Hotel Bellevue, Hendaye
Comfortable 2 star hotel close to the port in Hendaye at the end of your walk.
6 days walking/7 nights
A superb trek traversing the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean Coasts
Discovery of the Basque Coast and mid-mountain landscapes
The charm of the villages we pass through: Sare, Ainhoa, St Etienne de Baigorry, St-Jean-Pied-de-Port
A well-established local terroir: gastronomy, culture, architecture
Hiking on the mythical GR10
Welcome at your hotel in St Jean Pied de Port
Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is the capital of the Pays Basque region. It lies in a circle of hills at the foot of the Roncevaux pass into Spain. After checking into your hotel you may choose to do a walk in the surrounding area. A chance to discover the many delights of this seductive region.
Explore St Jean and its surroundings
Walk through the Irouléguy vineyards and the village of Ispoure, in the surroundings of the capital of the Basse Navarre - a region with many touristic assets. 8km, (3hrs), +280m, -280m.
The Kurutxamendi is a small hill dominating St Jean Pied de Port. This pedestrian loop can be the object of a pleasant short and easy stroll at the side of the pilgrims who go to St Jacques de Compostela. Despite the low altitude, however, you will have good visibility on the peaks of Navarre, and even Labourd. 5km, (1hr 30m), +145m, -145m
Overnight: St Jean Pied de Port.
A challenging first stage in the heart of the Basque Country, with the ascent of the Mont Munhoa, culminating at 1021m, and the Oylarandoy massif, before reaching the wonderful village of Saint Etienne de Baigorry.
Overnight: St Etienne de Baigorry, Walk: 19.5km (7hr) +955m, -960m
Today is another challenging walk that is one of the most beautiful hiking trails of the Basque Country. It leads you to Bidarray through some breath-taking scenery, such as extraordinary red sandstone cliffs along the famous crest of Iparla and its culminating peak at 1044m. From there, you will enjoy an immense panorama. Then you'll go descend towards the charming village of Bidarray.
Overnight: Bidarray, Walk: 18.5km (7hrs30) +800m, -1100m.
A section between small peaks and villages with a strong Basque identity. The trail heads toward the Col de Mehatche, situated at an altitude of 716m. You pass into a rocky landscape, home to griffin vultures that swirl above you.
Overnight: Col des Veaux, Walk: 11.5km (4hrs30m), +800m, -360m.
Passing small summits and passes, the itinerary winds its way through the Zuccuta Pass, a superb lookout, and bypasses the Atxulegi (617m) and then Ereby (583m). Afterwards, descend to the magnificent village of Ainhoa, a 12th century bastide settlement. Finally, walk through pleasant and preserved Basque countryside, to reach Sare, another pretty Basque village.
Overnight: Sare, Walk: 22km (6hrs45), +400m, -850m.
During this stage, the trail passes through the massif of La Rhune (larrun: place of grazing, in Basque language), considered as the first Pyrenean summit of the chain and whose 905m summit, remains the sacred mountain of the Basque people and a place full of history. You'll spend the night at the Col d'Ibardin, located on the border, with its ventas. An opportunity to taste the Spanish atmosphere and admire the superb views over the valley.
Overnight: Ibardin, Walk: 18km (6hrs45), +1050m, -750m.
From the border, walk through lush green landscapes against the backdrop of the ocean and sites with a strong Basque imprint, descend the foothills of the Atlantic Pyrenees, leaving the Rhune behind you, to reach the shores of the Atlantic Ocean and Hendaye, a lively coastal town bordered by the superb bay of Txingudi.
End of your tour in Hendaye. Opportunity to visit the city and enjoy its sandy beach.
Overnight: Hendaye, Walk: 15km (5hrs), +460m, -845m.
Your holiday ends after breakfast in Hendaye.
Please see our section called "Options" for details about adding 2 extra days to this option and finishing in San Sebastian.
Distance: 5 - 22km per day
Ascent: 145 - 1050m per day
Gites and hotels in rooms for 2
This self-guided walking holidays, which will take you from the Basque mountains to the Atlantic Ocean, follows the famous GR10 route, the great Pyrenees Crossing (415km from one sea to the other). It features a variety of landscapes specific to the Basque Country, nestled in the heart of the Atlantic Pyrenees. Here, perhaps more than elsewhere, when heading towards the coast, the landscapes crossed have an originality and an entity that are unique. The Basque Country is not just defined in terms of its high mountains and peaks, but also by its exceptional charm and cultural originality.
From Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, the historic capital of the Basque Country, you will walk towards Saint Etienne de Bairorri, with the sumptuous Iparla crest in the background, and then towards Bidarray. From rolling hills to small peaks, you will then cross villages with magical names, such as Ainhoa, Sare, Dancharia, with bright and shimmering tones, built in the purest Basque tradition. You will taste the Spanish atmosphere when reaching the border at the Col d'Ibardin, before descending towards Hendaye, to enjoy the charms of this lively coastal town bordered by the superb bay of Txingudi.
7 night/8 days: 6 days iself-guided walking moving between accommodation
Everyday (subject to availability) from 1 April to 31 October
6 days independent walking moving everyday between hotels and guest houses. It is graded challenging with average days which include 6 hours 30 minutes of walking, about 18km and 800m of ascent & descent. The hardest day includes 7 hours and 30 minutes of walking and 1050m of ascent. Paths are generally good and well defined, although they can be rocky and mountainous in character in places. You should have a good head for heights, have experience of walking in the mountains, know how to navigate and be in good physical condition.
This walking holiday is graded moderate/challenging. See more information about walking grades.
Our self-guided walking trail from the Pyrenees Mountains to Atlantic Ocean is available from 1 April to 31 October. This trek is at relatively low altitudes reaching just over 1000m in altitude and so the risk of snow is relatively small outside of winter, early spring and late autumn. Having said this, April is relatively fresh with a maximum average daily temperature of 16°C on the coast and several degrees lower inland. From May, temperatures are pleasant for walking and the wildlife becomes abundant. Maximum average temperatures in July and August are 25°C on the coast. Temperatures would be higher inland at low altitudes and lower at higher altitudes. In terms of temperatues, June and September are optimal with maximum avarage temperatures of 23°C on the coast. June and July are the driest months, whilst April and October are the wettest months during the holiday period. The chance of storms is usally greater in the afternoons, so setting off early is advisable. The busiest period in terms of fellow walkers is from Mid July to mid August. Early in the season is best for the wonderful alpine flowers and meadows.
The vast majority of this walking holiday follows the GR10 (Grande Randonnee) long distance trail which is very well way-marked with red and white markings. There are also a number of signposts along the trail. The walking follows clear paths for its entire duration. Some small sections follow local or unmarked trails, for example to access accommodation, but these are easy to follow. On this particular walking holiday we use the Cicerone guide books. As well as the walking notes we supply walking maps. You'll be provided with detailed 1:25,000 walking maps.
On this walking holiday you can choose to have your main luggage transferred between accommodation so you only have to carry a day rucksack with picnic lunch (supplied by the guest houses and included in the holiday price), water and spare clothes, waterproofs, camera etc. On this holiday several local taxi companies are responsible for transporting your main luggage. Please limit the weight of your bags where possible to 15kg.
Departure from Hendaye/Saint Jean Pied de Port, bus or train SNCF, direction Bayonne. From Bayonne, possible connections to Biarritz.
Biarritz Parme airport (25km) : daily flights from Paris, London, Lyon, and the Clermont Ferrand. Direct UK flights from Birmingham with Flybe.
We recommend to arrive by train to avoid returns to departure to recover your car, because itineraries can be very long and badly served and very expensive if you take a taxi. If you insist to come with your car, we recommend you to leave your car on the arrival point the first day and to do the run to the departure point because the first day you have plenty of time to do the run and you will not be tired by a week walking.
The above information is subject to change. Please contact us for assistance in organising your travel arrangements.
7 nights' Half Board accommodation, except two nights where it is on a B&B basis. 4 nights in hotels and 3 nights guest houses, all in double or twin rooms. Nights 1 and 7 B&B basis, nights 2 - 6 half board. Continental breakfast. Evening meals are usually local specialities and include 3 courses. Picnic lunch is not included in the price, but can be ordered from your hosts the evening before.
Comfortable 2 star hotel close to the port in Hendaye at the end of your walk.
Family run 2 star hotel-restaurant in the heart of the Basque country.
Extra nights are possible at St Jean de Pied de Port at the start of the trip and in Hendaye at the end of your walk.
It is possible to continue with the second part of the Traverse of the Pyrenees at the end of this walking holiday: Pyrenees GR10, Part 2: St Jean Pied de Port - Estaut.
It is possible to book this walking holiday in the reverse direction starting in Hendaye and ending up at St Jean de Pied de Port. The walking stages would be the same except in reverse. It would also be possible to add a couple of walking days at the end of the trip in Northern Spain, finishing at San Sebastian. These two walking days are detailed below:
Extra day 1 : Loop of Hondarribia
From Hendaye, you will reach the wharf to take the boat shuttle to cross the Txingudy Bay, which separates Hendaye from the Spanish harbour of Hondarribia. You will quickly reach the Cabo Higuer, the western end of the Pyrenees. From there, the track will offer you a condensed summary of the Basque Country, leading you sometimes above the cliffs, sometimes in the middle of a green valley: ocean and mountain merged! When you get to Hondarribia, after the hike, it is time for a Tapas stop! And return to hendaye to your accommodation via boat shuttle.
Distance : 14km, altitude gain : +300m, descent : -300m.
Extra day 2 : From the Jaizkibel mountain to San Sebastian
Transfer from Hendaye to the Jaizkibel Mountain. There, the track will reward you with magnificent views over the ocean, 400m down, from one side, and over the first French and Spanish Basque mountains, from the other side. Then you will walk down through a lovely pathway on the cliff’s edge to reach Pasaia, where you will take another boat shuttle to cross the Pasaia Bay. The remaining part of the track to reach San Sebastian will take place through creeks and green seaside. San Sebastian and its famous “Concha” are waiting for you, for an amazing evening wandering along the “Casco Viejo”, discovering the best “Pintxos” (tapas) bars of the whole country !
Distance : 17km, altitude gain: +300m, descent : -700m.
Please consult us for a price on any of the above options.
If you want to learn more about the region's culture through tailor-made activities and visits, check out this trip that includes a few days in the South West of France. Contact us to add them to your hike.
Authentic trip to discover the Tarn: stunning walks, exquisite gastronomy and centuries of captivating history in Toulouse, Albi, Carcassonne and more.
Ride the waves of adventure from Paris to La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Biarritz where sophistication meets the laid-back vibes of the 'French California'