Highlights

  • Untamed beauty of semi-wild landscape
  • Ancient, unique culture between France and Spain
  • Walking with the spectacular backdrop of the Pyrenees
  • Stay in an historic fortress with dramatic Atlantic Ocean views
  • Guided tasting

Ideally situated in the South West of France and North West of Spain at the foot of the Pyrenees Mountains and on the Atlantic seaboard, the Basque-country has kept its superb natural environment, unspoiled and jealously guarded by its proud inhabitants.

The coastal paths meander beside endless stretches of golden sand, in sight of the Atlantic surf. The untamed beauty of this wild coast is interspersed with sophisticated Basque cities with their heady mix of port and beach life. On the mountainside, the pretty villages and farms nestle in green valleys surrounded by open slopes and a semi-wild landscape.

The origins of the Basques remain shrouded in mystery but the songs, festivals, local sport, distinctive regional cuisine and folklore reveal a unique history and strong cultural identity where they still speak the oldest living language in Europe.

Sunday Overnight: Hotel Ithurria

We rendezvous in dazzling Biarritz and make the short transfer to the lovely hilltop village of Anhoa, on the Spanish Border, for our Welcome Dinner.

Monday Overnight: Hotel Ithurria

From our hotel we walk to Sare, another traditional village. The trail traverses the typically hilly Basque countryside passing through forests, rivers and sheep meadows. After lunch in a colorful local restaurant, we climb the hillside of the iconic peak, La Rhune. After absorbing the views we descend by foot for the transfer back to our hotel for wine tasting and dinner.

Tuesday Overnight: Hotel Ithurria

Walking from our hotel, our route follows the climb and descent of a circular mountain path along the Spanish border. The scenery throughout the day is typically Basque with green grass, broom, sheep, ponies, vultures and wood pigeons in Autumn. From the peak we admire the panoramic view of Pays Basque, extending from the mountains to the sea. Our reward for the morning's uphill walk is a welcome lunch at a typical smugglers' haunt, giving us renewed vigor for the afternoon energetic descent. We end our day with dinner at the Michelin Star restaurant in the hotel.

Wednesday Overnight: Parador De Hondarribia El Emperador

After a short minibus transfer, we have time to explore the townscape of Saint Jean de Luz, visiting the church and the house where Louise XIV waited for his wedding to Maria-Teresa, Infanta of Spain, on June 9 1660. We walk out from the town to our lunch in Socoa and then continue our walk along the coast of Abbadie.

At Hendaye Port we take a boat ride across the River Bidassoa to Spain and a short walk to our Parador (historic building now restored as a Spanish hotel) in Hondarribia, a fascinating walled city.

Thursday Overnight: La Reserve St Jean de Luz

After a stroll through the fortified city, we follow a pilgrimage trail, climbing to the Guadeloupe church, to admire the view and discover a deserted 19th century fortress. We walk down to the wild Spanish coastline which leads us to a fishing port for lunch. A coastal boat ride takes us back to Saint Jean de Luz where we have free time to enjoy the hotel facilities, including the exclusive Zen Spa, or shop in town before walking out to dinner in a local restaurant.

Friday Overnight: La Reserve St Jean de Luz

We start our day by walking along the Atlantic seaboard to gain an apetite for our visit to the chocolate museum where our "matre chocolatier" will teach us all about this skillful art and allow us to indulge in a few divine samples! We then walk to the famous Biarritz resort created by Napoleon III for his wife, the Empress Eugenie. After lunch, we stroll along the fashionable promenade above the beautiful rocky coastline and absorb the Biarritz atmosphere. We return to spend some free time in Saint Jean de Luz and, in the evening, we rendezvous in our hotel for our Farewell Dinner.

Saturday

The Wayfarers see you safely on your way. Of course you may prefer to linger in Biarritz!
Moderate-Energetic "It's much less touristic. You get out in the countryside and see the real life of the country"

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,195.00
Per Person, Double Occupancy
(Single Supplement $635.00)
Our Wayfarers friends Price is $3,985.00

Dates

Request booking
Arrival: Biarritz
Departure: St Jean de Luz TGV Rail Station

Activities

Walk AdventureCoastal walkingWalk Classic
Pays Basque Map

Hotels - Where we stay

Hotel Ithurria

Hotel Ithurria

A family-run business for three generations, this hotel enjoys wonderful views across its well-kept gardens to the surrounding hills and mountains. The restaurant room is the “heart of the house” with generous cooking using the best regional and seasonal products grown in their own kitchen garden.

The hotel has a fitness centre, swimming pool, sauna, two lounges and offers wireless internet. Each room is equipped with telephone and flat screen satellite TV and all ensuite bathrooms have a bath, large hand basin and hair dryer.

The family has brought a personal touch to every bedroom which has its own individual décor and furniture.

Parador De Hondarribia El Emperador

Parador De Hondarribia El Emperador

The hotel occupies a beautiful castle built by the king of Navarre, Sancho Abarca, in the 10th century. The building still retains the appearance and atmosphere of a medieval fortress and provides a magnificent backdrop to the coastal location.

Within the thick stones walls, the beautifully renovated interior retains the original atmosphere with its hidden nooks and crannies, arches and wrought-iron work that adorns the walls and ceilings.

All the bedrooms have a private bathroom, hairdryer, telephone, satellite television, safe and a mini bar. The parador does not serve dinner so we have dinner at a charming, traditional Spanish restaurant in the Old City.

Hotel La Réserve

Hotel La Réserve

The view from this hotel is breathtaking, whether you are looking at the horizon through the bay windows and terraces, lounging at the infinity swimming pool built into the hillside with gardens overhanging the sea or enjoying a meal at the panoramic terrace of the restaurant. Entirely renovated in 2011, it has been awarded “Ecolabel” certification for its extensive efforts in recycling, waste management, energy consumption, use of raw materials and prevention of pollution. Each bedroom is decorated in natural hues and is equipped with the highest technology: flat screen TV, audio player, video, Wifi connection and phone, and each ensuite bathroom has shower, bath and hairdryer. With an established reputation for fine food, the Ilura restaurant draws on a wide variety of flavors from the Basque country creating a modern interpretation of local classic dishes.

Start planning your trip

What Is Included in the Price of My Vacation

  • Full-time services of two staff - a Walk Leader and Walk Manager
  • A backup vehicle for resting walkers and moving luggage
  • Comprehensive Travel Information Package and Reading List
  • Diverse itineraries with an emphasis on history, geography, cutlure, peoples, flora and fauna
  • Demonstrations, wine tasting, admissions to museums and historic sites
  • All ground transfers (ferries, cable cars, trains, etc.)
  • Maps and unique souvenirs to commemorate your trip
  • First-class accommodations with culural and historical interest
  • All meals - with choices - (Special dietary requirements? No problem!)
  • Wine with dinner
  • On-trail snacks and refreshments
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants