Wildlife & Plant Life

During your walks you will see the rich and varied wildlife and plant life of the Basque Country. Here are some of the most typical examples:

Wildlife

Pottok

Miniature Basque horses: You will almost certainly come across these in the mountains (pronounce: pot-yok).

This particular race which only exists in the Basque Country is the descendent of a prehistoric horse. It is perfectly suited to life in the mountains. This small horse was for many years used in both farming and mining.

The pottok is a wild, but docile and generous animal.

crédit photo cdt 64

Manex sheep: In the Basque Country we breed a particular race of sheep known as Manex (pronounce man-esh).

They are easily distinguishable with their black heads and curved horns.

Their milk is used to make Ardi Gasna (sheep's cheese).

crédit photo cdt 64

Betisoak: Wild cattle

On the slopes of La Rhune you will perhaps have the occasion to meet Betisoak, wild cattle which roam freely in the mountains.

Their coat is white/grey, they have large horns and live in herds.

Birds of prey : During your walks, don't forget to look up into the sky to see the birds of prey which inhabit our region: falcons, buzzards, ravens and even vultures. 

Plant life

It is true that "the Basque Country is green" since it is home to particular plant and tree species:

  • Blue endive
  • Evergreen rose bush
  • Immortelle des dunes
  • Chrithme and its sweet citronella smell
  • American oak
  • Chestnut tree
  • Birch