Cambo-les-Bains, Pyrenees-Atlantiques: tourism & sightseeing
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Cambo les Bains, just 15 minutes drive from Bayonne is in the Labourd region of the French Basque Country. It is a spa town and was once a centre for the treatment of tuberculosis.
France This Way comment: the area around Cambo-les-Bains is popular with visitors who want a quiet, relaxing holiday in the countryside while being in easy reach of Spain, the Basque villages of the Pyrenees and the popular Atlantic resorts such as Biarritz...
The town of Cambo-les-Bains divides into two distinct regions, separated by the Rue Xerri-Karrika, a steep street with lots of attractively painted half-timbered houses:
- An attractive town, the newer, upper part of Cambo-les-Bains is full of hotels, bars and restaurants and looks down over the River Nive and the old town below.
- The old town is in typical Basque style with white buildings and red or green shutters, usually red as seems to be the case in most of the villages in this area.
One of the most interesting buildings to visit in the town is the Thermes at Cambo, an attractive Art Deco building where you can wander around the exuberantly planted garden even if you are not taking a treatment. The gardens are lovely and filled with lots of palms and flowers.
Note: Cambo-les-Bains has lots of open spaces and is proud of its gardening traditions. You will see several small parks and gardens as you explore.
The main sight to see on a trip to Cambo les Bains is the Villa Arnaga. Edmond Rostand, author of Cyrano de Bergerac, came to Cambo les Bains to recover from his pulmonary disease. He was so impressed with the area that he had a villa built here.
The villa is very large and in a Basque style and lots of large windows make the inside very light. Many of the rooms have lovely wood panelling and most have some part of the walls or panels painted by artists of the era commissioned by Rostand.
There are also lots of photographs and information about the various theatre and cinema productions of Cyrano de Bergerac.
Perhaps the best part of the visit to the villa is the garden. You enter near the stables and walk up to the villa through the magnificent French-style gardens, in a typically very formal layout with pools of water, gravel paths, shaped parterres and lots flowers.
Our favourite part of the gardens is near the stables where an Italianate columned structure, fronted by lots of superb hydrangeas, overlooks a large pool and fountain.
The tourist office is at 3 Avenue de la Mairie and can provide you with information about many local highlights and activities.
To the west of Cambo-les-Bains you can visit the popular resort towns at Bayonne, Biarritz and Saint Jean de Luz on the coast, while several picturesque basque villages such as Espelette and Itxassou are also nearby.
Map of Cambo-les-Bains and places nearby
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Address: Cambo-les-Bains, Espelette, Bayonne, Aquitaine, 64250, France || GPS: latitude 43.3589, longitude -1.40028
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Jardins de la villa Arnaga: remarkable garden
- Ainhoa: most beautiful village (10 km)
- La Bastide-Clairence: most beautiful village (14 km)
- Sare: most beautiful village (15 km)
- Bayonne cathédrale de Sainte-Marie (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (16 km)
- Bayonne: secteur sauvegarde (16 km)
- Anglet: ville fleurie 4* (16 km)
- Porte St Jacques - St Jean Pied-de-Port (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (26 km)
- Marais d'Orx: site of natural beauty (27 km)
- Vallée des Aldudes: site of natural beauty (28 km)
- Sorde l'Abbaye - abbaye St Jean (monuments on French pilgrim routes): heritage site (34 km)
Market days in Cambo-les-Bains, France
Regular market(s) are held in Cambo-les-Bains each Wednesday & Friday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Cambo-les-Bains (Francais)