Discover Hendaye: take a unique tour of the Basque coast
On the Basque coast, less than an hour from the Biper Gorri campsite, Hendaye is the last French stopover beforeSpain. Famous for its castle, its very long beach and its “Deux Jumeaux” (two twins) that have fallen from the corniche, Hendaye is a must for your stay in the Basque Country. What to do, what to see, where to go in Hendaye? Follow the guide!
Standing on the Basque corniche overlooking the sea, Château d’Abbadia is well worth a visit, both for its neo-Gothic architecture inspired by medieval fortified castles, and for its interior decoration, a blend of orientalism and radiant Gothic. Built between 1864 and 1884 by Viollet-le-Duc, the château reflects the taste and passion of its owner, Antoine d’Abbadie, a great scholar with a passion for astronomy and travel. Each room is magnificently decorated, rich in stories and anecdotes: the chapel, the library, the astronomy observatory, the Jerusalem or Ethiopian room, or the Ottoman-inspired red salon. Further information: www.chateau-abbadia.fr.
A protected natural area, the Corniche Basque stretches from the port of Ciboure to that ofHendaye, over some ten kilometers. The Corniche d’Hendaye is reputed to be the most unspoilt on the Basque coast. At the foot of the Pyrenees, impressive flysch cliffs plunge into the sea, a geological curiosity unique in Europe. To find out more, visit the Maison de la Corniche. For hikers, the coastal path follows the cliffs of the Corniche from Socoa to Hendaye, revealing some of the jewels of the Basque coast: Baie de Loia, Domaine d’Abbadia, the giant Belharra wave…
Last beach before Spain
Just 40 km from our campsite in the Basque Country, the seaside resort ofHendaye offers visitors a beautiful three-kilometre-long beach, particularly popular with families, as it is reputed to be the safest on the Basque coast. Swimming is on a gentle slope, with no big waves like in Biarritz or Guéthary. On the surfing front, Hendaye has a regular swell, so surfers can enjoy their sport almost all year round. At the end of the beach, at Pointe Sainte-Anne, are the two emblematic rocks ofHendaye, known as “Les Deux Jumeaux”, a pair of rocks detached from the cliff, sculpted by the sea and wind over thousands of years.
Located at the mouth of the Bidassoa, opposite the town of Hondarribia in Spain, theHendaye marina offers boaters a particularly pleasant environment in the Pyrénées-Atlantiques region. Built in 1990, the young marina has 900 berths on pontoons, making it the third largest marina inAquitaine. A pleasant promenade runs along the quayside. It’s also here that you can catch the maritime shuttle linking Hendaye to the fortified town of Hondarribia, on the other side of the Bidassoa river. After a 10-minute boat ride, you’re in Spain.
Caneta and Pheasant Island
Below the city center, on the banks of the Bidassoa, nestles the Caneta district. Facing Hondarribia, this historic district brings to life the history of the wars between France andSpain. Renowned for its summer sardinades, the small port of Caneta is home to the remains of the ramparts built by Vauban, where three cannons still stand, pointing towardsSpain… Further on, we discover the villa where writer Pierre Loti lived. A short distance away, along Chemin de la Baie, you’ll findÎle des Faisans, also known asÎle de la Conférence. It was here, on this tiny pebble in the middle of the Bidasoa River, that the Pyrenees Peace Treaty between France andSpain was signed in 1659.
Upcoming events in Hendaye
- February: Basque Carnival, get dressed up and set out to burn San Pantzar!
- May: For 4 days, Le Mai du Théâtre brings the streets of Hendaye to life, for young and old alike, with a host of shows and events based on the performing arts.
- July: every year on July 13, the Chipiron Festival celebrates the little octopus, a speciality of the Basque Country, cooked up in all kinds of sauces. All generously sprinkled with bandas, Basque music and toros de fuego.
- August (second weekend): don’t miss the Basque Festival, the most important local festival. The program includes a cavalcade, brass bands, traditional costumes, Basque dancing and fireworks.
- October: Hendaia Film Festival, international short film festival.