Basque Pelota


There isn’t a village without its wall for playing the Basque game of Pelota

The most common versions are bare-hand Pelota (basic game without equipment) and Grand Chistera (a very spectacular speciality played against a wall where teams of 3 Basque Pelota players battle it out.

The chistera glove made of willow can propel the ball at more than 200 km/h and there is also Cesta Punta (athletic game where teams of 2 players face off on a special arena surrounded by 3 walls called Jai Alai).

Trying it with a Basque ball

The name of Basque pelota includes several ball games that take place in a playground called the cancha and are played against a front: it includes a variety of specialties such as the bare hand, the limpio (or chistera joko garbi), the cesta punta, the paleta leather and pala corta which is played with a wooden pala, the hollow rubber paleta which is played with an exotic wooden paleton, the full rubber paleta, the most famous specialty, xare, pasaka, which is one of the oldest Basque pelota specialties, rebot, which is played by teams on a pediment in a free place, or frontenis, a hybrid specialty between tennis and pelota.

The introduction to Basque pelota is an original and essential idea when you stay in the Basque country: a family activity par excellence, it will take place, depending on the specialty taught, on a pediment, a trinquet or a “wall on the left”. The many local clubs offer internships, introductory sessions or even individual classes that allow you to try your hand at the local discipline.

Embodying Basque culture, pelota is the subject of competitions and demonstrations not to be missed during your stay: atmosphere guaranteed!

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