Basque Country: 5 Good Reasons To Go To Guéthary
The village of Guéthary in the Basque Country is less known than other destinations such as Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Hendaye or Espelette. But this village where life is good is not lacking in attractions for vacationers. We have listed for you 5 good reasons to visit this village of the Basque Coast.
1- For its picturesque charm
A small village located between Biarritz and Saint-Jean-de-Luz, Guéthary has only 1350 inhabitants year round. But, even if it is the smallest village on the Basque coast, it has serious arguments to seduce summer visitors.
The village opened up to tourism in the middle of the 19th century, with the arrival of the train in 1864. Even today, the tourist activity is a major resource for this small picturesque village.
Its fishing port, once dedicated to whale hunters and lobster fishermen, has taken on the appearance of a marina. To admire the colorful boats now used for recreational fishing, just stroll along the promenade built on the pier in 1936.
2- For its beaches
Even if the small town of Guéthary is less known than Biarritz or Hendaye for the practice of board sports, its coastline is home to exceptional spots for surfing and other water sports.
Its sandy or pebble beaches are also very popular with summer visitors in search of tranquility and authenticity. During your stay there, don't miss the coastal path: it will lead you along the beach of Cenitz, a natural site classified by the Conservatoire du littoral.
This beach nestled between Guéthary and Saint-Jean-de-Luz is a delight for surfers as well as swimmers, especially since the swimming area is supervised in season on the Saint-Jean-de-Luz side.
3- For its authentic Basque character
The third good reason to visit Guéthary or to stay there for the vacations is to immerse yourself in the atmosphere and culture of the Basque Country.
One of the most typical places in the commune in this regard is the town hall square. This square is the heart of the village, with its half-timbered neo-Basque style building listed as a historical monument and its fronton (the court on which Basque pelota is played!).
The village church, dedicated to Saint-Nicolas the patron saint of sailors and children, also presents a typically Basque architecture, with a raised choir and altar and galleries surrounding the nave.
The municipality even houses a beautiful neo-Basque house called the Villa Saraleguinea. This villa, located in the heart of a beautiful landscaped park dotted with works of art, has been converted into a museum of modern and contemporary art.
4- For its quality of life
If you are looking for a peaceful destination for your next vacation, the village of Guéthary in the Basque Country could well meet all your criteria!
In February 2023, this commune in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques came out on top for the second time in a row in the ranking of villages in France where it's good to live.
The village, which is also classified as a Remarkable Heritage Site, took first place in this ranking published by the Journal du Dimanche in the category of communes with fewer than 2,000 inhabitants.
5- For its exceptional natural setting
If the village of Guéthary stands out for its quality of life, it is undoubtedly because of its geographical location between the Basque coast and the mountains.
To take full advantage of this preserved natural setting, you can of course practice surfing and other water sports... But you can also walk the coastal path which connects Bidart to Hendaye on 25 km.
This path is marked by several interpretation stations offering information in French, Basque, English and Spanish. On the commune, this path takes you from the sea front to the port of Guéthary and the beach of Cenitz.
An interpretation table installed on the hill of Cenitz invites you to enjoy one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the Bay of Biscay. While admiring the landscape, you will remember that the Basques were above all sailors, whether they were fishermen, migrants or privateers!