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Bidart, essential destination of the Basque Coast

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Barnes presents Bidart from all angles to prepare your holidays in the Basque Country!

Where is Bidart located in France?

In the Pyrenees Atlantiques department, on the southwest coast of France, Bidart is only 25 kilometers from the Spanish border. It extends its cliffs and beaches over 5 kilometers.

Nearby are the villages of Guéthary, Arbonne and Arcangues and a few kilometers from Biarritz.

What are the people of Bidart called?

Its inhabitants are called Bidartars. Although the population is around 7,000, Bidart has seen its density of permanent residents increase by almost 40% in a few years. Crossed by the small Ubahia river, the town is located at an altitude 50m above sea level.

What to visit in Bidart?

Bidart is above all a village of traditions. Faithful to the history of the Basque Country, the town jealously maintains its small monuments, in particular the Chapel of the Madeleine which proudly overlooks the Atlantic from a hill and the Chapel of Saint Joseph placed near the beach of Parlementaria.

It also ensures respect for legends. Ur Onea Chapel is a fine example. Erected at the beginning of the 18th century, the place was a place of pilgrimage where a statue of the Virgin Mary sat enthroned. Transferred to the church ... the statue would have returned alone to the chapel the next day. The small spring near this chapel was long used to treat skin diseases.

We can also find the weight of traditions at the Bassilour water mill, which has been in operation since 1741. Thanks to its horizontal wheel, wheat and corn are still milled there with the help of millstones. A dam holds the river water to generate the flow necessary for its operation. We go back in time by tasting Basque cakes, shortbread and country bread made by craftsmen.

In the village, we take a stroll between the red and green Basque houses and take a walk to the market to bring back some macaroons or chocolates.

What to do in Bidart?

If its neighbor Guéthary is famous for international competitions and its high-flying spots, Bidart is the ideal place to start surfing with its more affordable waves and its vast beaches which are suitable for all.

The most popular is Ibarritz, very lively and frequented by young Basque people while the Royal Pavilion is better suited for family activities. Erretegia Beach is the place to start surfing, Ubahia is festive and very crowded and Parlementaria joins Guéthary.

The Coastal Path in Bidart offers you, over nearly 25km, breathtaking views of the sea and the mountains. Dotted with educational terminals addressing local favorite themes such as maritime history, fishing, geology of the places, etc.

In Bidart, you can learn about Basque pelota but also discover the history and art of making pelota and chisteras at the Ona Pilota workshop run by two Basque brothers, world champions of Cesta Punta. A rather unusual experience.

The village also has a pretty 9-hole course facing the ocean which will delight golf lovers.

Around Bidart, you can easily reach some of the most beautiful villages in France such as Aïnhoa, Ascain, Sare or Espelette.

What events take place in Bidart?

Throughout the year, Bidart organizes festive events not to be missed: the Bidart festival in laughter, the Basque carnival, cow races and the Chapter of the Brotherhood of Chipiron.

Of course, the most important is the Autumn Festival (Udazkeneko Bestak) which lasts 4 days in September.

On the program, musical performances, pelota tournaments, surfing competitions, culinary competitions, ball and fireworks. But the highlight of Bidart’s holiday is Zikiro-méchoui, a giant meal prepared for around 700 guests and shared in a good mood.

Where to walk in Bidart?

For a discovery walk off the beaten track, why not try an accompanied hike with C-Chouette? On foot or on horseback, they make you discover the most beautiful landscapes in the area, very good addresses and unspoiled places often difficult to find on your own.

For an easy hike with no other goal than to appreciate the beautiful natural spaces near Bidart, try the Col des Trois Fontaines circuit from Sare, a neighboring village. This 8 km ride will take you about 4 hours. An opportunity to discover the fortified church and the Basque cake museum in Sare. A delight !

Where to eat in Bidart?

Cooking is a family affair at Les Frères Ibarboure *. In Bidart, the third generation offers you a table with finesse. Iconic and seasonal Basque products rub shoulders with vegetables and herbs from the restaurant's vegetable garden in compositions that are worth seeing.

At the Antre, the daily market and cold meats, homemade dried fish testify to a real local approach. The know-how of the chef at this elegant bistro located on avenue de la Grande Plage will surprise you and you will appreciate the warm welcome. 

At Elements, the atmosphere is cheerful and musical down to the plate. A young and inspired chef skillfully mixes excellent regional products and offers a delightful selection of natural wines. To discover without waiting. 

Where to sleep in Bidart? 

At the 4 * Ibarboure hotel, refinement and calm are in the spotlight. The huge park houses a dozen rooms with private loggias opening onto the gardens. A haven of peace in the heart of the Basque Coast. Since 1923, the Itsas Mendia 4 * hotel has welcomed its guests in a romantic and luxurious atmosphere with swimming pool and golf course, a few steps from the Grande Plage. 

Away from all the hustle and bustle, the 4-star Villa l 'Arche hotel offers 8 rooms and 3 apartments protected by lush greenery with a private path connecting the hotel to the sandy beach. 

Barnes Côte Basque can also help you find an independent vacation rental in Bidart.