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St Jean Pied de Port or somewhere else in French Basque?

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Read some lovely things about St Jean Pied de Port on this board. Is this everyone's favorite back country town or do you prefer somewhere else? Maison Ziberoa looks quite cozy.

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  1. No.
    There are many recommendations on excellent restaurants in the Basque region. Please help us help you and look them up, then come back to tell us what you think. We will have something to start on. Thank you so much.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      Sorry if I didn't give enough context—we're taking a road trip but unfortunately only have one or two days to spend in Pays Basque. Rather than looking for specific restaurant/lodging recommendations (though those would be more than welcome!) I was curious what people's favorite towns were. Our stay will not be as long as I'd like, so it seems better to concentrate on just one town or small area.

      We're not really beach people so the back country seems like a better fit. Having read most of the relevant posts on this board from the last year or two, it seemed like St Jean Pied de Port was a favorite of many. Thanks!

      1. re: shipshape

        One more thing: there's no such thing as "French Basque".
        Unless you mean the back flaps of a riding-coat made in France.

        There is even no such thing as "Pays Basque français" or "French pays Basque", and I suggest you definitely forget about using either of these expressions once you're there.

        There is "Pays Basque du Nord" (North of the border) as opposed to "Pays Basque du Sud".

        Not to appear finicky, for this is actually very useful information.

    2. We spent 3 weeks in the Pays Basque last Spring, following in Parigi's footsteps as it is practically her 2nd home. We visited several charming little back-country villages such as Sare, Ainhoa, Espelette but if I had to choose only one it would be St Jean Pied de Port with its ancient stone bridges over the little river Nive, the citadel and the finest restaurant we tried, "Arrambide" in the Hotel Les Pyrénées.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Laidback

        It was actually your and Parigi's comments on this thread that got me thinking about St Jean Pied de Port! http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/857718

      2. a few years back it was the only place where VEP Izarra was available, if so now who knows.