Bayonne Travel Guide
Bayonne, capital of the French Basque Country and Gascony, is an attractive city and the center of France's chocolate production. It is also the most unlikely south-of-France city you'll ever come across, for in sharp contrast to the sandy, stonewashed buildings with burnt-orange rooftops commonly found in other towns, cities and villages of the region, Bayonne's Basque architecture features tall, starched-white buildings, many of them row houses, with exposed dark timbers and colorful wooden shutters in ox-blood red and dark green – the traditional Basque colors. And with these half-timbered gems lined up along the banks of the rivers Adour and Nive, the effect is nothing short of striking. The city's old town, Petit Bayonne, is particularly rich in these buildings and lends itself to walking around, with its small, narrow streets dotted with cafés and chocolate and marzipan shops, and with the quarter deeply imbued with Basque culture. It's interesting, too, to hear Euskara and Gascon spoken here at least as much as French, with street signage in all three languages as well; and it's only natural to wonder which of the three has had the greatest influence on Bayonne – oops, that's Baiona in Basque and Gascon!
Bayonne has a rich tradition of chocolate making, going back nearly 500 years, with literally scores of chocolate shops in the city, particularly in the old quarter of Petit Bayonne. Among the best choices, however, are the following: Atelier du Chocolat de Bayonne at 1 Rue des Carnes and 33 Boulevard Alsace-Lorraine; Patisserie Mauriac at 23 Rue Port-Neuf; and Confiserie Pariès or Chocolats Cazenave at 19 Rue Port-Neuf.
Bayonne's most famous son is René Cassin, jurist, law professor, judge, human rights activist, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1968 for his work in drafting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10, 1948. Bayonne is also believed to be the birthplace of both the condiment mayonnaise and the bright green/yellow liqueur Izarra. Plus, this is where the bayonet was invented, taking its name from the town.
© Indian Chief Travel Guides
Ischgl is a small mountain village turned hip ski resort, with massive appeal among the party-hearty young crowds. It is... Read More
Andorra la Vella is its own little world, and not just because it’s a 290-square-mile independent principality (a fifth the... Read More
Bariloche (officially San Carlos de Bariloche) is the place to be seen. It is to Argentina what Aspen is to the... Read More
Aspen is America's most famous ski resort. And that's an understatement. For, as a ski complex, Aspen is unsurpassed. Its... Read More
Zermatt is a small but glamorous mountain resort town, with a population of approximately 5,700. It is one of Switzerland's... Read More
St. Moritz is a glitzy, alpine resort town in the celebrated Engadin Valley of Switzerland, with huge notoriety as the... Read More
Lake Tahoe is the premier lake resort of America, and the largest alpine lake in all of North America. It is an absolutely... Read More
St. Anton, Sankt Anton am Arlberg in German, is Austria's premier ski-bum resort! It's actually a small village cum... Read More
Kitzbühel, a small, Tyrolian resort town in the Kitzbüheler Alps, comes with international renown and huge snob appeal, and... Read More