The Pyrénées-Atlantiques, located on the Spanish border, is bordered to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east by the Pyrenees. They form a land of contrasts with the Basque Country on one side and the Bearn on the other. The destination offers a diversity of landscapes and activities. The Pyrenean mountains are ideal for skiing in Gourette, Artouste or Pierre Saint-Martin, for thermal baths in Salies-de-Béarn, Cambo-les-Bains, Eaux-Bonnes and Eaux-Haudes, and for hiking. In Pau, the castle where Henri IV was born and the boulevard des Pyrénées, populated by palm trees, with its panoramic view of the mountains, are essential. The department has seven caves, Isturitz, Sare and Betharram being the most mentioned in the tourist guides. Typical villages such as Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Ascain or Ainhoa have remained authentic. To get higher, the 1924 Rhune train takes you to the mythical peak of the Basque Country at 905 metres. The cities on the coast from Bayonne to the border form a chain where the majority of tourists are concentrated. Biarritz is the surfers' spot, Saint-Jean-de-Luz seduces by its charm, Hendaye is proud of its immense beach of fine sand. The gourmet specialities of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques are as varied as the region: Jurançon wines, madiran, irrouléguy, Basque cider, suckling lamb, black pork from Bigorre, Béarnais pudding, Bayonne ham and chocolate, sheep's cheese, Basque cake, Espelette chilli pepper, salt from Salies, trout, salmon, chipirons.

The must-see places in Pyrénées-Atlantiques

When to go to Pyrénées-Atlantiques?

When to go to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques? Given the diversity of climates and landscapes of the Atlantic Pyrenees, the period is chosen according to the activities. When to go to the Pyrénées-Atlantique? Snow sliding lovers will prefer the months of January to March, those who like water sliding will come from May to September even if some surfers are present all year round. The best period is the high season for all types of tourism, but it rains in the Basque Country in summer, which can cool the temperature. If it rains, you can always take refuge in bars or tea rooms to drink hot chocolate. In the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, there are many demonstrations. The most famous are the Bayonne festivals, which begin the first weekend of August and end the following Sunday, and the Espelette chilli pepper festival, which takes place at the end of October. Many races or marathons take place all year round, but the most spectacular in March is the Pyrenean Snow Triathlon where you have to run 19 kilometres, pedal 35 kilometres and ski touring 2.5 kilometres. Fishing is also a sport and in July the World Salmon Fishing Championship attracts many enthusiasts to Navarrenx. Pau is the only city in France with an urban layout and its shoelaces are famous in the world of motor racing. Even if some would like them to disappear, the big prizes still exist. Spotlight on Biarritz on July 14 and August 15 with pyrotechnic shows and a bodega village. At the end of June-early July in Oloron-Sainte-Marie, the jazz festival des Rives et des Notes often plays to a sold-out audience. At the end of July and beginning of August, Château de Laàs hosts the festival des Transhumances musicales (folk, rock, tales, etc.). Finally, the gourmands will all be on the first weekend of October in Laruns for the Cheese Fair

Prepare for your trip Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Transportation
  • Book a train
  • Sea crossing
Accommodations
  • Find a hotel
  • Airbnb rental
  • Holiday rental
Stays
  • Tailor-made trip
Services / On site
  • Airbnb experiences
  • Book a table
  • Activities & visits

Pictures Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Discover Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Practical information
When to travel?

When to go to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques? Given the diversity of climates and landscapes of the Atlantic Pyrenees, th...
Read more about it

Weather forecast

The weather in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques is divided in two. The ocean front is watered mainly in winter and dry in s...
Read more about it

Featured articles Pyrénées-Atlantiques

Le Béarn, escapade nature de l'hiver à l'été

A land of gastronomy, sports, culture and history, Béarn has unmissable tourist sites and an exceptional environment with its forests, vast plains and mountains. You will love this choice holiday destination with its villages, ski resorts or the Pyrenees National Park. Béarn, a strong identity A territory with a strong identity, strong traditions and good gastronomy, Béarn is located between the Pyrenees in the south, the Basque Country ...

​​​​​Pau, balades et culture au pied des Pyrénées

In the heart of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, Pau has more than one asset to seduce and charm tourists and other visitors passing through who wish to enjoy this city located in the heart of the mountains. Pau and its castle, where Henri IV was born in 1553; Pau and its national stud farm, listed as a Historic Monument, but also Pau and its golf course, which is nothing less than the oldest golf course in the world, with the exception of the ...

Espelette, un village basque haut en couleur et en saveurs

Espelette is indeed a village full of colour and flavour, with superb façades, crumbling with strings of red chilli peppers. It must be said that the village has acquired a worldwide reputation for its chilli peppers, its famous "red gold". If the Pepper Festival which takes place every year at the end of October will not take place this year because of the health crisis, we should not miss the opportunity to discover this small typical and ...

Vous rêvez de pratiquer le surf dans les plus beaux spots du monde ? Voici notre Top 10 !

Surfing is a sport that has many followers all over the world. Of course, it is necessary to practice before going to face the waves, but as soon as a correct level is reached, the pleasure of reaching the most beautiful rolls is indescribable. Many beaches are famous for the incessant movement of the sea on the planet, and their waves are the delight of surfers at heart and professionals in the discipline. Petit Futé will give you 10 good ...

Discover the bike tours Pyrénées-Atlantiques

To discover on Petit Futé
Review