France : The Pyrenees

Basque Country : From the Mountains to the Ocean

Trip code: W06BC

Self-guided walking

6 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

SUMMARY

  • Walking on ancient footpaths through the green Pyrenees
  • Discover traditional red-and-white villages
  • Enjoy the Basque talent for great food and hospitality.

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 6 nights accommodation
  • All breakfast and 5 evening meals
  • Comprehensive route directions
  • Luggage transfers between hotels
  • Email briefing pack

TRIP DESCRIPTION

Journey from the peaks of the Pyrenees to the shores of the Atlantic encountering the charm of the Basque countryside with every step. Starting from the pilgrimage town of St Jean Pied de Port, follow the GR10 long distance route taking you through varied landscapes, from spectacular mountains to picturesque countryside with rolling hills and dramatic coastlines.

Passing through the traditional red and white villages you will uncover the unique identity of the Basque Country, one of Europe's most culturally rich regions. With its distinctive language (Euskara), traditions and world-famous gastronomy, the Basque Country is astonishingly diverse. Our route offers you a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in its varied landscapes and ancient culture.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrival in St Jean Pied de Port

Arrival in St Jean Pied de Port Time to explore St Jean Pied de Port which is also the most popular starting point for the Camino de Santiago.

You stay at Hotel Central.

hotel details

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Hotel Central, St Jean Pied de Port

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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Hairdryer
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Aircon


Expect a warm welcome from your hosts who await you at this 3* family run hotel on the banks of the Nive river. Located in the heart of the picturesque town of St Jean Pied de Port, the hotel was renovated in 2015, but still retains some of its original features such as its beautiful old wooden staircase.

Rooms are smart and modern, and some have balconies with views over the river.

All feature private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer, WI-FI, TV and A/C.

Day 2: ST Jean Pied De Port - Bidarray (7km/4.3mi or 14km/8.7mi)

This morning you will be transferred to Col D’Ispeguy to start your walk to Bidarray. This is a challenging walk, ascending the red sandstone ridges of the Iparla along the border between the Basque Country and Navarre.

Your route will take you along the GR10 long distance path, look out for the black vultures as they glide overhead. Descend on a network of paths that connect the hamlets and continue towards Bidarray and its remarkable Romanesque church. Your hotel overlooks the three valleys of Nive, Baztant and Begi-Eder. If you prefer to take an easier route on your first day of your trek there is an alternative walk which start from St Martin d’Arrosa which initially follows an historical iron mining trail.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Barberaenea.

hotel details

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Hotel Barberaenea, Bidarray

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


This old Basque house has been completely renovated to offer all the comforts of a hotel while preserving is old and traditional setting. The Elissetche family continues the tradition of the generations that preceded since 1875. Each of the 9 rooms are spacious and comfortable and offer beautiful views of one of the Basque Country.

The restaurant is popular with locals and visitors alike and meal are served either inside or outside on the shady courtyard in front of the hotel.

Rooms are simple but well-furnished featuring private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and TV. WI-FI is available in the restaurant.

Day 3: Bidarray - Itxassou (8km/5.0mi or 17km/10.6mi)

From Bidarray, you have an undulating walk which criss-crosses through a myriad of farms and meadows, followed by an ascent to the summit of Artzamendi (924m).

Descend along the green Nive gorge and discover the natural curiosity that is the Pas de Roland before continuing on to the charming village of Itxassou, famous for its cherries. If you want a shorter/lower route for your second day, there is an alternative walk which missed out the ascent to the summit of Artzamendi.

elevation

You stay at Hotel du Chene.

hotel details

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Hotel du Chene, Itxassou

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TV
Minibar


The hotel offers a unique setting nestled between the Basque hills and the beautiful 17th century church of Itxassou. Featuring 15 rooms, this hotel combines the typical rustic interior of an old Basque inn with bright modern décor. The outside terrace and gardens provide the perfect place to relax. The on-site restaurant offers a generous menu with seasonal and local produce.

All rooms feature private bathroom with WC, shower/bath, WI-FI and TV.

Day 4: Itxassou - Espelette (16km/9.9mi)

Only a few hills separate the villages of Itxassou and Espelette but our route takes a worthwhile detour to the summit of Mondarrain. Following a track to Col de Legarre you continue uphill on the flank of the Pic d’Ezcondray until you arrive at the Col d’Amezketa. As you walk through this beautiful landscape you will experience the local flora and fauna, such as the free- spirited pottoks. They are a true emblem of the Basque Country.

Climb to the summit of Mondarrain (749m) to enjoy stunning views of the French and Spanish peaks of the Basque Country and beyond to the Atlantic Ocean. Descend to the typical Basque village of Espelette, known for its dried red peppers which are hung outside many of the houses and shops.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Euskadi.

hotel details

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Hotel Euskadi, Espelette

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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Located at the heart of the village of Espelette, this 3* family run hotel has gradually been transformed under the 5 generations of Jaureguy family who have owned it. There are many communal areas to relax from the cosy lobby lounge to the living room on the second floor, or if you prefer the newly landscaped terrace which overlooks the garden and heated swimming pool.

Made up of two buildings with 27 rooms each named after a village in the Basque Country.

All feature private bathroom with WC, bath/shower, TV and WI-FI.

Day 5: Espelette - Sare (20km/12.4mi)

Today’s walk is less mountainous than previous days. Following the GR8, follow gentle ridges through countryside and villages passing a series of forts. Among the most beautiful villages in France, Sare is an authentic Basque village, lined with typical white houses with red and green timbering.

elevation

You stay at Hotel Arraya.

hotel details

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Hotel Arraya, Sare

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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AmEx
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Minibar
Safe


Built in the 16th century on the village square in Sare, this hotel combines the comfort of a modern 4* hotel with tradition and charm. A warm welcome awaits by one of the family members.

All 16 rooms have individual character either with a garden view or onto the square. The décor is elegant and in keeps with the classical style of the building.

Rooms feature private bathroom with WC, bath with overhead shower, hairdryer, TV, telephone, desk, safe and WI-FI.

Dinner is served in an elegant dining room and offers a varied menu with some of the best produce from the Basque Country.

Day 6: Sare - St Jean de Luz (14km/8.7mi)

A long steady climb up the GR10 takes you up to a pleasant col where you have the choice to ascend the summit of La Rhune (905m). Alternatively, you can take a different route from Sare and catch the rack and pinion train to the summit. The summit of La Rhune marks the border with the Spanish Basque Country, enjoy (weather dependent) 360 ° panoramas, east towards the endless Pyrenees you have crossed and west to the Atlantic coast.

Descend along tracks and paths to the village of Ascain. From here you will get a short transfer to the fishing port of St Jean de Luz.

elevation

You stay at Grand Hotel de la Poste.

hotel details

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Grand Hotel de la Poste, Saint Jean de Luz

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

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TV
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Located in the centre of St Jean de Luz and just a short walk from the beach, this historic 3* hotel is well placed for an evening stroll around the streets and down to the harbor.

A trading post in the 18th century, it is famed for a visit by The Marquis de la Fayette before leaving on a journey to help the insurgent of the Americas win their independence.

All 34 rooms feature free Wi-Fi, TV and private bathroom with shower or bath.

Day 7: Leave St Jean de Luz

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

Show prices including flights and onward rail?  

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £340.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £340.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Flights from Gatwick to Bordeaux with Easyjet, then onward rail to the region.
  • Other flights, including regional departures
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Extra legroom seats available
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air-rail prices include our standard flights and onward rail
Out: Easyjet Gatwick to Bordeaux then rail Bordeaux to St Jean Pied de Port via Bayonne and then walk to hotel approx 10 minutes Return: Taxi to station payable locally then rail St Jean de Luz Ciboure to Bordeaux then Easyjet Bordeaux to Gatwick

Extra legroom seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we open again 9am Monday) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

We have been on a number of holidays and the service is always excellent.

18 Jul 2024

Excellent. I liked the call back service. It saved time hanging on the phone

Catherine Mcgowan, 5 Jan 2024

Very helpful and patient

11 Nov 2023

We both enjoyed our trip to Amalfi. Hotel was great although at first were a bit disappointed staying in the annex. However the food and staff were fantastic, we were really looked after. The walks were varied, were pretty demanding with the long stretches of steps. The walk via the nature reserve was our highlight, off the beaten track, stunning backdrop.

3 Nov 2023


Self-guided walking

6 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 2
Moderate

6 nights from £1429

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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