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Relais & Châteaux is a world in and of itself, unlike any other. A warm, welcoming, gourmet affair awaits where outstanding quality is coupled with each individual property's passion for their own region and its terroir.
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Relais & Châteaux offers you a veritable world tour. Whatever the occasion, however long you stay, each of our hotels will offer you the very best of its culture and region.
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When you experience Relais & Châteaux, you experience a whole array of sensations. Each of our properties offers the opportunity to enjoy an unparalleled range of sensory experiences, where the beauty of a particular place, the warmth of the hospitality and the quality of the cuisine are in perfect harmony. Scents and tastes, landscapes and colours make every stay a rare and intense experience.
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Great South West

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Central reservation office (United States)

1 800 735 2478

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BMW

Official partner of the Routes du Bonheur

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Serge Blanco
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Owner of the Château de Brindos
My road to happiness through the French and Spanish Basque Country

I have never wanted to leave the Basque Country. Having arrived in Biarritz at the age of two, I am a “Biarrot” through and through. I played for Biarritz Olympique my entire career, refusing to move to another club, or another town. That’s because being Basque means having not only a different identity and way of life, but also a different way of looking at the world. We are immersed in a culture rich in tradition. My route through this land, bordered by the ocean and the Pyrenees range, reveals some aspects of this region that I love so much. It crosses the border, from Biarritz to Bilbao, passing through Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, Saint-Jean-de-Luz and San Sebastián.

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a three-night stay from €641*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
First stage: two days, one night

Château de Brindos

Lake-side romance and dreaming
Château de Brindos
I was 16 years old when the management of Biarritz Olympique invited us to the Château de Brindos. I have magical memories of it. Several years ago, I had the chance to become its owner. Life is sometimes surprising… In the 1930s, the château was known for its sumptuous parties and receptions, given by Sir Reginald Wright. We retained the walls and updated the whole building, creating 5 suites and 22 guest rooms. The edge of the lake is highly conducive to serenity and relaxation. And I must say that I would have been very sad to see this place disappear.

Close to the property...

Les Halles market, Biarritz

People come here to do their shopping, talk about what’s going on in the world… and about Biarritz Olympique’s results! Take a break from browsing the stalls and have a drink or try some tapas in one of its bars. Les Halles has been buzzing since 1885 and continues to do so. It sometimes opens during the evening in summer, and there is a really festive atmosphere.

The Basque pelota court in the Négresse district

I come here every Monday with my friends. The Basque pelota court (trinquet) in this working-class neighbourhood has played host to generations of pelota players. It is a meeting place for town residents. Don’t miss seeing some matches, whether between kids or champions. The walls resonate with the history of the Basque Country. Admittedly, the game is rarely played with bare hands anymore.

On the route...

A walk by the ocean

You can enjoy the town and the ocean. Every Sunday morning, regardless of the weather, my friends and I take a two- or three-hour walk along the coast. We go around the two little lakes, Marion and Mouriscot, and cross the town to walk along the Grande Plage, the Port des Pêcheurs, the Rocher de la Vierge (the Rock of the Virgin) and the Old Port towards Bidart. Soak up the atmosphere of Biarritz…

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BLANCO

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 2: one day, one night

Le Parc Victoria

In the peacefulness of this Victorian mansion you enter into a timeless world
Le Parc Victoria
In the centre of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, in a haven of greenery and two-hundred-year-old trees, this superb white villa, built at the end of the 19th century, contains rooms and suites decorated with sumptuous art deco objects. Some rooms have secluded private gardens. Owner Bernard Denegre will welcome you to this setting which is at once intimate and airy, with views of the gardens.

Close to the property...

Between Espelette and La Rhune

The narrow road which winds between Espelette and La Rhune is the Basque Country in miniature. You will find typical villages (Espelette, with dried red peppers hanging on the fronts of houses, and Sare, with the Ortillopitz house), unspoilt countryside and the Pinodiéta and Saint-Ignace mountain passes. One could take at least three days to cover these 27 kilometres…

The little train of La Rhune

I must have been 8 years old when I went up La Rhune for the first time. It was there, at a height of 905 metres, that I really discovered my region. My friends and I still climb it on foot in the off-season, when there are no tourists to be seen. Tourists prefer to reach the summit by the little rack railway before returning to Ascain on foot. Discovering this landscape for the first time is a real pleasure.

La Rhune

On the route...

My favourite place : San Sebastián and Anoeta stadium

I love San Sebastián so much that I could live there! The city’s joie de vivre is incredible. The locals live their lives in the streets, flitting between tapas bars here and there. Come and see Biarritz Olympique play at Anoeta stadium. It’s fantastic; we always get a full house. The entire city, from La Concha to Monte Igueldo, celebrates. We call it "Anoeta Day".

San Sebastian
Biarritz Olympique

Lunch at Relais & Chateaux Arzak

Juan Mari Arzak is, in a way, the high priest of Spanish gastronomy. This friend of Paul Bocuse represents both refined taste and a sense of family. This former tavern was purchased by his grandparents and managed for a long time by his mother. She passed on two essential things to her son: a love of people and of produce. Both are in evidence today in his dishes and his warm welcome, with his daughter Elena at his side.

Relais & Chateaux Arzak

Relais & Chateaux Restaurante Akelarre

How many cities can boast of having as many Grands Chefs? Pedro Subijana Reza is also a son of San Sebastian. Since 1975, on mount Igueldo, the chef with the great moustache has been delighting as much as he surprises. With his knives and calf’s feet, his sucking pig or his succulent pollack with “Kokotxa”. Everything is surprising and a delight. We must also stress the intense happiness provided by views of San Sebastian Bay and the Cantabrian sea…

Relais & Chateaux Restaurante Akelarre

Relais & Chateaux Restaurante Martin Berasategui (Lasarte-Oria)

With Pedro Subijana Reza at the Akelare, Martin Berasategui has raised gastronomy’s flag very high in the heart of the Basque country. A native of Saint-Sébastien, the chef offers us a modern and inventive cuisine. Berasategui is an artist, who likes to talk about his "battle of hand versus fire". An artist or rather an artisan, who blends oysters with cucumber, pig hooves and quince, melon, and sheep’s milk. His Tasting menu is a real pleasure, comprising about twelve dishes (small portions). However, when you love, you don’t count the cost...

Relais & Chateaux Restaurante Martín Berasategui

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BLANCO

Calling from another country ? Click here

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Stage 3: one day, one night

Castillo de Arteaga

The exceptional encounter of a neo-medieval palace with a bird-populated area at a ria
Castillo de Arteaga
The first thing you see is the neo-gothic sandstone and marble tower, and the second is this surprising château in the heart of Urdabai natural park. Owned by Garbiñe Azkuenaga, the Castillo de Arteaga is a film set where guests become the actors. A superb setting where history and contemporary art meet.

Close to the property...

The Guggenheim Museum

This museum is a real work of art, for its exterior as much as for its contents. The curves of the building, designed by the architect Frank O. Gehry, are a good reflection of Bilbao’s transformation. It used to be a very polluted city, but today it is a very pleasant place to visit. Since 2007, this museum of modern and contemporary art has housed superb pieces by Yves Klein, Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons and Richard Serra. A place to return to again and again.

Guggenheim

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : BLANCO

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard