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Antoine d'Abbadie was a very important patron of Basque culture who throughout his life defended the language and culture. He also sought to share his knowledge with others, and was notable for making the first map of Ethiopia. At his home an observatory dedicated to astronomy was built. It currently houses the Academy of Sciences, which invites visitors to discover the observatory and the surrounding area in the best conditions.
So give it a try and discover this major cultural site on the Basque coast with its three main areas to visit: a library, a chapel and the famous observatory.
Overlooking theocean, Saint-Jean-de-Luz was, in the middle of the 20th century, the leading tuna and sardine fishing port in France.
The activity of the port seems to be inscribed in the origins and the history of the city. The produce of this fishing activity, as well as the catches made by pirates, ensured the survival of the inhabitants for a long time.
The first part of the coastal footpath offers a great diversity of environments, alternating between beaches, cirques, paths and small routes. Arriving at the tip of Sainte-Barbe where you overlook the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz is exceptional. A tip: Make this trip last roughly 3 hours 30, preferably at low tide. These views stretch over the former corsair cities, along the Basque coast.
Located on the French-Spanish border, the Col d'Ibardin separates the Atlantic Pyrenees from Navarra in Spain. At the top of the hill, you will find twenty ventas (small shops/stalls) which sell numerous articles like alcohol, sandals and even ham...
A theme park, Ibardin Aventures park, means children will have a fun time. You can climb the Col (317m) by car or on foot.
Since 1924, the Petit Train de La Rhune has climbed the 30 minutes to the summit of La Rhune at a height of 905 metres. This climb offers spectacular views: you can see the French and Spanish coast and the Pyrenees.
The Petit Train de La Rhune is a rack railway, which means it uses a cog wheel which fits into a special third rail to climb steep slopes.
In addition to being one of only two remaining examples of this technique still operating in France, the Petit Train de La Rhune still uses all the original rolling stock. It's certainly a vertiginous ride, at a pace where you have time to appreciate the rich and varied landscapes.