“Good mix” … the church in Ainhoa. Judith Iland in Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
“We did many excursions during our cruise – a mix of history, food, scenery and wine regions.
“Previously, we have hired a car and driven to the wine regions in Europe, but when we saw details of the cruise we thought it would be a leisurely way of visiting wine regions and other interesting ports, plus the bonus of having all the organisation done for you!
“One of the most interesting shore excursions was to the Basque Country. We left the port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and travelled through the countryside to visit a typical Basque village, Ainhoa. We did a walking tour down a beautiful street of timber-framed houses.
“The guide was excellent; she was so proud of her Basque history and gave us a brief history of the Basque people.
“In Ainhoa, there was also a beautiful church, three storeys high. As the congregation got bigger, the villagers would just build another storey. The men had to climb the stairs to the upper layers while the women and children stayed on the ground level.
“We then drove to another Basque village, Sare, where we visited a 16th-century farmhouse where cider was being produced using traditional methods.
“We tasted it served with local sheep cheese, cold meats and, for dessert, cherry pie.
“After the tour we were dropped back into Saint-Jean-de-Luz to walk around by ourselves. It’s a pretty seaside town and very easy to find your way around.
“To top off our day we had an afternoon tea of great coffee and delicious macaroons – the town is famous for them and they are to die for.
“Saint-Jean-de-Luz has a long sandy beach and the locals were sunbathing in the beautiful summer weather. We could see the Marina anchored just offshore and late in the afternoon we caught the tender back to the ship.”
Value for money
Judith and Patrick paid $155 each for the Basque excursion, which Judith felt was good value.
“It was a good mix of scenery, history, local food and produce, and the guide was one of the best we have had on all our cruises,” she says.
WHO Judith Iland, from Adelaide, on her sixth cruise.
WHAT A taste of the Basque Country, in the Pyrenees region of southern France. Basque Country is a region defined by its people and spans the border between France and Spain.
WHERE The shore excursion started and finished at the French port of Saint-Jean-de-Luz.
THE SHIP Judith cruised with her husband, Patrick, on a 16-night “Taste of Europe” cruise from Dover to Rome. They cruised on the Marina, a new ship for Oceania Cruises.
As told to Jane E. FraserHave you done an interesting shore excursion? Drop us a line at [email protected]南京夜网.au.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.