Arbonne, un village au cœur du Pays Basque
Arbonne, a pretty little Basque village, is located only five kilometres from the Atlantic coast, at the gateway to Biarritz, Bidart and Guethary.
Today, this agricultural village is part of the “Golden Triangle” with Arcangues and Bassussary, and even the village of Ahetze, due to its ideal location on the edge of the region’s major sites.
However, it has had a rich and fascinating history, particularly during the Middle Ages and the French Revolution. The village, which was called Constante in 1794, has also developed an interesting heritage for lovers of old stones.
Full of charm, this municipality, located not far from the Pyrenees, reveals an original Basque architecture, as well as particularly ancient traditions. Its development of funerary art over the centuries is particularly interesting, especially with its discoidal steles.
The Labourdin-style church, with its galleries of sculpted balusters and its cemetery, marks the identity of the village.
Numerous local events are organised in the area throughout the year. Flea markets, festivals, concerts, theatres… but it is also possible to go hiking!
(See our ideas for hiking in the Basque Country on our “For hikers” page)
A little history…
Located in the province of Labourd, Arbonne has a typical hilly relief. The lands of the commune are watered by the Uhabia, a small coastal river which flows into the ocean at Bidart, and are excellent for agriculture, which for a long time was the only economic activity, along with traditional Basque crafts.
Until the beginning of the 20th century, the main resources were wheat, corn, vines and apple orchards, which made cider popular. There were several dozen hectares of orchards, which have practically disappeared today, as have the vines and wheat.
The rural aspect of the area has been preserved despite the spectacular growth of the permanent population in the 1980s and in the 2000s
Arbonne was the birthplace in 1898 of the man who was to become the “Basque Bondissant”: Jean Borotra. The epic of the Musketeers is no longer to be told as it has marked the history of tennis and the Davis Cup.
In the history of the Basque Country, the Benediction was an accommodation given free of charge to the Benedict of the town. Although not necessarily religious, she was the guardian of the church and the cemetery and committed herself to taking care of the parish all her life.
Today the association Andereseroraenia (Benoîte in Euskera), which saved the charming old house, invites artists to hang their paintings in the former home of the Benoîte, which is now exclusively dedicated to culture: exhibition room on the ground floor, archives and old photos of Arbonne on the first floor.
Redesign of the town centre:
A project for the enhancement of the communal heritage and the safety of pedestrians
On the one hand, the “Ama” chapel, a testimony to the history of the community, has been renovated and thus enhanced.
On the other hand, the municipality has invested in soft mobility by creating a pedestrian path. The aim is to facilitate and secure access on foot to the heart of the village and its shops.
In order to embellish the area, planting was carried out to improve the landscape aesthetics of the neighbourhood. In total, nearly 330 trees have been planted along the road.
Not forgetting the long-awaited opening of the Arbonne grocery shop in January 2020 near the Harismendi car park, which contributes to the dynamism of the town centre. You will be welcomed and served by Thomas and Anne and will be able to find local products.
The centre of Arbonne is set to be enriched with new infrastructures such as a new restaurant and a pharmacy, not to mention the fibre optic cable to make the village high-tech connected.
Arbonne remains a village on a human scale in a very touristy region, which makes it even more pleasant.
We are delighted to welcome you! 🙂
Where to eat in Arbonne?
With its renovated fronton square, the Cidrerie du Fronton is the meeting place for the inhabitants of the Basque coast and cider lovers.
The Cidrerie du Fronton invites you to enjoy the typical menu of the Basque cider houses in a friendly atmosphere, including a cod omelette, prime rib with garnish…..
And of course the TXOTX! All Basque cider lovers know this injunction, shouted by the Sagardoegile (the cider producer) and which signals the time for tasting the cider in the huge barrels (Kupelas) of the cellar, which are usually only a few metres from the tables. Txotx in Basque means a small pointed piece of wood, the same one that plugs a hole in the barrel, allowing the cider to gush out (Sagardo) and to recover it by tilting one’s glass close to the ground, almost horizontally, and going back to the source.
If you are looking for a good and friendly restaurant to have a meal with your family or friends, do not hesitate to discover the authenticity of the Cidrerie du Fronton in the heart of Arbonne.