Where + Wear: Chic Sightseeing in Pays Basque
As a female traveler, I constantly find myself searching for the same information prior to a trip: what do I wear? The crux is this: what’s the appropriate travel style for the destination that I’m about to explore that will allow me to look decent in photos without being inappropriately dressed for the landscape and situation? There are cultural customs to keep in mind, climate, landscape and topography, general dressiness of a locale and practicality. Check out this guide – and other guides in this series – for packing inspiration.
Join me in sharing your thoughts and tips for packing and travel fashion with a series of destinations around the globe. Download this quickie cheat sheet of travel style inspiration for Pays Basque, including some tips on where to stay, where to dine, and what to do. Pin this guide for a quick reference before your European escape!
Download the Pays Basque Travel Style Guide | The Wanderlust Effect for easy reading on iPad.
Vibe + Packing Tips
While most people’s minds drift to Spain when talking about Basque Country, that’s really only half the story. The French half of Basque Country, Pays Basque, is perhaps the lesser known neighbor which provides a contrasting experience replete with beautiful medieval French architecture and quaint towns out of a storybook. In the fall, expect perfect temperatures, in the low-70s on the coast, with warmer temperatures further inland. In the summer, prep for hot weather that will make the beach a serious draw.
Take a cue from the effortless French women that always look perfectly polished. Simplicity is key in Pays Basque.
Pays Basque captures the chic vibe that manages to permeate the whole of France. Think crisp button ups, perfect fitting pants, simple flats, and bed head that’s perfectly imperfect. For women, this is a near perfect uniform that will get you through days and nights in towns across the region. The resort town of Biarritz is one of the region’s exceptions, and a great opportunity to pull out your glitzier coastal wear for a five-star evening experience. A pair of chic shorts is a great add-on for particularly warm days of sightseeing. Depending on where you’re focusing in the region, sandals (great for beach towns like Biarritz or St. Jean-de-Luz), boots or espadrilles will fit the bill. Expect lots of cobblestone and uneven roads so choose your footwear accordingly. If you want a heel for a dressier night out, opt for wedges over stilettos so you can navigate the terrain comfortably. A crossbody bag will be a practical and chic way to tote your must-haves by day or night. If you’re a hat wearer, a packable hat with a mid-brim will help mask bad hair days while providing a little protection from the sun on particularly warm days.
Shop The Look
- Linen Button Up: Madewell Tie-Front Shirt (on sale, $59.90)
- Dark Wash Jeans: STS Ellie Skinny Jeans ($39)
- Shorts: Express Pleated Cuffed Shorts ($49.90) – my go-tos for work or play!
- Cushion Cross Body Bag: Tory Burch ‘Fleming’ Shoulder Bag ($498) | Trouvé Leather Crossbody Bag ($59)
- Ankle Boots: Naya Fisher Boot ($128) – my favorite traveling boot!
- Espadrilles: Rosi Espadrille Sandal ($178)
- Sunglasses: Karen Walker ‘Helter Skelter’ Sunglasses ($250)
- Straw Hat: Eric Javitz ‘Hampton’ Sun Hat ($198)
- Experience the glitzy resort town of Biarritz and the historic town of Bayonne
- Rent a car and road trip through the quaint towns of Pays Basque for a look into French Basque culture
Have you been to French Basque Country? What are your recommendations when packing for Pays Basque?