St-Jean Pied de Port
At the foot of the Pyrenees, the town of St-Jean Pied de Port (St-Jean at the Foot of the Pass) is a popular waypoint for hikers on the pilgrim trail. The hikers you're bound to see along the main cobbled street of rue de la Citadelle are, in fact, continuing an age-old tradition. For centuries this town, 53km southeast of Bayonne, has been the last stop in France for pilgrims heading south over the Spanish border, a mere 8km away, and on to Santiago de Compostela in western Spain.
The walled town itself is beautifully preserved, ringed by ramparts and topped off by a sturdy citadel. It's an ideal day trip from Bayonne, particularly on Monday when the market is in full swing.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout St-Jean Pied de Port.