Hiking & camping in the Basque Country: the coastal path, from Bidart to Hendaye
From Bidart to Hendaye via the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz, the coastal path is considered one of the most beautiful walks in the Basque country. The route follows the wild coastline for 25 kilometers, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Pyrenees. Get ready to be amazed!
From Bidart to Saint-Jean-de-Luz
The starting point for this hike on the Basque coast is Plage d’Erretegia, at the foot of the Bidart cliffs, 25 km from our 4-star campsite in the Basque Country. To get your feet wet, climb up to the little chapel of Sainte-Madeleine at the top of the cliff. The result is a breathtaking view of the Basque coastline and the Pyrenees mountain range. This sets the tone right from the start. After Bidart‘s main beach, the coastal path leads to Parlementia beach, renowned for its world-famous waves. Then it’s on to Guéthary, the smallest village on the Basque coast, famous for its picturesque port, beaches and intrepid surfers. After a break on the terrace to eat chipirons a la plancha, watch the waves roll in or tighten your laces, head back along the Corniche road towards Cenitz hill. This nature reserve, owned by the Conservatoire du Littoral, covers 1.2 hectares on the edge of the rocky foreshore. If you’re looking for stunning ocean views, you’ve come to the right place! Leaving behind the pretty beaches of Lafitenia and Erromardie, the guinguettes and waterside bars, we make our way to Pointe Sainte-Barbe, which opens up the bay of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. And here too, we can’t believe our eyes. A chance to discover the colorful fishing port, the panoramic view of the River Nivelle and the Quai de l’Infante, as well as the beautiful shipowners’ houses of the former corsair town. Next stop: Hendaye Bay!
From Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Hendaye (the Corniche Basque)
From the port of Ciboure (Socoa), take the famous Corniche Basque. Between road and cliff, this part of the trail stretches for some ten kilometers to Hendaye, alternating rocky coasts, wild creeks and green hills. The route soon takes us to Crique des Viviers Basques in Urrugne. An opportunity to discover the Haizabia villa and its seawater pool, before heading off in the direction of the unspoilt Abbadia estate. Here, the green of the hills flirts with the blue of the ocean. Just a stone’s throw away, we discover Pointe Sainte Anne and its blockhouse, a vestige of the Atlantic Wall where a compass rose has replaced the German artillery guns. On the heights of Hendaye, you can see the Château d’Abbadia, the astonishing neo-Gothic manor house of astronomer and explorer Antoine d’Abbadie. It would be a shame to pass by without stopping off. And if you’re curious about nature, stop off at the Maison de la Corniche (Asporotsttipi to its friends), a former Basque farmhouse that has become an interpretation center devoted to the geology, biodiversity and human activities of the Basque coastline. The Corniche road ends at Hendaye’s long beach, with the famous “Les Jumeaux” rocks, the Bay of Txingudi and the foothills of the Pyrenees in the background. End of our tour of the Basque coastal path! It’s time to return to your campsite in Espelette for a well-deserved rest after this magnificent hike.
- Bidart to Saint-Jean-de-Luz: 13 km (approx. 3 h 30)
- Saint-Jean-de-Luz to Hendaye (Corniche Basque): 12 km (approx. 3 h 55)
IN SEPTEMBER: the Corniche Festival
Every September, the Corniche Basque becomes entirely pedestrianized for a day. From Socoa to Hendaye, cars and motorcycles are a thing of the past! A godsend for families, hikers, cyclists and walkers in search of silence and nature. To mark the occasion, a wide range of activities are on offer, including a giant picnic, games, an exhibition, an artists’ residency, nature outings and birdwatching…