Highlights

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

Meet in dazzling Biarritz for a 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. 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 La Rhune peak. We descend by foot before transferring back to our hotel. There's a wine tasting before dinner.

Tuesday Overnight: Hotel Ithurria

Today's memorable walk starts from our hotel and follows the climb and descent of a circular mountain path along the Spanish border. At the mountaintop, we're rewarded with panoramic views from the mountains to the sea, but there's also much to see and enjoy throughout the day. The scenery is typically Basque, with abundant green grass, broom, sheep, ponies, vultures and wood pigeons. Dinner at the Michelin-starred hotel restaurant.

Wednesday Overnight: Parador de Hondarribia

A short minibus transfer brings us to Saint Jean de Luz, visiting the church and the house where, in 1660, Louise XIV waited to wed Maria-Teresa, Infanta of Spain. Stop for lunch in Socoa, then we continue along the coast of Abbadie. At Hendaye Port we'll board a boat to carry us across the Bidassoa River to Spain and a short walk to our Parador.

Thursday Overnight: Hotel La Reserve

After a stroll through the fortified city, we follow a pilgrimage trail down to the wild Spanish coastline which leads us to a fishing port for lunch. A coastal boat ride brings us back to St Jean de Luz where we have free time to enjoy the city and shops. Dinner at the hotel.

Friday Overnight: Hotel La Reserve

Today's highlight is a 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. Farewell Dinner in our hotel.

Saturday

The Wayfarers will transport you to the rail station at St Jean de Luz.
Moderate-Energetic
"Great relaxed walks, with lovely scenery, good distances and suffficient challenges, with local information. And such amazing food everywhere." TK
Terrain: Alpine and coastal trails with moderate climbs and steep descents, inviting village tracks. 9-12 miles walking per day.

TRIP DETAILS

6 nights from
$4,695.00
per person, double occupancy
(Single Supplement $655.00)
Our Wayfarers friends' Price is $4,460.00

Dates

From Jun 17 to Jun 23 (more dates)
Request booking
Arrival: Biarritz La Negresse Railway Station
Departure: St Jean de Luz TGV Rail Station

Activities

Walk AdventureCoastal walkingWalk Classic
Pays Basque June 2018 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 decor and furniture.

Parador De Hondarribia

Parador De Hondarribia

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 Reserve

Hotel La Reserve

The view from this hotel is breath-taking! Whether you are looking at the horizon through the bay windows and terraces, with seven acres of gardens and parkland overhanging the sea, or enjoying a meal on the panoramic terrace of the restaurant. 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. You can also indulge in a moment of relaxation with specialist treatments in the Patio Wellness area.

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, culture, 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 cultural 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