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Monday, July 23, 2018

La Dune de Pilat

We left the Basque region and drove north to reach La Dune de Pilat, Europe's largest sand dune. There's no admission fee to visit the dune but there is a charge for parking after the first free 30 minutes. It's €4 for 2 hours, €6 for 4 hours, €8 for 6 hours and €10 for 12 hours.

The sand is very soft. There is a flight of steps to make it easier to climb to the top of the dune.

The dune is 2.7 km long and still growing (by 1.5m every year).

Next to the dune is a forest of maritime pines, oaks, ferns and strawberry trees.

You can run down the dune for the fastest way down.

It's a popular spot for paragliders.

2018 05 23

Sunday, July 22, 2018


Ainhoa is located just 6 km from Espelette. It's a 1-street town.

It also has red & white buildings.

14th-century church in town.

The interior with a golden retable (screen behind the altar).

2018 05 23

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Ur Hegian

Five years ago, I remember having paella at a roadside hotel near Ainhoa. Instead of lunch in one of the touristy restaurants in Espelette, we went in search of the hotel.

Ur Hegian is located between Espelette & Ainhoa, on D20. 

I loved their sangria last time and loved it again this time--€2.50. It was cheaper than a small can of coke--€3.

Toast with a garlicky spread on top. 

Paella for 2--€14/person. I can't believe it's still only €14. It was loaded with shrimp, clams, mussels, chorizo and chicken. Last time, we had a lamb chop. I didn't find it this time. The only other disappointment was the lack of the crust on the bottom (socarrat).

2018 05 23

Friday, July 20, 2018


After San Sebastian, we drove back into France and toured the French Basque region. Espelette is about an hour from San Sebastian.

The town is adorable with red and white half-timbered buildings.

The town is on the Tour de France route, as advertised on this store window.

Espelette is known for its dark red chiles, Piment d'Espelette, essential in Basque cuisine.

Their morning market ends about 1 pm.

You can find jars of ground Espelette. Espelette pepper is not too spicy and the kick comes at the end. A jar is roughly €4-5 per 50 gram bottle.

2018 05 23

Thursday, July 19, 2018

La Vina

We capped off the evening at La Vina.

It's located at 31 de Agosta Kalea 3.

Alcachofas (artichokes)--pricey at €14.

Tarta de Queso (cheesecake)--€5. La Vina is known for their cheesecake. It's light and fluffy and you get 2 pieces per serving.

2018 05 22

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Bar Sport, Part 2

We went back to Bar Sport since it was just next door.

Sangria--€2.90. This was very good.

We liked the pimientos here the best--€5.50.

And, the sea urchin bisque was delicious--€3.50.

2018 05 22

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Bar Borda Berri

Next stop was Bar Borda Berri.

Borda Berri is located at Fermin Calbeton Kalea 12.

Salmorejo con Anchoa--€3.50.

Risotto de Puntalette con Idiazabal--€3.

Esparrago Blanco con Hongos (white asparagus with mushroom sauce)--€4.

Ravioli de Txipiroi en su Tinta (squid in its ink)--€4.

Oreja de Cerdo (pig ear) con Tximi Txurri--€3.50.

2018 05 22