Basque Country, France - Stein Travel
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Basque Country

France's three Basque provinces are in the southwest corner of the country near the Spanish border, and are steeped in folklore and ancient customs. Unlike their Spanish counterparts, the French Basque people do not harbour radical separatist views, but they do cling to their identity, unique languages and traditional way of life, which offers an interesting diversion for tourists who visit the area. Men can still be seen in the traditional costume of a beret and cummerbund, towns and villages all have concrete courts for the playing of the national ball-game, pelota,and bull fighting is a popular spectator sport. Most visitors head for the Atlantic coast to the popular resort towns of Biarritz and St-Jean-de-Luz, or to explore the Basque capital, Bayonne. Hikers and nature lovers are drawn to the grand Pyrenees mountains to fish for fat trout, wander the trails, dunk in warm mineral pools, marvel at the glaciers or climb challenging peaks. Another great attraction in the Bigorre region, close to Basque country, is the Roman Catholic shrine at Lourdes, where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a peasant girl in the mid-19th century. Millions of believers have since made a pilgrimage to the Lourdes grotto in the hope of miracle cures for ailments and afflictions.

Information & Facts


The Atlantic influences the climate of the coastal areas like Biarritz, creating mild and temperate weather year round. Winters record the highest temperatures in France and summers are warm with cool sea breezes. Rain usually occurs in short downpours and is distributed throughout the year.


French is the official language.


The Euro (EUR) is the official currency in France. Currency can be exchanged at banks, bureaux de change and some large hotels, though you will get a better exchange rate at the ATMs. Major credit cards are widely accepted, as are travellers cheques, particularly in major tourist destinations. Foreign currency is not accepted.


Local time is GMT +1 (GMT +2 between last Sunday in March and last Sunday in October).

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