Quality Hotel Alliance Lourdes
9 Rue Louis Pomes
Phone: (33) 5 62949245
Fax: (33) 5 62911592
Many visitors like to come to pray in the abbey church whose motto is Ora et Labora (prayer and work). For decades, monks have been making and selling the ardi gasna (a cheese made from ewe's milk) following ancestral customs in this pastoral valley. They have since diversified to another activity: personalised rugs, i.e. decorated with a design chosen by the client. These rugs are true works of art, to lay on the floor or hang on the wall. Prices vary with size, selection of colours and intricacy of design. The orders, which have been completed but not yet dispatched, are exhibited in the church.
Within its range Destination Piment (Destination Chilli peppers), this company creates many recipes based on chilli peppers from Espelette for you to sample. Although called Espelette, these peppers probably come from Mexico. Adopted by this village and a few others in the area, they are harvested, dried against house fronts and finally flavour most Basque cuisine. Fresh, dried or in their own juice, they spice up both the taste and colour of dishes. Red or green, they belong to the colours of the Basque country as the Basque country belongs to them. Preserves of puréed peppers cost from 17.50F to F26 (EUR 2.6-3.9), piperade (tomato and pepper omelette) 23F (EUR 3.4). Biarritz-Cambo-Espelette: 20 k
An inseparable accessory of Basque life, the makila is a walking stick, a weapon as well as a goad (a tip for pricking cattle). Its origin goes a long way back and its making, a fiercely guarded secret. It takes over 10 years from the time a rod from a medlar tree is found, to make it to its completion. When a Basque gives a makila, it's a sign of respect, friendship and unswerving allegiance. There is usually an inscription engraved in honour of the person receiving the gift. Great political and show-business personalities have been given an honorary makila: General de Gaulle, President François Mitterrand, etc). The Ainciart-Bergara establishment has been making them in a traditional way for more than 200 years. They cost around 1500F (EUR 229.00) each.
On the Spanish border, this old bastide (a fortified village) built in the 12th century is one of the most beautiful villages in France. It was used in the old days as a relay for Saint-Jacques-de-Compostello pilgrims and has kept intact the traditional character of its architecture: old houses in the purest Labourd style (Labourd is a province of the French Basque country), its church in the middle of the little cemetery, its front where pelotaris (players of Basque pelota) compete, its art work, etc. A walk along a path marked out by little crosses takes you to its chapel. On the way back, don't forget to visit the gingerbread mill and sample its produce.Biarritz-Saint-Jean-de-Luz-Aïnhoa: 39 km