From Cambo-les-Bains to Bidarray
The River Nive runs through this valley that links Bayonne on the Basque coast in the Labourd province to Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port at the foot of the mountains in Basse Navarre. The river winds its way over 79 kilometres through very contrasting landscapes: the plains in the region of Ustaritz and Cambo-les-Bains, and in the mountainous area around Itxassou dominated by the Mondarrain and Artzamendi peaks and the Iparla ridges at Bidarray.
Nive Valley Legends
In Itxassou, there is a place called the “Pas de Roland”. Legend has it that the Knight Roland cut out the stone arch with his sword, Durandel. Others say that it was Veillantif, his trusty steed that cleared a passageway for Charlemagne’s army with a kick of its hoof. Every year in Cambo-les-Bains, the life of famous pelote player Chiquito is celebrated. During the First World War, this world champion pilotari would use his chistera to throw grenades!
A hub of villages
Villages of the Nive Valley are located in the AOP Espelette Pimento Pepper production zone. Just a few kilometres away are the villages of Ainhoa and Sare, listed among the “Most Beautiful Villages in France”. And the captivating charms of Spain are not far away either; the border is just 30 minutes down the road.
The land of cherries
Itxassou is the village of cherries! The Itxassou black cherry goes very well with “ardi gasna” (sheep’s milk cheese). And Itxassou black cherry jam is also used as a filling for the famous Gâteau Basque. The Itxassou Cherry Festival is held every year in the month of June.
BAYONNE : CITY OF CONFLUENCE
BIDARRAY : GATEWAY TO BAS NAVARRE
SAINT-JEAN-PIED-DE-PORT : THE FORTIFIED CITY