Sare is deep in Basque country near the Spanish border, 14 kilometres south of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and 20 kilometres south of Biarritz. It is classified among the 'most beautiful villages of France' and is a lovely little Basque hilltop village in the historical Labourd province.

Explore Sare

France This Way review: Sare is very picturesque, but also very small and a visit will take less than an hour. The nearby villages of Espelette and Ainhoa are similar but more extensive.

Church and cemetery in Sare

The village is centred around the Place du Fronton, where you will find Sare tourist office and which is a good place to start your visit. A 'fronton' (hence Place du Fronton) is a place where the traditional Basque sport of Pelote is played, with two players and a ball which is hit against a wall, rather like playing squash outdoors.

Around this main square there are several restaurants, and various streets that lead to the edge of the village. They reach the countryside very quickly in this small village so you can explore all of them! There are attractive views of the surrounding hills from many places in the village.

The houses in Sare are built in the traditional style of the region, with shutters painted in the traditional red and green of the Basque flag. On the edges of the village you will also see more imposing villas.


Be sure to take a look at the 17th century Church of Saint Martin as you explore among the village houses. Basque churches have the unusual feature of having rows of balconies - Romeo and Juliet style - along the walls, making them much less austere on the inside than the outside. In the church at Sare there are three rows of balconies, and the wall around the altar is painted with biblical pictures. Outside the church you can stroll around a pretty cemetery.

If you have time to explore, you can also see a pretty little medieval bridge about 15 minutes walk from the centre of Sare in the direction of the Grottes de Sare, or follow the medieval pathway called the Galtzada that passes through the villlage: you will have nice views of the village and see several small 17th century oratories.

You can also visit the 'Museum of the Basque Gateau' at Sare.

Traditional basque house in Sare

Attractions nearby

Sare village is set in the 'shadow' of mount Rhune which dominates the skyline in much of this part of south-west France. The surrounding area is very pastoral, and rural, with cows chewing grass in the fields. Walking is very popular in the area and the National Pathway GR10 passes through the area.

A popular side trip is the small train to the summit of La Rhune, which has lovely views to the coast to the west and the Pyrenees to the east. The neighbouring villages of Espelette and Ainhoa are also pretty and well worth a visit.

About six kilometres south of the village you can visit the Grottes de Sare, a large cave that was inhabited in prehistoric times. At Ortillopitz, in a lovely location close to Sare, there is a large farmholding called 'la Maison Basque de Sare which has been restored to show what a farm and surrounding gardens were like in the 17th century - very interesting.

Explore elsewhere in the Pays Basque. You can find more travel ideas in the Pyrenees-Atlantiques guide and the Aquitaine guide.

See also Find Sare hotels

Photos of Sare

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Map of Sare and places nearby


Visit near Sare with France This Way reviews

La Rhune

La Rhune

The Rhune is a small Pyrenees mountain that you can go up in a scenic train - a nice way to enjoy the scenery.

La Rhune guide


Saint-Pée-sur-Nivelle is a small basque village with a popular leisure lake

Saint-Pee-sur-Nivelle guide
Ainhoa church of Notre-Dame

Ainhoa church of Notre-Dame

The church in Ainhoa is a traditional Basque church with rows of balconies around the walls

Ainhoa church of Notre-Dame guide


Betwen sea and mountains, the basque village of Ainhoa is listed among the most beautiful villages in France

Ainhoa guide


A long established beach resort, Saint-Jean-de-Luz also has a lively and popular town centre to explore

Saint-Jean-de-Luz guide


Once home to Maurice Ravel, Ciboure is a smal port and resort just south of Saint-Jean-de-Luz

Ciboure guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Pyrenees-Atlantiques

Tourist classifications for Sare

Sare is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Sare, Espelette, Bayonne, Aquitaine, 64310, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 43.312, longitude -1.58

Plan your visit to Sare, Pyrenees-Atlantiques

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

The French version of this page is at Sare (Francais)