The Grand Hôtel in Luz offers thalassotherapy and spa treatments

The best restaurants and hotels in the region, plus some hidden secrets only the locals knew about (until now)

[Related articles: Great Travel Destinations: French Basque Country
12 Great Places to Visit in the French Pays Basque]

TOP HOTEL-RESTAURANTS

Domaine du Pignada: Located in Anglet, five minutes from Bayonne and Biarritz, this 110-room domaine is ideal for company outings or school trips. www.domaine-pignada.com

Domaine de Bassilour: This charming 16th-century farmhouse is surrounded by parkland, 3km from the beaches of Biarritz and Bidart. www.domainedebassilour.com/en

Hôtel des Basses Pyrénées: This charming hotel is located on one of the squares of Bayonne’s old town, and has a bar, restaurant and terrace. www.hotel-bassespyreneesbayonne.com

Le Regina Biarritz: This five-star Belle Époque beauty has hosted some of the town’s most prestigious guests, including “royalty, aristocracy, influential businessmen, famous golfers and artists”. www.hotelregina-biarritz.com

Le Grand Hôtel: There’s a luxurious spa at the five-star Le Grand Hôtel in Saint-Jean-de-Luz. Built in 1909, and very recently renovated, the hotel overlooks the bay. www.luzgrandhotel.fr

Hôtel de la Plage: Saint-Jean-de-Luz’s Hôtel de la Plage may only be a three-star establishment, but you get great views across the bay, even when you’re dining at their restaurant Le Brouillarta. www.hoteldelaplage.com

Hôtel Arraya: Set in the foothills of the Pyrenees, Sare is one of Les Plus Beaux Villages de France. At the heart of it is Hôtel Arraya in a traditional Basque house. Don’t miss the chance to have your breakfast in its charming little garden. www.arraya.com

Hôtel Arcé: Hôtel Arcé, in the village of Saint-Étienne-de-Baïgorry, offers a great atmosphere in a traditional Basque house that has been welcoming visitors for five generations. www.hotel-arce.com

Sumptuous fine dining at L’Auberge Basque in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. Photo: Lucky Studio

L’Auberge Basque: Owners Marion and Cédric Béchade have beautifully modernized this property in Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle. The restaurant is especially impressive, offering cuisine that is “refined, coloured and natural, with produce that is emblematic of the Pays Basque”. www.aubergebasque.com

Auberge Ostapé: Ostapé is a five-star auberge set in 45 hectares of land, in the hill village of Bidarray. Marketed as both “pastoral and chic”, it features an outdoor swimming pool, a sauna, a fitness room and, bizarrely, its own Porsche museum. www.ostape.com

TOP RESTAURANTS

Le Bistrot Itsaski: Dine inside and you’ll enjoy warm Basque hospitality; dine outside and watch the River Nive slide slowly by. www.lebistrotitsaski.com

Le Chistera: For 57 years the Marmouyet family has been feeding locals and tourists in their restaurant. Specialities include Koskera hake, ham Piperade, tripe and Gâteau Basque. Maybe skip the tripe. www.lechistera.com

Ttipia: Basque cider is very different to Breton or Norman varieties. Ttipia is a Bayonne restaurant where you can enjoy it in large quantities, accompanied by great Basque food. ttipia.364.fr

L’Atelier de Gaztelur is part restaurant, part florist, part antique store…

Le Surfing: This is where the surfer dudes hang out when they’re not hanging ten. It features surf paraphernalia on the walls, no-nonsense food on the tables and lovely views of the ocean through the windows. www.lesurfing.fr

L’Atelier de Gaztelur: Alexandre Bousquet is the chef at this Arcangues restaurant. Interestingly, also on site is a florist and shops selling antiques, homeward, décor and gifts. gaztelur.com

Chez Albert: Chez Albert on the Port des Pêcheurs has been part of the Biarritz landscape for decades. Here you’ll find all the seafood you could possibly want including lobster, shellfish, paella and fish cooked in the Basque style. www.chezalbert.fr

CAMPING

Le Pavillon Royal: A five-star site for tents and caravans, just a few steps way from fine sandy beaches and a 32-hectare pine forest. www.pavillon-royal.com

SELF CATERING

Alternative Aquitaine: A great online resource offering a wide range of villas, apartments and beach houses for holidaymakers in search of a little privacy. www.alternative-aquitaine.co.uk/french-basque-coast-holiday-rentals

From France Today magazine

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