Bayonne Ham Fair, Easter festival in France

Written by on February 28, 2013 in Festivals and Carnivals

 Bayonne France

Among the delicious Basque specialties that can be enjoyed in Bayonne, in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques, south-west France, there are two that stand out from all the rest – ham and chocolate!

Ham has been produced in this area since the middle ages. Legend has it that in the 14th Century, local man Gaston Phoebus shot a boar which fell into some salt water surrounding the Salies de Béarn. There the body stayed until it was found the next season – in perfect condition and perfectly delicious.

A Ham Fair has been held in Bayonne during Easter week every year since 1426. Bayonne ham is made throughout the south-west regions of France but is called Bayonne ham as it was shipped all over Europe from the city’s port. This major fair is more than a market, it is a festive celebration with a vibrant but relaxed atmosphere.

There will be some fifty exhibitors who come to share their know-how and their finest, most succulent hams as they vie for the status of best ham producer of the year. Featuring some of the best products from the region not just ham – but local produce such as peppers from Espelette, foie gras, oysters, Basque cakes and spices. You’ll also find delicious cider produced in the area and often served from a huge barrel. Cider was traditionally made here for the pilgrims who journeyed to Compostela a thousand years ago.

Bayonne France

The Spanish influence is clear, you will also find taloas (Basque corn cakes) and piperade (a blend of fried peppers, onions and tomatoes) as well as Basque pintxos a kind of appetizer served on small pieces of bread and washed down with wine.

Sample the hams at the market and wander along the stalls surrounding the market along the bank of the river Nive to find cider, peppers, cheeses and all manner of delicious gourmet produce. Enjoy the free music as bands play in the streets and the famous Basque flute marching bands pass by.

While you’re in Bayonne, don’t miss the chance to try some chocolate. Bayonne is the home of chocolate in France where it’s been produced for the last 400 years.

More information from the Bayonne Tourist Office website.

Related Articles

Lille Braderie Europe’s Biggest Boot Fair!

The flea markets of France are well known, but the biggest and many say the best in Europe and one of the top flea markets in the world is the Braderie de Lille, northern France. This massive market takes place annually and lures crowds of treasure seekers and bargain hunters from around the globe. I […]

Continue Reading

Magical Son et Lumière Palais des Papes, Avignon In English

A son et lumière masterpiece takes place each year at the incredible Palais des Papes, in Avignon, Provence, once the home of Popes. Throughout the summer as night falls and the hot air cools, the palace is festooned in a riot of colour as if daubed with a magic paintbrush. Music booms across the magnificent […]

Continue Reading

Enter The Dragon In Calais!

The northern French town of Calais is going dragon crazy – and for a very good reason, a dragon-horse is visiting along with a giant spider and the town is putting on a very special welcome… Dragon Fever in an Incredible Free Show From June 23 to June 26 2016, the streets of Calais will […]

Continue Reading

Top Things To Do In Calais | Gigantic Machine Beasts Arrive!

Calais is to host the European debut of The Hidden Temple Show featuring a gigantic mechanical dragon-horse and a colossus of a spider in a mind-boggling, magical, free street show that will take place over four days in June 2016. The incredible and huge machines have been created by the master of machine puppetry, François […]

Continue Reading

Festival of Lights Lyon cancelled 2015

Update: Gérard Collomb, the Mayor of Lyon, has announced that, given the recent tragic events, the Fête des Lumières will not be able to take place in its usual manner – one of joy, poetry and celebration. Instead. the Fête des Lumières will be transformed into a vigil for the victims of the terrorist attacks in […]

Continue Reading


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Comments are closed.