Irun and Hondarribia, a discovery of natural spaces in the Bidasoa region

Irun
Irun and Hondarribia, ...

Nature lovers, you will be delighted to join Gipuzkoa in the south of the Basque Country, which includes the Bidasoa region with the cities of Irun and Hondarribia. Between sea, mountain and river, they are ideal destinations to escape and practice numerous activities such as hiking, surfing, diving or mountain biking. Direction Irún and Hondarribia, the Bidasoa region is pleasant at any time of the year.

mount jaizkibel


The Aiako Harria Natural Park

Located in the foothills of the Pyrenees, this uniquely beautiful park presents a mosaic of mountains and gorges, a breathtaking panorama in the Bidasoa region. Ideal for hiking or cycling, its riches are varied :

  • Geological with fossil remains of marine animals dating back over 300 million years,
  • Botanical since we cannot ignore the forests of oaks, beeches and chestnut trees dotted by the rivers,
  • Animal with 170 vertebrate species that inhabit this natural paradise where birds migrate every year.

You can also take a guided tour of nine natural draw calcination furnaces, a historic complex in the Irugutzeta mining area which was used to eliminate the carbonates that had to be separated from the mineral upon arrival.


The Aiako Harria Natural Park is a must in the Bidasoa region

aiako Harria
aiako Harria

Mount San Marcial

In the municipality of Irun is Mount San Marcial, initially known from Albade. In the 16th century, the Captain General of Gipuzkoa had a hermitage of the same name built on the rock of Albade, destroyed a few years later in 1796 by a fire caused by lightning. Rebuilt in 1804, it rises to 220 meters high, offering breathtaking views of the city of Irun, Bidasoa and Txingudi Bay from the viewpoint next to the temple. A playground, picnic tables and parking are available for a peaceful day at Mont San Marcial, a site where some hikes begin. Open your eyes, a forest of trees is planted, where every seed was planted when a baby was born.


mount san marcial
ama xantalen
ama xantalen


Mount Jaizkibel

This is a hiking site that offers breathtaking views throughout the walk, as the reliefs are so varied. Located in the flysch-type Jaizkibel chain, a formation dating from 54 to 45 million years ago, it culminates at a height of 550 meters in the municipality of Hondarribia. Choose your route carefully, the western flank has steep slopes that plunge into the sea, with cliffs 240 meters high. The eastern flank is more accessible with its creeks, ravines and streams which are home to rare species of flora such as tropical ferns. Birds are also present, including yellow-legged gulls and storm petrels. On Mount Jaizkibel are the sanctuary of Guadeloupe and its fort, as well as a church with a single transit nave, two characteristic constructions. The fort can be visited alone or accompanied by a guide after making a telephone reservation.


mount jaizbibel
mount jaizkibel


Hondarribia Beach

A little wonder of the Basque coast, this beach of fine golden sand extends over 800 meters along Txingudi bay, ideal for a lazy day reading, sunbathing and resting. Bring your swimsuits to dive into blue, cool and calm water, swimming is supervised and many services are installed to make your day easier. Park in the car park before spreading your towel on the beach, toilets, showers and changing rooms are available to dry off and change. For snacks, a bar and a kiosk are set up at the top of the beach. Accessible to people with reduced mobility, Hondarribia beach is ideal for relaxing, close to the urban center and numerous hotel establishments.


hondarribia beach


The Bidasoa River

66 km long, it is aptly named since in Euraska “bide” means path and “assa” means water, which could correspond to “ water path ”. It takes its source in Navarre at the peak of Astaté near the village of Erratzu, where it bears the name Baztan until Dronoz-Mugaire where it becomes the Bidasoa river . After a precise route crossing the Bay of Biscay between Hendaye and Hondarribia and the Gulf of Txingudi, it flows into the Atlantic, mixing its fresh waters with saline tides. It thus forms the Txingudi marshes, which shelter natural sites such as the Jaizubia or Plaiundi plains. Since a treaty of 1659, the riverbed provides the border between France and Spain , with Hendaye and Urrugne on the right bank, and Irún and Hondarribia on the left bank. A cycling route also allows you to travel between the two banks, a pleasant route to do with family or friends.

bidassoa


Plaiaundi Ecological Park- Ekoetxea – Txingudi

This park is a little corner of paradise for migratory birds which find refuge there every year, to the delight of ornithology enthusiasts. Spread over 24 hectares, this refuge is home to up to 312 species of birds in a wetland suitable for observing them. Located between the Bidasoa River and the Jaizubia Creek, the Plaiaundi Ecological Park is made up of inland lagoons that fill with the rhythm of the tides, an intertidal beach and a freshwater lagoon, an incredible environment for wildlife and flora that flourish there all year round. Make a stop at the interpretation center to gather lots of information on migratory birds, before setting off on foot to explore this haven of peace. A 2 km circuit marked with 17 explanatory panels allows you to explore the park without damaging it, punctuated with towers and huts ideal for bird watching. Guided tours are also organized for groups who have booked.


txingudi bay

Hermitage of Saint-Martial in Irun

Hermitage of Saint-Martial in Irun
Hermitage of Saint-Martial in Irun

Installed on Mount Aldabe, the hermitage has been destroyed several times and then rebuilt. On the feast day of San ...

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Hermitage of Ama Xantalen

Hermitage of Ama Xantalen
Hermitage of Ama Xantalen

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Church of Santa María del Juncal in Irun

Church of Santa María del Juncal in Irun
Church of Santa María del Juncal in Irun

Built in the 16th century, it was built despite the disapproval of the Viceroy of Navarre and the neighboring ...

300 m - Irun


If your favorite destination is the Basque Country, you will love crossing the border to discover the natural spaces of Irun and Hondarribia in the Bidasoa region. You now have all the essentials not to be missed, all you have to do is organize your route and escape. Enjoy your visit to the south of the Basque Country !


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