The Mountain (Ainhoa, Sare, Espelette...)
When the weather is fine, swap your flip-flops for training shoes and set your sights high... Located 45 minutes away by car from your 4-star campsite, the Basque country’s small, typical villages look forward to welcoming you. Founded in the 13th century, Ainhoa offers an excellent taste of Basque heritage with its red-and-white facades grouped around its single street. Pop into one of the craft shops and treat yourself.
In Sare, "you've got time" … this is the motto of this small village populated by diehard Basques, nestling at the foot of the legendary mountains of Axuria and Larrun, where long-established traditions, including those concerning festivities, sports and smuggling have been passed down to us today. Naturally, you shouldn't miss a visit to Sare’s prehistoric caves, the village and its church spire, a visit to the fronton (pelota wall) to watch a round of basque pelota, not to mention a mouth-watering trip to the Basque Cake Museum, or give the kids a treat at the Etxola wildlife park...
Both of these villages are the starting point for many hikes and trips.
It would be rather simplistic to simply equate Espelette with the famous pepper named after it, and yet although this village located less than 30 minutes from the campsite is very typical of the Basque country, life here is heavily influenced by pepper growing. You simply can't avoid it! Garlands of the spicy fruit are drying in the sun on the white facades in almost every small street. In the Basque kitchens, they're preparing Marmitako, Piperade à l’Ibaïona, Axoa d’Espelette, or poulet basquaise. Don't forget to take back some of the peppers, either dried whole or in powdered form, as it keeps for a long time.