A trip to the French Basque Country holds the promise of exploring an area steeped in history. It faces out to sea and has a strong culinary identity. The museums in the Basque region will plunge you into the local history and culture of this beautiful part of France.
The Sea Museum in Biarritz
Head to the Biarritz aquarium to visit the sea museum, an impressive building perched on the rocky shoreline of the Bay of Biscay. It houses 150 species of fish and other sea creatures that inhabit the Bay. There’s a special area for the sea museum, which recounts the history of the local fishing industry. Go up to the first floor for a panoramic underwater view of the turtle cave and the seals. Another attraction here is the Cité de l’Océan, an interactive, family-friendly experience inspired by ocean life.
Villa Arnaga – Edmond Rostand museum
Edmond Rostand was an author, and lived in Cambo-les-Bains. While you may not know the name, you’re sure to know his book: Cyrano de Bergerac. He initially rented a house in the Basque region, and soon fell in love with its beauty. He returned a few years later to build his dream home, inspired by traditional Basque architecture. The local authorities acquired the house in 1960 and turned it into the Edmond Rostand museum. This museum in the Basque region has been awarded Museum of France status. Events and exhibitions are held regularly, and visitors delight in the museum’s grounds, with its ornamental ponds and carefully landscaped gardens.
The Natural History museum
A classic must-see among museums in the Basque region is the natural history museum in Bayonne. Permanent collections address the biodiversity in the Pyrenees/ocean area and the Nive wetlands, and temporary exhibitions are held throughout the year. Families can find out about the local flora and flora through visits, events and talks.
The Gâteau Basque museum
If there’s one thing France does well other than wine, it’s food! So, it’s no surprise that there’s a museum in the Basque region all about cake – the gateau Basque. See 200 utensils and find out how this local speciality is made. Of course, you get to taste it too! Gateau Basque with cream, gateau Basque with cherry jam, wafer-thin biscuits and macaroons are just some of the delicacies presented during visits and workshops.
The Chocolate museum
Stay with us as we head to another temple of delights: Planète Musée du Chocolat in Biarritz. This museum is inside a small chocolate factory and you’ll get to feast your eyes on chocolate sculptures, old chocolate-making tools, and advertising materials for all things chocolate. Children can take part in a creative workshop, and the whole family gets to taste a traditional hot chocolate at the end of the visit.
The Pelota and Xistera-Pilotari Ecomuseum
This museum in the Basque region is all about a local ball sport: Basque pelota. It is the only museum of its kind, and outlines the history of the sport followed by an introduction to the different types of Basque pelota. You’ll also learn how the chistera (gloves) are made.
Best place to stay to visit museums in the Basque region
Make your stay something special by renting a luxury villa in the Basque Country. Enjoy the comfort and freedom of a sea-view villa with great facilities, an ideal base for exploring everything this beautiful region has to offer. Treat your tastebuds or go back in time as you visit the wide variety of museums in the Basque region during your holiday.