The most beautiful hikes in the Basque Country!

Bayonne
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A little sport during the holidays? Want to gain height? That's good…. Between the steep ledges of its coast or from the Pyrenees passes , you will be served. Whether you are a walker, hiker or a beginner true sportsman, here is our selection of hikes in the Basque country to survey the territory. Put on your walking shoes or sneakers, let's go!

Photo credit, opening photo: Ludovic Tristan CC BY-NC 2.0

Discover the Basque coast by the coastal path

It is a must ! Departing from Bidart, a family hike of 25 km, lasting 5 to 7 hours, depending on your level, will bring you to Hendaye, on the Spanish border. In the background, the path offers a beautiful panorama of the Pyrenees . The Basque and Spanish mountains are linked: La Rhune, the Three Crowns and the Jaizkibel .

Many points of view deserve breaks and photos: The hill of Sainte-Barbe and its atypical chapel, the charming port of Guéthary , the beaches of Lafitenia and Erromardie ... The coves, the peaks follow one another before your eyes ... In particular, the bays of Saint Jean de Luz and Hendaye are majestic.

At the Parlementia surf spot , on certain days, when the weather is good, the spectacle awaits you ... In addition to the entertainment, signs explain the birth of these extraordinary waves. It is also an opportunity to spot beautiful places to visit, such as the Château d'Abbadia , a neo-Gothic observatory built on plans by Viollet-Le-Duc. And to end the walk, Hendaye beach provides you with a well-deserved rest with a view of the "Twins" . These two rocks show us the power of nature and this impressive ledge .

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Coastal path

Coastal path

 

Climbing the Rhune


La Rhune is known for its picturesque little rack train but it is above all a mountain range which gives you the opportunity to experience hiking from the simplest level to the most sporty.

For families, we will start slowly ... You drive to the Col de Saint-Ignace . You park quietly in the parking lot. And there we go for a lazy little train ride . Once at the top, you enjoy the view and descend on foot. Only constraint, the queue can be long ... Better to be early! You can also do the opposite to spice things up a bit…

To be more sporty, six circuits of different levels are available to you. From the Col de Saint-Ignace, therefore, and without the little train! But you can also start from Sare, Ascain, Olhette , or the Lizuniaga pass . Technical, elevation, duration, Spanish or French side ... there is something for everyone!

To make you want, no need to tell you about the view, between sea and mountains , it is necessarily exceptional. Whatever your choice of departure, you walk the winding mountain paths , cross the beautiful forests of the country, its meadows and herds of sheep ... Go one last surprise, if you are lucky, you can admire Pottoks , a real curiosity!

Summit of the Rhune
Sommet de la Rhune, photo by: Ludovic Tristan CC BY-NC 2.0

The Little Train of the Rhune The Pottocks
Le Petit train de la Rhune, Photo by Franck Barré CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 & Les Pottoks en haut de la Rhune, photo by Olivier_c11 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Climb the Jaizkibel


We now suggest that you cross the border and try a new ascent on the Spanish side . From Hondarribia , you will walk the Saint-Jacques de Compostelle path . The climb is certainly steep but it prepares you for a sacred spectacle . From the summit, you overlook Irun, Hondarribia, Hendaye, San Sebastian, Pasaia, Renteria… It is dizzying and breathtaking !

Jaizkibel Photos of: Iune trecet CC BY-SA 2.0
Jaizkibel Photos of: Iune trecet CC BY-SA 2.0

Jaizkibel Photos of: Iune trecet CC BY-SA 2.0
Jaizkibel Photos of: Iune trecet CC BY-SA 2.0

Ibardin pass and Xoldokogaina lake


Three hiking options are available to you. Of an average difficulty and a duration of 4h30, the loop of the Ibardin pass is the longest of the three. For the other two, whether you start from the pass or from Urrugne, they are very easy and last around 2h30. You walk on the smugglers' trails… A breath of fresh air awaits you around the Xoldokogaina lake . Whichever you choose, you will enjoy splendid views of the typical Urrugne village , the Landes coast and the Rhune mountains , Ursuia, and the Three Crowns.

The little extra: a probable encounter with the herds of Pottoks and B etisoak ! But what is this beast there ... Cows! A rustic species native to the Basque Country, to be more precise. Consult a hiking guide

Small flat, it is an artificial water reservoir by a dam and swimming is therefore prohibited.

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Ibardin hike, Photo: pl3298 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Ibardin hike, Photo: pl3298 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Ibardin Hike, Credits Photos: pl3298 CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

In the Footsteps of Roland


After the violence of the ocean and the harshness of the mountains , the Basque Country reveals the sweetness of its heart to us . We get off the tourist trails to discover a nice walk . The word game is easy ... So we could say that we are walking on a ballad background ... Our poet's soul, in front of so much beauty, lulled by the song of the river, has only to express itself!

To say more would be to reveal its secrets ... You are tempted, our full article here .

Le Pas de Roland, Photo: Lesley Williamson

Le Pas de Roland, Photo: Lesley Williamson

Between hiking and canyoning, descend the Ehujarré and Kakuetta gorges


The gorges are highly renowned natural sites in Europe. From Sainte-Engrace, there are no less than eight hiking trails . So you have what to do ... Walkways, paths and stairs carved into the rock, even if they are not very difficult, they are nevertheless aimed at a sports audience.

And for lovers of stronger sensations, canyoning will fill you. Between waterfalls and basins , beautiful descents are also available.

For more information, see our article on the Kakuetta Gorge .

Kakuetta Lesley Williamson

Photo: Kakuetta Gorge Photo credit: Lesley Williamson

Aïnhoa and its chapel


The village of Aïnhoa is a magnificent village. Its typical houses , in shimmering colors on an immaculate white background, make it a perfect starting point for an easy loop hike of 2h30 on average. The route takes you between meadows and forests. Discoidal stelae , mountains as far as the eye can see and the charming Aubépine chapel await you at the top.

AINHOA footpath, photo by Julen Ruiz Luzuriaga CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
AINHOA footpath, photo by Julen Ruiz Luzuriaga CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Explore the historic center of Bayonne on foot


For walkers, followers of the city, 2000 years of history are to be discovered. Old districts , canals, old houses, ramparts and great monuments , you should not hesitate to get lost in its alleys to fall on the treasures of its heritage . And as you wander freely, accompanied, or really guided, you will get to know this city with a rich past, soak up Basque art and culture .

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Find out more about the city of Bayonne .

A guided tour of the city? To contact the tourist office, it's here .

You prefer to visit a workshop or learn more about local crafts, see our page , unless it is the museums that interest you, or a little shopping ,…

Guided tour of Bayonne

Guided tour of Bayonne Photo credit: OT de Bayonne, information sheet

Bayonne Lesley Williamson Bayonne Lesley Williamson
Bayonne, photo by: Lesley Williamson

Whether you prefer a coastal path or a mountain path, between the ocean and the Pyrenees, the Basque Country offers itself in all its forms. And this is just a glimpse of the many treasures of the region…

You want to know more ? Become unbeatable in the Basque Country


Did you like our article? Find others on our Blog . Follow us on the Facebook page of the Basque Country Guide and on Instagram @guidedupaysbasque.


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