The Basque Country is a beautiful territory where we find the sea and the mountains. I am totally a fan of both and I am also a big indecisive ... So I decided to go in my 2 favourite environments for a weekend. What's better than the south-west of the Basque Country to enjoy it? On the program: hiking in Urrugne on Saturday and Hendaye beach on Sunday! In short, nature, sport and the beauty of Basque landscapes.
See the sea from the mountain ...
The open air, the rich fauna and flora of the Basque Country ... It is a place often neglected in summer for the benefit of the ocean, what a pity! It's so beautiful and peaceful. For this trip, I went to explore the heights of Urrugne by taking the path that leads to the Chapel of Mount Calvary, also called Basque Kalbarioa. The name can be scary but it's not so exhausting as it looks! After 15 minutes by car, we park at the end of the path of Calvary near the farm Larretcheko Borda and off we go !
The climb is rather steep but I try to convince myself when going up that the view will be splendid. It takes about 30 minutes to get to the Chapel. It is steep but accessible to everyone by taking their time and what a reward once arrived at the top. We enjoy a breathtaking view of the surroundings, the mountain, the ocean and during our visit, dozens of horses were present to sublimate the whole. Wow! I stayed blown. It even seems that if you are lucky, you will see "betizoaks", wild cows.
At the top of Mont Calvaire, the horses and the Landes in the distance
At the Chapelle, we meet Michel, 70 years old, who lives a few minutes from here. He tells us that he goes hiking every Sunday with his friends and wants to show us around. He has a very good health and we had to ask him for severals breaks to catch our breath in the coasts, while he told us 1001 stories about the region, the Ibardin dam and his busy life. I loved to walk around here but with such a guide, it's even more fun!
Michel, our wonderful guide of the day
From the Chapel, we see the surroundings at 360 °, it is an incredible beauty despite the mist that has risen. Michel points us Fontabari, a small town in Spain that must visit apparently, Socoa, Biarritz and the coast of the Landes that can be seen from here!
End of the hike. In the distance, it's Spain!
It is time for us to come back down and join our accommodation of the day: Azureva Hendaye Galbarreta. This typical establishment offers a magnificent view of the surrounding area and we look forward to enjoying the panoramic terrace. There is even a fitness center and a pediment! It makes you want to extend the stay ...
The beautiful hotel Azureva Village, ideal to rest while enjoying the view. Photo provided by Azureva Hotel
If you want to continue the adventure in the nature, go and be full of sensations in the theme park Oihana! Located in Urrugne, you can test with family or friends paintball, tree climbing ...
Oihana theme park, a zip line ride? Photo provided by Oihana Park
Sunday is beach time! We go at the sea side and we choose to install our towels on the Grande Plage from which we see the beautiful mountains and even La Rhune! Spain is 2 steps or 2 brews for good swimmers, just last the coastal river La Bidassoa.
The beautiful Hendaye beach
I know the beaches of the Basque Country well and what I like especially with those of Hendaye, it is that one has foot very far. It's reassuring for both children and adults and it's also ideal for learning to surf! We will not leave the Basque Country without having tried the experience! I advise you to go through Surf Division. The atmosphere is very friendly and the instructors very friendly and diplomats with novices! It is a real pleasure to spend some time in the sea and to see progress, little by little ...
photo : Surf Division
I take a little height to better admire their technique
It is also very pleasant to walk along the seaside by taking the promenade or to take a walk in this beautiful lively city of Hendaye. For the more courageous, Hendaye is also the starting point of the GR10, this hiking trail that crosses all the Pyrenees and passes through Bidarray, Saint-Jean-pied-de-Port ... I had a 2 days trip in this area, and I tell you this adventure in an article. I loved it!
Near 900km of marked trails across the Pyrenees!
After all those activites , it's time to get some rest and here I have 3 excellent places to recommend!
The center Serge Blanco is a small nugget! Photo provided by Serge Blanco center
Now that you are so close to Spain, why not take a short tour to the southern Basque Country (Spain)?
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Article written by Mélanie Oliva for the Basque Country Guide