© Espelette 

07 March 2023  |  Tourism, Nature

Espelette, charming village in the heart of the Basque Coast

Espelette, a bit of history

Espelette, in Basque: Ezpeleta, comes from the surname of a noble family from Navarre, the barons of Ezpeleta, to whom the territory of Espelette belonged to for several years.

They built a castle-fortress with 5 towers which were used to monitor the area. There remains today only one tower and a plan of the enclosure which houses the Tourist Welcome Office, the Town Hall and temporary exhibitions.

The Castle of the Barons of Ezpeleta

The Barons of Ezpeleta built a castle around the year 1000. Baroness Juliana Henriquez died and left her descendants in 1964 to the inhabitants of Espelette.

The corner tower was listed in the inventory of Historic Monuments in 1937, and the entire castle in 1993 houses permanent exhibitions.

Free or group visits of 45 min.

Address: Château des Barons d'Ezpeleta 145 Karrika Nagusia 64250 ESPELETTE

A pleasant and charming village

The village of Espelette is mainly famous for its village, but especially for its pepper. It is a picturesque village with pretty shops of local artisans and producers.

A warm atmosphere with small café terraces and traditional restaurants. Ideal for strolling around the village and taking the time to enjoy your vacation.

Espelette pepper

Origin: The Espelette pepper originally comes from Mexico, where explorers brought the pepper back to their homes but we don't know how or why it arrived in Espelette.

It appears on the Basque lands from 1650's.

It was originally grown to replace pepper which was expensive at the time, it was also used to season and preserve meats and hams.

An ancestral culture

They were planted in May and harvested from August to December. At the end of the summer the peppers were placed on the facades of the houses to dry them, then in the bread oven to make them crunchy. This know-how has been passed on from generation to generation and has not changed. Today, few producers dry the peppers on the facades of houses.

Chilli in three ways

It can be harvested whole and fresh and very red. Intended for professionals to be dried and powdered.

In a string of minimum 20 peppers and maximum 100.

It can bring a touch of decoration to your home, but can also be used for cooking. In powder for it can be used to spice up dishes, just as we use pepper.

Share this article


Amélie Roca

I am a Community Manager for Pure France as well as the host of Pure France TV, presenting high quality rental homes all over France.

See more from Amélie Roca

Where in France


Open on Google maps

Villas & Châteaux in France

 Find your perfect French holiday home...

© Pure France.™ All rights reserved.

Choose language