Bayonne, France

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Bayonne, France

Bayonne vacation rentals

There are French cities, and then there's Bayonne

France is one of those countries where every city seems to have a character all of its own, but Bayonne takes individuality to a whole other level. Being in the Basque country, and with plenty of Gascon influence thrown in for good measure, it's got a bit of something special running through its culture, its language, its culinary delights, and even its looks. With its wide riverfront, its pretty, half-timbered buildings, its diverse districts, and its famously delicious chocolate, a Bayonne vacation rental will steal your heart soon as look at you.

All together now, "Chocolat, s'il vous plait."

When it comes to the sights, sounds, and smells of Bayonne, it's difficult to know where to start. Each of the 3 main neighborhoods has its own charm, and a Bayonne vacation rental has something for everyone. Head straight for the architectural big hitters like the castles and cathedral, or browse around the delicacies at the indoor and outdoor markets. To taste some of Bayonne's legendary chocolate, head to the old Gascon and Jewish neighborhood of Saint-Esprit. And if you fancy getting some sun with the beautiful people, super-chic beach resort, Biarritz, is just down the road.

Bask in Basque culture in Bayonne

If you want to know what makes a Bayonne vacation rental so unique, you'll want to hit up the Basque Museum in the Petit Bayonne neighborhood, and maybe take in some classical art at the Bonnat Museum while you're there. For sweet treats, head over to the little chocolate museum at the Atelier du Chocolat factory. Unfortunately, a lot of Bayonne's most impressive buildings aren't open to the public, but one that should definitely be on your list is the magnificent cathedral. Finished in the 1400s, it's older than some countries, and boasts some amazing stained glass windows.

Time to get working on that beach body

The weather out here is defined by two things, and they're not necessarily the bedfellows you'd expect. Hot sun, and heavy rain. Bayonne's swanky neighbor, Biarritz, has a killer reputation as one of France's most high-end beach resorts, and it wouldn't be up there without some scorching sunshine to bronze those bodies. But the area also gets a whole lot of rain, often in the form of thunderstorms that empty the skies out dramatically for a few minutes before the sun comes out again. Winters, as you might expect, are pretty mild, with minimal snow.

A tale of three districts

Bayonne is hacked up into 3 districts by the Adour and Nive rivers, and though it's inland, the Atlantic coast is barely a 15-minute drive away. This bottom lefthand corner of France, just near the Spanish border, might seem pretty flat, but venture an hour or so to the southeast and you're into the Pyrenees mountains. Head north from Bayonne, and you'll quickly find yourself in one of the largest pine forests in Europe, the Landes forest. Coast, mountains, forests, plains - it's all within striking distance, though chances are you'll struggle to tear yourself away from Bayonne.