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Bayonne... a city of many cultures

The city of Bayonne, which is found in the far south-west of France, not far from the Spanish border, is a city with many different cultural influences affecting it. This results in a place where you can never be bored, and where you can always find something that is to your taste in terms of activities, architecture, culture and gastronomy!

A town of two parts

The Rivers Adour and Nive run through Bayonne, effectively splitting it into two parts, linked by a series of five bridges. There is Grand Bayonne, which holds the bulk of the city's commercial and civic concerns, and Petit Bayonne, where the Basque culture reigns supreme, and where the bars and restaurants have flamboyant Spanish ambience and flavour.

Art and culture

Bayonne is truly a city of art and culture, a place where something wonderful is always waiting to be discovered. Art lovers can access some great masterpieces by painters such as Goya, Degas and Botticelli in the Musée Bonnat, and those whose interests lie in history will not be disappointed by the collections of Basque history on show in the Musée Basque. Basque culture is also very evident in the Fêtes de Basque, held over five days in August. This is where the ferias take place, showcasing the traditional Basque pursuit of bullfighting.

Bayonne's chocolate

If you love chocolate then you will love Bayonne. Not only is some of the best chocolate in the world produced here, but also there is actually a festival dedicated to the stuff! Chocolate makers sit outside their shops, making their specialities for you to taste... and you can walk away without buying it if you are strong enough to resist!

Shopping and dining in Bayonne

For shopping, the best place to head for is Grand Bayonne, where the narrow streets are packed with gaily coloured shops offering all kinds of goods. Here you can buy the gastronomic delicacies of the area, such as Bayonne salt-cured ham and delicious chocolate, and also you can delight in the numerous craft shops selling examples of local and traditional crafts and artwork. If dining out is your pleasure, the treats in store are plentiful! Petit Bayonne has some fabulous Basque restaurants, and celebrates a gastronomy that is widely believed to be one of the world's best.

Let's get physical!

Bayonne lies in a marvellous area which offers all sorts of possibilities for those who enjoy outdoor sports. Try your hand at the traditional sport of Basque pelota... a ball game which derives from the old sport of real tennis. Alternatively you can find mountain sports, with the Pyrénées nearby for skiing and climbing, as well as the coast for surfing and swimming. And the usual combination of walking, fishing, golf and tennis is all available close to Bayonne.

How to get there

To fly to Bayonne you can take a Ryanair plane to either Biarritz or Pau. Rail travel will take you all the way to the region from England, with just a change at Paris to the super fast TGV. Travelling by road you need to follow the A63 or A64, and even ferry aficionados can travel by their chosen mode of transport, with the long haul ferry to Santander or Bilbao bringing you close enough to Bayonne.

Property prices and availability in and around Bayonne

Bayonne and the Atlantic coast in the south-west of France are popular areas for property seekers, and the region is gaining in popularity all the time. Therefore, the property prices tend to be steep. If you are seeking a bargain or a renovation project, the best place to look would be in the countryside inland from Bayonne.

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WHERE IS Bayonne?

Bayonne is situated in the far south-west of France, close to the Pyrenean Mountains that form a natural border with Spain. It lies in the north-west of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques department.

Bayonne Property Map


Aquitaine Guide

Aquitaine Property Map


Pyrénées-Atlantiques Guide

  Pyrénées-Atlantiques Map

Population: 44,300

Access: By air: Fly to Pau or Biarritz. By rail: The TGV runs from Paris to Bayonne. By road: From Paris follow the A63 towards Madrid, and from the Mediterranean coast follow the A64. By boat: The ferry to Santander/ Bilbao is another possibility.

Economy: The economy includes cured ham, chocolate, crafts, mayonnaise and metallurgy.

Interesting fact: Mayonnaise was invented in Bayonne. There is also a special mayonnaise produced in Bayonne made by adding spicy Espelette chillies to mayonnaise. It is known as Bayonnaise!


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