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.

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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

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When to travel?

When to go to the Pyrénées-Atlantiques? Given the diversity of climates and landscapes of the Atlantic Pyrenees, th...
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Weather forecast

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