Espelette

Espelette is 2 kilometres away from the campsite

Espelette is a traditional village in the Basque province of Labourd, near such typical villages as Ainhoa, Itxassou, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Cambo-les-Bains, as well as the Basque coast.

Just 20 minutes from the Basque coast, at the foot of the mountains and 10 minutes from the border with Spain, the village is much appreciated by visitors from France and abroad.

The town is famous for its well-preserved character with beautiful houses decorated with peppers, the renovated castle, a chocolate factory, the famous local peppers and cultural and sports events.

Espelette pepper is one of the symbols of the Basque country, its culture and cuisine. The pepper is named after the town of Espelette. It results from know-how that is handed down from generation to generation.

In the Basque country, Espelette pepper is often used to replace regular pepper. A good Espelette pepper can be recognised in the fine balance of spiciness and fruitiness.

The recently renovated castle built by the Barons of Ezpeleta in the 11th century has been listed as a historic monument since 1993. It is the centre for administrative, cultural and social life in Espelette. On the ground floor are the town hall offices, the municipal council room and social-services offices.

The Tourist Office and the library share the first floor, and lastly, the second floor is devoted to a range of exhibitions, especially in one of the two rooms for permanent exhibitions.

If you are inquisitive and like good food, then pay a visit to the Antton chocolate factory. Founded in 1993, the master chocolate-maker Antton (Pronounced AN-TI-ONNE) gives pride of place to the most famous Basque spice. Free visits and tastings, specialities, special favourites, traditional biscuits... Come and explore the wide-ranging tastes on offer from this master chocolate-maker and his team and stock up on authentic flavours.

Mount Mondarrain is 750 metres high. The mountain looks down on the Laxia valley, facing Mount Artzamendi in a mountain range separated by the Nivelle Basin and the Nive Basin on the slope of the Pyrenees facing the Atlantic. The Mondarrain can be recognised by its symmetrical silhouette with a cliff at the summit, the remains of fortifications and above all its rocky front made of clayey stone.

There are many hiking trails in this magnificent region of the Basque country, with a whole multitude of landscapes and colours. Hiking here is adapted to every mood and all levels. Come and enjoy a ride on horseback, a hike or a bike ride on the theme of culture, natural history or even religion. There is something for all tastes.

Espelette Pepper Festival

One of the biggest and most colourful festivals in the Basque country is held in Espelette. Farmers have the chance to share their produce, while restaurants invent exceptional dishes featuring Espelette peppers.

There is a Solemn Mass in the Basque language, with a blessing of the peppers, prizes awarded to the best peppers, Banda concerts, Basque rural sports, bare-handed pelota and big country banquets. Peppers and regional specialities are on sale at the big gastronomic fair. The Pepper Festival takes place on the last weekend of October, except when Sunday is the day before All Saint’s Day, when it is brought forward one week.

Course des Crêtes race

A race, a festival and quite simply a place for people to meet – this cross-country race in the mountains at the heart of the Basque country begins at 1.30 p.m. and finishes late the next morning, with over 4000 runners taking part in one of the six races on the programme before sharing a festive meal. The party spirit is everywhere, in the streets, in the mountains, in the groups of runners, at the feedstations. As we say in the Basque country, “Yes to sport, but to the festive spirit most of all”

 
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