The origins of Bidart
Bidart comes from the contraction of the words "bide" (path) and "artean" (at the crossroads) and which clearly defines the village "at the crossroads", at the crossroads, at the meeting of the coastal path and the mouth of the Uhabia river, on the side of cliffs.
This village, whose history dates back to the 12th century, was a whaling port in the Middle Ages. In 1150-1170, mention is made of the parish of Bidart in the cartulary of Bayonne where, Fortanier, bishop of Bayonne, buys land for which one of the trustees is "Lob S. de Bidart". In 1464, Louis XI created a post office in this town. It was in 1597 that Bidart and Guéthary separated. We can specify that Victor Hugo made a stay in Bidart in 1843.
Formerly focused on agriculture and fishing, economic activity is now mainly oriented towards trade and services, seaside tourism but also industry. It has several commercial districts.
The essentials of Bidart
Today, Bidart is a modern and dynamic small town which offers a multitude of activities all year round, it nevertheless remains very attached to its traditions and its history. Indeed, 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 dominates the Atlantic from a hill and the chapel of Saint-Joseph near the beach of Parlementia. She also ensures that legends are respected. The Ur Onea Chapel is a fine example. Built at the beginning of the 18th century, the place was a place of pilgrimage where a statue of the Virgin Mary was enthroned. Transferred to the church, the statue would have returned alone to the chapel the next day. The small spring near this chapel was used for a long time to treat skin diseases.
We also find the weight of tradition at the Bassilour Water Mill, still in operation since 1741. Thanks to its horizontal wheel, wheat and corn are still ground there using the stone millstones of yesteryear. A dyke retains the water of the river to generate the flow necessary for its operation. We go back in time by tasting the Basque cakes, shortbread and country bread made by hand.
In the village, we enjoy strolling between the red and green Basque houses and going to the market to bring back some local specialties.
If its neighbor Guéthary is renowned 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 that are suitable for everyone.
The most fashionable is Ilbarritz, very lively and frequented by young Basques, while Pavillon Royal is more suitable for family activities. Erretegia beach is the place to learn about surfing, as for uhabia beach, it is festive and very busy and Parlementia joins Guéthary.
The Sentier du littoral in Bidart offers you, over nearly 25 km, breathtaking views of the sea and the mountains. Interspersed with educational terminals addressing local favorite themes such as maritime history, fishing, local geology, 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 that will delight golf lovers.
In a Basque Country attached to its culture and traditions and open to innovation, Bidart stands out with its renowned Technopole, Izarbel, specializing in advanced digital technology. The site also hosts a renowned trilingual engineering school, ESTIA, which is internationally oriented.
Around Bidart, it is easy to reach some of the most beautiful villages in France such as Aïnhoa, Ascain, Sare or Espelette.
Living in Bidart
Bidart is only 25 kilometers from the Spanish border. It extends its cliffs and beaches over 5 kilometers.
Close by are the villages of Guéthary, Arbonne and Arcangues and a few kilometers away Biarritz.
Bidart is renowned for its quality of life and its pleasant setting. Indeed, Bidart benefits from an exceptional natural environment between the Atlantic Ocean and the green hills of the Basque Country. By living in Bidart, you can enjoy the relaxed and friendly atmosphere of the Basque Country, as well as the many cultural and festive events organized throughout the year. In Bidart, you will find a range of properties, including beautiful detached houses, splendid villas and apartments, some of which offer stunning sea views. Traditional Basque houses with their specific architectural features are often sought after, but there are also more modern and contemporary properties. Some properties offer panoramic ocean views, while others are nestled in peaceful residential areas surrounded by nature.