Two hours from Bordeaux, the Basque Country, a blessed land with mountains, the Pyrenees, beaches, forests and the Atlantic Ocean, is a huge playground where everyone practices a sport for fun or competition. The Basques play rugby fervently, spend hours on the most beautiful golf courses in France, make pelota games on the pediments and take their surfboard in any season.
Surfing, a religion
It was at the Côte des Basques in Biarritz, often referred to as "the most beautiful beach in France", where the first wave was surfed in 1956. It was with a longboard straight from Los Angeles and it was a real revelation! Today, it is no surprise to meet surfers, in jersey or in combination, board under their arm, out of the water or walking in the streets. Biarritz has been labeled "3 star surf city" since 2015 and organizes the most prestigious competitions (the Surf Worlds in 2017, Biarritz Maïder Arosteguy). All along the Basque coast, from Anglet to Hendaye, this sliding sport has become a way of life, a source of inspiration, a philosophy.
Biarritz, Destination Golf
The Basque Country is known as the "cradle of French golf". The course of Biarritz-le-Phare, created in 1888, was the first public golf course. Then La Nivelle, Chiberta, Chantaco and Hossegor came to meet the expectations of the British holiday resort in the region. For it is the English who have popularized the game with the "local". Today, there are 16 golf courses in a radius of 100 km around Biarritz! In July, Biarritz-le-Phare receives the Biarritz Cup, the most important French event reserved for amateurs.
Rugby, pelota and Basque strength
The Basques are known for their strength. And they prove it well when they compete against rugby, Basque pelota or Basque strength tests. The Basque Country is one of the strongholds of rugby union. During the match, the fervor is great, especially among the supporters of the teams of Biarritz and Bayonne. The pelota draws its roots in the medieval games of palm but the Basques turned it into a modern sport which can be played with bare hands, with a pala (racket in wood) or a chistera (wicker glove). As for the Basque strength, it comes from a secular tradition, when young people challenged themselves from one farm to another. It brings together eight trials: sprint with a bag of 80 kilograms on the shoulder, cut trunks with the ax, lift stones of 300 kilos, shooting rope, etc.
© Vincent Bauza Mon Nuage