The 8 best workshops to do in the Basque Country

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The best workshops in the Basque Country: a diverse and exciting selection to discover the region alongside its local artisans.

A land of many cultural, architectural and scenic attractions, the Basque Country is a favorite destination for French people and travelers from all over the world. Outdoor activities are followed by gourmet breaks and seaside pleasures.

But there’s much more to discover: local artisans who love their region and perpetuate unique, age-old skills. So why not get hands-on with them for a few hours?

The reward: you leave with a big smile, new skills and a personalized object. Here are the 8 best workshops to do in the Basque Country.

1. Metal

Here’s a 6-hour workshop in the Basque Country, in Baucau to be precise, that appeals to adventurers and lovers of rustic materials. The idea? Make your own knife for €330. Cutlery is a fine, meticulous and secret art: it will take you no less than 6 hours to make your own folding knife.

Of course, François will guide and support you every step of the way. This enthusiastic master craftsman will introduce you to the precise gestures that punctuate the various stages: plates, blade, making and adjusting the spring, grinding the blade, shaping the handle, finishing and finally… sharpening.

Well, let’s face it. You won’t want to go hunting in the forest with your custom-made knife, but you’ll want to tackle the local ham…

2. Wood

Atelier au Pays Basque

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See you in Biarritz! The coolest and most cosmopolitan of Basque towns: just like Sylvain. Sylvain is passionate about wood and gliding, and is now a Shaper trainer. In the Shaper House, you’ll meet some of the top names in the sport and in the craft of surfing and skateboarding.

Proud of his region’s focus on board sports, Sylvain finally set up his workshop in the Basque Country and invites you to build your own skateboard for 3 hours, all for €195. Pintail or mini cruiser, Sylvain will share with you all his secrets for shaping a dream board.

Once you’ve chosen your template, you’ll need to cut it out, then get a firm grip on a saw, a sander and a drill for your trucks and wheels. Then it’s time for the best part of the day: decorating your board. Grip gluing, color sprays, tinted resins or varnish – the only limit to customization is your imagination.

3. Leather

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Bidart, this pretty town nestled between land and sea, authentic and warm, offers great escapades. In its charming town center, you’ll also find Lucie’s boutique, a leatherworker who values the diversity of materials and eco-responsibility in the world of textiles.

In her workshop in the Basque country, she offers you the chance to make your own handbag for €259. It’s a unique experience in two parts: a bit of theory, then a lot of practice: tracing, pattern-making, cutting and operating a sewing machine. For 2 hours, Lucie will guide you in your choice of leathers from a wide range of colors and materials.

Fir green, metallic bronze, Italian suede: it’s best to mix and match to create something absolutely unique and refined. Once you’ve stitched the last stitch and turned over the leather, you’ll be free to walk around with your chic, trendy handbag (unless you find a lucky friend to give it to).

4. Gourmand

Atelier au Pays Basque

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If there’s one thing almost everyone can agree on: it’s chocolate! Few people can resist this dopamine-boosting indulgence. Cyril’s chocolate is a guaranteed delight! In his workshop in the Basque country, this artisan chocolatier invites you to work the cocoa beans and make your own chocolate bar, all for €45.

In his gourmet world, two hours go by in a second. First, he teaches you the secrets of making good chocolate before handing over the controls of his workshop. Prepare to roast, peel and knead your beans.

Then conch and mold the chocolate, mixing ingredients to suit your tastes and desires. While your sweet is crystallizing and its aromas are diffusing: make way for an exclusive tasting of Cyril’s chocolates! Hum…

5. Urban agriculture

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Who doesn’t know Espelette pepper? Discover this red gold, spicy and tasty, during workshops in the Basque Country devoted entirely to agroforestry. Today, Stéphane opens the doors to his organic production. Step into his skin as a fruit picker.

A number of steps await you during this four-hour workshop. First, identify the stage of flowering and ripeness of the pepper, based on its color and size. The Piment d’Espelette PDO specifications are rigorous! Then it’s time for manual labor in the heart of the fields: tarpaulin covering, planting, staking, manual weeding, hoeing, greenhouse storage, stalking on racks and final drying: the stages are meticulous and exciting.

Of course, you won’t leave the workshop without a jar of Espelette chilli pepper, with its harmonious, authentic aroma. However, as the chillies are harvested at the end of August, you’ll need to visit the Basque country at this time to enjoy this activity. Stéphane offers this workshop for €75.

6. Paper

Atelier au Pays Basque

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Christine, artisan engraver, carries on the family tradition. She has always been passionate about art, architecture and design, just as her artist parents were. Sensitive to images and words, she has chosen engraving to express her creativity.

She takes you to her favorite playground. Her workshop in the Basque country takes place right in the middle of the village of Guéthary. During this activity, you try your hand at engraving on a recycled CD ROM. Applied and concentrated, you draw your own grooves with your « dry point » and according to your inspiration.

Then you choose the color of your inking. You’ll see: taming ink and colors isn’t as easy as it sounds! However, after 2h30 of work, the final result is magical. For €30, Christine will send you at least two paper prints of your engraved work, plus your CD.

7. Glass

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Bayonne, home of the emblematic ham, is also home to other marvels. Among them, one of the best workshops to be done in the Basque Country! Mojgan, a stained glass artisan, offers you the chance to make your own stained glass object for €85.

It’s all up to you: choose between a photophore or a vase, select your colors, cut the glasses, apply copper ribbons, solder and, finally, apply a patina and antioxidant to the soldering.

After a 3-hour workshop, you’ll leave enchanted by your creation, but also under the spell of Mojgan’s refined universe, which draws its inspiration from her different practices (painting, calligraphy and digital arts) and her Iranian origins.

8. Plant

Atelier au Pays Basque

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Discover the poetic world of Céline. Sensitive to nature and its wonders, she finds inspiration in it to create each of her fresh and dried compositions, floral wreaths and objets d’art. Céline lives in the Landes region, a stretch of coastline renowned for its natural beauty.

An ambassador for authentic craftsmanship and respect for seasonality, she’ll be delighted to share an hour and a half with you. During one of her workshops in the Basque Country, you’ll learn the basics of floral art and compose your own creation, all for €40. Bouquet or wreath: it’s up to you. Either way, Céline is there to guide you through every step of the process: knotting, layering, assembling.