Bordeaux, Biarritz and Bayonne are good bases.
Saint Jean de Luz , in the south, or Arcachon are smaller alternatives.
You can fly to Bordeaux with Easyjet or British Airways.
Easyjet and Ryanair both fly to Biarritz. Various airlines fly to Pau (which is worth a visit: see pau-pyrenees.com) and Bergerac (which isn’t).
Don’t forget the wonderful train network. From St Pancras International you can take the train to Bordeaux, changing in either Paris or Lille.
See raileurope.co.uk or eurostar.com.
Cycle across the Spanish border
At dawn every Monday in the tiny village of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, livestock and lambs take to the streets en route to the market on Place du Trinquet.
Once you’ve wandered the street stalls for your cheese and baguettes, hire a bike and pedal the 8km across the border into Spain.
How to experience it: For more information see pyrenees-basques.com.