The Basque Country is a paradise for lovers of the great outdoors, and has a variety of stunning hikes for all skill levels. Thanks to its proximity to the ocean and mountains, each one is picturesque and hard to forget. In this article, we’ll elaborate on the best family friendly hikes throughout the Basque Country that are worth checking out.
L’ascension de la Rhune
La Rhune is probably best known for its historic train, but it sits on a mountain range that makes it an ideal spot for hiking.
Take the train up to the top and descend by foot. It would be best to get there early as there can be quite a lengthy queue for the train. If your family is up for it, you can walk up and take the train down instead…
For Serious Hikers
There are six circuits for each skill level.
- Saint-Ignace pass
The view sof the ocean and mountains on these trails are gorgeous. There are winding paths through forests and meadows, and you’ll probably come across some flocks of sheep here and there.
Itxassou et le Pas de Roland
About fifteen kilometers from Bayonne, the picturesque Basque village of Itxassou is the starting point for many Basque Country hikes thanks to its close proximity to the Atharri and Artzamendi mountains.
Itxassou is home to a legendary Basque hike, the Pas de Roland. There are a variety of tales legends that explain this natural phenomenon (Roland’s sword, his horse’s hoof…)
Marked in yellow, this hike starts from the church of Itxassou and follows the Nive to Pas de Roland. The hike constitutes 10 km of hiking in a well-preserved setting that is the basis of several medieval legends.
Le col d’Ibardin et le Lac Xoldokogaina
This hike will take you to the Xoldokogaina lake, and lasts 2h30 in total. It is not particularly difficult and would be a great choice for families with kids. There are breathtaking views of Saint-Jean-de-Luz and the Pyrénées and you may even come across small Pottok horses wandering about. When you get to the lake, you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view and a perfect place to enjoy a picnic before heading back by way of the Ibardin pass.
Sainte-Engrâce et les Gorges de Kakuetta
Open to the public from March to November, this is a great choice for families. Due to its unexpected, lush vegetation, this offers an exotic environment and has even been coined “The Amazon of the Basque Country”. The entire hike from the starting point to the waterfalls takes about 2 hours, and is fully equipped with manicured paths and bridges.
Le Sentier du Littoral sur la Corniche
Taking you from Hendaye to Saint-Jean-de-Luz, this coastal path follows the Basque corniche and offers incredible views of the rugged coastline, the Pyrénées (Rhune, Manddale, and Ziburumendi), the Abbadie castle observatory, the Haiçabia villa and the Socoa semaphore.
The circuit is clearly marked on a well-maintained path, making it a great day-trip excursion for families. It starts at the end of Hendaye beach, facing the twin rocks of the bay. Signs articulate the path to Saint-Jean-de-Luz. The hike is 15km long and takes between 3 and 4 hours to complete.
Gravir le Jaizkibel
This hike is on the Spanish side of the Basque Country. From Hondarribia, you will walk the way to the Santiago de Compostela. The climb makes for a steep leg workoiut, but it’s well worth it. From the top, you’ll have breathtaking views of Irun, Hondarribia, Hendaye, San Sebastián, Pasaia, and Renteria.
Aïnhoa is a beautiful, traditional Basque village. Its Basque architecture and stunning mountainous landscapes make it Ainhoa a perfect starting point for an easy hike that lasts about 2h30.
This hike takes you through both meadows and the forest, and the Aubépine chapel is found at the summit.
Chambre d’Amour – Phare de Biarritz
This easily accessible hike offers views of the ocean, Pyrénées, and a panoramic view of Biarritz from the lighthouse. It is perfect for families at any time of the year. Park at the Chambre d’Amour and head over to the end of the beach just before the cliff and follow the road that winds along the coast up to the lighthouse. For a detailed explanation, click HERE.
If you are looking to make the Basque Country your home and have easy access to outdoor activities at any time of year, don’t hesitate to contact O’Plus Immobilier so that we can help you achieve your goals! Click HERE to contact our team and discuss your project!