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Fort de Socoa - the Medieval pearl of the Basque coast
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The western part of the bay of St Jean de Luz slowly merges with the petite hamlet of Socoa. The entrance to the bay is defended by Fort de Socoa – a medieval-like fortification with breathtaking natural surroundings, and an all-time-favourite off-beat destination in France.

Care to know more about the history, the character, and the touring details about Fort de Socoa? Here is how we experienced the place.

The History of Fort de Socoa

The erection of Fort de Socoa was initiated during the reign of Henri IV at the very end of the 16th century. Still, its most celebrated element – the circular tower – was constructed in 1627 under the command of Louis XIV. By this time, the fort is essentially an islet, accessible by foot only at low tide.

Later, by the end of the 17th century, the renowned French military architect and engineer Vauban paid a visit to Fort de Socoa and sketched a design for a road, connecting the fortification to the shore. He also planned and constructed a set of barrack houses in the inner area at the foot of the tower.

That’s how Fort de Socoa reached its final outlook, which is nowadays available for tourists and visitors. It served as a defensive fort until the middle of the 19th century. It was later assigned to the Customs services, then used for sailing-related activities, before finally opening to the public as a tourist location.

What is there to see in and around the fort

The fort is famous for its massive central tower, which is essentially medieval when it comes to architectural style.

The tower has three floors with gun openings, a cellar, and an open roof where defensive cannons were installed. The eastern side of the tower has a spiral staircase that is overlooking the sea. The tower is enclosed by a loopholed interior wall with an uneven square form.

The scenery around the tower is truly breathtaking and is honestly a good enough reason to pay a visit. Walking along the sea wall and feeling the waves crashing beneath your feet is a feeling worth experiencing, although you need to be particularly careful during strong winds.

The area is particularly tourist-friendly, with a lot of hotels and restaurants less than a kilometer away from the fortress. So, all you need to do is reach out and seize the adventure.

Avenue du Commandant Passicot, 64500 Ciboure, France

Where is it on the Map?

Avenue du Commandant Passicot, 64500 Ciboure, France

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The western part of the bay of St Jean de Luz slowly merges with the petite hamlet of Socoa. The entrance to the bay is defended by Fort de Socoa – a medieval-like fortification with breathtaking natural surroundings, and an all-time-favourite off-beat destination in France.

Care to know more about the history, the character, and the touring details about Fort de Socoa? Here is how we experienced the place.

The History of Fort de Socoa

The erection of Fort de Socoa was initiated during the reign of Henri IV at the very end of the 16th century. Still, its most celebrated element – the circular tower – was constructed in 1627 under the command of Louis XIV. By this time, the fort is essentially an islet, accessible by foot only at low tide.

Later, by the end of the 17th century, the renowned French military architect and engineer Vauban paid a visit to Fort de Socoa and sketched a design for a road, connecting the fortification to the shore. He also planned and constructed a set of barrack houses in the inner area at the foot of the tower.

That’s how Fort de Socoa reached its final outlook, which is nowadays available for tourists and visitors. It served as a defensive fort until the middle of the 19th century. It was later assigned to the Customs services, then used for sailing-related activities, before finally opening to the public as a tourist location.

What is there to see in and around the fort

The fort is famous for its massive central tower, which is essentially medieval when it comes to architectural style.

The tower has three floors with gun openings, a cellar, and an open roof where defensive cannons were installed. The eastern side of the tower has a spiral staircase that is overlooking the sea. The tower is enclosed by a loopholed interior wall with an uneven square form.

The scenery around the tower is truly breathtaking and is honestly a good enough reason to pay a visit. Walking along the sea wall and feeling the waves crashing beneath your feet is a feeling worth experiencing, although you need to be particularly careful during strong winds.

The area is particularly tourist-friendly, with a lot of hotels and restaurants less than a kilometer away from the fortress. So, all you need to do is reach out and seize the adventure.

Avenue du Commandant Passicot, 64500 Ciboure, France

Where is it on the Map?

Avenue du Commandant Passicot, 64500 Ciboure, France

Explore more places in Europe

See more in Can't retrieve term. In case if you changed taxonomy slug for this term, please update widget settings to use new taxonomy slug.
Explore more nearby places in France

The western part of the bay of St Jean de Luz slowly merges with the petite hamlet of Socoa. The entrance to the bay is defended by Fort de Socoa – a medieval-like fortification with breathtaking natural surroundings, and an all-time-favourite off-beat destination in France.

Care to know more about the history, the character, and the touring details about Fort de Socoa? Here is how we experienced the place.

The History of Fort de Socoa

The erection of Fort de Socoa was initiated during the reign of Henri IV at the very end of the 16th century. Still, its most celebrated element – the circular tower – was constructed in 1627 under the command of Louis XIV. By this time, the fort is essentially an islet, accessible by foot only at low tide.

Later, by the end of the 17th century, the renowned French military architect and engineer Vauban paid a visit to Fort de Socoa and sketched a design for a road, connecting the fortification to the shore. He also planned and constructed a set of barrack houses in the inner area at the foot of the tower.

That’s how Fort de Socoa reached its final outlook, which is nowadays available for tourists and visitors. It served as a defensive fort until the middle of the 19th century. It was later assigned to the Customs services, then used for sailing-related activities, before finally opening to the public as a tourist location.

What is there to see in and around the fort

The fort is famous for its massive central tower, which is essentially medieval when it comes to architectural style.

The tower has three floors with gun openings, a cellar, and an open roof where defensive cannons were installed. The eastern side of the tower has a spiral staircase that is overlooking the sea. The tower is enclosed by a loopholed interior wall with an uneven square form.

The scenery around the tower is truly breathtaking and is honestly a good enough reason to pay a visit. Walking along the sea wall and feeling the waves crashing beneath your feet is a feeling worth experiencing, although you need to be particularly careful during strong winds.

The area is particularly tourist-friendly, with a lot of hotels and restaurants less than a kilometer away from the fortress. So, all you need to do is reach out and seize the adventure.

Avenue du Commandant Passicot, 64500 Ciboure, France

Where is it on the Map?

Avenue du Commandant Passicot, 64500 Ciboure, France