"Pyrénées-Atlantique, the far southwest" Top 5 Page for this destination Aquitaine by aaaarrgh
Aquitaine Travel Guide: 1,845 reviews and 5,890 photos
Pyrénées-Atlantique is France's Département 64. It stretches from the Pays Basque on the Atlantic coast, through to the pretty region of Béarn. Its two main cities are the large fishing port, Bayonne and the bustling city of Pau, close to the mountains in the east.
Because I live in Wales, I like the fierce pride of the Basque people and the Béarnais. They have defended themselves from invaders for many centuries. Both countries have their own language, Euskeba in the Basque country and, yes, Béarnais in Béarn. The Basque language is unlike any other European tongue.
You can tell where you are by the roofs of the houses! Basque roofs in Biarritz and Bayonne are often shallow, bright red terracotta. Roofs in Bearn are steep, pointed and their eaves curve out at the base.
To the south are the tremendous Pyrénées mountains. They appear through the morning haze, changing colour according to the seasons and the time of day. In the winter they are white with snow. They hold a big influence over the weather, sometimes bringing strong winds and fierce showers of rain, or hail.
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- Pros:Some parts less 'discovered' by tourists. Always in view of the Pyrénées (weather permitting).
- Cons:Hostage to Ryanair if you want to fly from England. Strange smell of gas!
- In a nutshell:Widely varied geography, two countries beyond France.
Great place for people watching, St-Jean-de-Luz is a major seaside resort, as well as a pretty town. I visited when it... more travel advice
A few kilometres south of the main Pau to Orthez highway is Mourenx, a small, very modern town. It grew rapidly in the... more travel advice
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