Place Floquet at St Jean Pied de Port!

Well the title says Place Floquet but it could easily be the off the beaten path of  Saint Jean de Pied in the Basque country of France. This is a memorable spot where we have followed a local store even when they are visiting my now Morbihan breton for the gastronomic fairs. I have several posts on Saint Jean Pied de  Port but would like to tell you a bit about a spot in town.

We visited the town and saw the monuments as written in previous posts. However, there is one spot very dear to us and this is the reason of this post. Let me tell you a bit on the Place Floquet and al.

The square Floquet is name after  Charles Floquet, born at No. 33 rue de la Citadelle (1828-1896), a Republican lawyer who was a minister under the Third Republic. Here you now have a wonderful upper park which is part of the square and same name.

Saint Jean Pied de Port

There are many nice shops around here many of which we have patronized on our trips to Saint Jean Pied de Port such as

At 16 Place Floquet , the quaint nice  Hotel des  Remparts, very picturesque and should be a nice stayed here, not tried as we come usually from Toulouse or Pau for the day.  There is also, the Hôtel-Restaurant Etche Ona, at 15 place Floquet.

To eat, snack, apéro à la Française we came to the popular  Café Ttipia 2, place Floquet, that locals call Chez Peio.  Iberian plates, homemade cold meats, long wooden tables inside, large screen for match days like in rugby, and a beautiful terrace under the foliage. At Peio  you lives the countryside.

For a more refine cuisine come to the wonderful Restaurant Café de la Paix, traditional and typical basque cuisine, in the heart of the city at 4 Place Floquet. For eat out , take home the wonderful cold cuts of the Basques at La Ferme Elizaldia with homemade cold meats and regularly awarded Bayonne ham at 14 place Floquet .

For the shopper inclined this is heavens as well, with the wonderful linens and ready to wear at Galeries de Garazi, 7 place Floquet and Miss Tinguette at 5 place Floquet.

The Place Floquet is a popular bus station in Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port served by ALSA and BlaBlaCar stop at 18 Place Floquet. There is nice parking right here at place Floquet! free!!!

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Time for a bit more on the town of Saint Jean Pied de Port!

Saint Jean Pied de Port with its streets paved with pink sandstone from the flanks of the Arradoy; tall houses with Basque red half-timbering and engraved lintels; an impregnable citadel built by the precursors of Vauban, and La Nive which rolls its white water flush with the bridges in the direction of the Adour. 8 km from the Spanish border, you will understand at first glance why this modest capital of Lower Navarre the most visited town in this area.

It was baptized Donibane Garazi in Basque, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port was indeed founded at the end of the 12C in order to protect the passage of the river and the access to the passes of Roncevaux and Bentarte. This is why Charles II of Navarre purposely called it “the key to my kingdom”. Judiciously placed equidistant from Puy-en-Velay and Santiago de Compostela at about 800 km, it is, in all seasons, the obligatory crossing point for pilgrims of Saint-James (Santiago), who very often end the first section of their path there, or else their journey to Spain begins there. The welcome house is at , 39 rue de la Citadelle and the boutique des Pelerins is at 32 rue de la  Citadelle.

And our fav store here which we always stop by and follow them on fairs around France especially right in Vannes, Morbihan our capital city and by now good customers and friend of the house.  The Maison Gastellou! with the best shop at 9 rue d’Espagne short straight walk to Place Floquet where we sat in the park above Place Floquet to have our lunch with a view of the city! Here you come for the Bayonne ham, Roncal brebis(ewe) (goat) cheese, basque sangria with piment espelettes,and delicious cherry and apple gateau basque or basque cakes!!

Peasants, farmers, breeders for several generations at the Poutzia farm located in Saint-Jean-le-Vieux,(where there is now a very good market, and we loaded on Irouléguy wines and Ossau-Iraty goat cheese)  the Gastellou family raises, prepares, cooks and conditions all of its production according to the rules of the art, while respecting tradition. You have to see the context in which calves, cows and other pigs evolve (visit by appointment)! Twenty hectares of forests, far from industrial farming chains. We find in the butcher’s shop rue d’Espagne, the company’s parent company, the Gastellou spirit. Aquitaine blonde, Bayonne and Garazi dry hams, Basque sausages, chorizos, ventrèches, rillettes, pâtés and Basque sausages but also many dishes cooked in jars, without forgetting the essential Ossau-Iraty cheeses from local producers. Finally, and from a recipe kept jealously secret, Basque cakes with cream and whole cherries, simply exceptional, homemade in line with the products mentioned above. It’s 4 shops and an online site that offer all the products.

Their official webpage is here: Maison Gastellou

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Saint Jean Pied de Port

Saint Jean Pied de Port

You get here by car best of course. The different options are given officially here. From Bordeaux via the A 63 highway/motorway: Exit Bayonne then 50 km via Bayonne, Cambo les Bains on the D 932 road. From Toulouse via the A 64 highway/motorway: Exit Orthez / Salies de Béarn then 60 km via Orthez, Salies de Béarn and Saint-Palais via de D 933 road. From Pau via A 64 and D 933: via Orthez and Saint-Palais. From Bayonne by D 932 and from Pamplona in Spain by the C135 and D933: via Roncevaux and Arnéguy.

The train station for the TGV is at Bayonne rain station ,the TGV from Paris, Talgo to Madrid, and the Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port SNCF station:at Avenue Renaud. Closest airport but never come this way so need to inquire as to how to get to SJPP, Bayonne-Anglet-Biarritz International Airport: Pau-Pyrénées International Airport; San Sebastian International Airport: Spain, Bilbao International Airport Spain: all in Basque country.

For the anecdote I have come here from Pau and Lacanau-Océan. From Pau we came by Gan on the N134 then Oloron Sainte Marie here we took the D919 to pass by Aramits , yes the town of the muskeeteer! we took the D26 to go further up into the mountains to Larrau and after the D19 then D18 to Saint Jean Le Vieux and hook up with the D933 to Saint Jean Pied de Port! All along the Pyrénées very high mountain roads sometimes on second gear! a thrill see my post on the roads here.

From Lacanau-Océan in the Médoc of Bordeaux we took the D5 to hook up with the autoroute A63 aka Route des Estuaires and around Bayonne we took the D932 direction Cambo les Bains and then Saint Jean Pied de Port! Hope it helps

Some further webpages to help you plan your trip here and its a must me think are

City of St Jean Pied de Port on heritage in French: City of St Jean Pied de Port

Tourist office of St Jean Pied de Port: Tourist office of Saint Jean Pied de Port

The Xacobeo French camino to Santiago de Compostela in French: Xacobeo camino de Santiago from St Jean Pied de Port

And Saint Jean Pied de Port is one of the most beautiful villages of FranceLes Plus Beaux Villages de France on St Jean Pied de Port

There you go a wonderful town to visit and most often due to the camino to Santiago but it needs to be seen other ways like we did up close and personal for a wonderful memorable experience for all; see Saint Jean Pied de Port!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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