Taillan is labeled under the Medoc wine appellation, but I’ve put it in this segment just because it’s located in the Bordeaux metropole region and is easily reachable by bus from the center of Bordeaux. 

Château du Taillan in Le Taillan-Médoc - one of the best wineries to visit by bus
Château du Taillan – by Lost in Bordeax

The winery offers several visits. The classic one allows you to taste two wines of Château du Taillan. Their most expensive tour takes you on a more intimate journey to discover the house where the sisters grew up. This one ends with a tasting of four different wines accompanied by cheese and chocolate. You can read about all their tours and book your visit here.

During the high season, you can also order a picnic basket from the château and have a fabulous lunch in their garden. You can see more info about that here.

Address: 56 Av. de la Croix, 33320 Le Taillan-Médoc /Opening hours: Mon to Sat 10:00 to 18:00 and Sun 10:00 to 16:00

How to get there from Bordeaux:
You can take a direct bus (line 2) from Place des Quinconces in the direction of le Taillan la Boetie, get down at La Pargaud station, and walk for 5 minutes until you reach the chateau. See the schedule of line 2 here.

Château Les Carmes Haut Brion

Château Les Carmes Haut Brion is one the most interesting visits for both wine and art lovers. Its history goes back to the 16th century when the Lord of Haut Brion, Jean de Pontac, donated a windmill surrounded by vines to the Carmelite Order. In the 17th century, the Carmelite order purchased more land with vines and continued to develop the estate for more than two centuries.

Today the château is owned by Patrice Pichet, who turned it into a modern winery. The 35 hectares château produces red wines under the appellation of Pessac Leognan. It’s actually the only winery to be located in the limits of Bordeaux city. What makes the tour more exceptional is the stunning modern reception area designed by Philip Starck in 2016.

This is a prestigious château and the prices of the tours are higher than most wineries on this list (ranging from 55€ to 85€ per person). See all the details of the tours they offer here.

Address: 20 Rue des Carmes, 33000 Bordeaux
Opening hours: Mon-Sat from 9:30 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00 (by appointment only). 

How to get there:
Take line A of the tram at Hôtel de Ville (in the direction of Pin Galant), get down at the Saint Augustin station, and walk about 10 minutes until you get to the château. You can also take the bus and get directly to the chateau in about 15 minutes. Take the bus (line 24) from Republic Station (next to Place de la Republique). See the schedule here

Château Olivier in Leognan

Another gem in the Pessac Leognan appellation is Château Olivier. Just a few km from Bordeaux, you’ll find a beautiful château, surrounded by a forest and vines. Château Olivier is a Grand Cru Classé producing red and white wines. Since 2014, the winery has produced only organic wines from its 60 hectares. 

The château offers several visiting experiences where you could learn about their wine-making process, and taste wine straight from the barrel. Book your visit here.

Address: 173 Av. de Bordeaux, 33850 Léognan /Opening hours: Mon to Fri from 10:00 to 18:00 by appointment only – book here

How to get there from Bordeaux:
Take bus number 5 from Palais de Justice (a few minutes walk from Place Pey Berland). Get off the bus at the Piscine Chambéry station in Leognan, just a few minutes walk from Chateau Olivier. See more info here

Château Saint Ahon in Blanquefort

If you’re traveling with kids, I highly recommend visiting Château Saint Ahon in Blanquefort. The Chateau is a family-owned winery located at the very beginning of the Medoc wine route

My kids particularly enjoyed the gardens, called Les Jardins de Mirabel. The gardens offer a fun discovery trail that teaches kids about winemaking and nature in the region in a playful way. Here you can see more family-friendly wineries in Bordeaux.
Here’s a link to book a visit to the chateau and the gardens.

Château Saint Ahon  in Medoc is easy to reach by bus
Château Saint Ahon – by lost in Bordeaux

Address: 57 Rue de St Ahon, 33290 Blanquefort / Opening hours: The winery is open all year long apart from August.

How to get there from Bordeaux:
Take line C to the Blanquefort train station and then continue 20 minutes by foot or take bus 38 from the Blanquefort train station to the Caychac station. See the timetable here

Visiting wineries in Saint Emilion by public transport

I have a very detailed guide about how to get to Saint Emilion from Bordeaux, be sure to read it if you’re planning to visit this region without a car. Saint Emilion is one of the only wine towns in the region to have a train station, which makes it easily reachable by public transport. However, the train doesn’t stop in the center of Saint Emilion, you’ll have to walk about 20 minutes to get to the center. Most châteaux are located quite far from the town itself but a few are within walking distance from the city center.

*During the summer there’s a direct bus from Bordeaux to the center of Saint Emilion, see all the details in my article

Leave some time to discover Saint Emilion itself, it’s one of the most beautiful villages around Bordeaux. For more wineries to visit in Saint Emilion check out my article. If you’re planning to spend a weekend in Saint Emilion, here are my recommendations for the best places to stay in the Saint Emilion region

Château Villemaurine

Château Villemaurine is one of the most popular wineries for tourists visiting Saint Emilion. The Château combines tradition, modernity, centuries of history, and the refined production of great wines.

Château Villemaurine offers two group guided tours. A discovery tour where you get to visit the vineyards and the monolithic cellars which are located underneath the vines of the estate. A Heritage tour where you will discover the stunning network of quarries owned by the Château.  Click here to book the tour online.

Address: 23 Villemaurine-Sud, Saint-Émilion / Opening hours: open most of the year, Book a tour in English here

How to get there from Bordeaux:
Take the train from Gare Saint Jean to the Saint Emilion train station and walk for about 20 minutes in the direction of the center of Saint Emilion. 

Château Soutard

Château Soutard is an impressive 18th-century winery, located a few minutes walk from the center of Saint Emilion. It’s about 30 minutes walk from the train station but it’s worth a visit if you’re going to spend time in the village anyway.  The Château offers plenty of fun activities such as a wine blending workshop, biking in the vineyards, a gourmet picnic, and of course, wine tours.
To book any of their activities click here.

Chateau Soutard in saint emilion
Chateau Soutard by lost in Bordeaux

Address: Soutard, 33330 Saint-Émilion /Opening hours: The schedule is changing during the less touristy season. When in Bordeaux, be sure to contact them for information about tours in English.

How to get there from Bordeaux:
Take the train from Gare Saint Jean to the Saint Emilion train station and walk for about 30 minutes in the direction of the center of Saint Emilion. 

Château La Gaffelière

Closer to the train station you can find Château La Gaffelièr. The winery is classified as Premier Grand Cru Classé under the Saint Emilion wine classification, making it one of the more prestigious estates on this list. 

The château belongs to the Malet-Roquefort family who is very passionate about sharing their wine-making craft. Their group tours, lasting for about an hour, take you through their colorful vats and the underground barrel cellar. The visit includes a tasting of three of their wines. Book your tour here

Address: Château La Gaffelière, BP 65 / 33330 Saint-Emilion / Opening hours: Château La Gaffelière is open daily from April to November 12 and on a few specific dates during other months of the year. Check out their availability here

How to get there from Bordeaux:
Take the train from Gare Saint Jean to the Saint Emilion train station and walk a few minutes to get to the chateau. 

Visiting Medoc without a car

There are a few wineries in Medoc you can easily reach by train but yet again, if you have the option to do it by car, I highly recommend it. Driving the Medoc wine route is one of the most remarkable experiences Bordeaux has to offer. If you want to follow that advice, here’s a link to find a car from a few locations in Bordeaux. 

One of the easiest parts of Medoc to reach by public transport is the town of Margaux. A direct train from Gare Saint Jean (train 42) will take you to the famous wine town with several options for chateaux to visit. Check out the schedule here. See more details about how to visit the Medoc wine region in my article.

Château Ferrière in Margaux

If you choose Medoc for your wine trip, I highly recommend visiting Château Ferrière, founded in the 18th century by a shipbroker named Gabriel Ferriere. In 1988 the château was sold to Jacques Merlaut, the owner of Château Chasse-Spleen, La Gurgue, and Haut-Bages Liberal. The Merlaut family revived the winery and produced its first vintage in 1992. Today, the château is run by the granddaughter, Claire Villars, who took over the family business after the tragic death of her parents in a car accident. 

A variety of tours are available to you at Château Ferrière, all of which include wine tasting, of course. One of their popular tours takes you through the history of the chateau while another is more focused on the agricultural aspect of wine production. Book your tour at the Château here

Address: 33 bis Rue de la Tremoille, 33460 Margaux-Cantenac
Opening hours: During the tourist season (June to mid-October) the château is open Mon to Sat from Mon to Fri the rest of the year. 

How to get there from Bordeaux:
Take a train from Gare Saint Jean to Margaux (in the direction of le Verdon) and walk a few minutes to the winery. If you’re staying closer to the city center, take tram C, to get to the Blanquefort station instead of Gare Saint-Jean. The winery is located about 1km from the train station. 

Château Marquis de Terme in Margaux

Another great winery to visit in Margaux is Château Marquis de Terme. It’s a fantastic place to visit during summer times as they have an open bar in the garden where you can get wine, cheese, and charcuterie. The chateau offer wine tasting without a tour in case you’re not interested in yet another explanation about how wine is made. Château Marquis de Terme also has a great restaurant which is yet another reason to go there. You can book your visit here

Château Marquis de Terme - medoc - one of the only wineries in Bordeaux you can visit by public transpot
Château Marquis de Terme – by Lost in Bordeaux

Address: 3 Rte de Rauzan, 33460 Margaux /Opening hours: Château Marquis de Terme offers visits daily from April to mid-November and only on weekdays during the winter season. 

How to get there from Bordeaux:
How to get there from Bordeaux: take a train from Gare Saint Jean to Margaux (in the direction of le Verdon) and walk a few minutes to the winery. If you’re staying closer to the city center, take tram C, to get to the Blanquefort station instead of Gare Saint-Jean.

Château Chasse Spleen in Moulis-en-Médoc

Staying in the Merlaut family, we move north to the Paulliac area. The beautiful Château Chasse-Spleen belonged to Jacques Merlaut, one of the most important figures in the Medoc wine region. For many years it was run by his daughter, Bernadette and she’s credited for its high reputation. Today it’s managed by one of her daughters Celine Villars and her husband. The 107-hectare winery is labeled under the Moulis en Medoc, the smallest appellation in the Medoc wine region. 

The château, dating to the 16th century has a very long history before the Merlaut family acquired it. And you will hear all about it on the tour! You can also combine the classic visit with a light lunch (charcuterie, wine, and a small local dessert). Choose and book your visit here

Château Chasse Spleen - a winery to visit by train from Bordeaux
Château Chasse Spleen by Lost in Bordeaux

Château Chasse-Spleen also has a wine bar and an art gallery, which are worth a visit even if you don’t fancy a wine tour. They also have a fabulous hotel, just in case you’re looking for a romantic weekend 🙂
Check it out here

Address: 32 Chem. de la Razé, 33480 Moulis-en-Médoc
Opening hours: From April 21st to November 6th and on public holidays, open 7/7. From November to March, tours and tastings by appointment only from Monday to Friday (email at visites@chasse-spleen.com).

How to get there:
As with all the other Medoc wineries on this list, you need to take the train from Bordeaux in the Direction of Le Verdon. This time you’re getting off at the Pauillac station. The chateau is located about 15 minutes walk from there. 

Visiting Graves by train 

Château de Cerons 

Château de Cerons is one of the most impressive properties in the Graves wine region. It’s also one of the only wineries in the Graves region you can reach by public transport. A few other wineries in Graves are reachable by bike, but that’s for another article 🙂 

The château is a historical Chartreuse (little house) dating back to the 17th century. The winery produces both red and white dry wines and offers a range of different visits that include wine tasting, picnic baskets with regional products, and more. 

Château de Cerons - one of the best wineries to visit by public transport
Château de Cerons – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

It’s one of the more kids-friendly chateaux in the region. You can rent bikes at the château and go on a beautiful rural path discovering the heritage of the village and the Garonne River. If you want to discover some other kid-friendly options, check out my dedicated listYou can book their tours here.

For picnics and bike rentals, you can check their website.

Address: 1 Latour, 33720 Cérons
Opening hours: Mon to Sat from May to October and Mon to Fri from November to April – by appointment only.

How to get there from Bordeaux
Take the TER train from Gare Saint Jean in Bordeaux to the Cerons station.  Château de Cerons is located within a 15-minute walk from the station. 

Wine tours from Bordeaux city

If you’re too nervous to use public transport in Bordeaux you can always take one of the many guided wine tours from Bordeaux. For that be sure to read my article about the best wine tours in Bordeaux.

Just to conclude, visiting wineries in the Bordeaux region is a marvelous experience that you should not miss even if you don’t have a car. In this list, you have so many amazing options for chateaux reachable by public transport! Now it’s time to choose the one you like most! Enjoy!

See other wine-related articles here:
Best wineries to visit in Saint Emilion
The Medoc wine route
Best wineries to visit in Medoc
Best family-friendly wineries in Bordeaux
Bordeaux wine region – the full guide
All the Open door events in the wineries of Bordeaux

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Bordeaux, known for its world-class wines, is also home to a burgeoning coffee scene that’s gaining recognition among locals and travelers alike. From cozy cafes serving up artisanal brews to chic espresso bars tucked away in charming neighborhoods, Bordeaux offers a diverse array of coffee experiences to satisfy even the most discerning coffee connoisseurs.

For other cool stuff happening in Bordeaux check out my article about the best things to do in Bordeaux and my Bordeaux weekend guide.

Here are some of my favorite places to grab a cup of coffee in Bordeaux.

Homie’s Kitchen Bordeaux

Homie’s Kitchen (36 Rue des Ayres), born from the shared passion of three childhood friends, offers a cozy café experience with a diverse, seasonal menu. Indulge in their mouthwatering breakfast options like the Pulled Pork ‘Dwich or the Shakshouka, a spicy tomato and pepper stew topped with free-range eggs and feta cheese. With its warm ambiance and flavorful offerings, Homie’s Kitchen promises a breakfast experience like no other in Bordeaux.

Homie's Kitchen Bordeaux - great savory breakfast
Homie’s Kitchen Bordeaux – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Café Eriu

Owned by the lovely Grace, an Irish expat, Café Eriu is a hidden gem on rue Fondaudège. Renowned for its superb coffee and delectable menu featuring Irish-inspired dishes made with the finest local ingredients, this cafe attracts chic locals seeking a cozy ambiance and flavorful fare.

Cafe Eriu in Bordeaux - one of th best coffee shops in Bordeaux
Café Eriu – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

SIP Coffee Bar

SIP Coffee Bar (69 Bis Rue des Trois-Conils), right in the heart of Bordeaux, run by Julie, is just cozy and inviting, a real favorite with the locals. It’s got this chill vibe where you can sit back and enjoy one of Julie’s top-notch cappuccinos while treating yourself to some seriously tasty homemade cakes. They’ve got everything from fruit tarts to white chocolate brownies, so you’re in for a treat with every sip of coffee.

Kuro Espresso Bar

If you’re in need of a caffeine pick-me-up, head to Kuro Espresso Bar (5 Rue Mautrec). Tucked between the Opera of Bordeaux and the Notre Dame church, it’s a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center. Pascal, the owner, always serves up the perfect cup of coffee using the best local roasts.

Oven Heaven

Lesser-known but equally impressive, Oven Heaven (51 Cr de la Marne) doubles as both a coffee shop and a renowned roastery in Bordeaux. Founded by Kévin and Dimitri, Oven Heaven delights patrons with its exceptional coffee and delectable pastries sourced from their bakery, Goutu Bordeaux. Situated near the Capucins market, it’s the perfect spot to savor a cup of coffee while indulging in gourmet treats.

Oven Heaven  - a cofffee shop with the best bakery in Bordeaux
Oven Heaven – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

L’Alchimiste Café Boutique

Located near the upscale Quinconces district, L’Alchimiste Café Boutique (12 Rue de la Vieille Tour) is a haven for coffee aficionados seeking a refined coffee experience. Founded by Arthur and Yohan, this chic establishment focuses solely on coffee, sourcing beans from Central America and Eastern Africa. With its minimalist decor and unparalleled coffee selection, L’Alchimiste is a must-visit destination for those craving a taste of excellence.

L’Alchimiste Café Boutique - considered the best quality coffee shop in Bordeaux
L’Alchimiste Café Boutique – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

A couple of years ago they opened their second coffee shop in Darwin on the other side of the river. If you’re there, it’s worth a visit. 

French House

While it may not have the typical cafe vibe, French House (7 Pl. Puy Paulin) is known for its great coffee and all-day dining options. Whether you’re looking for a spot to meet friends or get some work done, French House has got you covered.

The French house - great coffee and breakfast
A breakfast at the French House – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

Books and Coffee

Situated on the picturesque rue Saint James, Books and Coffee (26 rue Saint James) beckons with its inviting ambiance and delectable offerings. What began as a quaint coffee shop has blossomed into a bustling destination frequented by locals and tourists alike. From morning coffees to leisurely brunches, Books and Coffee delights patrons with its extensive menu and homemade pastries, making it a cherished gem in Bordeaux’s coffee scene.

Café Piha

In the vibrant Saint Paul district, Café Piha (69 Rue des Ayres) stands out as a testament to owner Pierre Guerin’s passion for coffee. Inspired by his love for kite surfing and coffee, Piha offers a unique blend of flavors that captivates coffee enthusiasts. With its welcoming atmosphere and Pierre’s expertise, Café Piha promises an unforgettable coffee experience for all who venture through its doors.

Piha Cafe in Bordeaux
Piha Cafe – photo by Lost in Bordeaux

So there you have it – my top picks for the best coffee spots in Bordeaux. Whether you’re a caffeine connoisseur or just looking for a cozy spot to hang out, there’s something for everyone in Bordeaux’s vibrant coffee scene.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:
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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Toulouse, known as the “Pink City,” exudes vibrancy and energy, making it one of the liveliest destinations in southwest France. Located between beaches, mountains, and the magical Dordogne valley, Toulouse is a perfect destination for anyone visiting the Southwest of France.

Toulouse is considered a big city by French standards, but its center is actually rather small. That means that you can cover most of its beautiful squares and monuments in one day. You can get a great feel for the city and enjoy the architecture, the local food scene, some history, and the nightlife all in a day’s work! This article will guide you through a day in this fantastic city, so you can follow it step-by-step.

What to do in one day in Toulouse 

Start your day with amazing coffee

To keep up with our 24-hour itinerary in the Pink City, you’ll need a good dose of caffeine to start the day. Luckily, there’s no shortage of specialty coffee shops in the center. So many, in fact, that I’ve got a whole article dedicated just to the hottest coffee spots in Toulouse. 

Some of my favorites are Allegory Coffee Bar near Place du Capitol, Le Café Cerise on the Garonne river banks, Canopée Coffee House and and La Belle Brune in the hipster Carmes neighborhood.

La Belle Brune - coffee shop in Toulouse
La Belle Brune – by Lost in Bordeaux

Take a tour of the old city 

If you’re in Toulouse only for a day, you might want to consider taking a guided tour. A tour can help you prioritize the most important sights and take you to great local food and drink spots without any research or effort on your side – it’s a great idea if you have limited time and want to get the feel of the city in a day! The great thing is that Toulouse offers plenty of different tours to make your visit entertaining. 

Check out this cycling tour if you enjoy riding a bike – it’s especially fun when the weather is good. They take you around Toulouse and you’ll stop off at 10 must-see spots.

If you’re not so into cycling, this tuk-tuk tour could be a fun option for you. You’ll be moving along the streets in the open air but someone else will be navigating while you just sit and look at the sights! The electric tuk-tuk is quiet and comfortable and the perfect vantage point for the wide variety of tourist attractions. The best part? They stop so you can take pictures!

L'hôtel d'Assézat in Toulouse - one of the landmarks of Toulouse
L’hôtel d’Assézat – one of Toulouse’s landmarks

Perhaps you prefer walking and taking your time exploring winding streets in the historical districts. If that’s the case, I have two great walking tours for you where you’ll get to stroll around the city with fellow tourists who love to roam on foot. This tour is great if you want to be in a group and this tour is for private bookings.

Check out my article dedicated to the best tours in Toulouse for all the other options Toulouse has to offer when it comes to tours. If you would rather discover the pink city on your own, here are some of the most beautiful places to visit in Toulouse.

Place du Capitole 

Start your day at the most famous landmark in Toulouse, Place du Capitol. Named after the Capitole building, the square is widely considered as one of the most beautiful in all of France. Place du Capitol is home to the Townhall of Toulouse and the Capitole Theater. The square and the streets around it are brimming with restaurants and fancy hotels. Countless events, fairs, and food markets are taking place on this stunning square throughout the year, among them the main Christmas market of Toulouse

Place du Capitole in Toulouse

Don’t miss the beautiful ceiling paintings of the Galerue des Arcades, commissioned in 1997 by the Maire of Toulouse, who wanted to modernize the square, and painted by renowned artist Raymond Moretti.

Visit the ceremonial chambers and their murals

The Capitole building is home to the Salle des Illustres, a beautiful room representing the Toulouse School of Art of the 19th century. Henri Martin, Jean-Paul Laurens, and Paul Gervais are only a few of the famous painters who have contributed to the works of art you’ll find there.  Floor-to-ceiling murals, sculptures, and paintings come perfectly together to manifest the greatness of Toulouse.
It’s probably the best art museum in town!

The Capitole is open for visits every day (unless they’re hosting a ceremony) – you can see their opening hours here. Entry is free.

Discover the center of Toulouse and its lively streets

Walking around the city center and discovering the charming streets, cute cafés, and historical architecture is a great way to work up an appetite before lunch. Here’s a partial list of the places you’ll encounter on your stroll in Capitole de Toulouse: Place du Capitole, Couvent des Jacobins, Musee des Augustins, Hotel d’Assezat, and more.

If you want to do some shopping and admire beautiful architecture at the same time, head to rue d’Alsace Lorraine. This spectacular shopping street is for pedestrians only and is home to some of the most impressive Haussmann buildings in Toulouse. 

While the big streets of Toulouse are beautiful, I have a strong preference for the smaller streets adorning the red/pink brick houses which the pink city is famous for. Some of my favorite streets in the Capitole du Toulouse district are Rue Peyrolières, rue Saint Rome, rue des arts, and rue de Taur. Other places not to miss in central Toulouse are the lively Place Saint George and the main market of Toulouse. 

The center of Toulouse to visit in one day
The streets of Toulouse by Lost in Bordeaux

Marche Victor Hugo is a Toulousian gastronomic institution and is a must-visit for anyone interested in food, but we’ll talk about it later.

Have lunch at the central market of Toulouse

France is known for its gastronomy and how food is woven into culture, tradition, history, and daily life. When visiting a new city, visit the central market. It’s usually the beating heart of the city; the gastronomic epicenter where you can discover all the local specialties and where local chefs come to get inspiration and ingredients for their daily menu. That’s exactly the case in Toulouse.

Marché Victor Hugo is the biggest and most important market in Toulouse. It’s the best place to try some local tapas and delicacies that Toulouse is famous for, like the Saucisse de Toulouse and the Pavé Toulousain cheese.

The ground floor of the market is always bustling with people doing their weekly shopping, while the second floor is where the restaurants are. On weekends it’s packed with families coming for lunch. Make sure to be there early to book a table!

Food tour in Marché Victor Hugo
Taste of Toulouse – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re a foodie, I highly recommend taking a tour of the market. The best one in English is offered by Jessica. She organizes small group tours where you get to discover and taste some of the specialties of Toulouse and hear the stories behind them. The tour is very popular, so be sure to book in advance. Here’s a link to book her tour.

Discover more amazing markets in my article about the best markets in Toulouse.

Time for some heritage 

Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse
If you’re planning on taking a tour of Toulouse, you will surely pass by the Saint Sernin Basilica. But if you’re discovering Toulouse on your own, take a few minutes to walk from the market to visit what is considered the most important religious landmark of Toulouse.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site and built in the 11th century, Saint Sernin is the biggest Romanesque basilica in Europe and a beautiful visit whether you’re religious or just want to discover the stunning architecture.

Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse
Basilique Saint-Sernin de Toulouse – Lost in Bordeaux

Couvent des Jacobins 
Le Couvent des Jacobins is a Dominican monastery of the Order of Preachers that was built in the 13th century. The Dominicans played an important role in creating the first university of Toulouse and were considered great educators. Today, Toulouse is home to one of the oldest universities in France.

The remarkable building with its high columns and colorful stained glass windows will leave you in awe. Its most famous feature is the stone “palm trees” on the ceiling. It is a French Gothic masterpiece that should not be missed.

Port de la Daurade

Situated along the waterfront, Port de la Daurade is a very popular place for visitors and locals alike. You can go there for a drink when it’s hot and enjoy the views of the Garonne River from the terrace of a waterfront café. It’s a perfect place for a little rest or a walk – nothing beats being next to the water! You can also take a cruise on the Garonne River, which is a great way to take in the city’s sights from a unique angle.

the stairs of Place Saint Pierre - riverfront in Toulouse
The stairs of Place Saint Pierre – by Lost in Bordeaux

Take a walk on the promenade  

Stroll along the waterfront until you get to Pont Neuf and then enter the Carmes neighborhood – the cool, hipster area where you’ll run into loads of locals.

Discover the hipster part of Toulouse – the Carmes neighborhood 

My personal favorite part of Toulouse, the Carmes district is a beautiful blend of young energy and old architecture – with great coffee and food spots sprinkled throughout. The neighborhood is home to some of the more charming streets in Toulouse, all connected with tiny squares filled with terrace restaurants. 

On almost every street you’ll find beautiful patisseries, chic boutiques, and specialty coffee shops. Some of my favorites are Entremets, Pêché Mignon, Les Douceurs d’Irma, and Maison Pillon. Some of the streets you shouldn’t miss in The Cames neighborhood are rue Pharaon, rue des Filatiers rue, Ozenne, Place Mage, rue Croix Baragnon, and rue Perchepinte.

Where to stay in Toulouse - Les Carmes
Les Carmes – by Lost in Bordeaux

Taste regional specialties for dinner

Cassoulet, slow-cooked stew, most frequently made with duck and pork sausages, originated in this area and is famous all around France. Some of the best restaurants to eat cassoulet are Au Gascon or Le Bibent. Other great restaurants with a bit of more modern cuisine inlude Emmit’s, Contre-Pied, and Tempête Bar Restaurant. 

Go out for a drink 

End your day in Toulouse on a high note with post-dinner drinks. On warmer days the city will be buzzing with students, workers, and tourists enjoying drinks in the night air. If you want to try local wines, head to either Le 5 wine bar, L’Alimentation Bar à Vin, or Maison Sarment. 

If you’re visiting in the summer, the Mama Shelter rooftop is a really fun place to finish your day with great views over the city. And my favorite place is the secret cocktail bar – L’agence. But you didn’t hear it from me! 😉

L’agence cocktail  bar in Toulouse
L’agence cocktail bar in Toulouse – Lost in Bordeaux

If you find yourself falling in love with Toulouse and want to stay longer or come back for another visit, check out my detailed guide to an entire weekend in Toulouse. You also don’t want to miss my guide to the best districts in Toulouse, which should help you to find the best hotel/apartment for the weekend. Also check out my articles about the best tours in Toulouse, day trips from Toulouse, and the best festivals taking place in Toulouse, to see if anything’s up during your visit.

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in!

Nestled on the French Basque Coast, Biarritz is one of the best day trips from San Sebastian, with its scenic landscapes and culinary delights. If you’re wondering how to get from San Sebastian to Biarrtiz, this article will provide all the details you need for an easy day trip. 

If you prefer flexibility with your schedule and want to explore some hidden gems of the Basque Country along the way, renting a car is always a great idea. I typically use the Rental Car website to find the best deals. However, if you’d rather avoid driving to Biarritz, it’s totally fine; there are several easy ways to get to the lovely Basque city.

Don’t forget to check out my article about the best things to do in Biarritz and where to stay in Biarritz before you go there. 

Taking a tour from San Sebastian to Biarritz 

If you’re traveling to Biarritz for just one day, I highly recommend taking a guided tour to make the most of your trip. Here are two great tours from Saint Sebastian to Biarritz.

From San Sebastian to Biarritz & the French Basque Coast 

This tour is ideal for those eager to explore not only Biarritz but also other gems of the French Basque coast. Led by an experienced guide, you’ll visit the charming coastal villages of Biarritz, Hondarribia, and Saint Jean de Luz on a full-day tour lasting approximately 8 hours. Along the way, you’ll be treated to some of the most beautiful landscapes in the area, indulge in the local cuisine, visit Les Halles market, and journey along one of the most picturesque roads in the Basque Country.
You can book a tour here

A tour from San Sebastian to Biarritz and Bayonne 

Another excellent choice is the Minibus Tour, offering a relaxed journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Basque Country, featuring iconic stops and intriguing historical anecdotes.

During the day, you’ll cross the Bidasoa River and explore the heart of Bayonne, with its charming market and majestic cathedral. Following that, you’ll visit Biarritz, renowned for its imperial history and breathtaking coastal views. Led by bilingual guides, this 6-hour adventure guarantees a day filled with sightseeing and local flavors.
You can book the tour here

How to get from San Sebastian to Biarritz
Taste local delicacies in Biarritz

From San Sebastian to Biarritz by Public transport 

It takes about an hour’s drive to get from San Sebastian to Biarritz and two regular companies do that trajectory daily. 

Flixbus

With about 6 departures throughout the day, starting at 6:30 am until 4:30 pm, FlixBus offers comfortable buses, equipped with Wi-Fi and power outlets, and a comfortable schedule. Ticket prices start from €5.99, making it an economical choice for budget-conscious travelers. You can book your ticket online here or via the FlixBus app, and you don’t need to print your ticket – simply show the QR code on your phone to the driver. 

It departs from San Sebastian’s main bus station (Paseo Federico García Lorca 1, 20010 San Sebastián). In Biarrtiz your final stop will be at  Halle Iraty, Rue Chapelet 64200 Biarritz. It’s important to note that the last stop is not in the center of Biarritz, for that, you need to take another bus (short ride) From La Halle d’Iraty stop – bus number 7 to the center of Biarritz and from Biarritz Airport – bus number 36.

BlablaCar Bus

Another excellent option for a cheap, fast, and comfortable ride from San Sebastian to Biarritz by public transport is BlablaCar Bus, which offers 40 minutes to one hour, depending on the bus you choose.

The bus leaves from the main bus station (Paseo Federico García Lorca 1, 20010 San Sebastián) and arrives at the airport of Biarritz. The BlalaCar bus operates from as early as 4 am to 7 pm. In between there are quite a few trips, so you can choose the time that suits you best and order your tickets here.

By bus and train 

If you need a different bus hours, you can also do the journey with a change in Hendaye.

Take bus E2 from San Sebastian to the train station in Hendaye and then continue by train to the train station of Biarritz. The train between Hendaye and Biarritz takes about 23 min and costs about 6,5 euros. You can book your tickets here.

Here are all my other Basques country-related articles to help you plan your trips:
Most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Weekend in Biarritz
All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz
What to do in Espelette
A family trip to the French Basque country

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in. 

Renowned for its celebrated brandy, Cognac is definitely a highlight for alcohol enthusiasts. But Cognac is more than just its spirits – it’s a captivating region boasting picturesque landscapes, delectable cuisine, and a myriad of attractions waiting to be 

discovered. Imagine spending a weekend here – a chance to unwind, explore, and indulge in the charms of this enchanting region. 

In this article, I’ve selected seven hotels in the Cognac region that promise an amazing stay while you explore the area. Some are located in the heart of Cognac town, close to many restaurants and distilleries, while others are nestled in the scenic countryside. The list includes luxurious hotels with spa facilities and others that are more simple but comfortable and centrally located.

 Before we start, to help you better explore the region, here are my guides to the best things to do in Cognac and the best distilleries to visit in Cognac
Let’s dive in!

Best hotels in the center of Cognac 

Logis des Tourelles

If you fancy a romantic weekend in Cognac, check out Logis des Tourelles, one of the best hotels in the region. The 4-start guest house is located in a historic 19th-century mansion, right in the center of the Cognac. A big outdoor swimming pool is awaiting you in their beautiful garden, which is especially inviting during the warmer season. The hotel offers warmly decorated family rooms with kitchen supplies and everything you need to enjoy a picnic in the garden. 

One of the best hotels in Cognac
Source: Logis des Tourelles

With its prime central location, you’ll find yourself within easy reach of the city’s renowned restaurants and numerous distilleries, all just a stroll away. For guests arriving by car, complimentary parking facilities are available for added convenience. Should you wish to explore the captivating surroundings of the Cognac region beyond the city center, the hotel offers a bike hire service, allowing you to embark on scenic adventures at your own pace.

You can book your room using this link.

Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa

Discover a truly unforgettable stay in Cognac at Hôtel Chais Monnet & Spa, where history, luxury, and warm hospitality converge seamlessly. Originally established in 1838, this distinguished 5-star hotel sprawls across more than two hectares in the heart of Cognac. Boasting four distinct buildings, the meticulously designed rooms and suites exude an elegant French classicism, ensuring a refined and comfortable retreat for guests. Indulge in the finest amenities, including a contemporary brasserie, a sophisticated Jazz bar, a breathtaking rooftop lounge, and versatile meeting spaces.

Immerse yourself in relaxation at the hotel’s exceptional wellness area, featuring a 25-meter swimming pool, four tranquil treatment cabins, a state-of-the-art fitness room, as well as rejuvenating facilities such as a jacuzzi, hammam, and sauna. A highlight of your culinary journey awaits at the Michelin-starred restaurant, helmed by Chef Paolo Boscaro, where you’ll savor the exquisite flavors and culinary heritage of the Charente region.

Conveniently situated adjacent to the renowned Rémy Martin Prestigious Cognac house and just a short stroll from the charming old town of Cognac, Hôtel Chais Monnet offers a luxurious oasis in the heart of the city

Reserve your room at Chais Monne here.

Hôtel Quai des Pontis

Another charming hotel in Cognac is the 3-star Hôtel Quai des Pontis. Located on the banks of the Charente River in a century-old park, this hotel offers a unique experience, with traces of its industrial past, including an imposing chimney preserved by the current owners.

Situated in a former factory Hôtel Quai des Pontis offers rooms, lodges, and suites all coming with a private terrace. Just imagine yourself drinking your morning coffee or an afternoon Cognac-based cocktail on the terrace with exceptional views of the river and the historic town. The hotel features a bar, a lounge with a piano, and a swimming pool for the hot days in the region. It’s one of the most kids-friendly hotels in Cognac.

Hôtel Quai des Pontis is located in the Faubourg Saint-Jacques district, just across the bridge from the old center in Cognac. A pleasant stroll along the bridge will bring you to some of the most famous Cognac houses in town such as Hennessy and Château Royal de Cognac.

Book your room here.

Hotel Heritage

Located in the center of Cognac the hotel itself is a simple 3-star hotel but it’s very cozy and has everything you need for a pleasant stay. Hotel Heritage offers spacious and comfortable rooms, a shared lounge, a terrace, a restaurant, and a bar.

The hotel is located within walking distance of the market, the main shopping streets, and the big park of Cognac (Jardin Public). Other attractions nearby include the two main museums in the city,  Musée des Arts du Cognac and Musée d’Art et d’Histoire.  A great choice for a short weekend in Cognac if you arrive by train and want to stay in a central location.

You can book your stay here. 

Staying in the countryside around Cognac

While Cognac itself is a lovely town with plenty of stuff to do, if you have more than a few days to dedicate to the region, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the scenic countryside around Cognac. The best way to do that is to stay in one of the villages nearby, here are a few great options in the Cognac countryside. 

Hôtel L’Yeuse – Les Collectionneurs

Hôtel L’Yeuse, situated 2.5 km from Cognac near the banks of the Charente River, stands as a unique castle residence. The owner’s innovative approach grants graffiti artists carte blanche, resulting in personalized décor that adds an artistic touch to each of the 24 rooms, all boasting panoramic views of the Charente Valley, villages, and vineyards.

A beautiful hotel in the Cognac region
source : Hôtel L’Yeuse

Beyond its picturesque setting, Hôtel L’Yeuse offers a range of amenities for relaxation, including a spa, sauna, hot tub, and outdoor swimming pool. Additionally, guests can indulge in therapeutic massages. The hotel’s culinary offerings are equally enticing, with the “Table de Yeuse” restaurant serving creative cuisine crafted from local and seasonal ingredients, while the Remarkable Garden invites exploration, promising delightful discoveries amidst the natural beauty of the surroundings.

Book your stay in Hôtel L’Yeuse here. 

Domaine de Pladuc

Nestled within the picturesque Cognac region, the Domaine de Pladuc offers a captivating blend of history, tranquility, and hospitality. Originally a renowned cognac distillery dating back to the mid-18th century, this charming estate boasts magnificent architecture and a rich heritage. 

Today, it has been lovingly transformed into a quaint boutique hotel, featuring just five spacious and bright rooms adorned with meticulous attention to detail. With an outdoor swimming pool and a furnished terrace for outdoor dining, Domaine de Pladuc promises a truly peaceful and restorative escape. Whether you’re seeking a romantic getaway or planning a special event, this idyllic retreat offers the perfect setting for unforgettable experiences in the heart of the Charente countryside.

Book your stay here

Le Relais de Saint-Preuil, The Originals Relais (Relais du Silence)

Sven and Stevan, the passionate proprietors of Le Relais de Saint-Preuil Hotel, epitomize hospitality excellence in the serene countryside near Cognac. Set amidst the rolling vineyards, this charming establishment radiates rustic allure and enduring charm, providing an idyllic escape for discerning travelers. 

With spacious family rooms and suites blending tradition with modern comforts, guests can relish panoramic views from the expansive terrace while savoring gourmet cuisine paired with local wines. Beyond relaxation, the hotel offers an array of recreational amenities including a gym, tennis court, children’s playground, and outdoor swimming pool, ensuring a rejuvenating stay for all. 

For those seeking adventure, bicycle rentals are available to explore the picturesque surroundings, while curated wine tours and cognac tastings offer immersive experiences guided by knowledgeable hosts. Whether indulging in gastronomic delights or embracing the tranquility of the countryside, a stay at Le Relais de Saint-Preuil promises cherished memories and moments of pure bliss.

Reserve your suite here.

If you need more information about things to do and see in Cognac, check out my other articles about Cognac.

Top 10 things to do in Cognac
The best distilleries to visit in Cognac

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:
Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂

The beautiful and unique French Basque country is a fantastic region for a fun family holiday. This summer, why not try out one of the many campsites the region has to offer? In this article, you’ll discover the best camping sites in the French Basque country, both on the coast and inland.

The great thing about French camping vacations is that there is always something for everyone. You can relax at the pool, enjoy sports and other activities the campsite offers, make friends on site, take day trips to nearby beaches and mountains, and the kids will have plenty to keep them busy! If you’re feeling adventurous you can spend the day exploring, but if you just want to chill, these campsites have everything you need to stay 

This article is for travelers who plan on spending their holidays camping in the Basque country, but if you are just passing through, there are fun one-day guided trips like this one, focused on visiting the little villages. There is also this tour, where you can visit the main cities of the French Basque country.

Best camping sites on the French Basque Coast

Camping Harrobia in Bidart

The village of Bidart, situated between Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz, is especially loved by the surfing community. The beautiful sandy beach, which is just a 5-minute walk from Camping Harrobia, is where you and your family can enjoy surfing lessons or simply lounging in the sand and building sandcastles. You should check out my article on the most beautiful villages in the Basque country, too, for day trips to gorgeous little towns you can’t miss during your trip.

Camping Harrobia has different places you can call home for your vacation – mobile homes, chalets, and even flats in a proper building if you’re not that into camping. There’s something for every member of the family. For little ones between the ages of 5 and 12, they have the kids’ club to keep them busy all morning and all afternoon with fun activities planned where they can make friends, play, and give their parents some much-needed chill time.

The bar and restaurant serve up local Basque food and there’s a bakery to get fresh bread every morning (we all know how important that is in France!). You can loan books, games, and sports equipment, take guided tours around the area, and work out with fellow campers at yoga, volleyball, water aerobics, ping pong, and other sessions.
Book your stay here.

Camping Paradis – La Ferme Erromardie

Set right in the center of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this campsite is perfectly located for beach days, exploring the beautiful town center, and a mix between a nature and city break. You can choose between a mobile home and a terrain to pitch your tent, and the campsite has what you need for food on site. But you’ll likely want to enjoy some of Saint-Jean-de-Luz local restaurants, too!

Located right on the beach, Camping Paradis is perfect if you want to enjoy the many local beaches during your vacation. But they also have a lovely heated swimming pool, ping pong tables, kids’ play areas, a library, and themed events in the evenings. There’s everything you need right on site!

Book your stay here.

Camping Bela Basque in Anglet

Set in the middle of Bayonne and Biarritz, two of the region’s most iconic cities, this campsite provides the perfect base from which to explore the French Basque country. You and your family can pitch a tent or rent one of the following: a mobile home, a chalet, or the budget-friendly Tithome, a solid house with a tent part attached to make it bigger.

Camping Bela Basque is well-equipped to provide you a convenient, fun family holiday. They have a restaurant, two heated pools, a kids’ pool play area, sports fields, massages, and more. Events in summer include themed party evenings, activities and outings for children, and sports and workout sessions. It’s also situated right next to a small lake with child-safe beaches and a quick drive from Biarritz’s many famous beaches.
Book your stay here.

Camping Yelloh! Village Ilbarritz Côte Basque

At Yelloh! you can opt for a campsite to set up your tent or a comfortable rental unit and you have a dedicated tourist info point where you can pick up maps and get advice about exploring the Bidart and Biarritz area.

The whole family will have fun at Yelloh! – there’s a dedicated teens club with video games and speakers, a canine park for dogs to roam freely, fun events like laser games, climbing walls and night-time swimming, and much more. Plus, it’s convenient, too – on site you’ll find a grocery store, laundry facilities, a restaurant and snack point, bike rental, surfboard hire, and you can even hire a barbecue for your summer dinners.

Book your stay here.

Camping Juantcho 

This campsite is perfect if you want to be close enough to a town to explore, but also right on the beach. Located just on the outskirts of central Saint-Jean-de-Luz, you have multiple beautiful beaches with all the water sports you can dream of as well as the stunning town center to enjoy restaurants, shopping, sightseeing, and more.

At Camping Juantcho you can choose to pitch a tent or rent a mobile home unit, all set among green hedges and trees, making for a peaceful escape from hectic daily life. While there’s no swimming pool or other services on site, you’ll probably be spending all of your time on the beach, in town, or doing other fun activities like paragliding, surfing, canoeing, cycling, or horse riding.
Book your stay here.

Sunêlia Berrua in Bidart

Located in Bidart, a hilly seaside town with lovely beaches and very near to the famous Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Camping Berrua is a great option for your summer holiday in the Basque country.

This campsite is part of the same family as the one mentioned above – Yelloh! Here, you’ll find more accommodation options, including larger houses for up to 6 people, as well as different levels of cottages and chalets.

If you’re looking to relax during your trip, you’re in luck – they have a spa on site with facial and body treatments, massages, a sauna, whirlpool baths, and hydro-jet massages. They also have more than one fantastic heated swimming pool with slides, massage chairs, and an aquatic games area for kids and adults alike.

If you want to relax and give your kids some adventure, you’ll find clubs for kids and teens from ages 5-17 to keep them busy with fun activities and help them make friends all summer long. There’s an endless list of activities including sports, workout programs, dance lessons, creative workshops, canoeing, surfing, hot air balloon rides, horse riding, golf, and a ton more available on their website.
Book your stay here.

Tamaris Plage Camping

Another beautiful, convenient, and fun campsite set in Saint-Jean-de-Luz is Tamaris Plage Camping, a 4-star resort with plenty of amenities for grownups and kids alike. Here you can rent a cute cottage or a studio apartment with a balcony and you can also pitch a tent or drive up with your camper van.

A heated, covered pool is perfect for days when you don’t feel like going to the beach, and the jacuzzi, sauna, and hamman will give you that space to relax and unwind during your vacation. You can buy fresh baguettes every morning (a must for French holidaymakers!) and enjoy the restaurants on the oceanfront just a quick walk from the campsite. There are also kids’ play areas and a free shuttle in summer that take you to the town center and back every hour.
Book your stay here.

Beautiful Campsites near beautiful Basque villages and the Pyrenees  

Domaine Chalets Larlapean

Set about 50 km inland from Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this beautiful campsite boasts mountain views and lots of peaceful green scenery. You’ll be close to beautiful villages like Saint Jean Pied de Port and Espelette and only 15 km from the Spanish border if you want to do a day trip to a whole other country.

On site, you and the family can enjoy a heated, covered swimming pool, kids’ play areas, a snack point and bar, and other activities. But this campsite is known for its calm tranquility instead of fun party evenings – people come here to relax and enjoy nature.

Book your stay here.

Camping Des Gaves 

Located even further inland and right at the foot of the Pyrenees mountain range, this campsite has gorgeous mountain views and lots of fun activities to do. You can choose between multiple chalet options for your accommodation, and they also have an apartment block that’s a warmer choice in the winter months.

If you and your family enjoy hiking in summer, this is the perfect spot for you. You can find information about the many nearby hiking trails on their website. Camping des Gaves also boasts two heated swimming pools and a kids’ aquatic park, and nearby activities and attractions like a train ride through the mountains and thermal bath spas. They are also open in winter for you to enjoy a ski trip in the mountains.

Book your stay here.

Camping Ixtila Mobilhome

Set inland from the Atlantic coast and right on the Spanish border, the backdrop of Camping Ixtila consists of mountains, cliffs, and lots of peaceful greenery. It’s a beautiful, relaxing place to get some fresh air and escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

You can either set up your tent or your camper van or reserve a chalet or mobile home unit. The campsite provides the opportunity to go on hikes in the mountains, meet local farmers, and taste their specialties, and there’s a little grocery store, bar, and pizzeria on site.

In the surrounding countryside, you can enjoy scenic trails for biking and walking, discover caves and cliffsides, or do some fishing, canyoning, or bird-watching, 

Book your stay here.

Here are all my other Basques country-related articles to help you plan your trips:
Most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Weekend in Biarritz
All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz
What to do in Espelette
A family trip to the French Basque country

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

If you’re touring the Basque country, you can’t miss Bayonne – the capital of the French side of this wonderful region. Not only is it one of the most beautiful cities in the area, surrounded by the ocean and the Pyrenees mountain range, but it’s also a foodie destination of note. If you like chocolate (who doesn’t?!) and delicious, aged cured ham – jambon de Bayonne – you can’t miss this great city. As you can probably guess, my to-do list is going to include lots of foodie adventures!

The best way to discover Bayonne is through food. If you don’t have much time, I highly recommend taking this walking food tour. This 5-star rated tour in English, Spanish, or French takes you through the streets of the city on foot, stopping not only to admire the views and architecture but to taste your way through Bayonne. 3.5 hours of sampling some of the region’s finest delicacies – chocolate, seafood, cheese, Basque cake, house cider, cured meats, and other unique items.

Bayonne is one of the most gastronomic experiences in France
A foodie experience in Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

If a walking tour is not your thing, this eco-friendly electric Segway and bike tour is another great way to get around and see the city with experienced guides. They stop at the most notable sights in the city and kids are welcome.

Here’s my personal list of favorite things to do in Bayonne. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoy touring the city! If you’re also looking for accommodation in Bayonne, check out my article about Where to stay in Bayonne.

A gastronomic vacation in Bayonne – the French Basque country

Stroll the streets of Grand Bayonne

The river Nive crosses through the city center and separates Grand Bayonne from Petit Bayonne. Grand Bayonne is home to the most important historical sites, including the cathedral, the fortifications, the botanic gardens, and the Château Vieux. The lovely timbered, colorful houses make up the traditional architecture of this part of France and are beautiful to see as you stroll around town.

The beautiful streets of Bayonne
Le Grand Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Some of the most charming streets include Rue Port Neuf, rue Poissonnerie, rue d’Espagne, rue de la Monnaie, and Rue de la Salie.

Historical monuments you shouldn’t miss: The gothic cathedral of Sainte Marie, dating back to the 13th century,  go around the back of Château-Vieux to see the massive fortifications and Roman ramparts surrounding the city, the Town Hall, and the grand houses in the historical center.

You can also take this guided tour to discover the fascinating history of Bayonne.

Visit the Market

France is known for its gastronomy and one of the best places in any town to get a feel of the local food and wine selection is at the market. Bayonne is no exception in that it has a fantastic food market held from Tuesday – Saturday at the Halles de Bayonne.

You’ll find cured and fresh meats, delectable cheeses, fine pastries, fresh bread, wine stands, fishmongers, local fruit and vegetable stalls, and much more. It gets especially busy on Saturday mornings when many more stalls are added around the Halles in the open air, so be sure to get there early!

Halles de Bayonne - the main market of Bayonne
Les Halles de Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Petit Bayonne – Discover the more local part of the city

This neighborhood is filled with charming streets and plenty of cool little cafes and restaurants with terraces overlooking the riverfront. As you meander through the small streets, you’ll see plenty of amazing street art everywhere so remember to take your camera!

Where to stay in Bayonne - le Petit Bayonne district
Le Petit Bayonne district – by Lost in Bordeaux

Some of my favorite food shops in the Petit Bayonne neighborhood include: 
Monsieur Txokola, Saloire Ibaialde, La Laiterie Marengo, and La Maison Du Gâteau Basque. 

You can read more about Le Petit Bayonne in my article about the best districts of Bayonne.

Jambon de Bayonne – taste it and learn about it

The famous jambon de Bayonne is cured and seasoned with local spices from Espelette, a town nearby where the spices grow in abundance. The ham is such a big part of Bayonne culture and tradition that they even have a Ham Festival that takes over the city every Easter.

While you’ll be able to try Jambon de Bayonne at nearly any bar or restaurant in town, the two places that you must visit are Sailoir Ibaialde in Petit Bayonne, who also offer tours, and, right in the city center, Musee du Jambon Aubard.

Sailoir Ibaialde - the best place to taste Jambon de Bayonne
A visit to Sailoir Ibaialde – by Lost in Bordeaux

Drink hot chocolate

Bayonne is famous for its chocolate because that’s where chocolate was first made in France before spreading out over the country, back in the day when this region was still known as old Gascony. It was brought over by Jews fleeing the Spanish Inquisition and today still, some of the best chocolate shops in the country can be traced back to Bayonne.

If you like hot chocolate, you absolutely have to visit Chocolat Cazenave, which dates back to 1854. Here they make the warm drink the traditional way it was made when it first arrived in Europe. Cazenave roasts their own beans and makes their own chocolate paste before melting it in warm milk and frothing them together for a delectable treat any time of day or night.

Chocolat Cazenave - the oldest chocolate shop in Bayonne
My kids enjoying Chocolat Cazenave’s hot chocolate

Buy a fancy chocolate home

Let’s stick with the sweet tooth theme!

There are amazing chocolate shops all over Bayonne, one of my favorites is Chocolaterie Puyodebat. I like to stop there and buy some artisanal chocolate bars to take home. They also have a Salon de chocolat, or a tea room, called La Tasse à Moustache, where you can try their amazing hot chocolate inside or on the terrace in the sunshine.

Chocolaterie Puyodebat - one of the best chocolate shops in Bayonne
Chocolaterie Puyodebat – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you are interested in discovering how chocolate is made, I recommend heading to the Petit Bayonne neighborhood to Monsieur Txokola where they do daily demonstrations of how they produce their amazing chocolate.

Street art in Bayonne

One way to get to know the city is by wandering around the charming little streets and photographing your favorite street art. Most of the interesting works are in the Petit Bayonne and Saint-Esprit neighborhoods. You can use the St’art application to discover some of the best street artworks in the city.

Stunning street art in Bayonne - one of the best things to do in Bayonne
Street art in Le Petit Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

There’s also a festival dedicated to street art called Festival Points de Vue. if you’re in town while it’s on you’ll see all kinds of fun, new, open-air art installations across the city.

Go to a photography exhibition at Didam

One of the best cultural hotspots in Bayonne, Didam is the contemporary art museum in the city center that you can’t miss. They host fantastic photography exhibitions and they also hold workshops if you’re the artsy type. Check their website for opening times and tickets.

See an exhibition in  Didam in Bayonne
Photography in Didam in Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Take a walk along the quays

Bayonne has a great riverfront in all of its three touristy districts. There’s nothing like a stroll along the water to clear your head and open up the appetite!

In the city center in the Grand and Petit Bayonne districts, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and cafes where you can stop for a drink in the sunshine. If you go a bit further there are lovely calm, green promenades where you can walk or cycle in the fresh air away from the city buzz.

A walk along the riverfront in Bayonne
A walk along the riverfront in Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Taste cheese from one of the best cheese makers in the world

There’s an impressive amount of stunning cheese shops in Bayonne because just like most regions in France, this one is home to several specialty cheeses. But one cheese shop stands out above the rest and is a must-visit – Christophe Fromager.

Christophe Fromager - one of the best cheese shops in the Basque country
Christophe Fromager – by Lost in Bordeaux

Christophe was crowned the Vice Champion du Monde Fromager in 2017, meaning he basically came second in a global competition of cheesemongers. The shop is a testament to his experience, travels, and knowledge of local products as well as his fantastic connections with regional farmers.
From the moment you walk into the shop, you’ll be transported by the different smells and sights of hard, soft, smelly, aged, crumbly, flaky, creamy, and many more kinds of cheese. You’ll definitely want to buy some to take back to your accommodation and make a little cheese platter for apéro hour.

Do a Hawaiian canoe trip on the Adour and Nive Rivers

A uniquely fun way to discover a new city is by water. Take this boat tour for fun, adventure, and sightseeing all mixed into one!

The trip is made on Hawaiian pirogues, which are typical island boats, ideal for sailing in wide open spaces. It’s also very eco-friendly and great for the whole family. Kids over 7 are welcome and there is no specific fitness level required. During the trip, you’ll pass under the ancient bridges and admire Bayonne’s three main districts from the water.

Do a Hawaiian canoe trip on the Adour and Nive Rivers
Hawaiian canoe trip – photo by Pirogue & Surf

Take surfing lessons in Anglet

Anglet, Bayonne’s adjoining city to the south, is a great place for surfing lessons. With the Gliss Experience surf school you can do a couple of hours or a full day and you’ll learn to surf in the crashing waves on Cavalier Beach. Running from April to November, you can even enjoy the waves in the low season.

Surfing lessons in Anglet
Surfing lessons in Anglet – by Lost in Bordeaux

Visit Jardin Botanique

Next to the Chateau Vieux in Le Grand Bayonne, you’ll find lovely, peaceful botanical gardens. With a strong Japanese influence and beautiful landscaping, you can enjoy lovely views over the ramparts as the gardens are perched seven meters above them. It’s like a little green oasis in the middle of the city, and one of the reasons Bayonne has such a high “floral ranking” – the official French classification of how many flowers and plants decorate a city.

Enjoy a cycling tapas apero

Everyone knows that apéro or pre-dinner drinks are a major part of French culture. Why not try your apéro hour in Bayonne on a bike? Grab an electric bike on this tour and cycle around with an English-speaking guide who will stop to tell you a little about the city’s history and architecture before taking you to the waterfront for tapas and drinks.

If you prefer not to cycle, there are also a few great tapas bars in the center of Bayonne, such as the rooftop of OKKO Hotel, Ibaia, or Les Arcades.

Day trips from Bayonne

Bayonne can be a great base from which to discover the Basque country if you’re staying for a longer period of time. There is so much to see and do in the beautiful Basque country!

If you have a car, you’ll be able to visit a few of the hidden gems, but even if you don’t, there are plenty of places to visit by public transport. 

Biarritz 

Biarritz is a beautiful Basque town in the Biscay Bay on the Atlantic Ocean, known for its surfing beaches and lively atmosphere. Biarritz boasts impressive architecture and an amazing gastronomic scene, yet at the same time, it exudes a cozy, small-town energy, making it a perfect weekend destination. It’s so close to Bayonne that the two have merged together with Anglet in the middle and you can access it by public transport or by car. Here you can read more about what not to miss in Biarritz.

A perfect weekend in Biarritz

Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Located just 25km from Biarritz, Saint-Jean-de-Luz is one of the most charming destinations in the Basque country. The seaside town with its cozy atmosphere is sitting within a vast bay, facing the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts five beaches, so make sure to take your swimsuit!

It is renowned for its unique Basque architecture, where lively streets showcase the charm of the old town with vibrant half-timbered houses.

San Sebastian

Known as the foodie capital of the world, San Sebastian is located on the Spanish side of the Basque country and less than an hour’s drive from Bayonne. Boasting the highest number of Michel-starred restaurants per capita in the world, San Sebastian is the place to be for food lovers. But it’s not all chic and expensive – the city is filled with tiny pintxos, or tapas, bars where you can taste local delicacies for cheap.

There are also lovely beaches, surf schools, great museums and a beautiful historic old town where you can go shopping and see old churches.

Hendaye

Hendaye, the last town before crossing over the Spanish border, is located just a 30-minute drive from Bayonne. With great beaches and surf schools, it’s a fantastic place to visit with the family in summer. It’s also situated in a bay that creates a safe swimming zone without any huge waves or rip tides, making for a great family-friendly place to swim.

Vallée des Aldudes or Vallée de Baïgorry

This valley, set in the Pyrenees mountains, is breathtaking to see and delicious to taste because it’s also a foodie destination. With its winding river and towering mountains, you’ll want to stop at five little towns in this valley: Ossès, Saint-Etienne-de-Baïgorry, les Aldudes, Banca, and Urepel.

All the best things to do with kids in the French Basques country

Famous for the AOP Ossau-Iraty cheese, the AOP Kintoa ham, and the AOP Irouléguy wine, this region has everything you need to make the perfect apéro tasting platter! You can also do wonderful hikes with stunning views across the valley.

Getting there from Bayonne by car will take you just over an hour.

The best hotels in Bayonne:

I have a full article about the best neighborhoods in Bayonne and the best hotels to stay in each one. But here are three great ones to save you some time. 

Hôtel des Basses Pyrénées – Bayonne
This stunning 4-star hotel is situated right next to the famous Sainte Marie cathedral and is really central for your stay in Bayonne. With a stunning courtyard out front and a really good restaurant, you’ll be in the center of all the buzz.

Hôtel Villa KOEGUI Bayonne
Located just across the Nive River from the city center, this 4-star hotel is home to a restaurant with terrace seating, sauna and gym, and a great buffet breakfast. It’s within walking distance of everything you want to see in both the Petit and Grand Bayonne districts.

Boutique Hôtel Un Appart en Ville
If you prefer self-catering accommodation, this apartment offers you a little space and privacy as well as a kitchen. It’s very well-located, right in the center of Grand Bayonne, and you can even rent bikes right on the property!

Like the article? Want to read it again when you’re in the Basque Country? Save it on your Pinterest board.

Here are all my other Basques country-related articles to help you plan your trips:
Most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Weekend in Biarritz
All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz
What to do in Espelette
A family trip to the French Basque country

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Biarritz is one of the biggest towns in the French Basque country offering quite a few vibrant and charming neighborhoods for its visitors. I wrote this district guide to help people looking for a place to stay in Biarritz. For that, the tourist part of Biarrtiz was divided into three parts: the city center, the north of Biarritz/ and the south of Biarritz. I also added a few recommended hotels for every district mentioned in this article. I included both 3 and 4-star hotels and also one very luxurious option so that everyone can find something for their budget and needs.

Biarritz, of course, has many more neighborhoods than I mention here but since this article is predominantly written for tourists staying in Biarrtiz for just a few days/ weeks, I included only the most central neighborhoods. From any of these districts, it’ll be easy to discover all the amazing things Biarrtiz has to offer.

After you choose your hotel make sure that you read my article about the best things to do in Biarritz and a guide to a weekend in Biarritz.

Where to stay in the center of Biarritz 

While the center of Biarrtiz is by no means a big area, I decided to divide it into three parts as they have very different vibes to them. 

Port Vieux – the most beautiful part of Biarritz 

Popular for its charming atmosphere, nightlife scene, and great beach, Port Vieux is the most visited part of Biarritiz. The main attractions include Plage du Port Vieux, a lovely kids-friendly beach, and Rocher de la Vierge, offering stunning panoramic views of the coast. 

Port Vieux - the most beautiful part of Biarritz
Port Vieux in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Around the Sainte-Eugénie Church, the streets are full of cafes and boutique shops, and a few minutes from the church you’ll find Le Port des Pêcheurs, one of the most romantic places in Biarritz. It is a little harbor built by Napoleon III in the 1800s and previously served the city’s fishermen. You can still find the fishermen’s little colorful houses, some serving as restaurants with a beautiful view of the boats docking at the port.

Recommended hotels in the Port Vieux neighborhood

Hôtel de La Plage
Just steps away from Plage du Vieux Port, the hotel offers a natural, peaceful atmosphere, with a prime ocean-facing view. With its comfortable rooms and an excellent continental breakfast, this is a great accommodation when you stay in Biarritz. Click here to book.

Résidence Vacances Bleues Le Grand Large – great for families!
If you’re traveling with kids this is a great option for you. It’s an apartment hotel with spacious rooms and a kitchen in every apartment, so if you rather cook than go out for dinner, this option is perfect. The high building itself is not extremely charming but the rooms are nice and the view is spectacular. It’s also perfectly located within a few minutes walk from all the restaurants and Plage Port Vieux. If it’s a bit cold outside for a beach day, the hotel offers a heated pool. Click here to book.

Hôtel Palmito
Just a stone’s throw away from the beach, the Palmito Hotel is a cozy, well-designed place. Its white and brown tones, palm trees on the walls, and wood and straw details give the vibe of a perfect summer vacation. Click here to book.

Les Halles – the most lively part of the city 

Les Halles is the lively heart of the city, centered around Marché aux Halles, Biarritz’s main market, and one of the best attractions this city has to offer. This bustling market, housed in a charming Art Deco building built in 1885 has since become a gastronomic institution. You can find here the best regional delicacies, fresh produce, artisanal treats, and even amazing coffee. 

Around Les Halles de Biarritz - one of the liveliest parts of Biarritz
Around the market – one of the liveliest parts of Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

When visiting Les Halles you should also check out the Jardin Public, which provides a peaceful green space for relaxation after a day of sightseeing. Lastly, this area is also the main nightlife spot of Biarritz, with lots of bars and clubs to explore. 

Recommended hotels in the market area: 

Ama Hotel 
If you like to stay in the heart of the city, this stylish hotel is a lovely option. It was designed by Basque architect Raymond Larrebat Tudor, and its design reflects a blend of Basque heritage and modern comfort. Located just a few minutes from the beach and the casino, the Ama Hotel is perfect for those looking to be close to everything Biarritz has to offer. Click here to book.

Hôtel & Espace Bien-être La Maison du Lierre
This urban 3-star hotel is Situated only 300 meters from the beach and a short walk from Biarritz’s convention centers, market, and train station. The hotel’s Well-being Space offers access to sauna and spa treatments, which makes it ideal for those seeking a pampering retreat in a central location, whether with family or for a relaxing getaway. Click here to book.

Hotel Villa Koegui
If you usually love to stay in boutique hotels, Villa Koegui Biarritz is a great option. The 4-star hotel is located very close to the beach and the main market of Biarritz. If you book the breakfast option you get to enjoy it in their lovely garden. Just one issue, the shower opens to the bedroom, meaning that it doesn’t have a separate door (I know it’s an issue for some people). But other than that it’s a great cozy hotel with great staff and service. Click here to book.

Grande Plage – the posh and the most touristy part of the city 

Surrounding the main beach, the area is known as the posh and touristy part of Biarritz, featuring the city’s iconic casino, and a bustling shopping area. The Grand Plage is a wide and popular beach and is in proximity to many hotels in Biarritz which makes it very crowded in the summer. For those seeking the city beach ambiance and not particularly inclined towards surfing, this spot is an ideal place to relax during your stay in Biarritz.

The Casino on the Grande Plage of Biarritz
The Casino on the Grande Plage of Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Grande Plage is a great area for restaurants and amazing local chocolatiers. If you’re seeking a lively and vibrant atmosphere with plenty of amenities and attractions within walking distance, this is a don’t-miss for you!

Recommended hotels: 

Hôtel Le Windsor
This 4-star hotel is located right on the main beach of Biarritz with an amazing view of the ocean. It’s situated in what used to be a private mansion and has a very elegant white design. This hotel is perfect for couples on a romantic vacation 🙂 Click here to book.

Hôtel Le Café de Paris
If you enjoy gourmet luxurious experiences, this 4-star gem is for you. With a restaurant overseen by Michelin-starred chef Cédric Béchade, and a viewpoint from every room on Place Bellevue and the sea, it’s the perfect spot for a memorable stay in Biarritz. Click here to book.

Hôtel du Palais Biarritz – the fanciest hotel in Biarrtiz 
Most of us can’t afford this one, but it is really the best hotel in Biarritz so I have to mention it here 🙂 Hôtel du Palais Biarritz is the epitome of luxury and elegance, perched overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Founded in 1854 as the former imperial residence of Napoleon III, it offers a high-prestige experience. offering exquisite dining options and spoiling wellness packages, it’s a real dream destination for those looking to indulge in a lavish getaway. Click here to book.

Bibi Beaurivage – the surfers’ district of Biarritz 

Nestled above the renowned Côte des Basques Beach, Bibi Beaurivage is a haven for surf enthusiasts and beach lovers alike that exudes a laid-back vibe and vibrant energy. 

As you stroll through the quaint streets lined with charming fisherman cottages, you’ll feel the unique spirit of Bibi Beaurivage. Here, locals, surfers, and holidaymakers gather at the iconic Etxola Bibi café, where rosé flows freely, hearty tapas are savored, and a breathtaking beach view unfolds before your eyes. 

Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view of the Côte des Basques beach in Biarritz
Etxola Bibi- great place for a beer with a view of the Côte des Basques beach

With its proximity to surfing schools, cool surfers’ bars, and the bustling city center, Bibi Beaurivage offers the perfect blend of tranquility and vitality for your stay in the Basque Country.

Recommended hotels in the Bibi Beaurivage district: 

Surf Lodge Chambre d’hôtes
Conveniently located near Cote des Basques Beach, this bed and breakfast accommodation offers quiet street views and a fully equipped kitchen in the rooms. The lodge is within walking distance of Plage Marbella and Plage Milady, making it a convenient choice for beach lovers in Biarritz. Click here to book.

Best Western Kemaris
A lovely 3–star hotel situated in a typical French Basque house. It’s located just a few minutes walk from the surfing beach and about 10 minutes walk from all the shops and restaurants in the city center. The rooms are very bright and the design is quite minimalist (in a good way). Click here to book.

Casaviel – a bit farther away near the Milady beachLocated in one of the oldest farms in Biarritz, close to the beaches and the ocean, the Casaviel guest house has an elegant and authentic style, that maintains the original architecture of the 17th-century building. This gem is hosted by Diane and Lucas, avid surfers, who offer excellent homemade breakfasts, a warm welcome, and personalized recommendations for their guests.  Click here to book.

Saint Charles and the Phare – the more quite posh neighborhood

Saint Charles and the Phare offer a quieter and upscale atmosphere, characterized by beautiful architecture and stunning views from the lighthouse area. Visitors can explore charming boutiques and cafes while enjoying the tranquil surroundings of this picturesque neighborhood.

The beautiful Regina hotel in Biarritz
The beautiful Regina hotel in Biarritz – by Lost in Bordeaux

Recommended hotels:

Regina Experimental Biarritz
Le Regina is a marvelous 5-star hotel situated in a 1907 Belle Epoque building with an amazing Art Deco lobby. Besides the beautiful design, it has great amenities such as a big outdoor pool, a spa, a chef’s restaurant, and more. The hotel is located between the main beach and Biarritz’s famous lighthouse. It’s very close to the main shopping street and about 20 minutes walk from the main market and the old port. Click here to book.

Le Garage Biarritz Hôtel
Once a prestigious garage for vintage cars, and today a 4-star luxurious hotel, Le Garage Biarritz Hôtel embodies the essence of Biarritz’s coastal charm. With its raw and refined style, and panoramic sea views, a colorful vintage spirit infuses every corner. The big terrasse and the outdoor swimming pool offer serene spaces to unwind and to “recharge your batteries”, and its location just steps away from the ocean promises an amazing coastal experience. Click here to book.

Here are all my other Basques country-related articles to help you plan your trips:
Most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Weekend in Biarritz
All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz
What to do in Espelette
A family trip to the French Basque country

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via Lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

Bayonne serves as the capital of the French Basque country and stands as the largest city in the region, boasting a population of 50,000 residents. While not classified as a small town by Basque standards, its relatively compact and cozy center makes it an ideal destination for tourists. If you’re seeking accommodations in Bayonne, this article offers a comprehensive guide to the best neighborhoods and hotels/accommodations available in each.

Before we start here are a few other articles you might like if you’re planning a trip to the Basque country: Beautiful villages in the French Basques, Weekend in Biarritz, All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz.

Where to stay in Bayonne, let’s go!

Le Grand Bayonne  – the most historic and central district

Nestled along the banks of the Adour and the Nive rivers, the Grand Bayonne neighborhood in Bayonne exudes an irresistible charm steeped in history and culture. Its labyrinthine streets are adorned with colorful half-timbered wood buildings, quaint cafes, and artisanal shops, inviting visitors to wander and explore at leisure. 

Grand Bayonne is the most ancient neighborhood of Bayonne and as such it harbors most of the monuments in the city. Among them, you’ll find the beautiful building of the city hall and the theatre, le Château Vieux, and the majestic Cathedral of Sainte-Marie, a stunning Gothic masterpiece dating back to the 13th century.

The vibrant streets of Le Grand Bayonne district
Le Grand Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Grand Bayonne’s vibrant atmosphere is further enriched by its bustling market and the gastronomic richness of cheese, chocolate, and ham shops. At lunch time locals gather here to sample fresh produce and regional delicacies. With its picturesque scenery and rich heritage, Grand Bayonne offers a captivating glimpse into the soul of this enchanting Basque city.

If you’re looking to stay in the most central part of Bayonne, Le Grand Bayonne is the place. Here are a few recommended hotels in Le Grand Bayonne.

Hôtel & Restaurant Des Basses Pyrénées a 4-star hotel located in the heart of Bayonne, a few minutes walk from the Cathedral. Housed within a beautifully restored building, the hotel exudes a timeless elegance, blending traditional architecture with modern comforts. The hotel features one of the best restaurants in Bayonne, called le Restaurant des Basses Pyrénées. 
Book your stay here

Hôtel & Restaurant Des Basses Pyrénées  in Bayonne
Hôtel & Restaurant Des Basses Pyrénées – by Lost in Bordeaux

Libertitu – charming apartment and rooms in Bayonne, located within a 3-minute walk from the heart of the historic center of Bayonne. You can choose between a double and triple room and a big apartment for 9 people. The place also offers free parking. Book your stay here

Hôtel Le BayonneThis 4-star hotel is located slightly out of the historic center, but within a few minutes walk to the Quai Amiral Jaureguiberry with all its terrasse restaurants. This is a great option for families as the hotel has bigger rooms and features an outdoor pool.
Book your stay here

Other good hotels in Le Grand Bayonne are: Le Grand Hotel (Mercure), Hotel Le Port Neuf and Miradour City Break.

Le Petit Bayonne – the young and cool part of Bayonne 

Cross the Nive River to the other side and you’ll find yourself in Le Petit Bayonne, one of the most popular districts in Bayonne. The small neighborhood is positioned at the confluence of the Adounr and Nive rivers, positioning it in a prime location. In Just a few minutes walk you can get to the main market in Le Grande Bayonne or the train station in the Saint Esprit neighborhood. 

Its narrow cobblestone streets are lined with colorful Basque-style houses adorned with traditional timber frames, creating a picturesque backdrop for exploration. This vibrant district is renowned for its lively atmosphere and eclectic mix of cafes, bars, and boutiques. Along the riverfront of the Nive, looking over the Grand Bayonne, you’ll discover a string of restaurants and tapas bars, where locals and tourists love to sit on sunny days. 

Where to stay in Bayonne - le Petit Bayonne district
Le Petit Bayonne district – by Lost in Bordeaux

The university is also located here, as well as the Basque Museum and the Bonnat Museum (currently undergoing renovation). In general, Le Petit Bayonne is the more arty, vibrant, and youthful part of town and I would even call it the hipster side of Bayonne. 

Here are a few recommended hotels in Le Petit Bayonne.

Hôtel Villa KOEGUI – one of the best hotels in Bayonne is located here in le Petit Bayonne. Hôtel Villa Koegui is an elegant 4-star hotel featuring a sauna, a small gym, and a gastronomic restaurant. 
Book your stay here.

Hôtel Villa KOEGUI - one of the best hotels in Bayonne
Hôtel Villa KOEGUI in Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Basque villaIf you traveling with a big family or a group of friends you can enjoy this beautiful Basque villa that is located a few minutes walk from the center of Le Petit Bayonne. The villa offers four big rooms and a cute garden where you can have a BBQ in the evenings.
Book the villa here.

Villa la Renaissance – If you don’t mind walking about 20 minutes to get to the center, this stunning hotel is a great option. The rooms of the hotels are beautifully decorated and you have a pool for the hot summer days in Bayonne.
Book your stay at Villa la Renaissance here.

Saint Esprit 

Saint Esprit is a historic neighborhood situated on the north banks of the Adour River and where the Bayonne train station is located. Saint Esprit is connected to the historic center (Le Petit Bayonne and Le Grand Bayonne) by the eponymous bridge. This is where most of the more affordable hotels are situated so it’s a great option if you’re on a budget. 

Steeped in centuries of rich heritage, Saint Esprit boasts a fascinating tapestry of cultural influences, from its origins as a medieval village to its vibrant present-day community. Founded in the 12th century, this village was once an autonomous municipality called Saint-Esprit-lès-Bayonne, attached to the Dax district in the Landes region. Initially inhabited by monks of the Hospitaller Order of the Holy Spirit, hence the neighborhood’s name. It also became home to Sephardic Jews fleeing the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions in the late 15th and 16th centuries. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Saint Esprit became a part of Bayonne. 

In this district, we can find several important historic monuments like the Citadel of Vauban and the synagogue (although neither one of them can be visited). But the neighborhood is mostly interesting for its artistic side. Here you can find some of the best street art in Bayonne, as well as DIDAM, the cultural center dedicated to photography. Just next to DIDAM, don’t miss the independent Cinéma L’Atalante with its cute café.

Saint Esprit district in Bayonne
Saint Esprit district in Bayonne – by Lost in Bordeaux

Saint Esprit is a relatively big district but I suggest that you stay closer to the river, around the Saint Esprit bridge.
Here are a few recommended hotels in the Saint Esprit district.

Péniche DJEBELLE – the most special option on this list, sleeping on a traditional boat. There are two deluxe rooms on this boat, that come with private bathrooms. In the morning you can have a fabulous breakfast on the terrasse. 

Book your stay here.

ibis Styles – Ibis is located just next to the Saint Esprit Bridge in a stunning building with a view of the Adour River.  The hotel has 45 rooms in different sizes, making it a great option for single travelers, couples, and families.
Book your room here.

Here are all my other Basques country-related articles to help you plan your trips:
Most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Weekend in Biarritz
All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz
What to do in Espelette
A family trip to the French Basque country

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

Facebook |Instagram |Email | Facebook group

*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂 

The beautiful and unique French Basque country is a fantastic region for a fun family holiday. Many travelers are more familiar with the Basque country across the border in Spain, and while this article contains a couple of suggestions on the Spanish border, I mostly explore the French side of this famous region.

If you’re planning a family trip to the Basque country in the most southwestern part of France, you’ve come to the right place. Please note that many of the attractions mentioned below are closed during the winter months, so if you’re traveling out of season, be sure to check the relevant websites.

If you’re looking for family-friendly accommodation, you will find them at the end of this article. And if you’re traveling soon and still haven’t booked any activities, you may want to do it now to ensure availability.

Here are some of the best activities in the region requiring prior reservation.
Surfing lessons for kids in Biarrtiz
Rafting on the Nive river
E-bilke family guided tour

What to do on a family vacation in the Basque Country

Go to the beach 

There are plenty of amazing beaches on this stretch of coastline, perfect for long walks, surfing, tanning, swimming, and other fun summer activities. Locals enjoy the beaches year-round and many are totally safe for kids. Hendaye, Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and Ciboure are all situated in bays that create safe swimming zones without any huge waves or rip tides, making for great family-friendly places to swim. 

A kids friendly beach in Saint Jean de Luz, the Basque country
The central beach of Saint Jean de Luz – by Lost in Bordeaux

If you’re staying in Biarrtiz, try Plage du Port Vieux, one of the most beautiful and kids-friendly beaches in the French Basque country. If you don’t mind traveling a bit, Hossegor Lake is an amazing place for kids. 

In summer there are lifeguards keeping an eye on swimmers and even beach clubs where your children can learn to swim (depending on their age).

Learn to surf

The French Basque county is a surfers’ heaven and if your kids are in the mood to learn surfing you’re in the region place. There are many surf schools in places like Bidard, Biarritz, and Hossegor, which are all considered the surfing hubs of the Basque country.

surfing schools for kids in the Basque country
Take surfing lessons on the Basque coast – by Lost in Bordeaux

You have quite a lot of options here, from group lessons to surf camp which is where you take a few days’ worth of intensive lessons and hopefully come out the other side a pro! This five-day surfing course in Anglet (near Biarrtiz) is a great opportunity for kids over 7 years old to be experts in surfing.  

However, if you’re pressed for time, there are private teachers who can give your kid the basics of surfing in a couple of hours.
If you’re staying in Biarrtiz, La Vague Basque is a great surfing school offering both private and group lessons. In Bidard, Taiba Surf Club is a fantastic school for 8-year-olds and older. Aquality school in Bidard is a great option for smaller kids who want to try surfing for the first time. And finally, if you’re staying closer to Hossegor in Les Landes, Watermansports is great for 6yo and up.

Aquarium in Biarritz

One of the most well-known kids’ attractions in the Basque country is the lovely Biarritz aquarium. Your kids will marvel at the wide variety of sea creatures, from the tiniest starfish to imposing sharks. You can watch the staff feed the seals in the outside pool or feed the sharks in the tanks, which is always a fun experience for children.
You can book your tickets here.

Rafting down the Nive River 

If you want an unforgettable experience in the Basque nature, rafting is one of the best options. The Nive is a river that starts in Bayonne and passes through beautiful villages like Itxassou and Bidarray.

There are rafting companies in the French Basque country. One that I can recommend is NCKD which is located in Itxassou (not far from Biarrtiz), an ideal starting point for a rafting adventure on the Nive River. They offer three rafting adventures (from one hour to a full day) for adults and kids over 10 yo. 

Rafting down the Nive River near Biarritz – photo by NCKD

Another option for smaller kids (8yo and up) is rafting on the Ouse River near Pau. The rafting adventure is offered by Parc Aquasports which is located in Bizanos. You can book it here.

Kids will love this activity and it’s very safe with all the necessary gear being provided by the local companies!

Take the train to La Rhune Mountain 

Inland from Saint-Jean-de-Luz and near the Spanish border you’ll find La Rhune train station and tracks. Take a ride and experience the magnificent view over both the French and the Spanish sides of the Basque country. You and your family can also do a hike there!
The train station from where you take the train is located just next to Sare, one of the most beautiful villages in the Basque country. The train operates from April to the beginning of November.

Visit the caves of Sare

Another fun attraction in Sare is its famous caves. You can explore the caves carved out of the cliffside, the megalithic park, and the museum which explains the history of human evolution and is a great educational outing for kids.

Les Grottes de Sare is open almost all year long, It closes only for a few weeks after Christmas break.

Parc Animalier Etxola 

Staying in the Sare region, we have the fantastic Parc Animalier Etxola. A visit to this animal park is one of the best things to do with kids in the Basque country, especially if you’re traveling with little ones.

You’ll get to see uncommon domesticated animals, some of which are endangered. Think different types of sheep, camels, lamas, Basque pigs, ducks, and buffalo. There are also pony rides available for children and a place to eat on-site. It’s a guaranteed family fun outing! The park is closed in the winter and usually opens up at the end of March.

If you’re looking for a zoo, you can try the Labenne Zoo which is located just north of the Basque country, about 30 minutes drive from Biarrtiz.

Skateboarding lessons in Bayonne

Do your kids express interest in skating? A vacation in the Basque country can be an amazing opportunity to kickstart their skateboarding journey or refine their skills!
Andrea is a highly qualified instructor and avid skateboarder in Bayonne and he’s passionate about sharing his expertise with enthusiasts of all levels. He offers 60 to 90-minute skating classes for kids over 6 yo. You can choose between joining a group or taking a private lesson – see all the details here.

Route du Fromage – Visit a cheese producer farm

France is famous for cheese, and each region has its own specialty. The Basque country is known for Ossau-Iraty, a pressed, unpasteurized, and absolutely delicious sheep’s milk cheese. 

There are more than 20 cheese-producing farms in the French Basques that are open for visits and it’s a really great activity to do with kids. Some farms just sell cheese, others offer tours where you can see the sheep and taste the cheese and some even have guest houses and you can sleep there! Visiting a farm is always a great experience with kids because it’s eye-opening and can give us a deeper appreciation for our food.

Here you can find all the farms you can visit on the famous Basque cheese route. If you’re a big group of people I recommend taking the French Basque Country Farms & Food Tour offered by the Txiki Combi (a company that offers plenty of fun tours in the French Basques.

Atelier du Piment d'Espelette
Atelier du Piment d’Espelette and ossau Iraty – by Lost in Bordeaux

Hike with kids on the The Ursuya mountain 

Why not make time for a beautiful, kid-friendly hike during your Basque break? Whether you like mountain hikes or coastline walks with views of the sea, there is something for everyone. Simply check this website for the best trails for all ages.

If you’re looking for a guided hike, Laëti’tes Balades is a great local company that offers family-guided tours in the French Basque. They have this fun half day guided hike near Saint Jean de Luz you can join with your kids.

Le Château des Enigmes – Château de Laàs

Next on our list of family-friendly places in the Basque country is the Château des Enigmes. Offering group games like scavenger hunts around the whole domain, an escape game, treehouses, and even a magic school, this is a fun outing for kids of all ages. You can also visit the château and walk around the parks and gardens. Be sure to check the website for opening times during the year!

Château d’Abbadie (Abbadia, le Château Observatoire)

Another idea for family fun in the Basque country is to visit one of the most beautiful castles in the region, Château d’Abbadie. All the rooms are very well preserved and the visit is spectacular. They also have great activities for kids, like family treasure hunts and science workshops.

Château d’Abbadie is located in Hendaye, just next to the Spanish border and it’s open almost all year long, except three weeks in January – see the opening hours here.

Château d'Abbadie - the most beautiful castle in the French Basque county
The entrance to Château d’Abbadie – by Lost in Bordeaux

Bid’A Parc

Bid’A Parc is a great amusement park for the little ones! With plenty of rides, roller coasters, games, and activities, it’s like a mini Disneyland in the heart of the Basque country. There are numerous food options available, including restaurants and shady picnic spots if you prefer to bring your own food. This amusement park is a must-visit with kids of all ages, so check out their website and make sure you plan a stop there!

Bid’A Parc is located in Bidard, a few minutes drive from Biarritz and it opens for the season at the end of March. You can’t buy tickets online.

WOWPARK 

Closer to the Spanish border in Urrugne we have the WOWPARK, also called, Le Plus Grand Parc de Loisirs Aventure. Advertised as a fun park with plenty of games and activities for people from ages 2 to 12, WOWPark is the perfect place for outdoor fun. You and your kids alike will have plenty of fun climbing, crossing, crawling, exploring and sliding throughout the adventure park. The park is open from April to August. 

Go to the Saint-Pée lake

Lac de Saint-Pée-Sur-Nivelle is a leisure park with tons of fun activities like Stand Up Paddling, inflatable water parks,w and much more. It’s definitely worth a detour on your Basque country road trip. You and your family can spend all day on the beach of the lake, each one doing the activities he or she enjoys, and you can meet up for lunch under the trees.

Taste chocolate in Bayonne 

Bayonne, the capital of the French Basque country is also known as the French chocolate capital. The charming city abounds with stunning chocolate shops and hot chocolate cafés. The oldest and most famous is Chocolat Cazenave, with its beautiful cups of hot chocolate. Another fun stop is the Chocolate museum, where you and your kids can learn all about the art of chocolate making.

La foret aux lapins

One very cute place for little kids is the Bunny Forest or La fôret aux lapins. You’ll find a variety of wild and domesticated rabbits and hares, Guinea pigs, and a great presentation of local plant life.
The forest is located in Itxassou, a beautiful Basque village, and is open all year long.

Family-friendly hotels – where to stay with kids in the Basque country

The French Basque country is spread over a rather small region so no matter where you decide to stay, you should be able to get to any of the places I mentioned within less than an hour. On my many visits to the Basque county with my kids I had the chance to stay in very different parts of the region. We had an amazing time on the coast near Saint Jean de Luz in the summer and enjoyed the city vibe of Bayonne in the winter. In the spring and fall I really love staying in the mountains or the inland stunning villages, around Ustarritz. 

All of these places have their charm so you can’t really go wrong here. 

If you rather be closer to the Atlantic coast these are great places to stay with kids: Boutique hôtel Maria-Christina, Domaine de Bordaberry, Irigoan vert

Staying inland will help you discover more of the stunning countryside of the Pays Basque, here are a few recommended accommodations for families: Le Moulin de Pascale, Les Villas d’Harri-Xuria, Etxe Goxoan chambres d’hôtes, Domaine Xixtaberri.

Hope you enjoyed my Basque country family guide! Share it with your friends who are looking for a fun summer destination.

If you’re a big family or traveling with friends, here are a few great larger accommodations you will probably like: Maison dans la Prairie, Les Matitis.

family trip to the French Basque country
With my family in Bayonne

Here are all my other Basques country-related articles to help you plan your trips:
Most beautiful villages in the French Basque country
Weekend in Biarritz
All the best things to do and eat in Biarritz
What to do in Espelette

You can also get plenty of tips on things to do in the Southwest of France via lost in Bordeaux’s social media accounts and email list, check them out here:

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*Note – Some of the links in this article include affiliate links for which I earn a small commission. It adds absolutely nothing to your cost and helps me continue writing about this amazing region. Don’t worry, I’m not getting rich here, I’ll never recommend anything I don’t believe in 🙂