Our family of four (two adults, two tweens) will be spending the last five days of our June trip in the French and Spanish Basque country. We will have a car, will be arriving via the Pyrenees and departing from Bilbao. I would love some advice on a central, or two locations from which to make day trips. We will want to visit San Sebastian and some of the coastal towns, but are also interested in visiting some of the smaller inland towns. The adults will be interested in wine, food and architecture. The kids will be interested in food and swimming! Any advice on where to stay or some "must sees" would be greatly appreciated.
If you will be in Bayonne, there is a chocolate workshop/museum/tour called l'atelier du chocolat. They're very liberal with the sampling, too!
I would use San Sebastian as a base,great cullinary city with nice water front and old town to walk around,you can access the small inland towns from there like St Jean Pied de Port which is the starting point of the Camino de Santiago,Espelette famous for its red peppers and La Rhune with a cog rail that has a nice scenic ride.Another Coastal town that we really liked on the French side of the border.
Thanks for all of the great advice! We have found a place to stay 11km from St. Jean Pied du Port. Biarritz, St Jean de Luz, Esplette, and Ainhoa are within a 45 minute drive. St. Sebastian is within an hours drive. Right now we are thinking that we will visit San Sebastián on the way to our final lodging (TBD) in the Spain portion of the Basque Country. I am curious, can Biarritz and St. Jean de Luz be visited in one day? (One town in the morning, leisurely lunch and then the second town?) The same question for Esplette and Ainhoa- could both towns be visited in one day? Thanks again!
Esplette and Ainhoa are easy to see in a day. We visited both, plus St. Jean de Luz, in one day, with a (very) brief stop in Sare also: http://mainelywinenews.blogspot.com/2013/03/more-villages-in-pays-basque.html