Campsite near Itxassou

Le pas de Rolandbetween nature and Basque legends

Discover Itxassou during your camping holiday

At the foot of Artzamendi in the commune of Itxassou lies a curious split rock called Pas de Roland. The Pas de Roland is a narrow gorge running alongside the Nive, a river crossing the Basque country from Saint Jean Pied de Port to Bayonne.

Legend has it that the Pas de Roland breach was caused by the furious hoof of the horse of Roland, Charlemagne’s nephew, who was fleeing the Vascons at the time. Another version states that Roland, faced with this rock blocking the way of his army, split it with a sword.

Known by the Basque name of Atekagaitz (dangerous passage), this narrow, winding path along the Ateka gorge is in fact an old mule track used by muleteers on their way to Bidarray or Espelette . In 1924, a new path through Pas de Roland was laid out to make access safer and easier.

Itxassouand its history

Discover the history of Itxassou at camping Biper Gorri

First mentioned in 1249 under its ancient name “Lesaka”, Itxassou seems to have developed over the centuries thanks to its position as a trading hub. The commune’s name could also come from Itsasoa, meaning “the sea”. Itxassou seems to have been a lake, which is why there are hundreds of hectares of pebbles in the lower part of the village.

Enjoy Basque cuisine at the campsite restaurant

In the Basque country, ewe’s milk cheeses, generally made by hand, are accompanied by black cherry jam, if possible from Itxassou. Nature has been producing these red and black pearls at Itxassou for centuries. You can try this speciality at the campsite restaurant.

Gastronomylocal gastronomy