Between the Labourd and Basse-Navarre regions
The Arbéroue valley, in the province of Labourd, is home to the Isturitz and Oxocelhaya caves, a magnificent testimony to the life of the Basque Country’s first inhabitants.
The peaks of the valley
The Arbéroue valley is a mix of landscapes between plains and mountains. Two peaks are of particular interest. From the summit of the first one, Mt. Ursuia, you can enjoy a view of the coastline along the Basque coast. At its foot is the bustling town of Hasparren, home to poet Francis Jammes. The second, Mt. Baigura, marks the limit between the Labourd and Lower Navarre regions.
Each year, in the village of Hélette, a fair takes place for pottok ponies (an ancient breed of pony native to the Basque Country). Organized for the first time in November 1750 for Sainte-Catherine’s day, this fair attracts horse dealers and horse breeders from all over the country.
Following Man’s footsteps
The caves of Isturitz and Oxocelhaya are one of top reference sites in Europe for understanding the life of prehistoric Man.
Isturitz cave is still the site of active research and each year new discoveries are made.
As for Oxocelhaya cave, it is a real pleasure for the eyes with its spectacular stalactites and stalagmites.