6 museums to immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Basque Country

Discover the culture and history of the Basque Country by visiting these six museums, each as fascinating as the next.

The Basque Cake Museum

If you’re a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Musée du gâteau basque. Located in Sare, this craftsmen’s museum invites you on a gustatory and historical journey in a charming period setting. Here you’ll find a precious collection of rare objects, furniture and kitchen utensils, as well as the secrets behind the making of the famous Basque cake. Of course, a tasting session is essential to fully appreciate this culinary treasure of the Basque Country.

Address: Maison Haranea, 300 Haraneko Bidea, 64310 Sare
adult price: €9, children: €7 (ages 4 to 13)
more info: www.legateaubasque.com

Bayonne Basque Museum

Nestled in the heart of Bayonne, this museum immerses you in Basque history and culture. It houses a vast collection of original objects from different periods, paintings, artifacts and documents that tell the story of the Basques. The museum covers a wide range of themes, including art, culture, science and technology, economics, architecture, gastronomy, music, sport and much more. A must-see visit to understand the deep roots of this culture.
Also worth reading: Bayonne, the city of 7 museums

Address: 37 Quai des Corsaires, 64100 Bayonne
adult fare: €8, free for under-26s
more info: www.musee-basque.com

Edmond Rostand Museum and House

While in Cambo-les-Bains, don’t miss Villa Arnaga, Edmond Rostand’s magnificent home built in the early 20th century. The museum offers an overview of the writer’s life and work. Each richly decorated room is a museum of art objects that once belonged to Edmond Rostand (paintings, sculptures, listed furniture, stained glass, engravings, manuscripts, etc.). The tour continues in the park, with a sumptuous formal garden on one side and a delightful English garden on the other.

Address: Avenue du Docteur Alexandre Camino, 64250 Cambo-les-Bains
adult rate: €9, child rate (aged 12 to 18): €4, child rate (aged 7 to 11): €2.50, free for children under 7: €4
more info: www.arnaga.com

Biarritz Cité de l’Océan

In Biarritz, families come together at the Cité de l’Océan, a playful and scientific concept combining museum and theme park. Dive into the depths of the ocean with fun, interactive experiences combining special effects, 3D films and virtual reality. Don’t miss the “700 sharks in the night” animation, an immersive 360° dive into a pack of 700 sharks! The site also boasts an impressive collection of surfboards, the oldest dating back to the 1940s.

Address: 1 avenue de la Plage, 64200 Biarritz, adult price: €14, teenager (13 to 17): €12, child (6 to 12): €9.90
more info: www.citedelocean.com

The Ecomuseum of Pelota and Xistera Pilotari

Basque pelota is a traditional sport emblematic of the Basque Country. In Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, between Espelette and Saint-Jean-de-Luz, an eco-museum is entirely dedicated to the plant. A visit to this atypical little museum reveals the history of Basque pelota and its evolution, the different specialities and variants, the rules of the game and the handcrafted production of the equipment. After the visit, feel free to attend the training sessions (open to the public). That’s pretty impressive!

Address: Place du fronton, rue Karrika, 64310 Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle, adult price: €5, children (5 to 12): €2.50.

photo©CDT64 (Musée Basque de Bayonne)