Bidart, a Basque village near the sea
Bidart is located along the Atlantic Coast, in the department Pyrénées-Atlantiques, region Aquitaine. It is one of the best known villages of the Basque Country. It is situated between Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz and is slightly smaller than its neighbours. In Bidart, you’ll find tradition, culinary art and water sports. The words picturesque and peace are insufficient to describe this peaceful and charming village set on a hill between the way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the sea.
Most of the beaches of Bidart are set at the foot of a rock. These beaches are well appreciated as they are not too busy, even during the summer. You’ll also enjoy the centre of Bidart, which is calmer than Biarritz.
To discover in Bidart
In Bidart you can discover the local architecture. Wherever you look, you’ll find the Basque architecture, in the houses as well as in the public buildings. Here you can stroll around in the flowery streets and admire the houses with the typical colours of the Basque country. Discover the white fronts of the typical houses of the region, with wooden shutters in Basque red, as well as the typical red roof tiles of the area. The concerts of Basque songs in one of the village’s churches are definitely worth a visit!
During the summer, you’ll find a traditional market on the village square. Every Tuesday in the summer, a market with regional products is also held here. In Chistera, on Tuesday and Friday nights during the summer, a traditional Basque pelote game is organised.
Make use of your stay in Bidart to visit the countryside, scattered with villages listed as most beautiful villages of France, like Ascain, Sare, Aïnhoa, Espelette or Cambo-les-Bains.
Bidart is set by the sea, allowing you to enjoy beautiful beaches, the various activities and not to forget the historical and religious monuments, such as:
The church Notre-Dame de l’Assomption from the 16th century. This church with a white front holds a splendid wooden gallery inside. Around this old church you’ll find a cemetery. Inside, there are statues of Saint Jacob in pilgrim costume, made of solid oak wood and that probably date from the 17th century.
The wooden Saint Madeleine chapel built in 1817 was devastated by a major storm. It was rebuilt in stone in 1820. The legend tells us that this chapel is dedicated to sailors. On top of the rock, the chapel offers a breathtaking view on the Basque coast.
The château d’Ilbarritz was built between 1895 and 1897 and is perched on the hill of Ilbarritz. It is an excellent example of a 19th century castle. It is considered to be a caste of a thousand legends. The organ room and the stairs have been listed as historical monuments since 1990. The castle cannot be visited, but it can be admired from the outside.
And finally the former semaphore of Guéthary in Bidart, an 18th century monument, part of the three historical monuments of Bidart.
To visit in Bidart
During your stay in Bidart you can tickle your taste buds by visiting the Moulin de Bassilour. This is an old mill from 1741, located between Arbonne and Bidart. Make use of your visit to discover the grinding process of corn and wheat. Here you’ll find the traditional production of shortbread biscuits, Basque cakes, bread, corn bread and anise cake.
During a visit to Bidart you can also discover the traditional and industrial production of the chocolaterie Henriet. You can visit the works of the lab to the cooking of chocolate and the preparation of various products made with chocolate.
Also visit the cutlery makers of Basque knives.
The entire family can enjoy a day out at the Bid’A Parc, a leisure park with attractions, bouncing houses and a mini farm