shutterstock_Bayonne

Bayonne

It’s as Basque as you like, in fact it’s pretty much the area’s economic and political capital, but because it’s a short distance inland it’s not the same tourist-magnet as Biarritz. Having said that, its half-timber buildings, the amount of traditional red and green paintwork and the sense of a city doing something and going somewhere all add up to a place you’re keen to spend time. And that time is as well spent in its Old Town’s many bars and restaurants as anywhere else: just sit out near the river and watch the world go by (and try some ham while you’re there, you won’t regret it).