Are you considering moving to the Pays Basque, but are still on the fence due to the clichés about the rainy weather or a non-existant economy? This article is for you. We’ll address these typical arguments and give you some more excuses to pack your bags.
Here are 5 Good reasons to live in the Pays Basque:
Basque cuisine is varied and has character, just like Basque inhabitants. The fare is heavily influenced by its close proximity to the ocean, Spain, and the rugged backcountry.
Espelette pepper is the most well-known Basque culinary staple, and is used throughout Basque cuisine. It’s not only used in sauces that accompany meat or fish, but is also found in Basque blood sausages and pâté, offering a subtle, spicy kick.
Sheep’s milk cheese (Ossau-Iraty), fresh fish, seafood, ham (Jambon de Bayonne), basque cake, black cherry jam, wine and beer are the other major specialties that the Pays Basque is known for. Chocolate from Bayonne is another notable delicacy. These alone would be a good enough reason to move to the Pays Basque indefinitely.
Such products can be found just about everywhere in the Pays Basque. Every town has its own respective market where the most authentic of these goods can be found. Even the huge supermarkets in the Pays Basque support local producers by selling locally made goods. It’s always better to go right to the source, though.
2. The Environment
Complete with stunning views of the Pyrénées, a rugged coastline and charming architecture, the Pays Basque isn’t exactly an eyesore. Not only do the invigorating surroundings refresh the spirit, but they also act as a playground for all ages.
World-class hiking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, bicycling, golfing, and horse-riding are common activities for the lovers of the great outdoors who are fortunate enough to live in the Pays Basque. If you’re not into outdoor sports, having a beer on a clean, sandy beach is another wonderful activity to take advantage of.
There are also more kid-friendly beaches in the Pays Basque compared to the Landes. The waves and currents aren’t as powerful, and the bay of Saint Jean de Luz is completely protected from waves.
With the close proximity to Spain, you can take a day-trip for a change of pace. Be sure to enjoy some Rioja and Tapas while you’re there. De Nada.
3. Moderate Climate
Despite its reputation for non-stop rain, the Pays Basque has a moderate climate throughout the year with weather fluctuations that are more than manageable. The fall and winter are cool (not cold), spring usually comes early, and the summer isn’t unbearably hot. Although it does rain often in the winter, it is rarely unrelenting. On average, the sun is present 50% of the time. Be sure to purchase a Basque Beret in order to protect yourself from the elements with style while respecting the cultural heritage of the Pays Basque.
If you’re a surfer, board shorts, or a 3/2 mm wetsuit is fine in the summer, but a 4/3mm wetsuit with booties, gloves and a hood are required throughout the winter months.
4. A Growing Economy With Low Unemployment
Unemployment in the Pays Basque region of France is lower than the rest of France (8,4% as opposed to 10,9%), and the number of job opportunities is growing steadily each year. The vast majority of jobs in the Pays Basque are based in the service, surf, aeronautics and food industries. However, there is an increasing number of young, innovative entrepreneurs and ‘digital nomads’ who are making their way to the Pays Basque in order to live the whole year in one of the most prized tourist destinations and enjoy an unparalleled quality of life.
Many major companies are transitioning to remote work, making it possible for city dwellers with city salaries to move to the Pays Basque and have a healthier, more fulfilling daily life revolving around life’s simple pleasures. The beach beats the périphérique any day.
5. Real Estate Holds Its Value
With such stunning surroundings and easy accessibility, investing in real estate in the Pays Basque most likely won’t put you at a future loss. As more people move to the Pays Basque, the value of real estate will only go up. This trend was especially apparent this year, as the COVID lockdowns demonstrated how important it is to live where you vacation.
Since the Pays Basque is such a popular destination for luxury tourism, investments can be rented at impressive rates, especially during the summer months.
Ready to Move?
If you’ve made up your mind and would like to live in the Pays Basque, contact O’Plus Immobilier so we can help you achieve your goals! If you don’t need help, be sure to stop by and say hello anyways. Our office is located inside one of the best flea markets in the Pays Basque, the “Brocante O’Plus”, which has been around for almost 30 years.