Top festivals to visit during the summer in the basque country

Keeping the kids entertained away from your campsite can involve lots of planning and research, not to mention time spent convincing them to leave the fun and games of their new playground in the first place! The Pays Basque area really comes to life over the summer, with a packed festival calendar at its very best from May to September. To help you plan your time in France’s beautiful southwest corner, here’s a round up of our favourite festivals for the whole family to enjoy.

Festival des arts de al rue
Where: Biarritz (20 mins from campsite)
When: Early May
What to expect:

  • Street art festival with an eclectic mix of acts that spring up on every street corner in Biarritz.
  • Kids magic shows in front of the grand plage are a must
  • Sand art competition

Fêtes de la St Jean de Luz
Where: In nearby Saint Jean de Luz? (10 mins from campsite)
When: End of June
What to expect:

  • Four days of dancing and music to celebrate summer and John the Baptist, the patron saint of Saint Jean de Luz.
  • Locals dressed in the city’s colours, red and black.
  • Concerts, street food and activities for children.

Fête du Thon
Saint Jean de Luz.
When: Mid July
What to expect:

  • The perfect fish festival for foodies, this traditional celebration takes place at the town’s fishing port.
  • Tuna, and plenty of it. Gourmet cooking is accompanied by bands and music.
  • Later, there are drinks, dancing and a midnight confetti battle!

Fête de Bayonne
Bayonne (25 mins from campsite)
When: End of July
What to expect:

  • The biggest street party in France, complete with thrilling bullfights and crowds decked in red and white.
  • Children’s Day, held on Thursday 24th, is a day packed with fun activities for youngsters, such as adventure courses, picnics and workshops in circus arts, recycling and rugby.

Semana Grande (Big Week)
A short hop (and a 25 minute drive from our campsite) over the border in San Sebastián, Spain.
When: Mid August
What to expect:

  • The largest annual party in the city streets, with seven days of celebration.
  • Bullfights, music and theatre performances, many children’s activities, and rides and attractions.

Head to La Concha Beach at quarter to eleven for the spectacular international fireworks competition, the main attraction of the event.

Festival Alarde
Where: neighbouring spain in the coastal village of Hondarribia (15mins from the campsite)
When: 8th September
What to expect:

  • Lasting 24 hours thousands of participants, grouped in 20 companies, walk around the streets and squares with a mixture of shots, drums, fifes and so on.
  • The atmosphere is lively and very welcoming. Plenty of stuff to do for the kids

Catch the Ferry from Hendaye (only 7 minutes) which runs through the event till the early morning hours.

Bandera De La Concha – Fishing Boat Regatta Festival:
Where: La Concha Bay, San Sebastián, Spain. (25 mins from the campsite)
When: First two Sundays of September
What to expect:

  • On the two first Sundays of September San Sebastian ?s bay will host the final stages of La Concha Flag regattas.
  • Lively atmosphere in the city and a true insight into the basque culture
  • Fantastic setting as you watch the boats race in the beautiful bay till sunset


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